"Lullay, Thou little tiny Child By by, lully, lullay..." The 16th-century Coventry Carol, a mother´s lament for her lost son, is the only song of the season about the other children of Christmas – the first-born of Bethlehem, slaughtered on Herod´s orders after the Magi brought him the not-so-glad tidings that an infant of that city would grow up to be King of the Jews. As Matthew tells it, even in a story of miraculous birth, in the midst of life is death. The Massacre of the Innocents loomed large over the Christian imagination: in Rubens´ two renderings,
Thank you for posting. It seems we are searching for meaning in many events these days. Why did this happen, why did that? What could we have done better? If only we had one this, if only they had done that. We need some peaceful reflection. Be still America, the answers are there.
If Mark Steyn is reading this, or if a friend of his is here, I want to say thank you for this beautiful Christmas gift. Thank you for putting this most awful tragedy into historical - and biblical - perspective. I hope staff will allow this to be reposted tomorrow so more of our friends can read it. Blessings to you and your family, Mark. Ramona (the Pest)
Professing ourselves to be wise we´ve become fools by leaving God out of our paralytic analyses. We don´t want to be confused by the facts because our minds are made up in advance.
Our political leaders think of themselves as the summum bonum of existence; that they can manufacture a Utopia where all is right with the world because they are, in their minds, a sort of finite, self-proclaimed, oxymoronic, deity.
God stands outside all of our pathetic musings and says, "Where were you when I laid the earth´s foundation?...Where were you when I hung the stars in space and gave them their names?"
Evil exists in the world and we ignore it at our peril. There is a God and we are not Him! We also ignore Him at our peril. Our Founders knew the truth and acknowledged God in everything they did. We make a mess of things because we don´t.
Reply 14 - Posted by:
Bad Dog, 12/22/2012 9:02:49 AM (No. 9079139)
We actively chase God out of our daily and public lives, and pressure mounts for more dismissal of Him, then when something happens, in a school, a theater, a shopping mall.... we wonder, Why did God let this happen?
Darkness pervades, and is in fact invited in. And we are idiotic enough to blame God?
The meaning in this tragic massacre in Newtown, or anywhere else, is that there is no meaning - in anything, without the protection and embracing of the Father who loves us and desires to keep us.
The more ´educated´ we become, the stupider we get.
Steyn is nothing short of, well, the best of his kind, which is a class of its own. He´s it.
....the media´s stampede for meaning in massacre this past week overlooks the obvious: that the central meaning of these acts is that they are without meaning... the infanticidal maniac of Sandy Hook was merely conscripting grade-school extras for a hollow act of public suicide. Like most mass shootings, his was an exercise in hyper-narcissism – 19th century technology in the service of a very contemporary sensibility.
Awesome writing, just stellar.
Re: the article itself, there is this perhaps little-noticed comment:
As it is, in American schools, mental-health referral for "oppositional defiance disorder" and the like is a bureaucratic coding racket designed to access federal gravy.
When did bad behavior become "oppositional defiance disorder"? It´s not a disorder, it´s plain old rotten behavior. There is a commercial on the radio that turns my stomach: a "behavioral therapist" is selling a sure cure for defiant, disrespectful, rotten behavior and says something like "I´ll never forget the day my son told me he hated me and slammed the door in my face." (What kid doesn´t do that at some point?)
She goes on to say that it takes more than the parents to discipline the child -- it requires her program, the name of which escapes me for the moment.
My only thoughts listening to this junk were "when did the responsibility of parents to discipline their kids fall to outside sources? And why is she such a wuss about her own kid?"
Steyn´s comment, above, reminds us that we have lost control of our children because we have lost our "moorings", our guard rails, that only come through strong family values, most often found in religious thought.
Mark Steyn is consistently top notch. He also touches on something that has really bothered me. It is ghoulish and more than a little scary to watch how people have personalized this tragedy. Yes, it is unthinkable that these babies were killed, deliberately and violently. Only a monster could avoid feeling great empathy for the parents of the murdered children. But responding with empathy and prayer is one thing. Driving miles and miles to a shattered community where you know no one to light candles, place flowers and teddy bears, and attend funerals, joining the family and friends in their mourning, is quite another. More disturbing proof that common sense and common courtesy are disappearing in our society.
