Faith

Proof School Shootings Don’t Happen ‘Because We Kicked God Out’

Whenever school shootings make the news, there’s always someone who claims the reason they happened is that we kicked God out of our schools.

It happens every time.

Just last week, on Valentine’s Day, of all days, a gunman opened fire in a Parkland, Florida high school, killing a total of 17.

It took almost no time for some overly-religious person, surely with the best of intentions, to issue a little passive-aggressive dig at our society.

The line of reasoning is that when we as a nation removed prayer from schools, we essentially kicked God out of the classroom.

Therefore, they seem to be suggesting, we shouldn’t be surprised that a shooting would happen in a school since we’ve pretty much barred the door to the Almighty. There’s something in their tone that’s almost celebratory about it…in a kind of “I told you so” way when they never, in fact, said anything.

Are we really supposed to believe that?

I don’t.

Here’s a portion of what I said last week:

If you think that the removal of a forced prayer is the equivalent of kicking God out of school, then your God is entirely too weak and limited.

The God I worship is all-powerful and all-seeing. He’s everywhere, whether you spend every waking moment of your life in a long, extended prayer or not.

I believe God was in that school with those victims and the survivors, just as I believe He’s everywhere else, too.

When I was in school, even after there was no group prayer, I still managed to pray at school once in a while. I prayed when I faced a struggle or when I learned someone close to me was going through a rough time.

Fortunately, we never had a shooting at any school I attended, but you can bet that if I’d ever been through something like that, I’d have prayed then, too.

And because I’m a Christian, I believe God would have heard me just fine, thank you.

But if you’re going to subscribe to the absurd point of view that “kicking God out” of schools is what causes school shootings, perhaps you can explain Southerland Springs. It’s the small town in Texas where a gunman opened fire on November 5, 2017, killing 26 people inside a church.

And while you’re at it, maybe you can explain Antioch, Tennessee, where, on September 24, 2017, a gunman killed one and injured several others at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ.

Then, since I live in Charleston, I’d really love to hear you explain who kicked God out of Mother Emanuel AME Church on the night of June 17, 2015, when a gunman sat through a Bible study, then opened fire, killing nine of the church’s members, including its lead pastor.

Sorry, that argument makes absolutely no sense.

No one said figuring out a solution to the problem would be easy, and there’s no single cause.

But you can’t kick God out of a place just because you don’t want to hear a prayer. God’s a lot more powerful than that.

And I don’t believe he has a thing to do with school shootings.

4 Comments

  1. Assigning the removal of Hid from the classroom, as the primary reason for these domestic terrorist attacks is unfair. Tho, I believe you are not interpreting what is meant when this statement is made.
    Indoctrinating children with religion, has its purposes. The objective is, it will later transition into faith. Faith, gives hope. It’s a muscle that is developed within us from a very early age, that we can call upon during very tough times. But it has to start at a very early age. So, when they took God out of the classroom, they removed Hope from these adolescent kids who are shooting up schools and alike. Now, you combine the removal of God, Faith and hope, with the advent of these extremely violent video games, and you have a recipe for a very unstable kid, who is battling with his/her own identity, bullying and many other negative influences kids are faced with, and you see the emergence of all of this sociopathic behavior. My parents had very strong faith. Despite my father being at best, a middle class blue collar worker, he spent the money putting us in a private Catholic school. Sure, when you are young, you have no clue how important it is to learn all of this stuff. Then suddenly, life gets difficult and you have this thing inside of you that provides a safety net .. it’s called faith. And hope gets us through those tough times.
    Your thought?

    1. My first thought is that I must respectfully reject your contention that “they took God out of the classroom.” The removal of corporate prayer IN NO WAY removed God. It removed a forced participation in a religious act believed to violate the Constitution.

      As I’ve said, when I was in school, I could freely pray at any time because one can pray silently without drawing attention to the act. There’s nothing stopping an individual from doing so.

      I believe the place to teach children religion is in church and at home, not in school.

      What if your child’s teacher was of a different faith than yours? Would you want that person teaching your child THEIR faith, just to say there is religious instruction? Who gets to decide which faith is taught in a public school? If we teach one, should we not teach them all? And do we get to discriminate in public school when it comes to hiring teachers based on their own religious beliefs?

      I don’t disagree about the importance of faith in one’s life, though some clearly reject every aspect of it, and that’s their right.

      I disagree with you about where the instruction of faith belongs.

  2. Patrick,
    Can I just tell you that your perspective is almost bringing me to tears? I have said some things along these lines to people and they don’t get it! And I never considered the silence on the church shootings. Wow!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.