Book Intro: ‘Dying for Attention in Portland’

Here’s a portion of the Introduction to my book. It helps set the stage for the book’s emphasis. (Remember, the book is not like MJ blog in every respect!). Please read the Preface also to prepare for the tone of the story –

                             “Dying for Attention in Portland”

                                                      Introduction

      “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.”  

                                                       –  Carl Jung

“On November 22nd, 1963, President John  F. Kennedy was riding in a limo along with the governor of Texas and their wives. As they wove along the highway, waving to the public lining the streets edge, President Kennedy was shot twice …. once in the neck, once in the head …. before slumping over towards his wife Jacqueline in the back seat.”

“While we listened to reporters on TV or radio, President Kennedy was being treated at Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital Trauma Room 1. In stillness we waited for some indication of how serious his injuries were. We went through a multitude of feelings, thoughts and reactions together …. all because we honored our President and felt stricken ourselves by the attack he suffered.

The deeply tragic news stunned everyone in America and around the globe! It never mattered most of us were from different political parties, races or religions. As we all kept our eyes on TV coverage we were ‘one people’ with a common bond ….we valued the life of our leader! And …. back then, we trusted the somber, hushed tones of TV reporters and the few facts they could scrape together in their quest for updates on President Kennedy’s condition.

Do we have a populace now that’s as cohesive as that of 1963? Are we bound by a common respect for life and death like the majority were in 1963? Even a space alien would tell you ‘NO’.

Things have changed in the last couple decades. We’re living in a time where murder or mass murder is a bit more commonplace in the news. Our views about violence are increasingly being controlled by media, not by trusted sources like our families, church. 

I wrote this book because many times we judge or fear an act of violence and cannot foresee any reason to think any good could come out of it! We generally see homicide as happening outside our realm of life experience and simply don’t want to have any dialogue past the tragedy itself … but that’s unhealthy. Our fears, revulsion many times keeps us stunted from letting our hearts and minds question, ‘how could this have happened’. Or ‘what kind of legacy can come out of the murder of a cherished one’? 

In this age where media is king, and real human life is trivialized, we usually don’t get to know anyone very deeply or form lasting relationships. We make immediate judgements of others based on their comments, clothing, demeanor or accent instead. I detest that trend and don’t want to cave to that tendency that makes life cheap, and murder not so horrific.  I don’t want to give into the media hype that conveys violence doesn’t hurt the victim’s families or society for long, or it’s easy to get over.

I’m sharing in these pages a raw experience because we’re all made better by others unadulterated life experiences!  I believe the recounting of personal experiences enriches survivors of a tragedy as well as the public. We rely on those around us to give us accurate personal accounts of life during joy and pain, it’s the normal way people negotiate through life with a healthy attitude.

I hope this book helps open up dialogue on this topic so we grow past our fears, pessimism.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Have you ever thought beyond your fear of violence, death? We are so shielded in this age re: pain but it’s a part of life we need to accept in order to be wholly functional. God works in the good and hard times, He never lets anything go to waste!

SHARE  THIS!  THANKS!

Really … ‘Down with Prayers & Kind Thoughts’

There are some things people should not question! Like ‘prayers’ for instance.

This chant on social media where people are saying ‘enough with prayers and thoughts, we want action’, is really sorta silly. Prayers are meant to heal, protect or to guide. They are not a substitute for research, discussion, voting or action. Detractors have got praying wrong.

It seems to me the chants are deriding the fact that folks are sad, hurt or confused after a tragedy, an illness or whatever. We pray many times immediately after an incident because we have no words to describe our shock or pain re: a cancer diagnosis, mass shooting. We don’t know how to console at first but we know God does. We know it’s wrong to bottle up things, and suffer in silence, no matter how painful or hopeless the situation looks.

Prayer is user friendly as even little children can understand it. Prayer has always been used to bring peace or protection during times of war, or hostility. It’s been offered during fires, storms, to heal the sick and as an instrument of peace over political upheaval. It’s been an eternal source of good for people, never used as a curse for evil like witchcraft is used!

Prayers aren’t always formal, clearly thought out or instantly answered. It’s the language of the heart and soul for ourselves or others whom we may not even know. There’s no place it can’t go. It’s powerful like Superman in some respects cause it goes faster than a speeding bullet thru glass doors to reach our child or enters hospital surgery rooms. Prayer works in an Iranian prison, a battlefield or a Manhattan jail like Reikers.

