Seen and Not Heard #3

Posted: December 15, 2012 in Current Events, Politics
Tags: ,

Seen and not heard
Seen and not heard
Sometimes God’s children should be seen and not heard.
Too much Talk
Not enough walk
Sometimes God’s children should be seen and not heard.

(Petra, 1990)

It truly makes me wonder when people make knee-jerk statements about current events that are more about their own personal agendas than they are about solving the actual problem; especially when they do it in the name of God.

I am a Christian, a fairly devote one at the risk of sounding arrogant, but I really wish those who claim to speak for God would think a little before they spout off to the media or on the Internet. Would I like to see prayer allowed in the schools? Yes. Do I think it should be part of the daily curriculum? Not really; no one should be forced to endure the rubrics of any faith not their own, however prevalent said faith may be among the general populous. Freedom of religion should mean if a child or teacher or group within a school wants to pray they should be allowed to in a manner or at a time that is not disruptive. Mandating it for everyone is beyond reasonable.

That said, however I might lament the removal of the freedom to pray from schools across the continent I most certainly do not think that removing prayer from the schools is why 61 different school shootings have taken place in North America over the last 30 years. It is just too superficial a response.

The secular drum beaters are no better.

Does America need better gun control? Certainly it does, but allowing people to own a handgun is not the issue.  Many Canadians own handguns, but they do not kill 10,000+ people a year. Many more Canadians own rifles, but again they don’t go around killing people as a form of anger management. But the alleged gunman Adam Lanza didn’t use handguns; he used fully automatic, military grade rifles that fire 100+ rounds a minute. I have no issue with properly vetted civilians with clean criminal records having a rifle or a handgun, but I can’t make a case for any civilian having that kind of military grade fire power.

But even America’s lax gun laws aren’t the most important issue. Even if he had no guns whatsoever, in all likelihood Adam Lanza would have killed his mother and others by some means; just not nearly as many. And that’s the issue – Why did Adam Lanza feel he needed to kill?

The real question that needs an answer is not why can’t we pray in schools, or why do we need guns. The real question that must be addressed is why do so many young people come to the conclusion that the only way out of the life situation they find themselves in is to kill themselves and others?

The din of the noise being made by the religious right and the various pro and anti gun lobbies is so great the cry of the primary victim is rarely heard. And when someone does bring it up the cacophony of the lobbyists just gets louder and more vicious. It’s hard to think of the 28 children and teachers as corollary damage in these situations, but in some respects that’s what they are. And saying that doesn’t mean the loss of life is meaningless; it isn’t.

But before the shooting starts there is another victim. The primary victim is the shooter. This person was so messed up by something, somewhere, somehow, that they felt killing was the only solution. But no, it’s far easier to dismiss the killer as a crazy and focus simply on reducing the body count.

But the body count is only a symptom; the disease that lies at the heart of the issue infects the one holding the gun. They are the ones who need healing.

What kind of society is it that so disenfranchises their youth, that suicide is seen by far too many as the only way out? What kind of society creates such despair in a young person’s heart and mind that killing children and teachers is seen as the only solution? Until the gun lobbyist and the prayer lobbyists shut up for a minute and let the real issue come to the forefront, nothing will ever get solved.

I’m not saying prayer in the schools and stiffer guns laws will do no good. Changing policy regarding spiritual and moral instruction in our schools and changing the gun culture will have definite benefits. But simply decreasing the body count is not enough. The heart of the issue, the real solution lies in finding and helping the Adam Lanzas of this world before the despair they feel drives them to such extremes.

Then America and indeed the entire world will truly start to see a difference.

 

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