Culture of Fear

From 9-11 to Columbine; from Virginia Tech to inner cities: we live in a culture haunted by fear. I am instantly critical of this climate, particularly how it subtly—and overtly—defines our decisions on personal, communal and institutional levels. As a Christian, I believe that fear of harm and death is somehow relativized by the Gospel and the love of God.

And yet, what do we do in the face of very real threats? It is easy to be a critic, but what if your school received a threat? One case that I know of (which will remain anonymous so as not to draw undue attention to it) received just such a threat, and they have turned the place into a mini police-state: fewer entrances and exits, mandatory bag checks, prominent security personnel, etc.

I critique this, but what then, do I offer as a constructive solution? Doing nothing is obviously not an option. How do I allow my faith to shape my suggestions in situations such as this to those who do not share it? Any thoughts out there?

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