Opinion

May God Help America?

Presidents and elected officials of the United States often close their speeches with “and may God bless America.” It never spurs calls for legal action because of separation of church and state issues that I am aware of. If it has, our public servants have wisely ignored them. However, most efforts to bring God back into our communities via school, town square or other public place are often met with controversy. Recently New York public school teacher Joelle Silver was ordered to remove a quote posted on the wall in her classroom from former President Ronald Reagan which read in part — “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

School prayer has been banished from our schools. Even a moment of silence has been questioned. So why have we, as a Nation, become afraid to pray openly for God’s help, when we do not hesitate to ask publicly for God’s blessing?

The horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school has brought us to a tipping point. I believe we as a nation understand something must be done. As President Obama said “These tragedies must end. And to end them we must change.” Unfortunately our president believes the change is to place restrictions on the 2nd Amendment, when what we need is a less restrictive interpretation of the 1st Amendment.

There are calls for metal detectors in schools, malls and other public spaces. There are calls for heightened security. There are calls to arm teachers and principals, or perhaps to have an armed police officer at every school. There are calls for better funding and more awareness in the mental health arena.

Some of these ideas have merit and can help, but deep down we all know we cannot prevent all future murderous rampages no matter what protective measures we implement. We know at the root of these monstrous acts there is an element we cannot control. That is what truly scares us.

Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Joy Scott — a student killed in the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado — made a speech during testimony on May 27, 1999 before the Subcommittee on Crime of the House Judiciary Committee. Darrell Scott has since delivered similar talks on the subject and developed Rachel’s Challenge, a program used in schools around the country to teach students to be compassionate towards each other

The following excerpts are from the transcript of Darrell Scott’s speech. Now, in the deep dark shadow of the killings in Newtown Connecticut, is the time for Americans to reflect on some of his words.

“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good& evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.”

In calling out for solutions, Darrell Scott points out the need to acknowledge that evil exists. We all have free will, although many who are mentally unstable may need our help to combat evil. Darrel Scott went on and said…

“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. “ Mr. Scott added that, “As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school.”

I ask that as we seek solutions to prevent future atrocities like those at Columbine and Sandy Hook, can we leave our 2ndAmendment rights intact and rather strengthen the interpretation of our 1stAmendment by allowing ourselves as a nation to not only ask to be blessed by God but can we bring God back into our public square and openly ask for God’s help to triumph over evil?

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Douglas C. Dodge, Esq.

I agree with the thrust of your article, but I think that the use of the expression “separation of church and state” is totally unwarranted. Simply using that phrase concedes much too much to the socialists. The Founding Fathers, not having the luxury of electronic devices, said what they meant and meant what they said (Can you imagine them producing the 2500+ pages of statute and rules of the Obama overthrow of medical care with quill pens and parchment???) What concerned the founders was exactly what they proscribed– an established or “official” religion for the entire country. Being well versed in the history of the religious wars in Europe and intimately familiar with the theocratic origins and politics of several American colonies, they wanted to assure that no one in the new USA was forced to profess any PARTICULAR faith or leave the country. They had already said as much… Read more »

J.Brannon

For the past several years we as a whole have ignored the evidence that we were being slowly but surely led down the path to ruin as a free country.If you care to retrace our steps back to the time immediately following the Kennedy assassination you will find that President Lyndon Johnson started the deterioration of our country with his infamous War On Poverty. At that time he made it so lucrative for many to simply stop working and begin the lovely life of the welfare recipient, with practically everything paid for by the sweat of someone else’s brow. At the same time he illegally removed Social Security from it’s own fund and put it into the General Fund where it could be stolen at will. People were so caught up in their own little world’s that they paid no attention to what was going on.I personally asked numerous people… Read more »

Ray Scott

GOD, Please Bless the United States of American…

DrJCA1

The problem with all you good Christians is you forget (always have and always will) that we have hundreds of “religions” in this country. When you get your way, those of us not Christian suffer the consequences. You don’t want a gneeric “god”, you want your Jesus, which is by definition Christian. So Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, Jainists, Mulsims, and others are set aside as outcasts. Why is that better than no god at all? To you perhaps. To the millions of us who are not Christian, it’s not. Your tolerance of others is disheartening at best, bigoted at worst.

