What follows is an excellent commentary by an educator
at the University of Alabama. Read on. Our USA
I grew up in rural America in the '50's and '60's. On any given
day, you could walk through the high school parking lot and
observe that half the vehicles parked there were trucks with
windows rolled down and doors unlocked. Most of them carried,
as standard equipment, an FFA sticker (Future Farmers of America
for you city folks] and a gun rack with at least one gun, usually
loaded. You could make the same observation at any of the four
high school campuses in our county. Amazingly, I do not ever
recall reading or hearing about mass shootings in any of those
high schools. What has changed in America is not the accessibility
of guns, but the character of man.
On the wall in my parents home is a plaque awarded to my father
in recognition of service for 27 years on the local school board.
He told me that for years, a standard requirement on every Teacher's
contract was membership in a local church. I remember starting
every school day with the pledge and a prayer. I remember when
girls who got pregnant in high school were ashamed, when abortions
were illegal, when the divorce rate was not 50% because couples
stayed together for the kid's sake, when there were no X-rated
movies, when milk cartons didn't have missing kids faces on
them and I didn't know anyone personally who used drugs. I remember
when kids were taught respect for authority and accountability
I hear people say that the good old days weren't always so
good but please don't tell me you think these are better.
Last night I attended a high school football game that was
covered by local and national news. The news coverage was not
about the football teams, but about the defiance of a court
order by one brave little Texas town to preserve the right to
pray before a football game. The more this country struggles
to free itself from religion, the more we become entangled in
If people are taught that they came from slime, the obvious
questions and consequences must follow; What is the purpose
of my existence [hopelessness], who made you the boss of me
[lawlessness], why are your rules good and mine bad [relativism],
what does it matter how I live if I came from slime and return
to slime [immorality and inhumanity]?
I realize that in any given poll, the vast majority of Americans
claim to believe in God. I claim to believe that running is
good for me but that does not make me a runner. Putting on my
running shoes and running makes me a runner.
The climbing abortion rate, murder rate, divorce rate, alcoholism
and drug abuse rate, child and spousal abuse rate contradict
that claim and prove that actions speak louder than words.
It is an observable truth that the best time you will ever
make on any American City freeway is on Sunday morning because
there are no traffic jams getting to church.
For those who believe that separation of church and state is
not enough, that the world would be better off with no church
at all, ask yourself this question. How many hospitals, universities,
orphanages, homeless and abuse shelters have been founded by
the ACLU or American Atheist Society? It is the inclusion of
the word Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Christian, etc., in
the name of so many of these institutions that proves by actions,
not just words, who really cares for the suffering of mankind
and desires to make the world better.
The question that people should be asking is not "Why
does God allow tragedies?" but "When will we realize
that no nation, in the history of the world, has ever separated
itself from God and evolved to a better society?" Of course,
to answer, you would have to know history. Most people, it would
seem, prefer People magazine."
Asst. Director of Development and
Alumni Relations University of Alabama School of Law