Treating the Cancer

First and foremost, the violent act and the loss of life in the recent Arizona shootings are a tragedy. I weep with those who have lost loved ones and with those who have serious injuries to overcome. May God keep you tightly in His Grip and give you a peace and comfort that surpass your understanding.

Yesterday I found myself commenting on another blog (something I don’t do often), offering a sliver of my perspective on the latest controversy with the Arizona shooting. The dialogue got me involved enough to conjure up my own post. The claim in the news is that violent, divisive rhetoric from the Republican political party is to blame for the shooting. Just a few (of many) thoughts I have on this…

First, if you search for assassinations and attempted assassinations of U.S. Presidents, it is clear that both Republicans and Democrats have been victims to this heinous act. This is not a partisan issue.

Second, many of these acts occurred long before Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, and Glenn Beck even existed. This is not a current issue.

Zeal on this matter is warranted, however I believe the current attention in the media is misdirected. We all believe something wrong has occurred and we want justice, but to blame things like violent rhetoric is a distraction from a more central dilemma. There is a conflict within us all — we want to see fairness and justice and “good,” but we have the incapability (neither as a race nor as individuals) to perfectly uphold this standard. This want for good yet inability to be perfectly good, if not dealt with, becomes restless within us.

For many people, it is an unresolved conflict, and it’s much easier to blame some surfacey problem than to address the crux of the issue. If politicians will just speak more kindly about each other than this wouldn’tve happened. If we banned violent movies and video games then there would be no crime. If we were more educated about mental illnesses (which the shooter was believed to have) then all will be well. Stricter gun laws will bring world peace.

No, no, no, and no. These may help reduce crime rates temporarily, but these will not fix the core issue. Treating abdominal pain with a pain pill seems rather foolish if the root cause of the pain is cancer. The pill may offer temporary relief, but to ignore the underlying disease would be fatal.

We are in a predicament. We understand there is some moral code, some Golden Rule, that we cannot bear to see violated, yet we ourselves are incapable of perfectly upholding it. None of us on our own are capable of being perfectly good.

After you peel back all of the culpable layers, this core dilemma pervasive throughout humanity is the cause of the tragic Arizona shooting. The shooter fell way short of the standard. And even though it might seem like our blunders aren’t nearly as shameful as his, the truth is we all fall short of the standard too. No, a pain pill will not treat this cancer.