Nothing strikes deeper to the heart than the loss of children. It's one more reason why the horror in Newtown, Conn., has hurt our nation so badly.
I do not believe there is any human suffering like the suffering of a parent who loses a child.
I know it from personal experience. I lost a beautiful, young teenage daughter almost 10 years ago, and the pain never goes away.
When tragedy strikes, we want to do something. It is a natural human instinct that when we suffer, we conclude it is because something is broken and to want to fix it.
But in order to fix it, we need to understand what's broken.
Debate about access to guns and assault weapons is reasonable at this time. But it would layer tragedy on top of tragedy if the only thing we walk away from this incident with is that what may be broken in our nation is our gun laws.
We ought to be asking what connection there might be between the state of mind and behavior of the young man who committed this crime and the home and society in which he lived.
We should use Christmas this year to think about this. Nothing could be more in the spirit of the holiday.
Our popular idea about freedom is that it is about individuals being able to do what they want as long as they don't hurt others.
But the limitation we have in thinking about whether we hurt others is whether there is immediate and obvious physical damage. Hence, the first political reaction to the Newtown tragedy has been how can we better prevent the mentally ill from injuring others.
But what about damage done to others that may not be immediately obvious in the form of physical injury?
What responsibility do we bear for those we call "mentally ill?" How might their mental state and behavior reflect and result from our behavior toward them?
The theme, which seems to have defined this tragic young man's reality, is isolation.
The descriptions we read convey that he was a "nerd," "socially awkward."
I think we all can agree that isolation, certainly of a child, is unhealthy. But if we agree that isolation is unhealthy -- damaging -- how is this reconciled in a society that rejects the idea that there are truths that transcend individuals and connect us all to each other, that there are social truths as well as individual truths?
If a free society is just a collection of individuals who choose to live together because it is useful to do so, then those whom we do not view as useful we push aside and isolate.
The most vulnerable to this emotional brutality are children -- and often the most sensitive and talented.
We ought to be thinking about the falsehoods we commonly accept so we can wake up and improve.
If we really believe that in a free society pursuit of self-interest does not include behavior that harms others, we should appreciate that a society that equates freedom to moral relativism and meaninglessness does harm others and reject it.
The collateral damage of embracing the half truths and outright lies of moral relativism creates too many problems to sweep under the rug. The damage that is done to the elderly, the unattractive and unskilled, the "socially awkward" and the unborn cannot be fixed by Band-Aid laws that pretend to fix it all.
There is no Band-Aid for the damage caused by not seeing and respecting each individual as unique and sacred, made in the image of their Creator.
The isolation and alienation that results in a society fueled by use rather than unconditional love leads inevitably to tragedy like what we have just witnessed.
This should be this year's Christmas message from Newtown.
For lack of something of substance to tell the American people, Democrats ran a campaign of hate, blame, and division. (comments)
Black Americans have suffered greatly living under the thumb of government and believing it is a good thing. (comments)
The funds that pay for the fear and disinformation campaign come from groups who really are hurting black Americans. (comments)
As Elbert Guillory points out in his ad, despite all the big government, the economic state of affairs of low-income blacks has changed little over the years. (comments)
Beyond the overriding economic control that the federal government now has over citizens, federal courts now dictate our social norms. (comments)
The black unemployment rate in North Carolina is more than double that of whites. (comments)
American families have been damaged and out-of-wedlock births have increased six-fold from 1960 to 42 percent today. Government has displaced family. (comments)
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Diversity should be about about recognizing "diversity of people's gifts, talents, and skills." (comments)
Low-income black parents need options, choices, for educating their children outside the public school monopoly. (comments)
Since Johnson, the government has spent $15 trillion dollars fighting poverty without reducing poverty. (comments)
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In our president's take on the world, if there is a winner who winds up better off there must be a loser who winds up equally worse off. (comments)
The Tea Party captures a groundswell of dissatisfaction with business-as-usual in how our country is being run. (comments)
What kind of discussion can take place with those who equate a procedure in which one life is destroyed and another put at risk with going to the dentist? (comments)
In 20 years there will be no funds to pay one third of the benefits of retirees. (comments)
The growing percentage of our voters is not white and they largely vote for Democrats. (comments)
Free choice and private initiative seems to violate the religious convictions of liberals. (comments)
Why does America convey neutrality between a nation that is indisputably free and a government that is not? (comments)
In a Pew Research survey of last October, 25 percent of blacks expressed favorability toward the Tea Party, just 6 points less than whites. (comments)