Let’s End This Ridiculous “Removing God” Argument, Shall We?

cross-monument

I’m not sure which God former Arkansas Mike Huckabee worships. I used to think we believed in the same one, but I’m no longer sure of that. I know he is an ordained Southern Baptist pastor, and I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church.

But based on his recent comments, I’ve become more and more certain that we’re thinking of two different deities.

Huckabee, in speaking out about the Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings said that the blame should be ours because we’ve ousted the Almighty from schools:

“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability?”

I cringe every time I hear such statements, especially coming from people who should know better. The God I worship is the one who created everything. He is all-powerful, loving, patient, kind.

But I go back to the “all-powerful” part: do you honestly believe that the same God who created everything that existed could honestly be so powerless that by not mentioning His name in a classroom because of Constitutional concerns, we are somehow “chasing him away” as if we’re spiritual bouncers?

Anyone is capable of turning his back on God. That doesn’t mean God goes away. It doesn’t mean God stops loving that person. It doesn’t mean that in God’s eyes, they aren’t valued just as much as every other creation.

And “removing God” from public remarks in no way keeps believers from being able to call on Him in private, even in a public place. You know, in private, the way the Bible instructs one to pray to begin with. Just because our leaders take a public prayer off the table, our private thoughts can be (and should be) a place for prayer no matter where we are.

We mortals don’t have the power to “push God away.” We can turn our back on Him if we choose to, but He’s always there. He is always faithful.

There’s no changing that.

You can’t simultaneously believe in an all-powerful God who created all that there is and in a God so meek that the failure to pray publicly is enough to bar His entrance into an area He created to begin with. That’s a double standard.

I wish the uber-religious out there who seem more interested in making a political statement would remember that for a change.

7 comments
Christopher Manee
Christopher Manee

That's always been my irritant - no one is keeping you from being religious. Worship the potted ficus in the corner for all I care - it's when people feel the need to impose or present their religion to others....

mosie1944
mosie1944

I'm with you.  Seriously, if they want God in schools do they realize how confusing that can be?  Muslims will pray to their god, Christians to theirs, Jews to theirs. Fine with me, but I don't think my fellow Christians are going to be able to deal with that.  They just want THEIR god to be the one honored at school.  In this day and age, that will not work.

Sheanna
Sheanna

YES!  Totally agree!  Very, VERY, well said!

patricksplace
patricksplace moderator

@Christopher Manee Presenting religion to someone is one thing; forcing their participation is the problem here. The biggest problem people have over others presenting their religion, I suspect, is that the presenters don't take NO for an answer when a change of subject is requested.

patricksplace
patricksplace moderator

@mosie1944 When I was in school, we prayed every day before lunch. There was one student, a Jehovah's Witness, as I recall, who didn't participate, though I never really understood why; but even for her, prayer was an imposition. The fact that she never complained and never acted inconvenienced didn't lessen the imposition on her.

One doesn't encourage someone to join their faith by forcing them to be an outsider during the practice of it.

And not holding that kind of prayer never once prevented individuals from praying any time they wanted to.

You're right: in this day and age, as there's more diversity (or at least a greater willingness of people to acknowledge their own diversity), public prayer that tries to force all pegs of different shapes to fit into the same little hole can't possibly work.

Christopher Manee
Christopher Manee

@patricksplace I should have expanded on it but the timelimit expired so I didn't modify it - but you hit on what I wanted to emphasize. When you've no choice (i.e., workplace, school, etc). There was recently a West Point cadet who left the academy for that type of practice.