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Civility and the January 8th and January 23rd Mass Murders

Written by | April, 2011
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A Christian Perspective

With regard to the January 8 Tucson tragedy we find it interesting that the nation—from the President on down—pretty much stopped in its tracks for a couple weeks to mark and decry the act of a deranged individual who killed six people and injured another fifteen or so, including an Arizona congresswoman.

Yes, we find it interesting—and distressing! What is beyond sad is that far fewer “stopped in their tracks” a couple weeks later to mark the on-going abortion holocaust happening in the nation.

January 23 is the anniversary of the infamous 1973 Supreme Court ruling which legitimatized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. It is fitting that as concerned (Christian) citizens we take part in various endeavors for peaceful protest against a ruling that we find in conflict 1) with biblical principles, and 2) with the Constitution of the country which guarantees life (as well as liberty and the pursuit of happiness) to its citizenry—born and unborn.

At the Tucson memorial service the President called for a return to “civility” in the nation’s discourse, the implication being that political rhetoric along the lines of “targeting” or “having in the crosshairs” people of a different political persuasion lends itself to and/or is responsible for setting off the violence that can erupt from the mentally disturbed or other people with evil agendas.

Yet the President’s words smack of hypocrisy when he himself—as well as the highest court of the land—holds to a position which condones murdering in-utero babies through all nine months of pregnancy. Talk about “civility”?!

While an appeal for an anti-inflammatory and/or civil mode of discourse is entirely good and proper, when that appeal implies that political correctness is the only way to go in discussing moral issues, we must object.

Our considered opinion is that the Constitution guarantees free expression of Bible-based principles of right and wrong by disciples of Jesus Christ living and expressing their faith-life.

The Divine X-ray

We recognize and decry the sinful human heart as the root cause of incivility (and worse): “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies…” (Matthew 15:19).

Oh that people the world over would “read” aright this divinely given X-ray of the natural human heart and then find in the gospel of Jesus Christ the only solution to their sin-problem (repentance and a new birth).

No doubt the biased mainline media—and those who buy into its jaundiced views—will continue to label as “incendiary commentary” any outspoken defense of Bible-supported causes such as pro-life (vs. pro-abortion) and pro-heterosexual (vs. pro-same-sex) marriage.

So be it. Being on the receiving end of such slander is unavoidable for those practicing their faith as God-fearing citizens within and before a watching world.

Regarding civil/uncivil discourse, surely those who are God’s “holy nation [within a nation!], His own special people” (1 Peter 2:9) will ever strive to use words “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6), even as they go about “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Yet they know that their saline, love-inspired words will rarely be well-received.

A confessing Christian’s comfort is found in the Beatitude, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11f).

Fellow Christians, even as we uphold the dignity, sanctity, and value of human life “from womb to tomb”—and the divine institution of heterosexual marriage, as well—let us keep on being what we have been called and are privileged to be, namely, salt and light in a sin-darkened culture-of-death world.

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