Some thoughts on the Waukesha terror:
You don’t have to be a Wisconsin resident, as I have been, to know about some recent big news stories out of there, most recently the terror attack on innocent Christmas parade marchers in Waukesha, coming just a few days after the Kyle Rittenhouse acquittal in Kenosha.
First and foremost, we sure do need to pray for those involved in this horrific attack. So far there are at least 5 dead and nearly 50 injured, with at least 18 children hospitalised. A black man has been arrested, and what we know about him is very disturbing indeed. As one news report states:
Waukesha parade attack suspect Darrell Brooks is a convicted sex offender who is wanted in Nevada for failure to obey sex offender laws, according to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Brooks was convicted in 2006 of having consensual sex with a 15-year-old and conceiving a child with her. He was sentenced to probation but was arrested for failure to obey sex offender laws in 2016. Brooks then jumped bail on that charge and never appeared in court. www.foxnews.com/live-news/wisconsin-waukesha-suv-plows-crowd-christmas-parade
And he was just out on a ridiculously low bail for similar crimes:
The suspect, Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, recently had been released from custody in a strikingly similar case, in which he was accused of driving over a woman during a domestic dispute, sending her to the hospital and leaving tire marks on her pant leg. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting that case, said Monday it was launching an internal review of a prosecutor’s “inappropriately low” $1,000 bail recommendation. The bail amount was signed off on by a court commissioner. www.jsonline.com/story/news/crime/2021/11/22/suspect-waukesha-parade-incident-identified-darrell-brooks-jr/8717524002/
But a real concern is if this is in some ways related to the Rittenhouse acquittal. Young Kyle had been painted as a racist all along by the mainstream media, and being found not guilty has resulted in plenty of talk by the usual suspects about the need for further rioting and bloodshed. Time will tell. In the meantime Mark Steyn offers these comments:
As usual, Britain’s Daily Mail has more of an appetite for the story. Those who look beyond America’s corrupt media for the basic information will be aware that the man in custody is an “aspiring rapper” called Darrell Brooks Jr, or Jay Brooks, or MathBoi Fly, whose rap videos are already being scrubbed from social media. When he’s not rapping, he’s a career criminal with a rap sheet as long as the Waukesha parade: property destruction, battery, strangulation and suffocation; he’s also a “registered sex offender”. Two days before the attack, Mr Brooks was apparently released from jail by the Milwaukee County Attorney John Chisholm. His latest charges include domestic abuse, more battery, oh and felony bail jumping. So Mr Chisholm released him on $1,000 cash bail.
There will be more to say about this in the days ahead. But I will make two observations: First, one sign of a functioning society is the ease with which you can insulate yourself from its worst pathologies. It is getting harder and harder to do that in America – and so Granny goes to dance in a Christmas parade and doesn’t come home. Second, had this been a story out of Germany or France, it would most probably have been what we used to call a “foreigner” – a “refugee” recently arrived from Syria or Afghanistan who finds the ways of the infidel decadent and disgusting. In America, the social fabric is being shredded by Americans who hate other Americans. www.steynonline.com/11911/christmas-carnage?fbclid=IwAR1XzUIgmMJq-AU5LJ3mL5B4XMIFB3IkjW94L90RRC-q5O3yMQLWB5RmZl8#.YZuyRfG7cVw.link
As one person commented; “Darrell Brooks called himself a terrorist in his rap songs and rapped about his hate for white people. Praised black nationalism and violence against whites on his social media.” And as Matt Walsh put it, “A white kid shooting white people in self-defense is racist. A black man mowing down 50 white people is not racist. Okay, got it.”
Plenty more can be said about this horrible incident. But as always, when a major tragedy like this happens, atheists and agnostics will come out of the woodwork to make charges against God and Christianity. But many Christians will also be asking some hard questions. ‘Why does God allow these things to happen?’
The short answer is we have free will, we are morally responsible beings, and in a fallen world, we have evil people doing evil things. As such, Darrell Brooks did this horrific act, not God. But still, Christians can and do have many legitimate questions to deal with at times like this.
But we know, as Spurgeon once put it, that God is too wise to make a mistake, and too loving to be unkind. Theologians can discuss whether God allows things to happen or causes them, and so on, but what we do know for sure is that God grieves over human suffering, and he has taken steps to deal with human evil.
God is angered by human sin and is broken-hearted over human suffering. Michael Brown in the US has just written about such matters and is worth quoting from. He says:
Nowhere in the Bible do I see believers praising Him for acts of rape and torture. Instead, I see them wailing over these things, asking Him to intervene and have mercy on the sufferers and bring justice on the evildoers. (Even when the believers recognized these tragedies as the results of divine judgments, they recognized those judgments as curses, not blessings, the fruit of sin rather than obedience.) And nowhere in the New Testament do I see Jesus striking someone with a terminal illness as a sign of His great love and compassion. To the contrary, I see Him healing the sick and the oppressed….
As for Jesus, Isaiah described Him in advance in these words: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3a) Or, in the words of the Letter to the Hebrews, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” And that leads to these words of encouragement, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Of course, the Lord of heaven and earth is not sitting idly by, doing nothing. In the midst of human chaos, confusion and pain, He is working out His will and plan (see Ephesians 1:11), working for the good of those who love Him (see Romans 8:28). He still sits enthroned as King, and He still rules as Lord.
But it was His will to create a world in which we have free choice, meaning that every single day, terrible tragedies take place, and the Lord allows them to take place. It also means that, because of the entrance of human sin into the world, there is sickness and pain and death.
In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself. … Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata — of creatures that work like machines — would hardly be worth creating.”
So, what was God doing Sunday night when lives were lost in Wisconsin? The same thing He is doing every moment of every day when human beings commit evil acts against others, from an abusive mother in the home to an abusive boss in the workplace, and from a crazed dictator in a closed country to an apparently murderous driver in Waukesha.
He is allowing us to make our own choices, for good or for evil. And He is hurting with those who hurt and mourning with those who mourn.
But He is also acting redemptively, working to bring hurting and lost people to Himself, working to bring light out of darkness, working to bring judgment and justice and working to make things right, either in this world or in the world to come.
He is anything but a passive, disinterested bystander. stream.org/where-was-god-when-a-speeding-suv-mowed-down-grandmothers-and-children-at-a-christmas-parade/
As I say, while we may not have all the answers about this and other tragedies, we all can pray. Let’s do that now for the victims, their loved ones, and the state of Wisconsin.