Monday, July 23, 2012

My Country tis of Thee . . . Sweet Land of Violence

Yet another report of senseless violence has moved front and center in our newspapers. A man kills twelve and injures dozens more. This is tragic, unthinkable. And yet, I think I am somehow becoming desensitized to it. I hear the report, shake my head and think “what is wrong with people!?” At the same time, I go on with my day not really all that aware of what is going on. More violence in the USA and in many ways, just another day.

I think back over the years to the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

  • A man in a McDonalds kills several people
  • A postal worker kills several co-workers and gives us a new phrase.
  • Two young men kill students and a teacher in Columbine High school, Colorado
  • A sniper in Washington D.C. kills people as they commute.
  • A man in Atlanta kills several co-workers in an E-trading office.
  • A student at Virginia Tech kills several students
  • A man in a Colorado church kills several people
  • A young man kills students in Chardon High School, Ohio

These are just the ones I can remember without doing any internet searches. And it doesn’t include those killings that are done be premeditated murderers, serial killers, or terrorism. While all killing is senseless, these are the one that truly boggle the mind.

This post is not about gun control. It is not about why we need more laws that will stop this senseless killing. While I think there needs to be some smarter laws, I am not sure that would solve the problem. There are other countries in the world that also allow their citizens to own guns, but often without the tragic results that we see in the USA.

No, I am not sure that taking away guns, knives or any other object that could be a possible weapon is going to give the USA relief from the scourge of senseless death. The problem, I fear, is closer to our heart.

We are a violent nation. We are a people who are killing ourselves at a rate not found in other countries. And it is a part of our culture. From the movies we produce to the video games we play, we are steeped in violence. I think it is time we admit that violence seems to be part of our national DNA.

What I wonder, though, is how does the church speak out against this violence? Where are the national religious leaders who have so much to say about the culture of our nation? Where is the cry for finding ways to solving this problem? Where are those who will stand up, as happened in the past, and say enough! Where are the voices always so quick to speak out against abortion and sexual immorality? 

Where is the call for a national self-examination, a change of heart? 

The politicians are not going to do it.

Or perhaps the problem is that the church has failed to hear John’s warning in Revelation 17:3-6. We have become so comfortable living in Babylon that we don’t realize that she is becoming drunk on our blood. The violence, I fear, will one day consume us all. 


  1. Your blog today is very responsible. I think as you do. The problem is in the heart. As you do, I ask where is the church, where are the moralists. Killing in this way is an inmoral issue. What is done about the families of the persons that do this? Are we compassionate to them? We need God's intervention in our nation.

  2. The problem isn't only in the heart. The heart is much the same the world over. But there are some places in the world that are more violent than others. And some are violent in different ways to others. It is possible to study the differences and try out solutions. Then reflect on what works and what doesn't.

    My guess: equity diminishes violence is one part of the story.