God's Politics

God's Politics


Brian McLaren: Sorrow Can Make Us Better, Not Bitter

posted by gp_intern

When tragedies like the Virginia Tech massacre occur, we all share certain questions.

Why did this happen? How could this happen? Should anyone be blamed? Should someone be punished?

Often these questions lead us to seek a kind of rational explanation – so that the irrational can be folded into our sense of order in the universe. Often these questions send us on a search for someone to blame – a person, a group, the devil, even God.

I have found that our understandable need for an explanation – often including the need to name someone to blame – springs not just from our rational minds, but also from our hearts, from levels we are barely conscious of.

We feel grief at the loss, pain for our neighbors who suffer, confusion at the irrationality, and anger at the injustice of it all. Sometimes all of these emotions seem to coalesce in a kind of vague rage that simmers inside us, building up like steam in a closed chamber.

We hope that the pressure can be released and the rage relieved by finding an outlet in explaining … or in naming, blaming, and shaming someone for being at fault.

There is certainly a time for seeking explanations, including investigating fault.

But I find we make a mistake in believing that explaining and blaming will help us escape our pain. Pain in times like this, I believe, is not simply something to be escaped, resolved, fixed.

Instead, it is something to be suffered, something that must, in a sense, crash over us like a wave or knock us down like a fever, shake us so that we truly feel our feelings and name them; so that we can speak of them and share them and feel an exchange with others of sympathy, empathy, common grief, and common sorrow.

This kind of sorrow doesn’t make us bitter; it makes us better. It doesn’t make us smug at having an explanation; it makes us humble as we understand our shared vulnerability. It doesn’t make us put up walls of blame; it tears down walls as we feel our common humanity. In so doing, it teaches us wisdom – wisdom that, in the scriptures, is often associated with pain and struggle. It softens us, makes us more sensitive to the pain that others suffer but we often ignore. It forms compassion in us.

We often are tempted to run from this softening process, which is understandable. But as we all share in this experience of tragedy, as we walk through the un-rushable process of feeling and then healing, may we allow the spirit of God to form us into more gracious, compassionate, and wise people. Doing so will raise other questions:

How can I help? Who around me needs to talk? What question can I ask that will allow my neighbors to share their pain, their fear, their anger, their sorrow? How can we open ourselves to the healing presence of God so we can walk together through “the valley of the shadow of death” – so that, even in great sadness, we “fear no evil?” (Psalm 23)

I found myself looking back today on other moments of shared sadness – the terrible assassinations of the 1960’s, the loss of the space shuttle crews, the terrorist attacks of recent years, the outbreak of wars, the 2004 tsunami, Hurricane Katrina … there have been many. I find myself now praying that our current shared sadness will do in us what it can and should. We’re all in this – all of us, all of this – together. Lord, have mercy.


Brian McLaren (brianmclaren.net) is an author, speaker, Red Letter Christian, and serves as board chair for Sojourners/Call to Renewal. His next book, due out in October, will be called Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope.



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jurisnaturalist

posted April 18, 2007 at 12:41 am


The following is a letter to the editor of my campus newspaper:Please bring your guns to class. Many of you have concealed weapons permits. Use them. We must take a stand against maniacs and terrorists everywhere and rearm the common man.The facts are simple. If any one of the victims at Virginia Tech had been carrying a weapon there would be 2 people dead now instead of 33. If any one of the victims on each of the 9/11 airliners had been carrying a weapon there would be a handful of dead terrorists instead of 4000 innocent men, women, and children. Bad people will always get guns. The only way to curb their violence is to be prepared to respond in a timely manner, to be equipped to defend yourself and the innocents around you. I unconditionally abhor the initiation of violence, but I likewise detest that evil is allowed to roam licentiously unchallenged. I personally have brandished a weapon on two separate occasions, both with the result that an evildoer was brought swiftly to justice. No one was hurt on either occasion, but property was restored, and bad behavior was corrected. If you own a handgun, please bring it with you, wherever you go, and know that you have my support and gratitude. If you ever have to use it, you will have the thanks of many more. To the University and North Carolina legislature, I beg you to repeal the safe zone laws that make schools, universities, and commercial airplanes easy targets for terrorism and crime. Nathanael Snow



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Mike Hayes

posted April 18, 2007 at 1:28 am


My recollection is that possession of weapons also leads to accidental discharges of weapons which injure or kill innocent persons.



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Joseph T

posted April 18, 2007 at 3:56 am


There is no reason for any citizen to have a handgun. More weapons will bring more violence not less. I think you are wrong about this Nathanael. It was far to easy for this young man to buy dangerous weapons. America is full of guns and full of fantasies of violent revenge. We need to consider the possibility that those societies who have less violence have something to teach us. I’m afraid we are not learning and that this sadness is far from over.I agree with Brian and Jim there is a need to absorb this, to feel it.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 4:15 am


Joseph T | Homepage | 04.17.07 – 10:01 pm | #Not to burst your bubble. Israel is a country that has one of the highest percentages of people packing guns and they have one of the lowest crime rates. Same with the Swiss. If more good people carried guns evil people would think twice before they tried to do something – they might run into someone with a gun. just a thought – .



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Wolverine

posted April 18, 2007 at 4:46 am


Joseph T, Since it seems we’re going to have to do the Second Amendment debate… There’s a perfectly legitimate reason for some citizens to carry handguns: self defense. Now I wouldn’t go as far as Juris Naturalist does — I don’t think a society where everyone packs heat is going to be a healthy one. But a gun in the hands of a responsible, reasonably even-tempered individual is not likely to cause society any great harm and in a pinch might do great good. I respect an honest pacifist, and I don’t own a firearm myself. But that’s my decision, based on my values and my sense of what is appropriate. In a world where criminals have little trouble finding weapons (and violence is a global problem, not exclusively an American one) I cannot in good conscience demand that law-abiding citizens be disarmed. Wolverine



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D4P

posted April 18, 2007 at 5:49 am


Serious questions: 1. Would Jesus ever shoot (or ever have shot) someone in self-defense? 2. How (if at all) is Question #1 relevant to us?



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 18, 2007 at 5:58 am


We must take a stand against maniacs and terrorists everywhere and rearm the common man. The facts are simple. If any one of the victims at Virginia Tech had been carrying a weapon there would be 2 people dead now instead of 33. If any one of the victims on each of the 9/11 airliners had been carrying a weapon there would be a handful of dead terrorists instead of 4000 innocent men, women, and children. Some points to be made: 1) My high school alma mater now has metal detectors, guns being so prolific in that vicinity. 2) Shooting inside a plane can knock out windows or doors, removing cabin pressure and thus sucking people out.



