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The Thrill of Violence and The Absence of Conscience

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Just a few days ago, an 18-year-old man with special needs was abducted in Chicago. Two 18-year-old men and two 18-year-old women proceeded to tie him up and tape his mouth shut. After taking him to a secure location, the four abductors turned on Facebook Live. After they had an online audience, they beat him for over 30-minutes. One even took a knife and scalped part of his head. Throughout the beating, the four black abductors hurled racial epitaphs at the white victim. Investigators have also alleged that the assault was a hate crime. A short time after the incident, police found the traumatized man wondering the streets in crises. The four abductors were promptly arrested.

When I thought about the causes of this evil act, I thought about the people who watched such brutality live. How could anyone get any satisfaction from beating someone with special needs? After some consideration, I realized that we watch egregious violence online all the time. The Internet is full of extreme depictions. Every video seems to raise the stakes even higher. How far will we go? What about broadcasting a murder? It has already been done. What about broadcasting a rape? It has already been done. What about broadcasting a suicide? It has already been done. I could go on and on. The instances of depictions of unbelievable violence online are innumerable. Perhaps, we should stop watching. Perhaps, we can slow down the demand. We have to do something before our consciences disappear.

Amen.

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