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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Laying Blame Where It Should Be...

Jared Loughner
As soon as I heard about the Arizona shooting and that a Democratic U.S. Congresswoman had been targeted last Saturday, without even knowing any of the facts, I turned to my wife and said, "This is going to be blamed as a case of a right wing nut job gone awry."  My wife disagreed, saying it was too soon to know. 

My intuition was right.  Shortly after we got home, I heard Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, blame the escalation of "inflammatory rhetoric" and an environment of bigotry and hate in the country, as factors for affecting weak-minded individuals in our society, despite having only preliminary information about the suspect's motive and absolutely no proof to substantiate his claim.  And, so the finger pointing began (Dupnik later admitted that it was just his personal opinion and not based on the facts of the case).

Who is to blame for twenty-two-year-old Jared Loughner having planned the murder of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and taking the lives of six innocent people, including a 9-year-old girl, and injuring thirteen others in the process?  There had to be a reason.

It didn’t take long for some names of alleged responsible parties to begin to surface, as part of the culture of "inflammatory rhetoric," i.e. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck; the right.

But, as some pundits look for scapegoats and try to analyze what led to this horrific massacre; politics, guns, a crack in the system, his parents, etc., and make sense of this senseless atrocity, an article in National Catholic Register by Pat Archibold today draws a very poignant conclusion.  The source of Loughner's crime is evil and something most people today refuse to acknowledge: sin. 
Almost every bit of rhetoric for the last 72 hours has been focused on who is to blame for Jared shooting so many people, yet hardly anyone blames Jared. They blame the right wing, they blame the left wing, they blame rhetoric, anybody but the sinner. When they speak of him, if they speak of him, they say was driven, he was crazy, he was inspired by this person or that person. Drivel.
Jared did it. I blame Jared.
Pretending that sin and evil no longer exist, we don’t make them go away, we unshackle them.

Nothing is more truly mine than my sin. It is the only thing that comes from me and me alone. It's mine. I own it. Grace is a gift. My sin is mine.

In a world without sin, everything that goes around, comes around. Except blame. Blame just goes around.
Maybe, it's just human nature.  By minimizing and diluting evil and sin, it makes it easier to avoid having to consider where they can lead.  Instead, we are more comfortable finding blame in everything from sanity and guns to politics.

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