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Amazon Creek

posted April 18, 2007 at 6:43 am


Regarding protection: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3



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tray

posted April 18, 2007 at 2:59 pm


Brian said: “…It softens us, makes us more sensitive to the pain that others suffer but we often ignore. It forms compassion in us.” Yeah, and one of the things that Americans need to realize is thanks to our quiet support of this misgquided effort in Iraq, the Iraqi people go through multiple Virginia Tech shootings every day. The way you feel about VTech, they feel every second of every day, when 15 bodies pop up here, or 30 die in a suicide bombing there. “Was it my son,” they ask. About 70% of Iraqi children now suffer the symptoms Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome, wetting the bed and stuttering. Still you have thousands more being born disfigured with birth defects because of our use of depleted uranium.Virginia Tech should make us think about what our policies are doing to other people, both here and abroad. People are shocked and horrified because of Virginia Tech. Welcome to Iraq. Now maybe George W. Bush should go to the funerals of those soldiers who are dying in his war, which he doesn’t do. He probably has gone to one, if that many.



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Kristopher

posted April 18, 2007 at 3:18 pm


“2) Shooting inside a plane can knock out windows or doors, removing cabin pressure and thus sucking people out.” Haven’t you seen mythbusters? They did this one, and the myth was busted.Banning firearms will not keep criminals, and psychos like this Cho guy, from getting weapons illegally. So really all that it is doing is keeping guns away from law abiding citizens that would use them to protect themselves from these psychos. I gurantee that Cho would have found a way to get a gun(if he couldn’t get one legally), as his actions show how determined he was to murder.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 3:22 pm


Wolverine | 04.17.07 – 10:51 pm | #The sad thing is that their a significant percentage in our soceity that feel just owning a hand gun makes you unstable. I refer to my previous post about Israel and the Swiss. The ‘gun’ is not the problem it is the person behind it. When we finally get the straight – maybe then we can get some legislation that will make a difference. If the group MADD (mothers against drunk drivers) had used the same logic that the anti gun people are currently using they would be MACK – Mothers Against Card that Kill. As we look at this – we as a community and as individuals need to make the decision between bitter and better. I choose the later and pray that others will be able to do the same. Peace to the famlies of those who died Grace to those who are still fighting for their lives. Later – .



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Paul

posted April 18, 2007 at 3:38 pm


I find the supply side criminology of the gun control advocates interesting, because often these same people advocate making drugs legal, because in their view the prohabition hasn’t worked. If the drug ban hasn’t really worked, then why should we expect a gun ban to work? cheers, Paul



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Paul

posted April 18, 2007 at 3:47 pm

Kristopher

posted April 18, 2007 at 4:09 pm


I don’t find myself saying this a lot, but I actually do agree with this article. My thoughts, and prayers are with the families, and friends of the fallen, and I pray for a speedy recovery for those who were able to survive this tragedy. I think that there also needs to be prayer for Cho’s parents. I can’t imagine what they are going through as well. I am sure they probably knew that their son had issues, but to find out that your son is such a monster must be hard.



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kevin s.

posted April 18, 2007 at 6:45 pm


“I find the supply side criminology of the gun control advocates interesting, because often these same people advocate making drugs legal, because in their view the prohabition hasn’t worked. If the drug ban hasn’t really worked, then why should we expect a gun ban to work?” I disagree that those who would legalize drugs would band guns. I am for legalizing marijuana (the harder drugs have tricky implications) and I am “pro-gun” though I don’t own one because I lack dexterity.



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kevin s.

posted April 18, 2007 at 6:47 pm


“Serious questions: 1. Would Jesus ever shoot (or ever have shot) someone in self-defense?” He wouldn’t have allowed himself to be killed before God’s time came. I don’t see why he wouldn’t have. “2. How (if at all) is Question #1 relevant to us?” Moreso if there was any conclusive information either way. There is no necessary link between the teachings of Christ and not defending yourself, and there certainly is no link between his teachings and not defending others.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 6:48 pm


moderatelad | 04.18.07 – 9:27 am | #Correction -MACK Mothers Against Cars that Kill Fat Finger Mistake Later – .



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kevin s.

posted April 18, 2007 at 6:49 pm


“Please bring your guns to class. Many of you have concealed weapons permits. Use them. ” Since, apparently, your school is not going to defend you. This guy had twice been investigated for stalking, wrote plays about killing people, wrote sick poetry, called himself “question mark” etc…What was he doing as a registered student at Virginia Tech?



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 6:53 pm


I am sure that the campus was plastered wtih signs banning guns.Guess he forgot to read them? When I was in HS – back in the dark ages – I walked in every Thursday morning with my riffle under my arm and put it in my locker. We had ‘gun training’ for students after school. No one ever thought about going ballistic or postal back in that time. (70’s era) Later – .



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Kristopher

posted April 18, 2007 at 7:25 pm


“I disagree that those who would legalize drugs would band guns. I am for legalizing marijuana (the harder drugs have tricky implications) and I am “pro-gun” though I don’t own one because I lack dexterity.” I may be wrong, but I interpreted Paul’s post differently. I think that he was generalizing, and simply saying that often times liberals that advocate gun control are also people who take the stance that certain drugs should be made legal, using the argument that the prohibition didn’t work. He was just showing that there is a conflict in their argument.



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Carl Copas

posted April 18, 2007 at 7:50 pm


My impression is that in the Old West, one of the first things a town marshal would do upon hire was to post a gun ordinance. Something like “No carrying firearms within town borders.” Even in the macho Wild Wild West they had sense enough to understand that such laws reduced the chances of violence. Moderatelad: “If the group MADD (mothers against drunk drivers) had used the same logic that the anti gun people are currently using they would be MACK – Mothers Against Cars that Kill.” A very silly analogy from Moderatelad, who usually offers thoughtful posts. Guns have one purpose: to hurt or kill other living things. Cars have one purpose: to transport people and things from one location to another.



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Another nonymous

posted April 18, 2007 at 7:58 pm


I’m sorry, but a campus where it is necessary to bring a gun to class to defend yourself sounds like hell to me. I am amazed that so many people can apparently contemplate such an option as though it were not a desperate, nearly unthinkable last resort. If this is what we’ve come to, than the grief Brian is advocating should be for more than just the victims of this one event.



