Joe Sobran was my favorite columnist before he died in 2010. He offered more good sense per paragraph than anyone else.
In 1993, William F. Buckley publicly fired Sobran from National Review. I had known for three decades that Buckley was the liberal establishment’s token conservative intellectual. That act confirmed it. He had also become the neocons’ tool. Buckley buckled.
Here, Sobran comments on the Littleton massacre, also known as Columbine. Two teenagers killed a dozen schoolmates and a teacher. They injured 21 others.
People ask: “Why?” Sobran asked: “Why not?”
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The Littleton murders are still provoking “solutions” for the problem of youths who choose to shoot their classmates. The usual method of these “solutions” is to imagine how this particular horror could have been prevented, and then to generalize the answer into some sort of national law or social program. More gun control, better counseling, spotting “early warning signals,” and so forth.
But if any measures could have prevented these murders, they may not apply to others. The next crime to shock us as Littleton did won’t duplicate Littleton; it will be something else, something different in all the details the supposed “solutions” address. The uniqueness of this crime — and of many other crimes — gets lost in bogus analysis. A couple of specific teenagers were determined to do evil. If they had been prevented from doing it the way they did it, they could have found another way.
Maybe the real trouble is that modern culture simply refuses to face the fact of evil. “If God does not exist,” as Dostoyevsky wrote, “everything is permitted.” As if to underline his words, one of the killers fatally shot a girl when she said she believed in God.
If God does not exist, right and wrong are reduced to subjective preferences; even human life loses its dignity. “Thou shalt not kill” means no more than “I hope I won’t get shot.” Laws become the amoral collective preferences of the majority.
But what if the killers, as at Littleton, are prepared to die in the course of their crimes? There are always those who won’t be deterred by laws. This is a fact of life. Christian culture has always recognized original sin,man’s eternal and irrational inclination to do wrong. But to the denizens of modern culture, the idea of original sin is nonsense.
Modern culture is a negative, not a positive thing. It’s what is left when you subtract Christianity from Christian culture — so it’s a barren, bloodless, desiccated, and uninspiring thing, sometimes called “secular humanism.”
Modern culture recognizes nothing above man, so there is nothing worth dying for and sacrifice is absurd. It recognizes no God and denies the soul, the afterlife, and ultimate justice.
(For the rest of his article, click the link.)