Saturday, December 15, 2012

An Open Letter to Mike Huckabee





Dear Mr. Huckabee,

If kicking God out of our public school system is what lead to this atrocity, as you claim, then why did a similar atrocity happen in an Amish school in 2006? The Amish can't exactly be accused of pushing God out of their lives, yet God still let this tragedy happen in their community. How do you explain this?


I really do wish the world was the way that you believe it is. I wish the world was predictable and systematic, and that we could be assured that if we just did the right things that horrible and tragic things wouldn't happen to us. I would love to have that kind of control. I would love to live in a world where my children's safety could be guaranteed if I just acknowledged God enough.

But the world is not this way, and to keep insisting that it is does a great deal of harm. Think about it. You are telling the world that there is a God who is apparently so insecure and irritable that if his name isn't mentioned in public schools he decides to teach us a lesson by allowing children to be slaughtered. 

Mr. Huckabee, from what I have seen of you, you strike me as a good-hearted and very likable person. But you seem much more benevolent than the God you claim to believe in. 

I understand that you are now claiming that you were misunderstood, and that what you really meant by your comments was that:

"... we have as a culture decided that we don't want to have values, that we don't want to say that some things are always right, some things are always wrong. When we divorce ourselves from a basic sense of what we would call, I would say, collective morality where we agree on certain principles to be true always, then we create a culture -- not that it specifically creates this crime. It doesn't. But it creates an atmosphere in which evil and violence are removed from our sense of responsibility."

This makes no sense either. We may not all agree on how to define marriage in our society, for example, but we all agree that murdering children is absolutely wrong. People do not commit atrocities like this because they have been influenced by a pluralistic culture that doesn't take strong enough moral positions. People do things like this because of some combination of  evil, sickness, and perversity that is simply not rationally explainable. 

Your explanations sound very similar to that of Job's friends, who simply couldn't understand a world where the righteous tragically suffer. As a Baptist preacher, I am sure you have read this book, and you'll recall that when God shows up, Job's friends are silenced and told that they are wrong. I really wish God would speak to you from a whirlwind so you would stop saying this stupid stuff and giving Christians a bad name. You're trying to help, I know, but it isn't working. 

Sometimes really horrible things happen- things that should never happen- even to the very best of people. To pretend otherwise is not only to ignore empirical reality, it is to deny the heart of the Christian faith you claim to represent. Jesus didn't systematically push God out of his life. Jesus fully and completely welcomed the presence of God in his life, more so than any other human being ever, and he was tortured and murdered. 

Evil doesn't just happen in God's apparent absence, as you seem to believe. The Jesus story shows us that horrible evil even happens to God's presence. 

According to our faith, God raised Jesus from the dead. When children are murdered, our message that we have to offer the world (when it comes time to speak) is that God will refuse to let tragedy have the last word in their lives. We believe in a God of Easter who can ultimately wipe away all tears. The Jesus who welcomed children into his arms in this world will do so in a world without end. 

Our faith doesn't allow us to explain tragedy; it allows us, through groans and tears, to hope in the midst of it. 

So, Mr. Huckabee, please stop using tragedies like this as a platform for espousing your particular political vision of church-state relations. The problem isn't that our public culture isn't Christian enough; the problem is that your theology isn't Christian enough. 






58 comments:

  1. This "Jesus Story", to which you refer, is a story of love for the world. Jesus endured the pain of the cross willingly as a sacrifice for the sins of myself and eveyone in the world. The "torture" He endured is the punishment we deserve. No one can make sense of the tragedies that the world is experiencing at this time. The benevolence of God is a hope beyond all comprehension, that we place our hope and trust in the Almighty. Tragedies often occur to humble a society and turn their focus back to God. It is no secret that the United States has systematically pushed God out of our society. I can assure you that God has a plan through every tragedy that occurs. Ours is not to question his motives, but to strengthen our faith in Him. Using a tragedy to mock the Almighty God and Creator will result in a judgment of damnation. We will all face God on the final judgment day and have to answer for our actions. Scoff if you must, but the Bible clearly states this fact. Kudos for Mr. Huckabee in taking a Christian stand.

