A body of a 23-year old woman was found in an alley between two dumpsters in one of the bigger communities near here. As is the case with every tragic death or unusual crime, I did a quick search on social media to look at her profile and make sense of the human side of her story. In her recent photos, she looked gaunt. Her posts were difficult to read because of spelling errors – the kind people make when they are typing drunk or under the influence. Other clues in her photos hinted at a troubled family, where an addiction or other injurious lifestyle was eating away at the family. They seemed happy …
In her most recent post, she had implied she’s been working as an exotic dancer at a strip-club in the valley. An older family member of her last name (I speculated an uncle or father) had responded to the post with an exclamation of confusion.
The local news carried the story, and comments on its social media page ranged from “she was my cousin, and she was a great person!” to “I bet the reason police said there was no evidence of foul play is because they found her with a big needle hanging out of her arm.” One commenter mentioned that “she dated one of my friends, and she had a lot of issues” – which generated several scoldings and threats toward that commenter – and another offered “they should look for a guy named Roger, or her grandparents.”
Though commenters fought and argued, insulting one another, apologizing, accusing of being cold toward the death of a real person, they shared a commonality: Each was right.
In our modern society, difference and uniqueness, difficulty and unpleasantness, and the rigidity of morals, rules, and consistency are bulldozed by progressivism. The losing team in school sports is still a winner. Grievous sin, outlined with clarity in scripture, is stated, as if fact, as being “not a sin” by pastors of flexible churches who seek to please man rather than God. Addiction and bad choice are made out to be misfortunate infestations of disease – though the label of “disease” is more a declaration from layperson-founded recovery groups than legitimate science.
In this mire of soft-spoken permissiveness, children grow up terrified of a spooky crayon face rather than the real dangers of the world. Addicts rise and fall without understanding the gruesome and morbid weight of their choices. The terrifying natural consequence of bad choice is so hidden, watered down, sugar-coated, or eliminated that there is very little to discourage the philosophies and behavior that will shorten their experience, confuse them through life, and waste their time on the earth.
In the instance of the death of this young woman, I understand the pain of their loss. I understand the need to minimize the (presumed) bad choices on the part of this woman in her tragic death. If she were an addict, a prostitute, or whatever the consensus is, their pain must be magnified by the abrupt end of a life they may have felt powerless to correct or protect. Any family who loses a member to addiction or criminal activity must feel partly at fault.
But hiding the cause furthers the cancer in the community. If a child died of e. coli, the community would seek to find the path by which the bacteria got to the child. Warnings would be circulated. The cause and route would be identified and scoured clean. Why do we no longer give morality offenses this treatment? Who gave her the drugs? Who left her body in the alley – or why was she there on her own? What was the source of the drugs? How will they be removed from our community?
As sad as it is for the family, outside of family and friends, no one cares about the deceased. What they rest of the community does care about is what her death means to them. Robbing them of the opportunity to have dialogue about the factors leading to her demise is merely procrastinating the resolution, likely killing other children, aunts, and sisters in the process.
Reality is ugly.
If we examine it, we can make it a nicer reality for our children.