Despite the fact that the Bible doesn’t spend a lot of time talking about the whys behind evil events, it’s natural that we seek explanations. Our society doesn’t tend to believe in fate; we feel that we are the masters of our environment, able to shape the course of our lives. Because of this, we seek explanations in order to seek solutions.
After the Newtown tragedy, some have pointed fingers at easy access to guns. Others (not including Morgan Freeman) have blamed the media, saying that the focus on killers and mass murderers makes violence attractive to those seeking fame. Some have emphasized the killer’s mental illness, arguing that this event highlights the need for more and better treatment for those suffering from such conditions. Others have argued that the lack of religious teaching in school is to blame. Some have noted the effects of a broken home.
It bears saying once again: big problems rarely have simple solutions. If we point to any one of these things and say, “Here’s the problem. Fix it and these incidents will go away,” we’re just kidding ourselves.
Tragedies like that at Sandy Hook Elementary have a multitude of causes. I think all of the things mentioned above come into play (though I remain strongly opposed to prayer in school, beyond that which already exists). We need to look at gun control and mental health. We need to examine how these tragedies are reported (as well as our fascination with death and violence in TV shows and movies). We need to teach morality in our schools (and teach spirituality in our homes). We need to strengthen families and teach that marriage is “until death do us part.”
There is one problem/solution that has been mentioned that I heartily agree with. It’s not a matter of what we need, it’s who we need. Jesus. The problems of society can have bandaids applied to them, but the only real solution is the transformation brought about by the Son of God.
Pray. Tell people about God and his goodness. And do your best to live like Jesus. That’s not all we can/should do, but it is the
most effective best. (Edited at 9:51 a.m. — I originally said “most effective,” which is poor word choice. Much of what is right isn’t effective, especially in the eyes of the world.)