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    1. Ideologies like yours are exactly why churches are losing members. You can't see the forest for the trees. God was never "in" the society of the United States. Our country always was and always will be secular in nature. You can wish for theocracy all you want, but you will never win that battle in this country. Want evidence? Look at recent elections and see how pathetically ideologues of your nature failed. If your version of "God" is so fragile that not mandating "Christian" values causes it to turn a blind eye to the slaughter of children, then maybe you should rethink what it is that you actually worship. In other words, you sound delusional.

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    2. Thank you Heath for writing this. I've struggled with Mr. Huckabee's comments for the past several hours. I watched him as he attempted to correct his detractors by saying he was misunderstood. What he said there left me speechless. First, he paints with such a broad brush -- "Our society" this, "Our society" that -- I had trouble understanding what he was, in act, trying to say. I've lived all over this country -- in New England (Connecticut), the West (California), the Southwest (New Mexico), Florida and the Deep South (Georgia, where I was born and raised.) Our society is not monolithic and to portray it in some one-size-fits-all container is disingenuous. At another point, Mr. Huckabee alludes to some halcyon period in our history when God was in our schools. Over the past few decades America has walked God right out the door, he says. Lest I remind him, people with darker skin than mine or his might not have found God all that present in public schools in the 1950s, especially in my native Deep South. (I'm sure Mr. Huckabee would agree with me. Like the author of this blog, I don't know Mr. Huckabee but I don't dislike him.) Finally, and we get to the real reason I find Mr. Huckabee's comments so objectionable: the timing of them. My family lived in CT for six years, and we made many friends. On Saturday afternoon, I learned a friend lost his stepdaughter in Friday's shooting. She was on staff at Sandy Hook Elementary. In addition, friends in CT media are on scene reporting and photographing and struggling emotionally because, for many, it is the most horrific thing they have ever covered. For the past two days, I haven't been able to watch a news conference related to this horror without seeing someone I knew or have interviewed dozens of times. (I worked in Hartford at the state Capitol and know many of the state's politicians.) It was in this context that I watched Mike Huckabee. Like so many others across this nation, I am in mourning and emotionally raw, sitting in ashes with Newtown, as it were. Huckabee's comments seemed oblivious to this reality. It is time to mourn, not to score political points, Mr. Huckabee. Act pastoral. You'll get your chance to enter the political fray. But later, Mr. Huckabee, later.

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  2. When I was a child, I heard people say that God had a purpose in taking my mother (in a terrible auto accident.). I do not believe that. I believe that God made a purpose out of a horrible accident as God is making meaning out of what happened in CT. Part of the problem is a mind set that tries to squeeze God into our linear past/present/future way of understanding time. God is eternal, containing all time within God's self. I do not presume to know as God knows. But I do know that God does not punish anyone by taking the lives of the innocent.

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    1. Beautiful Karen...well said.

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    2. I agree totally. God was not there in the evil which made this man decide to commit this act. God is there now with every suffering family and with this community.

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    3. Perfect, Karen. That is soooooo beautifully put. Thank you.

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    4. Exodus 11:5
      Number 31:17
      1 Samuel 15:3
      Psalms 137:9
      Judges 11:30-40

      God punished people by taking the lives of their children many times. Most of the Old Testament is a macabre set of twisted murder scenes and death being dealt out by godly heroes.

      Don't get me wrong. I don't think godlessness in our society is the reason for the shooting, or for the deaths of children, or justification for it in any way. The problem is that religious people see cause+affect where there is none. Sometimes, things are random and without meaning.

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  3. Nice job, Heath. I'm sharing on Facebook.

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  4. What's Huckabe's excuse for what his son did to that poor stray dog???