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squeaky

posted April 18, 2007 at 8:18 pm


“The ‘gun’ is not the problem it is the person behind it.” True–and the moment I start trusting the judgement of complete strangers and trust that they won’t do something stupid in a moment of anger or irrationality, I will believe everyone should carry a gun. “1. Would Jesus ever shoot (or ever have shot) someone in self-defense?” He wouldn’t have allowed himself to be killed before God’s time came. I don’t see why he wouldn’t have. ” You’re right–Jesus’ life was threatened many times during His ministry. however, whenever the crowd gathered the stones, He slipped past them without either He getting hurt or anyone in the crowd getting hurt. Given this evidence, Jesus would never shoot someone in self defense just to preserve Himself for God’s time. He who has contol over all can certainly escape harm without doing harm to others. That being said, since we aren’t always capable of getting out of dangerous situations safely, perhaps the question itself is unfair… “This guy had twice been investigated for stalking, wrote plays about killing people, wrote sick poetry, called himself “question mark” etc…” I wonder this myself. As a university professor, we have had situations where we have had to call the police on students, or on their behalf (one person was threatening suicide). It’s not an easy thing to do, but it is necessary. On the other hand, I also had a student who wrote very graphic poems about suicide, and when we talked to him about it, he said he isn’t suicidal, but writing in this way is his way of dealing with the tough things he is going through. These things aren’t easy to judge, but it is, clearly, important to raise concerns when red flags rise. Certainly schools and businesses need to develop some clear cut policies on how to handle such threats.



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Kristopher

posted April 18, 2007 at 8:41 pm


“Guns have one purpose: to hurt or kill other living things.” Guns are also used for hunting, and providing food. Another purpose is for protection against sick peoplpe who choose to use guns for killing other people. Moderatelad had a good point. There is one common thing when it comes to gun related deaths, and drunk driving related deaths…stupid people are the ultimate cause of both. If you are for gun control, what is you plan to prevent this type of tragedy from happening again? How do you prevent a psycho, who is determined to kill people, from getting a gun eventually? Realistically, you have to realize that the gun in this situation wasn’t the problem, it was the psycho.



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Carl Copas

posted April 18, 2007 at 8:45 pm


Kristopher: “Guns are also used for hunting, and providing food.” As i said, the purpose of guns is to hurt or kill other living things. I’ve no problem with someone hunting for food and using a gun to do it, but surely a hunter–in this culture anyway–kills the animal before (s)he eats it.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 8:48 pm


Carl Copas | 04.18.07 – 1:55 pm | #A very silly analogy from Moderatelad Carl – think about it.A gun can sit in the middle of a lobby and if no one touches it – no one dies. In the hands of a hunter – it provides food for their family and sport for the hunter. For the person who likes to target shoot – hours of enjoyment. In the hands of a nut – danger.A car – sitting in the middle of a parking lot – no problem. With a soccer mom behind the wheel – she is taking kids to their next game. With a driver in a taxi – people get to places of business and recreation. With a drunk behind the wheel – it becomes a 2000 lbs. killing machine. It is not the object that is the problem – it is the person and their lack of common sence or responsibility. Until we deal with the person behind the gun severly, we are just making laws that will do nothing. The criminal will always have the gun, they only believe in gin control for law abiding citizens. Later – .



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Another nonymous

posted April 18, 2007 at 8:53 pm


Kristopher – Of course it was the psycho that was the problem, but let me make one thing clear. If a student *ever* brought a gun to my class, for any reason, I would do my best to make sure that student was banned from any future class I taught. I also would not rest until I made sure that student received the kind of intervention that Cho Seung-Hui apparently never received. Note to Kevin S.: Matthew 26:52



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kevin s.

posted April 18, 2007 at 9:04 pm


“True–and the moment I start trusting the judgement of complete strangers and trust that they won’t do something stupid in a moment of anger or irrationality, I will believe everyone should carry a gun.” I don’t think Moderatelad’s car analogy was sufficient, but it would unravel this argument pretty well. “Given this evidence, Jesus would never shoot someone in self defense just to preserve Himself for God’s time. He who has contol over all can certainly escape harm without doing harm to others.” But his fleeing is not attributed to any desire to promote peace. Had he pulled a sword, he wouldn’t have gotten very far.”On the other hand, I also had a student who wrote very graphic poems about suicide, and when we talked to him about it, he said he isn’t suicidal, but writing in this way is his way of dealing with the tough things he is going through.” I wrote about suicide once in high school and got dragged to the school psychologist. I explained that I did a lot of creative writing about a lot of stuff, and that I felt that suicide was relevant to write about. The next year I wrote a play that ended with a a psychologist encouraging a suicidal hitman to release his inner-feelings by killing another of her patients on live TV. The school let me direct it.Then I went to Pomona College, which always seemed like a Virginia Tech waiting to happen. Kids would knife professors, set things on fire, keep sheep trapped in closets for days, ride unicycles, join a cappella singing groups. My point is that maybe colleges are a bit too permissive. We dismiss stalking as “one of those things”, and don’t connect the dots between a series of extremely disturbed behaviors.



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Glenn

posted April 18, 2007 at 9:05 pm


Last fall grieving Amish forgave the killer and reached out to his family. They did not strap on firearms. My son goes to Virginia Tech and had a class scheduled at 9AM Monday in Norris 200. His professor was out of town and cancelled the class. My son and all his friends are safe. I do not know that I can forgive the killer but the Lord’s prayer indicates that I should if I want forgiveness myself.



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fredredekop

posted April 18, 2007 at 9:09 pm


The deep grief of Virginia Tech and the U.S. over the killing of 32 people is just overwhelming. I am reminded that this kind of grief is endured almost daily in Iraq. How can they continue to survive when we know that the deaths at Tech make us so sad. Fred Redekop



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kevin s.

posted April 18, 2007 at 9:15 pm


“Note to Kevin S.: Matthew 26:52″ That doesn’t really get us anywhere either.



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jk

posted April 18, 2007 at 9:18 pm


Four large bombs exploded in mostly Shiite areas of Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 178 people and wounding scores the deadliest day in the city since the start of the U.S.-Iraqi campaign to pacify the capital two months ago. Where are our tears and anger over this?



