For the most part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worse and provide for it.
Patrick Henry, American Patriot
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In Oregon, another horrible mass murder committed by a disturbed outcast and more evidence of our inability to search for the truth and respond accordingly.
When a similar lost lad murdered members of a bible study group in a Charleston, South Carolina church, a friend of mine mentioned that people were going to target the Confederate flag as a result. My response: they’d do better ban strawberry ice cream.
We are masters of the superficial and bat zero as to honest self-examination. We simply prefer to look outside and not at our self, the secularized culture and the conduct it fosters and accommodates.
In contrast to Patrick Henry, we dare not look within to find out how we may have generated such conduct. It is so much easier to call for more laws, when law itself neither controls the problem nor accounts for it. Indeed, think about the laws surrounding the civil rights of racial minorities. Does anyone think they have not sponsored more race consciousness/racism among those they intended to help, and consequently further divide us?
If you wanted to understand the problem we face in random mass murders, you’d be wise to look at the culture. In doing so, you’d see that we legalize a culture of death. Worried about the death penalty? How about legalized abortion and the selling organs of aborted children?
If that doesn’t garb you, how about the Left’s relentless attack on religion? The chorus of Leftist intellectuals who smugly dismiss of the role of faith in culture? Does anyone think this does not dehumanize us?
Or how about the kindergarten to graduate school emphasis on sex in education? More to the point, how about the culture’s focus on sexual behavior as sport, pleasure – absent meaning and commitment? Does anyone think this glorifies the created human? Advances the relationship of men to women, husband to wife?
How about the flood of movies and video games chock full of violence as if homicidal rage is entertainment? Can this be good?
And how about the extraordinarily divisive language generated by those on the Left which is aimed at those who do not agree with them? Or the character assassination of political opponents – even using the protection of the Senate floor to knowingly lie about an opposing candidate for President?
And how about the Left’s demonization of groups that oppose their political objectives? Think about the white male as the frequent subject of scapegoating. Or the hatred of police officers? Does this humanize us?
The point Patrick Henry is making is this: honest self-examination is essential to living well, to growth, to pursuit of policy, to community, to wisdom, to leadership to full human development.
Think about it. When those on the public stage show an absence of sincere and honest self-examination, turn a deft ear to their words – lest you be deceived, your liberty lost while a problem festers and grows.
” … you try to worship God by performing the singularly courageous and impossible favor of knowing yourself.”
Pat Conroy, in My Reading Life
A critical look at one’s self is much more likely to attend to the problems we have created than more laws regarding guns, flags or what have you.