American Flag at Half Mast by brianDhawkins
As the news broke on Friday about the school shooting in Connecticut,my first instinct was to pray. I worked for the rest of the day with live news coverage playing in the background on my computer.
Let me apologize at the beginning for what will likely be a rambling, disjointed, opinionated and passionate post.
We have had school shootings in the United States before, but not like this. Not in an elementary school with such young, innocent children.
In the aftermath, as is always the case, we see both sides of the political issues use the tragedy to support their agenda or ideals. This is no different. Both those in favor of gun control and those against it are using Sandy Hook Elementary as an example of why their way would be better.
Honestly, I can see both sides.
But, guns really aren't the problem. Ask the parents in China whose children were attacked by a knife-wielding assailant. Or ask the families of the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing whose loved ones were killed by a bomb made with fertilizer.
A killer will use any method available.
I could easily relate this to breed specific legislation (BSL). Yes, Pit Bulls can cause massive destruction if they attack. They can also be incredibly loving, affectionate and loyal family pets. It isn't a breed problem, it's a people problem. In fact, BSL has been proven to not work.If you outlaw Pit Bulls, the people who trained them to fight will get American Bulldogs instead. If you outlaw American Bulldogs, they will get Mastiffs. So, is the answer to continue to eliminate dog breeds until we are left with only miniature and toy breeds? Even though it is also a fact they they bite more often, at least their bites aren't usually deadly.
This type of logic is ridiculous and doesn't address the real issue.
The other day, I saw and shared a post. It was a picture of a T-Shirt. The message, and I'm paraphrasing, was: "God, why do you allow so much violence in our schools?" to which God replied: "I'm not allowed in schools."
Yesterday, one of my Facebook friends posted that she was tired of hearing that if the government hadn't "taken God out of our schools" this wouldn't have happened, and that she had read posts from people who she thought knew better and it makes her wonder what they're thinking.
Her post wasn't directed at me personally, yet I couldn't help but take it personally. So, this blog post is my rebuttal.
In her post, she quoted another Facebook post which read in part: "I ask, can you really take God out of the schools? Doesn’t that go against everything we have been taught about God. God is omnipotent. God is omniscient. God is omnipresent!!"
I know that God is everywhere present. And I know that there is no legislation of man that can prevent him from being anywhere.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
~Romans 8:35, 38-39
I know that God was there in those classrooms, in the closets and cubbies and restrooms, enveloping those teachers and children with love, giving them strength and comfort.
The poster went on to say: "The only thing responsible for this tragedy is a mentally ill man... It was not the guns. It was not the removal of God. It was not the school. It was a man who decided to use violence as his means of expression. Put the blame where it belongs."
I can't tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that corporate prayer that morning in that school would have prevented what was about to happen. But, I know that you also cannot tell me with any certainty that it would not have.
God's Word says:
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
I am certain that parroted words, whether a prayer or the pledge of allegiance, have no power. But I believe that when godly men and women pray a prayer of faith, seeming miracles occur.
I think there is more to that message on the shirt than the simplistic way it has been interpreted.
Adam Lanza was 20 years old. The ban on prayer in schools happened in 1963. That means he never had the benefit of daily prayer in school. In 2002, a federal appeals court banned the pledge of allegiance citing the phrase "one nation under God" as violating separation of church and state. Adam Lanza would have been 10 years old at the time.
Can you tell me that you absolutely know, without a doubt, as a matter of fact, that the cumulative effect of prayer and submission to God on a daily basis would have had absolutely no effect on the course of his life? Maybe it wouldn't have. I don't know.
It would seem that our society wants to compartmentalize everything.
Have you noticed? When I was a kid, we had homework every night, and often a double portion on the weekend. Now, parents expect their children to have everything done before they come home. If it can't be done in school, they feel their children are being given too much homework. I understand where this is coming from. I was a single parent. Trust, me, the last thing I had the energy to do when I came home from work was homework. But, homework used to be the norm, not the exception.
We try to compartmentalize God and relegate him to Sunday (or Saturday depending on your denomination). We aren't supposed to talk to him or about him at work or at school. Yet, when something goes wrong, people ask "Where was God?" When a natural disaster occurs, we even call it "an act of God".
This is a far cry from where we started. This nation was founded on godly principals. The Constitution doesn't guarantee freedom from religion, but freedom of religion.
The separation of church and state was to prevent an enforced national denomination such as what was happening in Europe at the time. It wasn't to prevent people worshiping God in public, at school or at work.
Our legislation is a symptom of a very dangerous erosion of faith that has been taking place.
In my lifetime, I have seen this nation do an about face. We are rapidly on our way to becoming a godless nation in the name of freedom and tolerance. We murder unborn children in staggering numbers every year in the name of a woman's "Right to Choose". By the time the average child finishes elementary school, he has witnessed 8,000 murders on television. But don't dare talk about changing that, or you'll be stepping on someone's Freedom of Speech. (And yes, I realize there is parental responsibility to monitor what our children watch.) Television and movies rarely depict a stable family unit, but rather show divorced, unmarried, and homosexual parents raising children who do not respect them or other authority figures. This is what is portrayed as normal to our children.
We have abandoned the beliefs that once made this the strongest nation in the world. We interpret the Constitution -- even God's Word -- to suit our needs.
The one thing that can't be denied is that things are not getting better, they are getting worse. The earliest known school shooting in the United States was in 1764. The ten worst school massacres in the world, with the exception of one in 1927, have taken place since 1964.
Horrific events like this always bring up a lot of questions. Always, there is only one answer.
"If my people, which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land."
~2 Chronicles 7:14