By William Paul Rasavage
I am not a published individual, nor do I have letters or otherworldly recognitions or honoraria. I am merely a devoted Catholic working husband, father and grandfather who cares about what is happening in our world. This article is my effort to refocus Catholic attention by putting in perspective those things in our culture that are and remain good, true and beautiful, in contrast to those things which are not.
The Mind Behind the Gun
It’s not the gun. It never is.
A gun is an inanimate object, just as is a knife, a lawnmower, a pocket watch or wad of chewing gum. It’s the mind behind the gun that drives its use. Such a mind, then, is what needs to be examined.
To do so means to examine the culture of the individuals perpetrating such crimes and understand how they came to think and subsequently act as they do.
Morality or the lack thereof is at the root and basis of human behavior. In American generations past, this nation was strongly rooted in Judeo-Christian morality. The Founding Fathers based the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution upon the Ten Commandments of Almighty God.
Morality was fixed upon this land with the blessing of God. America, “In God We Trust”, grew, prospered, overcame innumerable adversities and defeated her enemies.
Now, we who are old enough to remember such times, find ourselves as being strangers in a strange land. Today we see, to our dismay and horror, that God has been booted from the public square, public schools, public buildings, public government, and public speech.
Liberal American Culture
This metastasizing transition of American culture from God to anti-God did not happen overnight.
Opposed to morality is Immorality – the antithesis and antagonist of morality. Immorality holds as its ideal, the notions that wrong is right, bad is good, what is false is true and what is unjust is just.
The very definition of the term liberal, as espoused in modern society, is the desire and struggle to be not only free from Judeo-Christian morality but free from any concept of God or His imposed limitations in any form. Rather, the liberal seeks to be his own god, free to decide right from wrong, good from evil, just from unjust as the individual sees fit. This freedom even extends beyond the confines of the individual’s belief system such that it encroaches on the belief system of others around them.
The liberal ideal is to be completely free to say and do what they want, however they want, as long as they want, to whomever they want, because they want. It matters not who or what is damaged or destroyed in the wake of exercising their perceived freedom. Self-gratification reigns supreme in the liberal heart.
Of course, no one publicly admits to being immoral. They are much more discrete and demure.
So, the current social norm is one which embraces something referred to as “amorality”. Amorality, as claimed by its adherents, is the complete absence of either right or wrong, good or bad, truth or falsehood, justice or injustice. Individuals of such beliefs have fabricated a false moralistic behavioral demilitarized zone. However, in actuality, no such zone can or truly does exist anywhere within either the human psyche or in society as a whole.
There is no in-between the two – the moral and immoral, no amorality, where neither good nor bad, right nor wrong, just nor unjust, truth nor untruth exist simultaneously. Either, there is an absolute set of morality, a clearly defined concept of absolute right from wrong, good from bad, just from unjust, truth from untruth, or there is not.
Ancient philosophers expounded a concept that is presented not only throughout Sacred Scripture but traditionally taught since time immemorial, and that is the ability to recognize the things that are Good, True and Beautiful, from those that are not. This concept, ability, or gift is called “Wisdom”.
America and the West have lost all Wisdom. From the Morality vs. Amorality mindsets currently in play within society, powerful forces have been at work to effectively undercut and circumvent the rightful place of God in American and Western societies and culture.
In all that we see, read and hear, in media, entertainment and politics, is the cacophony of the battle between the forces of God – the Good, True and Beautiful, and the forces of that which is ungodly, evil, false and hideous.
Return now, to the mind that is in the young but poorly socialized and minimally educated white youth who is so willing to slaughter innocent people whom he does not even know. The anger and malice within such a youth takes much time to nurture and grow. It’s a replay of the old story – Inside every person is a wolf and a lamb in constant struggle. The victor is the one which is fed.
No individual, heart, mind, body and soul, exists in a vacuum. These youth are fed, physically, emotionally and spiritually by their parents, or lack thereof, by their classmates, by the media, by entertainment, think ultra-violent video games, and the like. We have to consider – How much of this “food” is good, true and beautiful, and how much is ungodly, evil, false and hideous? The environment forms the individual.
In times gone by, it would be unheard of for any average person to espouse, promote, encourage, provide funding or vote for politicians who support human butchery in the forms of abortion and euthanasia. Those things were never even discussed. Most never knew what these terms even meant.
All Life is Sacred
It comes down to this: To God, all human life is sacred and, as such, all human life has infinite value.
In stark contrast, the liberal mind, in its social struggle to be free of everything Godly, is compelled to argue that life, from conception to its natural end, is without either meaning or value.
There is no such thing as the sacred.
These demonic minions, the famous, wealthy, successful, beautiful in outward appearance, the politically powerful, force-feed America with never-ending liberalism – hatred, division, anger, fear, but most especially, the culture of death touting that no life has value, and who blatantly flaunt immorality that is beyond imagining.
Unfortunately but predictably, once a person who has filled himself or herself with this diet, follows suit with a correspondingly wicked action, the liberals pounce, blaming what remains of the good, true and beautiful as the cause of all the evil. They well know better, and so should we. Liberalism is the ideology that kills, and has consummation and death as its sole objective.
Just as God is the source and author of life, entities that are anti-God, liberals by self-admission, must be, by definition, the sources and authors of sin, ugliness and death.
So, after the slaughters of El Paso, Dayton and Odessa, after the media rush to publish far too many sordid and horrific graphic images, after the devastated and grieving families are left to deal with the aftermath, after the traumatized collective American family has yet another wicked set of spears driven through its body, aimed directly at the heart of what is Good, True and Beautiful within us as a nation, people begin to ask, “Who is to blame?”
Think of our Lord when the mob brought before Him a woman caught in adultery.
He squatted down, drawing in the sand with His finger, and said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” And they all dropped their stones one by one and walked away, beginning with the eldest.
Today, many stand with stones in-hand, ready, willing and able to cast a deadly blow at those imagined to be responsible for these incomprehensible mass murders. But, wait. Don’t throw it yet. Think, rather, from the perspective of compassion and mercy demanded of us by God.
The failures in the lives of these young men are built of complex, multi-faceted, long term errors and omissions on the part of many at countless levels. They were not only led off the path of the good, true and beautiful, they more likely never had the opportunity to partake of it in the first place.
No one was there for them. No one was there to be good, true and beautiful fathers, mothers, friends and teachers for them. There were no good, true and beautiful television shows, music and wholesome entertainment for them to absorb. There was no whole and intact family, no loving environment and, most importantly, no presence transmitted to them of the love, mercy and guidance of God.
This is the same root cause of sickness within our nation, going back well before Columbine and all of the other inhuman atrocities committed in our time. Unfortunately, without a change in course, it will continue.
As it is said, all that evil requires to triumph is for good people to do nothing.
Well, my fellow Americans, these are the consequences for having failed in our individual and collective responsibilities as parents, teachers, mentors and friends. By denying our Judeo-Christian morals, we deny Christ by denying His and our children.
So, when these awful things happen, in one way or another, we are all to blame.
William Paul Rasavage is a Definitively Professed Secular member of the Discalced Carmelite Order.