Prayer doesn’t hurt like a shot. Beginners have access to it’s power like the pros. There’s no need to fear prayer, unless you’re trying to hurt one of God’s loved ones. If you stand next to someone praying it’s power won’t rub off on you to force you into saying ‘Hallelujah’.’

Since Marc’s tragedy I’ve been prayed for by Jews, Christians, Democrats & Republicans, people of all colors, rich & poor, pastors or lay persons. I learned not to assess who’s close to God or not, who holds what wisdom, or power, in the prayer world! People everywhere are growing in faith and at various plateaus on their faith journey not always knowing they are a lot closer to God than they realize. I grant them space and am grateful for the love given –

Prayer is sometimes used with the wrong objective by the misguided, but is still a powerful source for good in this world, so critics should stop yapping –

2nd Hardest Post I’ve Ever Written

I don’t know where to start! 

I’ve been on Twitter for over a year, discovering how it truly works, who it impacts. It’s way different from FB. It’s a platform that shares news stories from recognized news outlets as well as personal opinions from people like you or I, on the daily political or social issues in this world.

Portland, OR City Council meeting

There’s a huge wave crashing down upon us in America that we all need to wake up to!

I’ve lived on the West Coast where we are encouraged to live the ‘good life’, so it took me awhile to get used to the intensely fast paced life of D.C.  While there’s many normal people on Twitter you should be aware of the people trying to tear down our political and social institutions! I‘m referring to a plethora of people voicing their opinions on every possible topic not in a civil way but in an effort to propagandize or shame intelligent, moral or patriotic people.

It’s very sobering to actually read on Twitter how some despise us for standing up for our 1st and 2nd amendment rights, or for example, the rights of the unborn. What is most alarming to me recently is the shocking threads on Twitter & from some current Democratic Presidential contenders to put down our form of government and bring ‘socialism’ to the United States!!!

This new group of people online is like a cancer as they’re trying to change our national fabric by causing such a ruckus that some state or national leaders are changing laws to avoid a stand off with them! Some officials think the agitators for socialism are a fresh wave of new morality …. they aren’t!

I was so naive about this growing threat!! It’s intolerable to think ‘socialism’ is better than what we have now! It’s lunacy to think people are entitled to so much free stuff, when we’re so debt ridden, and many are struggling just to get along! I’ve commented on tweet threads where the followers try to propagandize me to believe Jesus was a socialist! They give verses from the bible, use all kinds of attacks on my intelligence, character to put my beliefs down. They’re like robots, and indeed some are paid to spout ideologies, in a robotic fashion. The platform isn’t encouraging independent thinking, but lends to political grandstanding by youthful amateurs in many cases.

Many of the people I grew up with or go to church with have assumed that if we live peacefully and do good to others, the bad folks will be voted out or the good Lord will correct our problems, after all …. ‘the good guys always win’, right? But, that’s never been true and we’re entering a new era now where we have to look squarely at the tide coming against us!

Also, our traditional values of not judging others, being open to different ideas is not respected much any longer by many outside our life. I love a good newspaper but they are being relegated to second class news sources for the most part now, and we’re getting so much biased news on TV nowadays! Cable news, Utube and social media have replaced most of the papers, TV. People are truly wondring how to ferret out the truth from the biased commentary on TV!

I’ve had to change the way I see our country now. While many of us are hard working and trustworthy, there’s people who are going to bypass discussing with us the destiny of this country! The marches, threats of violence are gaining ears from politicians as there’s little place to discuss alternatives. News sources and social media are not the places or people who we elected to lead us as a people! Laws, policies should be decided by legislatures and in open discussions with all of us having a say.

Not to worry! There are many grassroots people becoming awake to the coersion of forces outside our normal political process. I’m going to share a book list soon as well as resources to keep you up to date. Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand, or say you hate the news so won’t turn it on. You don’t want to wake up some morning and find there’s harsh socialistic laws you never heard of or voted for!.

Many of you are like I was, in my own humble world, trying to be a good citizen by keeping my life intact.  In the last few years I’ve been dealing with a crushing blow from the loss of my son, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to go thru another serious wake up call. But we’re all headed for one if we don’t wake up and become more active re: the people and ideas trying to take charge of our government.

My relatives and many others I know have no idea what’s going on in D.C.! Marc and I kept up with vital news and understood the threats to a degree, but what’s going on now is appalling! Our cherished America is being threatened by people who don’t have any ties to normal life or love others. It all seems to be about political correctness, not freedom and abundance for all! Many think, ‘oh, Congress is too corrupt, just people arguing’, so they don’t want to get involved. That’s not true, there are many people in Washington writing books, articles, speaking out on hate crimes, dwindling middle class, caring about the sanctity of life in the U.S. Many vets, teachers, Dr’s, pastors speaking out for the good of all.