We are so blessed to have Mark Steyn as an LDot "regular" here ... Thank you, Mark, OP, and what a thoughtful thread too...
The breakdown of the family has broken God´s heart too... He will woo us to Him through His Spirit... but we must first recognize our need for Him with broken, tender hearts... He will never force us to love Him ... but He does tell us that He is "not willing that any should perish!"
America has broken hearts because of this tragedy ... may we look to the Savior for our Blessed Hope... as we remember .... His Son purposely came to die for us.
In today´s modern world, it is nearly impossible for a parent to discipline a child. Nowadays, children are taught that they have "rights" and to be spanked by a parent is cause to file criminal charges against said parent. And that is just the beginning. So much of the educational system is trying to separate children from their parents in order to indoctrinate them into some sort of socialist world. We have removed God and his Commandments from our country, we have decided that "can tell me what to do", is it any wonder that things like Newton happen?
In point of fact, Steyn has found meaning in this massacre..."conscripting grade-school extras for a hollow act of public suicide." That succinctly identifies the causative factor of such massacres, namely, the desire of mentally unbalanced people to commit suicide in a flamboyant and violent manner that attracts (at last) attention to their otherwise hidden and pathetic former lives.
Such people are walking time bombs, ready to be detonated for an infinite variety of reasons (none of which can be predicted at a particular moment in time). And they do not depend on any particular weapon to effect their detonation...guns, knives, poison gases, explosives, fire bombs...it doesn´t mean anything to them what instrument they choose, but only that it allows them to kill many others in the same final act.
How I wish I could write like that and turn a phase as well as Mark does! It´s hard to catch some of it on the first bounce but between the lines Mr. Steyn is stating that we are all to blame for letting society deteriorate in front of our very eyes.
Has it escaped everyone that these types of shootings & mass murders have taken place only within the last 40 years .. and not before? Guns were just as readily available in pre-1970 then they are now, more so in fact, yet no one went into a school and shot it up. When I was a kid in the 1950´s it was perfectly legal to buy almost any gun, anytime. Just the old Al Capone Tommy gun was banned. And no doubt there were just as many crazy people.
Obviously, "gun control" is not the answer. It must be something else.
Odd that a man, born Canadian, becomes (without a doubt) the most compelling word smith in all of America. There are many others - Bill Whittle, Victor Davis Hanson, Clarice Feldman, Thomas Sowell, et al - that move the spirit and enlighten the mind. But, none so much as Mark.
Thank you, Mark & Lucianne (and OP), for making this available to a large audience just in time to give us hope. As a parent, I am deeply moved.
Mark Steyn has to be in the top 5 of BHO´s hate list. His analysis of situations just show the absurdity of practically everything that comes from ´the won.´ He did it again in this "To the heart of the matter" piece. Thanks, Mark. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
I love Mark Steyn. Currently reading "After America".
The Christmas song that I find most interesting is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (If that is the proper name). It was written during WWII, when obviously many families would not be fully together at Christmas.
Originally, part of it went:
"Someday soon we all will be together, if the fates allow...
Until then we´ll have to muddle through somehow..."
That, I guess, became a too depressing thought after the War ended. Now if you hear the song, there is no "muddling through somehow." It was replaced with "Hang a shining star upon the highest bough."
I prefer the original. (Including the part about having a Merry "LITTLE" Christmas).
Deep. Seaching. Truthful. Respectful of the wounded parents. He concludes the act is meaningless, lacking explanation, insane. But society is also "transforming" and becoming more aberrant. Consider John Roberts´ decision re Obamacare. It is infamous for being wrongheaded. Perhaps it is so obviously flawed it might be said to be a "goof" on society. A prank. A middle finger. Yet this respectable upper class man set himself to be the single cause of great suffering as Obamacare loads us all with unwanted debt, and steals freedom away from generations of people not yet born. is it OK to even consider whether Roberts did a meaningless work of evil? Did he act against his knowledge of precedence and truth and the constitution? Ponder if you can the great loss of innocence as millions, coursened by bankruptcy, make their compromises to get along. Consider also if "someday" we had a national leader who is a living suicide, like one of these mass murderers who always ends by taking his own life. Ponder if you can the great act of evil that motivates someone who would destroy civilization in the name of transformation and fairness.
