To the Editor:
As we have watched, heard and read the intense 24/7 media coverage of the mind-boggling, heart-wrenching massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, two confounding questions have consistently arisen: why did Adam Lanza commit this horrific crime, and what do we do prevent similar tragedies in the future? In a society that is groping for clues to these perplexing questions, I would like to offer two macro-level answers.
WHY. I am aware that people can and do have mental illnesses. During my years at the University of Connecticut, I took many psychology courses and did volunteer work at Norwich State Hospital. For some, medical treatment and counseling are effective therapies. I would submit to you, however, that the depth of depravity in Lanza’s actions go far beyond mental illness. This depravity goes into the realm of demons and Satan.
In today’s culture, we have intellectualized and humanized evil, departing from the clear teachings and history of Judaism and Christianity going back thousands of years, to the beginning of civilization and mankind itself. For example, if you study the Book of Genesis, the Book of Job, or the Gospels, you will discover that demons and Satan are clearly identified as the sources of evil on earth. The answer to the “why” is spiritual: demons and Satan instigated Lanza to commit this crime and then kill himself. It may sound antiquated to some people, but it is nonetheless true. We must not be in modern-day denial concerning the origin of evil. We still have a spiritual adversary who seeks to harm and destroy us.
WHAT. For decades, many Americans have gradually removed God from their consciousness. Instead of the clear Judeo-Christian teachings and the abundant evidence of intelligent design, they have bought into the deceitful lies of evolution, agnosticism and atheism. If there is no Creator (or none who actively cares about us on earth today), then we are not accountable to a higher power. There are no absolute standards for right and wrong. The result is a society that unravels into a moral free-for-all. If there is no Creator, no soul, life after death, no heaven or hell, then we are free to live short-sighted, self-centered lives without concern, affection, and love for others.
Therefore, the answer to “what can we do to prevent similar tragedies in the future” is to bring God back into our consciousness, into our everyday lives, to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our minds, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. By God’s Spirit dwelling within, we can overcome evil with good.
Editor's Note: Drew Crandall is a business owner and ministry leader in Vernon and the primary organizer of Jesus Fest.