A Deadly Pattern

  When I first heard of Tuesday's massacre in Littleton, Colorado, my reaction was, I'm sure like yours: shock, horror, and grief—grief over the lives that were lost, grief at the suffering of the families, and grief over what has happened to our country. Children all over America were afraid to go to school yesterday and parents were afraid to send them—with good reason. My sense of grief has strengthened my determination to do whatever is necessary to prevent outrages like this from happening again—tragically they will happen unless citizens, particularly Christians, get busy. What happened Tuesday, you see, is just the latest chapter in what Time Magazine calls "a deadly pattern." Every time something like this happens, experts and politicians rush in with sociological explanations. But we're no closer to a solution. In fact, as criminologist Bill Resiman told the AP, "...every time, [the violence] has escalated, the kids have learned from the previous one." What happened in Littleton was proof, if we needed any, that there is such a thing as raw, unadulterated evil. And our kids are especially vulnerable to it. In fact, the darker parts of youth subcultures, the music and the sick films, actively encourage kids to embrace evil. One of these is the so-called "Goth" subculture, which the two young killers in this case were part of. Goth adherents are fascinated with the darker side of life. Their clothes, music and literature seem to be an inversion of traditional values. Members often set out to look like cadavers and vampires. Now you'd think that this would set off alarm bells with responsible adults. But too many adults regard Goth culture as just some sort of adolescent phase. They take comfort from people like David Mandel, a psychologist, who told Nashville Scene Magazine that the Goth movement was "not sinister, but tongue in cheek," and insisted that "[devotees] find beauty in dark things much the way others find beauty in bright and happy things." Well, I'm sick of hearing such gibberish, it's phony, just a rationalization to let parents off the hook for not teaching right and wrong to their kids. In their haste not to seem judgmental, some parents make excuses for, and dismiss, even the clearest evidence of moral perversion. And we're told that that's enlightened and tolerated. So this Tuesday, we've plunged into yet another round of pain and grief. The Church needs to take the lead in breaking this evil cycle. Only the Church understands that what's really going on is a spiritual war for the souls of our kids. And we need to begin by taking responsibility for our own kids. No child should ever leave his home looking like a vampire. Kids may not like it when we tell them to change their clothes, but this is the loving thing to do. And it's time we recognized our own responsibility to bring discipline to our kids when it comes to moral issues. If Tuesday's events wake people up to confront the evil our children face, both without and within, then maybe some of these innocent kids who died will not have died in vain. Otherwise, we're likely to discover that tragedies like these will become commonplace. I hope you'll join me in praying for the kids and for the community of Littleton, Colorado.


Chuck Colson



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