This isn’t exactly a Left vs. Right kind of issue - though it seems to end up that way sometimes. But for lack of a better place for this article:
Evil Is to Blame
J. Christian Adams
December 14th, 2012 - 6:12 pm
Pay close attention to what gets blamed for the Newtown school shooting. Evil is to blame for these horrific murders and nothing else. Listen closely to the rhetoric over the coming weeks. How often will evil be named as the cause of the horror?
Not often, I suspect.
Failing to name it evil lets evil flourish. If the sight of planes slamming into the World Trade Center towers wasn’t enough to comfortably believe in evil, maybe the horror in Connecticut will be.
Denial of conscious, deliberate evil makes it easier to deny the existence of conscious and deliberate good. If deliberate evil exists, then deliberate good must also. Otherwise human history would be one long ruinous loop of Stalin’s gulags and Pol Pot’s murder factories. Thankfully, those black times are broken up by goodness.
Evil seeks to destroy human life, human dignity, and even civilizations. Goodness and light offer an alternative. The sort of world we have is determined by what you and those around you choose. A man in Connecticut accepted evil.
A culture that values goodness is a necessary prerequisite to discouraging evil. A culture of light and life relegates evil to the diminishing margins. This is a story as old as time. A culture of violence toward life and toward the dignity of every human eventually produces violence toward life, period. What else would you expect to happen?
The Romans were dumbfounded by the strange stubborn Jewish sect that prayerfully martyred themselves to Roman savagery. The intoxicated and bloodthirsty roars of the coliseum could not overcome the transformational power of the new alternative. Rome crumbled while the philosophy of those martyrs transformed the world.
That’s the story of this Christmas, and that’s why the evil in Newtown must be called by its true name.
Do not miss that brief but critical paragraph in the middle of the excerpts I quoted. Adams is not committing the error he condemns - blaming the slaughter on something inanimate. Rather, he is condemning what the murderer decided to be, in the hours, days, months and years before the moments when he murdered his mother and when he slaughtered those children. He didn’t wake up one day and decide, “From now on, I will be evil.” Like other monsters - those worse than him and those less than him - his evil was the culmination of 10s, 100s, even 1000s of thousands of “little” decisions that took him step by step to mass murder.
When are we going to stop blaming inanimate objects - like guns - and take a long, hard, look at ourselves for the monster-wannabes that may be raging inside us, looking for outlets to wreak pain and destruction?! And for good we can cultivate in us to bring human and Divine grace and mercy to those around us?