How do you explain the horrific scene that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School? What can they possibly uncover about the shooter Adam Lanza that would make sense of his rage that resulted in the slaughter of innocent children and adults? If we look back over the last couple of years we remember the Oregon Mall shooting, the movie theater shooting, Columbine and now Newtown, Connecticut, Elementary School, and these are just a few tragedies that I can recall in the United States I’m sure there are more. It appears we have many angry young adults that think it’s acceptable to express their anger; however they want, with NO regard for respecting life or the consequences associated with it.
As a society we want answers, we need answers, and the natural response is to have a target to blame and feel a sense of justice from it. Some will blame gun control, but Connecticut has one of the toughest gun laws in the Country, is that enough? Some will blame the parents and as a parent I know how little control I have over my young adult kids and the choices they choose. Is that enough? Some will blame character flaws and mental illness. Is that enough? Some will blame the violent video games that kill and destroy. Is that enough? some will blame the overall messages they receive from the rest of the world, the culture that appears to support death. Is that enough?
Perhaps, it’s a combination of all of these things, but I can’t help but think that ultimately it has a lot to do with the ego and the overwhelming sense of entitlement and false expectations. If I listen to our culture speak I hear a lot of the “I” syndrome. They seem to get lost in this fog where their clarity is obscured from seeing others and how their choices may negatively affect someone else. If I compare what happened at that Sandyhook Elementary School I can’t help, but see a parallel of Herod slaughtering the innocent children. Matthew 2:16-18 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Herod acted with the same motive as Adam, anger and selfishness with no regard for others and how his actions would affect them and the entire community. The “I” syndrome and this self-centered pattern of behavior has followed mankind throughout history.
So what are the solutions? Unfortunately, we haven’t figured that out yet. What we can do is remember the sorrow, the pain and the unnecessary act of horrific violence to our children that lead us to find better ways to protect them and to pray. Pray for healing and actions that bring more compassion into our day-to-day lives and teach this compassion to our children, changing our culture from “I” to “We”. We will stand strong as a Community together bringing healing and compassion to the world. This is birthing Jesus in Advent.