Responsibility

I awoke to read this headline on MSNBC.com: “Australian politician blames ‘gun culture’ in US for baseball player’s death”. Every time someone is shot and killed and it becomes big news, someone, somewhere will say something stupid like that. But when someone dies in a car crash, I have yet to hear a politician announce, “I blame the car culture.” When someone wins an Academy Award, I have yet to hear the winner stand up and shout, “I stand here a winner because of the ‘entertainment culture’ in America.”

And then there was this headline: “Ballplayer’s slaying: ‘Illogical’ gun laws blamed”

Really? His slaying had nothing to do with the nihilistic gunslingers who actually pulled the trigger? Somehow it was the laws that shot him? Or maybe the “culture” put the bullet in his body? Really? Or maybe “we’re all responsible.” Right.

Perhaps this is what President Obama meant when he said, “You didn’t build that.”

Collectivism is nonsense. The village did not raise my children; it did not pay for their braces, it did not stand with me in the hospital at three in the morning when they were sick, it did not help them with their homework. The village did not participate in the latest hit and run; the village had nothing to do with murdering anyone. When someone is stabbed to death, or beaten to death with a baseball bat, politicians do not make fools of themselves by shouting about “the knife culture” or that “bat culture.” They don’t demonize butchers or the Dodgers.

I’m sorry, but the choices you make, the things you accomplish, whether good or ill, they are your responsibility. You did that, not the culture, not the people, not your neighbors. I doubt that you’d appreciate being arrested along with Lindsey Lohan just because you’re part of the “car culture” and you had a beer last weekend. And I doubt the President would let you move into the White House with him because “we’re all in this together.”

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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