This event has been thoroughly dissected by a whole herd of politicians and pundits over a period of some months. But they have, unfortunately, failed to reach the heart of the matter.
For the heart of the matter is theological, a category that does not often appear in American public discourse. Instead, we hear talk about psychology, community, exclusion - the narrow, modern litany of cause and effect. David Mandel, a psychologist who has studied the Goth subculture - one of the causes being invoked - wrote last year, "It is not sinister, but tongue in cheek." And he continued: "People who are really into it use it to construct meaning in their lives. . . . They really find beauty in the dark things much the way others find beauty in bright, happy things" (Mandel...
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