There were six people gunned down and killed this past Saturday in Arizona. The loss of life was tragic. Among the six who lost their lives was a nine year old girl and a Federal Judge. The carnage apparently was the result of Jared Loughner's intent to assassinate a United States Congresswoman. Thankfully she lives and hopefully she will be able to return to some kind of normalcy and the House of Representatives.
I have listened to and read some of the commentary related to this tragedy and it has caused me to realize just how far our nation is removed from a Biblical worldview. There are two issues I would like to address, a lesser and a greater issue.
The lesser: There are many, particularly on the "right", that bemoan the fact that others are seeking to assign blame. This is not the proper issue to bemoan. It is the willingness to rightly assign blame that ensures justice is done on behalf of the innocent victims of this violent crime. Seeking to assign blame is the result of seeking answer the question, why? Why did this happen? This is a question that is naturally and rightly asked. In the process of seeking the "why" blame is generally assigned. Along with "why" we automatically ask "who". Again this is an appropriate question. Who is responsible for this mayhem and death of innocent people?
This leads me to the greater issue and it is answered quite simply. Jared Loughner is presumably responsible. (He is due his day in court before a jury of his peers). Sara Palin is not responsible. (I'm not as big a fan of her as a lot of conservatives) Rush Limbaugh is not responsible. (I hardly ever listen to Rush Limbaugh) Fox News is not responsible. Neither the "right" nor the "left" is responsible. The political rhetoric is not responsible. Campaign adds are not responsible. President Obama is not responsible. There is only one man responsible and that is Mr. Loughner.
His parents are not responsible. The University he attended (nor any of the staff) is not responsible. His friends/acquaintances are not responsible. The store that sold him the ammunition that morning is not responsible. I just saw an article indicating he had been stopped for running a red light three hours before the shooting. Why is this news? Is the Officer responsible? No the office is not responsible. There is only one man responsible and that is Mr. Loghner himself.
Of course there is great energy being spent to show he is not responsible. He was mentally unstable therefore not responsible, so then who is? Thus, the search begins to find a responsible party when the guilty is right before your eyes. Was he mentally retarded? Did he have a verifiable organic problem that could be detected through a series of blood test, etc? All behavioural problems have been reclassified as mental illness. Now when people don't act right they are sick not sinners. Since they are sick they are not responsible, but it leaves us longing to assign blame so the search is on for someone else to find guilty for the actions of a third party.
This is where departure from a Biblical framework introduces confusion into a society. In the face of evil we grasp for answers "why" and "who". A Biblical understanding answers the questions quite simply. Why? Because men are depraved sinners who have a desperately wicked heart that needs to be changed by the Holy Spirit of God through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Who? The individual that committed the evil. That's it, end of search, end of blaming. Mr. Loughner does not need a diagnosis, the Bible has already done that he is a sinner. He does not need a drug, he needs the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he still does, there is still hope!
Romans 14:12 - So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.