As I write this, it is much too early to know anything definite about this Wisconsin shooting, but it appears it may very well be a hate crime or a tragedy at the hands of a deranged individual who has decided to express himself in a hateful and violent way.
The temporary memorials have not yet been cleared away in Aurora, Colorado; certainly the grief, the physical pain, not to mention the emotional pain of the Aurora murders have not even begun to heal as we find ourselves emotionally assaulted by a new mass murder who has physically assaulted our fellow Americans.
Where does this anger, this hatred, this total disregard for human life come from? Where does it end? The knee jerk reaction of many is to blame it all on the availability of guns and ammunition. Yet, never in the history of mass murders has a gun carried itself into a theater, a school or a temple and pulled its own trigger and snuffed out the lives of a group of innocent human beings. It is so easy to blame guns but we might as well blame airliners for the 9/11 mass murders. The fact is airliners did not kill anyone on 9/11. Men filled with hate and anger, incredibly thinking they acted for God, brought down the twin towers killing thousands.
Why is it the mass media will cover up this important detail? Simply put, the media has met the enemy and it is they! Journalism has been dead now for years. All that is left of it is a rotting stinking corpse, a corpse that revels in spreading its stink as far and as wide as it possibly can in a depraved chase of ratings and cash.
They spread their rottenness by reporting their own personal biases as news. They care nothing about the truth. They care only about advancing their own agenda and hyping whatever they can to make a buck.
But I must hasten to add that the mass media is not alone in bringing about the hate and anger that spurs mass murder over and over and over again in this country, not by a long shot. They are only one of several co conspirators. Many of the co conspirators have names, names most of us are very familiar with.
In the last week and for much of the last few years, one of these co conspirators has been a very powerful man who long ago made a conscious decision to use his power for personal gain rather than for its intended purpose of serving the citizens of this nation. That powerful man is Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate. Reid is a living example of the old maxim that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. He wields his power as a weapon for his personal gain and for the promotion of his own twisted ideal of what is best for the Democrat Party and the People of the United States.
I have no problem whatsoever with Reid, over the last week or so, trying to convince Mitt Romney to hand over his tax returns; but what I do have a problem with is Reid, himself, building and promoting an illegal attack on Romney by using the power of his office to proclaim the "word is out, Romney has not paid taxes in 10 years." There is no way anyone could ethically have such knowledge and provide it to Reid unless the provider of the information to Reid was Romney himself. That did not happen. The word was out alright. Reid put it out using the power of his office. And of course the supremely hypocritical Harry Reid didn't bother to tell the people of the United States that he, himself, has NEVER released his own tax returns at all in his Congressional career.
What was the medias reaction to this unfounded claim by Reid? The press played it for all it was worth without a single question to Reid about his source. I can say with certainty at least equal to Reid's that the "word is out" Harry Reid likes little boys. It's not true, as far as I know, but I've used the same standard to make the accusation that Reid used to make his hateful accusations against Romney.
I don't hate Harry Reid. More than anything, I feel sorry for him because he has allowed himself to become a hateful, angry and unhappy old man, all over the pursuit of power and money.
But Reid is not the only politician to use his power for evil and to spread hate. Many local mayors across the blue (liberal) cities in the last week or so, including Rahm Emanuel Chicago, have used their power to try to keep Chick-Fil-A out of their cities. Boston and Washington DC and San Francisco mayors followed the same path. What happened to freedom of speech and freedom of religion in this country?
I don't agree with Chick-Fil-A's Dan Cathy's religious views by any means, but I'll defend his right to have his private views all day long. He doesn't give up his right to have his private religious views just because he is a successful business man. If he had said that he was not going to serve gays one of his chicken sandwiches based on the fact that they were sinners in his view, then Cathy would have deserved to be boycotted and put out of business. He did not even get close to saying that. The mayors of several major cities did get close to the opposite side of that same line, very close. They had no right to do so. Cathy, on the other hand has as much right to state his beliefs as those gays who chose to picket him have to their protest lines.