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  5. Thank you, Heath. The reality is that church shootings are also through the roof. If kicking God out of schools somehow explains school shootings, how by that logic does Huckabee, et all, explain CHURCH shootings?

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  6. The shooter in the Amish murders was not Amish - and his suicide notes spoke of an anger against God. We know nothing about whether Friday's shooter had any belief in God or any knowledge. The further our society moves from Jesus and his teachings, the more likely it is that unthinkable tragedies will happen. Do all atheists commit murder? no. But neither do they have a belief in a higher power and in something bigger than themselves (unless its their unfounded belief that the Federal govt gives us our rights and takes care of us.) How can a person like that have any hope?

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    1. How empty your life must be to have to rely on faith in an afterlife to see hope in the world. When you realize that this life is all that you get, you learn to value it accordingly. There is great peace in that and it is much bigger than any individual. Your claim that a society must adhere to your personal belief system in order to avoid tragedy, is much more selfish than an atheist who humanity as the pinnacle of intelligent life on our planet.

      I am an atheist. While I have no belief in the divinity of Jesus, I certainly appreciate his message. It's not rocket science. Minus the magic,it's humanism and a very admirable way to live one's life.

      There has always been violence in american schools. http://www.k12academics.com/school-shootings/history-school-shootings-united-states If a lack of societal religiosity is what causes "God" to throw a temper tantrum of judgement and/or turn a blind eye to it, then your "God" is much more sadistic than loving.

      This shooting has nothing to do with "God" and everything to do with humanity and/or a lack thereof.

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    2. And you honestly believe that view of God, preached by Huckable and those like him, is going to win people over to the ways of Christ? I just do not see it.

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  7. Jeez, Megan, possibly by trusting in the goodness of our fellow human being? Speaking as an atheist, I'd much rather rely on humanity, and its desire to protect itself, than on some abstract concept whose ideology seems to change depending on who is interpreting it.

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  8. Thanks, Heath.

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  9. Wow, one Christian knocking down another Christian is not cool. Can we please focus on the real evil party here? The shooter...and the cause, and how we might be able to better protect our children in schools in the future. There is great irony in your last paragraph. Please pray before you post as a representative of the Methodist church and the Christian community.

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    1. How human (meaning not divine). It's more important to you to have your team show a united front than to suffer a little quality control in the way you represent your faith.

      2 Timothy 3:16 - All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

      Heath did the right thing -- Huckabee is poorly representing Christianity. In fact, he's just speaking in lockstep with other opportunistic evangelical leaders when tragedies like this happen. See Bryan Fischer's similar comments here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvCQDcbz_tM

      Jerry Fallwell used to pull the same type of crap (e.g., his comments on 9/11). These guys need to be called out for the fools they are.

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    2. What do you think caused this? That is the conversation that we should all be focused on. I just don't like seeing a preacher be hard on another preacher. Maybe he can write Huckabee a letter or invite him into his home when he is in town and offer his opinion man to man. They both could learn a lot from each other. I don't think God views things in terms of evangelical or liberal. He just calls us to love one another. If that means the nation sitting down and having a hard conversation about gun control, mental illness, school safety, spiritual truths, sin and its effects on society... whatever it takes to protect our precious children. Peace on earth is my mantra...have a good evening!

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  10. "Wow, one Christian knocking down another Christian is not cool. [...] There is great irony in your last paragraph. Please pray before you post as a representative of the Methodist church and the Christian community."

    Perhaps you would benefit from rereading the book of Job:

    "After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: ‘My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt-offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has done.’ So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the Lord had told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer." (Job 42:7ff, NRSV)

    Job's friends offered Huckabean responses to his suffering. And God was angry (to put it mildly) with their foolish explanations. And he gave Job, the victim, the last word in response to their insulting language. Rev. Bradley has done no more than call Huckabee to account, hardly an un-Christian act. In fact, he might have gone further to ask Huckabee to recant and/or do something more constructive on behalf of the victims and their families, something akin to the sacrifice made by Job's friends.

