One of the drawbacks of living in a society where feelings short-circuit logic is that all too often is that people engage in acts of compassion for dubious reasons, or engage in acts that by their communal nature make people feel compassionate without actually ever requiring anything from them.
For example, earlier this year I was perusing a cousin’s Facebook page. On it was a notice that he would be attending an event in Detroit entitled “End Hunger, Cure Poverty”…or was it “Cure Hunger, End Poverty”? The point was questionable either way. I found it slightly ironic, as this cousin is professional clergy, and as such, should know better than to fall for the hubris of ending or curing poverty. After all, he serves a savior who very plainly stated “For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.” I have no problem with people who want to assist others, and I’m all for them doing it privately, rather than with taxpayer money, but eventually, my curiosity got the best of me, and I sent him a message asking “Do you honestly believe that man can end hunger?”
I got back a one word reply. “Yes.”
I’m still not sure how that isn’t essentially calling Christ a liar, but I have to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. I’ll leave that other question to him.
And so we come to the current over-wrought emotionalism in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary Shootings. It isn’t enough for celebutards and leftist mouthpieces to labor under the delusion that government can and should abrogate our Second Amendment rights, and to say so at every opportunity, and displaying their moral superiority and clarity by calling for NRA members to be shot, but we also have what is now the cause ribbon of our day: The Moment of Slience, “out of respect” for those murdered.
Last night, after making Christmas cookies to take to work and share with co-workers, my wife turned on the TV. It was tuned the Miss Universe Pageant. I was on the computer in the living room, so I could hear it when the frivolous proceedings were halted as the contestants and the audience observed a “Moment of Silence” for the victims of Sandy Hook, “out of respect” for them. My eyes rolled as my wife changed the channel.
But the thought remained, like sand in my underwear. What did it accomplish? It was an empty gesture, but it undoubtedly made people feel as they were doing something, and therefore embodied the kind of substance that society has come to treasure in this day and age. I know that this will cause some to conclude that I am harsh, or a jerk, or worse. While that wouldn’t be the first time (it’s an occupational hazard), I floated the thought in a community of friends on Facebook, and found that I’m not the only one who thinks so.
The emptiness of the gesture wasn’t the only thing about the “Moments of Silence” that are popping up like daisies in the wake of the shootings. It was the fact that so many of the people eager to participate in this formal expression of grief are the same people who would think nothing of aborting those same kids when they were just “blobs of cells”, but now want to weep over the corpses (from a distance), and promote the idea that more government and fewer means to address its overreach are the solution, rather than seriously examining the idea of crazy person control.
A friend pointed out that it implies a moment of prayer, but doesn’t go that extra step, and this was an event that called for it. But then he also stated “…if Democrats called for a moment of silence for every aborted child, they’d never speak again.” Another pointed out that the formal nature of it makes it an act without meaning. And one pointed that it was another demonstration the narcissism in our culture…another way for those who love attention to draw it to themselves. I think that this was also part of my irritation, much like something known on an instinctive level, but not yet teased out of the subconconscious, instead waiting for sudden jelling of the kind to wake me at 3 am when my brain finally fit it together, because the minute I read these remarks, my brain immediately went to Matthew 6:5-6:
““And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Congratulations, society. You have found a way to pretend at the genuine concern and emotion of another age, while investing nothing in it. Say what will, but you can count me out.