Sprung From a Culture of Death
By Dan Gayman
June 17, 2015: Dylann Roof, a white male, armed with a 45 caliber handgun walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, ostensibly for the Bible study. His real purpose soon manifested itself, however, when he pulled out his weapon and systematically murdered nine people in a merciless, blood-thirsty killing spree.
In the aftermath of this shooting the entire nation has turned its attention to Charleston. Every television network, every news outlet, the clergy, politicians, educators, and psychologists have joined in the chorus of those weighing in on this horrific crime. Many pundits have labeled Roof as a psychopath, and still others have called him racist, or simply a ruthless criminal.
Some of the leading voices in America, including the President, believe that all we need to do is pass stronger gun control laws, and presto! Problem solved. Never mind that just about every mass killing in America in recent years has occurred in locations where the only thing increasing more than gun control is the murder rate. Chicago, our nation’s heartbeat city, has become the murder capital of America in spite of having some of the strictest laws on gun control in the nation.
To embrace gun control is to deny the serious underlying spiritual, moral, and social problems that lie at the root of such brutal violence. The monstrosity committed by Roof is yet another tragedy to impugn the record 21st century society in America. One simply must inquire—what are the underlying causes for the growing acts of random violence in America? The least logical, most baseless response to crimes of violence is to blame it on guns. Yet this utterly predictable reaction is nothing deeper than a knee-jerk solution to a problem that is deep and profound. Sadly, with such unsatisfactory solutions, the proliferation of violence is inevitable.
Before summarizing these causes let it be known that Roof and every other criminal must be held personally accountable for their actions. Regardless of the particular disorders with which criminals are afflicted, justice must be meted out—hence, they must be held responsible for all criminal actions. Anyone capable of committing such heinous crimes as those which Roof has pleaded guilty to suffers from a serious disorder of the mind. Whether one deems him a psychopath or a sociopath, the result is no different. Both of these disorders share common behavioral traits that include:
. A disregard for laws and social mores
. A disregard for the rights of others
. A failure to feel remorse of guilt
. A tendency to display violent behavior
Since both the psychopath and the sociopath share these common behavioral traits, these two conditions are often confused, yet it is worth noting that there are major differences. A psychopath tends to be well educated, is able to hold down a steady job, is good at manipulation, can maintain a family and long-term relationships, and can even mimic emotions even though he does not actually feel them himself. A psychopath usually is able to conceal his criminal behavior in such a way that he leaves very few clues. The crimes of a psychopath are carefully and methodically planned and executed. These and many other behavioral characteristics separate them from a sociopath.
A sociopath tends to live in isolation, on the fringe of society. Most often, sociopaths often have little or minimal education and are unable to hold a job or remain in any single location for very long. These individuals typically are given to emotional outbursts, fits of rage, and display anger very quickly. A sociopath will frequently attach himself to a group or perhaps another individual but they have no regard for society or the laws that govern a given population. He is generally given to being nervous and easily agitated. Any acts of violence committed by a sociopath, including murder, are not typically well-planned, but rather are haphazard and spontaneous. The behavioral traits of a sociopath are thought to be learned and developed from a variety of causes including the absence of a nurturing and stable home, parental love, care, discipline, and moral guidance.
One might conceivably deduce, based on the known facts, that Roof could be classified as a sociopath. General information declares him to have always been somewhat of a shy individual, not interacting well with others. Additionally, he dropped out of school after the ninth grade. Roof had been arrested on drug charges and was without question using drugs at the time the crime in question was committed, and to top of the whole messy sundae with a cherry, he was unemployed. Reports are that his apparel of choice was typically black. Apparently (and unsurprisingly) he imbibed in not infrequent alcohol usage. There is some indication that he spent a considerable amount of time alone, surfing the internet and finding ample website fodder that helped radicalize him. It would seem that Roof drifted aimlessly through life for several years preceding the events of June 17, 2015.
Not unlike tens of thousands (perhaps millions) of other young men in America, Roof is the product of the new 21st Century America. He is one of many who seem to have little ambition, no discernible goals, and apparently no moral boundaries. In fact, it seems safe to say that he is devoid of all spiritual and moral values. Prior to the June 17th shooting, Roof was a young man living without purpose, ready to erupt at the slightest provocation.
The following are factors that may contribute to the creation of a sociopath:
Children who are fully integrated into a life that involves personal ambition, a good work ethic, moral boundaries, strong educational access, and a life lived with loving and caring functional parents are seldom going to deviate from a pattern of success in life.
It is tragic that Roof apparently lacked the nurturing that is so vital to success in life. Nonetheless, he must be held fully accountable for his behavior under the law and suffer the consequences for his unspeakably malicious behavior. The vast number of youth that are following the same model lived out by Roof is shocking and should grip the heart and soul of all America. If justice is not meted out swiftly and decisively, what kind of message does that send?
It is time that every American pause and search his own soul to examine his relationship with the Living God. In what way is our personal life complicit in tearing down the spiritual and moral fabric of America? What are the moral boundaries that we live by? What is the state of our conscience before a Holy God? Do we discern between good and evil? Do we really believe the Bible, and if so, how often do we meditate in God’s handbook for life? It is time for personal repentance for sin! Have we sought the face of God by faith in the Person of Jesus Christ?
Does the heinous crime of Roof not serve as a wake-up call to all America to come before God in a time of self examination and repentance? How many parents have walked away from divorce vows and left their children with broken hearts and emotional scars? How many fathers have either walked away from their children and the responsibility of fatherhood, or nearly just as bad, are physically present but missing from action? How many wives and mothers are giving reverence to the authority of the father so that the children will also understand the role of the father in the life of children?
How many fathers call their family to prayer, Bible reading, and a life of faithful Church attendance? How many parents raise their children from infancy with moral boundaries and with consequences that follow the breaking of these parental laws? Are we teaching and training our children the necessity of a disciplined life, a good work ethic, and how to practice kindness, love, and forgiveness by becoming ourselves a model for the to follow?
Modern America has become a killing field; culture of death hangs over our land. State endorsed abortion is taking approximately 4,000 lives every day in the abortion clinics of America. This barbaric killing of unborn children by tax-payer funded abortion-on-demand should melt the moral conscience of every American and call for a time of righteous indignation and outrage until this savagery desists.
Does anyone who is complicit in the abortion trade in this country have any right to stand in judgment of Dylann Roof? Does anyone using lethal forms of birth control that kills the conceived child and prevents that life from attaching itself to the uterus of the mother have any moral ground to judge anyone? Can those who endorse or promote any form of euthanasia or self-inflicted suicide be in any position to judge a confused, neglected, untaught twenty-one-year-old?
Roof will be harshly judged and will most likely be sentenced to death following due process in the judicial system of the U.S—as he should be. He is guilty of murder. But it is time for all America to give careful consideration of the need to examine our own personal lives and right the wrongs, through humble confession of personal sin, Godly repentance, amendment of life, and turning by faith to Jesus Christ. Only Christ living in us can empower this nation to once again be Godly, sober, and moral in this present wicked culture of death.
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