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Massacre of the Innocents [Steyn]
National Review ^ | 12/21/2012 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 12/22/2012 8:05:06 AM PST by Servant of the Cross

The Newtown killings ought to occasion a little modesty and circumspection.

‘Lullay, Thou little tiny Child, by by, lully, lullay . . . ”

The 16th-century Coventry Carol, a mother’s lament for her lost son, is the only song of the season about the other children of Christmas — the first-born of Bethlehem, slaughtered on Herod’s orders after the Magi brought him the not-so-glad tidings that an infant of that city would grow up to be King of the Jews. As Matthew tells it, even in a story of miraculous birth, in the midst of life is death. The Massacre of the Innocents loomed large over the Christian imagination: In Rubens’s two renderings, he fills the canvas with spear-wielding killers, wailing mothers, and dead babies, a snapshot, one assumes, of the vaster, bloodier body count beyond the frame. Then a century ago the Catholic Encyclopedia started digging into the numbers. The estimated population of Bethlehem at that time was around a thousand, which would put the toll of first-born sons under the age of two murdered by King Herod at approximately 20 — or about the same number of dead children as one school shooting on a December morning in Connecticut. “Every man a king,” promised Huey Long. And, if it doesn’t quite work out like that, well, every man his own Herod.

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: guncontrol; kingherod; marksteyn; massacre; sandyhook; secondamendment; steyn
But, in the face of murder as extraordinarily wicked as that of Newtown, we should know enough to pause before reaching for our usual tired tropes. So I will save my own personal theories, no doubt as ignorant and irrelevant as everybody else’s, until after Christmas — except to note that the media’s stampede for meaning in massacre this last week overlooks the obvious: that the central meaning of these acts is that they are without meaning.
1 posted on 12/22/2012 8:05:11 AM PST by Servant of the Cross
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To: JLS

Steyn ping.


2 posted on 12/22/2012 8:06:14 AM PST by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: Servant of the Cross

in the midst of life is death.

Steyn understands, Et in Arcadia ego.


3 posted on 12/22/2012 8:12:47 AM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Servant of the Cross

Love Mark Steyn!

We won’t ever find meaning in murders committed by lunatics. It just happens. If they can’t get their hands on guns, they will find other means if killing innocent people.


4 posted on 12/22/2012 8:18:40 AM PST by passionfruit (When illegals become legal, even they won't do the work Americans won't do)
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To: tet68
... in the midst of life is death.

Yes. Such is our earthly existance.

That is why our Hope is for Eternity. For this is not our home.

5 posted on 12/22/2012 8:19:45 AM PST by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: Servant of the Cross
From the article:

...in our society, finding somebody else odd is itself a form of mental illness. In an unmoored age, what’s not odd? Once upon a time, TV viewers from distant states descending on a Connecticut town to attend multiple funerals of children they don’t know might have struck some of us as, at best, unseemly and, at worst, deeply creepy — a Feast of the Holy Innocents, so to speak.

A poem circulating on the internet that relates to Steyn's message (have tissues handy):

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

Please pass on.

6 posted on 12/22/2012 8:33:42 AM PST by maica
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To: passionfruit

7 posted on 12/22/2012 8:41:07 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: passionfruit
If they can’t get their hands on guns, they will find other means of killing innocent people.

Just days before the Newtown tragedy, there was this: Knife attack at Chinese school wounds 22 children. Yet we hear nothing about knife control.

8 posted on 12/22/2012 8:53:44 AM PST by NonValueAdded (If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you've likely misread the situation.)
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To: Servant of the Cross

Mark Steyn IS a voice of reason in an insane culture.. He is a beacon of light...


9 posted on 12/22/2012 8:55:24 AM PST by Chuzzlewit
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To: Servant of the Cross

“Herod and the Pennsylvania Indians murdered children in pursuit of crude political goals; the infanticidal maniac of Sandy Hook was merely conscripting grade-school extras for a hollow act of public suicide. Like most mass shootings, his was an exercise in hyper-narcissism — 19th-century technology in the service of a very contemporary sensibility.”


10 posted on 12/22/2012 9:16:58 AM PST by grimalkin (Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. Friedman)
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To: Servant of the Cross
Who’s to know when violent fantasies on social media prefigure a loner getting ready to mow down the kindergarten or just a critically acclaimed liberal novelist amusing her friends before the PEN Awards cocktail party?

Boy, he's good.

11 posted on 12/22/2012 9:32:33 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Republicans have made themselves useless, toothless, and clueless.)
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To: Servant of the Cross
In the "Mother Land" they love and protect their children...Not EAT them like they do here.Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic
12 posted on 12/22/2012 9:44:37 AM PST by MtnMan101
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To: TheOldLady; Rummyfan; Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; ...

Mark Steyn ping.

Freepmail me, if you want on or off the Mark Steyn ping list.

THanks for the ping Servant of the Cross.


13 posted on 12/22/2012 9:47:41 AM PST by JLS
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To: TheOldLady; Rummyfan; Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; ...

Mark Steyn ping.

Freepmail me, if you want on or off the Mark Steyn ping list.

THanks for the ping Servant of the Cross.


14 posted on 12/22/2012 9:47:52 AM PST by JLS
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To: TheOldLady; Rummyfan; Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; ...

