We all knew it was coming. We knew there would be another shooting. At a school. Or a church. Or a concert. Or a nightclub. Or a post office. It was just a matter of time.
Sure, we are shocked. But are we surprised? This is just the world we live in. And the country we live in. What shocked me most was the number of school shootings this year. The year is barely six weeks old, and there have been eight school shootings resulting in death or injury in 2018. Eight.
Here we go again with the politics. We need more gun laws. We need better law enforcement. we need metal detectors…everywhere. We need more vigilance to catch unstable people. We need counselors to help troubled youth and troubled adults. We need to spend money on…something. But this is just the surface of the problem. There is something deeper.
Something is wrong.
Has there ever been a society in which innocent people were routinely targeted by member of that society? What leads people to be so depressed, angry, lonely, rejected, despondent, frustrated that they plot and carry out mass murder?
Something is wrong with the soul.
Too many people fail to see the value of human beings—others and themselves. Too many people have no hope. The mass shootings are only one example of the flagging American soul. The #MeToo movement reaches back decades with disturbing stories of abuse. Men have been objectifying and mistreating women for more than a generation. The rabid support for abortion in some circles stuns me. Laws must allow women to choose whether or not their fetus is a baby. It will have rights if I say it does.
Our society has been heading down this path for quite some time. It is not a problem of laws or politics or funding.
Something is wrong with the soul of America.
Somehow we have strayed from the belief that “all men are created equal.” Along the way we have forgotten that “all men” includes Native Americans and Africans. It also includes all of mankind, not just the males. We have also forgotten that these equally created persons are all “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
In other words, we have forgotten that people matter. We so personalize our own rights that we forget the value of others. Our selfishness becomes magnified when we find likeminded people and stop listening to dissenting points of view. People who disagree with us are just stupid. Maybe they don’t deserve to live. The world would be better off without them. We can “otherize” people very effectively. Ask any hate group.
The soul of America needs compassion, hope, forgiveness, love, justice, redemption. Our country needs the Good News.
God help us.