What Happened in Charlottesville?

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PHOTO: From an Eastern European Neo Nazi rally. Non copyright photographs of White Supremacist violence in Charlottesville are unavailable at the time of writing.

By Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Patheos, Aug. 12, 2017

I’ll tell you what’s happened in Charlottesville this weekend.

It is human beings revealing what lies within. It’s real simple and its been happening since Cain killed his brother Abel.

It works like this:

  1. Human being is unhappy

  2. He doesn’t know why he’s unhappy

  3. Somebody must be at fault.

  4. He needs to blame somebody for his being unhappy

  5. It can’t be his fault because he’s convinced that he’s a good person

  6. So it must be somebody else’s fault

  7. So he gets together with other people who are unhappy

  8. They talk about why they are unhappy and conclude that it must be somebody else’s fault

  9. The other person is to blame, but who is that other person?

  10. Its the people who are not like them.

  11. Its the people who disagree with them

  12. Its the people of a different religion, a different race or a different belief.

  13. Those people are the problem

  14. To get rid of the problem they conclude that they have to get rid of the people who caused the problem

  15. First they try to exclude those people

  16. Then they try to persecute those people

  17. Then they try to kill those people.

  18. If only they can eradicate those other people then they will be happy

  19. Once they did get rid of them they felt so good that it was like a drug

  20. So they will try to get that feeling again like any addict does.

Where does the whole sequence go so terribly wrong? At stage number five–when the person cannot or will not see that they are responsible for their unhappiness, and even if they are not the ones who caused it they are the ones who can solve it.

As soon as we enter the blame game we are headed down the road of destruction.

Charlottesville has revealed to all of us what it means to be an unredeemed human being.

Only repentance can solve this problem for repentance is, at its very heart, the simple act of a person taking responsibility for themselves–for their own happiness and by God’s help, the solution to their problems.

Then once they take responsibility for themselves they might start taking responsibility for the happiness of others.

Image Creative Commons via Bing