Unfortunately, horrible things still happen in modern society. Instead of learning from the horrendous behavior of the past, we seem to "improve" the methods in which we can hurt and destroy others. The level of violence escalates instead of diminishing. All of society pays the price.
The school shooting in Parkland, Florida has reignited many of the same talking points which follow each of the massacres that take place. Here are a few of the statements I have heard verbally or read on social media recently.
"We need common sense gun laws."
"We need better mental health care."
"We need armed teachers."
"We need armed veterans or retired police."
On and on the debate continues. Yet, nothing changes. Why? Could it be that we are seeking answers in the wrong places? The societal dysfunction we witness clearly demonstrates that the problem is much deeper than a simple talking point.
How has sin shaped modern society? More to the point, how has the lack of awareness or acknowledgment of sin contributed to societal dysfunction? This could be a lengthy dissertation on societal and structural sin (in addition to personal sin), but I will just highlight a few things.
Sex sells. When we objectify other individuals for the sake of pleasure, why are we surprised when a lack of respect soon follows?
If we are willing to condone, and pay for with tax dollars, the killing of millions of unborn children, why are we surprised when a lack of reverence for life follows as demonstrated by a mass shooting?
If we pass legislation approving physician-assisted suicide, why are we surprised when life loses value and meaning all across the spectrum?
Finally, if the domestic Church--the family home, is shattered and broken from dysfunction, why are we surprised when aberrant behavior follows in its wake?
The devastation we experience each time tragedy strikes is huge, whether we realize it or not. If we are directly impacted by a shooting, bombing or other attack, the repercussions are long-lasting and deep. If we are not directly impacted, we still suffer repercussions. We can become fearful. We can become disillusioned with life. We can become hard-core and cynical. There is a price to pay. Sin does not live in isolation.
In this season of Lent, it would behoove each of us to return to the basics of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The world needs our faith-filled witness that Jesus Christ is the King of Kings.