The recent massacre of school children in Newtown Connecticut by Adam Lanza is just the latest example of what ails post-modern western civilization. What is more surprising is that given the state of the economy in the USA and the number of young men who find themselves in some sort of state of psycho-social , socio-emotional, psycho-sexual, socio-economic and spiritual isolation or marginality, it’s no wonder that there is not some sort mass killing of this sort every day of the year.

This is especially true, given the widespread proliferation, ownership and culture of firearms and militarism in the USA, as well as the whole plethora of negativity that can be found on the internet, which many of these young, isolated men feed on, such as satanic and other forms of occult-like web sites, pornography, conspiracy theory web sites of all sorts, various violent role-playing games, all of which they often consume alone in their rooms, in front of their computer screens, while their parents are elsewhere in the house, or just plain elsewhere.

Peter Lanza, Adam’s father, who had been divorced from Adam’s mother for four years before this tragic incident, in which Adam first murdered his mother in their luxurious Newtown home where he lived with her, before proceeding to force his way into the primary school in Newtown and kill twenty schoolchildren, several teachers and the school psychologist, is quoted as saying that he ‘didn’t understand how such a thing could happen’, or something to this effect.

Either this man never took much time to spend with his son to get to know him and to be present in his life, or he didn’t properly supervise Adam’s access to his internet usage at home, making sure the computer stayed in a common area in the house where everybody in the family had access to it and where nobody could use it in secret to access forbidden-type material which would be corrosive to their morals.

This is crucial in our increasingly individualized society, where responsibility for proper moral conduct increasingly falls to the individual at the family level to ensure proper moral standards, since the concept of public morality, in our increasingly secular, culturally and religiously pluralistic world seems to have become something of a dead letter, as America, Canada and the entire western world has moved away from being a predominantly Judeo-Christian society.

We often turn at such moments as this and say: ‘there ought to be a law!’ Whether it is gun control, cleaning up the internet, getting tough on crime, doing something about family policy, etc… We always have a knee-jerk reaction that somehow the secular, civil state, if it acts ‘properly’ and in the ‘public interest’ for ‘the common good’, the right outcome will result from it.

What we don’t want to admit is that something has gone fundamentally wrong with American civilization, and, by extension, all other western civilizations: men are hurting and are no longer able to find their way in Post-Modern society. Men are by nature hunters, warriors, knights, providers, people who have an in-born need and desire to be seekers: seekers of knowledge, truth, and wisdom, of all that is eternal and good. We were born, from the days when we were a tribal hunter-gathering people, to go out on some sort of a quest, to seek out food, to go out on a mission for something, to provide for our families. In later years, this took the form of the knights going out on various sacred quests for glory, to conquer foreign lands and peoples, to do it all for the glory of God and the King.

Up to and including the first half of the twentieth century, men still were able to fulfill these needs and desires in the fields of battle, in sport, in politics, as well as in business, before and after this time. However, this took a great toll on the social, demographic and moral fabric of western civilization. Especially the two world wars in the twentieth century. Many western countries found their male populations much depleted as a result of these two conflicts and an overall sense of exhaustion and cynicism had set in as a result due to the great loss of life, limb and spiritual besmirchment of society which resulted.

Many people lost their faith in God, in society, and became disillusioned with life. At the same time, the two wars opened up vast new opportunities for women in the workforce, both in the armed forces and in the civilian spheres, as the imperatives of all out war sapped the strength of male-dominated society and forced the powers that be to turn to this as-yet untapped wellspring of potential energy.

Women answered the call with gusto and this unleashed an already burgeoning women’s movement to demand full equality with men in all spheres of society, including the right to be primary providers at home, to have or not to have children, to marry or not to marry, or to marry someone of the same sex. All of a sudden, as of the late 1960s onwards, the model of patriarchy, which had stood for centuries, was quickly being deconstructed and the social fabric of western civilization quickly became frayed and torn.

Marriages broke down or never materialized in record numbers. Young boys and girls began growing up in record numbers in single-parent households, with no male role models to speak of. Young men no longer had their place in society. It was all about empowering girls and women and putting them in the driver’s seat, putting them in positions of authority and decision-making power.

As of the 1990s, the mood of male-female relations got decidedly more conflicted and toxic, with a lot of young males acting out in a lot of dark, dangerous and deadly ways, all of which corresponded with the arrival of the Internet in the early 1990s, giving young men access to all sorts of chat rooms, websites and other virtual communities where they could vent their frustrations in a virtual-reality la-la land where their anger, resentments and fears would fester and grow like a cancer until they acted upon them like some video game or action movie scene of vengeance which they’d seen depicted at the movies and walked into their school and start to ‘Terminate’ a whole bunch of people randomly or surgically, like Arnold Schwarzenegger did in the first Terminator movie, when he said his famous ‘I’ll be back’ line then comes crashing into the police station with a car and starts blowing people away.

The fact of the matter is that there are literally millions of Adam Lanzas in both the USA and Canada: Young, shy, introverted, intelligent, small and kind of gangly, probably very sexually frustrated and needing to actively explore their sexuality in a positive way, living with a strict mother and an aloof or absent father, etc…This young man was definitely in need of somebody reaching out to him.

I think that it is quite ironic that his mother, the first object of his anger, was killed with her own firearm, which she apparently was very proud of owning. Secondly, in a world before the Internet, this young man probably would’ve been taken into hand by a family doctor or a local health and social services agency. I can’t believe that he spent so much time in front of the computer and that he and his mother and father communicated so poorly that he was never able to tell them, or they to ask him if he needed help.

I think this just goes to show you just how disjointed the American family has become. And the Canadian one is not too far behind. When a father and mother can’t provide their son with the tools for him to be the ‘seeker’ that he is born to be and to ‘conquer’ the things in his life which need to be overcome, whether they be to achieve his goals in life or to simply overcome his awkwardness and timidity and be the man he is able to be, then there is definitely something wrong, especially considering the prosperous background from which this family came.

All in all, another sad day for America, as she grapples with another tragedy at home, in a climate of fear and foreboding. Let’s just hope that this becomes a wake-up call to do something about men’s health in the western world. Men are hurting, themselves and others. We need a quest. A conquest. We need to take back ownership of our health outcomes. For this we need the help and support of the men and women in our lives. Mothers, fathers, wives, sisters and brothers. We can’t afford to see so many more innocents be sacrificed in such a gruesome fashion. Amen.

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