If it seems like there has been an unusual spike in the amount of violence since the beginning of the year it’s not an aberration.
ABC News interviewed various psychologists and criminologists about eight mass murders that have taken place in the U.S. this year.
Blaming it on the economy oversimplifies the reason for this recent increase in violence, they say. Giving into blinding rage, alcohol and drugs are all factors. There’s also this statement from University of Evansville psychology department chair Mark Kopta:
“In my book, I argue that the trough in the mass murder rate during the 1940s and 50s may have been due to the upsurge in pro-social indicators like marriage, family, jobs, college attendance, home ownership, church attendance and an overall higher standard of living. Although the rise in pro-social indicators did not deter everyone from committing mass murder, it may have dissuaded those at the margins.”
It’s safe to say that many Christians believe their faith has helped them through difficult times whether it be job loss, a family tragedy or another type of storm.
On Easter Sunday, church attendance will again rise and the following week, attendance will go back down to normal levels. I find it hard to be disparaging here. I had been a Christmas and Easter Christian for quite some time myself.
We should all go out of our way to encourage seekers this weekend. Helping seekers move forward requires authenticity on a personal level. For the newcomers you see this weekend, greet them with a handshake and make them feel welcome.
Now, am I making some sort of Pollyanna-ish suggestion that this welcoming behavior will somehow prevent another mass killing? No.
But being welcoming and sharing our faith and what it means to us is a responsibility that extends well beyond the Easter celebration.