What can we learn about the March shooting? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Many of us were quite surprised today to hear that some of the manifesto from the Covenant shooting has been leaked. It’s my understanding that this is not the whole, but what has been leaked has been verified. It’s been told that some of this is being taken out of context, though it’s honestly hard to think of what kind of context would make the sayings, especially about hoping to kill a lot of kids, be understandable.
So what are some take aways?
Well, one of the first that stands out to me is the girl saying that she was surprised she had not been caught, and indicated that she could have been in the summer of 2021? What was going on then? What was the FBI doing? It was a few months later that parents were being targeted at school board meetings by the FBI. Was that in the preliminary stages then?
There’s a reason a lot of people have lost trust in the FBI.
What of the police force? We seem to hear this many times. We heard it after the Parkland shooter. There were plenty of warning signs about the guy who did it, and yet despite numerous red flags, nothing was done. Then after the fact, we start talking about gun control, as if we need new laws when we are not enforcing the laws that we have.
Also, just so everyone knows, I am not naming the shooters in any of these. That is fully intentional.
Second, the shooter at Covenant made a check to make sure there was security. What if there had been? We don’t know, but is it possible that these children could have been saved with security? What we have to ask is if our children are worth it. I am quite certain that a group of people you could go to see if they would like to have security jobs at schools are our veterans. I strongly suspect they would love to have the job of protecting our children.
Now let’s also get into some moral categories. We have often been told about creating a dangerous political environment, but yet let’s compare this shooter to the one who shot up the Congressional baseball game. Both of them were told certain things about their opponents on the other side. Both of them then responded. We could also include the man who tried to attack the Family Research Council.
I also want to be clear on this point. I am not saying the people who speak in this sort of way are responsible. If you want to know who is responsible, it is the people who do the activities. I don’t hold Bernie Sanders responsible for what happened at the baseball game.
That being said, if you go around saying all white people are racist and about white privilege and everything else, don’t be surprised if some people believe you. If you want to say you are opposed to racism, you have to be opposed to all racism. If you are not, then you are really just practicing a reverse form of racism.
Also, as someone on the spectrum, sometimes, what we hear about is mental illness in all of these things. If someone was willing to do that kind of evil, then they must be mentally ill. They could be, but I don’t think it’s best to say mental illness every time. If we do, we miss one key point.
People are evil.
If it weren’t for the grace of God, any of us could do that kind of evil. The reason you haven’t is not because you’re just that incredibly good. It’s because you’ve submitted to some degree to reality be it the moral order you believe exists in the universe somehow or from a Christian perspective, God.
It’s easy to look back today and say, “If we had lived back then, we would not have participated in slavery.” The reality is, a lot of people living today would. That includes the people who say they wouldn’t. Many of us can look back on our own lives and say “I can’t believe I did XYZ” back then. Yes. You did. I did. We all have done things. Hindsight is 20/20 and instead of saying “I wouldn’t have done that!” we need to ask “What can I do to make sure I’m not the kind of person who does that?”
I remember years ago a friend told me something that has stuck with me. We often say that if we were the only one, Jesus would have died for us. He told me also that if we were the only one, we would have killed Him.
It’s easy to look back and say “I wouldn’t be like the Pharisees!” However, as soon as we say that, aren’t we being just like the Pharisees? Aren’t we considering ourselves morally superior? We would love to look back and think we are the heroes in the story of the Gospels. Maybe, just maybe, we could have actually been the villains.
There is a duty to be aware of evil from the other side, but never overlook what could be evil in your own side, more importantly, even in your own heart. People do evil sometimes because of mental illness, yes, but sometimes people do evil because people are just evil. It is a myth to think that if we could just get chemical imbalances all worked out, people would live pristine and pure lives.
That requires the grace of God and 100% sanctification which we will not reach in this life.
What we have of the manifesto should remind us that evil is real and we need to combat it. However, the main place we all need to combat it is ourselves. There but for the grace of God go I.
If you need that grace, it’s always available.
And of course, pray for the families of the victims. While this could be a step of closure for them, it’s also certainly a painful day.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)