There’s much we can do! Open your eyes, read my posts, check out things online or listen to cable news. There may not be a Third World War with bombs but it seems like there’s one going on in the world of ‘values’, human dignity.  Talk to your family and friends. Go over with them the great things we have here compared to other countries! Ask if they want it to be taken away by socialism? God never intended Christians to be blind or absent re: the threats against our country!

It’s our civic duty to take charge of our country when she needs us! What will you do?

SHARE THIS!   

      COPY AND SEND OUT IN EMAILS!

5th Anniversary, It Still Hurts

At this time of year I get a ‘visitor’, a specter reminding me of a painful event. I’m used to it now, I can’t fight it. It’s not right to do so either cause it cheapens life.

Even tho Marc’s in another realm …. I’m not ‘over’ him!  When you’ve been so close to someone and then they’re killed by another, you don’t get ‘over it’!

I listened to a dad recently talk about the daughter he lost to murder and he said, ‘I don’t want to go on without my daughter in my life, but I HAVE to.’  That is exactly what I had to discover after Marc left earth! There’s a huge power that comes over you when you realize you’ve dealt with death and faced the murderer of your child! Just knowing you’re alive after the most horrific life event, and you still trust God, is so life transforming! You can’t believe the separation from your child is real, but living is ‘doable’! Your heart doesn’t want to get used to not calling your child, or waiting to meet again, or wanting the best for them …. but you’re released from feeling almost suicidal depression! You discover the thing you feared most has happened …. and the pain is bad ….but life’s ‘doable’! God’s in this with you to show you there’s more to do in life for the love of others than you realized!

I’m very grateful for all those who’ve supported me along the way, but you have to step out from the receiving end and ‘do’ something about the love you knew! After the comfort cycle, there’s the need to find your new life so you don’t become a ‘statistic’! One of those sad folks that people talk about behind their backs.

I don’t know what would have happened to me if I hadn’t found others modeling a future without a child. John Walsh and Dr Paul Klaas were dads who lost children to murder and turned their deep love for their children and outrage at loss, into locating criminals, raising awareness re: crime, & locating missing children. I’m so grateful for Renee and Mary, moms in Chicago and FL, who forgave their child’s killer and forged relationships with them. Pastor Les Ferguson, Jr., in MS, wrote a book about recovering after his wife and sons were targeted for murder. His book, “Still Wrestling”, is a penetrating story of deep tragedy yet one of the most phenomenal restorative journey’s you’ll ever read. These folks have inspired me to keep writing on the subject of murder, forgiving and raising awareness about the cultural issues Marc and I cared about.

Thanks to all of you who read my blog and support my book efforts. You help me keep Marc’s legacy going! To have men and women walk down a path that’s very raw with me has been very eye opening and humbling! It affirms what I was hoping to find in life all along!

 

Happy Birthday Son, Missing You

It’s Fall. The color’s and temperatures are changing but not my memory!

My son, my son has been removed from this place called earth and it’s his birthday today! I know most of you are busy with your own concerns this day but I have a deep memory glaring at me. It’s been almost 5 years since Marc’s been gone, joined with many others in heaven, yet he’s still so missed, loved!

It never stops, the missing doesn’t go away …. cause I can’t bear to say goodbye! I like remembering Marc, I like the memories of his personality, his views on life! The great way we could hang out together.

Marc wasn’t a selfish son interested in his own destiny, he cared deeply for others, as individuals and in the corporate sense …. I loved that about him. He modeled love to me, that makes me feel so proud and blessed. He was the most tenderhearted yet strong man I’ve ever met, along with my other son.

Just unbelievable the way five years has gone by! In this month of remembering I also have much to look forward to. There’s a legacy to finish that just has it’s own life, it’s own purpose.

Marc’s birthday is today, Sept. 30th. I don’t sit around and mope about how I’ve been dealt a bad hand in life, I can’t live in the past or think of things in those terms. I know where Marc dwells. It feels great to know that kind of thing, to be assured I’ll see him again. I’m also free from hating the people responsible for the crime. What a strong way to live!

Marc’s leaving earth like he did has turned my whole life around, others too have been affected deeply! Even one of the defendants told me it was maybe ‘fate’ that brought us together …. he too can see beyond the crime. You just can’t make up stuff like that!

Funny thing to say, I understand God’s love more than I did before Marc’s loss. Life is a lot grander than I imagined too.