    Eric

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    1. Eric, I appreciate your thoughtful response. I just want to see the Christian community bind together during this time and focus on how we can help solve the "bigger problem" of violence, against the innocent children in our society. I have heard great things about the pastor, I just don't want him to ruin his witness to others by getting the focus on other political items surrounding the event in a public forum.

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    2. "Ruin his witness"? How? Nothing he said was untrue or off topic. I have no idea what you mean by "other political items." Surely we can't come together to help solve the problem of violence if some of us are offering patently ridiculous tripe as an explanation of the problem itself. Why is it so hard to say "Huckabee was wrong, let's move on"?

      Eric

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    3. I agree with Huckabee...what happened Friday, is a heart problem. Sin was in this killer's heart, along with mental illness. What else, drove him to do this? I agree with Heath that bad things do happen to good people, but I do believe strongly that the more Godless a society becomes, the more we will see this sort of thing happen. I am a teacher, and a Methodist, and I want children to feel loved and safe in their schools. Heath is a blessed writer and I want him to focus on what we as the Christian church can do to help these victim's families, support our own community schools become more safe, etc.. I am off my soapbox and on to taking care of my child now. Merry Christmas and may God bless everyone on this page for caring enough to write!

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  11. As per what was previously written, it is definitely 'uncool' for one Christian to attack another and especially on this issue. Readers must be aware that though Rev. Heath, being of the United Methodist Church, is a part of the most liberal parts of the 'christendom' where they do not even believe that the Bible is the totally the written Word of God. And yet he wants to comment on Christian principles. The difference between Mike Hucakbee's theology and of this Rev Heath is so stark - from one end of the spectrum to the other. The danger is that people who are not familiar with the bible or frequent a church will think that Rev Heath speaks spiritual truth. Beware.

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    1. Let God decide who's speaking the truth, anonymous. You don't get to decide.

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    2. Of course, let God speak. How does He do that? Through His Word the bible which the UMC people do not even believe to be totally true.

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    3. Oh, so your interpretation is the only "true" interpretation. Right.

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    4. What kind of mental vacuum do you live in where people of the same sect (Christianity) are unable to disagree with other members without it being an "attack?" Then, you attempt to dismiss Rev Heath's message by claiming it to be devoid of "spiritual truth?" Laughable display of hypocrisy.

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    5. You are correct! It is not my position to dismiss Rev Heath's message, as if I did I would be a hypocrite. I agree with you. The standard and the judge are the scriptures. The issue is that his views do not line up with the scriptures. If you read the bible or knew the scriptures, you would immediately see his errors.

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    6. Oh, I've read the Bible and know the scriptures. If you followed it, you'd immediately be in jail.

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    7. Secondly, you attempt to undermine his theology by calling it "liberal." Then, you assert that he is unfit to "comment on Christian principles." You go so far as to use the word "danger" to describe others taking his message as truthful. But, nah, it's not your position to dismiss the message. Pfft. Not only are you a hypocrite, but also a liar.

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    8. Interesting Deadline that you spend more effort in attacking me than actually using scripture to be the judge. The scriptures determine that Rev Heath is off base; read the scriptures and then compare it to his message. 1 Cor 1:25-26

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    9. Reading these comments makes me thank god I'm an atheist.

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    10. I fail to understand how 1 Corinthians 1:25-26 relates here. In fact, Paul was calling the Corinthians not to quarrel about who was the most Christian or the most right (earlier: "12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” 13 [h]Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?"). If anything, I think Heath writing to Huckabee shows at least some recognition that we are all coming under the banner of Christ, and I would hope that would afford us some right (and responsibility, for that matter) to help each other figure out how best to live out our Christian life (After all, "As Iron sharpens iron,
      So one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17).

