"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?" Jeremiah 17
It's an uncomfortable thought to think that our hearts could be filled with desperate wickedness, but yesterday's shooting should be evidence enough that they can.
Hopefully most of us won't ever sink to the depths of depravity that the shooter did, depravity that would lead him to walk into a church and slaughter more than two dozen people, half of them children-babies even.
Today, of course, the debate over gun control is stirred again.
I wish it were so simple a matter as controlling guns. But I've been wondering about the person controlling the gun in that church.
Why the hell would someone do something like that? How could they?
Where is such violence birthed?
Maybe that's the real issue.
Why do people turn into cold-blooded murders?
I don't know, but surely it has nothing to do with the fact that American culture is saturated with violence.
Violent movies, video games and television shows are the rule rather than the exception. How in the world did we come to find all that cruelty and gore entertaining?
If we steep in that long enough, will it not eventually filter into our very souls?
Mix in factors like abuse, social rejection, bullying, drug abuse, and mental illness, and something's liable to blow.
Now I realize that most people are not going to commit murder just because they've watched some violent movies. But for some, could the desensitization not lead to the justification of violent thoughts and behaviors?
Maybe that's where the evil sprouts, in the self-justification.
You know, blame someone for "making us mad." Or, say the devil made me do it.
When hearts have deceived themselves into rationalizing away the evil within...maybe that's when a monster emerges.