To the Reader's Forum:
The horror of evil devastated Newtown, Conn.. We are left to cope with the fallout, agony, and questions gripping us. Evil of this shocking magnitude calls for serious and sober reflection, not rash reactions, like we heard from some politicians who eagerly rushed to exploit it for their agenda.
We have to face evil on three fronts: experientially, intellectually, and practically. For those, like in Connecticut, the experiential front of facing it calls for a humble presence, a listening ear, few words, arms to hug, a shoulder to cry on and brief prayers sensitive to the tenderness and anguish of the situation of those experiencing it. Job 2: 13 illustrates it well as Job's friends initially sat with him silently because his suffering was immense.
The second front is intellectual. It is not illogical to have evil and God exist in the same universe. As C.S. Lewis viewed it, we would not know if a line is crooked without knowing what a straight line is. Likewise, we can only know what evil is by what good is. Everyone knows that good and evil exist together, but why they currently co-exist is best explained through Scripture.
Furthermore, evil is not a thing. It is an absence of a thing, like cold is the absence of heat and dark is the absence of light. Evil is the absence of good. God created man "very good," but man rejected good and in the absence of good, evil set in. The drama of evil beginning dismally for man in Genesis ends with God decisively swallowing it up in victory through Christ. That victory is our hope.
The third front is practical. As the enormity of the evil makes us examine all factors; let me submit two. No matter how well-intentioned it may have been, Newtown's gun-free school zone instantly turned into a victim disarmament zone of murder void of Second Amendment protection. Statistics prove that gun-free zones are big targets for mass murderers.
Shouldn't we learn from Israel and apply what they did to deter murderous violence in their schools?
Besides being a gun-free zone, government-run schools are "God-free zones." The school-sponsored prayer, "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country" has been banned since 1963. In the absence of prayer, aren't we more vulnerable to evil than we are already?
The Rev. Mel McGinnis