Think also about the gold, frankincense, and myrrh given by the Magi to Christ: gold because He was a King; frankincense because He was the Son of God; Myrrh (an embalming spice) because He was born to die.
The Bible is called the Good Book: but if it were the Nothing-But-Good Book it would be the size of a pamphlet. It´s accurate. It´s truthful. Much of it is hell-bent. It´s The Way We Really Are.
That´s why Jesus, the Eternally Blessed Son of God, is the only one who could conquer sin and death. And He does. That´s why the Good News is so good.
Mark Steyn never disappoints. He is the whole package - the real deal. When I listen to him, or read his work, I´m always glad that I did.
He has a wonderful talent that is made all the better by the genuine thoughtfulness, intelligence, integrity, decency, common sense, good-humor, character, and just the plain old likeableness of the personality of the man.
Merry Christmas to Mark Steyn and his family, and to Miss Lucianne, L.com staff, and all Ldotters.
"Once upon a time, [strangers] from distant states descending on a Connecticut town to attend multiple funerals of children they don´t know might have struck some of us as, at best, unseemly and, at worst, deeply creepy...
I´m glad Steyn commented on this phenomenon. It is creepy, indeed.
A phrase was coined to describe persons exhibiting this behavior: "Trauma tourists."
Powerful, searing and sad. But, that is the human condition. Thank you, Mark for a beautiful article that I wish never had to be written. God bless you and have a thoughtful and meaningful Christmas. Just remember why we celebrate it.
In the small but cohesive Mormon community where he grew up, Hans Mattsson was a solid believer and a pillar of the church. (Snip) But when he discovered credible evidence that the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, was a polygamist and that the Book of Mormon and other scriptures were rife with historical anomalies, Mr. Mattsson said he felt that the foundation on which he had built his life began to crumble. Around the world and in the United States, where the faith was founded, the Mormon Church is grappling with a wave of doubt and disillusionment
Sanford, Fla. - George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty on Saturday of the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin. He also was acquitted of manslaughter, a lesser charge. After three weeks of testimony, the six-woman jury rejected the prosecution’s contention that Mr. Zimmerman had deliberately pursued Mr. Martin because he viewed the hoodie-clad teenager as a criminal and instigated the fight that led to his death. Mr. Zimmerman said he shot
SANFORD, Fla. — The jury deliberating George Zimmerman´s fate has reached a verdict. They reached the verdict after deliberating all day on Saturday. Late in the evening the jurors asked for clarification on the instructions regarding manslaughter. At about 6 p.m. ET lawyers for both sides appeared in court where Judge Debra Nelson conferred with them about the manslaughter question and then recessed court.
Just when I thought the George Zimmerman "trial" couldn´t sink any lower, the prosecutorial limbo dancers of the State of Florida magnificently lowered their own bar in the final moments of their cable-news celebrity. In real justice systems, the state decides what crime has been committed and charges somebody with it. In the Zimmerman trial, the state´s "theory of the case" is that it has no theory of the case: might be murder, might be manslaughter, might be aggravated assault, might be a zillion other things, but it´s something.
Justin Rose is the first Englishman to win the U.S. Open in 43 years. Rose shot a closing 70 Sunday at Merion Golf Club for a 1-over 281 total and his first major championship. He finished two shots ahead of Phil Mickelson and Jason Day. The 32-year-old Rose overcame his share of misadventures on a challenging course. He took the solo lead for good when Mickelson and Mahan both dropped shots at No. 15.
