“Evil Free Zones”

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Proverbs 27:19

~~~

Why would a Kingdom of God centered blog write about gun control? For the reason that the Spirit of Lawlessness pulls the trigger of a gun and also pulls on multiple political triggers in a Democracy.

For the reason that the Spirit of Lawlessness involves malignant narcissism which can be characterized by an unsubmitted will, the essence of lawlessness and the earmark of evil.

~~~

Within hours after the shooting in Roseburg Oregon at Umpqua Community College President Obama went to his shooting range (the bully pulpit) and began posting targets of the 2nd Amendment.

The president projected that we as a nation are making a political decision to support gun violence: “This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America.” He went on to say, again projecting, that we a nation have become “numbed” by these events, that “Somehow this has become routine”. And, what caught my attention even more so during his remarks, “We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.” (I will not show any video of Obama. He is not worthy your time.)

No, President Obama, we are not collectively responsible for what happens. I am NOT responsible for the Fast and Furious “event” murder of a border patrol agent during your administration’s gun-running operation under DOJ Eric Holder (a program initially created to generate 2nd Amendment opposition in its wake). And, I am NOT responsible for the murder of American Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans by your State Department’s dereliction of duty.

An individual, whether it be Chris Mercer-Harper or Eric Holder or Hillary Clinton, is responsible for his own behavior and not the American people as regarded with your projected ennui. And, it is apparent that some of the electorate and some your administration (Lois Lerner, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, to name just a few) may be just as lawless as you are Mr. President with your disregard for immigration laws.

Trigger warning: Obama’s crass politicizing and professorial shaming of the nation from the bully pulpit is the “routine” that we have become accustomed to. He’s pulling on the emotional triggers of many.

Obama’s invocation of the use of a political process – our unwieldy Democracy – to create a pretense of public safety was decidedly meant to corral in-the-moment public concern, anger and even a rush-to-judgment conviction. And, as Obama stated, he “will politicize” this sad and heartfelt event and, therefore, seek to turn the emotional reactions into a bold-faced law. Yet, even a passionate pseudo-democratic plea for authorization to amend law and make us feel good in the moment can never effect moral change and remove the lawlessness in the hearts of men or from our society.

Obama’s rhetoric in much of his speeches uses a well-known Collective device called the Goldstein Effect” so as to align our focus with his. It’s a given: Obama and Schumer Democrats will project an incident of one evil gun user onto all gun owners. The  anti-gun mouth runners will provide the “Two Minutes Hate” directed at the object of their loathing-the person with a gun.

Whether its guns, money, land or your business, the Collective very much seeks to take away your private property. Your right to be a gun owner and your right to protect yourself is of no value to them. So, they entomb you and your children in a “Gun Free Zone” (and thereby making you totally dependent on LEOs that this administration will not defend).

And, what law/s would stop a Chris Mercer-Harper or an Eric Holder or a Hillary Clinton from doing what they want to do anyway? Lawlessness prevails in the hearts of some men, whether on the street or in the White House.

Instead of carte blanche additions of more useless gun laws and the correlated loss of freedom there should be a serious debate and reflection about underlying causes of gun violence. Sadly, the social media format is “routinely” hype, hyperbole and ad hominem and not a debate forum. And, Obama is social media all the time.

~~~

Something to think about from Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 26, vs. 50-52: In the garden of Gethsemane, when soldiers approached to take Jesus into custody and to the High Priest Caiaphas, a disciple pulled out his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus said, “Put your sword back in its place.”

Jesus, at this point in time, knew that his “hour” had come and that he had to proceed without resisting. Prior to that time Jesus must have also known that Peter was carrying a sword in his belt. Jesus did not tell him to take off the sword and get rid of it. He knew the sword was in “its place.”

“Put your sword back to where it belongs!” Jesus said to the disciple, “People who use the sword die by the sword!”

With a group of possibly twelve centurions standing nearby waiting to arrest Jesus I would have no doubt that the soldiers, fully armored and carrying swords, knew exactly what Jesus meant. And what Jesus said may have been a common saying among the soldiers of that time.

The understanding I get from this passage is that if you live “by the sword”-with the understanding that conflicts, whether internal or external, are only resolved by violent means to an end-then those who do so will meet a violent end.

God’s Kingdom purposes are not accomplished through violence or the preceding unsubmitted will of those that created the conflict in the first place.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.”

