Littleton Killings: Who is to Blame?

Father,Could you give us your thoughts on the Littleton , Colorado situation?
I think the media is missing the boat and blaming everyone from society to
the parents to lack of gun control, to the kids. My own opinion is that it
goes back to core values and the teaching of ( or lack of teaching)those
values we call the 10 Commandments and everything that results from them.
And I don't mean to over simplify it, because I don't believe it's just one
thing that caused this horrible situation. But I can't help but believe
had we ( and I means we as a whole nation and society) has taken the
precautions by leaving in place the basic values that we need as a society
so that everyone can live, that this situation could have been avoided.
I feel we have allowed ourselves to be persuaded by people( though well
intentioned) to back off from our values and not impose them on our
children. I can remember at an open house at my daughter's school one
telling the teacher that her son should not have to live by the class rules
of proper behavior because it would inhibit him. And they were common sense
rules - don't take others property, no fighting, no speaking during quiet
hour, take turns, etc. All those rules stem from the 10 commandments in one
way or another.



Dear Deb,
Thank you for your e-mail and important question.  I do have a lot of thoughts about the killings in Littleton, many  along the lines you indicate.  I tried to express some of them in my short homily, Where are the Shepherds
You hinted at the basic problem in our fear of "imposing" upon children.  We have been afriad of damaging "self esteem."  Some people even blamed the massacre on those boys' low self esteem caused by others making fun of them.  This has become a knee jerk reaction.  If a girl gets pregnant, it is because of her low self-esteem.  If a boy takes drugs, once again, low self esteem.
The truth is everyone has low self esteem, even Bill Gates or Bill Clinton.  It's part of our human condition.  Our job as adults should be to help our children understand why.  That is where Jesus comes in.  Before him we recognize not only that we are totally dependent creatures, but that we have turned against our Creator.  In a word we are sinners and our situation is hopeless apart from Jesus.  At that point some real esteem can enter our hearts, not because we are so great or so lovable, but that we have been gratituously loved.
Does this make some sense to you, Deb?  I'm not saying we should put anyone down or allow children to make fun of each other.  But when we are brought down, we need to see it as an opportunity for true insight, humility.  And to teach that path to our children.
God bless,
Fr. Phil Bloom