Marc, you are so missed and loved! Time cannot erase our good times, your memory, Sweetheart! What a wonderful son you were!

 

 

 

Voting Tribes in America? (NYT Article)

Who’s determining the direction of our country? Have you always just let the State or National leaders do what they want? Do you think everything will work out for you cause you work hard and don’t bother anyone?

The love of country was a strong bond between Marc and I, so I’m sharing this during the ‘month of remembering’ him. This is a matter of fact, but hugely interesting breakdown on how we are constructed as an electorate in America, do you see yourself? This article leaves out the strong faith groups in the U.S., other factors, but it’s a very fair definition of who we are –


“Every few years one research group or another produces a typology of the electorate. The researchers conduct thousands of interviews and identify the different clusters American voters fall into.”

“More in Common has just completed a large such typology. It’s one of the best I’ve seen because it understands that American politics is no longer about what health care plan you support. It’s about identity, psychology, moral foundations and the dynamics of tribal resentment.

The report, “Hidden Tribes,” breaks Americans into seven groups, from left to right, with names like Traditional Liberals, Moderates, Politically Disengaged and so on. It won’t surprise you to learn that the most active groups are on the extremes — Progressive Activists on the left (8 percent of Americans) and Devoted Conservatives on the right (6 percent).

These two groups are the richest of all the groups. They are the whitest of the groups. Their members have among the highest education levels, and they report high levels of personal security.

We sometimes think of this as a populist moment. But that’s not true. My (David Brooks, author), first big takeaway from “Hidden Tribes” is that our political conflict is primarily a rich, white civil war. It’s between privileged progressives and privileged conservatives.

You could say that tribalism is the fruit of privilege. People with more stresses in their lives necessarily pay less attention to politics. People with college degrees are more likely to describe their ideology as central to their identity. They are much more likely to derive moral meaning from their label, more likely to affiliate with a herd based on their label and more likely to vote on the party line.

My second big takeaway from the report is that ideas really do drive history. Progressive Activists and Devoted Conservatives organize around coherent philosophical narratives. These narratives aren’t visions of a just society. They are narratives of menace — about who needs to be exorcised from society.

Devoted Conservatives subscribe to a Hobbesian narrative. It’s a dangerous world. Life is nasty, brutish and short. We need strict values and strong authority to keep us safe.

Ninety percent of Devoted Conservatives think immigration is bad, while 99 percent of Progressive Activists think it is good. Seventy-six percent of Devoted Conservatives think Islam is more violent than other religions; only 3 percent of Progressive Activists agree. Eighty-six percent of Devoted Conservatives think it’s more important for children to be well behaved than creative. Only 13 percent of Progressive Activists agree.

Progressive Activists, on the other hand, subscribe to a darkened Rousseauian worldview. People may be inherently good, but the hierarchical structures of society are awful. The structures of inequality and oppression have to be dismantled.

Ninety-one percent of Progressive Activists say sexual harassment is common, while only 12 percent of Devoted Conservatives agree. Ninety-two percent of Progressive Activists say people don’t take racism seriously enough, compared with 6 percent of Devoted Conservatives. Eighty-six percent of Progressive Activists say life’s outcomes are outside people’s control; only 2 percent of Devoted Conservatives agree. Progressive Activists are nearly three times as likely to say they are ashamed to be American as the average voter.

This philosophical dispute is not new. There have always been some people who thought we need hierarchical structures to keep us safe and others who thought we need to be emancipated from oppressive structures so we can be free.

What is new is how cultish this dispute has become. The researchers asked a wide variety of questions, on everything from child-rearing to national anthem protests. In many cases, 97 to 99 percent of Progressive Activists said one thing and 93 to 95 percent of Dedicated Conservatives said the opposite. There’s little evidence of individual thought, just cult conformity. The current situation really does begin to look like the religious wars that ripped through Europe after the invention of the printing press, except that our religions now wear pagan political garb.

The good news is that once you get outside these two elite groups you find a lot more independent thinking and flexibility. This is not a 50-50 nation. It only appears that way when disenchanted voters are forced to choose between the two extreme cults.

Roughly two-thirds of Americans, across four political types, fall into what the authors call “the exhausted majority.” Sixty-one percent say people they agree with need to listen and compromise more. Eighty percent say political correctness is a problem, and 82 percent say the same about hate speech.

