24 July 2011

Prayer for the north

I have been deeply anguished these past few days over the violence that shook Norway last week, and my heart goes out to the souls of the departed, and to everyone who lost a family member or a loved one in the attack. I’ve been at a loss to come up with words suitable to describe the tragedy. (This is not to de-emphasise in any way the even greater inhuman horrors that have been visited upon the people of Somalia or Mumbai in recent times or the sympathy I feel for them, but this story in particular has just stuck with me.) This man wilfully attacked and killed 92 people, many of whom were children. He shot them down with an automatic weapon – he must have looked at each and every one of them even as he mowed them down. What bothers me even more is that he, in spite of appearing clear-headed, shows absolutely no remorse for his actions. He’s so morally certain in his beliefs that he thought that killing children (whose sole wrong was being associated with a political party with opinions different from his own) on an island camp was the ‘necessary’ thing to do – in fact, he shows very little difference from the fanatical Islamists he professed to hate.

God save us all – myself included – from such sinful, self-imposed ideological blindness and hatred. Stå fast, Norge. My prayers and thoughts go with you.

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