So Virginia Tech. I watched that poor psychotic bastard last night on the news. Like everybody else, I’m thinking….he kills two people and then takes a two hour break to make a video and….nobody does anything? I mean, don’t you start running around at that point, locking doors, getting people the hell off campus?
And of course I immediately think about the kids, esp the eldest. And yeah, I think about me, standing in front of a classroom 6 hours a week. I don’t think I’m afraid to die, but I hate to think of my kids having to deal with it, because that would suck for them. But of course the thought of your own kids dying is 100 times more horrible than dying yourself. I can’t look at the pictures of any of the people who died. I can’t imagine what their families are going through. I can’t imagine what Cho’s parents are going through, which must be some form of inconceivable hell. God. There’s nothing you can say at a time like this that doesn’t sound stupid.
The thing that people forget about Clockwork Orange, a lot because the movie is so razzle dazzle that it obscures it, is that it’s really about free will. Good and evil are choices. Is what’s greatest about humankind the ability to choose good, or is it the ability to choose, period? If you believe in God, you have to admit that it was pretty audacious of him to put free will into the picture. I mean, it would have been easier if we were all puppets, at least from the creator’s standpoint. So part of the answer to the question of “why is there evil in the world and why does God allow it” is, well, love. Any parent knows that you don’t want your kid to do good stuff because you force them to, you want them to do it because they want to. And sometimes they don’t, sometimes they will make incredibly fucked up choices like Cho. And a whole bunch of people die, horribly. And the blame is clear, but really, what good does that do? Yet if you’re consistent theologocially, God still loves the Chos of the world. Maybe that’s why people hate God.
As horrible as VTech is, it’s a tiny tiny fraction of what people are living with in Iraq every day. The thing that’s really racking me out is the fact that Cho’s getting all the news, and yet a hell of a lot more than 32 families are mourning their dead today in Iraq. And more tomorrow, ad nauseum until this asinine war is over, which may be never. And forget Congo, Uganda, Darfur, and a bunch of places I don’t know about. Horrible stuff happening all the time. It’s enough to make you hate God, not believe in God, curse God and die.
But I don’t.
In my trial by fire, which was Karl’s illness and death, I tried to, but it didn’t take. To hate God, or just stop believing – I tried, but I couldn’t do it. So when you can’t do either of those, you’re left with the alternative of believing, and if you’re going to believe, God better be good. And what I’m left with is that, God is. Good, and a lot more, most of which I can’t even try to explain.
But that doesn’t make what’s going on with all the families of today’s dead – in Virginia, in Iraq, all over Africa, Central America and every place else that horrible shit is going on, which is every place else – any easier. I feel weird and selfish praying that something like this shouldn’t happen to me. Why should I be exempt?
I’ll still pray. A lot of people will think it’s a complete fool’s errand.
But I’ll still do it. I mean, I don’t know what else to do.