There was a senseless tragedy in Connecticut today. If you've been under a rock and haven't seen any media (at least here in the US), a demented, evil person walked into an elementary school and shot to death 20 children and 8 adults. We may never know the underlying reasons for his murderous rampage, but nothing in his past could ever excuse such a horrible act.
Think about the parents, family, friends, and other children for a moment. These children had gone to a normal day of school like so many million do every day. Newtown is a small community, not what you would ever consider as prone to such an event. This could happen in any school in the country. The timing could hardly be worse as we are 11 days away from Christmas. That means that in all likelihood presents were already bought for those who were murdered. They may actually already be wrapped and under the tree at this moment. What must it feel like to find out your child has been killed at their school in a mass shooting, then go home and see the present you bought for them wrapped neatly and awaiting eager hands to open it Christmas Day?
I heard about the news when I got into my car after having watched The Hobbit with my wife and two children. My kids are 10 and 11, close to the age of those who died. I can't imagine having to face what these parents are going through. As I was running errands my wife was watching the news reports on TV and crying. My son came in and saw the newcasters talking about the shooting. "Mommy, why would someone do that?" he asked her.
How do you answer something like that? Because I don't think anyone has a good answer. There is absolutely no reason to explain why anyone would murder like this. Nothing except evil.
I am a Christian and fully believe in Satan as a real entity. I believe in demons and I believe in pure evil. Now, I don't think everything bad that happens is due to demon-possessed people. Humans are quite depraved enough in their own souls to perform heinous acts by their own inner evil and don't need external help. But I also know that Satan does try to influence people both directly and indirectly. The only excuse for murdering children in this manner is pure evil, whether internal or external. And though this may somewhat explain the behavior, it in no way gives credence to it.
We are seeing and hearing more about things like this in modern times. Remember the shooting at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado this year? There have been others like that in malls, schools, and other public places. Such mass shootings often make individual murders seem trivial and go unnoticed by the public at large. But the killing of even one person is a tragedy to those that love them. Is the sorrow of a parent who has lost their child in a car accident any less than that of one of the parents in Newtown, Connecticut? We need to remember and pray for everyone who is going through such hardships, not just the ones affected today.
So what can we do? First of all, put politics aside. Though I'm a political and social conservative, I really don't want to hear about the arguments for or against gun control on a day like this. We're not going to solve the problems that lead to tragedies through laws or lack thereof. The root cause of these evil events is in the heart, not in the legal or social system. Today if I see a politician using this tragedy to promote their own viewpoint I would want to go up and slap them. This isn't about politics.
We need to change hearts. We need to embrace love. No, I'm not going all "hippie" on you, and I don't believe in the kind of "tolerance" that the American political Left promotes. We need to have a society that is based on morals and that embraces supporting each other rather than dividing ourselves. Even just in my lifetime I've seen a breaking down of the family and an acceptance of things that really shouldn't be allowed. All in the name of "tolerance". I'm sorry, but there are many things in our society that we should not tolerate. By having a relativistic point of view we no longer tell people that something is "right" or "wrong". And that leads to a belief that nothing is wrong.
Of course, as a fairly fundamentalist Christian (though non-traditional since I'm also a geek), I'm going to talk about the need for God. As we have pushed God out of school, business, and the public eye we have also gotten rid of our moral yardstick and the sense of something holy. We have lost our reverential fear of our Creator and the consequences of our actions. The idea of loving enemies and supporting those in need seems so far away in much of today's society. I actually feel sorry for those who don't have Christ in their lives, as in times of tragedy He is the perfect person to go to and rely on. I know that God wants to comfort the broken hearts, if only people will let Him. And if more people followed the example of Jesus, we would have fewer events like happened today.
Sorry if I've rambled today. This entry is a bit more free-form than I usually do, and I plan on leaving it that way. The events today made me think more than many things I hear on the news, in part because the children killed could have been friends of my own kids.
Stop right now and pray for these people and others like them around the world. Then immediately find or call your own children, hug them if you can, and tell them that you love them.