Unfortunately, people in the exhausted majority have no narrative. They have no coherent philosophic worldview to organize their thinking and compel action. When they get one I suspect it will look totally unlike the two dominant narratives today. These narratives are threat narratives. But the people who make positive change usually focus on gifts, not deficits. They tell stories about the assets we have and how we can use them together.

I don’t know what the next political paradigm will look like, but I bet it will be based on abundance, not deficits; gifts, not fear; hope, not hatred.”

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

David Brooks has been a columnist with The Times since 2003. He is the author of “The Road to Character” and the forthcoming book “The Committed Life: When You Give Yourself Away.”

 

“Dying for Attention in Portland”, New Title

 

“DYING  FOR  ATTENTION  IN  PORTLAND”

“In this impersonal world here’s an intimate look at how relationships are the most important things we have” –

There’s no book on surviving your child! Only the deepest self reflection can give you the peace you desire or think you’ll never have again. Your ‘new normal’ is your own construct to figure out. God and others fill in those gaps when you can’t imagine the next step. And in my case, victory at certain stages of my Marc’s homicide case played a key part in bringing me hope. You cannot do it alone! You can’t wish it, or ‘will’ it. I learned I had to reach out for it. Reach out for words, prayers, hugs. No one knew what I was going thru unless I told them, outside of the original news of the crime.

Creating a new title has taken much thought as I haven’t wanted to make it sound amateurish, or like it was intended for shock value. I could create a title that was lady-like, or arty and clever’. Something super spiritual or lofty might have been fitting …. if written by someone else! The book could have a title that gushes sentiment, or wallows in despair or is full of rage at some judge or law.

But while ‘God’s in my story’ if I don’t address the normal human condition, it’s a disservice to who God is and how He’s made us with such a huge capacity to love and feel pain. He wants us to relate to the world out there, the one that people live daily. He’s made us to dig deep for meaning and relationship on a continual basis, no matter what’s going on around us. So the title has to tie in Marc’s case but share Marc’s and my concern for society at large. A murder is never about just the victim, or his family …. it’s far ranging.

There is purpose outside of our personal ‘wants’, meaning above the material life we lead daily on earth. 

We need to be engaging in the discussion of violence more often, so we stay safe and don’t live in fear. In this month where I’m having PTSD, Marc’s birthday is on 9/30, & the incident on 10/16 …. alot of memories rush back to remind me of his loss. The separation is the hardest part. That’s as it should be, a hole was created that only Marc can fill. But a whole lotta love remains! A whole lotta hope and new life has manifested from out of nowhere, after the crime, it’s seemed.

It’s still a privilege to serve Marc’s memory!

PLEASE SHARE THIS!

* Read Les Ferguson Jrs book, ‘Still Wrestling’  – It’s a stunning memoir and testimony

First Article on Morning of Marc’s Stabbing

Love makes us feel connected …. always. I don’t want to forget my son, I don’t want to lessen Marc’s importance in my life, even after he’s gone from this earth.

No one wants to lose a child so brutally. I just discovered some articles on the case that were too painful to read in the past. This was the world I had to live in 5 years ago!

Man found fatally stabbed on downtown Portland street; streets around Terry Schrunk Plaza, Chapman and Lownsdale squares closed

Several downtown streets are closed this morning while Portland police investigate a fatal stabbing in the area of Southwest 4th Avenue and Madison Street.

The victim, who police said was in his 30s or 40s, was found dead on the southeast corner of the intersection. The body lay on the sidewalk until about 7 a.m., when the Deputy Medical Examiner Damon O’Brien retrieved it.

“We think we know who he is,” O’Brien said. But his identity will not be released until next of kin is notified, O’Brien said.

Federal authorities reported the death about 2:25 a.m.

Police have closed the streets around Terry Schrunk Plaza, Chapman and Lownsdale squares. The area includes Southwest Fourth and Third avenues, between Salmon and Jefferson streets.

No traffic is allowed on Southwest Fourth Avenue between Jefferson and Salmon streets. Southwest Third Avenue, Jefferson and Salmon streets are open. So is the Multnomah County Courthouse. The building can be accessed from Fourth Avenue, as usual. Hearings, trials and other business operations will be conducted as scheduled.

Anyone who witnessed a disturbance or has information regarding this incident is asked to call the police non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.

— Noelle Crombie and Lynne Terry

Book Contract!

I was offered a book publishing contract last week, I’m very excited and sharing some details!

Trilogy accepted my book concept after only reading 3 chapters. The initial interview with them helped me feel it was the ‘right fit’ …. the company, people, reputation. Plus their marketing potential is much larger than what I could do on my own!

