Once again last week, we were stunned with the heartbreaking news that a deranged mind entered a school and slaughtered seventeen, mostly students. It’s as though you could hear our collective gasp across the land.
No one would disagree that it has become an all too often tragedy. Finding solutions, that’s where we disagree. I’d like to suggest several reasons for the increasing evil that has sadly become part of our fabric as a nation. And, you’ll notice all are interwoven.
Growing up in the late 1950’s and ‘60’s, I vividly recall a very different America. As we worked in those days to correct the wrongs it seems we also worked, covertly as it may have been, to feverishly dismantle the rights.
First, we have ostracized God from having any place in our country. When the courts ruled in the 1960’s that sanctioned prayer could no longer be allowed in our public schools, a chain-reaction started, going beyond simple prayer, that has grown continually until today. The outcome has become a disdain by the courts and by governments that has moved a nation that at one time was “God-fearing” to fearing anything that mentions the Divine.
Without a sense that, as our Declaration of Independence said so famously, we are endowed certain rights by our Creator, we have no moral base. Morals had to start somewhere. As a theist, I would contend that they began with God who created us in His own image, instilling in us a sense of right and wrong. Remove Him from the equation and morals become relative. So, if it feels good, do it.
The next step in our downward spiral was to declare, by the “sexual revolution” of the ‘60s that marriage and family were no longer hip, thus tearing down the very basic building block of society. In fact, government, in its efforts to eradicate poverty, gave financial incentives to avoid marriage.
The result of the breakdown of the family has been the rapid rise of fatherless children. When the sperm donors no longer are held accountable to be fathers, teaching, loving, and providing stability in the home, the results, especially on boys are horrific. I’m told that a common thread that runs through so many who have killed in our public schools is the lack of a father. And if not a father, at least a strong male father-figure. Who else can teach a boy how to control himself? Thank God for moms, especially single moms who are trying to do their very best. But, boys need dads. By the way, so do girls.
In 1973 we then, under the mantra of freedom, were told by the SCOTUS that human life was no longer precious. With any logic, one can follow the path opened by making the taking of innocent life legal. With every abortion (and there have been millions) our national conscience has been hardened, little by little to the value of all human life. Today countless boys and young men spend hours each day killing in video games. And the result is a de-sensitivity to murder and mayhem. If we see it over and over, the shock value increasingly decreases.
Lastly, the failure of “the church” to stand firm both for their long-held beliefs and against moral decay in society. I put “the church” in quotation marks only to be inclusive of all organized religions. In fact, “the church” has often been its own worst enemy. As the mainline denominations have surrendered to the waves of political correctness they’ve become less and less a source of moral correctness in the world. Before religion points its fingers at the irreligious, it first needs to look in the mirror at its own failures to make a difference and speak with a loud, if necessary prophetic voice.
The bottom line is that our schools are no longer safe as they once were, and the primary cause is the breakdown of society. The media and politicians will try to enact change on a purely legal, political level. But laws cannot change hearts. Only a return to God can make a difference because that would be revolutionary. And a moral, spiritual revolution is what is needed, and is our only hope.