      Kyle

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    11. Anon, you call it an attack. I call it stating the obvious. Nice attempt at a deflection though. "Read the scriptures," you say. You do realize that you made accusations about Heath and called him lacking in spiritual truth without citing any scripture right? For every hole that you find in his "truth," I betcha I can find a contradictory scripture to your version of "truth." Take the challenge. I dare you.

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    12. Let us also note, Anon., that not all United Methodists are "godless liberals". I can't speak for the Arkansas area, but in other parts of the Midwest and Southern US, United Methodists are every bit as theologically sound and Bible-believing as the Southern Baptists. In fact, many of us United Methodists are those who left the SBC over the political antics of its leaders.

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  12. Other than saying that Huckabee seems like a good-hearted and likeable person, a useful article. He seems so evil to me.

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  13. I could be wrong, I am not infallible. But as I see him, Huckabee's comments, broadly speaking, have to do with the direction that he perceives American culture to be moving in. He discusses the general prevalence of secularism, or perhaps increasing secularization of the american mind, and mentions public (or tax-funded) schools as an illustration of an institution which champions the secular humanist worldview...although he does not specifically use these words.

    One question is, "does an increasing move towards a secular humanist worldview (as opposed to theistic humanism...there is more than one flavor of humanism) in American culture (or even on a global scale) contribute to the number of violent acts such as this one, reduce the number of violent acts such as this one, or neither?" Secular humanism, fundamentally speaking, admittedly denies the existence of the supernatural (i.e. a supernatural creator). Traditionally, monotheistic religions, as well as even some atheists admit that without "God" as the source, or ontological foundation for OBJECTIVE moral values and duties, then OBJECTIVE moral values and duties do not exist. That is to say, if God does not exist, then morality is simply a byproduct of something else (possibly socio-biological evolution), and is therefore not "objective" in the sense that morality is [not] valid and binding despite what anyone believes about it (e.g. racism would not be objectively evil on this view...it may only be thought of as evil by one individual, and thought of as not evil by another, and neither of them can be in any sense objectively right or wrong...it is simply personal taste...like flavors of ice cream).

    So perhaps here is where Huckabee's words can be helpful. If secular humanism, which rejects the notion of God as the ultra-mundane being who is the locus of objective moral values and duties, is ever more becoming the ideological worldview accepted by Americans, then by default, some version of moral relativism (the view that morality is up to each individual) becomes the predominant view. So, if people begin to deny that there are any sort of moral obligations imposed upon them by an outside source (e.g. God)(government rules and mores would simply represent social obligations...not moral obligation), then it stands to reason that if one person decides that murder is right for him, then for him to be most moral, is to murder as many as he can. Furthermore, other people who also hold to moral relativism, must actually applaud the murderer for living most consistently with his own moral values. Other moral relativists can never say that a murderer has done anything morally wrong, as long as that murderer believed that the "right" for himself was to murder.

    All this to say, if a society continues to accept secular humanism, thereby denying the existence of a transcendent source of OBJECTIVE moral values and duties (i.e. God), then that soceity is left populated with individuals who have no reason for believing that things like racism, ageism, murder, rape, child abuse, and cruelty to animals is objectively wrong. All of those things can be deemed "moral" by anyone an everyone.

    In a soceity that moves in this direction, isn't it reasonable to expect the probability for violent acts like these to increase, given that the moral nature & quality of "violence" is up to the individual?

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    1. "I could be wrong, I am not infallible." You are both fallible and wrong, I'm afraid. Repeating Huckabee's views in slightly different terms does not make them any more insightful or helpful.

      Eric

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    2. Eric, funny that you should mention it. Does repeating my words make yours any more insightful? But more specifically what exactly am I wrong about? And please don't simply emote, give a logical answer for your position.

