- - Sunday, December 23, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Culture challenge of the week: Evil on the loose

The shooting in Connecticut and the tragic murder of innocent children and their brave teachers horrified all of us. As a mom — with three children I love beyond reason — my heart breaks for the parents in Newtown, Conn., who have placed their children in their final resting places and now confront a forever-empty bed at home. Their beloved nighttime rituals — tucking in, reading to and praying with their little children — were callously ended too soon.

Over the coming weeks, the possible causes and contributing factors will be analyzed and debated. And politicians and policymakers will weigh in with proposed solutions. Psychiatric illness at fault? We need more money for diagnosis and treatment. Guns kill? (Or is it that killers use guns?) We need more laws to prevent would-be-killers from obtaining guns. (Will killers suddenly abide by gun control laws?) Lax school safety? We need more metal detectors, alarms and sentries at the doors of our schools.

Those are convenient political diagnoses and solutions. And we ought to discuss issues such as caring for the mentally ill, ending rampant gun violence and protecting vulnerable schools.

But in the end, the murderous violence in Connecticut requires a moral solution, not just public safety Band-Aids, because the fundamental problem is one of evil.

Evil is real, rampaging relentlessly in our world.

Untreated mental illness, unguarded schools and weapons in the hands of criminals may exacerbate or create opportunities for evil to flourish, but they do not create evil. And stamping out or controlling those factors will not eradicate evil’s presence in the world.

So what does that mean? There’s nothing we can do to prevent another Newtown shooting? No, we can combat evil — and with confidence. For Scripture tells us God will triumph over evil.

How to save your family: Embrace of gift of the savior

The words of Psalm 10 are almost eerily on point, telling us of the wicked man:

“[A]ll his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’ He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent.”

But the Psalmist goes on, with a promise of God’s triumph over man’s evil:

“The Lord is king for ever and ever. … O Lord, thou wilt hear the desire of the meek; thou wilt strengthen their heart, thou wilt incline thy ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”

As we celebrate Christmas, may we all approach this holy time in a spirit of prayer for the innocent victims of evil.

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