OUR CULTURE OF VIOLENCE
How will the mass shooting at Newtown affect our nation? – Shortly after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut this month, I wrote a lengthy column that was published by World Net Daily (WND.COM) which has the largest base of readers of any conservative publication. The publisher, Joseph Farah, is a good friend of mine whom I have known since 1982 when he was a reporter interviewing me about my first book, My Life Without God. He later told me that the book had a profound effect on him which led him to a closer relationship with the Lord.
The column I wrote, School Carnage: Blame church, not God or guns had a phenomenal response. Within 24 hours there were more than 350 comments left at WND.COM about the article. Governor Mike Huckabee contacted me and requested that I be on a segment of his national radio show on Monday, December 17th. Several other media outlets also contacted me. I received a huge number of positive e-mails about the column. Dozens of pastors contacted me as well with positive views of the column.
The core of the column is simple logic: We have an out-of-control, violent culture and a church whose message is too weak and ineffectual to be effective. A just God who punishes sinners is not preached from most pulpits, so the threat of hell is not a deterrent to vile acts. Within two days of WND.COM publishing my column, others including Pat Buchanan also came forward with similar articles.
Meanwhile, the “mainstream” media outlets such as ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and the major newspapers are trying to blame mental illness and guns for the tragedy at Newtown. On the ABC nightly news it was asserted that 20% of children in the United States are mentally ill and that huge sums of money must be directed to help them. (ABC News stated that 23% of American women and 17% of American men are mentally ill.) It is ridiculous to state that one in five American children is mentally ill, but it would be right to state that at least one out of five children have no exposure to Christian teachings or morals.
Liberals of course want to use the murders at Newtown to ban guns, although the first such mass killing of young children at their school occurred in Dunblane, a small Scottish town where the United Kingdom’s worst school massacre occurred. On March 13, 1996, a gunman walked into the gymnasium of a primary school in the small close-knit town and shot dead 16 children and their teacher. This occurred in a nation where it is virtually impossible to buy a gun of any kind. In the UK only criminals and cops have guns. The real gun problem stems from the ridiculous privacy rules that came from the Roe v. Wade ruling by the Supreme Court, rules which allow the truly mentally ill to purchase guns. Not even the FBI can find out who has been in a mental ward.
Because of the tremendous response to School Carnage: Blame church, not God or guns I have decided to reprint the column in its entirety in this issue of the Chairman’s Report. I am also placing a permanent PDF version of the article on the Internet for anyone who would want to reprint it. The column appears below:
School carnage: Blame church, not God or guns
William J. Murray reveals only way to turn society from violent, destructive path
William J. Murray is the chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based Religious Freedom Coalition and the author of seven books including “My Life Without God,” which chronicles his early life in the home of destructive atheist and Marxist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Having lived the Marxist and the Ayn Rand lifestyle, he has a unique perspective on religion and politics.
If an individual is not afraid of the wrath of God, it is impossible to cause him to fear the justice of the state.
The killing of young children at their school will be linked by many pundits to the availability of guns. Still others will blame the violent act on some pathology or childhood trauma. Some may even blame the Hollywood culture with its disregard for humanity, on which human bodies are seen being dissected nightly on network TV. Virtually no one will call what occurred in Newtown an act of evil.
Probably not a single sermon will be preached in which the perpetrator is predicted to have begun his eternal punishment for his crime after judgment by a just and angry God. A splintered American church driven by a pew-hungry, feel-good message will offer assurances that eternal peace awaits all those who died, including the shooter. The words “hell” and “sin” will very likely not be used in any sermons associated with the massacre.
Yes, there is societal blame: Ridiculous privacy rules that allow the mentally ill to conceal their condition from schools, employers and gun-shop owners is just one. The constant esteem building in public schools teaching even low-functioning kids with anger problems to judge themselves equal to the valedictorian is yet another.
But the greatest villain is a church that has accepted the world’s view that hell does not await evildoers.
With a weak message from a weak church, there is no restraint or lessening of the violence. The shooting at Newtown was immediately followed by a shooting at a Birmingham, Ala., hospital and a Las Vegas hotel. Across the country, there are more than 16,000 murders each year. Of those, two-thirds are committed with guns. One in three murders is a very personal, vile act of evil using a knife, a blunt instrument or bare hands.
And the response of the church to this violence is “God loves you. Have a nice day.”
Adam Lanza had to shoot his way into the locked building. Public schools are not the soft targets many think they are. In more populated areas, there is virtually always an armed “safety officer” on duty because of the threat of student violence. Why?
