Little Bitty Unhappy Centers
Housekeeping: A Review

Sirius Gets Serious

Sirius_logoOcassionally I listen to Sirius Disorder, Channel 32, because I like the eclectic nature of it and the sometimes rambling commentary by DJ Michael Tearson. Today I felt like calling him.

I jumped into Channel 32 when Tearson was in the middle of a commentary on the killings at Virginia Tech. Basically, this is what he said: "What's happening to us? Something is wrong. We must be evolving or mutating, I mean devolving." He went on like this for a few more minutes, wondering why innocents are killed, what is wrong with man, and so on. It reminded me of the reaction after 9-11, when the enormity of evil confronted us. People searched for some reason as to how people could murder innocents in such a way. And then the moment passes and they move on.

What would I say to Tearson? It'd be no answer to point to religion, of course, as many people have been killed in the service of that cause. But I would begin with his recognition that something is wrong with man. Years ago an Atlantic Monthly headline article put it this way: "Why Can't We Be Good?" An event like that of this week brings home to people that we can't be good, only less bad, perhaps.

I might say something like this: "Michael, if you look at history you would see that this is not a new phoenomena. People have always committed atrocious acts. [Herein list a litiany of horrors if he is unconvinced.] You're really noticing something true about the human condition: we're bent people, capable of good but also bent toward evil. Christians call that sin -- a condition of living against the purpose for which we are created, outside the Creator's plan. [Michael also said this kind of violence is not what we were made for.] So, the question is how we get better. History shows we're not very capable of making much progress on that. For every Mother Teresa, there are more Stalins and Idi Amins, whether grandly evil or eveil only in petty regards. We obviously need some outside help --- outside religion, outside the therapeutic society, outside social engineering. We need someone or some thing big enough to change us from within. Isn't that what Jesus promised?"

It's refreshing to hear the truth in an unlikely place -- Sirius Disorder. But the fact of our fallen nature like so many other creational truths is unavoidable. Let's hope Michael Tearson prompted a few listeners to wonder why we are as we are.