The high-water-mark of American civil religion was probably the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Jimmy Stewart plays the titular Mr. Smith, appointed by a feckless governor to fill an empty Senate seat. Once in Washington, Smith is forced to confront a corrupt political machine centered, to his horror,
The mass shooting has become the signature horror of our time and place. Such events have become monstrously common, and yet we seem to understand them no better today than we did twenty years ago.