Raymond Price

God the Father is looking for His Church, Christian people to be true to the love of Christ not only in words but, also in deeds as the roll of servants just as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And obey God’s Word found in Mark 12:30-31, AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH. The second is this, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. There is no other commanded greater than this.

Richard Jauch

Question: Did any of the shooters and other killers come from a Catholic school education where they were taught the 10 Commandments and the value of prayer? Let’s put the blame where it belongs. The ACLU did the dirty work directly, the NAACP did it by sitting on the sideline while their youngsters went astray. (Yes, the shootings on the streets of Chicago are almost ALL black youths killing their own.) If you don’t believe in the message of the 10 Commandments you probably don’t have much of a life.

Jim

This article along with so many others point out the obvious. We have a administration right now, elected by the last thirty years of Fed control of our schools. If we are going to allow the enemy to teach our children, we are going to pay the price. I am not a follower of any religion but I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and the existance of a God who guides us and aids us when we take the actions to live better lives. That same power ignores us when we fail to act on our beliefs. We cannot sit by idly and complain. We need leaders. We need Ronald Reagans in every corner of our government offices. We need a concentrated effort to sell the patriotic rights given in our Constitution. We need teachers and classrooms that have mandatory teaching responsibilites for our children to… Read more »

Linda

We, Christians, quietly stood back and prayed when abortion became legal. We quietly stood back, prayed, and let our God be taken out of our schools, courthouses, public displays, etc…. We let seperation of church and state laws prevail over Gods laws. What has God told us to do? What would have happened if Moses prayed for his people to be delivered from Pharoah and not obeyed God to lead his people out of Egypt. What if David had prayed that God would cause the Giant to be defeated and not obey God, take up his stones and slingshot to kill the giant? What if Jesus had prayed for our salvation but didn’t pay the price for our salvation? What if Jesus hadn’t obeyed His Father and laid down His life to cleanse us from ALL sin? This last Presidential race, we had candidates that were not ashamed of the… Read more »

Michael Duncan

Diana – I couldn’t agree with you more! You have summarized the real issue. I have not seen a study done, but I wonder if there would be a trending up-tick in violence that corresponds to a down-tick in public religion. When God is removed from the public square (our schools, town halls, and capitals, etc.) there is a corresponding vacuum that must be filled in with something. Meaning, purpose, value… all these and more are found in a healthy and robust search for God. These qualities are vanishing from the public arena. I wouldn’t bring my sick child to the auto mechanic or ask an archeologist how to repair my sink. We seek answers in those places that are pertinent to the question. We will never find answers to the spiritual dilemma that plagues our nation if we continue to seek those answers through the government or, worse, hide… Read more »

Sue Kuruzovich

We the PEOPLE must stand up and be counted. If we follow the lambs to slaughter we have to blame ourselves.
When they took God out of the school it all started. The same people that stand against guns, kill million with abortion!

rsw

Elaine Bongiovanni DiDomenico

I . COULD not have written it better than DIANA ERBIO She should continue writting about our Country and goverment . Maybe someday we can go back to being Normal.

Dale Clegg

Wow! She hit the nail on the head, presenting a truth that most people are afraid to acknowledge to themselves, much less in the public arena. Until this nation turns back to God and His principles, we will never find healing and restoration. It’s become painfully obvious that government doesn’t have the answers to our problems.

M. Niemann

Good observation Stephen. I think you may be right.

Stephen Mosier

Very well written. There is no point in your article that I would disagree. There is an observation I have made and it relates to the comments of Darrel Scott. He said that when we refuse to acknowledge the spiritual aspect of our being, “ we create a void that allows evil, prejudice and hatred to rush in..”. And that seems to be right but is it accurate? I do not think that the evil which is allowed in is prejudice or hatred. And I do not believe it rushes in. It seeps in slowly and quietly. But with certainty. And Deeply. Moreover, the evil is not allowed into the void. The evil is the void. That spiritual void becomes the repository for despair and loss of hope for the future. The child that is taught not that they are a child of a loving God, but merely a highly… Read more »