I’ve hardly been able to turn away from the reporting on the tragedy in Connecticut. I want to understand what happened there as much as anybody. There’s a feeling that somehow by watching I might be able to share the grief at least a little bit.
I am grateful for the extensive coverage and reporting. Yet the 24-hour coverage does come up short in one crucial respect. They can tell us what happened, but they can’t tell us why.
Within hours of the tragedy, some of the talking heads were already pontificating about gun control and mandatory mental healthcare coverage. Certainly these topics are relevant, but they go nowhere to helping us really understand what happened in Newtown. The analysis on the larger question goes no deeper than a thimble. Their grasping at the therapeutic straws rings really hollow in light of the enormity of this evil.
That is why I feel deeply what Doug Wilson is writing about here (see below). He explains why the pundit class comes up short on occasions like this even though some of them decide to use the word “evil” to describe it. Wilson writes:
It is not possible to build a culture around a denial of God-given standards, and then arbitrarily reintroduce those standards at your convenience, whenever you need a word like evil to describe what has just happened. Those words cannot just be whistled up. If we have banished them, and their definitions, and every possible support for them, we need to reckon with the fact that they are now gone. Cultural unbelief, which leads inexorably to cultural nihilism and despair, is utterly incapable of responding appropriately to things like this, while remaining fully capable of creating them. In the prophetic words of C.S. Lewis, “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
This shooting was horrendous, but far worse is the fact that our blind seers have no idea what to say about it. The horror happened, and it was immediately followed by the horror of countless individuals saying wildly inappropriate things about it. We have monsters in our midst, and vapidity in our highest council chambers, not to mention the monsters there too, and all of them want to slouch toward Bethlehem. God have mercy.
There is much more to this essay, and it is worth you time to read. Do so here.