I have got to stop reading the newspaper in the morning... there are so many depressing stories about pain and suffering. I have found myself specifically heading to the comics or even those trite announcements about anniversaries, weddings, and engagements. At least pictures appear to show happy people. Granted they not be, but they "look" like it!
Right after the stories today about international bombings, local troops being deployed, and the big 3 automakers getting grilled by Congress, was a story about a 16 or 17 year old boy in California who escaped from his home and with a chain still attached to his leg, and dressed only in boxer shorts, he stumbled into a local gym to seek a place to hide. What was he running from? Well, we don't know the entire story yet, but the details that we seem to know include: (1) being chained to various places in the house; (2) being abused with a wooden baseball bat (hit in the legs and knee caps) and burned with a heated metal bat; and (3) being denied food even while watching other family members eat at a table across the room from him. Those are just a few of the low-lights, I'm sure others will surface. I was compelled to read the entire story, because I just could not imagine doing that to another human being - especially for one of the defendants - to your own son.
Since it is never just a newspaper article, I thought a length at various times today about the nature of evil and how this can happen. What strikes me as odd is that if I were to mention this situation to someone who didn't believe in absolutes, they would probably find it as repugnant as I do but they wouldn't be able to acknowledge that there is a standard by which to judge the event. I ran this by such a friend earlier today and he did indeed respond with disgust and shock at the depravity of the human condition - Ah Ha! If there are no standards with which to judge right and wrong how can you know that you are disgusted. And what depravity? Where did that come from? In one response to me, he said that it was insane. How do we judge something as "insane" if there is not a standard of "sane"? It is the major pitfall of the postmodern condition; namely that we can theorize about standards all day long, but when it is measured against reality... it cannot stand. Treating a kid this way is wrong, plain and simple. We ALL agree and something inside us draws us to that conclusion.
Everyone I talk to about this article responds the same way - they can't believe that someone could be so evil. Yeah, it got me thinking about ideas a bit more deeply, but right now there is a kid who is going to take many years to regain his sanity and normalcy of life. I pray that happens...