Friday, December 14, 2012

The Face of Evil

This is not the post I wanted to write this week. That post was overcome by events, about which I am compelled to comment.

As I write this, the talking heads on the television are reporting and speculating about an act of horror in Newtown, CT. Apparently, a gunman, someone known to the school, walked into a kindergarten classroom and started shooting. As of this time, twenty children, mostly five and six years old are dead as are seven adults, including the shooter. It was an act of pure evil.

I am angered and saddened by this event. As a parent, I mourn with the parents, grandparents, and families of the dead. As a human being, I am angered.

I am angered by media circus precipitated by the event. The ghouls are already interviewing children, asking them to describe what they saw and what happened. Such things should not be. I know if it bleeds, it leads, but show some decency. Please, allow those who escaped to grieve for their dead.

I am angered and saddened that President and other national and local officials have too quickly resolved to take definitive action to prevent such events for ever happening again. I am frightened by potential actions they could take. We hardly know the perpetrator. How can we know the appropriate action? But, government typically over reacts and, to the political mind, it's a crime to let a good tragedy or crisis go to waste.

In coming weeks, we will hear of proposed and real changes to policies, laws, and regulations. And we will know, even before they are put into effect that these policies, laws, and regulations will be ineffective because the problem is not a failure of policy, law, or regulation.  The problem is a failure of morals.

Apparently, in modern society, rage justifies murder, even the murder of innocents.

Apparently, being slighted is an excuse for violence.

Apparently, being angry, hurt, or offended are perfectly valid reasons to end someone else's life.

Apparently, an eye for eye and a tooth for tooth is insufficient.  Apparently only a life or multiple lives are sufficient to pay for an eye, for a tooth, or for making someone angry.

Apparently, there is no need for anyone restrain their reaction to a real or imagined injury..

Where is the voice that says "You shall not murder"?

Where is the voice that says "Why not rather be wronged?", the voice that says "Forgive your enemies", the voice that says "Forgive and you will be forgiven."?

Where is the voice saying "Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good"?

Where and in which school are these truths taught and who teaches them?

We have today looked into the face of evil. In the future, maybe as soon as tomorrow, each of us will decide how we will counter it.

What will you do when you look into the face of evil?

How will you overcome evil with good?