by Jay Johansen | Apr 26, 1999
Perhaps the most surprising and shocking thing about this rash of shootings is that people are surprised and shocked by it.
For the past thirty years, we have systematically excluded any mention of God from our schools. And now we are surprised when our children recognize no authority higher than their own whims.
Our schools teach "values clarification" -- that each person must decide for himself what his "values" are and no one has the right to "impose his morality" on someone else. And now we are surpised when our children decide that in their value system they can steal anything they like and kill anyone they don't like.
We proclaim that a woman has an absolute right to kill her unborn child if his existence inconveniences her. And now we are surprised when our children show no respect for life.
Our courts release convicted criminals on technicalities. And now we are surprised when our children do not fear the law.
We teach our children that they are not created in the image of God, but are the products of chance evolution from lower animals. And now we are surprised when they act like animals.
We have created a society in which anyone who mentions honor or patriotism or discipline or faith is expected to immediately apologize for being so "corny" and "old-fashioned". And now we are surprised when our children join us in laughing at such silly ideas.
What did you expect to happen?
A weekly newsmagazine I receive of course made the Littleton deaths their cover story this week. In the very same issue, there is a little story back on page 12 about a school district that was sued because they invited ministers into the school as volunteer counselors. Even though the ministers were forbidden to pray with the students or discuss God or sex or any of a number of other "taboo" subjects, the court ordered this program stopped. Our children are literally killing each other in the halls, but we are afraid that the real danger is that some children might hear the words "Thou shalt not kill" or "Love your neighbor" or "Fear God". And if kids start getting dangerous ideas like that into their heads, who knows what might happen?
© 1999 by Jay Johansen
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