The Elliot Rodger video made before the recent Santa Barbara shootings has inflamed the tribes. It was bound to happen since it was abusive and selfish and articulated a voice that many have seen in themselves and others. He could not understand why no women wanted him, though all reports are that he was a loner who would not allow himself to be wanted in any case.
In the ministry circles I have walked in is a group of specialists in a ministry called “deliverance”. Their activities range from finding and removing demons that plague people all kinds of ways (and thus, get named by their activity as in “demon of lust”) to outright exorcism of demons that literally possess people. Of course if you debunk the importance of that ministry, guess why? Right .. you have a demon.
I don’t want to discount this activity, because I do believe in a personal devil and have seen demonic activity – stuff that can only be attributed to evil that has an external source. Not that I believe people are incapable of evil in their own right and volition – they are capable of immense evil and they do it regularly. But we ALL are, I insist, sinners in need of a Savior.
But let’s get back to Rodger. It is the song of the #yesallwomen camp that his demons – which they would not necessarily call spiritual at all but rather a set of attitudes – exist in all men. Or at least that all men are responsible for the atmosphere of entitlement and demand for gratification Rodger articulated in his video.
And of course there commences and there sustains the gender wars.
Hunger –> Loathing
All humans have desires. They can be towards self or they can be altruistic, toward others. And all humans have needs. And the needs people identify and satisfy are almost all towards self – not that there aren’t needs towards others, they just remain unidentified or secondary.
It’s sometimes hard to make the distinction between a desire and a need and I guess I’d say that desires can accumulate and produce, in sum, a need, though it’s scarcely a formula.
When needs or desires go unsatisfied, hunger develops – and please allow me to use the analogy of food here. If that hunger persists a person becomes malnourished and sick.
What Rodger needed, and didn’t get, wasn’t a girlfriend or sex. He needed friends. Good friends. Friends that loved him for who he was. Some could be women, but mostly they had to care. He had none and so he hungered and got sick. Yes, that’s my autopsy of a dead shooter.
People who hunger that way turn to all kinds of things to fill themselves. In the worst cases they turn to hatred, deciding since they’ve been deprived of what they needed – that deprivation is permanent and there is nothing to be done about it except something terminal and (sometimes) violent.
Now, the target of that loathing goes two basic ways – out and in. For every Elliot Rodger who lashed out there are thousands who “lash in” – with sinking depression and a gradual or sudden plan to do self-harm via suicide.
And THAT – the loathing, the conclusion that one’s hungry state is permanent – is the real demon here.
Not misogyny, not misandry (look it up, it’s just as bad a problem as the former, more famous gender loathing).
Truly, one can find men and women who are utterly selfless and loving towards the opposite gender. That’s how I want to be towards my friends who happen to be women.
And there are the tribes
And one can find examples of the opposite, tribalists who find a fatal flaw in those who are different. It’s always to promote the tribe into supposed superiority. And the loathing unifies the tribe, takes it to war, populates death camps, sends nations to war.
Tribes must exist to fill one of the hungers we have – for fellowship and community.
But tribes can get hungry too. For validation, prominence and power. None of those is bad, but when they don’t come, the same loathing patterns develop.
Now what/so what?
If I know an Elliot Rodger, I need to let him know I care. Somehow, at some time. He needs to know he matters and he has potential.
If I know a Rebecca Sedwick or Megan Taylor Meier or Nigel Hardy or any of a thousand others that are out there for every Elliot Rodger, I need to let them know I care. I need to use the same social media that the enemy will use and tell them they’re cool and desirable as people. They’re dying for friends and affection.
It’s not easy; these people are reclusive (very hesitant to open up), scary, angry and/or just not nice. But they are are a lot less scary without guns than with them. Or they have a veneer of smiles and pleasant demeanor but inside be a lonely, loathing wretch.
THAT’s when they need to have their real hunger fulfilled.
Jesus said it
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
And He loves us like no one else.