Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Culture of Violence

In his first address after the Newtown Connecticut shootings, President Obama issued a very moving statement in which he said: 
"Each time I learn the news I react not as a president, but as anyone else would -- as a parent. And that was especially true today, …I know there's not a parent in America who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that I do."
I only wish what he said was true.  A tour of the usual Angry Catholic sites shows that the wolves pounced immediately proclaiming the President to be “insincere,”  “hypocritical,” “using this occasion for his own agenda.”  What spiritually sick and emotionally troubled people are those who cannot put aside their anger at the man in the Oval Office to share the horror of a nation and the grief of the bereaved parents and families?  And they think they are good Catholics when they fail to follow Christ and take the heartache of others and make it their own.   
I wrote yesterday about the culture of violence that is destroying our society.  I am not worried about gays and lesbians or Muslims or atheist displays on courthouse lawns.  I am worried about video games that teach children that life is cheap and there to be destroyed.  I am worried about movies that display gore and rage.  I am worried about television shows where guns blaze and life is cheap.  I am worried about music that celebrates death and violence.  This is pornography of the worst kind but it is totally acceptable in most American homes.  Why should we be surprised that people don’t care that babies are ripped out of a mother’s womb by an abortionist when we constantly proclaim in one form of “entertainment” after another that life has no value except to be the target of someone’s rage.  We feed rage and then we are surprised when a disturbed and angry kid commits some sociopathic act?  Who is  “insincere,” “hypocritical,” “using the media for their own agenda?”    
I can understand that people may not like President Obama.  There have been presidents that I have not liked either.  There have been men in that Oval Office whom I think have done a bad job.  There have been one or two whom I think betrayed their oath of office.  I have never wished any of them harm, however and I have never let my anger replace my desire to fulfill Christ’s command to love my neighbor—including my neighbor in the White House—as Christ has loved me.  The late M. Scott Peck—in his book People of the Lie—says that we cannot afford not to face the reality that some people are evil.  That is not to say that they were created that way and it is not to say that they can’t come to see their sin and change.  But they are, in their current state, evil: the good in them has been twisted and distorted into evil.  They become the People of the Lie.  Their anger, their pride, their need for control, their hatreds—whatever their sin is—has distorted the Divine Image in which they were created.   I grieve when I read these websites and see this evil incarnate itself in a blog or a video.  And when they claim a Catholic identity I am embarrassed that we as a Church have so compromised the Gospel that these twisted souls can claim a Catholic voice.      



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