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An Essay on Virginia Tech Shootings: Making Sense Out of Senseless Killing April 19, 2007

Posted by Daniel Downs in Chrisitanity, culture war, freedom, Islam, justice, life, materialism, morality, news, politics, religion, secularism, Ten Commandments.

It is not merely how many Cho Seung-Hui killed. The tragedy is not merely the loss of 33 young lives preparing to fulfill their dreams. The senseless evil encompasses our own future. The heinousness of Seung-Hui’s crime is the repeated desire to terrorize a nation.

Columbine massacre was domestic terrorism at its worse. Young men delved into an inescapable abyss raging with fires of hate. So did Seung-Hui. My guess is he did not sleep well. He probably fed his soul with slasher-flicks and books glorifying similar destruction. For one thing, all terrorists seem to have in common is a consumption of hate media. Columbine’s Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold did. Timothy McVeigh did. The 9/11 terrorist did.

Just like Eric Harris, Cho Seung-Hui wanted to escape the grip of evil but no one answered his raging cry. His desperate need was obvious to many. Yet, no one did what it took to redeem his life in this world because no one cared enough to attempt to redeem it for the next.

The quasi-secular view of life religiously ignores any idea of an after-life. I suspect it is because the repressed guilt of practiced wrongdoing (ancient synonyms are immorality, sin) renders many incapable to seriously dealing with God. Besides science, evolution, and the political dogma of personal freedom–liberally defined–cancels any reason to respond to the moral call; the divinely inspired call of moral accountability to imprisoned consciences occasionally screaming to escape their inner dungeon. Such was Cho Seung-Hui.

What was once constitutionally guaranteed became a joke incessantly mocked by intellectuals and their followers. The social utility of religion used to be the moral education of spirit, soul, and mind. The goal was to develop self-governing discipline necessary to live happily and productively in a free world. Since the beginning of the 20th century, money and power replaced the pursuit of the benefits of morality and virtue. Truth bowed to money and happiness to the power that money buys.

Maybe that was what Cho Seung-Hui meant as he railed against wealthy materialists. Instead of crucifying those tendencies to passionate but aberrant lust and greed, he saw what King David of ancient did. Seeing evildoers live without restraint, without troubles, and with painful consequences, David became extremely angry with God. The great king was angry because of the blatant injustice of people suffering because they tried to live life honorable before God while arrogant evildoers lived a life of ease. Unlike King David, Seung-Hui did not seek God. God did not show him the just end of those blithely ignoring their slow destruction. Instead, Seung-Hui looked through a different prism. The demons of Rome’s injustice, a kind of inversion of the Christ’s crucifixion, seem to have risen again in Cho Seung-Hui. He became a type of end-time executioner.

Still the question must be asked: has society heard really his message? Has his twisted act caused the terror and pain he wished? Has the extreme spiral of society’s evil been realized? Has society realized they witnessed the inspiration of ancient demons manifesting their curse?

I think curse is the appropriate term to describe Cho Seung-Hui last will and testament. Is it not a curse when the young act out the niceties of civilized violence, injustice and cruelty? The great civilization of Rome after all discarded their children like dung in-masse. American civilization aborts even more than they did. The disregard for life is often matched by the vitriol spewing out of mouths and pens as well as over the air waves and amongst throughout blog-land.

The right to free speech may be sacred, but so is one of Ten Commandment though shall not murder. Do not even kill with your words is the he law of Jesus Christ. Of course, in a secular society such commandments are meaningless. Even though America’s Constitution developed out of those moral laws, our society that has discarded them by legal fiat holds them in contempt not merely in the courts and all other institutions but more importantly in our post-American hearts.

However, the time of tribulation seems to have arrived, and the testing of America will determine its future. Will Americans shift their allegiance back to their moral founding, or will they scoff at God’s judgment?

If the Bible is of any explanatory value, we may gain some perspective on the present judgment. According to the book of Exodus, an angel of death carried out the last plague that forced Pharaoh to free God’s people. In the New Testament, it is written that Satan used to have that power. In the book of Job, God permitted Satan to cause the death of all of Jobs kids, his servants, to inspire the theft of his livestock, and to plague him with disease. The book of Revelation is also about the past as well as about the present and future events. One of the future events depicts an angel from the abyss, Satan, who causes great suffering not merely to the saints but to those who thumb their nose at God. Could we be witnessing that event? Maybe one similar to it?

It is possible Cho Seung-Hui envisioned himself as a type martyr carrying divine judgment. He identified with the poor, with Christianity, with Islam (an Ismail), and with the persecuted. His tattoo “Ismail Ax” probably was a reference to recent beheadings by Islamic jihadists in the Middle East. It could be Seung-Hui saw himself as simply a martyr for his own sense of moral justice.

As was heard on NBC, the message of Cho Seung-Hui was a religious one. Behind the rant of justice and revenge was this message: Repent, return to what you know is right and good, and honor it. Riches and material goods do not buy life, faith in God, His Christ, and moral virtues do.

Put another way by an anonymous mom on MSNBC:
“I just think that at this time people should use more energy to pray for EVERYONE involved in this situation, including the gunman and his family. This is an extremely sad situation for all and it should be an eye opener for all that it is time for our WORLD to change and I believe that the first place for this is in all our hearts.”

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1. Lance Marchetti - December 18, 2010

Everybody hurts. There are no words left to debate these tragedies. The judgment of God is coming to a rebellious world. The is no escape, except into the arms of Jesus Christ. Believe it.
It makes dying a lot easier.

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