Mark Steyn ping.

Freepmail me, if you want on or off the Mark Steyn ping list.

THanks for the ping Servant of the Cross.


15 posted on 12/22/2012 9:48:50 AM PST by JLS
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To: NonValueAdded

The knife attack WOUNDED twenty-two children.

None of the children who were shot at Sandy Hook survived.


16 posted on 12/22/2012 9:53:14 AM PST by heartwood
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To: Servant of the Cross
Bes. Steyn. Yet.

But I always say that.

Thank God for what this man can do with words.

17 posted on 12/22/2012 10:04:34 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.")
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To: JLS
And the Founders were under fewer illusions about the fragility of society than Hollywood funnymen: On July 25,1764, four Lenape Indians walked into a one-room schoolhouse in colonial Pennsylvania and killed Enoch Brown and ten of his pupils. One child survived, scalped and demented to the end of his days.

There always have been (and still are) savages, monsters, and madmen.

18 posted on 12/22/2012 11:06:02 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: heartwood

yes, I know that. I think you are missing the main point which is “don’t blame the tool, blame the fool who uses it.” Bad people will use what is at hand: gasoline, as pointed out in a post upstream; a vehicle, driven into a crowd, the list can be endless.


19 posted on 12/22/2012 11:30:44 AM PST by NonValueAdded (If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you've likely misread the situation.)
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To: Servant of the Cross

“Lullay thou little tiny child...”

Think also about the gold, frankincense, and myrrh given by the Magi to Christ: gold because He was a King; frankincense because He was the Son of God; Myrrh (an embalming spice) because He was born to die.

The Bible is called the Good Book: but if it were the Nothing-But-Good Book it would be the size of a pamphlet. It´s accurate. It´s truthful. Much of it is hell-bent.
It´s The Way We Really Are.

That´s why Jesus, the Eternally Blessed Son of God, is the only one who could conquer sin and death. And He does. That´s why the Good News is so good.


20 posted on 12/22/2012 12:12:10 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.")
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Here is the little door . . .

Here is the little door, lift up the latch, oh lift!
We need not wander more but enter with our gift;
Our gift of finest gold,
Gold that was never bought nor sold;
Myrrh to be strewn about his bed;
Incense in clouds about his head;
All for the Child who stirs not in his sleep.
But holy slumber holds with ass and sheep.

Bend low about his bed, for each he has a gift;
See how his eyes awake, lift up your hands, O lift!
For gold, he gives a keen-edged sword
(Defend with it Thy little Lord!)
For incense, smoke of battle red;
Myrrh for the honoured happy dead;
Gifts for his children terrible and sweet,
Touched by such tiny hands and
Oh such tiny feet.

- Frances Chesterton

21 posted on 12/22/2012 12:28:55 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother

Oh my. Thank you for this.


22 posted on 12/22/2012 12:39:07 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.")
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To: passionfruit
We won’t ever find meaning in murders committed by lunatics. It just happens.

I just heard earlier today, Mayor (Nanny) Bloomberg stating definitively that these events "only happen in America".

I believe the nutcase that shot up an entire island of vacationing youngsters a few years ago, was just on trial in NORWAY.

23 posted on 12/22/2012 12:43:25 PM PST by LibertarianLiz
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To: AnAmericanMother

Just read it a second and third time, with the music. The thought of that battle red.


24 posted on 12/22/2012 1:09:28 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.")
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To: Mrs. Don-o
It is splendid and incredibly moving. Frances Chesterton (G.K.'s wife) wrote it for a Christmas play - that must have been one terrifying play is all I can say.

Howells achieved a perfect marriage of text and music - he was working for the Tudor music revival at Westminster Cathedral at the time, and the setting is partly English Renaissance and partly modern.

I found it about 2 weeks ago and have been listening to it on and off. I found the score on CPDL and have lateraled it to our choirmaster for possible inclusion in the rotation.

25 posted on 12/22/2012 1:43:34 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGS Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: heartwood
***The knife attack WOUNDED twenty-two children.**** Well maybe these school massacres will make you happy. Yan Yanming, 21 Nov. 26 2004 Ruzhou China 9 dead 3 injured. Knife weapon Takuma, Mamoru, 37 June 8 2001 Ikeda, Osaka Japan 8 dead 15 injured. Knife type weapon Zheng Minsheng, 41 (郑明生) March 23 2010, Nanping China 8 dead 5 injured. Knife. Bai Ningyang, 18(白宁阳) May 8 2006 Shiguan China 12 dead 5 wounded. Knife weapon and arson. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers:_School_massacres There! Feel better?
26 posted on 12/22/2012 3:33:56 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (REOPEN THE CLOSED MENTAL INSTITUTIONS! Damn the ACLU!)
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To: Servant of the Cross
As the comedian Andy Borowitz tweeted, “When the 2nd Amendment was written the most lethal gun available was the musket.”

And when the 1st Amendment was written state-of-the-art in media was "movable type".

Does he advocate restrictions on the media comparable to those he no-doubt advocates on firearms?

27 posted on 12/23/2012 7:11:41 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Servant of the Cross

this one really stands out. Thanks for the ping.


28 posted on 12/24/2012 12:07:17 PM PST by holly go-rightly
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