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Evil didn't win in Newtown

  • SandyHookNewSchool.JPG

    Jan. 2, 2012: A sign for Chalk Hill School is seen in Monroe, Conn. (AP)

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    Dec. 14, 2012: Brenda Hernadez of Enfield Conn., comforts her daughter Crystal at a makeshift shrine on the Enfield Town Green, Friday evening, after a candlelight vigil in Enfield, Conn. (AP/Journal Inquirer)

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    Dec. 16, 2012: Cheryl Girardi, of Middletown, Conn., kneels beside 26 teddy bears, each representing a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, at a sidewalk memorial, in Newtown, Conn. (AP)

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    Dec. 17, 2012: Mourners embrace as they leave the Honan Funeral Home, where the family of six-year-old Jack Pinto is holding his funeral service, in Newtown, Conn. Pinto was one of the 20 students killed in the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. (REUTERS)

Editor's note: On Thursday, January 3, the children who survived the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut returned to class at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Although they are not in the same building, they are now back together with their teachers and their classmates. 

My initial thought in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting is that evil is not the opposite of good, as some have suggested. Evil lives outside the good, which is all encompassing in a loving God. 

The world is broken and like a hole in the roof sometimes admits rain, our broken world occasionally admits evil. 

It reminds me in another context of one of my favorite lines from the now canceled CBS show "Touched By An Angel" on which the angel of death said, "Death is nothing to fear, but it is something to prepare for." 

We best deal with evil, not after the fact, but before. Acknowledging it exists is a first and important step toward defending against it. 

Evil lurks in all of us at some level, seeking to devour. We try to depict it in films like "The Exorcist" and the more recent "The Rite," but these offer inadequate explanations. 

A virus has difficulty penetrating a healthy immune system. 

Evil has difficulty penetrating a school that is adequately prepared for it. 

Some commentators have suggested that the Newtown shootings occurred because God is punishing us for allowing so many abortions and same-sex marriage. 

I reject that as bad social commentary and worse theology.As Pete Wehner has noted, why would a loving God punish innocent children who had nothing to do with whatever actual or perceived fault lies with adult Americans, their government and courts? 

What a cruel idea to suggest to parents dealing with the most painful tragedy any parent can suffer, the loss of a child. We heard some of the same talk after 9/11, which was not a divine reaction to immorality, but rather a failure of security. Had we properly defended ourselves against evil intent, 9/11 might have been avoided. 

I am sympathetic to the call by the National Rifle Association for an armed guard in every school, but would like to see other measures tried first.

Light dispels darkness and good can overwhelm evil. 

The outpouring of love and genuine mourning for the innocents who lost their lives to a single mentally deranged individual is proof that the evil Adam Lanza unleashed in Newtown did not triumph and will not be the final verdict in that community of loving parents.

Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He joined Fox News Channel in 1997 as a political contributor. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribune.com.

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