The Massacre of Innocence

Like all Americans, I am struggling to make sense out of the massacre of twenty beautiful children, and the six adults who sacrificed their own lives protecting countless other children from a twenty year old psychotic, who’d shot one child as many as seven times. In the depths of my heart I am convinced the shootings that continue to plague our nation, are the result of a deep seated spiritual illness. We’ve become a secular society that has ripped the basic core values of the Christian faith from the forefront of the nation. 

We’ve allowed a small group of secularist-humanists to impose their interpretation of the constitutional separation of Church and State to be the complete shoving aside of Christianity’s everyday influence in the life of our government, our schools, and our courts. We have seen our courts ban nativity scenes, crosses, and in some cases, even Christmas trees, from all public places, all in the name of separation of Church and State. We have banned the reading of the Bible in our schools and baccalaureate services for our graduating seniors. At a time when fewer families attend churches the importance of teaching our children the moral and ethical values that are inherent in our Christian bible are now virtually unknown to large numbers of our school children. 

It would appear the age of innocence has come to an end, and we are now grieving, as a nation, yet another horrendous act of terror. Not only are our children fearful of their classmates, and outside unseen threats to their safety, but the homicide rate has skyrocketed. The US has 3.2 firearms homicides per 100,000 population compared with 1.6 for Canada, 1.0 for Australia and 0.1 for England and Wales, according to a 2012 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Clearly, the United States has a problem with guns, yet no reasonable person can expect changes in the gun laws that will bring about an outright ban on guns. Furthermore, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that gun ownership is protected under the constitution.

An estimated 300 million guns of various kinds are at large in our nation and it is not realistic to expect a gun-less America. The Second Amendment is clearly intended to guarantee we have a “well-regulated militia,” since it is mentioned no less than three times in the Constitution. Yet I do not believe most hunters and gun owners desire to own military assault weapons, for there is simply no need for such powerful weapons for home security or hunting. Outside the arena of combat, assault weapons serve no plausible purpose, and we must, as a society, revisit our gun laws. The safety of our children is at stake.

It appears a common denominator in all of the school shootings is that the shooters are mentally ill. Gun control can be part of the solution, but another part is solving the problem of treating those who are mentally ill, and recognizing that they are, before they get out of control. Some of these problems are caused by bullying, and bullying of shy, nervous young people makes them angry. When they are too angry for their own brains to control, they try to take power; and they can only take power from someone whom they think has power they can grasp, and that is usually children, women, transients, etc.

It is also time we consider the effects of psychotropic medications on the brain. One report disclosed that the shooter was taking psychiatric (psychotropic or mind-altering) medication, and although we can be tempted to dismiss this news as confirmation the shooter was crazy, it is also true that 99.9% of those who suffer from emotional problems are not violent. It is likely that the effects of the drug(s) caused him to lash out in such a violent manner, even to the degree that he would shoot his own mother multiple times, in the face. One to two percent of the millions of Americans who take these psychotropic medications are unable to metabolize the drugs, resulting in livers that are riddled with toxins. Such persons, upon entering into a toxic zone, are liable to do just about anything, including committing suicide, or becoming homicidal. What would appear to be a senseless act by anyone else, should not be seen as senseless when the perpetrator’s brain has become toxic.

At the very time in our nation’s history that we are experiencing these horrendous attacks on our children, we are seeing an increased willingness on the part of too many Christians to cave in to organized and vociferous New Atheists who continually use our Bill of Rights against us in the public square. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, the ACLU, as well as a number of other militant organizations, have worked very hard to eradicate all forms of spirituality from the public square.

While in Washington, D.C., I was touched by the sight of a large Jewish Menorah in the vicinity of the White House, but saddened to know that the Nativity Scene and Cross of Our Lord, are now nowhere to be seen on public land. While walking through the airport in Pittsburgh, I heard wonderful Yiddish music being performed in front of a large electric Menorah, yet walked away with the painful knowledge that Christmas Trees were removed from the SeaTac International Airport terminal a few years ago, after a complaint they represented Christianity! I remembered the day I was asked by my archbishop to address the City Council of San Francisco, when militant atheists were demanding the sixty foot cross be removed from public land on the top of Mt. Davidson. I suggested to the council members that, should they decide to remove the cross, they should change the name of the city to “Frank, CA” thus assuring that no remnant of Christianity offend anyone.

Although I am heartened with the knowledge that we, as a nation, have accommodated our Muslim youth by providing a room for their daily required prayer time, I look in dismay as our Christian faith is increasingly attacked. Anything even remotely connected to Christianity is fair game, such as the recent forced cancellation of a school Charlie Brown Christmas play. There is no tradition too long-standing, or any memorial cross too sacred, for these militant secularists to tear down. It is time we Christians have the courage to stand in opposition to these organized atheists and secularists, or we will see a continued erosion of our nation’s historical values with the consequence of massacres of the innocence such as we have seen.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday December 17, 2012

29th Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil

Great-martyr Barbara and Martyr Juliana at Heliapolis in Syria (306).
Venerable John Damascene (760).
New Hieromartyrs Alexis, John, Alexander and Nicholas priests, Basil deacon and with him 10 Martyrs (1918)
New Hieromartyr Demetrius priest, Virgin-martyrs Ecaterine and Cyra (1937).
New Hieromartyr Damascene, bishop of Glukhov (1935) and his father priest Nicholas (Tsedrik).
Venerable John, bishop of Polybotum (716).
St. Gennadius, archbishop of Novgorod (1504).
New Hieromartyr Seraphim, bishop of Phanar (Greek).
Martyrs Christodula and Chistodulus (Greek).
You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Hebrews 3:5-11

5And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Be Faithful

7Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
8Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
9Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

Luke 20:27-44

The Sadducees: What About the Resurrection?

27Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 28saying: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 29Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children. 30And the second took her as wife, and he died childless. 31Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died. 32Last of all the woman died also. 33Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.”
34Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”
39Then some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” 40But after that they dared not question Him anymore.

Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant Lord?

41And He said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is the Son of David? 42Now David himself said in the Book of Psalms:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
43Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’
44Therefore David calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon is Igumen of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

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