Monday, December 17, 2012

Turning Tragedy Into Politics

Rahm Emmanuel is currently the mayor of Chicago and previously was White House Chief of Staff. In 2008, he said:
"Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."
This has become a powerful way of thinking for most politicians. They use tragedies, crises, and evil acts of others to advance their own political agendas. This has been evident in the reaction to the horrible evil that happened just a few short days ago. Within hours, both sides of the gun-control issue started to make arguments for and against gun control. I won't get into it here, but suffice it to say that I find such reactions remarkably callous, shallow, sad, and especially significant.

Why "significant"?

It shows just how much modern culture believes the solution to our problems can be fixed through political policies. It assumes we have the "power" to prevent evil (by either having more guns available for law-abiding citizens or getting rid of them all together).

Both sides of the argument miss the point. Evil is senseless.

To make sense = "to have meaning."
Yet, evil is not a thing and therefore has no meaning. In fact, it is a lack of something. Evil is a lack of goodness. Just as darkness is a lack of light, so evil is a lack of goodness. When we think of it this way, we see that God, who is good by His nature, did not "create" of "invent" evil. Rather, it is God's creatures' failure to be good which allowed evil to enter into existence.

So, political solutions may provide an illusion of meaning, but ultimately they fail. There is no meaning to evil outside of the cross. From the cross Jesus screams out to us:
"I know it hurts, I too have suffered. But, suffering is my way of salvation for you and for many others. Combine your suffering with mine and great good will come of it.
I hear your cry to heaven and I am with you still.
Do not lose hope, but believe and be saved.
Your suffering is only for a short time.
Soon you can rest with me.
Believe. Love. Hope.
I am with you."
But, when we interject a political solution into such tragedies, even before the bodies of the slain are laid to rest, we give a much different kind of answer to the problems:
"There is nothing good that can come of this. There is nothing except evil here. Thuse, there is nothing which can help us except making sure it never happens again. If you would only believe in the almighty political solutions, then we can eradicate evil and create a world without such tragedies."
Ultimately, it is an exercise in nihilism and is a statement that our culture has forgotten the crucified Christ. It is a belief that there is no higher power than the government. Thus, it shuns hope.

I say "no" to such politics.
I say "no" to such lies.

This is not to say there is never a time for political debates, but the right time is not while the wounds are so fresh. Not unless you believe you should "never let a serious crisis go to waste."

Christ is coming to meet us once more in a few short days as a little baby who, as a man, will suffer just as the children in Newtown, CT did. He is not a God who fails to understand and provide TRUE meaning to the riddle of evil. Just as St. Paul once wrote:
"Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." -Phil 3:8-11
Pray. Mourn. Believe.

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