Then, within less than 24 hours, news outlets and everyone’s Facebook feeds exploded with divisive opinions on why this happened. Without even taking the time to fully process and grieve for the horrific acts as a culture, we immediately jumped straight to debating the cause and pointing fingers. While gun control debates following mass shootings are always divisive, it seems this debate has been particularly toxic.
This particular tragedy has sparked a shocking amount of finger pointing. Within days, there were articles blaming the incident on…
- Hillary Clinton
- Christians blamed by CNN contributor, ACLU attorney, gay activist, & NY professor
- Lack of gun control
- Gun free zones
The list goes on and on.
Should we really be surprised by this incident? Of course our hearts should be broken over the tragedy, but I’m not sure we should be surprised by tragedy. Human history repeating sends the message that mankind is cruel to fellow mankind. For all of the progress we’ve made as a species, we can’t overcome man’s inhumanity to man.
Even since I started writing this piece just a couple of days ago, another massacre occurred in Istanbul.
Living in a “civilized” culture gives us a false sense of security. It hides the true brutality and cruelty which lies within sinful hearts. These tragedies remind us of the damage and despair that sin brings.
When did shame become a four letter word?
Anytime the word “Shame” is used in modern contexts, it’s almost always used in a negative way. I just did a Google search of the word, “shaming,” and these are articles found on just the first page:
- Parent-shaming and how the gator attack isn’t Harman
- The Veronicas request groceries from body shaming troll
- Mom’s Facebook rant about parent shaming after gator attack goes viral
- Slut-shaming – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Passenger Shaming – Facebook
- Dog Shaming
- Internet shaming
A similar search for the word, “shame,” leads to you to articles about people who got wrapped up in controversy. Shame is either used as a weapon against people, or as a negative personal experience.
- What if shame has an actual positive purpose?
- What if shame isn’t meant to hurt us, but to help us?
- What if shame wasn’t a weapon to use against others, but a compass for us as individuals?
A feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong
A painful sense of having done something wrong, improper, or immodest
Gossip comes in many different forms:
- Spreading rumors about someone
- Telling lies about someone
- Speculating about someone’s motives
- Over-sharing details
- Telling stories about someone that puts them in a bad light
Whether gossip comes from malicious intent or carelessness, the consequences are the same. Relationships are damaged. Feelings are hurt, and there’s no way to take back words. James compares the power of foolish words to that of a forest fire.
5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
A single foolish sentence can create an insecurity in someone.
A prank gone wrong can ruin a reputation.
An over shared detail can permanently destroy trust in a relationship.
Your words can start fires which you can’t put out with more words!
We tend to have a very strange relationship with the past. We’re highly patriotic about our heritage while being fully aware of the blatant racism, sexism, and cruelty which has plagued most of our history. We love our country while being embarrassed and mortified by the stark reality of past failures.
What now makes us cringe, at the time, was widely accepted.
For over 70 years, it was legal in the United States of America to own another human being. From 1619 until 1808, human beings were kidnapped from their home in Africa, transported to the United States under terrible conditions, and then sold as property. Both before and after our independence, we built our nation using people who were treated as property.
When I was in Bible college, one of my roommates found a book of mid 19th century sermons. One sermon was a “biblical defense” of slave trade.
Today, it’s hard to fathom such widespread cruelty but, at the time, huge portions of the population didn’t even blink at the idea.
I first saw Bill Nye the Science Guy on Back to the Future the Animated Series. As you might have guessed from the title of the show, it was animated, but the show featured live skits with Dr. Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd) performing science experiments. He had a lab assistant, Bill Nye.
Shortly after that show came to an end, Bill Nye received his own TV show, Bill Nye the Science Guy. From that point forward he became a household name.
However, more recently he’s made headlines for his strong positions on less kid friendly subjects. He’s engaged in national debates surrounding creation, and about a week ago he decided to join the abortion debate. Working with BIGTHINK.com, he posted a video titled “Can We Stop Telling Women What to do With Their Bodies?”