About three months ago one of my grandchildren brought me a tiny soft toy. I said, “How cute. What is it?” “It’s an Angry Bird.” I looked at it and said, “Let’s spend our time today trying to make the angry bird happy.” It made a very fun day.

I looked up “Angry Bird” on Google and found the whole world of angry birds for children. I am in awe and fear about this philosophy in our culture. A popular business sells “Angry Birds” games, videos, toys, etc. It is a very profitable business, bringing in millions of dollars. I looked at this with concern and realization that we are a society of angry birds. We encourage children with such values of anger and revenge. We are making a world of angry birds of revenge, violence, anger, and Star Wars. We have opened a door for evil, like the tragedy that happened in Newtown, Connecticut last week.

The tragedy where twenty-six people were killed is an example of an angry bird going insane. I pray that this kind of tragedy where little children and innocence were destroyed will never happen again. I know this twenty-year-old young man was insane to shoot twenty-six innocent people, including his mother, but I also believe our culture needs to stop encouraging violent behavior in games and ways of life. He and his mother played with guns at a shooting range. He hadn’t spoken to his brother for two years and was a loner. Where was kindness in his life? Why was he so angry?

Our country is keeping values of goodness out by focusing on violence and division. Everyone seems angry about something. Look at the news. There is only tension, division, taking sides everywhere. The politicians are all partisan arguing. A union fight, violence on Wall Street, individuals who are angry about everything from “you owe us because we voted for you,” to rights of gays, women, race and immigrants, all are main emphases in our culture. Parents are angry at ball games and with teachers; teachers are going on strike; families are suing for everything, even for being sold a McDonald’s hamburger. Anger. We watch TV violence constantly. Many reality shows deal with division and hate.

What can we do about it? We must have a “heart” revival in our culture. We can start by instilling the values of the fruits of the spirit: be more joyful, more peaceful, more patient, more gentle, more generous, more self-controlled, be kinder and have more faith. These values aren’t making people more religious but are values for Christians and non-Christians. We need to remember that we are a nation under God. Our president quoted the Bible last week in our country’s time of grief. We need to pray more for our country. As our nation went to prayer in last week’s time of tragedy, we need to stay in prayer at good times too.

Christmas, especially, is a time of tension, the happiest but the saddest time of the year also. Violent behavior comes out of the sadness. We must look around and give love to the loveless, poor, and sick. We might just keep a twenty-year-old from going off the deep end and being violent.

Now, at this Christmas season where everyone should be giving gifts of love to each other, we can turn our culture around: a country that encourages “Happy Birds.” God bless us everyone.

PS: I wrote this from my heart and my concern for our culture.