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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Tragic Identity Issues

Memorial-at-Charleston-church-jpgThe media has been awash with confused individuals lately. Some are celebrated (Bruce Jenner), while others are vilified (Rachel Dolezal). All cause pain to those around them, which to a large extent is ignored in our “I Gotta Be Me” generation.

And now Dylann Roof, mass murderer at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, leaving nine dead during a Bible study. That’s identity confusion to the nth degree, over his own identity, but as well, over his perception of others. Those engaged in a peaceful midweek Bible study are hardly a menace to society.

Our dacha is not far from Charleston. We spend part of every week in these environs, taking a break 1434719382335.cachedfrom the corridors of power in Washington, DC. It’s a peaceful city, a friendly city, often a tourist destination where those of all colors get along.

And then this. Some have asked, “Why?”

I’ll tell you why. It’s called mental illness.

Here’s a young, white man, 21 years old, who’s disturbed. He drops out of high school, lives off and on with his father who sounds to be a decent man—churchgoing, friendly with those of all races… yet who gave him a gun (if media reports are to be believed) for his 21st birthday in April. After the kid had been arrested in late February and in late April due to odd and threatening behaviors in a local shopping mall that got him banned from returning.

That’s pretty odd in itself.

rachel-dolezalAnd Rachel Dolezal is estranged from her family, a white woman passing as African American and claiming that her adopted black brothers are her sons and that a former black coworker is her dad. More confusion.

Identify with another culture. That’s fine. Nobody cares.

If you’re half white or half black, choose a side or no side at all. We love you just the way you are.

Start lying and that’s a whole different issue.

Some have claimed that Dolezal is not mentally ill. Really? What would you call a serial liar, a rachel-dolezalseemingly-professional woman who can’t answer basic questions about her identity? Nobody is saying that you’d have to be mentally ill to pursue life as an African-American if you weren’t born that way.

I mean just look at the Kardashians. Okay, forget it, let’s skip that one for now.

thBut Bruce Jenner’s gender dysphoria (discontent) is troubling. With suicide rates 19 times higher than the general population and high rates even after surgery, will life as a transgender person really be an improvement?

These are confused, troubled individuals, quite possibly taking steps in the wrong direction to try to alleviate their pain.

We are all pained. We all have troubles in life. Either we go to a therapist, or to God, or to a trusted network of friends who will support us, or the issues fester and take over the mind.

Take a look at one of Roof’s Charleston victims, the pastor of this historic AME church, Sen. Clementa clementa-pinckneyPinckney. This man in his early 40s exemplified the life of a man on a mission to change the world around him.

Coming from a family of preachers, Pinckney was ordained to preach at the age of 18. Following that, he went to the SC State House as an elected representative when he was just 23 years old, later becoming a state senator. A fine gentleman, said all who knew him, not an enemy in the world. Always pursued peace even in the face of injustice.

Roof, on the other hand, spent massive amounts of time playing video games, the anti-social dropout that had those in his extended family concerned. A life lost even before he decided to snatch away the lives of those productive citizens who were living life to the fullest and trying to make the world a better place.

clementa-pinckneyAs Father’s Day approaches, I wonder about the connection (or lack thereof) between children and their fathers and how much this affects one’s psyche. My prayer for our nation is that this growing confusion and dysfunction would be abated. Could this be a spiritual problem, that we don’t know God our Father, and therefore, don’t really know ourselves if we have been created in His image?  Sen. Pinckney knew his father and his Lord and it made all the difference.

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:6).

The curse of confusion. The curse of racial strife. The curse of murdering innocent people.charleston-shooting

It’s time for hearts to be open to the healing power of God, the only one who can help all those involved in these very troubling situations of late.


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