Monday, December 17, 2012

Whither the devil, evil and sin?

The tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, got me, like everyone else, to reflect about this incredible tragedy.  And, like so many of us, I was riveted to the television news programs to learn more about it.  Among so many other things, it really tragic that it comes during the happy holiday Christmas season for Christians and during the Channukah season for Jews.  The senselessness of these killings is certainly beyond our ability to fathom - a very young man shooting his mother in the face killing her and, then, killing the toddlers and their teachers at the school. 

Like so many previous senseless shootings, the media and politicians goes into their predictable tirade about guns and the need for more gun control.  Interestingly, the Governor of Connecticut admitted that his state has one of the strictest gun control laws in the country.  An interesting statistic is that over 16 million background checks for gun purchases occurred last year of which only 0.47% resulted in rejections.  In this case the guns were registered - to the mother of the shooter.  So, after so many similar shootings over the years, more gun control laws definitely do not appear to be the answer.  But, this is not about the pros and cons of more gun control legislation.

Parenthetically, it is interesting to consider that these same gun control advocates who are offended by the killings of these innocent are, at the same time, open advocates for abortions and assisting the  suicide for the elderly.
But, let me get back down to the point of this missive - no one, I mean no one, in the media coverage from the investigators to the friends and family to the politicians ever mentioned sin and the devil!  There were some mentions of mental derangement of the shooter in this case and of the shooters in other cases.  This is, most likely, a reasonable explanation for these shooters.  But, where does the stimulus for their actions to kill come from?  The devil?  No one mentions it despite our Judeo-Christian backgrounds?  Why not?  In other earlier times, it would have not at all unusual to think that the person who did such a thing was possessed by the devil.  But, in our contemporary 21st Century, ridicule will flow to those who suggest the role of the devil and of sin. 

I, certainly, do not know the answer in this instance, but pose the idea that, yes, the shooter was mentally ill.  But, what caused him to act upon that illness and kill people?  Even more so, what caused him to kill these harmless little children especially this otherwise happy time of year?  Is it so totally out of our 21st Century modernistic and cosmopolitan thinking to consider that the impetus and the stimulus to move this mentally ill man to such horrible actions was the devil?  Why do we not want to recognize the face of evil and the devil anymore?  Because we do not want to be viewed as being old-fashioned, primitive, unsophisticated?  But, we still go to our churches and proclaim our faiths.  And, our faiths recognize not only God but, also, a God who speaks to us about avoiding the devil, his evil, and sin. 

Every year during the Easter Mass we, Catholics, renew our Baptismal promises which cover the following: that we renounce Satan who is the author and prince of sin, his works, all his empty show, sin so as to live in the freedom of God, and renounce the lure of sin so that sin may have no mastery over us.  So, why do we not view this evil from the devil as the impetus to these shooters keeping our Baptismal vows in mind?  Even the media and the politicians call murderers, terrorists, child abusers, and like evil.  But, where does that evil come from?  Satan, our Baptismal vows would assert so why is that not mentioned in the public debate?  There was a public memorial for these victims which show our belief and faith in God and the rendering of our prayers to him.  There was a mention of free will by a rabbi.  But, where was the discussion of evil and the devil? 
Where is the discussion about the rejection of prayer at public governmental functions, the declining morals of our society, the declining attendance at religious services and the increasing ridicule of the faithful of all religions?  This, I posit is where the discussion for solutions in the public debate should be rather than in the tedious repetitions of gun control, more security at schools, and the identification and treatment of the mentally ill.

Let me know what you think.

Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!

REM (Ray Makowski) Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasurer

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