Newtown: Our Shameful Unwillingness To Call Evil, Evil
The search for someone, something, ANYTHING to blame for the Newtown CT school massacre enters its 5th day now and our vaunted oracles in broadcast & print media are no closer to explaining the evil perpetrated by Adam Lanza precisely because they will not call it evil. After all, to call Lanza’s act evil is to imply that there is an opposite force in the affairs of men and to imply that may require allowing a public, spiritual act of faith and we will not be having any of that from our sanitized, secular, storytellers.
This does not mean that this union is completely devoid of Christian media personalities, your humble presenter included. Ross Douthat of the New York Times humbly submitted1 that he had no explanation for the tragedy, but “[In the story of Ivan the evil Karamazov brother] the Russian novelist [Dostoyevsky] was being true to the spirit of the New Testament, which likewise seeks to establish God’s goodness through a narrative rather than an argument.”
New Orleanians can relate to such a story when we recount Andrew Jackson’s visit to the Ursuline nun St Michel who prayed for the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor2 before the Battle of New Orleans.
Afterwards Jackson famously returned to thank St Michel and continued that thanks the rest of his life.
Patrick J Buchanan weighed in3 with equal emphasis on what was missing in Lanza’s life: Faith. “Not long ago, there existed in our hearts ‘a fear of God.’ How, we would ask ourselves, if we commit an evil act like murder, will we answer at God’s judgment seat? No voice of conscience told Adam [Lanza]: Do not do this evil thing!”
In the spirit of Christmas, there is actually an opportunity here to ponder how many of our young, fellow citizens can hear that voice of conscience and what we can do to stop creating those that can’t, or won’t.