Las Vegas Massacre: No Sympathy?

Paul Dean
Paul Dean
2017 3 Oct

By now you’ve read the scandalous comments from Hayley Geftman-Gold, a vice president and senior counsel in strategic transactions at CBS, concerning the victims of the Las Vegas Massacre. She wrote, “If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs [Republicans] will ever do the right thing, I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans are often republican gun toters.”

We don’t expect that kind of cold-blooded, callousness from anyone in the aftermath of a horrific, national tragedy. While most of us don’t know any of the victims or their families, we can identify to a certain degree, because it could have happened to any one of us. We all attend large events and are potential sitting ducks. As my twenty-four-year-old daughter said, “I’ll never go to a concert again.” Of course, our hearts are rent in two, not only because precious lives were snuffed out, but because moms and dads are grieving the loss of their children; husbands and wives are grieving the loss of their soul-mates; people of all stripes and relationships have lost people they cherish. Little hurts more than the void left by the sudden death of a dearly loved individual. We can imagine ourselves in their shoes – and weep.

So, we wonder how Americans could hate fellow-Americans this deeply. And just because they have a different political opinion? It’s not really surprising though. We hear enough hatred out of the mainstream media for this kind of comment to be fairly pedestrian. It might have been shocking before Trump, but not now. At the same time, it shouldn’t be surprising to those with a biblical view of human sin and its prolific nature apart from gospel influence. It actually makes sense that some would rather see a four-year-old boy die than a gorilla when gospel influence is removed. How much more would such uninfluenced individuals wish to see a “Repug” die? Or fifty or sixty? The more the better on a worldview ignited by Hell.

One more thought comes to mind and may require a little soul-searching on the part of even some Christians. America’s government and America’s citizens following suit spend their lives demonizing their enemies, whether real, imagined, or false-flagged. In my life-time we’ve been taught to hate Germans, Japanese, Russians, Chinese, Vietnamese, North-Koreans, Iranians, Iraqis, Muslims, and as many others multiple times over. We’re taught to hate with impunity and without question. How many Christians have called for carpet-bombing a particular country or people? “Kill ‘em all” is an oft-heard phrase in American, liberal, conservative, and even Christian circles. I’ve found little sympathy in the church for those massacred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

So, the sentiment expressed by Hayley Geftman-Gold is profoundly repulsive. It’s good she was fired, though hypocritical. She was only expressing what a majority in this country express on a routine basis. Enemies of all stripes are regarded as sub-human objects and evoke no sympathy. If you’re a good American, it doesn’t matter if the enemy is Russian, Iranian, or Republican. Who cares?

And only a genuine understanding of the gospel will change that.