Scripture counsels against hot takes when it instructs believers to be "quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger." I'm far from perfect at that, but I'm committed to learning to be obedient. So I've waited and watched and listened in the days that followed the horror in Nashville last week.
Here, after the passage of a reasonable amount of time, are 20 of my lingering observations and thoughts. I'm open to hearing where I'm off, misguided, or short-sighted. All I know is that this is all awful in the worst way, and I grieve for a culture so obviously under divine judgment.
What matters most
1. These precious children. How anyone can think to talk about, post about, posture about any other aspect of this story in the immediate aftermath just shocks the conscience. Those innocent faces, precious souls; may God Himself surround their families with His peace that alone passes all human understanding.
2. Dehumanizing people, no matter their struggle, illness, confusion, or conduct is wicked.
3. Identifying gender dysphoria as a mental illness in need of attention is not, in itself, dehumanizing.
4. Gender dysphoria is a mental illness and someone in outright rebellion to reality needs medical and psychological treatment.
5. It was appallingly bad judgment for the President of the United States to hail the "bravery" of trans people in the immediate aftermath of this horrendous crime, regardless of whatever fake holiday activists had previously manufactured.
6. Given the high-profile nature and callousness of the crime, the President of the United States should make it a top priority to visit the grieving families in Nashville.
7. Twitter is ordinarily a miserable place. After a tragedy like this it borders on criminal.
8. There are very bad people among us who cannot temper their hatred for others even in their grief.
9. Our inability to think critically as a people, to apply even the slightest level of moral reasoning, exemplified in comments like this:
…reveals the true depths of our cultural decay. He actually used the phrase "defend themselves."
10. Speculating about motives may be unavoidable, but it is usually dangerously provocative and unhelpful to do. To wit:
The Daily Wire has nothing to do with this event. Why speculate about them being a potential motive for any reason other than simply to inflame passions?
We don't have any evidence (at this point) that the killer was radicalized by Ben Ryan's publications. Why say this?
11. Our inability to collectively grieve as a people – to truly express heartbreak, concern, and compassion together, and instead to obsessively be on the lookout for any chance to score political points on the other side, is perhaps the clearest indication of how irrevocably our civilization is fractured.
12. That depressing reality actually makes the case for national divorce, with as messy and perilous a premise as it may be, far more enticing.
13. Ancient media outlets have lost their audiences because they lost the plot. They exchanged journalism for activism and have willfully torched their own credibility with flagrantly biased story-framing like this.
14. The media's attempts to shame and blame the killer's parents for "rejecting" her are grotesque. Permitting your 28-year-old mentally disturbed daughter to live with you may signify many things, but "rejection" is not one of them.
15. One drop of ink, one stroke of a keyboard, one second of public discourse that discusses the offense of "dead-naming" a mass murderer is one too many.
16. Nothing – absolutely nothing – that happened to the killer in her childhood provides reasonable explanation or justification for her killing spree in an elementary school.
17. Only a God-forsaken culture would put someone like this on television to provide wisdom and analysis on such a serious topic:
18. Regardless of any conclusions yet to be drawn regarding the motive, it is surely absurd and beyond dangerous to fill the tortured minds of mentally ill people with the paranoid delusion that Christians are out to "eradicate" them.
19. Steps should be taken to ensure legitimately mentally ill people have no ability to purchase or have access to guns.
20. Reducing this tragedy to an argument over guns is focusing on cobwebs while ignoring the spider.