Friday, April 20, 2007

"Finding Eternal Hope in Present Sorrow"

Are you bored of the garden variety empty platitudes and mindless punditry that quite naturally followed the Virginia Tech shootings? I have the cure for you: Doug's Blog: On the Horror at Virginia Tech. The writers at the Onion couldn't do a better job of coming up with a parody of a Christian Right analysis of the shooting spree.

The post starts out by addressing the "why" question. Now, talking about the "why" question doesn't make Doug's post stand out from the crowd (nor does his answer to the question), but I would like to say something about that general phenomenon. (Perhaps similar to this Slacktivist post.) When news-worthy tragedies like this happen, and people start talking about topics in the vicinity of the problem of evil, I get a little confused. Because I'm pretty sure that just about everyone knows that, say, the Holocaust happened. (I briefly considered picking a less trite example, but what the heck, let's not pussyfoot around.) And it seems to me that if you can believe in God despite the fact that the Holocaust happened, you ought to be able to believe in God in the face of any other tragedy or atrocity that current events can throw at you, without much breaking a spiritual sweat. (To be sure, if one had a special personal connection to one of the victims, I could see how that could create an especially deep emotional sting that could make an understandable difference here, but this is not the case in general.)

OK, so much for that.

What really makes Doug's post shine are such points as: Christians need to go out and convert people in this time of need:
We must be emboldened in our sense of urgency to communicate to others the only source of hope from death.
And we can probably lay some of the blame for the shootings on the secular humanist hegemony that permeates the American public sphere:
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...
And probably legalized abortion contributed to the shooting:
...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.
And let's not forget the theory of evolution:
Our children are being taught the Gospel of evolution and man. It is a religious faith that ultimately teaches that transcendent truth does not exist; life is meaningless, being the product of chance. Why are we surprised when the present generation acts upon the logical implications of this false gospel? If we do not see the connection between this false faith and the culture of death, we are blind bats, or willingly ignorant.
Plus this just goes to show how being armed all the time is a Christian duty:
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.
And just to finish it off, an additional curiosity regarding how Doug makes that last point:
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 I find curious is that he picks out "women and children" in particular. Are unarmed men not, in general, defenseless when confronted by an armed "evildoer"? Plenty of dudes died at Virginia Tech. Testicles do not in fact provide any protection against bullets. Or maybe it's taken for granted that manly men only ever concern themselves with the protection of their offspring and womenfolk, never paying any regard to their own safety in the face of danger. I just dunno.

Now, is this the single stupidest thing to be written in response to the Virginia Tech shootings? I have enough faith in humanity to be confident that it's not. But it's still a remarkable piece of work.

(h/t Jesus Politics)

1 comment:

micah said...

I find the chicanery of that whole "America's Godly Heritage" crowd particularly vomitous. C.S. Lewis's Screwtape was all for "Christianity-and-" and these people are poster children for it.

And then the guy takes the opportunity to inveigh *against* gun control?! WTF?!?