Credits: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
The shooting tragedy in Connecticut on Dec. 14 was layered in darkness, pain, suffering, and the angry confusion that occurs when an otherwise peaceful and complacent society is thrown into terror.
The slaughter of the innocent. The most vehement violence committed for no reason, with no cause. Pointless destruction.
Within moments of the horror, the activists and the politicians made their case and coated the catastrophe with their cries for more or for less gun control, or blamed video games, Hollywood, family decay, anything and everything.
They did this because they were afraid. Of the naked face of pure evil.
The killer may have been mentally ill, but that is largely irrelevant in that most mentally ill people are less violent and malevolent than the rest of us.
He also had access to guns, but then millions of other gun owners would never dream of hurting another person.
No, this was something less tangible and thus more challenging.
You see, evil exists just as certainly as does good. And pristine, infallible, impeccable good came into the world and was made flesh around 2,000 years ago, and in a few days we commemorate that event in what is called Christmas.
We’re not sure of the actual date and time, but what matters is not when it occurred but that it occurred.
I guarantee at this point some readers are screaming, figuratively or perhaps even literally, that I should mention religion, Christmas and Jesus Christ shortly after I speak of a mass murder.
But darkness has no meaning, and loss no end, if we cannot understand the light and grasp that this is the land of shadows, and that real life has not yet begun.
Of course bad things happen to good people, even terrible things to innocent children.
Good things also happen to bad people and selfless philanthropists die of cancer in their 30s while selfish thugs live to old age.
That, surely, is a conundrum for the materialist and the atheist, not the person who believes in Christmas and Christ.
The God-haters tell us we are dust, food for worms, at death; the Jesus-followers have an entirely different understanding of the human purpose and soul.
Frankly, I have no idea how secular humanists respond to evil, or even how they can define it, if there is no higher moral code. If we’re just selfish genes and animals, who is to say what is right and what wrong?
You will hear the usual types arguing Jesus didn’t exist, God is a fantasy, Christians are fools.
Fatuous fashions and facile fads.
In years of debating atheists and writing about faith, I’ve yet to hear a single compelling argument for the absence of God, but my goodness I’ve heard a lot of abuse from His detractors.
He certainly angers those people who are convinced He doesn’t exist!
It’s always a good time to consider the larger, grander meanings and challenges of life, but Christmas is perhaps the best time of all.
Think hard in the days to come and reflect on what matters and what goodness means to you.
Even, perhaps, walk through the doors of a church. It could be miraculous.