My mother, atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, fought to make the public schools the armed camps they are today by removing prayer, the recognition of the authority of God. In 1962 and 1963, I was attending an all-boys public high school in downtown Baltimore, Md. The school was a magnet school before the term even existed and was intended to prepare young men for college, majoring in science and engineering. There were 1,800 teenage boys in the school, and there was not a cop in the building – ever. The doors were unlocked and often the un-air-conditioned rooms had open windows. There were no metal detectors, no picture IDs, and students went in and out the doors on the honor system.
The authority of God was present, even though I am very sure many of those young men, including myself, had some pretty vile thoughts that were not in the least way moral. The presence of the authority of God, vested in the teachers by His recognition every morning, was reinforced by the churches and the families of the students.
That high school has since merged with a girl’s school in another location, for purposes of political correctness. The last time I checked, the old building itself was the headquarters of the Baltimore City Schools Police Force, something that did not exist when Baltimore’s population was nearly double what it is now. Every kid at every school now has a photo ID. All the doors of every school are locked. All doors have metal detectors and drug-sniffing dogs roaming the corridors. I am told that every school in Baltimore has at least one armed “safety officer.”
In the vast majority of America’s public schools, the authority of God has been replaced with the authority of the iron fist of government. Morals? Without the authority of God, there are no morals, and none are taught in the public schools today. The ethics that are taught are situational, perhaps the same situational ethics that led to the logic that caused the tragic shootings in Newtown.
This condition exists in the schools and the society in general because of a failed church that is splintered and weak.
A large advertising sign near my home reads, “A church for those who don’t like church.” Translation: “No condemnation of sin here – we have coffee latte and great music.”
How about this politically incorrect sermon subject: “An angry God condemns the carnal sin of Adam Lanza, the Newtown school shooter who killed 26, and he will rot in eternal torment in hell, as do all those who turn their backs on God and his goodness and continue their wicked and sinful ways.”
No way, no how in America today.
No number of gun-control laws can contain the evil that has been let loose in America. Not even black clad police with masks and automatic weapons can maintain social order in our out-of-control society. The nation needs a religious revival to steer it away from certain moral destruction. That revival will not come from feel-good, coffeehouse sermons that do not call sin what it is.
What are preachers today offering to “save” people from, if sin is never mentioned? What punishment are they being “saved” from, if hell is never mentioned?
The fear of an angry and vengeful God was far more likely to have stopped the shootings in Newtown than the warm voice of a psychologist or the soothing feeling of drugs.
Eternity in hell is a very long time.
One of the greatest revival sermons of all times was that of Jonathon Edwards – “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Can you imagine even this one portion being repeated in a church in America today: “There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. Men’s hands cannot be strong when God rises up. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands. He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it.” (Jonathon Edwards)
God is not in the business of saving evil nations from themselves, but He is in the business of offering salvation to individuals. A nation is saved from ruin when enough of its people turn from their wicked ways and follow His righteous commands.
The challenge is to the churches of every denomination to preach the true Word of God, the nature of sin and the consequences of perpetrating evil. This alone can turn the society from its violent and destructive path. (End of column)
It may be worse than you think – I am a social conservative first. My main point of advocacy work on Capitol Hill is to promote Christian values, protect the Christian heritage of our nation and petition to help the beleaguered Christians of the Middle East. I don’t work on tax issues, gun or other conservative issues unless they are somehow related to social or family issues. However, I am present at many of the closed meetings with congressmen and Senators when issues of the economy and taxes are discussed.
The situation is far worse that is publicly discussed. One Senator told me that a full default of the United States will occur and the best that can be done now is to delay it. The federal debt is so huge as to be unimaginable. This example sums up the problem: Bill Gates is the world’s richest man. If the government took all of his wealth, every dime he has, it would cover the Federal deficit for only 15 days.
The current debt does not include obligations for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, military or government retirement obligations. We are at a point of having just two workers for every one person receiving some entitlement from the government. Eventually Social Security and Medicare will have to be cut or handed off to the states and everyone in Washington is aware that the only thing keeping the nation from becoming another Greece is that we can still borrow money. The government borrows 40% of the money it spends. How long can that last?
Will taxes go up in January? Yes. In fact there may be some retroactive tax increases. Taxes will not solve the problem. If all the babies that have been aborted could have lived, we would have a huge tax base and a growing economy. We need to make that point again and again to a selfish secular society.
William J. Murray, Chairman
Religious Freedom Coalition, 601 Pennsylvania Ave, NW #900 , Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 742-8990
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