Sunday, January 6, 2013


Where did this come from, this tragedy of twenty six, teachers and kids, shot down in an elementary school?  All particular details are yet unknown, but the answer will include a simple theme: violence rules—its proper use is heroic {the deranged also think so}.  Even from my bucolic 1950’s middle class parochial-schooled childhood, I know some of the roots of this story.

We’re taught from the earliest age, Cowboys and Indians, war games around the neighborhood—the mythology of the violent hero.  Glamour, accomplishment, self-sacrifice of the fighter gone down in a hail of bullets, while inflicting ultimate damage on the enemy---at first just your boyhood friends, and you’ll all wake up the next day to play again.

 A darker superhero has emerged. “Forgive us our trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us,” has been banished from this adaptation, misusing the words of the “Our Father.”
Later more serious violent video first-shooter rated M [“mature”] pre-training for possible real war.  Real damage still only expected to the enemy, blood spilled far away on the other side of the remote control screen, by avatar, drone, or other high-tech armament.  But the damage, inside of the violence recruit, is already being done, well before any enlistment.  Induced mental illness of dehumanization, desensitization corrupts first the soul of the victimizer, before it also bodily devastates the victim. 
One of the many new anti-heroes -- named "Deadpool"
Glorification of violent heroes through most of our TV and movies, the training for war mentality—Pope John Paul II termed it the “culture of violence.”  The nonviolent unconditional, merciful love of Jesus, along with the compassion of Buddha and the mercy of the Koran, is trashed daily in our media.  There is a small nod to random acts of kindness, and a giant adoration of those who readily kill for a righteous cause when called upon—organized violence.  After the vicarious immersion, and then training and experience of killing {by our armed services, or drug mafia, or survivalist militias, or NRA} we expect a return to normalcy and family values.
It’s time for gun owners and gun dis-owners to come together and declare that guns in the public domain should never be designed, owned or stockpiled for the purpose of killing people.  If one chooses to own a gun it is to shoot game—provide meat for the table.  The idea of the homeowner armed to the teeth against robbers, outlaws, abusive government agents, terrorists, minions of the police state, and/or whomever else might come to the door, only perpetuates the pervasive bad attitude that one must always be prepared to dominate and to kill.
Yet Jesus our supreme savior hero, servant-commander, exhorts us to “Love one another as I have loved you.”  And “love your enemy, pray for those that persecute you.”  His kingdom, household, and private property are all, not of this world.  So for our protection what do we need? "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” Mt 16:24   Put away the sword, and the glorification of the sword.
his weekend we celebrate the coming of the Magi, their society’s 1%, with their precious gifts, to worship the lowly child savior, born in a stable.  A voluntary divestiture!  What message does that bring to our world’s 1%, and our entire country, the richest people in the history of our planet?

 “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11; icon taken from:

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

For more on the new dark superhero of comics and video games --

* Click on blue text anywhere above for more info, and on pictures to enlarge


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