Friday, December 4, 2009

The vanguard

A few weeks ago it was Alyssa Bustamante, who allegedly killed her nine-year-old neighbor because she wanted to see what it was like to kill someone.

Now it's Andrew Conley, who is alleged to have killed his ten-year-old brother to satisfy a craving to kill.

Alyssa is fifteen. Andrew is seventeen.

There will be a host of psychological theories to explain these two cases. But the one that makes sense to me is this one, from the prosecutor in the Conley case:

"Sometimes people are just evil," Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said. "This is an evil child."
We surround our children with evil. There are evil books for them to read, evil music for them to listen to, evil movies and television programs for them to watch. Andrew Conley says he identified with the serial killer "Dexter" on this program. It's a mark of our society's debasement that a serial killer could ever be shown as a sympathetic character in the first place, but then again, Dexter is not the first time that's been done.

In addition to surrounding our children with evil, we negate or neuter any idea of good. We fill our children's heads with moral relativism, we tell them to do what feels good (as if mere feelings have ever been an adequate guide to morality); we sneer at virtue and tear down innocence as if it were something only worthy of destruction. We laugh at the practice of religion as something unenlightened and superstitious; our children beg for bread, for the Eucharist of salvation, and we give them stones, the hardness of unrepentant mortality.

And in the void we have created, they turn blindly away from the light that hurts their eyes and wounds their self-esteem--for they have been taught that all is good, that every impulse which satisfies their own sense of self is righteous and noble--and toward the darkness, which does not challenge them, which affirms them in their okayness, and which holds up models of evil for them to emulate and admire.

And so they choose. They choose darkness. They choose evil. They choose death.

And we stand back, and wring our hands, and say, "How can this be?" But we know. For all the psychobabble and sensationalized news coverage and analysis which substitutes for its morally deeper cousin, reflection, we know. They choose evil, because we have never permitted them to choose good.

If we are bent on tearing down every moral law, if we are so set upon our own destruction that we think in a purely secular society everyone will continue to do what is righteous, if we think that the dark and savage impulses to murder and terror and violence and the infliction of pain upon our fellow men have been "cured" by a godless Enlightenment that sets men up as gods and worships them in the smallness of their flawed and fallen nature, then we should expect to see many more children like Alyssa and Andrew, children who kill for the thrill of it, because they want to know for themselves what murder is like. They are the vanguard of the coming darkness.


Kindred Spirit said...

When parents make gods of their children, the inmates soon run the asylum. This is an excellent post filled with wisdom.

Irenaeus said...


Charlene Marilynn D'Angelo & Stevie Wonder - 1983

Superman was killed in Dallas
There's no love left in the palace
Someone took the Beatles' lead guitar
Have another Chivas Regal
You're 12 years old and sex is legal
Your parents don't know where or who you are

Used to be the hero of the ballgame
Took the time to shake the loser's hand
Used to be that failure only meant you didn't try
In a world where people gave a damn

Great big wars in little places
Look at all those frightened faces
But don't come here, we just don't have the room
Love thy neighbours wife and daughter
Cleanse your life with Holy water
We don't need to bathe, we've got perfume

Used to be a knight in shining armour
Didn't have to own a shiny car
Dignity and courage were the measure of a man
Not the drugs he needs to hide the scar

Can your teacher read, does your preacher pray
Does your president have soul
Have you heard a real good ethnic joke today
Mama took to speed and daddy ran away
But you mustn't lose control
Let's cut the class, I got some grass
The kids are wild we just can't tame 'em
Do we have the right to blame them

We fed them all our indecisions
We wrecked their minds with television
But what the hell, they're too young to feel pain
But I believe that love can save tomorrow
Believe the truth can make us free
Someone tried to say it, then we nailed Him to a cross
I guess it's still the way it used to be

LarryD said...

As long as parents continue to kill their children in abortion, it's no surprise that children are killing other children.

Your analysis, Erin, is spot on as usual.

Charlotte said...

Amen, Sister!