PARIS — World number one Serena Williams clinched her second French Open title when she beat defending champion Maria Sharapova of Russia 6-4 6-4 in the final on Saturday. The 31-year-old American, who won her first Roland Garros title in 2002, became the oldest player since tennis turned professional in 1968 to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup after overpowering the second seed on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Imagine this: Newspapers and broadcasters in China suddenly start to denounce the British government. They call it a ‘regime’. They say that its treatment of its Muslim minority is cruel and unjust. (Snip) All the time, foreign media report in a wholly one-sided way, credulously trumpeting British government ‘atrocities’ without verification. And then all the major countries in the world agree to permit the direct supply of weapons to the rebels. Absurd? Wait and see. Something quite like this actually happened on a small scale in Northern Ireland, where American individuals helped buy guns and bombs
Renowned author Dan Brown woke up in his luxurious four-poster bed in his expensive $10 million house – and immediately he felt angry. (snip) The critics said his writing was clumsy, ungrammatical, repetitive and repetitive. They said it was full of unnecessary tautology. They said his prose was swamped in a sea of mixed metaphors. For some reason they found something funny in sentences such as “His eyes went white, like a shark about to attack.”
Mark Sanford has won the South Carolina special election in a competitive race for what in normal circumstances is a safe Republican seat. The former governor beat Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert Busch, for the state’s 1st congressional district. The AP called the race for Sanford early in the evening, with the Republican leading Colbert Busch 54 percent 46 percent.
Most countries in the world have irrelevant numbers of "immigrants." In the Americas, for example, only Canada, America, and the British West Indies have significant non-native populations. In Mexico, immigrants account for 0.6 percent of the population, and that generally negligible level prevails all the way down through Latin America until you hit a blip of 1.4 percent with Chile and 3.8 percent in Argentina. (Snip) But profound sweeping demographic transformation through immigration is a phenomenon only of the western world in the modern era, and even there America leads the way.
A few years ago, after an enjoyable match at the nearby Victoria Cricket Club, I arrived at Rustico, a fine restaurant in the small village of Flatts at the western end of Harrington Sound in Bermuda. (Snip) If you fly in from overseas, as often as he does, you can’t help noticing America is extremely obese: It’s the first thing foreigners remark on, and, if they then prod a little deeper and notice the trillions of dollars of debt, there’s a general sense that a population this unhealthy-looking
Shortly after Barack Obama finished his press conference after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dramatic apprehension last night, a Russian newspaper reported that the president did not mention the “Russian footprint” in his address. (Snip) “Putin has repeatedly said there is no such thing as our terrorists and somebody else’s,” Peskov said. “One must not differentiate between them, deal with some and condemn others. They all deserve the same approach, the same rejection.” This was a reference to America’s vocal defense of the Chechen separatists in the 1990s
In 2008 and then again in 2012, after retired four-star General Colin Powell endorsed and then voted for Barack Obama, the former Secretary of State´s sanity was already in question. At least now, after having his email account hacked by high-level security-breacher Guccifer, Colin Powell´s besmirching of the Republican Party´s "shift to the right" and "identity crisis" finally makes sense. It seems that for years the mannerly and always professional Colin Powell has been cyber-comporting with a 46-year-old Romanian European Parliament member, Social Democrat, and past spokesperson for Romanian president Ion Iliescu named Corina Cretu
Conservatives have for years attempted to put our finger upon precisely why Barack Obama strikes us as queer in precisely the way he does. There is an alienness about him, which in the fever swamps is expressed in all that ridiculous Kenyan-Muslim hokum, but his citizen-of-the-world shtick is strictly sophomore year — the great globalist does not even speak a foreign language. Obama has been called many things — radical, socialist — labels that may have him dead to rights at the phylum level but not down at his genus or species. His social circle includes
For nearly a year, we have had no answer to why the administration lied about Benghazi — why it told the world, not to mention the parents of our murdered SEALs at the funeral of their sons, that the cause of that fatal conflagration was an anti-Islamic video no one saw, when the various arms of our executive branch (White House, State and intelligence) already knew, or strongly suspected, it was a terror attack orchestrated by al-Qaeda affiliates. You only have to read the now infamous talking points to know that. That this lie was deeply immoral is obvious.
