My heart goes out to everyone connected with the senseless murders that took place this morning.
I cannot imagine that anyone will ever understand in what terrible inner landscape a person capable of such atrocities must have been living. From what inexpressible and horrific inner darkness can the idea of shooting children arise? It is incomprehensible. And yet the Germans – leaders of the most sophisticated, advanced, and intelligent culture that had ever existed to that point in time – devised the Final Solution, devised the logistics and mechanisms to murder six million innocent men, women and children.
And, like the Holocaust, this horrific slaughter of children will remain a troubling gadfly to our self-esteem and trust in civilization.
Another thing that I find incomprehensible is the multitude of invocations to pray for the families of the victims. What I understand of Christian theology seems to indicate that whatever comes our way is purportedly by god’s design, by divine will, and such tragedies consist of some mysterious and unknown plan. If that is true, is not the grief also part of the design? Are not the anguish of loss and the guilt of survival also part of the divine plan? Why then the need for prayer to allay the grief? Why pray to change something that god intended to occur?
I cannot accept that this violence against morality, this heinous assault on children comes from any divine source. If it does come from god, he seems to be saying, “I love you! I love you so much I will give you this tragedy so that you will love me more!”
Well, you know what, God? Fuck you. Take your insane need to torture your creation and shove it deep inside whatever passes for your metaphorical bowels. Shove it. Frequently. And with vigor.
I am comforted only by the thought that these deaths were quickly accomplished and hopefully with little pain. At least these innocents were not subjected to the humiliation and dehumanization that the victims of the Nazis were forced to endure. Precious little consolation – but it’s a something that’s better than a nothing.
It is a dismal truth that our century is awash in the murder of others, and that only through “willed ignorance” can we separate our lives from their deaths. To be human today, it appears, requires us to grasp the fact, if not the meaning, of the inhumanity that some men … have decreed as part of our stern heritage. – Lawrence Langer in “Art from the Ashes”