this is a short essay that appeared a few days ago on one of the websites I visit daily--in fact, since I've started cutting much of the stress out of my life, the only political website I visit daily--and I thought it was very good. What fascinated me, however, is the number of vicious comments posted responding to it.
I suppose I'm wrong in conceiving that, whatever guilt might ultimately be hers, we could join together in wishing Nancy Lanza a peaceful afterlife (whatever that might be), but the comments suggest I am not only wrong about that assumption, but I damn the children and adults killed by wishing it. Maybe it's only religious people--and by that I mean people who study religion and not people who call themselves religious, although the 2 groups are often joined--who can conceive of people who do evil things but are nonetheless forgiveable, especially on their deaths. I don't want to seem glib about that; I am myself unforgiving toward Ronald Reagan for the evil he perpetrated while president, so I'm not making myself a whitehat in this situation.
But as I said a week ago, God is Adam Lanza. God is also his mother Nancy. We still know painfully little about why Lanza committed the act he did and we haven't any further clue why his first victim was his mother. Equally, we don't know what she hoped to accomplish by teaching him how to fire automatic weapons or how avidly she followed the "prepper" subculture she joined. All we have are fantasies of her involvement and her guilt and those can't be substituted for unknowns. We do not only Lanza's victims, but Adam and Nancy Lanza themselves, and ultimately God and reality itself, a disservice by parceling out blame like porridge. All we know is that Adam Lanza killed his mother with her own guns and then killed other people and children and finally himself. We may never know anything more than that and to speculate about his mother's invovlement in his act is wrong. It's to try to tie a vivesected animal back together with a pretty bow and so pretend this is how the original product looked.