Crying for us all
Our church service this morning ended with the children singing from the back of the nave. It sounded just like this, but without the bells:
Go Now in Peace.
It is Gaudete Sunday. Rejoice Sunday. Our priest had to focus on joy, despite the terrible happenings of Friday. She had no choice but to weave in the reality of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. And she did a good job.
Since the news hit, the sorrow has rested like a weight above my gut. And it is nothing, my sorrow. But it wasn't until I heard the voices of the little ones rising up from the back of the church that I cried.
I'm still not sure what I was crying about. The children themselves, or the broken soul who did the killing, or the people of our nation who now bicker and posit about how to fix it. The gun control movement arises from it's relative slumber, asserting that if only we controlled weapons better, it couldn't happen. But of course that is nonsense (not that I have a horse in the gun race). In 1927 a man blew up an elementary school in Bath, Michegan, killing 38 students and a number of adults. Any mind that is dead set on killing can find a way, and the internet is here to help.
Others say that mental health care overhaul is needed. Or increased funding for education, and support programs. Still others list violent video games as the culprit.
I haven't yet read what the experts think the poor boy's motives were, and I can't imagine being tortured by the kind of evil he must have been tortured with. But I do know this:
We are a nation which has decided by law and by mindset that it is OK to kill the babies in our very wombs. In 2008, the last year for which we have collected data, 1,212,350 abortions were performed. Since 1978, more than 50 million babies have been aborted.
How can we expect young people who are raised in a culture that says killing children in the womb is a perfectly valid choice to understand that taking the life of those more capable of defending themselves is not a valid option?
Taking away guns and video games, or improving our mental health system will not stop situations like Sandy Hook from happening. The corrosive action of evil is too pernicious for such a surface level solution. Any nation that treats the destruction of human life by the millions as if it is merely a feminine hygiene issue is doomed for much suffering.
And so I cry. For us all.