Unlike any time in our nation’s history, we are seeing a horrible cultural phenomenon where people who are disturbed, evil, and/or mentally unhealthy are deciding that mass murder is a viable option for them.
You can’t argue with the fact that Americans today have relatively easy access to guns. But we’ve had easy access to guns throughout almost all of our nation’s history. Yet these mass shootings are a new phenomenon. According to CNN, of the 27 deadliest mass shootings in US history, 25 have occurred since 1982. Of those, more than half have occurred in just the last 10 years.
Why did we not see these sorts of mass shootings in America before the 1980s?
What has changed? Not our access to guns. We’ve always been a nation of gun owners. I believe what has changed is our values as a society. For the first time in history, the United States is operating as a post-Christian, morally relativistic society. We don’t like to call things “right” and “wrong” anymore, because that is now considered intolerant. And this, in turn, has led to the devaluing of human life.
It’s no coincidence that as we become more secular as a nation, we become more violent. Consider the most violent societies of the 20th century: Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Mussolini’s Italy. They were all secular. The truth is that it’s impossible to establish objective morality apart from God.
NOTE: I am NOT saying people who don’t believe in God can’t be good, moral people. God knows I could stand to learn a thing or two about character from some of my atheist friends.
What I’m saying is that without God there is no logical ground on which to anchor objective morality. If God does not exist, objective morality cannot exist. (And vice versa.) And without objective morality, everything is relative; what’s “right” in your eyes may not necessarily be “right” to me.
In an age where we no longer teach our children moral absolutes, no longer consider human life sacred, no longer consider our sexuality sacred, remove God from our schools and our daily lives, is it really so surprising that our culture is crumbling around us? Within such a morally relativistic culture, is it surprising that rampant violence has become a viable option for the evil and disturbed among us? (See: the fall of the Roman empire.)
Our only hope is Christ and His church.
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” —John 16:33