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Paul

posted April 18, 2007 at 9:19 pm


kevin s, I thought that my use of the term “often” made clear that I was talking about “some” and not “all”. I wasn’t making an unqualified catagorical statement equating the two groups. Guess I wasn’t clear enough. I was not saying that ALL those who would ban guns were for legalization of drugs, just as I was not saying that all those who are against banning guns are against legalizing drugs, or some of them. Hope that clears things up. cheers, Paul



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Erin

posted April 18, 2007 at 9:27 pm


Yes, better not bitter. That is good stuff, Brian, thanks!As for the “if this” and “if that” posts from many of you, that really gets us nowhere.I don’t think anyone could have predicted or prevented this horrifying tragedy.I think a gun in the hands of students is just the worst idea. What if other students in that class also had anger issues/ or mental problems? People owning more guns never seems to be a solution to gun violence, at least in the US. If we had stricter laws for gun purchasing he would have never been able to so easily aquire two very powerful firearms.Jesus did NOT kill those who came to kill him. Now, I am not saying “don’t defend yourself” … It is just that this gun violence stuff just gets really overblown (HUGE pendelum swing). That first comment with the student news letter I thought was a joke: a classroom full of students with guns ready to shoot anyone menacing who enters their classroom? that is CRAZY and NOT part of any free, democratic society that I EVER want to live in.



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Another nonymous

posted April 18, 2007 at 9:29 pm


“Note to Kevin S.: Matthew 26:52″ – That doesn’t really get us anywhere either. Why not? Jesus didn’t say “All who draw the sword will die by the sword, but if I weren’t here it would be OK because you need to be able to defend yourself.” Furthermore, I can’t imagine Him saying such a thing. I don’t mean that you’re not entitled to make such an argument yourself: just that if you do, you’re on your own, New Testament-wise.



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Joe

posted April 18, 2007 at 9:36 pm


I just want to thank Mr. McLaren for providing a voice of reason, perspective and comfort during this time. This piece made more sense to me than anything else I’ve read about the atrocities at Virginia Tech.



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whenwillwelearn

posted April 18, 2007 at 9:45 pm


Another nonymous and Carl Copas — amen, and thanks. It’s wonderful to hear sane, rational and compassionate voices on the topic. I am so tired of this (gun control) debate. It should’ve been over SO long ago. Easy access to handguns equals more deaths and tragedy. The rest of the world is dumbstruck by our idiotic insistence on listening to the NRA’s nonsensical bologna. So, Kevin S. and Moderatelad, although I know you both just love to spar with people over e-mail, don’t bother. I won’t look at this blog again. I don’t see how you can say Jesus’ own words (living and dying by the sword) aren’t applicable. Make fun if you’d like, but I will continue to pray for more compassion and more SANITY on the topic of gun control. God bless all the victims, families, and all those dead in Iraq (today being the bloodiest day?). Peace and love of Christ be with you.



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Kristopher

posted April 18, 2007 at 10:01 pm


well, I guess there is no debate ?



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 10:09 pm


whenwillwelearn | 04.18.07 – 3:50 pm | #I am sorry if what I have said upset you. But for those still reading, think on this one. According to the estimates of some insurance companies. Somewhere between 1 in 9 to 1 in 11 people driving on the road is or has contemplated suisied by either driving there car into an object or building or into another car. Think of that the next time you are on an ‘undivided’ highway going 60+ MPH.There are crazy and evil people everywhere – so what are we to do inorder to protect our soceity? I can hit the center hole of a 45 record at 15 paces, if I were being threatened by ‘dummy gone crazy’ with a gun. I would like to have someone like me in the are with a gun to protect me. Peace be to all at VT. later – .



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kevin s.

posted April 18, 2007 at 10:15 pm


“As for the “if this” and “if that” posts from many of you, that really gets us nowhere.I don’t think anyone could have predicted or prevented this horrifying tragedy. ” I think it could have been both predicted (by the sheer volume of evidence that this dude was utterly insane) and if students were to take Juris’ advice, it probably could have been prevented.In terms of law, however, I don’t think any act of legislation could have prevented this.”I think a gun in the hands of students is just the worst idea. What if other students in that class also had anger issues/ or mental problems?” The problem is that, because we have a stigma about guns that is often reinforced by law, the guns are disproportionately in the hands of the people you describe.



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kevin s.

posted April 18, 2007 at 10:19 pm


“Why not? Jesus didn’t say “All who draw the sword will die by the sword, but if I weren’t here it would be OK because you need to be able to defend yourself.”” No, but he did say that anyone who interfered with God’s plan for him would be punished. If this was Christ expressing his divine opinion on the question of self-defense, then why would he go on to tie his command to God’s will for him?He was drawing a comparison between the ways of man and God’s ways. By all appearances, he should have defended himself, but God had a different plan. This does not tell us what Christ would have us do when confronted by a gunman in a classroom.



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kevin s.

posted April 18, 2007 at 10:23 pm


“It’s wonderful to hear sane, rational and compassionate voices on the topic. ” Translation: It’s wonderful when people agree with me. “So, Kevin S. and Moderatelad, although I know you both just love to spar with people over e-mail, don’t bother.” Translation: It’s awful when people disagree with me.



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Another nonymous

posted April 18, 2007 at 10:33 pm


- No, but he did say that anyone who interfered with God’s plan for him would be punished. If this was Christ expressing his divine opinion on the question of self-defense, then why would he go on to tie his command to God’s will for him? He was drawing a comparison between the ways of man and God’s ways. I honestly don’t see where you get this from. The NIV reads: “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” I’ll go back home later and check the Greek, but I don’t find anything in this or the surrounding verses tying this statement to God’s will for Jesus, or stating that anybody will be punished for interfering with it. “All who live by the sword will die by the sword” is about man’s ways, pure and simple.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 10:33 pm


kevin s. | Homepage | 04.18.07 – 4:28 pm | #touchee Later – .



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Carl Copas

posted April 18, 2007 at 11:09 pm


moderatelad, Still don’t see how your analogy brings clarity to this question. All sorts of things can be turned into lethal weapons–ballpoint pins, flower vases, chainsaws, rolled up magazines and newspapers, etc. (BTW, I don’t advocate draconian gun laws–rather like target shooting actually, with pistols, rifles, and shotguns.) BUT only guns are designed for the explicit purpose of harming or killing a living thing. To ignore that distinction is specious and lapses into sophistry. If we take your analogy to cars: our society demands that people be of a certain age, have driver’s training, and possess a government-issued license before they can drive. Would you favor such an approach to gun ownership? Would you go as far as jurisnaturalis and advocate that everyone pack heat?



