Life or Death for Nikolas Cruz?

“See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.” I Thessalonians 5:15 KJV~

On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Now he awaits news of his fate: Will he will serve life in prison or receive the death penalty?

Before his murder spree, Cruz published a post about another mass killer stating, “Elliot Rodger will not be forgotten.”

On May 23, 2014, Rodger killed his two housemates and a friend—then went on a shooting spree near the UC Santa Barbara campus. At the end of the day, he had wounded 14 and killed six. He then killed himself.

In a YouTube video recorded between killings, Rodger said, “You denied me a happy life. And in return, I will deny all of you life. It’s only fair.”

Rodger and Cruz described themselves as incels–involuntarily celibate. Rodger was 22 at his death. Cruz was 19 when he committed his crimes. Cruz’s father died when Cruz was six. Rodger’s parents divorced when he was seven. Both killers had suffered the “injustice” of female rejection.

Amia Srinivasan points out that in 2017 Reddit—an online discussion forum website—shut down a 40,000-member “incel” support group (Incel means involuntarily celibate)— ”for people who lack romantic relationships and sex.” Reddit also banned a second such group for calling for, among other proposals, reduced penalties for the crime of rape.

Incels are an unexpected consequence of the sexual revolution. The marginalized. The lonely. The excluded. The Elliot Rodgers and the Nikolas Cruzes. And others.

It’s a situation Aldous Huxley avoided in his futuristic masterpiece Brave New World. Huxley’s “civilized society” encouraged sex and conditioned children to understand that “everyone belongs to everyone.”

Huxley even created an alpha male character who was less than perfect. Bernard Marx was smaller and less attractive than other men of his social rank–as was Elliot Rodger.

Yet unlike Elliot, Bernard still had his share of the action–so to speak. Conditioned to always say yes, women accommodated even Bernard. There was no rejection. Therefore in Huxley’s book, there were no Elliot Rodgers or Nikolas Cruzes feeling that they had to kill in order to even the tilted score of life.

Some say, “Just take away the guns.” But that would not have saved three of Rodger’s victims. He stabbed his housemates and friend. He could have continued to wreak havoc with a knife–but he chose to attack his other victims with a gun.

Draconian gun laws may have reduced his casualty list. But they do nothing to heal the heart that tells itself everyone else is getting something I can’t have. They do nothing to keep that heart from determining to find revenge through some kind of violence.

We’ve taught more than one generation that their desires and inclinations trump all else. We have reached a shocking place, but we cannot claim to be surprised.

We have simply reached the logical conclusion of the sexual revolution.

If sex is free–all are entitled to participate.

Perhaps it would be a simple thing to teach young children to respect others first and themselves next. To teach them that respecting yourself means not giving yourself away casually. To fill them with enough compassion and respect for others that the idea of forcing themselves on another might become unthinkable–at least less thinkable.

There is much discussion over whether schools do enough to end bullying. Some say no, those administrations look the other way. Another argument says they do all they can. Both are true depending on where you look.

Indeed, schools have to do more than put up posters and hold anti-bullying assemblies, as they avert their gaze from reality. They have to teach that social responsibility is more important than self.

They have to be willing to suffer the discomfort of a difficult public relations scenario. They have to admit that their school isn’t as safe as they pretend it is.

Moms and dads, especially those who parent bullying children, must accept responsibility also. If children hear a message at school and home (and church) as was the case in America in the past, the message has a better chance of sinking in.

We will never be able to take away enough guns and knives to stop all violence. Ending violence requires us to change hearts. It’s a simpler matter than confiscating property. A simple matter–but a harder task. It requires us to face the truth about “free” sex.

Sexual freedom is a lie. It doesn’t give. It only takes. It does not free. It only binds. And its chains forge one scar upon another.

Winston Churchill once said, “Americans can be trusted to do the right thing–once other possibilities have been exhausted.”

How many more will die before we finally admit to that right thing?

Nikolas Cruz faces judgment here and now. He will face judgment again, as we all will sooner or later, in eternity.

He alone holds responsibility for the crimes he committed. He will pay with his life–either in prison or via a lethal needle.

We can hold him accountable.

But nothing will change until we hold ourselves accountable for the culture we have cultivated that seeks to disarm the wounded but never heal their wounds.

Revised from March 26, 2018, “The Brave New World of Sexual Entitlement.”

