April 06, 2009

The Makings of a Violent Society

The murder of three police officers on Saturday in Pittsburgh was a tragedy immediately known and talked about around the world, highlighting our increasingly violent society. Unfortunately, it is being used to push a political agenda and to try and invalidate credible and valuable news sources.

High profile stories emphasize that the gunman, Richard Poplawski, was into conspiracy theories and say he was “lying in wait” prepared for “an ambush” without even mentioning the real cause for the tragedy. According to the actual police complaint and affidavit filed, there was an argument between Margaret Poplawski and her son Richard about their dog urinating in the house. The fight escalated until the mother called 911 and the police to have her son taken away. When the police arrived, that is when the deranged killer started to kill the police officers.

One writer, Muriel Kane, linked the killer to Alex Jones’ Info Wars website as a probable cause for his violence. He specifically mentioned the story at this link. The facts in this story are not “conspiracy theories” but news that simply will not be published in the mainstream media. The Army Times itself was the source for the facts that Alex Jones site published:“The militarization of state and local law enforcement and the deployment of battle-hardened soldiers for the stated – by Northern Command – purpose of “civil unrest and crowd control” in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.” Referenced here.

Poplawski’s mental condition and sense of meaninglessness seem to have been major issues. “He wrote of burning the backs of both of his hands, the first time with a cigarette, the second time for symmetry.” He was a racist who supported the white supremacy movement. He wrote on his MySpace profile "Crazy to me is going through the motions…Crazy to me is letting each day slip past you. Crazy is being insignificant. Crazy is being obscure, pointless." In the Marines he missed his girlfriend so he threw a lunch tray at a drill instructor to get discharged. Upon returning to Pittsburgh his girlfriend rejected him and he assaulted her at the same address as the police shootings, court records show. See article here for references.

If a person is mentally unbalanced, he or she may snap for any reason. To blame “disturbing” news is like blaming J.D. Salinger for John Lennon’s death. In case you aren’t familiar with the story, Salinger wrote Catcher in the Rye (1951), a book which Mark Chapman, Lennon’s assassin, asked him to sign the day he killed him (1980). The story, once banned in the US, is kind of disturbing as it describes an outcast developing a nervous breakdown over a few days, including a vacation to New York. One of the main points of the story is that a mentally unbalanced person struggles even more so in an unbalanced society. I think this is a relevant point with regard to the increasing mayhem. Ironically, the book was written for adults and has been considered psychologically disturbing but now is a staple in high school and college courses. The Bible, on the other hand, had been used educationally in the New England Primer textbook for over 150 years in the US but now is a banned book.

Many people say they are shocked and surprised by the increased mass shootings and suicides in the US. I don’t want to sound morbid, but I’m neither shocked nor surprised. For over 200 years citizens have legally owned guns in the US without this type of craziness. But what has changed society so much? In the 1920's evolution began to be taught in schools until atheistic materialism became the only acceptable world view for teachers to express. In the early 1960’s, the Supreme Court banned the Ten Commandments and any mention of God from the school classroom. Statistics show that violence has increased since that time along with the sense of meaninglessness and purposelessness that many people experience. Every day, schools teach that we are nothing but meaningless, purposeless accidents and animals. When people act like animals, should we be surprised? Galatians 6.7 breaks it down: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” This applies to an individual and a society.

Personally, I agree with the right to bear arms, as described in the US Bill of Rights. I believe that these types of incidents will be used as an excuse to take away this right and many other civil liberties. But I believe the main answer is spiritual not political. II Chronicles 7.14 states: “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” I Timothy 2.1-4 also emphasize prayer as a solution. “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Proverbs 14:34 shows that God does consider the moral character of a country as a whole. A society can become so decadent and deceitful that there are only two possibility, self destruction or God's mercy. I pray for the latter but am not surprised by the former. There comes a point when a society can become so evil that God's judgment seems inevitable. At that point, trying to save it politically, when it is being judged spiritually, would be futile. In what condition is society now? What's your opinion on this cop killer incident, other recent mass killings, and how these things relate to the big picture?

(Just a note, since the writing of this article, at least one story has been edited to remove any mention of Infowars or Alex Jones: “Editor’s note: RAW STORY regrets an early version of this article was published without an editor’s approval. This article has been revised and edited.”)

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