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    3. And by the way, who you to say that I'm wrong? That's intolerant. The only way I can be wrong is if there is an objective standard of truth...otherwise everything else is relative...what's true for me is what's true for me. You must be one of those theists who presupposes an objective standard of truth by which to critique other people's views as right or wrong. If you're not then all you're actually saying is that you don't prefer what I wrote...not that it's actually objectively wrong...right?

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  14. The causes have nothing to do with whether or not god is worshipped in schools. Pop culture has much more to do with it than anything else. Regarding the two pastors meeting to discuss the issue, why should they (or any believer) disagree on doctrine at all if god is not the author of confusion?

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  15. The best comment on here is the one where the "atheist" says he thanks God he's an atheist. Um....you don't believe in God. Remember?

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    1. I'm a she (not that you could have known that). And it's called a joke. Jeez...

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  16. Sorry, but you and Huck are both a little wrong. Ya'll are taking one point... and like many policitians and theologians... and making a complete doctrine out of it. Ya'll are both on the right track, but missing the mark. Yes, you have the big picture with God, but haven't exactly settled in our what we as Christian are supposed to do. Because many of the sins of this world aren't based soley on evil, but our reaction and inaction to it.
    We have a say in this world.
    It's not that we took God out of school, but we took God out of our daily lives, out of our releationships.
    We as parents have more control than we know about our childrens' development. We have more to do with their shame, self image, self control, self esteem then society does. We may not see it, but we do. If parents would engage, we could sense trouble, make adjustments, get help... or continue to praise, congratulate, and provide a realistic view of the world, of God. But we have wounded souls tryin to raise wounded kids.
    If we put God back on the throne our lives, in our relationships, we could be the church that changes the world, changes society, do what Jesus called us to do.
    But we are comfortable in our homes with Maslow's needs met.
    We need to proactively engage with our kids, this will make difference. It will stop some of these tragedies. It will not stop all evil, we could prevent enough for the world to take notice.

    Joel Q.

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  17. I have heard far too often in the past few days that we need to put GOD back in our schools. I don’t know what schools or what GOD you are talking about. The problem is not God in our schools, it is God not in our hearts. God is in my school, in my classroom. I teach moral lessons learned from my upbringing in the church and the lessons I have learned in life. I have a Bible sitting on my desk. I also have a Koran, and a book of Mormon. I talk about God all the time. I also talk about Jehovah, and Allah, and Yahweh, and El Shaddai. I talk about Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Vishnu, Shiva, and Confucius. I talk about Lincoln, and Jefferson, and Kennedy, and Gandhi, and Elizabeth, and Victoria. Sometimes we even talk about Hitler, Mou Se Tong, Hirohito, Stalin, Lenin, and Marx.

    It is not my job to teach what someone should believe. That is the job of the parent. My job is to teach Literature. My job is to teach Drama. My job is to teach a child how to think and take those thoughts and turn them into intelligent conversation and writing. It is not my job to teach which religion is good, better, or best. If a parent wants their child taught about religion, they need to take them to the church of their choice. They have these wonderful things called Sunday Schools where children can learn all about whatever religion their families deem fit. Sadly, and I am speaking from experience, very few of today’s students go to these classes. Too many times a subject has been addressed in a piece of literature dealing with a basic religious tenet, and the students are clueless. They know all about Beats by Dr. Dre, Sponge Bob, and Twilight, but they lack even the most basic knowledge about a faith many of them profess to hold.

    It IS my job to be the best English Teacher I can be. It IS my job to set an example of what it is to be an intelligent, free thinking individual who contributes something positive to the world. And, on a personal note, it is also my job to be a living example of the lessons Christ has taught me. Lessons such as:

    5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    Matthew 6:5-8 NIV

    4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
    5 make music to the LORD with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
    6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the LORD, the King.

    Psalms 98: 4-6 NIV

    I pray every day. I pray at school. I pray in my classroom, and I dare anyone to try and stop me. I just don’t make a show of it. I praise God every day. I praise God at school. I praise God in my classroom, in front of my students; I praise him with my smile, with my laugh, with my enthusiasm, and even with the whistling that some of my colleagues find annoying. I don’t have to hit someone over the head with a Bible to behave the way Christ taught me to behave.

