The horrendous crime that just took place in Connecticut has left me reeling. Nothing, in my mind, can possibly be more evil than the senseless slaughter of innocent children.
“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”
—Mark 9:42 (KJV)
I think Bookworm Room elucidates my sentiments better than I can:
Despite being fairly decent at both sympathy and empathy, I truly cannot imagine what the survivors of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, are experiencing, and that’s true whether I think of the ones in the line of fire or the family and friends whose loved ones were at the school.
Shooting children like fish in a barrel goes beyond crime. It is, instead, an act of profound evil. John Podhoretz latched onto this intrinsic evil when he likened the situation in Connecticut to the horrors of Gehenna:
Gehenna, a synonym for Hell, is a real place, or so the Bible tells us. You can see it today. It is a valley outside Jerusalem, the valley of the son of Hinnom, and it was where worshippers of the idol Moloch sacrificed children to sate their god’s hungers.
Gehenna was revived today in Newton, Connecticut, where as many as 20 children at last report were slaughtered in an elementary school this morning.
The connection between the protection of children and the practice of monotheism dates back to the beginning. After Abraham becomes the first Jew, the first monotheist, he is tasked by God to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, the miracle child of his and his wife Sarah’s old age, and he takes up the task without complaint until God stays his hand. The story of Isaac’s binding, the akedah, is one of the most challenging of the Bible and is often taken to mean God was testing Abraham’s faith with the ultimate demand. But one might also say that at the very dawn of the worship of the One God, the Bible was placing the sacrifice of children outside the realm of the thinkable for the first time.
The idea that civilization is dedicated to the protection and preservation the weak and the innocent, and not about fulfilling evil impulses to defile and destroy innocence, is the root and core of the West. One cannot conceive of anything more monstrous than a person or persons who could look small children in the eye and systematically shoot them dead. Which is why this crime, among the worst crimes in American history, is not just an assault on the children, or their families, or the town of Newtown—though it is all those things.
Podhoretz says that today’s shooting turned the killer into one who sacrifices to Moloch, thereby creating a Hell on earth and fundamentally violating a just people’s covenant with a just and loving God. Incidents such as this one are jagged rips in the fabric of a stable and civilized universe.
My deepest condolences go to the Newtown community. Time will never remove the grief, but I hope that it softens it, enabling them to continue living the fulfilling lives their loved ones would have wished for them.
I have no stomach right now to take on all the political aspects that inevitably arise after these sort of horrific events. This sort of evil goes far beyond the instrument that was used to commit cold-blooded murder; it goes to the very heart of the individual who wielded the lethal instrument. From what I’ve read, the shooter, Adam Lanza, was autistic and had a personality order. He is also dead.
@mmflint You apparently do not seem to understand the concept of mourning and respect, instead you play piggyback on horror & sheer EVIL.
— The Right Planet (D) (@therightplanet) December 14, 2012
My deepest condolences are with the families and friends of those killed, and all those who will be forever scarred and traumatized by this terrible crime. There will never be any “closure” for those directly effected by this act of sheer evil. Time may ease some of the suffering, but it will never go away. Lives have been shattered. They will never be the same.
And for the little ones who were gunned down execution-style … what can one say? It makes me ashamed to be part of a species that could be capable of such unspeakable horror and terror.
I pray there is a Paradise after this life, like Jesus told the thief on the Cross at Calvary, for I know those little ones are with Him—their suffering over. But the suffering left here on this earth for their parents, loved ones, survivors and witnesses will never go away.