~~~

At some point Chris Harper-Mercer turned away from looking into spiritual truth and disengaged from it and reality, perhaps by spending extended amounts of time alone in a darkened room on 4chan or on some just as enthralling and dehumanizing internet site.

Harper-Mercer’s deed appears to be a reflection of his time spent alone and online and a growing sense of powerlessness that he was “encouraged’ online to reverse with force.

A quotation from his Facebook account simply read: “When all the pleasures of the world have diluted, the only thing left that is pure is power.”

Dr. M. Scott Peck author of People of the Lie: the Hope for Healing Human Evil wrote, “… the only power that Satan has is through human belief in its lies.” Therein advances the evil that we must confront and be free of.

“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” Proverbs 27:19

~~~

Related:

“I’m sure the gunman realized there really wasn’t much there to stop him,” said Coleman, a former police chief at Texas A&M in San Antonio. In today’s environment, you need armed police officers on these campuses in my opinion.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/10/02/school-safety-advocates-question-campus-security-measures-in-wake-oregon/?intcmp=hpbt2

“Time to talk about gun free zones”

“Gun-free zones presume the good intentions of those entering the zone. And the overwhelming majority have such good intentions. But for those who have bad intentions, gun-free zones turn schools and other locations into shooting galleries. The good people are unarmed, the evil person is armed.”

-William A. Jacobson, clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School and publisher of Legal Insurrection website.

Gun-free zones put “good people … at the mercy of evil people”

Mental Illness or Moral Illness or a Life Well-Lit

The Moral Arithmetic of Lawlessness

Hearts of Darkness

~~~

Added: 10-4-2015

This astounding finding should be an integral part of the gun violence debate:

Robert Whitaker author of Anatomy of an Epidemic asks the question, here paraphrased…

Is there a correlation between the increase of prescribed psychotropic medications over the past twenty-five years and the current epidemic of disabling mental illness? He notes that the disabled mentally ill place a significant burden on society.

Forgiveness at the Threshold of Mercy

Looking Evil in the Eye: Pretense

In my series of posts regarding aspects of evil found in our culture, I want to add this post due to its relevance to our current cultural and political makeup. I’m using the word “makeup “on purpose. Beyond it denoting a milieu or environment the word also connotes the topic of this post ~ pretense.

In his book People of the Lie:  The Hope for Healing Human Evil, Dr. M. Scott Peck writes in the chapter titled “The Encounter with Evil in Everyday Life” that

 “The issue of naming (evil) is a theme of this work. It has already been touched on in diverse instances: science has failed to name evil as a subject for scrutiny; the name evil does not appear in the psychiatric lexicon; we have been reluctant to label specific individuals with the name evil; in their presence, therefore, we may experience a nameless dread or revulsion; yet the naming of evil is not without danger.

To name something correctly gives us a certain amount of power over it. Through its name we identify it.  We are powerless over a disease until we can accurately name it…The treatment begins with its diagnosis.  But is evil an illness? Many would not consider it so.  There are a number of reasons why one might be reluctant to classify evil as a disease.  Some are emotional. For instance, we are accustomed to feel pity and sympathy for those who are ill, but the emotions that evil invoke in us are anger and disgust, if not actual hate…

Beyond our emotional reactions, there are three rational reasons that make us hesitate to regard evil as an illness…I shall nonetheless take the position that evil should indeed be regarded as a mental illness.”

Dr. Peck goes on to discuss the three reasons. I will use summary quotes.