But of course, it is not just the liberal politicians who use their power to whip up hate. Republican politicians have done the same thing including George W. Bush who used "enhanced" intelligence reports to incite anger and hate against Iraq to initiate his personal war with Saddam Hussein.
And then of course, there are those who are perhaps the most experienced at whipping up hate and anger. I am speaking of fundamental Christians who use their worship services, their publications and their networks to whip up hate and anger against homosexuals whom they are, in fact, commanded by their God to love along with everyone else. These Christians claim to love the sinner and hate the sin, but that is a weak defense. Somehow the hate always seems be directed at homosexual human beings rather than to a perceived sin.
One would think homosexuals, who experience hate often, would not make the same mistake; but they seemed to be expressing hate and anger against Mr. Cathy of Chick-Fil_A fairly skillfully last week. How is it homosexuals can demand respect for their sexual orientation and their own view that their sexuality does not separate them from the love of God while at the same time directing anger and hate at another American for exercising his own right to an opinion. Mr Cathy didn't even imply that he hated gays. He simply said a gay life style was not compatible with his view of the life God calls us to live. What Christian gay or bisexual guy has not struggled with that issue himself? I certainly struggled with it for years. Fortunately, I was able to struggle with it as citizen of America and as a Christian who was free to come to a different view that Mr. Cathy.
Where will it all end? When when will be break the circle of hate and anger? For better or worse (and that is another debatable subject) it is no longer possible to easily get our mentally and emotionally fragile citizens off the streets and into appropriate institutional care. Those of us who are mentally and emotionally strong can live in and even thrive, though scarred, in a society which bombards us daily with hatefulness and anger and still remain personally polite and calm. Most of us can agree to disagree with our friends and family about political, sexual, and religiously charged opinions. The fragile among us simply cannot do this. Bombarded daily by a corrupt media and corrupt politicians and corrupt and hateful religious zealots, these fragile Americas simply are overwhelmed and eventually resort to acting out the hate and anger that has consumed them.
Our society has degraded to far over the last few years. When I was a boy, men cursed. They just never cursed in front of women and children. Now everyone curses everywhere including the women and children. In decades past, people had different political views but they managed them with a veneer of statesmanship and a binding mutual agreement to always work for the good of the country. Now, statesmanship is dead and forgotten; and politicians work only for self enrichment. Few of them care at all about the country or its future. They have, much like the mentally and emotionally fragile allowed them to be consumed by partisan politics and the special interests of K Street.
Interestingly enough, it is in the area of sexuality, that we have progressed somewhat as a people and not declined. Only a few years ago a homosexual man could not dare admit his status and expect to work as a professional. Often he could not even expect to enjoy the support of his own family should he admit his homosexuality. He certainly could never expect to have a family and kids of his own.
Now, all those things have changed. Most Americans think homosexuals should be able to have recognized partnerships. Most believe homosexuality should have no impact on ones career. Most Americans now feel one's homosexuality is for God to judge not anyone else. All of that is the way it should be and it is clear fundamental Christians understand they are loosing their hateful battle against gays. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear to the fundamental Christians themselves that they are now hurting themselves worse than they are hurting gays with their hatefulness and anger. They are also hurting the very faith they hope to sustain, indeed to promote.
Each of us, however, does have the power to affect our own hatefulness, our own anger and our own fears. I think it may have been Eleanor Roosevelt who said, "It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness." We can each light own own candle against hatefulness and anger. With enough single candles, we can light a new day for the world. We can never stop all the hate and anger, but we can make it known that we will not tolerate nor succumb to it. We can make it clear we will challenge the hateful and angry wherever they may appear. We can make sure that we respect the right of every American citizen to have views that differ from ours on controversial issues. When we must disagree, we can disagree on the issues and not devolve into personal attacks.
As the poet says, we each can say, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."