By: Fr. William Patrick Casey, C.P.M.
Right now, the gun control issue is once again in the forefront of the news after yet another mass murder perpetrated by yet another depraved young man. I must say that what amazes me in this whole public debate is that all of the focus seems to be on the guns and on the mental health system, but there is no talk about morality. There is little or no discussion about morality and the reality of evil and what needs to be done about it. As a result, we never seem to get to the real root of the problem we face in our post-Christian society.
In generations past, the most effective means of gun control was the observance of the Commandment, “Thou shall not kill.” But we now have the first generation of young people in the history of this country who don’t know the Ten Commandments or the “Golden Rule.” Young people today generally have little or no moral formation, no formation of conscience and often don’t know the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice.
I feel sorry for so many of our young people who have no sense of sin, no sense of God, no conception of eternal life, eternal reward for faith and goodness, eternal punishment for unrepentant evil, no sense of the sanctity of human life and sexuality, and typically no respect for the rights, the persons and property of others. Most young people do not seem to demonstrate that they have any sense that they have been created by God and for God for something greater than themselves, something higher than this world.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t blame young people for all of this. Objectively speaking, it is not their fault simply because, as the old saying goes, “you can’t give what you haven’t got.” By the same token, you can’t receive what has never been handed on to you.
I was listening to a program on talk radio out of Nashville on the gun control issue and this good old country boy called in and said, “Okay . . we ran God out of our schools. We don’t even want the name of God mentioned to our kids in public. They’ve done everything in the book to keep God out of their lives. All these years they’ve been teaching our kids that they come from animals ….now everybody is all shocked when they act like `em!” A good point! What should we expect from so many young people who have been taught all their lives that their lives and the lives of others are nothing more than the product of random evolution!
St. John Vianney used to say that without God, men will revert to barbarism in three generations. I would suggest to you that we are working on a third generation right now in this country. I will make you a prediction. Our politicians will not be able to pass new laws fast enough to keep pace with the moral collapse of this society unless we turn back to God and do it soon. Let’s work and pray to make it happen soon, for time is not on our side in this process of national moral disintegration.