Of Violence And Two Young Men

I could not help but be struck by the juxtaposition of two events that occurred yesterday. Most of you have heard of the terrible violence that occurred in Colorado. A young man in his early twenties named James Holmes entered a midnight showing of the new Batman film and gunned down several of the moviegoers. The sickening violence of this act has or ought to give many of us pause.

But many may not be aware of the death of another young man caught up in violence. Yesterday, this young man, also in his early twenties, was killed in Indiana. His name was Andrew Moore, and he was caught up in the violence of abortion.

Andrew Moore

You see Andrew was a part of the Crossroads initiative which invites young and old to walk across the United States as a sign of prayerful protest against abortion. At around five in the morning yesterday while walking and praying to save the lives of the innocent unborn, and though he was wearing a reflective jacket, Andrew was struck by a car, the driver of which was on his way to work and who was also a young man in his twenties.

Andrew was on this walk to protest, yes. But he was also using the solitude and the sacrifice of the walk to discern God’s will in his life. He was thinking about the priesthood.

As I’ve thought about these events, I return frequently to the notion that violence is a national pastime. We are as Americans often too casual about it and about its effects on our children. But the defect of violence in our culture is a mere sign of the deeper problem, which is an abandonment of Christ.

Including James Holmes and Andrew Moore in the same sentence may be a bit sacrilegious to some, but it is fitting to me because in these two young men, both Americans, both products of our culture, both seeking meaning, these two young men demonstrate to us that for all the talk of political machinations, what our nation requires is still – and I write this knowing that it might be taken as piously trite by some – but what our nation needs is the Kingship of Christ Jesus.

The work for the conversion of souls is a work for social justice that has no match. All the social programs, the faith-based initiatives, the self-help gurus, yes even the protests outside abortion clinics it is all less than meaningless if we do not give ourselves and our families over to the great physician Christ Jesus. Without Him, the coldly calculating violence of James Holmes and the stupefying horror that is abortion, a horror that drove young Andrew across our waves of grain, will not end.

Let us not forget that only in Him are all things possible. Only in Him can we break from the sins of violence in our own lives, the violence of deceit, the violence of calumny, the violence of torrid pornography, and all the rest. I write often here about the political ramifications of this or that policy. The work here is important. But we all know that what we need more than anything else in this nation is more young men like Andrew Moore.

Pray dear friends for Andrew and his family. Pray too for an end to abortion, which while legal in this nation of ours, will continue to make us rot from the inside out. Pray for James Holmes that God may eventually have mercy on his soul now that he will have to live with the fact of his evil deed. And pray for the kind of clarity of young Andrew Moore who wrote that he was walking across America “to serve God and help His children.” Would that we could all have such wisdom. Thank you Andrew for your witness.



  • Doug

    On the same day, in Iraq, over 100 people died in a terrorist attack. We don’t know their names or the names of their attackers, but we know that such things will happen again. Where is our outrage? [That’s rhetorical. Perhaps a good answer would be, ‘It’s been numbed by too much news.’]
    The Colorado pastor quoted on MSNBC.COM says, ‘People ask my “Why?”, and I don’t know.’
    There is an answer, a simple and clear one that covers Colorado, Iraq, N. Ireland, Malawi … But it isn’t a popular one because it’s found in the Bible.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses will be coming to your doors today, as always, so you have a chance to ask us “Why?” I know some of you are hesitant to be seen talking to us, so you can go here:
    It’s from a magazine article of Watchtower September 15, 2008, but you may find it timely.

