14 December 2012

Statement on School Shooting

Sub Tuum. 

To say that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, today came as a shock to most people would be perhaps quite an understatement. The national outpouring of grief has indeed been great. We offer our prayers for the souls of the dead and our prayers and compassion for their families and for those who survived. 

This tragic event is not the result of a lack of laws. We have many laws in this country. The shooter did not respect or follow the law, for what he did was most certainly against the law. Why would anyone think that he would respect new laws? More laws that burden the good and decent citizens of our country are not the answer. Instead let us work through our tears and consider the real underlying problem. 

Today's tragedy was a part of a greater tragedy, and that is a nation that has largely turned from God and fails to respect life. How can we be outraged at the 27 deaths in today's shooting while we turn a collective blind eye to the murder of over one million unborn children? It is no surprise that a culture that glorifies violence and every type of perversion would spawn someone who would kill his fellow students and even his own mother. This is the root of the problem, and it has been a long time in the making in America as society seems determined to push the love of Christ to the back of the storage closet to gather dust. Indeed we need not scratch our heads in wonderment at why such a horrible thing has happened. 

I do not believe, however, that every person in America has turned from God or glorifies gratuitous violence and perversion. Perhaps these are the "silent majority" we hear whispers about. It is long past time for the good and decent people of America to stand up and be heard in spite of those who wish to ridicule and even silence them. It is long past time to stop this insidious indulgence of deviant behavior and instead restore the sense of right and wrong that made American society great. 

The school shooting in Connecticut is the product of the secular society that we have created. The earliest occurrence of a school shooting according to US News is in the 1960s, and they have continued regularly ever since. That decade marks the general start of liberalization and secularization in America. Tolerance for deviance, degradation, and sloth has been on the rise ever since, as has the belief in moral relativism. 

In the wake of this terrible school shooting, what America needs is an awaking of the spirit, not an Alka-Seltzer tablet to make us feel better because we witnessed or heard about something we do not want to see. That would be like taking an aspirin to dull the pain while ignoring the cancer that grows within. Condemn the shootings for the cowardly murders that they were. Console the families of the dead and the survivors. But, let us also turn the magnifying glass on ourselves as a society and realize that the only true path to ending school shootings is a return to the love of Christ above all other things. Remember the New Commandment given by our Lord that we love our neighbors as ourselves. That is the path to life.

+ Rutherford Cardinal Johnson