Moral Derangement

Mass Killing – Is it to be expected?

The first thing that struck me about the all the news coverage and commentary on this most recent mass killing in Colorado was the lack of any moral context in their coverage. They generally agreed that the man was deranged, and by that conclusion they unwittingly were exonerating him for the terrible crime he just committed. If someone is truly deranged, then they are not responsible morally or legally for their actions. It’s a truly dangerous assumption.

I would agree that the man is deranged, but deranged perhaps in another more worrying sense, that is, he is almost certainly deranged in a sense that is also applicable to our society and its culture when it comes to human life. He is in a very real sense a product of a deranged moral culture that no longer can inculcate a true moral sense of good and evil when it comes to the moral norms regarding human life and the way it is to be deeply respected from beginning to end.

However, the moral deranging of our society and its culture, in my opinion, did not begin with the Men in Black who deranged the constitution to allow the destruction of the most innocent of human life in the womb. I tend believe it began at least as far back as the civil war – perhaps earlier – when Grant and other generals employed tactics close to total war to subdue the confederacy, though they did not go all the way and deliberately murder innocent children. However, no one seemed to seriously complain vocally about all this, except the burnt out Southerners of course. But who was listening to them?

Then our moral culture became even more deranged in the course of the second World War when we finally went along with the British generals and adopted the total war tactics of Hitler, fire-bombing German and Japanese cities indiscriminately (can fire-bombing ever be discriminate?) and finally ending the war with two atom bombs, which like the fire-bombing could not discriminate between enemy combatants and innocent men, women, and children. They were all incinerated without any moral qualms on the part of men like General Arnold, and this time it was positively applauded by most Americans for ending the war quicker, and still is approved by most Americans to this day. There we confirmed the moral principle that the end justifies the means, and it became so deeply embedded in our culture that the Men in Black adopted it basically to justify their vote for the right to kill the innocent for the sake of the mother’s needs.

Certainly that decision and the court opinions that have followed have deepened the moral morass in which we find ourselves today, and it should not surprise us that part of that swamp is the decision on the part of some young killers to imitate fiction, and the culture of death they have imbibed, and slaughter the innocent. Are they psychologically deranged as well? Perhaps they are, but it’s dangerous in the extreme to discount the effect that moral derangement of a culture has on the psychological stability of some of the young products of that culture.

In short, we are beginning to see what the world is like without Christ and the truth of the Gospel and the grace of God. It took centuries and centuries to inculcate and embed the moral norms of the Gospel and Natural law into the cultures of Europe and elsewhere. It takes much, much less time to destroy all that effort, as we are seeing today and will continue to see until we recover our moral senses as a society and as a culture.

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