My thoughts today are not based upon any personal knowledge of the shooter or the victims in the Nashville shooting. However, they are a collection of experiences that seem pertinent to the tragic event.
In the last 48 hours we keep learning more about the shooter and her motives. Journalists ask, “What happened to Audrey Hale?” While I don’t want to simplify something that is complex, I would answer, “the devil and the arts.”
For a bit of local background, Covenant Presbyterian Church and school is a stunningly beautiful place in an uber wealthy part of Nashville. Audrey Hale, the shooter, attended the school as a child. She was a text-book example of a happy little girl who attended a private Christian school. She loved art.
Then a cataclismic shift took place. She attended Nashville's public magnet high school for the arts. And though I’ll get in trouble for saying it, it is an embarrassing puss-pocket of education in light of what you would expect from a town with the artistic reputation of Nashville.
First off, its filthy. Literally filthy. The day I visited to meet with a director about the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival, I left in shock. For a place devoted to the nurturing of creatives it was disorganized, foul smelling, trash was everywhere and the art work on display was demented. That would have been right about the time that Miss Hale was attending. I can imagine the parental conversations at night. "I don't know about the influences she will face at school, but it seems like a good opportunity. Where else would she go if she wants to be a professional artist?"
My brother-in-law also attended high school there and his stories are unending with the drugs, the homosexual/trans agenda, the promiscuity, the depravity. It was there Miss Hale learned the lies Isaiah spoke of.
…they call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
By the time she graduated all the femininity in the pictures of her early adolescence is gone. Now she’s the skater. The tom boy. The man. The trans.
The lies just keep building in college. Add to the mix the pandemic, TikTok and social media, and the likelihood of mind-bending anti-depressants and hormone suppressants. Then hits the extreme loneliness of not recognizing your own self. Finally, erase the image of God you bear and receive the lie.
You aren’t Audrey. You are Aiden. The devil likes to change people’s names too.
She is lost in a labyrinth of lies and the unseen demons hound at her heart and mind. Ultimately there is the twisted justification of the evil scheme the devil planted there.
The media will say, “Miss Hale killed those people because her parents didn’t accept her decision to be a man.” But actually, her demise is simply the natural ending of how the devil uses the arts in culture to propagate lies, indoctrinate minds, and devour souls.
The arts are the worst of all fields in terms of social pressures, religious bullying, and political power play. The devil needs artists to be his tools to convert people to his agenda. Audrey learned from the best.
Jesus says of the devil in John’s gospel:
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.