Today, across Africa, Araby and Asia, from Nouakchott to Dhaka, the diplomatic facilities of the United States are closed. There’s a Tsarnaev out there, somewhere – could be the Mahgreb, the Levant, the Horn of Africa, the Indian sub-continent – who knows? So, as Richard Fernandez writes, “Shelter in place, this time globally.” Maybe it will work. Maybe by the end of the day there will be, unlike Benghazi a year on, men in custody. But if not? Daniel Pipes: Don’t know about you, but I find this pre-emptive cringing unworthy of a great country, even humiliating.
He thought he was a woman trapped in a man’s body — but it turns out he’s “just another boring straight guy.” ABC News editor Don Ennis strolled into the newsroom in May wearing a little black dress and an auburn wig and announced he was transgender and splitting from his wife. He wanted to be called Dawn. But now he says he suffered from a two-day bout of amnesia that has made him realize he wants to live his life again as Don. “I accused my wife of playing some kind of cruel joke, dressing
WASHINGTON — Former Massachusetts lawmaker Barney Frank revealed that he doesn’t believe in God. During Friday’s appearance on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” Frank, who championed the decriminalization of pot while serving in the House of Representatives, admitted to smoking marijuana and being an atheist. “You were in a fairly safe district. You were not one of those congress people who would have to worry about every little thing,” Maher said to Frank. “You could come on this show and sit next to a pot-smoking atheist and it wouldn’t bother you.”
The truth about Benghazi, the Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring, the IRS corruption, the NSA octopus, and Fast and Furious is still not exactly known. Almost a year after the attacks on our Benghazi facilities, we are only now learning details of CIA gun-running, military stand-down orders, aliases of those involved who are still hard to locate, massaged talking points, and the weird jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. We still do not quite know why Eric Holder’s Justice Department went after the Associated Press or Fox News’s James Rosen — given that members of the administration were themselves illegally leaking
In an interview for The Guardian Weekend magazine, actor Matt Damon recently weighed in with his thoughts on how President Barack Obama has handled the scandals that have engulfed his administration since the spring. Damon, a vocal supporter of the president since his 2008 campaign for national office, said that Obama is overcompensating for his lack of military background with his tough response to controversies like how the government is responding to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. The actor said that Obama is allowing himself to “get bullied” and is acting as though is “manhood”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus threatened to pull the group’s partnership with NBC and CNN for 2016 GOP presidential primary debates if the networks moved ahead with plans to air films on Hillary Clinton. “If they have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC’s Summer Meeting on August 14, I will seek a binding vote stating that the RNC will neither partner with these networks in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor,” Preibus said in a statement. In individual letters to CNN President Jeff Zucker and NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt,
The Pentagon has placed its elite cadre of special operations teams on full alert to launch preemptive attacks against suspected al Qaeda targets across the globe, according to reports. The American special forces teams have spent the past week waiting for U.S. military and intelligence officials to confirm the whereabouts of the terror cell plotting to attack U.S. diplomatic outposts in the Mideast and North Africa. Unnamed sources told CNN on Monday that the teams were poised to carry out the preemptive strikes, but declined to comment on where the U.S. forces were located or which potential
Oprah Winfrey on Monday said the killings of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till are the "same thing." This transpired during an interview with The Grio that aired on NBC´s Today show. OPRAH WINFREY: It´s so easy during this time: Trayvon Martin, Trayvon Martin parallel to Emmett Till, let me just tell you. In my mind, same thing. But you can, you can get stuck in that and not allow yourself to move forward and to see how far we´ve come. Really? Martin and Till are the same thing?
In an exclusive interview for The Grio, NBCUniversal’s African-American news and opinion website, Oprah Winfrey weighed in with her unvarnished thoughts on the killing of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman. Winfrey said that, in her mind, Martin’s murder and that of Emmett Till in 1955 – whose killers were also acquitted – were the “same thing.” However, she added that it is important to keep in mind how much race relations in America have progressed over the last half-century. In a clip of the interview which aired on NBC’s Today, Oprah told The Grio’s Chris