Cause and Effect Essay - The True Cause of School Shootings

700 Words 3 Pages
Most of us learned when we were very young that we should not judge by appearances. But, in the aftermath of massacres in schools everywhere, a sane person has to take seriously what the material world shows - and pass judgment. After all, a lack of judgment and subsequent action may lead to further youth violence.

This event has been thoroughly dissected by a whole herd of politicians and pundits over a period of some months. But they have, unfortunately, failed to reach the heart of the matter.

For the heart of the matter is theological, a category that does not often appear in American public discourse. Instead, we hear talk about psychology, community, exclusion - the narrow, modern litany of cause and effect. David Mandel, a
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But it really conceals an attitude for which there is a technical theological term: Gnosticism. Gnosticism was one of the early Church's chief rivals. Unlike biblical creationism and the more optimistic views of nature found in some pagan philosophers, Gnostics saw the world as the product of an evil or, at best, indifferent, god; the true God was to be found only beyond material things. Evil was built in the foundations of this world.

If you want a rough idea of what this means in practice, you need look no further than Star Wars. The two sides of the Force are in perpetual conflict with one another. Neither Good nor Evil are ultimate principles, merely two parts of a whole. We are supposed to root for the good guys. But the dark side is always there, too, and has its "meaning and beauty" for some souls. In similar fashion, our culture does not wholly accept groups like the Trench Coat Mafia. Many principals and teachers are engaged in a daily struggle to keep groups like them under control. Any school, for example, that lets gang insignias and graffiti go unchecked is headed for disaster. So administrators are quick to check them whenever possible.

But the black trench coat presents a different kind of problem. It is not hard to imagine the outcry from the ACLU and other groups if schools move to ban otherwise harmless articles of clothing. And wherever the argument begins to be made that such fringe
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