Desperately seeking personal accountability

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Can we please stop?

Stop this obnoxious, hyper-politicized, finger-pointing reaction to the horrendous shooting in Arizona this past Saturday morning.

Stop pretending what Jared Lee Loughner did in Tucson had anything to do with Republican political rhetoric, but nothing to do with a conscious decision made and actions carried out by a grown man.

Stop telling ourselves that blaming anyone and everyone – except the individual responsible (and I’m not just talking about Jared Loughner here) – will solve any of society’s problems.

Let’s look back barely 10 years ago, in the days immediately after 9/11, when partisanship actually took a break for a while as politicians (and Americans in general) mourned the attacks on American soil and vowed to work together to bring the terrorists to justice.  Months passed before anyone in the political arena started pointing fingers and placing blame for whatever failures may have taken place that allowed these attacks to be completed.

Fast forward to Saturday, 8 January 2011.  Rep. Giffords had barely been admitted to the hospital before left-wing politicians and media started criticizing Republican party tactics during the 2010 Congressional election (Sarah Palin in particular) as having motivated Jared Lee Loughner to do what he did.


Before I go any farther, let me establish that I’m no Palin apologist.  In the 2+ years since she roared into the American political spotlight, I’ve realized that giving her a platform was John McCain’s greatest disservice to our society, after 50 years of honorable and distinguished service.  I sincerely wonder if the Republican party has a better choice lined up for the 2012 Presidential election and hope she’s not going to be their candidate of choice.

All that being said, attempts by multiple parties to blame her metaphorical language of “targets” and “crosshairs” as the root cause of Jared Lee Loughner’s murderous rampage are just ridiculous.  The absurdity of the idea would be laughable if the situation weren’t so tragic.  Nothing Sarah Palin said forced him to pick up a gun and take aim at Representative Giffords.  Nothing about the “target” map forced him to plan out this shooting, or put the gun in his hands.  Nothing and nobody besides Jared Loughner pulled the trigger Saturday morning.

How much longer can our society go on allowing such widespread absences of personal accountability and culpability to be accepted and encouraged?

“I owe more on my house than I can afford to pay.  It must be the bank’s fault.  The government needs to enact laws that forbid banks from doing that to people.”

– Last time I checked, you signed that mortgage paperwork.

“I don’t know why I’m so overweight.  Somebody should make a law forbidding restaurants to sell unhealthy food.”

– I’m pretty sure you bought that super-sized combo meal and fed it to yourself.

“I’m not responsible for shooting those 6 people – a politician I’ve never even met put a target over Arizona.  I couldn’t help it!”

Can we please just stop?


How do Christmas gifts point to The Gift?

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Loved this post over at Christians in Context.  Yes, I bogarted it…Jared said it better than I could (this happens frequently).

Encouragement from Kevin DeYoung

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Here is one of the best posts I’ve read in a long time, from Pastor Kevin DeYoung, one of my favorite writers.  You can read more from him at his blog, “DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed”, linked on the right side of this page.

“Restoring Honor” with Glenn Beck


This past Saturday, Glenn Beck traveled to Washington, D.C., where he stood on the steps of the Capitol and issued a call for national “revival.”  Unlike revivals of the past, however, this was not a purely Christian revival – the kind where believers are called to the mission field, or new believers get baptized, or churches grow and multiple to reach more of our neighbors for Christ.

Instead, this “revival” sounds like a syncretistic blend of church and conservative politics.  And as much as I think that the conservative “agenda,” generally speaking, derives its values from Christian ethics more so than does the liberal agenda, I think that Glenn Beck’s desired “revival” would actually reflect a hijacking of the true Gospel.  Christ did not come to earth to see certain laws passed and others struck down.  He did not come to earth to advocate for a certain political party, or mindset, or agenda.  He did not predestine Republicans for glory and Democrats for damnation.  To claim otherwise – to tie evangelicalism or Catholicism (or Mormonism) to politics in hopes of advancing your agenda – demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of exactly what Christ came to do and exactly what Christians (should) seek to accomplish in the world around us.

Dr. Russell Moore goes into more detail here.


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