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  • Godwin Cotter

Every so often a heinous and sensational crime catapults a new, previously unknown juvenile onto center stage. We pore over the backstory of our newest criminal celebrity, asking the question "Why?" Why would a nice-looking young man start off torturing kittens and end up sacrificing Grandma to Satan? But wait for it, an operatic aria is just around the corner. The media dusts off a well-used narrative and the old violin tunes get played. "It's really society's fault. Our culture countenances inequalities by pronouncing winners and losers in little league games! It fosters competition, and doles out A's, B's, C,s and F's in high school! Society killed Grandma! Society needs to serve some hard time. We hate you society, you disgust us."

While I do think individuals have a good share of culpability for their crimes, society actually is also responsible, The idea of it being society's fault does have some merit, but not in the way that the media explicates. It is not due being insufficiently progressive, insufficiently fast enough. It is society turning it's back totally on traditional morality and at the same time providing no real substitute. We chatter away about this and that, but there is no standard with a shelf-life longer than two months. As a society we have given a green light to casual sex, we teach elementary school children safer ways to be causal with their sexuality, almost all entertainment has obscene or lewd conduct in prime product placement and any remaining vestiges of morality are routinely mocked. Many young people end up deeply wounded in their bodies, souls, and psyches by casual sex and abortions. Sure, a young person may have ended up opening their own Pandora's box. However, society had been urging them to do so incessantly for so long that it has almost become society's doing.

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