Another horrific multiple murder in the news.
Doesn’t matter what day it is, of late, there is bound to be a horrific multiple murder in the news every few days.
Of course, the current (ephemeral) Media Narrative is that the murders are somehow political. Poor versus rich, white versus black, left versus right, Christians versus Muslims. All are “hate crimes”, as though there are also ”love crimes”.
Per the Media Narrative, all crime is sociological. It is rooted in some manner of tyranny and victimization, of irrational anger caused by identity factors. So the Media tried to twist the shooting of Congressman Gabby Giffords and the killing of six and injury of several others back in 2011. Until they discovered the lunatic was actually a lunatic, and they could not twist the story to cover him without breaking the Narrative.
Unadmitted in the news reports are the possibilities that much of these crimes may have a surface veneer of causes, but the real origin in in the human heart. All the economic, or religious, or racial, or class warfare touted as The Cause are but so many excuses. The root of evil is not in the alleged causes, but in sin.
Rather, in Sin.
Per the Media Narrative, were they reporting it just today, Cain killed Abel for socioeconomic reasons. But it was Sin, which lurked at Cain’s door. He could have mastered it, the Lord told him, but he chose not to. Which brings us to the crux of the matter (in more ways than one.)
Cries of “the Devil made me do it” ring hollow. Fine as a comedy routine, but lousy as explanation. Substitute poverty, or race, or nationality, or politics for ‘Devil”, and you see how fast that silliness falls apart.
Years back, before the – current – Media Narrative took shape and dominated the thinking of reporters and pundits, there was Richard Speck and Jeffry Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy and Charles Whitman, Ted Bundy and Ed Gein. In those days, the Media Narrative was spotting insane people hiding behind every bush, in every closet, under every bed, and in the mannerisms of every eccentric person seen. But the Narrative grew old, and News needing always to be “new”, the Narrative changed.
It is a trivializing and demeaning thing to do, to reduce every mass killing to politics. It shows disrespect for both victims and those who mourn. But it does sell advertising. It does contribute to the Daily Outrage Porn, with which many cannot seem to get by. It does hurt, spiritually, those who dwell on such events, as though they were the only things of importance. Tragic? To be sure. But as Christians, we have a higher vision than the often pig-pen world in which we live.
We, by rewarding the people engaged in the Media Narrative, help to make the world into a worse place, not a better. Which, is in effect, a sin, even a Great Sin. For which we ought, for the sake of our own souls, to Repent.
The world does not have to be such a sty. As Christians, and Catholics, are charged with easing pain, not exacerbating it. We are commissioned to palliate wounds, not scrub them raw. We are sent as Salt and Light, into a dimension sorely in need of us doing as we were commissioned at Baptism, and which charge is renewed at the conclusion of every Mass.
As the bumper sticker says, “What Would Jesus Do?”