22 July 2012

On discussing current events, here and elsewhere.

On my other blog, More Christ, I discuss the Christian religion and how we can get better at practicing it. Because I want my posts there to be resources—things that people can read years from now, and still find useful—I’m trying to resist the temptation to tie it to current events, or what everybody else on the blogosphere (or at least those who follow the Internet Monk/Rachel Held Evans/Scot McKnight axis) is talking about.

It’s not easy. Being current is a shortcut: It immediately makes you relevant, ’cause current stuff is relevant, right? Except… will it be relevant a decade or two from now? If you notice the Mr. Squish strips, I didn’t always resist that temptation, and as a result I have to explain all those old strips in order for anyone to “get” them.

Anywho. Today (the post goes live at noon Pacific tiime) I indirectly addressed last week’s shooting in Aurora, Colorado, by looking at theodicy, the practice of defending God when evil stuff happens. ’Cause evil stuff happened, and of course people will ask, “Where was God? Why didn’t he intervene? He should have intervened! Bad genie! Grant my wishes!” And the like.

Various idiots have already blamed God for it, and of course the devil. I’m not a psychologist, nor am I the shooter’s psychologist, so I have no idea what was going through his mind, and no business speculating. I can only talk about people in general, ’cause I’m one of them. Why do people do evil? Because we blindly follow the authorities who order it, or because we gain power or money or other profit by it, or because it’s fun. Evil isn’t all that hard a concept. Anyone who claims, “I just can’t understand why someone would do that!” is in denial about their own personal evil impulses. Anyone can understand why. We just wouldn’t indulge those impulses: We know how to resist them. (Actually resisting them is another matter.)

Clearly I have no trouble discussing current events on this blog, but it’s not the same sort of resource.