Mass Shootings, the Supreme Court, and Imago Dei

What do the three things in the title have in common? They’re all actually intricately attached together whether you know it or not. Both mass shootings and the current Supreme Court media controversy are dependent upon the truth of Imago Dei—that human beings are made in the image of God. Why? Because whether or not you believe in the Imago Dei will undeniably direct and affect which side of the debate you fall on both of these topics.

The media has a lot to say about the subject of mass shootings. Today’s claim that there have been 154 mass shootings has me wondering where they came up with that number. Is that even possible? What is their definition of “mass shooting,” if there has been that many? And, here’s the big question, do you think there’s an agenda behind the media’s reporting about mass shootings? I’ll let you figure that one out…

I will say that it definitely has become way too normal to come home from work and see a mass shooting in the headlines. No matter how you view things, I hope you feel that way too.

As you know, the media is quick to try to point out the reason for the increase in mass shootings. The normal fare of theories ranges from high capacity magazines, mental health issues, and violent video games. Is it guns that cause mass shootings or people?

It’s interesting to look back in history to the nineteen-teens and the manufactured Thompson sub-machine gun. It didn’t just have a high capacity magazine, it had a one hundred round drum. Yet, I’ve never heard stories of someone walking into a school and opening fire with one. (Disclaimer: I’m not concerned whether high capacity magazines are made illegal. I don’t own a gun that has one and I’m not worried about buying one. Sorry to all my friends who are avid owners of them).

The next big issue in the headlines today is the retirement of a Supreme Court justice and the panic from the left that the weight on the court is about to shift to the right. What’s the first issue brought up? Roe vs. Wade.

This is a hot topic, and it should be. I won’t get too much into it, but you probably know the two sides of the debate. The value of an unborn child vs. women’s health or the reason for the pregnancy. I do find it a little ridiculous, however, that the normal argument for legal abortion are babies conceived by rape or incest, as though any significant amount of the 60+ million abortions since Roe v. Wade were conceived in such a way. But, I digress.

Why are the views of mass shootings and the Supreme Court so polarizing? The answer is the same for the reason that our culture in America seems to rapidly be dividing to poles. But the answer may not be what you initially think. The arguments tend to quickly go to morality. Conservatives speak of the immoral views of people who will kill others in mass shootings or through abortion. Liberals speak of the immoral view of someone who will own a gun or discriminate against someone else’s legal rights.

But, the main difference isn’t about morals. It’s not even about ethics. This difference is worldview—plain and simple.

Worldview matters and everyone has one. This is where the imago dei comes in. Whether or not you believe that human beings are made in the image of God determines much of your worldview—or at least it should. If all humans are made in the image of God it creates a sanctity of life, for all life.

The belief that all life came from an evolutionary process is a powerful worldview too. To believe that there is no God, and that all life, including human life, came from a long process of evolution dehumanizes people. There no other reasonable outcome. Humans, in this worldview are no different than any plant or animal you see every day. Just, maybe, a little more developed by evolutionary process.

The difference people hold in the view of cause, the difference in political persuasion (at least at some level) and the difference in view of human rights stems from a difference in worldview. That’s also why things are becoming so culturally vehement.

One more thought: if you believe that God created all humanity in His image, if you believe in the sanctity of human life, if you believe, then, that all are created equal in the eyes of God; make sure that your worldview is coupled soundly to your approach, thoughts, prayers, and speech about all human beings; whether they’re struggling to survive in the womb or struggling to survive at the southern border.

Your worldview matters. What is it? Do you know how much it affects your thinking?

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