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kevin s.

posted April 18, 2007 at 11:21 pm


“I’ll go back home later and check the Greek, but I don’t find anything in this or the surrounding verses tying this statement to God’s will for Jesus” Well, Matthew 26:53-54 says this “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”” In other words, the passage reads as this: Put your sword away, for that is how man would deal with this. If I wanted to kill these men, I could do it in a blink of an eye. However, then God’s will (the fulfillment of scripture) would not be realized. If Jesus was so concerned about peace, don’t you think he would have had a chat about the sword earlier? Something like “hey, that sword is heavy, and you are forbidden to use it anyway, so why not just toss it in the water? Blessed are the peacemakers, after all.”



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Another nonymous

posted April 18, 2007 at 11:44 pm


Kevin – I think Jesus did deal with that earlier. One of His recorded temptations (and we can only imagine the unrecorded ones He experienced) was to exercise the kind of worldly power that, as you point out, he refuses to exercise here. He did tell His followers to turn the other cheek if struck, and when they asked him if they should call down fire from heaven on a town that resisted them, He was horrified. When He did express anger, it was never in ways that produced violent consequences. When people appealed to him about the propriety of responding with violence (as with the woman caught in adultery), He defused them by pointing out that such violence would necessarily need to be reflected back on them (“let him who is without sin throw the first stone”). In short, I see absolutely no reason to believe that Jesus would ever have advocated violent self-defense, and every reason to believe that He would have had little patience with those who do.



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moderatelad

posted April 18, 2007 at 11:55 pm


Carl Copas | 04.18.07 – 5:14 pm | #The NRA is the largest gun training organization. It is always been safety first, you don’t store a loaded gun. One of the first things my dad taught me is that you don’t store your bullets with your guns. There are over 20,000 gun laws on the books in the US – could we please start going after the person and leave the object alone and the ability to own it. Should all be packing heat – no, only those that are able and want to do so.Have you ever thought that the new idea of ‘Gun Free Zones’ makes it more apealing for people overcome by evil to think…’hey – no one has a gun in that area – I can shoot all I want and not have to worry about anyone returning fire.’It is the person not the object. Later – .



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Paul

posted April 19, 2007 at 12:03 am


Carl, “BUT only guns are designed for the explicit purpose of harming or killing a living thing. To ignore that distinction is specious and lapses into sophistry.” Are knives only designed for harming and killing? Also, when something is used millions of times and does not achieve the purpose you claim is it’s “sole” one, it seems reasonable to wonder if the purpose that some people put an inanimate object to is it’s “sole” purpose. One also has to account for the thousands of lives that have been saved through the proper use of firearms. Like any weapon, a gun can be used for proper or improper reasons. I would suggest that to deny that is sophistry. cheers, Paul



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Another nonymous

posted April 19, 2007 at 1:50 am


BTW, all the times I have read that passage from Matthew 26, I have never imagined that if Jesus did call down those legions of angels, it would be for the purpose of killing the people who were arresting Him. Getting in the way, perhaps, or lifting Him out of it. Best of all, maybe they would have had the power to change their minds about what they were doing. Why think small? If Jesus could have done whatever He wanted to do, had He so chosen, why would He have been so unimaginative as to kill them?



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squeaky

posted April 19, 2007 at 2:06 am


“My point is that maybe colleges are a bit too permissive. We dismiss stalking as “one of those things”, and don’t connect the dots between a series of extremely disturbed behaviors.” I think, from the news reports I have heard, that the dots had been connected with this guy. The problem then becomes more an issue of how difficult it is to involuntarily commit someone, and that is an issue of personal liberty and freedom. Gets back to my point about what are you supposed to do about people who write the way he did–how do you tell for sure when they are serious, or when they are being creative? Would Stephen King be committed if he were in an English class today? Or better yet–Quentin Tarintino (sp)? His demeanor certainly was concerning, and many people did try to do something about it because they connected the dots between the demeanor and the writings. He was in the hands of psychiatrists at least once–the school placed him in those hands, so how did he get past that? It’s not an exact science–trying to judge the sanity of another human being…



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kevin s.

posted April 19, 2007 at 3:40 am


“I think Jesus did deal with that earlier. One of His recorded temptations (and we can only imagine the unrecorded ones He experienced) was to exercise the kind of worldly power that, as you point out, he refuses to exercise here.” This presupposes that self-defense is worldly and not Godly. “He did tell His followers to turn the other cheek if struck,” Hmmm… Was this literally meant as a response to violence, or was it symbolic of how we are supposed to respond if wronged? In context, it seems to be the latter. Either way, it does not speak to the question of how to ask if you have a gun to your head. “and when they asked him if they should call down fire from heaven on a town that resisted them, He was horrified.” Well, yeah. “When He did express anger, it was never in ways that produced violent consequences.” Except for the fashioning-a-whip thing. Christ’s actions collectively assured violent (though undeserved) retribution. So they certainly produced violent consequences. That said, he was never confronted with any situation in which his interest were best served by responding violently, until the obvious… “When people appealed to him about the propriety of responding with violence (as with the woman caught in adultery), He defused them by pointing out that such violence would necessarily need to be reflected back on them (“let him who is without sin throw the first stone”).” This was about violence in response to someone else’s sin. The context is that men set a woman up to sin as a trap for Jesus, and then wanted to trap him with it. This is about hypocrisy, and acts as foreshadowing of Christ’s new way of dealing with sin. “In short, I see absolutely no reason to believe that Jesus would ever have advocated violent self-defense” If I am to accept your interpretation, then a police force and an army are also forbidden. Is this your point of view? If so, we can work from there.



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kevin s.

posted April 19, 2007 at 3:46 am


“I think, from the news reports I have heard, that the dots had been connected with this guy. The problem then becomes more an issue of how difficult it is to involuntarily commit someone, and that is an issue of personal liberty and freedom” And if I am paying 25-45k annually for my kid to go to school, I expect my child’s saftey to trump the right of a lunatic to attend school with my child. Wanna stalk women? Do it on someone else’s tuition dime?



