An angry young loner kills 33 people, including himself, and the world asks why.

The ultimate answer is as unsatisfying as it is painful: Because God willed it. Why did God will it? For the same reason that He wills everything else: To glorify Himself. Why does a murderous rampage glorify God? I really don’t know.

The more immediate answer is equally unsatisfying: Because people are sinners. And resentment seems like a favorite sin. Among the many clues that Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung Hui left behind was a rambling letter in which he railed against “rich kids” and “moral laxity”, a combination of complaints reminiscent of that other bitterness-driven mass murderer, Mohammed Atta, and his gang of thugs.

But a lot of people are angry; a lot of people are bitter; a lot of people are lonely. They don’t all go around killing people.

But rampages like this are becoming more frequent. Why? I suspect that it’s because too many people are no longer taught how to rein in their dark passions. Instead, we’re encouraged to do whatever feels good, whenever it feels good, whatever the consequences. The resentment that fuels so much violent rage is the basis for redistributionary public policies, which give ersatz moral cover to covetousness. And even the sanctity of life is trampled, as millions of babies are aborted, and a helpless woman is dehydrated to death on the orders of her adulterous husband.

These are modernity’s moral lessons: Life is devoid of inherent value; you’re entitled to what others have, and your passions should determine your actions.

In such a culture, why wouldn’t such a slaughter take place, with growing frequency?

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