In 1996, after an assailant massacred 35 people at a resort area in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australians responded to the horror by banning the possession of automatic rifles and shotguns. Gunowners proceeded to turn in 650,000 guns to the government (which reimbursed them for the cost). Since that year, gun deaths in Australia have been cut in half.
Humans are meaning-seeking creatures. We want to make sense of life. After the massacre at Virginia Tech, we want to know why it happened and whether something could have been done to stop it. And many of us ask: where was God in all of this?
Many Christians like to think that they take the Bible as it stands, but in reality they take the Bible as they understand it. What we get out of the Bible often has as much to do with what we bring to the text as with the text itself. Differing biblical interpretations often arise from the different theological grids that are imposed on scripture.
The food movement has called attention to the abuse of animals that are raised and killed on factory farms. But even farmers who raise animals in humane ways, in small-scale operations, intend for the animals to be slaughtered. Bob Comis, a professional pig farmer, asks how can he ethically raise pigs knowing that his ultimate aim is to kill and market them for consumption. “As a pig farmer, I lead an unethical life,” Comis confesses. “I am a slaveholder and a murderer” (American Scholar, Spring).