The news is just coming in and more will be revealed as the day goes on, but it's clear that a shooter came into Kansas City's suburban Jewish Community Center in Overland Park and shot people, then traveled the 2.6 miles to Village Shalom, the retirement and assisted living center nearby, and shot more. Three were dead in this shocking dual event.
Here's channel 41's news report in Kansas City:
The shooter cried "Heil Hitler" on the eve of the Jewish Passover, the season of our Redemption which begins on Monday night worldwide.
Two weeks ago another shooter walked onto the base at Fort Hood, near Killeen, Texas and like happened in 2009, killed innocent victims nearby. The shootings happened at several locations on base.
Four people, including the gunman, were killed, while sixteen other people were injured. The shooter, 34-year-old Ivan Lopez, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Senseless shootings; innocent victims; the phrases ring in our ears and pain us like a punch in the gut. Why did these madmen do what they did? Why does anyone do such irrational things?
Of course, here's the problem. We are seeking to know about rationality in irrationality.
Ayn Rand said, "Rationality is man’s basic virtue, the source of all his other virtues. Man’s basic vice, the source of all his evils, is the act of unfocusing his mind, the suspension of his consciousness, which is not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know. Irrationality is the rejection of man’s means of survival and, therefore, a commitment to a course of blind destruction; that which is anti-mind, is anti-life."
These madmen and any number of others--think Columbine, think Port Arthur, think all wild and crazed murderous attacks-- they are irrational. And thus, anti-life. Shame.
Tonight begins the holiday of Passover, an eight-day holiday celebrating the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt about 3,500 years ago. And Friday here in Australia, a national holiday is titled "Good Friday." This commemorates the death of the Jewish messiah in Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago. His name was Yeshua and although he had done no violence. The Jewish Bible predicted this about him, "He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed."
(Isaiah the prophet, chapter 53, verses 3-5)
In the natural, looking for reason from those who killed Yeshua, some might have cited sedition or heresy. But really there was no really good reason to kill the innocent Son of God. No deceit was in his mouth. Isaiah goes on to say, "But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief." (verse 10) So although naturally there were no good reasons, and Ayn Rand would have cited something about the irrationality of the murderers, God had another plan. It's 'good' Friday because God saw to our problem, He saw to our need for forgiveness and delivered us from a tyrant far worse than Pharaoh. He delivered us from sin. No wonder the Lord was pleased. God wanted us back in relationship with Him, and only forgiveness could accomplish this.
I pray for all the victims and the families of the victims in Kansas City and in Texas. Let's work this year to make sense out of other people's sufferings and to live a life that pleases the Almighty.