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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
Hugh Hewitt linked two blog-posts today on related topics. I'll post an excerpt from each:
(from OneHandClapping) There is something empty in these people that they are trying to fill - that they recognize and admit. And they also, generally, admit they are seeking spiritual fulfillment in hanging from hooks.
(and from AmericanDigest) As a one-time card-carrying member of the Culture of Death, I've had no little experience with the bile and the acid that is used to burn out the soul and replace it with the dead-end secular totems of possessions, fashion, sexuality, and the self-uber-alles. I've used selfishness to "enhance" my own life and I've had "selfishness" used on me in turn to enhance the lives of others. Commitment and duty have no place in this philosophy -- everything is reduced to "lifestyle" choices in which, since people are only things, they can easily be replaced by other things, other people.
Though never quite so eloquently, thoughts such as these leap into my mind every time a Red Hook or a Columbine happens. I spend my days around the youth of this country, and say from experience that students who are involved and who care about something--anything, be it band or sports or theater--DO NOT DO THINGS LIKE THIS. I was struck by pictures of the school billboard in the aftemath of the Columbine shooting. It said simply "Good Luck, Band." The band was scheduled to leave the next day for a performance and competition in St. Louis. I guarantee you the students who were preparing to go on that trip did not contemplate horrors such as this.
And, thankfully, OneHandClapping hit on a very important point: the hole in the soul. Quickly after Columbine the usual culprits were trucked out: violence in movies and violent video games; In my day, it was Dungeons and Dragons (which, by the way, I played and seemed to have survived (I leave evaluations about my sanity to you)). But such scapegoats miss the crucial point that OHC hits: these influences do not take hold in a full soul. Only a soul that has no grounding, no core, no rock upon which to build can be driven astray by external influences.
And so we must act to reach out to the youth and give them something to believe in, for I think we see that the culture of holds nothing for them. The nihilistic liberalism of "sophisticated" Europe and elite America fails to do the trick; we have to try to give them something more. And even if such acts take the simple form of denying the culture of death from our doorstep, our schoolhouse, our churches, that's one step back from the impending tragedy.