Sunday, July 22, 2012

Another grimly teachable moment

A relative of one of the victims in last week's "Black Knight" mass killing was quoted this way in a New York Times story that ran in my local paper, the San Jose Mercury News: "I hope this evil act ... doesn't shake people's faith in God." Me, too — and there's no reason why it should.

People whose faith can't withstand an encounter with serious evil are forgetting one very important thing that Catholic kids used to know by heart: that God did not create evil.

We did.

Here's the story in a nutshell.
  1. God made a good universe.
  2. He then plopped our First Parents down in it, in a very special part of the Earth that he had prepared to be perfect for our race: Eden. 
  3. He needed to know if He could trust us.
  4. To find out, He gave us a simple test.
  5. We flunked.
  6. But He didn't just wipe us out; He gave humanity the rest of the world to live in, to order and arrange according to our own rebellious lights, which we've proceeded to do with great gusto.
  7. Friday morning's horror was just the latest prominent installment of our age-long story of failure, of our propensity for evil.
  8. Naturally, we turn on God and blame Him for our mess.

I don't care if someone thinks that the Eden thing didn't happen in a literal sense. Something like it happened.

The Dark Knight shooter is our guy. We made him, through the culture that we've allowed to stray far, far from its Christian roots. He's the newest model of Modern Man to roll off the assembly line, in which we're again trying to work the bugs out of the modern maxim, "It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you're sincere."

Did it matter what James Holmes believed about taking out his frustrations with work and life on a crowd of people who never did him any harm?

It certainly mattered to all those poor folks in the theater.