The Education of Every Mass-Shooter

Every person who picks up a firearm, knife, or machete in order to murder innocent victims has been “socialized” to commit murder. Every child and young adult today has been conditioned in destruction, for every mass-shooter knows this:

  1. That he is only alive because her mother found her convenient.
  2. That he is alive only because his father didn’t push his mother to abort.
  3. That he is alive only because her mother didn’t learn of a congenital birth defect from an ultrasound.
  4. That he is alive only because he wasn’t one child too many.
  5. That he is only alive because her mother was willing to take time off from her career.

Every child living today knows that his or her life is by the permission of someone else; that the life they enjoy is not a right, but an allowance, a permission. There is nothing unique or special about them other than that they were wanted at a particular time. They may have had siblings who were not wanted, who were the disappeared. Some even knew their twin (and more) siblings in the womb before, suddenly, one was gone.

Every child living today knows that their life depends upon someone else’s permission and that someday they can choose life or death for another: their own child before birth, their own disabled child, or an aging parent.

Someday they may decide that life itself is not worth much. It doesn’t seem to mean much if it can be tossed away so easily. Every help is given to the mother who wants to end life, and very little to the life itself, or the mother who cherishes it.

Every mass-shooter has grown up in this world and has lived these truths. Each takes this to heart. Then they merely act on what they have been taught.

Is it not odd to expect a different behaviour than that which is taught?

When the lives of others are so worthless, is it a surprise that they become targets?

Can we expect a society of peace when life is so disregarded?

We cannot simultaneously instill a respect for life and its disregard.


Why Mass Shootings? The One Common Thread

Why mass-shootings? In the past week, the following have been presented as possible causes:

  1. The easy access to firearms, and failures of gun control to prevent access.
  2. Mental illness
  3. Fatherless young men.
  4. Toxic masculinity
  5. Violent video games

I can see how any one of these could be a contributing factor (especially #3 and 5), but I do not see in any of these a strong thread that runs through each case. In seeking a reason, a cause-and-effect, a common “root cause,” there must be something that is unmistakeably connecting each case of mass-shooting.

That something is the nihilistic culture of abortion and euthanasia. I use the term “culture” in the usual sense: “the customs, ideas, and social behaviour of a particular people or group.” A culture is assumed and normally left uncritiqued. Because of the innate status of culture, it is no a matter of debate that modern European, North American and Australian culture is secular, scientific, and pro-choice. For a vast majority, these things are settled. Abortion and euthanasia are no longer understood as horrific anomalies but as the new normal.

A culture is passed on to each new generation in every sphere of life. No one at any time was enrolled in a course called, “Your Culture,” but receive this cultural indoctrination from birth. For example, since Roe vs. Wade in 1973, every individual knows that their life was allowed only by the arbitrary choice of their mother. When I was born, abortion was illegal (although it happened) but was also unthinkable to most people. No public-school teacher would have kept her job if she suggested that abortion was an option. Abortion was understood as the taking of an innocent human life, full stop.

Since that time, however, every young adult, at least from middle school and older, knows that they could have been aborted (parents tend to keep the reality of abortion away from their young children, belying its shame and guilt). Rather than mother carrying a child to full term, she now carries a fetus, or a POC (product of conception), but most certainly not a human being. Pro-life people commonly call this “the culture of death.” It is a culture because it is as accepted as the air we breathe; it is the ocean in which we swim. This culture has grown beyond the abortion of unwanted children to the termination of imperfect children so that those discovered with birth defects are eliminated. Sex selection abortion is also common in many cultures. The culture of death has also spread to euthanasia, first passive and voluntary, to active and involuntary and back to infanticide. The targets of euthanasia were first the terminally ill, but has quickly s ead to include the disabled, the elderly, the infirm, and those deemed to not a life worth living. It took quite a while to get from abortion to widespread euthanasia, but now that euthanasia is legal in many jurisdictions, it is quickly spreading and its applications, limitless.

The abortion culture needed time from 1973 to early years of this century to incubate enough adults who would advocate and even legislate euthanasia. Just as abortion was unthinkable in the 1950s, euthanasia would have been unthinkable in 1973 because its victims are physically visible and present in a way the unborn child is not. Men like Francis Schaeffer, C. Everett Koop and Charles Colson argued repeatedly that abortion must lead eventually to euthanasia. They may have been inaccurate as to its speed. Euthanasia did not, indeed could not, occur much sooner than it has. Euthanasia required a massive shift in the understanding of the value of life, and it took a generation for that to occur. Abortion provided the cultural foundation for that shift.

