As I left church Sunday, I noticed two police cars in the Roman Catholic church parking lot across the street. It turns out that vandals had, during the night, tossed red paint on the face of the Virgin Mary
and sawed off the head and arms of the baby Jesus in her arms, then lobbed the head through a nearby glass door.
The news last night showed a little girl crying. She had arrived for Sunday School with her father.
The red paint looked like blood.
"I kept thinking, 'who would do such a thing?'" asked the girl, whose father was hugging her.
The church had only recently erected the statue, and it had cost $12,000.
I simply cannot understand the level of hatred required to do something like this. There's a devilish glee involved that feels evil to me.
Here in Oak Ridge, the police are reporting "hundreds of breakins" in the local paper, and are blaming most of them on drug users, who are desperate for money.
And we have random crimes as well--all those tires slashed in our neighborhood last summer, for no other reason apparently than that someone had a sharp instrument and darkness.
The Spirit of the Age--what's in the air over here? Is it the mis-firing war? The insanity of our values that has led to drug use among our young?
It does feel insane.
I keep thinking of that whistling swan, that beautiful swan that flew to our beautiful waterways a couple of years ago and settled in. How lovely to have such a wondrous visitor in such an unlikely place...and it was shot within two weeks by a hunter.
To me, such a meaningless, baffling act symbolizes our current psychosis.
We are running amok.