The Blame Game

Since the horrific events of December 14 in Newtown, Connecticut, I have tried to figure out how to respond.  I spend last week answering the unanswerable questions in the Sunday School class that I teach.  I can’t imagine how empty the Christmas season must be for families  that have presents that will never be opened.

I want some sort of soothing salve that I can pour over the situation and smooth away the pain and anger and fear.  I want answers; so we can all make sense of this.  I want to know how and why it happened; so we can make sure it never happens again.  I want to know if it was the guns, mental illness, bad parenting or video games that caused this. I am looking for someone or thing to blame.  I also want to choke the life out of the next person who says it was all a part of God’s plan.

Faith should provide answers to the problems of great evil.  Faith should prove hope in times of grief.  Faith should provide light in the midst of darkness, but spiritual giants have often witnessed the “dark night of the soul.”

Faith as a “get out of hell free card” or “fire insurance” is too often the message.  My witness is to a faith where God is with us in tragedy not creating tricky escapes.  My faith is in a God who deals with the tough times.  My faith is in a God who weeps.

My faith is also in a God who loves and laughs.  I suspect there is a lot of time spent giggling at my foolishness.  My faith is in a God who can use tragedy; not one who seeks or causes it. I believe that in the midst of grief, God’s love is still present providing hope.

My faith is in a God who entrusts us with a mission to make the world better.  Most amazingly my faith is in a God who has faith in us,,,yep you and me.  Ain’t that crazy!

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18 thoughts on “The Blame Game

  1. doyledmg says:

    This is a right tragedy and it is unfortunate that this young man could not have been helped earlier as this has certainly impacted on a nation and its families in a rather sad manner.

    • We just don’t seem to have any early warning system in place for folks who are struggling with mental health issues. Even worse we are dismantling the treatment and support systems because of budget woes. I sure hope we can figure out a better way soon.

  2. It’s a very bad situation and I also feel so sorry for the family’s I think the US government should put a lot of thought into protecting the children of America sooner rather than later this can’t keep happening

    • I think you are right that we need better laws, but I believe that we also need better information. There is so much unknown about why this happens. I wonder if education, awareness, support or treatment can have an impact.

  3. Really a tragedy. Keep faith in the human kindness. With warm regards, Ruud.

  4. sojisan says:

    no one can for see the future. one can only do their best to live their life as best they can and, with common sense and one’s own life experience and intuition, protect yourself, your family and every else dear to you, from harm and conflict. HOWEVER, do not go through life with a ‘pollyanna’ attitude and that life is all cotton candy and puppy dogs. you have to know that if ‘good’ exists, then so does “evil”.

    how many times have you seen a news story where the ‘neighbor’ is interviewed saying “…well, he was a nice man, never bothered me, alway said hello…”, this, after learning his neighbor just went ‘postal’ and killed all his co-workers. i always like when incidents like this are reported, how quickly the ‘blame game’ starts and how everyone says “they got to do something about this, somebody’s got to to be held responsible.” you can have all the laws in the world, all the protection in the world, all the guns you want… sometimes sh&t just happens and there is really nothing you can do until after the fact… you just have to move on and make the best of an unthinkable, horrific or catastrophic situation, as best you humanly can.

    • Perhaps you are right, but I think it is fair to consider if there is some way to mitigate such violence in the future. Gun control, mental health, and desensitizing video violence seem reasonable places to consider if we can improve our society. I don’t think that a law or even some complex set of regulations can fix everything. I do wonder if we can fix a few things. That would be an honorable start in my view.

  5. Yes, God is there to comfort us. I believe God is Love and Peace.

  6. Catherine White Photography says:

    May the God of all comfort be with the families in Connecticut.

  7. George J Lloyd says:

    Very moving, Harold. You’re a good writer. Merry Christmas! 🙂

  8. I feel that God is with everyone affected by this tragedy and from this tragedy we will find the miracles of healing. Perhaps it will be better mental health for those who are in need and less stigma attached to it for those who need the help and for their their families. Maybe we will outlaw the guns that have the heavy magazines that are needless for hunting and only allow needless killing. Whatever it is, it will be a better way of life for the 26 who lost their lives and now watch over us from above. Thank you Harold for your Blog. I couldn’t find the words to write, you have found them for so many of us.

  9. We started dismantling the mental health hospitals decades ago and it was and is a terrible mistake…one that no one has done anything to remedy. In this Newtown case, if someone had noticed something about this person and intervened, things might not have unraveled as they did. Thanks, Harold.

    • You are right Mary. We shut down the Mental Health Hospitals because there were so many horror stories believing that drug therapies would solve everything. Next the Politicians used that as an excuse to defund the institutions; then even the out-patient treatment centers lost funding; so now we get surprised that we have trouble. The studies I have seen show that most of the homeless suffer with mental health issues.

      Even beyond the big institutional issues, I just wished that folks felt comfortable saying something when we encounter behavior that might indicate a deeper problem. We have managed a substantial change in our attitudes toward reporting drunk driving and child abuse. Those were two issues that were studiously ignored not that long ago.

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