As with pretty much all people I was saddened to hear of the reports of the mass murder in Arizona, just as I am when I hear of any such occurrence. It is quite natural for people to wonder at motives when an apparent political assassination is also involved, but experience has shown me this to be common but misplaced.
Too bad we often look for motives instead of praying for the victims and their family and loved ones. John Kroll, Gabe ZImmerman, Christina Taylor,
Dorwin Stoddard, Phyllis Scheck, and Dorthy Murray were all murdered by this one individual along with others seriously injured including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. To no credit to myself, I at least had the grace to remember to pray when I first saw this story, but still wondered about motive afterwards. Though I also realized motives in these cases are difficult to analyze. Though it does not take a prophet to realize that such acts are of seriously disturbed persons, as was true in this case.
I was also saddened to see the Wellstonian treatment of this story soon after it was reported. I refer to the funeral of the tragic death of Paul Wellstone that was hijacked and turned into a political event attacking Republicans. Using tragedies to promote political agendas is about as classless as you can get. I guess I was not surprised to find the the supposed causation was Sarah Palin. Naively I thought this stupidity would go away once more was known about the killer. Now I am no Palin fanboy in that there are some things I admire about her and some things I don’t, but the irony of blaming a political climate of hate on Sarah Palin using hateful rhetoric seems to be lost on the accusers.
The accusations say more about the accusers than anything. I think it was in Orthodoxy when G.K. Chesterton wrote, and I paraphrase, that an insane person is not somebody who had lost there reason, but someone who only had there reason left. As with most of Chesterton’s paradoxes this is another one that makes more sense as you think about it and reading about Jared Loughner’s rants on literacy and grammar among other things – further shows Chesterton’s insight.
Now if you want to show causation in what you call a political climate of hate it seems to me that using a disturbed individual as proof does nothing of the kind. To show such evidence you would want to point to common people committing acts of violence in response to political rhetoric. History is full of such acts. I would add another definition to Einstein’s’ definition of insanity in that using a seriously disturbed individual for proof of causation is also insanity.
For example Unibomber Theodore Kazinski and Discovery Channel gunman James Lee were both heavily influenced by Vice President Al Gore’s books in response to the “act now” rhetoric he used. But the real causation was that both of these men were disturbed and that while Gore should be accurate in his environmental consequences, he is in no real way responsible for the actions of these two men. The mystery of evil is indeed a mystery and thinking you can analyze the psyche of the deranged and draw a connection of points between cause and action is the daydream of the materialist.
I also don’t care about lists of hateful words and actions Democrats have said or done or that they had also used bull-eyes and targets to represent congressional districts to defeat. There words and actions also have a lack of causation when it comes violence in the political sphere. While there is some related violence, the case can’t really be made for direct political rhetoric causation.
There is some question as to how the Culture of Death affects violence and the cheapening of life. Certainly the abortion attitude has depersonalized the child in the womb as a thing that can be destroyed at will. Abortion, euthanizes, ESCR, ect; further cheapens human life and nihilistic killers in a Culture of Death is an expected outcome. Though again direct causation between this attitude and individual acts is not easily proven.
One of the things that annoys me the most about the charges is that once more information was know and the murderer turned out to be a left-wing disturbed individual unhappy with his Congresswoman not being Democrat enough for him – the charges remained the same. As more information comes in it is the part of our human reason to revise our projections – if we fail to do so we are not using reason. Instead we are wearing political lenses that cause myopia.