Thursday, January 5, 2012

addressing the horror

In Texas, an eighth-grader brandishing a pellet gun was shot to death by police.

In the war zone, American soldiers blew up a dog for fun.

There may be exculpatory explanations for the former incident and more subtle excuses for the latter.

But the horror remains.

When former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln enunciated the words, "the better angels of our nature," there was an instant recognition that there are in fact such angels within us all, even if they are only expressed as a whispered longing. We are capable of great good.

Orphaned in such reflection are what might be called the "lesser angels of our nature," our very own devils. Yes, we are capable of great evil. Try as we may, the capacity remains ... to commit atrocities that turn our own stomachs.

Shall we bury such capacities or chain them in dank cells of denial or forgetfulness? Shall we elevate them by laying claim the the virtues of salvation and righteousness?

This life is not a life of orphans or neglect. It is a whole life and it deserves our forthright care.

Or anyway that's my take.

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