By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – During the WBZ-TV 5 p.m. news Tuesday, my colleague Lisa Hughes asked me if the horrific events in Brussels are “the new normal?”

Obviously, mass terror attacks on civilians are rare events, but they’re common enough these days to suggest the answer is closing in on “yes.”

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But that begs another question – why?

Maybe it’s because we seem to have forgotten the commandment about not worshiping false idols.

There has always been and always will be evil in our world, people who think it’s o.k. to vent their frustrations by killing innocent bystanders. They have always been the exception rather than the rule because their ability to cause damage was contained by the power of civilized social norms and the public’s willingness to enforce them.

But we’ve drifted away from those social norms.

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These days we worship technology, which is used by the killers to organize and spread their blood lust. We worship privacy rights, which the murderers exploit to hide their plotting. We pretend our government and military have the power to protect us, even when it’s clear they don’t know what to do about the likes of ISIS.

And if some of our politicians have their way, we will all worship at the temple of scapegoating, another bad habit referenced in the Bible.

At a moment when the cooperation of peaceful Muslims everywhere is more crucial than ever, we are told instead by Ted Cruz to “patrol and secure” their neighborhoods, an idea Donald Trump also endorses.

If we believe that humanity is stronger than evil and proceed accordingly, not out of fear but out of strength, maybe Brussels won’t be the new normal.

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But we’re not acting like we do believe that.

Jon Keller