 “The first holds that people should not be considered ill unless they are suffering pain or disability – that there is no such thing as an illness without suffering….it is characteristic of the evil that, in their narcissism, they believe that there is nothing wrong with them, that they are psychologically perfect human specimens…For we realize that their inability to define themselves as ill in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is actually part of the illness itself…The use of the concept of emotional suffering to define disease is also faulty in several other respects. As I noted in The Road Less Traveled, it is often the most spiritually healthy and advanced among us who are called on to suffer in ways more agonizing than anything experienced by the more ordinary.  Great leaders, when wise and well, are likely to endure degrees of anguish unknown to the common man. Conversely, it is the unwillingness to suffer emotional pain that usually lies at the root of emotional illness.  Those who fully experience depression, doubt, confusion and despair may be infinitely more healthy than those who are generally certain, complacent and self satisfied.  The denial of suffering is, in fact, a better definition of illness than its acceptance.

The evil deny the suffering of their guilt – the painful awareness of their sin, inadequacy and imperfection – by casting their pain onto others through projection and scapegoating.  They themselves may not suffer, but those around them do.  They cause suffering.  The evil create for those under their dominion a miniature sick society.”…

 Finally, who is to say what the evil suffer? It is consistently true that the evil do not appear to suffer deeply.  Because they cannot admit to weakness or imperfection in themselves, they must appear this way.  They must appear to themselves to be continually on top of things, continually in command.  Their narcissism demands it…

Think of the psychic energy required for the continued maintenance of the pretense so characteristic of the evil!…”

“I said that there are two other reasons one might hesitate to label evil as an illness…One is the notion that someone who is ill must be a victim….One way or another, to some extent, all these people (the evil) and a host of others victimize themselves. Their motives, failures and choices are deeply and intimately involved in the creation of their injuries and diseases….

The final argument against labeling evil an illness is the belief that evil is a seemingly untreatable condition…It is the central proposition of this book that evil can and should be subjected to scientific scrutiny…It would, I believe, be quite appropriate to classify evil people as constituting a specific variant of the narcissistic personality disorder.”

Dr. Peck goes on to describe this variant of personality disorder:

“In addition to the abrogation of responsibility that characterizes all personality disorders, this one would specifically be distinguished by:

(a)    consistent destructive, scapegoating behavior, which may often be quite subtle.

(b)    excessive, albeit usually covert, intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury.

(c)    Pronounced concern with a public injury and self-image of respectability, contributing to a stability of life-style but also to pretentiousness and denial of hateful feelings or vengeful motives.

(d)   Intellectual deviousness, with an increased likelihood of a mild schizophrenic-like disturbance of thinking at time of stress.

But there is another vital reason to correctly name evil:  the healing of its victims.”

(all emphasis -bold type- mine) 

*****************

 Over the course of some sixty years I have encountered some distinctly evil people.  The common characteristic of their personality is the veneer of pretense with which they surround their lives.  Perhaps, instead of the word “veneer” the word “mirror” would better convey the 360 degree reflection of themselves they so desire.

In their mind’s eye they see themselves in a grandiose role, a self-assessed worthy role (remember Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?). To support their ‘self-thesis’ the pretentious will seek out others who will regard them in the same way ~ a Super Pac to fund a super ego (the three witches met Macbeth; his ego chose to ‘believe’ their words). Pretentious people will demand to be seen in their ‘light’ only. You become to them only a speck in their shadow.

Those, of course, who can rightly see what every one else can see will disagree. And, if they make any statement contrary to the ‘fairy tale’ narrative imposed they will be called deniers and ignorant or worse. 

Today our nation has a President who fits all of the above characteristics of pretense. God help us.

Jesus said, “If the light in you is darkness how great is that darkness.”

