The Blame Game in the Virginia Tech Massacre

19 04 2007

Filed under: Virginia Tech, Christianity, Humanism

Del Tackett, of The Truth Project hits the nail on the head in looking at the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre and the blame game that is being played out by parents, the media, and activists.

Although man is deeply complex, that doesn’t preclude the reality that certain absolute statements can be made about him. The biblical Christian worldview understands that man’s heart is “desperately wicked” (Genesis 6:5, Jeremiah 17:9).

Without the direct constraint of civil law and order or the indirect constraint of cultural pressures (or a few other more complicated reasons), man left to himself with no constraints or negative consequences, will act out those sinful desires.

When a culture no longer believes this simple truth claim about man and accepts the notion that his heart is basically good, outbreaks of evil bring forth a rush to find something else to blame, for it certainly couldn’t have its genesis in the individual heart of man.

So it happened with Monday’s tragic slaughter of Virginia Tech professors and students. I listened to a number of broadcasts and read a number of articles and almost all of them are in the mode of finding blame outside of the one who pulled the trigger.

This is the natural tendency when one believes that the murderer acted, not because of an inherently sinful nature let loose, but because something external to him brought sufficient cause to tip the goodness of the individual into doing something wrong. We are hearing an earful of this sort of thing. Not that we would deny the impact of secondary causes, but those secondary causes should be viewed in light of how they fail to restrain or bring about internal restraint of those natural tendencies.

There is another belief system at work as well and that springs from the Hegelian and Marxist perspective. This notion holds that all progress results from a crisis. In its classical form, Hegel used the conflict of the “thesis” and the “antithesis” as the necessary catalyst for giving rise to the higher and more desired “synthesis” — a new truth.

In its modern, socialistic form, this perspective views any crisis or conflict as not just a necessity for progressive change, but it provides the “opportunity” for progressive change. That is why every tragedy or crisis in our culture today breeds an immediate feeding frenzy for those who seek to capitalize on it.

Sometimes, when a natural one is lacking, a false “crisis” will be crafted to achieve the same results. We have some of those in process as we speak. So, we should not be surprised to see the Virginia Tech tragedy used to gain ground in various political and personal agendas. Monday night I heard it used as evidence in the debate regarding illegal aliens. Yesterday, it was lack of gun control and a myriad of other things. Believe me, the blame game will continue until it has pointed the finger at everything and everyone in whom someone wants radical change.

It is very easy for our culture, once it buys a contrary view of man and life, to use a horrible and tragic situation like what occurred this week as just the evidence needed to prove one’s point, whatever that point may be. Single acts are rarely sufficient to prove a truth claim and never sufficient to prove a trend. Christians should not use them in that manner either.

However, from a biblical worldview perspective, single acts do provide continued evidence of that which is already established as absolute truth. Although all of the tragic details have not yet been uncovered, let us not lose sight of the simple reality of it all. Evil lurks in the heart of man and it will erupt when it is allowed to act unconstrained.

When it does, that eruption can be breathtaking in its cruelty and leave, in its wake, not only physical destruction, but emotional devastation. I am dealing with the loss of a very dear friend at the moment and I sympathize deeply with those who are struggling to cope with this senseless and heartbreaking tragedy.

Let us hope that more Americans will learn from this tragedy and look inward toward their own soul, instead of outward to place blame elsewhere.




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