The problem of mass killings, and casual murder in general in our cities, goes much deeper than governmental regulations, weapons, or even mental-health issues and what to do with sociopaths. All are interesting but second-order in influence, and brutally overplayed flashpoints for division and discord. There’s a greater, overarching issue to be seen!
The mass murder, as a small subset of an even more-pervasive nihilism problem, is indeed one born of a pervasive culture of moral degradation — directly paralleling incremental cultural abandonment of Biblical principles. Yes, I’m talking about God, right at you, and not the least hesitant to do so.
Don’t believe me? While correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causality, the massive mountain of statistical evidence leaves no other viable common thread. I’ll leave it to the skeptical reader to self-motivate enough, to go through the effort, to find graphs of the following since the Supreme Court’s 1962 Engel v. Vitale decision (all of which I have seen):
* Teen pregnancy
* Abortion (teen or all)
* Divorce rate
* Single-mother households
* Adultery rate
* Unmarried and living together
* SAT test scores
* Teen murder rate
* Teen suicides
* Preteen suicides
* Arrest rates of minors
* Illegal drug use (teen or adult)
* Venereal (sexually transmitted) disease
* Rape rate in any of several pre-adult age groups
* Homelessness rate (any age group)
* School killings.
Any one of those trends corresponding so well with Engel can be dismissed as coincidence. The more you examine, the less “coincidental” it becomes.
Not a single one of these mass killers (from this one back through the Murrah bombing that included a day-care center, to the perpetrator of the deadliest school massacre, in 1927, with dynamite), had the Holy Spirit in his heart. If he had, there would have been no killing.
There is the common denominator. Not race nor ancestry. Not type of weapon. Not geography. Godless thought and action. A failure of society, parents, schools and individuals to put the Lord first and follow His will, and in doing so, nourish and flourish a culture steeped in worship and reverence for someone much bigger and more important than self.
This nation can not fit a government-shaped peg into a God-shaped hole.
“No theocracy!” someone reflexively and defensively replies.
“theocracy” = red herring
I type not of a governmental solution (whether theocracy or “gun control”). Again, you’re not going to fit a government-shaped peg into a God-shaped hole. To ban guns, our Constitution will need amendment. Good luck with that; the Founders quite deliberately made it a drawn-out, arduous process so as not to subjugate our rule of law to the whim of social fads and short-fused reactionary emotionalism. Even in the unlikely event of Constitutional amendment, it will be no more effective than the last prohibition we attempted that way (alcoholic beverages). Did that lesson not get learned?
Instead, I’m talking about *societal mores* and the one perfect source for them.
See the forest from the trees. People are focused on the bark of the trees here, indeed on galls on the bark and worms inside. Back out of the forest and see the social disease yellowing all the trees. What is that disease? Individual failure to obey our Lord, multiplied my tens of millions into a collective, malignant societal cancer spreading across decades. Hence all the trends those graphs show in societal and moral degradation.
Want a common demonstrator? I gave one, from a Christian perspective. Christians believe the Lord’s word. That includes John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” That quote from Jesus Christ means exactly what it says.
No one gets to God but through Jesus — the ultimate eternal purveyor of love and justice. You bet it is an exclusive statement, one that makes even a lot of Christians uncomfortable, because they want to go along to get along, to fit in with wordly “inclusivity”, not make waves, not be principled and courageous. So yes, being a former God-denying heathen myself, and still a sinner as long as I’m of this world, I can imagine how it would discomfort unbelievers. I used to resent that statement too.
But there it was, in His own words, like it or not. That’s why I specifically use Jesus and not any other gods, including government, power, money, celebrities, so-called “social justice”, or any other common objects of idolatry. Instead I worship the God of the Trinity, not anything or anyone worldly.
That’s fundamental Christian doctrine 101, right from the Source himself. Don’t like it? Maybe you should be uncomfortable. Part of agape love includes tough love: delivering what you may not want to hear, but need to hear. Often in life, the best results arise from discomfort.
“Non-religious people can have morals too!” Sure they can. But whose? His or her own, of course. And since everybody is different, and everybody is flawed, everybody’s self-defined morals will be different and flawed too. Which one of those 7+ billion is right? Without the oversight of a consistent, higher authority, how do you determine that? Feelings? Suuuure.
