I grew up in rural America in the '50s and '60s.
On any given day, you could walk through the high school parking lot and
observe that half the vehicles parked there were trucks with windows
rolled down and doors unlocked.
Most of them carried, as standard equipment, an FFA sticker (Future
Farmers of America for you city folks) and a gun rack with at least one
gun, usually loaded. You could make the same observation at any of
the four high school campuses in our county.
Amazingly, I do not ever recall reading or hearing about mass shootings
in any of those high schools. What has changed in America is not the
accessibility of guns, but the character of man.
On the wall in my parents' home is a plaque awarded to my father in
recognition of service for 27 years on the local school board. He told me
that for years, a standard requirement on every teacher's contract was
membership in a local church.
I remember starting every school day with the pledge and a prayer. I
remember when girls who got pregnant in high school were ashamed,
when abortions were illegal, when the divorce rate was not 50% because
couples stayed together for the kids' sake, when there were no X-rated
movies, when milk cartons didn't have missing kids' faces on them, and I
didn't know anyone personally who used drugs.
I remember when kids were taught respect for authority and accountability
to God. I hear people say that the good old days weren't always so good,
please don't tell me you think these are better.
Last night I attended a high school football game that was covered by
local and national news. The news coverage was not about the football
but about the defiance of a court order by one brave little Texas town to
preserve the right to pray before a football game.
The more this country struggles to free itself from religion, the more we
become entangled in the consequences.
If people are taught that they came from slime, the obvious questions and
consequences must follow:
- What is the purpose of my existence? [hopelessness]
- Who made you the boss of me? [lawlessness]
- Why are your rules good and mine bad? [relativism]
- What does it matter how I live if I came from slime and return to slime?
[immorality and inhumanity]
I realize that in any given poll, the vast majority of Americans claim
to believe in God. I claim to believe that running is good for me, but
that does not make me a runner. Putting on my running shoes and running
makes me a runner. The climbing abortion rate, murder rate, divorce rate,
alcohol and drug abuse rate, child and spousal abuse rate all contradict
that claim and prove that actions speak louder than words. It is an
truth that the best time you will ever make on any American city freeway
is on Sunday morning because there are no traffic jams getting to church.
For those who believe that separation of church and state is not enough,
that the world would be better off with no church at all, ask yourself
this question: How many hospitals, universities, orphanages, homeless
and abuse shelters have been founded by the ACLU or American Atheist
Society? It is the inclusion of the word Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian,
Christian, etc., in the name of so many of these institutions that proves by
actions, not just words, who really cares for the suffering of mankind and
desires to make the world better.
The question that people should be asking is not, "Why does God allow
tragedies?" but rather, "When will we realize that no nation, in the history
of the world, has ever separated itself from God and evolved to a better
society?" Of course, to answer, you would have to know history. Most
people, it would seem, prefer People magazine."