Ransomed Heart, Personal Thoughts and The Newtown Evil
A friend of mine sent me a link to a post titled "Why Newtown is More Important Than We Think" from over at Ransomed Heart. The author, John, is reacting to the 'shocked' reaction of people to the events of the Newtown murders. You will want to read his post before you read my thoughts below.
My friend asked for my opinion of John's post, so I thought I would share it publicly here:
John’s blog is good. I've read some of his stuff before. His thoughts are well processed and he reason sound. His perspective is different than my own – if a quantitative not qualitative difference. He personifies evil more than I like. Evil, for me, is more about the malformation of possibility, the twisted and sometimes fateful course of human choice gone bad. God has created a reality, placed humans into it (and a lot of other life) and set-up a structure of guiding forces that react to the movement of life through that reality. On a simple level – we are creatures who make choices and live with the consequences – often unknown – of those choices. Life, reality is affected by the singular and cumulative effect of human choice. We create specific cultures by how we chose to live. We create environmental impact/change by the consequences of our patterns of relating to the natural (and orderly) world. We develop as individuals as a result of the choices we make: how we choose to act or react to life on life’s terms. It is neither my experience of life or my religious belief that there is a godly-evil at work corrupting and mal-forming this human project. Rather, the evil influence is the cumulative result of our individual and collective choices to do less-than-godly things. We are our own worst enemies- in the words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy and He is us.”
To build on John's image - we are the wind.
That said, while my world view (other-worldly view?) may differ from John's, I agree that the cumulative result of the malformation of humanity in our world is an urgent matter. I believe the solution is to be found among people of faith and religious traditions that are loving enough to embrace good and strong enough to stand for love in the face of these malformations. We need only look at civilized history for mentors: Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, ML King, Jr, Bill Wilson, etc. We will find there ways to fight - Prayer, acts of kindness, civil disobedience, debate, personal sacrifice for the good of those who can’t…
One final thought. I am glad people were shocked by the events in Newtown. Part of our hope is centered in the belief that the normal course of our lives and world is ruled by lawful, perhaps even loving actions. We expect good, and hope for some sacred places that our collective humanity respects. We don’t expect someone to kick a puppy, curse at their elders, or shoot children. If we are ever not shocked by these occurrences, we have even more to fear from ourselves.
So, now I would be interested in your thoughts.