Subsequent generations are now immersed not only in the reality of abortion, but in the very possibility that their lives will be shortened through euthanasia at some point in time. At the time of the Columbine shooting euthanasia had not yet been widely accepted, yet the shootings still occurred. I believe that as life is capped by the new-arbitrariness of birth and time of death, the cynicism, the nihilism of the culture of death can only continue to spread.

A common thread in abortion and euthanasia is atheism. Liberal Protestantism aside, it takes an atheist to abort (and liberal Protestantism is founded in atheism). Since, in this view, humans are not created in the image of God, a “fetus” or “invalid” can be treated as any other accident of nature. The abortion/euthanasia culture has permeated society to such an extent that the worldview of modern society is nihilistic, that is, the view that life is meaningless. In a naturalistic/materialistic universe (the official doctrine of the public education system), human life is a meaningless accident, that could have been snuffed out at birth and will quite possibly be ended by someone else’s will when it is deemed unnecessary. The thoroughness of this culture is not only its legality, but its backing by all modern states. With the concern over rising health costs and an aging population living longer than previous generations, euthanasia will become mandatory in many cases.

The same people who will require euthanasia be mandatory have been immersed in the abortion culture. The people who would protect the elderly, infirm, disabled and ill are now all dead.

The common thread that connects each of the shooters in the schools is that of the death: physical life, as we experience it, is a meaningless accident of existence, and there is no life that is not physical. “Spiritual” life is now considered an activity of brain, chemistry, and environment. Many live this physical life, and do not wish to terminate themselves or others because they have discovered some intermediate purpose in life. These are not reflective on the implications of their worldview but exist for the present and have somehow come to terms that nothing in their lives have ultimate meaning.

The shooters are the consistent thinkers, who act out the implications of their worldview, their culture. It is impossible to be surprised that children, who are taught daily that any life that “gets in the way” (the unborn, the weak, the unfit) can therefore be eliminated, will not someday connect the dots and end up committing horrendous crimes. The idea that human life, understood as created in the image of God, has long ago been abandoned. We now have the inevitable consequences.

The problem has taken a couple of generations to surface. It will take much time to heal: It not only requires bans on abortion and euthanasia, but hearts that are changed to the degree that abortion and euthanasia are unthinkable. I do not see this happening, outside of a complete cultural collapse and Christian revival. I cannot offer solutions grounded in the culture that created the problem. I can only show the conditions by which a solution is possible. There will be those who believe they can have both the culture of death and prevent nihilistic mass-shootings. They cannot. Every solution that ignores the culture that creates the problem will only end in more death.

Happily, there are sub-cultures who reject the culture of death: I speak of Christianity. None of the mass-shooters were Christians. There’s a reason for that.

The Next Great War Will Be Between Generations, and Unwinnable.

As student protests in Quebec show, the issue isn’t really about tuition fees. Quebec has the lowest fees in North America, and after adjustment for inflation, reflect those of about 40 years ago. Now that the protests are starting to spread across Canada, and with the Occupy movement, mostly made up of youngers, it is easy to see the divide: those elders who have had job security, a good lifestyle economically, and look forward to a secure retirement verses those who see only entry level jobs, higher taxes to pay for elders’ retirements, and no secure future no matter how much education is acquired.

Mainstream media almost seems giddy about the prospects of civil unrest from this war—it is a simple thing to draw up battle lines, ideologies of those expecting entitlements and those who think everything should be earned. The real hypocrisy of the whole thing is that no one in my generation (the elders) earned everything they now have. Ours has been one of the most selfish generations in human history. We wanted it all: government programs, low taxes, and the deficit spending to pull it all off. The youngers rightly ask, “Why should we be taxed heavily on our minimum wage jobs to pay for your retirement, since you didn’t save enough for it?” But the youngers, however, don’t have the moral high ground either, because they have yet, for the most part, to repudiate the materialism our generation bequeathed them. My generation believed  mostly in capitalist-materialism, with a socialist’s expectation of benefits, and the youngers assume a socialist, or communist materialism, with no clear means to pay for it. So the priorities might be different, and how the benefits of society are shared are certainly different, but in the end the same problems will remain: nothing can be had for nothing, and no one wants to pay.

We elders began to teach that everyone had equal opportunity, that with hard work most anything is possible. Perhaps because that isn’t entirely true, we changed the story (to soften the ugly truth that we are not all equally gifted) and started to teach that all outcomes will be equal. So we hear children being told that they can be anything they want to be. Women were told that they can have it all: a mother equal to stay-at-home and an exciting, fulfilling career, social life, etc., and etc.