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Another nonymous

posted April 19, 2007 at 5:10 am


Kevin – I am not saying that a police force and an army are forbidden. What I am saying is that the justification for them, as for any use of force, requires going beyond the New Testament. If you are to base your morality entirely on what the New Testament suggests, it would not include either of these things. To the extent that they are necessary in the real world, they are products of that world and its requirements. What you said earlier is that there is no necessary link between the teaching of Christ and defending yourself. I disagree. If you follow the teachings of Christ, you will not defend yourself violently. If you do need to do so, you are compromising with the real world. Christians, of course, do that all the time: e.g. when we acknowledge that a steady job and a dependable income are necessary to most people who are not called to the kind of radical existence that Jesus led. This may seem like a fussy, casuistic distinction, but I think it is an important one to make. BTW, as I promised, I checked the Greek of Matthew 26:52. Jesus said: “Pantes-gar oi labontes makairan en makaira apolountai.” The verb “apolouo” is the same one that is used, e.g., in Acts 22:16 – “Arise, and be baptized, and *wash away* your sins.” Its use here to mean that those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword thus seems to imply a process of purification, rather than a punishment for a specific act. It’s kind of like saying that if you insist on living this way, you accept the risks that go with it. In all the discussion of the rights of gun owners, though, there seems to be little recognition that those of us who choose not to live surrounded by weapons of deadly violence also have rights. This is one compromise I’m not willing to make, and I think I’m entitled to claim that Jesus is on my side.



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kevin s.

posted April 19, 2007 at 5:23 am


” If you are to base your morality entirely on what the New Testament suggests, it would not include either of these things.” Largely, the new testament does not speak to this. that was my original point.” Christians, of course, do that all the time: e.g. when we acknowledge that a steady job and a dependable income are necessary to most people who are not called to the kind of radical existence that Jesus led. ” Christ does not speak against this. Further, Paul allows for being paid for preaching the word. Jesus did not refuse meals, cleaning of the feet etc… To earn a living is not a compromise with the real world.”Its use here to mean that those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword thus seems to imply a process of purification, rather than a punishment for a specific act.” This would seem to reinforce my point that Jesus is calling us to live by his standard rather than man’s standard. But that is not in dispute here. I don’t see where punishment factors in here.”In all the discussion of the rights of gun owners, though, there seems to be little recognition that those of us who choose not to live surrounded by weapons of deadly violence also have rights. This is one compromise I’m not willing to make, and I think I’m entitled to claim that Jesus is on my side.” Well, there is a constitutional right to bear arms, and the right not to exist in a world without guns is not guaranteed in this country. Your contention that Jesus is on your side is, at best, based on an interpretation of scripture that is extremely favorable to the pacifist position. This interpretation opens up a pandora’s box of issues that, by your own admission, you are not willing to support.



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Another nonymous

posted April 19, 2007 at 5:38 am


- This would seem to reinforce my point that Jesus is calling us to live by his standard rather than man’s standard. But that is not in dispute here. I don’t see where punishment factors in here. I thought you were the one who brought up punishment. Let’s just say that I choose my battles. I generally try not to whine, and you’re certainly right that the constitution doesn’t guarantee us the right to live in a violence-free world. In doing my best, though, to live as though such a world were possible, I believe I am bearing a Christian witness.



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Kristopher

posted April 19, 2007 at 3:13 pm


“Would Stephen King be committed if he were in an English class today? Or better yet–Quentin Tarintino (sp)?” I think that a large difference here between Cho and King, or Tarantino is that King and Tarantino, though they write some crazy disturbed stuff, haven’t been found mentally ill and potentially dangerous by a court. I don’t think that King or Tarantino have ever been caught taking pictures with their cell phone camera’s under their desk of classmates legs and knees. I also don’t think that either of them have had the cops called on them numerous times for stalking female students. If they have, then I think we need to think twice and maybe start connecting the dots. I am not saying that I would have necessarily been able to predict this after seeing all of the signes. But, I think that in this day and age, political correctness and the protection of freedom of speech(in the name of art) has trumped the actual safety and protection of human lives.



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kevin s.

posted April 19, 2007 at 4:49 pm


That he was found to be mentally unstable and still allowed to attend Virginia Tech just about guarantees 32 lawsuits (or one great big one). Whatever your view on this issue, I can guarantee that college’s will see the light once their pocketbooks are in jeopardy.



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squeaky

posted April 19, 2007 at 5:41 pm


Well–your’e right. I’m sure there will be lawsuits. I’d like to think had he been expelled that this whole thing would have been prevented. But somehow I doubt it. Thay may have been the trigger set him off, and then the school would be blamed for expelling him. Or, say that didn’t happen–some other trigger would have set him off, maybe in a shopping mall. This guy was a time bomb waiting to blow, and ultimately, there may have been no way to prevent this from happening. About the only thing that MIGHT have stopped it would be if he had received the help he really needed, and even then, who knows? They let him out after all that he had been doing–he either was better and got worse again, or he wasn’t better and was faking it. We have this need to place blame because it is our way of understanding the situation. If this or that had been done, this wouldn’t have happened–we can’t predict that anymore than we can predict future events. We can’t accept that some things are entirely outside our control, and no matter how I have heard this sliced, no matter all the second guessing and “what ifs” it may simply be that nothing could have been done to prevent this or a similar tragedy from happening with regards to this deeply disturbed young man.



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moderatelad

posted April 19, 2007 at 5:51 pm


kevin s. | Homepage | 04.18.07 – 9:51 pm | #Wanna stalk women? Do it on someone else’s tuition dime? Agree with you. My wife and I had to deal with this (all be it minor compaired to VT) when our daughter was in 5th grade. One male student had an unhealthy fixation on our child to the point of taking pictures with a digital camera phone and telling his friends that he was going to put them on his youtube site. Our daughter called us – we talked directly to the adm at the school. The camera was collected and the disc was taken as evidence. The parents of the boy were contacted and he was suspended for a number of days. When he return to school, all parties involved came to agreement that they should not be in the same classroom. (the district was willing to move him to another school – I thought that was a little too much as we should deal with him and his maturing into a fine young man rather than labeling him that way) He was moved to another classroom and was mandated to attend several hours of counseling.We have gone through another year and he is a better student this year. I ran into the father a month ago and even though we really do not run in the same circles – we know each other. It was a great conversation and he thank me for assisting in their son becoming a better person rather than being punished for being a bad one. We may have prevented another Cho. Later – .



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kevin s.

posted April 19, 2007 at 7:02 pm


“Well–your’e right. I’m sure there will be lawsuits. I’d like to think had he been expelled that this whole thing would have been prevented. But somehow I doubt it. ” I don’t doubt it. I think college has a way of coddling the worst impulses of its students. The guy was lounging around, taking creative writing classes he obviously wasn’t all that serious about.The college life serves as a parallel reality where this sort of rage can incubate, and the fact that certain behaviors are overlooked contributes to the problem. In the real world, these behaviors start to make it impossible to provide for yourself.Of course, there is no cure-all, or any way to prevent any and all students from snapping. However, I think there is some serious lack of due diligence here, and I think universities need to take a longer look at their studentry.



