Sunday, December 16, 2012

"I'm not allowed in schools." - GOD

My haphazard, inartful assembly of thoughts in response to the "God is not allowed in schools, therefore violence in schools" argument...

Bath School Disaster, 18 May 1927, Bath Township, MI

"The Bath School disaster is the name given to three bombings in Bath Township, Michigan, on May 18, 1927, which killed 38 elementary school children, two teachers, four other adults and the bomber; at least 58 people were injured. Most of the victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–14 years of age) attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest mass murder in a school in U.S. history." -

Pretty sure God was "allowed" in schools when the deadliest mass murder in a school in US history occurred.

God's track record at preventing violence at places where He is allowed (or even explicitly invited) isn't particularly impressive.

From A Timeline Of Mass Shootings In The US Since Columbine:
  • August 5, 2012. Six Sikh temple members were killed when 40-year-old US Army veteran Wade Michael Page opened fire in a gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Four others were injured, and Page killed himself.
  • April 2, 2012. A former student, 43-year-old One L. Goh killed 7 people at Oikos University, a Korean Christian college in Oakland, CA. The shooting was the sixth-deadliest school massacre in the US and the deadliest attack on a school since the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.
  • October 2, 2006. An Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster, PA was gunned down by 32-year-old Charles Carl Roberts. Roberts separated the boys from the girls, binding and shooting the girls. 5 young girls died, while 6 were injured. Roberts committed suicide afterward.
  • March 12, 2005. A Living Church of God meeting was gunned down by 44-year-old church member Terry Michael Ratzmann at a Sheraton hotel in Brookfield, WI. Ratzmann was thought to have had religious motivations, and killed himself after executing the pastor, the pastor’s 16-year-old son, and 7 others. Four were wounded.
  • September 15, 1999. Larry Gene Ashbrook opened fire on a Christian rock concert and teen prayer rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX. He killed 7 people and wounded 7 others, almost all teenagers. Ashbrook committed suicide.
And these are only examples of mass shootings since 1999. When we add in other acts of violence committed at places of worship or religious education, things get even more embarrassing for God.

Is God allowed at shopping malls, post offices, movie theaters, city streets, banks (where the mammon, minted and printed, bears His very name), or people's homes? I've heard there has been violence those places, too.

Is it even accurate to say that God is somehow not "allowed" in public school (nevermind the absurdity of such an idea when speaking of the supposed omnipotent, omnipresent Creator of the universe)? It's not even accurate to say that prayer isn't allowed at school.

From School Prayers - Are Prayers Allowed in School?:
Some people act and argue as though students [are] not permitted to pray in school, but there is no truth to this. At best, they are confusing the difference between official, state-sponsored, state-mandated prayers led by school officials and personal, private prayers initiated and said by the student. At worst, people are being deliberately deceitful in their claims.
The Supreme Court has never held that students cannot pray in school. Instead, the Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot have anything to do with prayer in schools. The government cannot tell students when to pray. The government cannot tell students what to pray. The government cannot tell students that they should pray. The government cannot tell students that prayer is better than no prayer.
This allows students a great deal of freedom — far more freedom than they had in the "good old days" which so many religious conservative seem to want America to return to. Why? Because students can decide to pray if they want to, when to pray if they do, and they can decide upon the actual content of their prayers. It is inconsistent with religious liberty for the government to make such decisions for others, especially other people's children.

Many school shooting victims were believing, practicing Christians. Are they not entitled to God's protection when entering public schools?

I find it incredible that so many people believe in a God so pitifully powerless that not only is He incapable of going where He isn't "allowed" (if one can even fathom such a thing), but He also, in the case of the Newtown shooting at least, apparently lacked the ability or willingness to intervene and prevent violence by disrupting either the killer's acquisition of weapons and ammo or the drive to what became his crime scene. Come on, God -- how bout a little forethought before the situation migrates to a place You aren't "allowed."

If you believe in God, please give the Guy a little credit. Play the "it was His will" or the "free agency" card or something. You don't really believe He's an impotent Being subject to the US Supreme Court's 1962 ruling in Engel v. Vitale, so please stop pretending that you do, and just say what you really mean: "I don't like that public schools can no longer force all students to pray to the God I happen to believe in, so all that violence in public schools? Yeah, you all deserve it."

PS - Saw this just now (thanks FMH!).

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