America Is Having Too Many Bad Days

by Peter Herman
March 20, 2021

The media are again all over the place about the latest mass shooting. That a hate motive, one that could easily be used to explain any violent act, may have been the trigger is just too facile. Breathless reporters love to push the buttons that will have viewers mindlessly nod in agreement.

The alleged (and apparently quite guilty) perpetrator has stated that he had "a bad day." The banal way of excusing horrendous behavior, in our mind, speaks more to Robert Long's inability to explain his emotional turmoil than to a dismissal of the vast hurt he did.

Looking beyond the obvious, it now appears that the shooter was a lifelong member of the Crabapple First Baptist Church. It has now removed Robert Long from membership. How virtuous of them! They even called his act "wicked!" Perhaps that church is also having "a bad day." Hating, better yet, loathing the sin is definitely in order. But are not loving Christians also supposed to love the sinner and somehow help him expiate for his sin?

We wonder what that church taught its young parishioners about sex. Our guess is that they taught them that most sex was much worse than "wicked."

Alfred Hitchcock's 1972 movie Frenzy may yield a clue to Long's unforgiveable (but perhaps explainable) behavior. In that movie, a serial killer murders women after having sex with them. Hitchcock does not show the killer getting turned on by the act of strangling his victims. Rather, the killer is turned on by a powerful sexual drive for the women he afterwards kills. Hitchcock is obviously telling the viewer that once the sexual energy has been expended and desire drained, guilt takes over as the now much more powerful emotion. But guilt is just too much to bear, and the killer is shown instead blaming his victims as evil temptresses and actual guilty persons. Isn't this perhaps what Robert long has done?

Most young people taught that proscribed sex is evil will not go on similar rampages, but the damages to their emotional lives constitute a hidden epidemic that will have consequences yet to be exposed.

Oh, when will they ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn?

– Peter, Paul and Mary – Where Have All the Flowers Gone ...


 

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