Shots have once again rung out in the halls of our nation’s schools. And, as in the previous tragedies, America has futilely searched for the cause of these depraved actions. The left demands harsher gun laws; the right desires regulations on violent entertainment. However, it seems that all the solutions the pundits propose lack a coherent understanding of the actual root of this behavior.

The dead have been buried and Americans have moved on to other news, but the question still lingers: Why do kids kill? The reason cannot be reduced to mere slogans, formulas, or even legislation. No, evil is much more complex than that.

The principles of biblical morality, aptly labeled “the Judeo-Christian ethic,” served as the foundation of Western civilization, and America in particular. It was this ethic that resulted in the political liberation of millions of inhabitants of the Western world. It was this thread that held the American fabric together for generations.

But the social engineers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries laid the foundation for a different kind of society. Darwin showed us that God was unnecessary. Nietzsche declared that He was dead. Freud taught us how to cope without Him. They erected an intellectual Tower of Babel built upon the Enlightenment ideology of the deification of man and the defiance of God.

And without God, the stable social order we once enjoyed began to unravel.

The chief indicator of America’s moral depravity has been its progressive disregard for the sanctity of human life. While abortion and euthanasia are the most obvious manifestations of this ethical erosion, the problem is entrenched much deeper. The fundamental concept of individuals being made “in the image of God” has been abandoned, and people are subsequently viewed as nothing more than expendable natural resources.

This mindset has permeated our culture and has been assimilated by America’s youth. If women can “choose” to kill their unborn children, what prevents an angry, rejected teen-ager from “choosing” to terminate the life of a classmate? The line between right and wrong is nebulous in our culture.

The entertainment industry has capitalized on America’s sensationalistic lust and has glorified death and destruction. The media feeds the desensitizing messages of suicide and murder to unbalanced young people, and then society is surprised when these kids act on their violent impulses. However, the problem is much more serious than a cultural flirtation with the immoral; it is the inability of Americans to differentiate between good and evil.

Unbalanced children are usually neglected children, either physically or emotionally. Many kids have been raised by strangers while their parents pursue careers with reckless abandon. These young people have learned America’s postmodern mantra firsthand: Money is more important than morality. And the results are evident in Jonesboro, in Littleton, and in Santee. Middle-class kids left to their own devices are every bit as dangerous as destitute youths involved in gang activity.

The tower of Darwin, Nietzsche and Freud is fracturing one home at a time.

School violence and the other ills plaguing our country are simply the symptoms of a sick society. America, and Western civilization as a whole, is on the verge of self-destruction. School shootings are merely a testament to this reality.

C.S. Lewis observed in “The Abolition of Man”:

    We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful.

The ideas of Darwin, Nietzsche, and Freud have produced devastating results in our culture. Kids will continue to kill until America returns to the original Architect of humanity, whose laws were once etched on the souls of our nation’s youth.

T. Landon Pepper, 18, is a freelance writer living in Borden County, Texas.

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