Darkness filled our country last week with the news that sped out of tiny Newtown, Conn.
There are few things which numb our senses more than violence against small children - there is just no point of attachment with anything real or believable. We desperately hope that the self-destruction of that individual might spell the end of senseless horror - but we know too well that in every tiny hamlet or great city - the same darkness waits.
We will see inevitable bans and outcries against the tools of the frightful act, but we will not affect the heart of the darkness. We have for too long made common cause with purposeless violence and casual death. The movies we watch and allow our young people to watch, the games we bring in to our homes, sometimes as gifts to our children, the strident defense of the too often forced choice of abortion that ends one life and so often replaces joy with deep emptiness in another life, in the mother's heart.
But even more than these things we have invited darkness into a national norm by an ongoing war against God. There are organizations that engage in formal warfare against religion generally and the Christian church specifically. These organizations are not peopled by bad men and women, they are filled with good and honorable men and women, moms and dads with children of their own whom they love and for whom they desire the very best of life.
Sadly these men and women, however well intentioned, are exerting a damaging influence on our culture with their misplaced ideal of a world without God. These men and women exert this cultural influence without, I honestly believe, having fully thought through the inescapable result if they are successful.
There are nations on this earth that have successfully removed and criminalized every vestige of religion, particularly Christianity; but we don't find utopias when we visit these nations ... we find dark countries controlled by real fear and real death; countries with multiple hidden prison camps that cover horror-filled square miles.
It is even more heartbreaking to face this horrific event in the season when many welcome the birth of Jesus Christ. In a short span, this one life changed the lives of millions and millions for eternity, and His life continues to change lives today. On one occasion in His ministry, Jesus spoke these words: "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:12)
The darkness of last Friday morning will remain only until driven from our minds by another fresher sadness that our present culture of darkness will inevitably produce. We won't do away with darkness by removing weapons from our culture; darkness is only dispelled by light. Should we really be so nationally concerned with driving the light of the world out of the public square and of the public consciousness?