Barbarism vs. Jesus "into the Heart of Man"
Over the past several years, there have been a number of incidents of mass shootings, at schools, at entertainment venues and so on. Immediately after these incidents, there is usually a call, by those who reason that fewer guns will result in fewer mass killings, to outlaw or greatly restrict gun ownership. This is usually countered with the argument that if law-abiding citizens don’t own guns, they will be defenseless against criminals who would possess them.
A question that comes to mind is, “Is this an attempt to treat a symptom or a cause?” Why, for example, are mass murders with guns a more recent phenomenon? Why didn’t his happen fifty or even twenty years ago? This phenomenon, it seems, is part of a continuum, of what Malcolm Muggeridge called “the ominous erosion of the moral standards on which our traditional way of life has been based.” (See The True Crisis of Our Time on the St. Michael Broadcasting website.)
It wasn’t that long ago, for example, when small children would go out, unaccompanied by adults, at Halloween. A child could wait alone for his school bus. Motorists would leave their car doors unlocked or windows rolled down when they went shopping. Hitch-hiking was common, until motorists became afraid of whom they might pick up and hitch-hikers became afraid of who might pick them up.
What we have witnessed, and are witnessing, are the effects of the de-Christianization of culture. Bishop Sheen foresaw this in 1946 when he wrote “The moment we cease to be Christian, we will revert to the barbarism from which we came.” Thomas Jefferson similarly commented on the beneficial effects of Christian culture when he said that Jesus “pushed His scrutinies into the heart of man, erected His tribunal in the realm of the thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountainhead.” In other words, instead of only laws against, say, murder, Jesus teaches us to forgive our neighbor, and not to harbor anger or hatred in our thoughts. He teaches us to control our will, and to not harbor evil thoughts, because we tend to become, to do, what we think about.
Jesus said “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”(Mark 16:15) St. Michael Broadcasting is part of this effort, which we hope will help each and every viewer to lead more virtuous lives, and to thereby re-Christianize the culture. A society, a nation, is only as good as its individual citizens.