There’s not much to say that isn’t being said by others today. I saw the tragic news when I stepped off a plane in Washington, DC this afternoon. I felt much like I did on 9/11…. shock, horror, disbelief.
My prayers go out to all of the families who will be impacted by this tragedy. It makes my heart ache.
I thought these words from Peggy Noonan that she wrote after the Columbine school massacres were worth reflecting on again today.
The fish–your child–is bombarded and barely knows it. But the waves contain words like this, which I’ll limit to only one source, the news:
. . . was found strangled and is believed to have been sexually molested . . . had her breast implants removed . . . took the stand to say the killer was smiling the day the show aired . . . said the procedure is, in fact, legal infanticide . . . is thought to be connected to earlier sexual activity among teens . . . court battle over who owns the frozen sperm . . . contains songs that call for dominating and even imprisoning women . . . died of lethal injection . . . had threatened to kill her children . . . said that he turned and said, “You better put some ice on that” . . . had asked Kevorkian for help in killing himself . . . protested the game, which they said has gone beyond violence to sadism . . . showed no remorse . . . which is about a wager over whether he could sleep with another student . . . which is about her attempts to balance three lovers and a watchful fiancé . . .
This is the ocean in which our children swim. This is the sound of our culture. It comes from all parts of our culture and reaches all parts of our culture, and all the people in it, which is everybody…
And there’s more. We forget, those of us who are middle-aged, that we grew up in a time of saner, less sick-making images and sounds.
For instance, the culture of crime only began to explode in the 1960s. We have lived in it for 30 years, and most of us turned out OK. So we think our children will be OK too. But they never had a normal culture against which to balance the newer, sicker one. They have no reference points to the old, boring normality. We assume they know what we know: “This is not right.” But why would they know that? The water in which they swim is the only water they’ve known…
The title of the column: The Culture of Death.
UPDATE (from GPW): Like Bruce, I don’t have much to say that others have not already said. I read about the situation and wonder that even as civilization advances, evil persists. Despite all our best efforts, we can’t seem to eradicate it from human hearts.