Does “Removing God” from Schools invite tragedy?by Don Lacey on Dec. 26, 2012, under Atheism, Christian Self-Righteous Arrogance, Christianity, Critical Thinking, Freethought, Government, History, Logic, Power of Prayer, Question of the Day!, Reason, Religion, Separation of Church & State, Terrorism, Willful Ignorance
In response to the horrific mass shooting in Newtown Connecticut, in which 20 children and 6 adults the gunman and his mother were killed, I have heard numerous people make the argument that this is what happens when you take God out of schools. Apparently, it’s not the shooter who is responsible for these tragic deaths but those of us who had the audacity to remove the Christian God from our public schools.
There is so much wrong with this argument. No one removed God from any school. If we assume for the sake of conversation that the Christian God or something like him exists, it would be impossible for mere mortals to escort him out of a school or any other building for that matter. Supposedly, his powers are infinitely greater than those of us ordinary humans and many believe him to be omnipresent. The very idea of removing an omnipresent being from any location is absurd.
What secularist did do was remove government imposed religious instruction from tax-payer funded schools. When religious conservatives say we took God out of schools, it is code for the fact that the heavy hand of Government is no longer using other people’s tax money to shove Christian religious beliefs down the throats of other people’s children. This governmental restraint is a good thing. Freedom of religion means that government doesn’t force religious instruction on the people. People are still free to teach children about their God in their homes, in religious private schools, and in their churches free from the encroachment of government and the use of other people’s tax money.
But even though public school teachers are no longer allowed to or required to push religious instruction, it still does not mean God has been taken out of schools. Children are still allowed to pray; they just cannot be instructed to do so by a school official. Children are also free to join religious clubs, read religious texts in their free time, and talk among themselves about religious topics. We live in a country where most people are religious and most school teachers and children believe in some form of God but the teachers are not allowed to use their power over the students for religious purposes. As long as public schools continue to give tests there will always be prayer in schools.
Some public figures believe that the increasing secularism of the school system has told God that he has not wanted and that he has withdrawn his “protective influence.” This is such a morally despicable notion. Are we expected to believe that God makes it possible for little children to be brutally murdered solely because adults no longer use the government to force feed kids religious teachings? Do the people who spew such rubbish from their mouths seriously believe that none of the murder victims at that Connecticut school house believed in God or sought his protection? It is highly likely that at least one of the children believed in a God and was otherwise innocent and yet, we are told that they had to die because God was not wanted at their school.
Atheists reject the notion that a God exists and can’t blame removing God from our schools for the recent violence. There is no evidence that any god or any protective influence exists. Such a thing has never been demonstrated. The occurrence and distribution of tragic events in time and space can be explained entirely by individual humans and natural events. Hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados, and killing sprees by deranged individuals hit God believers and sinners alike. Christians, Atheists, Hindus, Muslims, and Jews all die in mass shootings, bombings, acts of war, and terrorism.
The apparent disinterest of God stands in stark contrast to the shameless, manipulative behavior of some of his most fervent, politically-active followers.