    2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    Romans 12:2 NIV

    This is my GOD. He is alive and well in my school and in my heart.

    Greg J.

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    1. Well said! Along with God not being in school, He isn't in most peoples hearts and lives any more, Neither is love for each other. Something that people don't think about when something like this happens, is that God has given each of us free will. We choose our own paths and what we do with our lives. Bad things happen to good people every day. They happen to Christians every day as well. Just as the Word says that rain fall on the just and the unjust alike. Thats where faith comes in. We have to believe in the things we can't see, can't feel and don't understand. Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

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  18. Simply: WWJD
    We are to live Christ like as possible. I would always think of that phrase, WWJD. You would be surprise what the Spirit of God can reveal to you when just thinking of the Most High God. I could criticize each and every one of you and pass judgement. But who am I to do so. I value all of you and your statements. Even the athiest. Everyone has value, God would have not made you nor know the number of hairs on your head if he did not value you. God has given us a comforter who helps us discerns what is truth and lies. I rely on no one person for my answers but of only the Most High God. He is the truth and the comfort I need. His love for me sustains me even in times of great loss. I know a loss of a child and what pain it brings. People showed me love and embraced me with their arms. They wept with me. But I never blamed God for this nor do I to this day. I recall some of you quoting from the book of Job. Please read what God finally says to Job. I can not even begin to understand what God great plan is or what the next day will bring. So I live in the now and try to walk as close to the creator as I can. I am not perfect but I love God. After the day has come to an end is just that, I love God. I look in ways how I can please him. As a son would his father as you should with the Heavenly Father. Self examine yourself. Stop looking at the needle in your brothers eye and look at your own plank in yours. One saying I like very much: you can point with your finger who is to blame, but when you carefully examine the situatuion there is always three pointing back at you. Right or wrong, live to love God and each other. Put him first and God will be there for you and your loved ones, even in the mist of tragedy. I know this for I have lived through it. May God bless each and everyone of you. Have a Merry Christmas. I love you!!!


    V/r,
    Greg A

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  19. Ouch! This is an excellent article. And way too true.

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  20. “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

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  21. Thank you for your allusion to a great theological problem: the desire to define God by actions, or lack thereof, and essentially put God in a box. I also appreciated your allusion to Job and his friends--and the whirlwind. And yet even when God appeared in the wind, no answers were given...

    Thank you again

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    1. And thanks for stirring my thoughts: http://revgunnar.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/narrowly-defining-god/

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  22. When I hear things like this, my mind always goes back to the Puritans, and specifically Jonathan Edwards sermon "Sinners in the hands of an angry God." I wrote about it on my personal blog this week. http://fritterfae.livejournal.com/964848.html

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  23. Thanks, Heath, for your thoughts, which I have passed on via Twitter and Facebook. A vital part of being a follower of Jesus is the humility to realize you don't have many answers at all, you aren't superior, you don't know best, and you will never understand how and why God acts. That's why I don't usually participate in these post-blog repartees.

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  24. It is very difficult for me to reconcile my belief in a benevolent God and my awareness of suffering. I have no answers. Searching for answers is exhausting. However, along my way, I find peace. No answers, just peace. Your article is lovely. I find peace in your words. And at the end, thank you for putting that prideful, gluttonous mass in his place. Folks like him give Christians a bad name.

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  25. Let us all remember that our God is much bigger than all of us together can imagine. God not only is omniscient and omnipotent, but He knows the end before the beginning. Why do we not leave dealing with Huckabee to Him, and concentrate on what He and His Son have told us we need to do: Tell all people everywhere about His plan to reconcile us to Himself. And if we need any reminding, let us look here, http://chariotofreaction.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/recommendations-to-21st-century-church.html for some advice to ourselves in the here and now.

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