Why is that anytime someone does an unspeakable crime the media charactarizes them as a loner? I was watching the news the other day and they talked about the man who shot all the people at Virginia Tech. They said he was a loner, obsessed with the columbine shooting and just plain strange. The school should have picked up on these things is what the news program I was watching implied. Then there was a man who had molested several children, he was a loner and very strange. None of his neighbors really new him. Other killers and extreme law breakers were also charactarized as loners, strange or even monsters.
Perhaps I simply understand the term "loner" differently. First of all, I think a loner is someone who is comfortable with him or herself by themselves. They do not mind doing things alone and often enjoy being alone. A true loner refills him or herself by being by themselves. A loner will often go to parties and be around people, but will find themselves exhausted afterwards. People wear out a true loner. Most loners have little room for small talk and do not need to fill the silences in a conversation with noise. Loners often enjoy silence and quiet and do not find it difficult to be silent. Loners sometimes want to be by themselves, but are not anti-social. They have a few close friends and are very happy with just a few friends. They may on occasion avoid social activities and not like crowds a whole lot. They can endure crowds, but it wears them out quickly. Others sometimes see the loner as withdrawn, unfreindly, aloof and even arrogant at first. However, once they get to know the person, they realize that he or she is not that way.
It seems to me that these people who commit such horrendouse crimes are not true loners, but people who have tried to fit in and lack the skills or abilities to truly be a part of a community. Therefore, they feel shunned and wish to strike out in some way or another. They are sick, yes, but not true loners.
I also find it interesting that we must characterize these people as monsters, as well. It is like we must remove them from the human race in order to attempt to understand what they have done. If I understand the Bible correctly every human being is a child of God. Therefore, we are brothers and sisters to these "maniacs" that do these crimes. Hence, but for the grace of God we also could do these horrible deeds. In other words, inside of each human being is the capacity for great evil. We all have the ability to be a Hitler or Virginia Tech shooter or whatever. However, we also have a great capacity for good. The Bible tells us that humanity was created in the image of God. Therefore, we were created good. That capacity for good never leaves us, it just becomes damaged when we sin. Being created good, though, because of sin, we have a propensity toward sin. Hence, we will all sin. Some sins seem bigger than others, but the result of sin is the same, death. Of course, our sins are taken away by the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
All this is to say, though, I think we as Christians should be very careful in how we judge these so called "monsters." We, as human beings have the capacity for equal evil within us, just as these monsters have the capacity for good. Jung called the realization of such evil inside of us as "embracing the shadow." In order to truly embrace the good within us, we also have to embrace the shadow and realize our capacity for evil. In other words, don't remove these people who commit such atrocities from the human race, but remember that the same capacity is inside of you. To truly be human, though, is to live in the image of God we were created in. We are children of God, let us embrace our heritage.
Meditation on John 1:3
6 days ago