The books tentative title is “Dying for Attention in Portland”.

As I shared in my recent post, ‘It’s Official’ at   http://www.marcsjustice.com/?p=5255  I’m pursuing writing as a career. Being a blogger and book author has always been more than just sharing a parents worst nightmare, forgiving and forging a new road after tragedy. It’s been about being able to write about the love of country and the freedom to express oneself on various issues like Marc and I enjoyed.

If you value my life experience and opinions would you consider financially supporting my endeavors? My book and blog?

I’ve been observing how other independent journalists/writers use crowd funding to support their efforts, and feel the world wide usage of this method warrants a try. Being an independent writer, and not writing for a news source or magazine, limits my production & outreach.

Some of you have stated your interest in contributing to my writing. Your donating to my efforts would be so appreciated! Right now you can support thru Paypal or Patreon which are easy to set up if you don’t already have an account. There are options on Patreon like …. a one time gift, or an ongoing monthly donation of $2.00 or more. You control it, plus you get perks!

Your rewards are:  membership to my weekly emails, special member only material, previews of book chapters and being on the advance reader team before my book is published …. depending on your gift.

What does it mean to you to have a ‘sane’ voice out there? How much do you appreciate someone talking about overcoming obstacles, staying strong in the midst of the impersonal way our culture is headed? How would you feel if my timely posts stopped? We need ‘independent’ voices out there, voices that no one can buy!

We have a wonderful history in the United States of financially helping our neighbor, supporting local business. As a person of faith, I’ve been part of numerous donations and ongoing tithes towards ministries or individuals! Every little bit helps, nothing is too small!

               http://Paypal.me/ddehan           http://patreon.com/ddehan

Prayerfully consider if you belong on this journey with me! Blessings!

 

On Mass Murders …. From my Pastor

Many are asking questions re: the 3 recent mass shootings in a row. People want to have answers to our epidemic, they want clarity not confusing rationale based on guns or politics! 

Murder is not new, but mass murder is a relatively recent phenomena. The cities of Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton are reeling at this time. They need our prayers. Oh, how I know about the shock and sadness after murder! Your life is turned upside down! And in many cases you go thru these feelings in front of not just your family and friends but members of your community! How awkward and strange it feels to have that spotlight on you.

The following is an article written by my former pastor, Dana Hanson. He gets to the core of the mindset and heart condition of a mass murderer. Thank you, P.D.!

With the recent mass murders in our nation, there are reactions that include this one expressed in a LA Times headline, “Two Massacres and No Answers”. As an absolute statement this headline is accurate. Each mass murderer is a unique human being who has choices as to how they to live their lives. We don’t know why people specifically choose to act as they do. We don’t have definitive answers. But we do know there are insights into these murderers, even some commonalities

The most obvious way a murderer will give us insight into what they did is by letting them tell us. They may leave a suicide note/ confession/ manifesto/social media evidence/ etc. This is certainly an insight toward “answers”.

Other than what the murderer’s say themselves, there are also key insights toward “answers” from a spiritual and psychological dimension. From Sandy Hook to Columbine to the most recent cases, there are commonalities.

Spiritually, these murderers chose to not want God in their lives. None of them were committed followers of the ways of Jesus. Obviously, “love your neighbor” and “love your enemy” are not part of their experience.

Nihilism is the worldview of many of these murderers. Rejecting there is any meaning to life. Rejecting any religious or moral principles, except one. In many of these mass murders, the perpetrator has become a god unto themselves.  Most often these murderers exhibit the “unholy” trinity of behaviors Jesus and the Bible most often speak against. These three responses to life provide the recipe for pure evil: Arrogance, deceit, and resentment.

Arrogance – You are the god of your own universe.

Deceit – You tell yourself lies, deceiving yourself into thinking that you are the only one who is right. You live this deceit with those around you.

Resentment – Your conscious anger toward the world, perhaps your subconscious anger toward yourself, where all of this anger builds up into pure resentment and eventually contempt. Contempt is where you don’t consider other people as worthy of existence.

Psychologically, once again the unhealthy trinity of arrogance (“narcissism”) deception, and resentment. The best psychological insight I have received on this topic is from clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson. In his book, Twelve Rules for Life: An Antidote For Chaos Peterson speaks about the “why?” when it comes to the despicable behavior of mass murderers in his Rule #6, “Set you house in perfect order before you criticize the world.”

Rather than summarizing his insights, you can listen for yourself. I am including this recording of Peterson reading this chapter. Also, there is this interview clip, where Peterson gives a brief review.