Most of us have heard about the young man who went on a shooting rampage in Colorado, killing several young people at a missionary training center, and later on at a church. Such episodes have happened before, and we usually chalk it up to the shooter being mentally ill or "troubled", call it a tragedy, and then move on.
Well, any time we lose a life, and especially a young life, it IS a tragedy. But there is more to this story than just that. The shooter was raised in what the media reports as a "very, very religious" family. He was homeschooled (which is done by many fundamentalist Christians in an attempt to shield their children from the temptations of the world). He was taken to church at every opportunity, and probably taught to read the Bible daily, pray daily, put everything "in God's hands", etc.
Yet, the most recent reports claim that the young man was tossed out of the very missionary program where he committed the fist murders, seemed to have little motivation to attend or finish college, and had been posting anti-Christian rants online for months prior to the attacks, such as this one:
"You Christians brought this on yourselves," Murray wrote, according to the station, which did not identify the site. "All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world."
Obviously, that strict religious upbringing and the isolation from outside influences did NOT prevent this young man from developting serious mental problems, or from becoming a killer. In fact, it forces me to wonder if that kind of upbringing isn't EXACTLY what led to this tragedy.
Many Christian fundamentalists claim that it is our "sinful" world which leads to such horrible tragedies. They argue that living a "Godless" life causes depression, cynicism, and even mental illness, and that it is this which causes people to behave in all sorts of inappropriate ways, up to and including going on shooting rampages. They think that by isolating (from the secular world) and sheltering their own children from those "influences" (like secular television programming and music, or public education), they can prevent such things from affecting the way their kids think and behave.
But as has been shown over and over again, many children raised in such strictly religious environments become even more rebellious than the average teen - turning away from the religion, the family, and in some extreme cases, from society and sanity as well. It seems to me that this current incident is another example of that - a young man who was raised in a strict and perhaps overly devout Christian family who ended up hating the religion he was raised with, and lashing out in the most brutal way against those who still follow it.
Everyone needs a sense of balance in their life, and I think this incident shows us exactly why it's so important.Sphere: Related Content