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Homegrown evil and spiritual revival

FBI agents work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 5, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Police have detained Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, 22, in connection with the shooting in which six people were killed and 19 injured, according to published reports.
FBI agents work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 5, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Police have detained Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, 22, in connection with the shooting in which six people were killed and 19 injured, according to published reports. | Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

There is evil abroad in the land, and it’s a cancer to our society. Any naïve belief in the inherent goodness of man was shattered on July 4th, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois.

What would possess — and that’s exactly the right word — a young man with his whole life ahead of him to take to the roof of a building and systematically shoot off about 60 bullets, killing many and wounding dozens?

He shot fellow Americans enjoying an Independence Day parade. As far as we know, he killed total strangers.

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From what has been coming out, this young man apparently came from a terribly dysfunctional home. For example, Fox News tells of one incident where the police were called to the confessed shooter’s home in September 2019 because he had reportedly threatened to “kill everyone.” The police then confiscated his collection of knives.

In his End of Day Report, Gary Bauer wrote of the shooter: “He’s just another sad example of the people we have increasingly seen in the streets of America. The anarchists owned the streets in the summer of 2020. Their goal is to tear down, destroy and intimidate. And they desperately want to see America burn.”

He made videos with violent themes, such as “Toy Soldier.” In this video he is seen rapping in a classroom, and one of his lines is “F- this world.” writes of this video: “Images of a heavily armed shooter entering a school and opening fire are cut between scenes of him battling police outside. The shooter is seen lying in a pool of blood in the final scene.”

I read some interesting reactions on the Highland Park massacre from acquaintances, commenting back and forth through a private email chain.

One person wrote of the shooter: “A monster ... To be so callous and disregarding of human life as to shoot children and elderly alike at a small-town parade — and obviously choosing the 4th of July was no coincidence. We have a violent culture — plus we're teaching the next generation to hate America and its founding — what can we expect from such a deadly combination?”

He went on to mention how Chicagoland, including Highland Park, has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

Another person responded: “I’m not going to get into a debate about guns but do feel we need stricter purchasing guidelines … A 22 year old with recorded violent music and videos and/or an 18 year old (as in Uvalde) should not be able to just purchase an AR-15 type rifle without some serious background check.”

Someone else said in the email chain: “What’s scary, too, is the attention this guy is getting.  News coverage was non-stop pretty much all day, every station. Just must wonder about the next unhinged maniac out there who wants to be famous.” I refuse to mention his name.

Some want to blame this whole evil act on guns. But there were guns from the beginning of this country through the present. Yet there wasn’t this same kind of rampant immorality.

George Washington said that religion and morality are indispensable supports to our political prosperity and to human happiness.

John Adams observed: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

One of the reasons the founders thought the knowledge of God was so important was because they believed what the Bible says — that He will one day hold us all accountable. That view impacts how we live.

But our cultural elites today say that God has no place in the public arena.

In the 1960s and ‘70s, the Supreme Court systematically stripped God away from the public square. For example, in a case in 1980, they said that the Ten Commandments posted in schools are supposedly unconstitutional. They said that if they were hanging in the classroom, the children might read them, meditate on them, venerate them, and obey them.

Imagine — “Thou shalt not kill” was supposedly an unconstitutional message for our young people. We are reaping what we’ve sown. That Supreme Court case, by the way, was decided long before school shootings became common.

After the recent massacre, William Bennett, the former Secretary of Education in the Reagan Administration, commented that we need more exorcisms in our country to drive out the evil existing in the hearts of some of these sick fellow Americans.

I remember when Bennett once told me in a media interview: “Does anybody really have a worry that the United States is becoming overly pious? That our young people have dedicated too much of their lives to prayer, that teenagers in this country are preoccupied with thoughts of eternity?”

What America needs so desperately is a true revival of the soul, lest the moral cancer of godlessness overpower us. Let’s pray for America, before it’s too late.

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is the executive director of the Providence Forum, an outreach of D. James Kennedy Ministries, where Jerry also serves as senior producer and an on-air host. He has written/co-written 33 books, including George Washington’s Sacred Fire (with Providence Forum founder Peter Lillback, Ph.D.) and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (with D. James Kennedy, Ph.D.).    @newcombejerry

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