Thursday, December 06, 2007

"famous"

Yesterday, I believe it was, a sad and angry nineteen year old man walked into a mall in Omaha (about two hours from here), pulled out an assault rifle, and killed eight people before ending his own life. Several more were injured, some seriously.

As details of this young man's life trickle out, we have learned that he left a suicide note, proclaiming to those he cared for that he no longer wished to live and that now he would be "famous."

Our society's sad fascination with the sensationalism has proved him right.

As you might imagine, stories of this are pretty much constant in Nebraska right now. Stories of those who were murdered, of those who survived, stories of the young man and how he'd just lost his girlfriend and his job at McDonald's. Stories of the friends who never thought he'd be capable of something like this.

I'm deeply saddened by all of this. Sad for the victims and their families. Sad for the family of this young man. Sad for the fact that this young man saw this as a way of becoming "famous." Sad that he was right.

It reminds me of a group home I worked at not so terribly long ago now. Two older adolescents who were residing there decided one night that they didn't wish to be there any longer. And even though the doors were unlocked, they feared that the night staff would call the police and prevent their escape. So they grabbed two wooden dowels they had in their closets for hanging their clothes, and beat up the old man who was keeping watch over them that night. Beat him to within inches of taking his life.

I think what saddens (even horrifies) me the most in both stories is the utter, callous disregard for human life. The utter self-preoccupation that allowed them to justify such actions, even if only for the brief period of time it took to commit such acts.

I know not whether our society is becoming more callous. I tend to think that claims that it is lose sight of just what society was capable of in times past. But assuredly we can no longer believe that such callousness is a relic of our past. It is here. It is now. It is fed and nurtured by poverty, hatred, ignorance, and loss.

I'm reading a book right now that discusses the idea of the "antichrist." In that book, the author writes that the "antichrist" is us, any time we hear the gospel and fail to respond.

May God forgive us. And may we grow as a society so that acting in the spirit of Christ is more likely to make us "famous" than what happened in Omaha yesterday.

4 comments:

more cows than people said...

amen.

beautiful reflection, steve.

Wyldth1ng said...

Another reason the terrorist attcks did not wake up America as it should have. It was terror for a little while now "they" are the terrorists.

Diane said...

yes. so sad the things that make us "famous."

Magdalene6127 said...

Amen Steve. Thank you for this.