Photo Credit: Pexels

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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24 Replies to “Life or Death for Nikolas Cruz?”

  1. Life or death. I think you probably know my thoughts already Ms. Nancy, so we’ll keep them to ourselves. My thoughts on the primary discussion points however, I can only add a hearty “Amen” ma’am. We are indeed reaping the seeds sown over 50 years ago. The “Sexual Revolution”, the “Me Generation”, etc. was and is nothing more than thinly veiled attempts by Satan to pervert and subvert America and the world. It’s been said that “When America sneezes, the world catches a cold.” Today, when America sneezes., the world gets Covid. We have been witnessing the erosion and death of Christian values in America for decades, but most have been so distracted by the world that they simply ignored the gathering storm clouds. As the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. said in a speech in Ohio during the 60s, “You cannot legislate morality.” The problem we see today is not a gun problem, it is a heart problem. The cause is a lack of real values and morality that is rampant around our world. It’s root cause, family. When we take God out our homes and our lives, the vacuum created is filled with worldly values and morality becomes subjective. I so appreciate your honest, candid, heartfelt posts ma’am. Thank you!

  2. As always, the biblical truth comes out. The cause of so much rage and misery goes back to the original lie: that even though God has given us a world of things to enjoy, we are entitled to everything, including what He has forbidden. Believing that lie caused the fall of Man, and only Jesus can redeem us, through His perfect life and sacrificial death.

  3. Thank you for tackling the tough topics. I can’t comprehend why someone chooses evil over good. I am thankful to know God and to rest in His peace. I pray for all who are seeking Him. I pray for all who don’t know Him. I pray.

  4. “Stopping violence requires us to change hearts. It’s a simpler matter than confiscating property.” Amen. Ending gun violence in America’s schools takes caring about teenagers and young people, providing mental health services, intervening early. The answer is neither more or fewer guns. It takes time and loving others as Christ loves them- investing in our youth.

  5. I love the message that hits at the heart of our problem, changing hearts. I so agree with you. We must be on our knees for more hearts to move towards God.

  6. You are right that it is not guns that kill, it is the condition of people’s hearts. Anything can be used as a weapon when someone is filled with rage and hate. When courts release criminals and don’t hold them accountable for their actions, it sends a message that people can do whatever they want. The same with bullying or any other negative action. Personal responsibility needs to be taught. We can all take a lesson from King David. He didn’t blame anyone else on his sin as we can read about in Psalm 51.

  7. You’ve presented many good points, Nancy. I’ll add that the sexual revolution is just one aspect of a society that is breaking apart. Until we expect and require all of our citizens to be responsible and accountable for their actions, we will continue with these same tragic issues. One other point, schools can only do what parents and governing officials will permit them to do. Educators cannot teach maturity, responsibility, and love and respect for neighbor unless parents and society are willing to support them in holding all children responsible for their actions.

    1. You’re right, Katherine, that teaching responsibility begins in the home. School supervisors holding students responsible for their actions is secondary, but still important. Too many parents coddle or neglect. Some schools pick public perception over attention to problems. Smaller schools may be one way to keep a finger on the pulse of discontent. Threats on social media provide red flags often ignored–as in this case. Lots of responsibility to go around. Thanks and God bless!

  8. As always, you’ve given a gritty and realistic view of life in America and probably the entire globe as incel men have learned that sex is not free or available to them. Your reasoning, of course, has shown us how we arrived at this place, a place that none of us expected. I have never considered sex to be free. We have the boundaries of marriage, which have become less important to society. I believe those boundaries to be God-given and, therefore, necessary for society. For that to happen, there is a necessity for the Gospel to be proclaimed, for sin to be labeled, for the glory of confession and forgiveness to be restored. How can we get to that place?

  9. Our society has such a sense of entitlement right now! Nothing is “our fault,” we think… we try to blame our evil actions on others. What this young man did was an atrocious evil, and I pray for his soul as I pray for those he harmed.

  10. Powerfully expressed as always, Nancy. You have a way to make us think deeper and wider than usual on the issues at hand. Like the Churchill quote and how you said, schools and other authority and yes, even us, need to “teach that social responsibility is more important than self.” And a hearty “Amen” to this, “Stopping violence requires us to change hearts.”

  11. An accurate, though culturally unwelcome assessment. As long as our culture continues to separate actions from heart condition, we will continue to spin in circles. As someone once said, “The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart.”

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