  • Rich

    Thankfully, we all no more Andrews than we do James, precisely because there are more young people interested in doing good for many causes than there are for doing wrong. Unfortunately, many of us would rather focus on the bad news than the good news, and that includes the real GOOD NEWS.
    Andrew should never be merely remembered for opposing abortion, but by his deep commitment that carried him in his effort. I am sure that his family and friends are missing much about him that we will never even know.
    As followers of the risen Christ, we must know that death cannot be a triumph in any form, as we are alive in the resurrection. This does not mean there is no loss, nor sadness. The pain that his family and the families in Aurora feel in great and seems unending at this point. How we bring the resurrection into tragedy is always a ministerial challenge, using piety and reality, but always moving towards hope.
    May God bless fully the families of Andrew and the people in Aurora. May they know his love at these moments of hurt and pain, and may we pray for the victims and the families, while making sure that we also love fully our own families and friends.
    And we commit our thoughts on James to God, who alone can help us to not get lost in hatred when His Love is needed. We must pray for his family as well as Andrews, for they, too, have suffered a great loss. And we must pray for Law Enforcement and the first responders, as well as the Judicial system who know moves forward on what to do next.
    We must pray that they set aside consideration of the Death Penalty, for evil can never undo evil, and life in not only precious when we like someone or find them appealing, but we are commanded to love our enemies, and pray for those who wish us harm.
    Maybe this is where the Juxtaposition forms into the Cross of Christ, for we need to pray for James and for Andrew, and love them both with the heart of Christ.
    May our love pour out onto a hurting world in need of our healing.

  • TheInformer

    Sorry Oscar, the murderous vermin in Colorado was NOT A MAN!

    Please speak/write clearly or keep it quiet.

    • Shawn

      He is still human, no matter how grave or how many sins he has. Remember we are all sinners.

      • TheInformer

        Ugh…..didn’t have to wait long for this ridiculous sentiment!


  • amy r

    I thought about this too – the strange connection between these two young men…because in fact, Andrew Moore walked through Colorado just a few weeks ago (he was on the Central route of Crossroads, which at least in previous years has gone through Colorado). I didn’t meet any of the Crossroads walkers this year, but have met and known several over the years, including my own son, who walked in 2005.

    It all seems like such senseless tragedy…yet even so, our lives are in HIS hands.

  • Mariana

    An event such as this makes one wonder how it could have been stopped. What were the catalysts for these killings? But then it all comes down to the fact that God gives people the ability to choose between good and evil. I will keep Andrew in my prayers!

  • Georgia Hedrick

    This nation is a violent nation, was always a violent nation, and I fear will always be a violent nation. Look at what this nation did to the indigenous population and how we are a nation pocketed them on Reservations. We were built on greed and violence. Guns are an obcession. We love killing–seeing it, knowing about it, even being part of it.

    We abort babies because we can, because it is legal, because we play mind games with the nation, via words. It totally shocks me–the complete stupidity of saying: ‘oh, it’s not human up to 5 months…so you can abort it if you want to.’ Where is the logic in that? It lives, it grows, it has being within a woman, so why isn’t it human? This is a crazy nation.

    No other nation sees pregnancy as some sort of disease–only this nation. Pregnancy is only ‘okay’ if the woman wants the new arrival.

    Anyone who says “this is the greatest nation in the world” doesn’t know its history. We are not great; we are greedy and violent. gh

    Part of our problem is our other obcession: sex. We gotta ‘do it’ or allow it, instead of controlling the urge.

    • zeke440

      Get off your “Look what we did to the indigenous population” crap… Where did that indigenous population come from ???? across the straights… fleeing injustices of the Euro-Asian WARS and Conquests… What happened to Gaul? and What did the Romans do to all the other indigenous peoples of the Europe and North Africa (then the Known World)?? The world is a CRAZY PLACE by your definition!… Plato once said the only people that will not know future wars are the soldiers that have already died… seems to me Plato out dates your pronouncements on violence… Greed and Violence is practiced all over the world… NOT just in the USA… Please get your FACTS straight… historically speaking you seem to ignore that GREED and VIOLENCE were topics in the “OLD TESTAMENT” again sort of “pre-dating” your assement of the good ole USA… It seems seeing your arguement is so OLD that you may not really know what it is your calling for… Could it your adjenda is ANTI-American…?… Afterall you have ignored the HISTORY OF THE WORLD to lable AMERICA as a Violent and Greedy Nation… Why not just PRAY and call for others to help you.



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