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neuro_nurse

posted April 19, 2007 at 8:45 pm


Regardless of my feelings and beliefs about gun control and free speech issues, I do not believe that in a case like this we can point to a single issue as being the root cause. I think a reactionary response would be ineffective and even dangerous. There were obviously a number of things troubling this young man which in retrospect may seem obvious, but at the time may have been vague enough, while not to have gone unnoticed, not have caused alarm. I am not a parent. I am interested to know what interventions the parents of school-aged children think would be effective, keeping in mind that their children s autonomy and privacy will be at stake, also keeping in mind the limited resources of the educational system in this country. kevin s. “I think college has a way of coddling the worst impulses of its students. The guy was lounging around, taking creative writing classes he obviously wasn’t all that serious about.” You make a valid point, however I think we need to remember that while college students are children, they are also adults and consumers of education.



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Paul

posted April 19, 2007 at 9:32 pm


neuro_nurse, Many wise points, thank you. I am the father of a 20 year old daughter.As to interventions.I would want the university setting to be one that emphasised that we each have responsibilities, not just rights. There was a recent documentary on the Druze in Isreal, and there was a 19-20 year old talking about how he had rights, and responsibilities. I was amazed. Would that more his age had his wisdom. I want universities to be places that teach that public safety is everyones responsibility, and that self sacrifice for the sake of saving others is not foolish, but something that we should all have the right to expect from each other. I want a society that has courage rather than cowardice and self interest as one of it’s primary virtues. I want a society where all adults her age are taught how to tactically respond to situations like this. From what little I have heard, there were a number of moments where someone with the right skills and courage to confront this person.I want a culture where people like this are not such rare exceptions. http://www.israeltoday.co.il/default.aspx?tabid=178&nid=12360 Some other issues are better explained here: http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/CalThomas/2007/04/19/bad_day_in_blacksburg Do I want my daughter to be safe, certainly, but in a world such as God has given us, more than safety, I want her to have courage and the skills to express that courage effectively. What bothers me so much about many of the SOJO “values” is that they lead to things like 250 people being able to be cowed by a few men with box cutters. One oft neglected phrase in the bible is “be strong and of good courage.”Yes, I know I am whistling in the wind, but that is what I hope and pray for. cheers, Paul



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squeaky

posted April 19, 2007 at 9:43 pm


“The guy was lounging around, taking creative writing classes he obviously wasn’t all that serious about. ” I haven’t heard any reports about his student records and how he actually did in school. I’m not sure you have the evidence to judge that. Now, if he HAD been doing poorly as you suggest, the likelihood is he would have been on academic suspension, and could have been kicked out that way. It was more likely he was doing well enough to succeed in his classes and making satisfactory progress towards his degree. So you think had he been expelled the whole crisis never would have happened in any way anywhere. You are saying expulsion would have brought him to his senses. I really doubt that. So he would have been out in the “real world” then, with the same hateful thoughts and feelings. Would the “real world” have done a better job at recognizing the warning signs than the school did? If so, how? If society as a whole was any better at dealing with such unstable people, then I would think these incidents would be limited to college campuses, and would never happen in Amish schools or McDonald’s, or churches, or anywhere else other than schools, for that matter.”The college life serves as a parallel reality where this sort of rage can incubate, and the fact that certain behaviors are overlooked contributes to the problem. ” I think you really need to back that statement up with some facts. If his rage was incubated by the college life (are you saying it wouldn’t have been just by living in society itself?), it seems to me that these sort of incidents would be common place on campuses around the country. furthermore, if this were the case, only college students would be perpretrating this sort of violence. It is as if you are blaming higher education itself for this, and that is a baseless accusation.



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neuro_nurse

posted April 19, 2007 at 10:07 pm


Paul, You make some excellent points; however, I fail to see how Sojo values had anything to do with what happened on those planes. It s safe to say that none of us were there and know just what happened, nor how we would respond in a similar situation. I also think it s fair to say that the people on those planes more or less represent the population of the U.S., so there were certainly people on that plane whose values differed significantly from whatever label you want to apply. This is just speculation, but I know that a scalp laceration, while usually not fatal, bleeds profusely, and many lay people who see that will report that the person s head was split wide open. I think it s fair to say that whatever happened on those planes created an intense feeling of fear which the hijackers used to control the passengers and crew. Anyone who has taken a psych 101 course has at least heard of the Milgram study in which subjects were led to believe the she or he was delivering a painful electric shock to another individual. http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=cache:5WvYi_c29BsJ:sociology.tamu.edu/ackerman/methods1/reading/Milgram%25201963%2520OCR.pdf+electric+shock+behavior The point being, we don t know how we would behave in an extremely stressful situation. You don t know, and God forbid you ever would know, how you would behave in an extreme situation.



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Paul

posted April 19, 2007 at 10:34 pm


Re: the Milgram study You might want to have a look at Eric Fromm’s critique in “The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness”, Where he also deals with the Zimbardo fiasco. cheers, Paul



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neuro_nurse

posted April 19, 2007 at 11:11 pm

Paul

posted April 20, 2007 at 1:04 am

neuro_nurse

posted April 20, 2007 at 2:07 am


Paul, Regardless of the validity of or the conclusions drawn from either the Zimbardo or Milgram studies, the fact remains that none of us know how we would respond during a hijacking or any other extreme situation. You presume a lot by suggesting that Sojo values somehow lead to a group of airline passengers being cowed by a few men with box cutters. You presume to know not only the values of the individual passengers, but their state of mind both of which are impossible for you to know. You have no way to know that given the same set of circumstances that you would behave any differently. Just what are the Sojo values that you presume allowed those hijackings to take place? How is it that you can presume that those values had anything to do with how the passengers responded to the hijackings? I fail to see any logical connection between the values you presume the passengers had and the outcome of the hijackings. I m sorry, but your statement What bothers me so much about many of the SOJO “values” is that they lead to things like 250 people being able to be cowed by a few men with box cutters is absurd.



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Amanda

posted April 20, 2007 at 2:30 am


Really? Your comments to Brian Mc Laren’s excellent blog are about guns? As an alum of Virginia Tech and a mother of a Hokie freshman, I say “thank you” to Brian McLaren. Your blog is exactly what we need to read and hear. This is not about politics. This is about coming together in the face of an unspeakable tragedy. Loving each other and resting in God’s love and his Peace which passes all understanding. Get your heads in the game, boys and girls. Pray for the victims, their families, the Va Tech community, Cho (remember – we are called to love our enemies as well. Christianity is not for sissies…)and all the world who suffer injustice, pain, and tragegy.