Only one higher authority is perfect. It ain’t government, which is made of sin-ridden people. It ain’t the U.N., likewise. It ain’t even “society”, again, likewise. It’s God the Father of Jesus Himself, who always has been and always will be.
What other objective, consistent, unambiguous moral truths are there? Feel free to stake your claim to them if they exist, and explain how they fit those three adjectives. Hint: Not happening.
Consider why you may be uncomfortable with shedding imperfect worldly human standards and instead adopting the objective moral truth of the Lord. Don’t answer to me; your morals are not my concern as much as God’s. So please instead bring them to Him, in prayer. You might be surprised what you hear back, whether right then, or in due time.
If the ideals of the Holy Spirit in people (who, I reiterate, don’t commit mass murders when under that influence), and of the “agape love” are troublesome, that is a manifestation of the larger cultural problem about which I type.
Love solves this.
I don’t mean the dreamy, foggy, ambiguous, new-agey, Marianne Williamson hocus pocus BS either, but the true and unchanging love of God, whose Word prescribes values and virtues wholly antithetical to premeditated violence of any sort. Fill individuals with the Holy Spirit, and they don’t shoot nor bomb schools, nor gas subways, nor blow up day-cares with Ryder trucks full of fertilizer, nor fly planes into skyscrapers.
Love. Agape love. The kind that you find when a whole, spiritually healthy family gathers around the dinner table to pray. That’s what this society needs.
Broken families, and fatherlessness in particular, aren’t part of God’s design. Want evidence? Look all around the news and your communities at how the incomplete families, including not just the wreckages of divorce, but those where both parents are there nominally but at least one is checked out into some other world (work, addictions of some sort, partying, etc.). Al of us know troubled and fractured families, unless we live in an Amish commune, in which case you aren’t reading this.
That familial brokenness, writ en masse, is how we get the results we see.
So before I found it out, I told Elke: “This kid in Uvalde was from a fatherless household. Mark my words.” Then she informed me that yes, that was true. We storm forecasters get really good at pattern recognition, and not just in meteorology — especially the very few of us from the inner city, who have been there, seen that, many times over.
Most single-parent and broken homes don’t produce killers. Yet most killers arise from them.
Society must address that at the root. God offers a way. It’s up to us and our free will to choose that way, or reject it.
Yes, I stand by my claim the abiding love and reverence of the Lord, accepted and adhered, short-circuits the cultural degradations that lead to the devaluation of life underpinning mass killing of kids, both before and after birth.
Still, even if you don’t bring God into the picture, it’s clear we have a culture problem. Crime novelist Robert Bidinotto expressed it well in a recent Facebook post:
For simplicity’s sake, let me limit my answer to citing the theme of my first thriller, “HUNTER,” where hero Dylan Hunter paraphrases Edmund Burke’s famous quotation thus:
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is an enabler.”
Want to know why we are experiencing an epidemic of slaughter in America’s streets and schools? Because America has become a culture led by and filled with enablers of evil — from professors to politicians to pundits to parents. Today’s plague of rampant nihilism arises from the unchecked virus of excuse-making.
The only cure is the inoculation of moral accountability: the injection of *individual self-responsibility* as a moral ideal, throughout our culture and all its institutions. However, too many of our social leaders and influencers are the ethical equivalent of anti-vaxxers.
Until we reject and banish the cult of excuse-making for bad behavior, and begin to enact and enforce self-responsibility throughout society, we will continue to enable, encourage, and empower nihilists. And we will remain their accomplices in the collapse of our civilization and the hideous slaughter of innocents, such as the babes of Newtown and Uvalde.
For more on the secular side of the reasons for mass murder, Bidinotto offers a full-length, well-written essay here.
I happen to believe that following the will of God short-circuits the enabling of evil.
Perfection? Of course not. Everyone is a sinner. Everyone. But perfection is not the same as righteousness, nor vice versa. It’s an attitude, a worldview, most properly passed from present, attentive, loving, whole-family, functional, God-worshipful, wed, mother and father, parents to children.
When we as a society celebrate immorality, foster dysfunction on mass scales, and bust up God-ordained family structures, we get what we have: more killers. Go look up the home situations of these mass kid killers, one after another, and you shall see for yourself. Start with Uvalde.
Let’s therefore get the Holy Spirit into the picture on a mass scale. As a Christian, I am bound, with gratitude, to this ethos.
We indeed have a problem. God will be the only and ultimate solution. Come, Lord Jesus.