Tuesday, February 19, 2008

NIU shooting shows why Obama strikes a chord...what?

"Obama is surging ahead because a lot of people are tired of believing they are powerless to heal an ailing nation."

I was on break at work when I first heard about the NIU shooting and again I had to cycle through the millions of questions that these shootings bring.

Why? How? Come on? Lord, protect those who are fighting for their lives.

These seem to be just some of the questions that are always raised. People have many ideas about why it does happen and are very quick to get in front of a camera to start passing the buck. Wither it's someone saying that video games, rock music, medications, lack of medications, and guns are the cause none of these answers seem to fit the entire bill.

There was an article in the Chicago Sun-Times entitled:

Shooting shows why Obama strikes a chord.

Mary Mitchell, the author of the article, starts: "If you're wondering why Sen. Barack Obama's message of hope has resonated with so many voters across the country, consider the shooting rampage at Northern Illinois University." Mitchell is basically stating that the shooter at NIU is a product of his time and the product of our time is a "lack of hope". Sen. Obama's message, as vacuous as it is, is filled with many appeals to "bringing back the hope" and other statements like "hope is on the way." A message that resonates with the majority of Americans.

Therefore, according to my understanding of the article, if Barack Obama was to become President then this "hope" that we all seem to be struggling to find would be fulfilled and therefore people will not go to schools and shoot them up anymore? This is a dramatic claim that has many implications.

First, if Barack Obama is the bringer of hope then why did this kid, who lives in Illinois which is Barack Obama's home state, not wait to see if Barack became President? If Barack is the harbinger of hope, how did the killer miss it? Why didn't he wait?

Second, hope isn't the problem here. Evil is. How can a person, whose own nature tends towards evil, bring hope to a people to solve the problem of evil? The problem isn't hopelessness, per say, it's our hopeless struggle with our sinful nature. Is a Barack Obama Presidency going to solve the evil inside us? Can he? Somehow I don't think he would take that mantle, given his personal relationship with Christ, and I am amazed at how his disciples attempt to lay that mantle on him.
Finally, we are hopeless. No President, no Government, no Person (save one), can solve that problem. No person outside of Jesus Christ offers hope to the hopeless. Putting hope into the hope of Barack Obama or any other Presidential candidate for that matter, past or future is pointless. They won't solve that inner struggle. They can't.

"Hopelessness is behind the violence that erupts on street corners and behind closed doors in middle-class homes where women have killed their children and tried to take their own lives."

She may be right that "hopelessness" is out there but she is wrong about the root and wrong about the remedy. Mrs. Mitchell is right though about this, we are powerless to heal the ailing nation and while Presidents or people may be able to put a band aide on the problem for a time, only one thing brings the cure:

"Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. " Ps. 42:5



"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14