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Paul

posted April 20, 2007 at 3:29 am


neuro_nurse, Actually, having been in similar situations, I do know how I and others I know, would react. The way that “nonviolent” resistance is lauded here seems to me more than adequate proof of the sort of inaction that would result in those circumstances. The way that the SOJO crowd attack those who are not their enemies, and make excuses for those who really are, is also a good indication of the moral confusion that would occur during such a circumstance. That I have been unable to articulate the issues in a way that you appreciate, I readily conceed. I’ve had too much positive feedback from other quarters to these notions, to know that “absurd” does not apply. Have a good day. cheers, Paul



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John M. Crowe

posted April 20, 2007 at 5:05 am


Paul, I must say, your blog is one of the more sane ones commenting on this terrible event. I simply want to offer a published sermon on “Prayer and Tragedy”. bachdevelopment.com/BACH7b.htm



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John M. Crowe

posted April 20, 2007 at 5:08 am


Sorry, but what i just wrote was directed to Brian McLaren and his article.



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neuro_nurse

posted April 20, 2007 at 6:19 pm


Paul, Your response was little more than a deflection. I feel that what I wrote in my previous posts adequately represents my objection to your statement. Peace



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neuro_nurse

posted April 20, 2007 at 7:05 pm


For the sake of argument, let s put you in a seat on one of those planes. Suppose one of the hijackers is at the front of the plane with a box cutter to the neck of a flight attendant or another passenger perhaps they have already demonstrated their willingness to kill for this cause. The hijackers, who are dispersed throughout the plane, inform you that if you attempt to rise from your seat, the hijacker holding the box cutter to the neck of that person will severe both of her carotid arteries and possibly her trachea and she will die within a few seconds. You have no way of knowing that the hijackers are planning to crash the plane into a building and you are all going to die anyway, so you cannot employ Fletcher s situation ethics lifeboat scenario of sacrificing one life to save many. You also have no way of coordinating an attack against the hijackers, and the hijackers have assured you that if you just cooperate no one else will be harmed. Again, you have no way of knowing that you are all going to die anyway. What would you do? BTW, you can’t possibly have been in a similar situation because if you had, you would not be alive now.



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neuro_nurse

posted April 20, 2007 at 8:40 pm


AA flight 11 was reported hijacked at 0824 Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower at 0846 (22 minutes after being hijacked) UA flight 175 was hijacked at 0841 At 0858 passenger Brian David Sweeney called his parents and told them that some of the passengers were considering storming the cockpit to take control of the plane. Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower shortly after 0900 (20 minutes after being hijacked passengers unaware that AA flight 11 had crashed into the North Tower) UA flight 93 left the ground at 0845. At 0924 the pilot of flight 93 confirmed receiving a notification that two planes had crashed into the WTC. At 0928 air traffic controllers heard the pilot of flight 93 yelling get out of here! At 0932 passengers on flight 93 began making phone calls and became aware of the WTC crashes. Passenger Todd Beamer placed a call and notified customer service supervisor Lisa Jefferson that some of the plane s passengers were planning to jump on the hijackers. His last audible words were, Are you guys ready? Let s roll. Flight 93 crashed at 1003 in Pennsylvania.



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butch

posted April 21, 2007 at 3:21 am


what is going on



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Sarasotakid

posted April 21, 2007 at 4:31 am


“If Jesus was so concerned about peace, don’t you think he would have had a chat about the sword earlier? Something like “hey, that sword is heavy, and you are forbidden to use it anyway, so why not just toss it in the water? Blessed are the peacemakers, after all.” kevin s.You are basing your point on the lack of a report from the text of Jesus rebuking his disciple for carrying the sword. The lack of a statement in this regard by Jesus in no way supports your point and in essence is a red herring. And yes, Kevin, blessed are the peacemakers. So by George Bush’s own definition, he is richly blessed because he is “making war to achieve peace.” Did you and George sit with the same logic professor?



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Don

posted April 23, 2007 at 3:43 pm


Jurisnaturalist, your pro-gun crap wouldn’t work on any campus I know. No professor or instructor in his/her right mind would enter a classroom if it were possible that some of the students might be armed. I certainly wouldn’t. And don’t say the profs should arm themselves. What nonsense. The key is to turn our nation’s young people away from violence, not to encourage it. You can have your NRA nonsense. I want no part of it. Don



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Paul

posted April 23, 2007 at 5:30 pm


FYI: http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=1c55ec82-41f6-4da2-a9c0-e76169a2ed99 Given the fact that alcohol is a significant factor in more homicides per year than guns,(to say nothing of the fact that it is, probably, the single most common factor in all crime,) should we ban alcohol? Also given the fact that the prospect of “privacy” litigation kept the mental health record of Cho Seung-hui from being reported so the the background check would have prevented him buying the weapons. What does that say to us? From what the Attorney General said sunday, fortunately that problem will be fixed soon. I really appreciate that emotions are running high, but it seems to me that our response should take into consideration Churchill’s comment “The Malice of the wicked is reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous.” I would also suggest that the tactic of simple name calling i.e “gun lobby” is not particularly helpful. It could be as easily retorted that those in favor of more gun control are “criminal enablers”, and while there would be some truth to it, would probably not be particularly helpful. The goal for both is a safer, more responsible society, our differences are on how best to achieve that. Must confess that I really don’t like having to engage this conversation now. Want to get back to praying for, and comforting those effected by this. cheers, Paul



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Paul

posted April 23, 2007 at 5:49 pm

Paul

posted April 23, 2007 at 6:13 pm

Don

posted April 23, 2007 at 6:33 pm


Paul wrote: “Must confess that I really don’t like having to engage this conversation now. Want to get back to praying for, and comforting those effected by this.” I agree. I’m puzzled and somewhat shocked that someone would begin a thread on the topic of grief by reiterating such tedious and worn out gun-advocate talking points. Violence in our classrooms won’t be overcome by encouraging more violence. Don



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neuro_nurse

posted April 23, 2007 at 9:53 pm


To all, There have been several posts here who attribute jurisnaturalist as the author of the first post. Please go back and look at it and note that he begins by writing, “The following is a letter to the editor of my campus newspaper.” He does not say that HE wrote it. I have appreciated jurisnaturalist’s thoughtful posts in the past and do not believe that those thoughts came from his head.



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