Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

Evolution for the Catholic Student

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Death and Denial

Death and Denial

When I first graduated high school, I attended UCSB.  I spent two years living in Isla Vista, where my parents had met when they attended UCSB, and where my sister and brother would live after me.  I know the area of last Friday night’s rampage very well.

The carnage in Isla Vista was the latest (and no one expects the last) in a long list of senseless killings that have been plaguing our culture seemingly non-stop.  When are we going to address the real cause?

There are many issues at play here.  We’ve heard a lot already about gun control.  There is certainly a place for such a debate, but it concerns me deeply when I hear that floated as the solution to these problems.  It is not.  I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of those whose loved ones were killed, and certainly keeping guns out of the hands of people like Elliot Rodger is imperative, but there are deeper issues at play here.  As long as we continue to be afraid to address them, these types of killings won’t stop.  (Three of Rodger’s six murder victims were stabbed to death.)

Mental health is a major concern, and ever since Sandy Hook, it has been high on people’s radar.  There is no question that there were warning signs that were missed with Mr. Rodger.  His family tried their best to intervene, and it is incredible that a person seeing multiple therapists would be allowed to purchase firearms.  Truly, there are many issues to address.

But, in my opinion, the fundamental issue that needs to be faced is the culture in which people like Elliot Rodger are immersed.  Look at his “manifesto.”  He seems to have been obsessed with sex, and driven to an insane rage by the lack of attention he received from the “beautiful blonde hair girls” whose affection he wanted.

He reveals that he moved to Isla Vista particularly to attain a sex-soaked college experience and was unable to cope with his disappointment in that area.  Combine that with his mental illness, and you have a powder keg ready to blow.

But for whatever reason, for all his obsession with sex, this young man had no idea what love is, or at least no desire for it.  This is the culture of our college campuses.  His rage was due to the fact that everyone else seemed to be attaining the disordered desires he aspired to, and he was missing out.

This over-sexed, anti-love environment is epidemic on college campuses, and let’s face it, in culture in general.

Add to that the fact that our youth have been born and bred in a culture of death, and there will be an unending stream of carnage, which is exactly the fruit we have reaped.

Our culture is based on death.  Every young person has had direct experience with abortion, if nothing else, as a survivor of the holocaust.  More innocent babies die every day (not to mention the women and men wounded so deeply by abortion) than victims of indiscriminate shootings each year.  We can not sow so much death and be immune to the deadly consequences.

Family breakdown is the norm.  The definition of marriage is trampled (reinforcing the notion that the desires of adults outweigh the legitimate needs of children).  The scourge of killing the innocent spreads from the beginning of life to the end of life, to those whose disabilities create for them in the words of some of our esteemed “ethicists,” “life not worthy of life.”

This is the culture we have created: founded on death and obsessed with sex.  God has been removed by order of the state.  These young people, all of whom have been created by God and for God, have been told by their public schools and their local government, that God is not allowed.  No Bibles, no pictures of crosses, no “offensive” prayer.  Our culture has taken away their hope, their true destiny.

So let our politicians continue grandstanding about gun control.  Let’s keep examining the issue of mental illness.  These are worthy of debate and consideration, it’s true. 

But whatever we do, let’s not look at the real problems: the culture of death, an economy driven by lust, the breakdown of the family, and the deeming of God as “offensive.”

As long as we keep our collective eyes closed to these issues, we shouldn’t have to rock the boat.  We’ll just need to continue ducking for cover.


Note: In every article including abortion, I try to mention the incredible healing and forgiveness available.  Abortion does not destroy the love of God.  Visit