On January 8th, a nihilistic, atheistic, conspiracy theorist named Jared Loughner murdered six people and injured 18 more including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The disturbing act propelled a massive hailstorm of media speculation concerning the young man’s psychological background and mental state.
I am not an expert of psychology by any stretch of the imagination. My only introduction to any formal psychological training came when I briefly thought about minoring in it during college. After just one class, I was turned off and convinced Freud was not much more than an overeducated creeper.
Since the tragedy every major network with a resident psychologist has tried to psychoanalyze the mind of Loughner: social constraints, political persuasions, chemical reactions, and stunted emotional growth has all been posited as the source of his madness. The whole world has gone straight Dr. Phil in it’s obsession with the dark mind(lessness) of this murderer. In the midst of our diagnosing something has been tragically lost.
I agree with Kevin DeYoung when he says the root of the issue is found in this: The word “evil.”
When people want to make such a horrific event a soapbox opportunity for gun rights or heated campaign rhetoric I cringe a bit. These are ancillary to the heart issue. Loughner wasn’t just a madman in the psychological sense, he was an evil man in the most real and concrete sense.
Why in the world would the media be so reluctant to call a cold-blooded murderer exactly what he is?
Because that would imply a moral code with absolutes, and being absolutely sure about right and wrong is almost as big a cultural party foul as being literally deranged. A crazy man who killed and died as a mere psychological anomaly is easier for our consciences to swallow than a man who is shockingly evil and died to maybe find himself in an actual eternal hell.
Jesus said Satan, the greatest manifestation of evil, was a “murderer from the very beginning” (John 8:44). How are we to label people like Loughner who side with the evil one? Just victims of a mental disorder? Merely brainwashed? Society’s failures?
“Evil” is the word for them. If we lose that biblical label we must necessarily lose the ability to label anything “Good” also. If there is no good there is no God (Luke 18:18-19), and that is the very mental state a man like Loughner found himself in.
Godless, lost, sinful and evil.
We are all of these apart from the grace of God in Jesus Christ.
May Christ, and not pop psychology, be found to be the only cure for these scourges on our human soul (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).