Jesus’ perfect love can cast out fear…and evil.

~~~~~

I liken the characteristic of pretense to the walls of Jericho:   The huge stone walls of Jericho looked invincible. Yet, after seven days of marching around the façade with God’s presence (the Ark) in the lead and with ram’s horns blowing on the seventh day, the walls fell down; the city of Jericho became indefensible. My how the mighty façades have fallen over the years.

Pretense, Part 1: A Look at Evil, Pretense and Suffering

In his book People of the Lie:  The Hope for Healing Human Evil, Dr. M. Scott Peck writes in the chapter The Encounter with Evil in Everyday Life that

 “The issue of naming (evil) is a theme of this work. It has already been touched on in diverse instances: science has failed to name evil as a subject for scrutiny; the name evil does not appear in the psychiatric lexicon; we have been reluctant to label specific individuals with the name evil; in their presence, therefore, we may experience a nameless dread or revulsion; yet the naming of evil is not without danger.

To name something correctly gives us a certain amount of power over it. Through its name we identify it.  We are powerless over a disease until we can accurately name it…The treatment begins with its diagnosis.  But is evil an illness? Many would not consider it so.  There are a number of reasons why one might be reluctant to classify evil as a disease.  Some are emotional. For instance, we are accustomed to feel pity and sympathy for those who are ill, but the emotions that evil invoke in us are anger and disgust, if not actual hate…

Beyond our emotional reactions, there are three rational reasons that make us hesitate to regard evil as an illness…I shall nonetheless take the position that evil should indeed be regarded as a mental illness.”

Dr. Peck goes on to discuss the three reasons. I will use summary quotes.

 “The first holds that people should not be considered ill unless they are suffering pain or disability – that there is no such thing as an illness without suffering….it is characteristic of the evil that, in their narcissism, they believe that there is nothing wrong with them, that they are psychologically perfect human specimens…For we realize that their inability to define themselves as ill in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is actually part of the illness itself…The use of the concept of emotional suffering to define disease is also faulty in several other respects. As I noted in The Road Less Traveled, it is often the most spiritually healthy and advanced among us who are called on to suffer in ways more agonizing than anything experienced by the more ordinary.  Great leaders, when wise and well, are likely to endure degrees of anguish unknown to the common man. Conversely, it is the unwillingness to suffer emotional pain that usually lies at the root of emotional illness.  Those who fully experience depression, doubt, confusion and despair may be infinitely more healthy than those who are generally certain, complacent and self satisfied.  The denial of suffering is, in fact, a better definition of illness than its acceptance.

The evil deny the suffering of their guilt – the painful awareness of their sin, inadequacy and imperfection – by casting their pain onto others through projection and scapegoating.  They themselves may not suffer, but those around them do.  They cause suffering.  The evil create for those under their dominion a miniature sick society.”…

 Finally, who is to say what the evil suffer? It is consistently true that the evil do not appear to suffer deeply.  Because they cannot admit to weakness or imperfection in themselves, they must appear this way.  They must appear to themselves to be continually on top of things, continually in command.  Their narcissism demands it…

Think of the psychic energy required for the continued maintenance of the pretense so characteristic of the evil!…”

“I said that there are two other reasons one might hesitate to label evil as an illness…One is the notion that someone who is ill must be a victim….One way or another, to some extent, all these people (the evil) and a host of others victimize themselves. Their motives, failures and choices are deeply and intimately involved in the creation of their injuries and diseases….

The final argument against labeling evil an illness is the belief that evil is a seemingly untreatable condition…It is the central proposition of this book that evil can and should be subjected to scientific scrutiny…It would, I believe, be quite appropriate to classify evil people as constituting a specific variant of the narcissistic personality disorder.”

Dr. Peck goes on to describe this variant of personality disorder:

“In addition to the abrogation of responsibility that characterizes all personality disorders, this one would specifically be distinguished by:

(a)    consistent destructive, scapegoating behavior, which may often be quite subtle.

(b)    excessive, albeit usually covert, intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury.

(c)    Pronounced concern with a public injury and self-image of respectability, contributing to a stability of life-style but also to pretentiousness and denial of hateful feelings or vengeful motives.

(d)   Intellectual deviousness, with an increased likelihood of a mild schizophrenic-like disturbance of thinking at time of stress.

But there is another vital reason to correctly name evil:  the healing of its victims.”

 *****************

 I have encountered some distinctly evil people during my life.  The common characteristic of their personality is the veneer of pretense with which they surround their lives.  They see themselves in a role, a grandiose, high-minded role.  There is nothing within themselves or outside themselves that will keep them from holding that image up before themselves or others. They will deny, blame and ignore what every one else can clearly see.  Their motivation, as Dr. Peck describes in the above chapter, is fear. 

Jesus said, “If the light in you is darkness how great is that darkness.”

Jesus’ perfect love can cast out fear…and evil.