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Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Most Dangerous Place in America

Not long after the recent shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief operating officer of MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where three of the shooting victims of mass murderer Aaron Alexis were being treated, spoke with a rare bit of moral clarity on the situation. “There’s something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate…There is something wrong, and the only thing that I can say is we have to work together to get rid of it. I would like you to put my trauma center out of business. I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots.”

Saying that this is “a challenge to all of us,” Orlowski concluded, “This is not America.” Sadly, what Aaron Alexis perpetrated is becoming all too American, but not for the reasons many would think.

After this most recent shooting massacre, the left again parroted its predictable rants against guns while calling for more and better gun laws. Diane Feinstein asked, “When will enough be enough?” Her statement declared, “Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country.” Of course, in the mind of Feinstein and her ilk, the “responsibility” of Congress is to pass more laws against guns.

Liberal pundit Leonard Pitts wonders if we’re all crazy. In Pitts’ world Americans are “crazy” because the right to bear arms in the U.S., as declared in our 2nd Amendment, is an antiquated notion because it was “written in an era when muskets were state of the art and citizen militias guarded the frontier.”

Obama himself used the massacre to call for “basic actions” to toughen our nation’s gun laws. Never mind that, as Reason’s J.D. Tuccille points out, the strict gun control measures that liberals love were already in place at the Washington Navy Yard. Alexis passed a background check and legally purchased his shotgun.

Tragically ironic, as Tuccille also notes, Alexis was aided greatly by the fact that, for the most part, U.S. military institutions are gun-free zones. Only in a culture so corrupted by the liberal mindset would military institutions be vulnerable to a mass shooting by a civilian.

Some have speculated that the U.S. has suffered the violence committed by men like Alexis, Adam Lanza, and Seung-Hui Cho because of our coddling of the mentally ill. I believe that there is some truth to this.

However, as I noted earlier this year, (referring to prominent psychotherapist Gary Greenberg) there are many problems with modern psychiatry. Namely, in an attempt to gain medical relevance, modern psychiatry has eliminated the moral aspect behind many behaviors. As Greenberg himself points out, “This society is very wary of using the term ‘evil.’”

Being unwilling to recognize evil for what it is has plagued this nation for decades now. Such willful ignorance of what is truly evil is, among other things, why our culture is so plagued with violence. Dr. Mark Rutland, former president of Southeastern University and, most recently, Oral Roberts University, sheds some much needed light on this matter.

In a sermon I heard about a dozen years ago, Dr. Rutland recalled a news story that heralded the accomplishments of a single mother. She was so touted because she had raised five children on her own in a housing project in Chicago. Four of them went on to graduate from college. By almost every measure, she and her children were deemed successful.

What was particularly interesting to Dr. Rutland was the tag-line of the story, which concluded that the children were raised in “the most dangerous place in America.” Speaking of dangerous places in America, just three days after the D.C. Naval Yard shooting, in a scene that plays out all too often in certain U.S. cities, 13 people were shot in a drive-by shooting at a gang-infested park in Chicago.

Earlier this year, NeighborhoodScout.com released its report on the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in America. The usual suspects were at the top of the list. Four of the top 10 are in the city of Detroit. Three of the top 20 are in Chicago, with neighborhoods in Atlanta, St. Louis, and Houston also appearing.

However, as Dr. Rutland observed, the most dangerous place in America is not the city with the most gangs. It’s not the neighborhood where most the most drugs are dealt or where the most bullets fly, though certainly these are dangerous enough. “The most dangerous place in America is the place where authority is not observed and where rebellion is inculcated into the lives of our young people.”

For decades, millions of American youths, taught by their Faustian masters, (whether in their homes, at their schools, or through the media) have been brought up in this spirit of rebellion. Thus hundreds-of-millions of Americans have suffered with the cursed fruit of a nation that has rebelled against authority of most every kind, but especially that of God.

We are a nation that has mocked the laws and the works of God. We are a nation full of disobedience. “The most dangerous place in America,” noted Dr. Rutland, “is the place that is filled with disrespect, irreverence, and the spirit of lawlessness—the spirit of disobedience.” Such rebellion is so dangerous because it moves us away from the protective covering of God.

Most every parent understands this well. How many of us have had our children pull themselves away from our protection and dash out into danger? What is our plea? “Stay here with me! Stay under my authority! Hold onto my hand! I can see things you can’t see. I can discern danger coming around the corner that you can’t. I can react faster. I have better judgment than you. If you pull away from me you’re in a dangerous place.”

And of course, so often we adults do the same thing with God. Is anyone really surprised that a nation which has killed over 50 million of its children in the womb is a violent nation in other ways as well? As Mother Teresa taught us, “I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child—a direct killing of the innocent child—murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”

Are we not a nation full of such rebellion? Good has become evil, and evil has become good. A man commits mass murder and so many of us look for answers in his weapon of choice. Satan laughs. We have not armed ourselves against one another so much as we have taken up arms against God and His law.

Thus we are plagued not only with violence, but with greed, gluttony, slothfulness, selfishness, lust, along with almost every other wickedness you can imagine. It is little wonder then that we elect leaders who reject God’s idea of marriage and who refuse to defend the most defenseless among us. It is little wonder that, more and more, our courts reject the moral authority of God’s law.

A nation such as ours, founded on the ideas of liberty and freedom, must have the proper views on both God and man. Liberty cannot exist without a proper moral foundation. As Edmund Burke admonished us, “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their appetites…Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free.”

Our Founders understood this. John Adams, writing in 1798, said that, should America assume “the language of justice and moderation while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

“There is a degree of depravity in mankind,” wrote James Madison in The Federalist Papers, “which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust.” In Federalist 51, Madison further captured such thought when he wrote, “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”

We are certainly not angels, but neither are we without hope. However, until America understands what is truly wrong and evil in our society; until America decides to lay down the arms that we’ve taken up against God and submit to His authority and surrender to His love, we are in a dangerous place indeed.

Copyright 2013, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

4 comments:

  1. Biblical Authority has been weakened by Compromisers; that it, those who while claiming to be Christian also believe in the fairy tale of Evolution. If the Bible cannot be taken for Truth in one part of it, how then can it be taken for Truth in ANY other part? Christians need to stop fooling around with this issue because it is serious. Atheism can be logically defeated. People need to learn how to do this. Answers in Genesis has much information on this topic.

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  2. Thanks Mark! I LOVE AIG and use many of their resources. You are correct in noting the foundational importance of evolution. I have often written on this subject.

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  3. Thanks for the wisdom. Why so long to find your site?

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    1. I don't know James, but thanks for the feedback! Check out my latest:

      http://www.trevorgrantthomas.com/2014/09/gods-not-that-concerned-with-your.html

      Also, if you don't mind, share my site with all you know. Thanks again! Be blessed!

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