In light of Wednesday's shootings at Fort Hood, a Christian apologist offers his perspective on how that tragedy reveals society needs something beyond mental health treatment.
According to news reports, the Fort Hood shooter – Ivan Lopez – served in a non-combat role in Iraq for four months, but was being treated for possible PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) before he opened fire at the Texas Army base yesterday afternoon. He was taking medication and receiving psychiatric help for depression and anxiety.
After World Wars I and II, returning soldiers had similar problems manifested in suicides, alcohol and drug abuse, and depression – but no mass shootings. Dr. Alex McFarland with the Center for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at North Greenville University points out that back then Christianity was the core of the community.
"I think what's different in the 21st century versus the post-World War II generation is that there was a Christian mental view," he shares. "More people went to church, there was a spiritual foundation – and when they were at the very end of their tether, previous generations would turn to God."
In addition, McFarland says America is now about four decades into a culture of death.
"Veterans had grown up in an America that saw life as being a gift from God," he says. "Now we've cheapened life and we've told generations of public school students that there is no creator God, there's purposeless evolution – and now since 1973, we've murdered ten times more human beings than Adolph Hitler through abortion."
The Christian speaker and author believes a more biblically grounded generation would have respect for life – especially if pastors preach it and people are in church to hear it.