Have we as a nation become numb to it? I don't know. How do we cope with all of the bad news that comes at us during a 24/7 cycle of information and editorial which focuses most of its attention on the sensational acts of evil and violence? Has this really become the new normal for America? Will Ferguson and Baltimore become more the norm rather than the exception? Will the murder rates in Chicago and other metropolitan cities continue to escalate?
There are a multitude of questions around the issues of violence. There are also an array of contributing factors to the social ills which afflict our society. Unfortunately, political rhetoric frequently fans the flames of discontent rather than address the complex issues with logical and rational discourse. Getting media attention is more favorable for our politicians than actually working toward a common sense solution for the betterment of the people. Have we become numb to that as well?
Delving into the sociological and psychological factors of contemporary social issues can reveal certain characteristics about our culture. Some things stay the same (poverty, addictions, etc.) while many other things experience radical change. The explosion of technological advances has created an environment of instant communication around the world. This has given a voice to many people that never had a method of sharing their opinions before. Compare the statistical data of radio talk shows and cable news shows from fifty years ago until today. Look at the number of blogs, "You-tube" accounts, and other avenues of getting one's message out to a wider audience. How does this fuel the harsh and vile nature of presenting a message of one's own choosing in an effort to intimidate and squelch the voices of others?
Combine these factors (and many more) with the disintegration of noble institutions which once held high esteem in society and you capture a picture of a nation in decline. Institutions which once served as a glue that held us together now create division and contempt. Dividing and conquering has been around for a long time. As this becomes more and more the reality in our country one has to wonder how long we will be the "United" States of America.
I don't think that I am numb to the violence that occurs around me. However, I am frustrated at trying to figure out what I can do about it. My personal efforts at making a difference in the world seem extremely feeble at best. This gets to be disheartening at times, but I have to understand the current parameters in which our society functions.
There used to be a thing called objective TRUTH. Actions and behaviors considered to be "right" or "wrong" based upon Judeo-Christian principles had a fairly general acceptance in my earlier years of life. The Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments actually meant something to most people. Churches were looked upon with respect for providing a moral compass to the community. Schools supported and solidified the values being taught at home by parents. There was a support system throughout the close-knit communities which brought out the best in most of the people. Are those days over?
Executive orders can be signed and legislation can be passed to curb access to guns. It will make little difference. After all, there are already laws against killing other people. The bottom line is that people have to accept certain norms and standards for living in a civilized society. We, as a nation, have allowed these standards and norms to be eroded to a dangerously low level. As a matter of fact, many of our elected officials and appointed judges have done their utmost to expedite the radical erosion of Christian beliefs. They are now beginning to reap the fruits of their labors. The culture of death is in high gear propelling us down the path to destruction.
The rights and the freedoms enjoyed by law-abiding citizens continue to be curtailed. Will any new restrictions put into place make a difference in the lives of criminally-minded individuals? Maybe. Maybe not. Will it impact law-abiding and honorable citizens? Yes. They will have more hoops to jump through to legally fulfill the prescriptions of the law. Another notch in the belt of lost freedom for the sake of a perceived improvement in security.
Gun violence is heartbreaking. However, we had cheapened the dignity and sacred value of human life long before gun violence became as prevalent as what it has been in recent years. Why did a tear come to the president's eye when he spoke of the children killed in Connecticut, and yet, he heaps praise upon an organization like Planned Parenthood that specializes in killing? What about all of those children? Where are the tears for them? National leaders even continue to provide our tax dollars to keep the killing going.
Mr. President, why do you think we have grown numb to the killing?
The personal agendas and hypocrisy of elected and appointed officials runs rampant. Unfortunately, the lack of moral credibility among Church leadership due to scandalous behavior has diminished or even silenced our prophetic voice. The nation has gone astray as a result. People of genuine faith are needed to be a light in our darkened world. Do not grow numb to the circumstances around you. Do not grow weary in doing what is right.
Be people of fervent prayer!