So now at this point, youngers see the elders has having had it all, and passing the bill on to them. This is not entirely untrue. Elders see the youngers as spoiled and whiney, asking for everything to be handed to them by the government, forgetting just how much government-love they received over the years. Youngers see the elders as needing to get out of the way. What we don’t hear so much is what the youngers might want. Do they want the same benefits we had? Probably, and more. Who will pay for it? Their great-grandchildren? That generation probably won’t be any more accepting of the debt than they are. Take if from the elders? That pool shrinks with every day, although with confiscatory taxation, estates can be divided up among the masses, rather than handed on to the children of the deceased.

This battle is unwinnable, because age is not a fundamental differentiator between people. All youngers will become elders. Whatever punitive measures they mete out to elders will be waiting for them as well, in spades. For if the youngers attack to elders, which, has been suggested, extends even to the limiting of lifespans, how do they think a different fate would await them? And only an elder knows how quickly we age! Furthermore, by attacking the elders, the youngers set a precedent, and teach their children to do the same.

Likewise, the elders cannot hurt the youngers—we need them to be happy, productive workers who earn enough for a good lifestyle and who can pay taxes to support us in our last years.

Where Christians need to be in this

I don’t think Christians have done generational thinking very well. The secular world brought us age segregated education, after removing it and apprenticeship from the home, and the church has been all too happy to buy into it. Churches are still the most segregated places found on a Sunday; today not so much by race but by age.

We need to learn to think Scripturally.

Jesus said a disciple is not above his master (Luke 6:40). We cannot learn more from a teacher than that teacher can teach. The youngers will be like their parents, unless a true conversion takes place, and they receive a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). Christians must present a new way for youngers and elders to live together.

The resentments between generations should not be a part of the Christian experience.

Since I was quite young in the ministry I thought this would someday be a problem. There are many things I didn’t know when I was young, but I did know this: “I shall go to him (old age) but he (youth) will not return to me” (a not entirely invalid application of 2 Samuel 12:23).

I remember seeing a ministry posting in a church magazine that said, “we are looking for a man under 35, with a family.” This bothered me, because at 27, if asked to serve there, I could expect to be dismissed from that church in a mere eight years! This ad was not an anomaly, but was very common then as it is now. But is that a Scriptural approach to ministry? To the relationship between generations? The Bible seems to say that youth have energy, elders have wisdom. Youth is something that, with God’s grace, you’ll get over (Proverbs 1:4, 2:17, 5:18, 7:7). When I see such advertisements for ministers, I immediately assume that that particular congregation doesn’t value wisdom or experience. Now that I’m 55 I’m just as bothered by it, because it switches the world’s obsession with youth with God’s blessings upon the aged.

The battle between the generations is not only unwise, it is ungodly.

 As with all problems the Christian churches face, the solution must be found in Scripture. We must become so immersed in the world view and thought processes of Scripture that we do not fall for the faux solutions and satisfactions of the world.

If you are a younger, remember to respect elders.

1 Timothy 5:1–2 (ESV): 1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

If you are an elder, be the kind of person you want the youngers to be:

Titus 2:2–8 (ESV): 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Do you see the relationships here? The elders must never say, “I raised my family, I’m done with youngers,” and the youngers must be teachable, willing to honourably listen to their elders. Being older is something that should be aspired to, not despised. How does that compare to the messages you’ve been getting in media lately?

Those who wish to stoke the flames of discord will push the elders toward more selfishness and stinginess, and will urge them to limit their compassion and mercy toward the youngers. The world says, “The younger generation is a generation of losers” (I think my elder generation thought the same of us). They will also encourage the youngers to be resentful and jealous, “Shove the elders out of the way and take what’s yours.” This is the world in which we are to be light and salt.

Thinking Christianly, we need to understand that retirement is a pagan concept, and no one who is able to work has a right to a 20 or 30 year vacation, no matter how much money they have been given. Christians must re-define aged-ness. Of course some kinds of work has to be curtailed as physical and mental limitations occur, and Christians have a responsibility for compassionate care. Likewise, no younger generation should think that they are entitled to gain benefits without labour:

2 Thessalonians 3:10 (ESV)

10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

Older Christians need to share what they have with the youngers, being money, food, housing, and if possible, employment:

2 Corinthians 12:14 (ESV)

14 Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

Deficit spending for decades was and is morally wrong, and older Christians must learn how to compensate for that. The church is the model of that community.

Everything you hear from the world on generational relationships will be a lie. Christians, follow God’s leading.

©2012 Scott Jacobsen