It's sad and frightening for me to think of how the school shooting is becoming part of our culture. Charles Whitman invented this crime, Columbine brought it to a new level of meaninglessness, and now at Virginia Tech we have the worst civilian massacre in the history of these United States.
We must pray for the eternal rest of the victims, including the perpetrator(s), and for the consolation of their families. We must be a support for families and parents who send their children to school each day in the midst of this culture of death.
But if we want to be faithful to the memory of these victims, we must allow this to shock us into a critique of our culture. We must find the compunction that admits that such a massacre is not really shocking in a world where life is so cheap in many other ways.
Old people can get expensive health care but poor children can't, revealing that we care more about money than life. The ongoing normalization of pornography reveals our view that human persons are commodities for consumerized sexuality. Abortion and capital punishment reveal that we understand human life as a relative value against convenience and revenge. Wars are fought amidst tremendous civilian abuse and suffering and loss of life and culture for the benefit of businessmen.
If this is our world, it's hardly surprising that shooting one's peers becomes a mode of self-expression.
We need a revolution in order to change this, and you won't hear about it on CNN. We must change ourselves. As Gil Scott-Heron put it, "the first revolution is when you change your mind, about how you look at things."