Friday, April 20, 2007

One Person's Reaction to Virginia Tech

Here's selection from a nutty reaction to the tragedy that's floating around on the internet, originally posted here.
[W]e must acknowledge that the rise of community violence is a judgment of the Lord. Our nation has broken covenant with the God of our fathers. We have forsaken the law of God and have worshipped before false idols. We have sacrificed our children, not only spiritually and intellectually to the high priests of a new secular religion in our government schools, but have quite literally sacrificed baby boys and girls to the gods of convenience in the abortuaries of America. One out of four Americans is not here because they were aborted by their mothers.
A strong case can be made that in a violent society like our own, it is the duty of every Christian man to be armed such that he is ready, willing, and able to come to the immediate aid of his neighbor in the face of the ruthless behavior of lawless men. We have one of two futures — a police state full of regulation and controls, where only the state and criminals have access to guns, thus leaving most women and children defenseless to evildoers, or an informed, well-armed citizen population, which is, to my mind, the surest safeguard against lawless men.
What sort of God does this person believe in?  I guess one who sees justice as killing 32 innocent students for the sins of those who have had abortions.  This is like Pat Robertson saying that Katrina was God's punishment for New Orlean's decadence, and Jerry Falwell's claim that 9-11 was God's response to homosexuality and feminism.  It is mind-boggling to me when members of the (far) religious right make these kinds of leaps.  Do they believe that God is a fundamentally unjust God?  Such a claim about a tragedy like that at Virginia Tech says exactly that. 
I think that efforts to see God's hand in a tragedy like that which happened this week are misguided.  Efforts to tie God's hand to such an event to forward one's political-religious agenda is mean-spirited.
As to the issue of all "good" Christians arming themselves to the teeth... exactly where is this the sort of behavior that Jesus calls for?  How are we going to bring ourselves closer to a sense of Christian covenant by acting in a manner that is in opposition to Jesus' message?  Jesus preached peace, and love of one's neighbor, and love of one's enemies.  A 9mm pistol was not an instrument of love by the VA Tech shooter, and it would not be a instrument of love in the hands of 'good' Christians either.
If we want to move away from being the type of society that has these mass shooting events, we would do well to try to bring ourselves closer to, not further from, the message of Jesus.  If we extend more love- even to those like Cho who people found hard to love (remember that 100% of school shooters have been found to have been the victims of persistent bullying and mistreatment in their school settings- the most recent shooter included)- we may be able to change the hearts of those who would do harm.  It won't be easy.  It will take time.  But Jesus was a cultural revolutionary, and we need to bring his revolution of love to practice in our nation, not become 2nd amendment warriors.

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