March 03, 2008

Nothing Baffling About NIU Shootings

This past Valentine's Day a gunman on the Northern Illinois University Campus opened fire on students in Cole Hall hitting 21 people killing five.

The scenario was all too familiar with lockdowns, screaming students, wide spread panic and crowds meandering around hours later in a stupor wondering "what just happened?" At the end of it all the shooter-- Steven Kazmierczak--was also dead; a blessing for the inhabitants of planet earth in general and Dekalb, Illinois in particular. If it seems strange calling the perpetrator's demise a blessing, one must understand that God's very reason for implementing capital punishment was to remove the evil one from the community. Removing such a wicked person would enhance the quality of life of the innocent citizens at large. Under such a rubric, even the extreme consequence of execution is not barbaric but merciful.

Predictably there was the typical hand-wringing concerning the "whats" and "whys" of it all with the "experts" attempting "expert" explanations. The comment that caught my attention though was the person opining about these homicides as well as all the others of recent times, saying-- "Only God knows why this is happening." I don't share the same assessment.

While many occurrences in our daily routines are mystifying, these rampages are the by-product of a wayward culture which trivializes morality, dilutes or redefines right and wrong while rewarding evil and punishing righteousness. What's so hard to figure out?

God spoke it through the prophet Isaiah saying, "Woe to those who call evil, good, and good, evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness…" (Isaiah 5:20)

For decades we have been reinventing truth any way we deem appropriate with every individual being the final authority of what is "right for him or her." Why are we then shocked when we learn of someone gunning down others?

If it is true, as our society demands, that morality is fluid; that truth is relative and that what is right for one is not necessarily right for another, how dare we impose OUR notion of right and wrong, even on a homicidal maniac? In the scheme of things Kazmierczak was just an angry, young man who, in his anger, merely expressed himself different than you or I might. Within his moral framework though, he determined his actions were right for him. Moral pronouncements are irrelevant.

If we are consistent with such absurd, cultural notions about good and evil, right and wrong, we may take exception to the nature of the shooter's moral compass, but we cannot--without great hypocrisy--impugn the direction that person's compass points.

So if we are brutally forthright and painstakingly committed to intellectual honesty, we must admit that our cultural trend toward murderous hate commenced at the Garden of Eden. God presented his truth--"And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 'From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.'" (Genesis 2:16-17) But Eve--several millennia ahead of her time--rejected God's truth determining "truth" for herself trampling over the tender mercies of God when he said "…thou shall not…" The world followed suit and continues in escalating fashion.

Why do these horrors keep happening? Because everyone does what is right in his own eyes. Solomon wrote that such people are fools and should be obvious that we are living in a fool's paradise.


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