Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prayer and Bible Study in Schools Do Not Prevent Murder


I've had enough of religious opportunists using the massacre in Newtown, CT as a rallying cry to inject prayer and Bible study into public schools.  If that sort of thing would prevent murder, explain the following:

7 Dead, 3 wounded at a Christian vocational school:
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/04/02/several-shot-inside-oakland-christian-school/

1 Dead, 7 wounded as they participated in a prayer circle at a Kentucky school:
http://articles.cnn.com/keyword/heath-high-school

Girl shoots fellow student at a Catholic school:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=93650&page=1#.UM5-7G_Acko

Man kills 5 girls, wounds 5 in an Amish school:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/03/us/03amish.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Man kills head of Episcopal school:
http://jacksonville.com/slideshow/slides-news/shane-schumerth-gunman-episcopal-school-jacksonville-shooting#slide-1

Man kills a rabbi and three children in a Jewish school:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19360803

Man kills seven, wounds three at a Christian college:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9182343/Oakland-school-shooting-former-nursing-student-arrested.html

As I was finding more and more links, I found I couldn't stomach any more of these.  I think it makes the point: murder has nothing to do with prayer and Bible study in schools.  So please stop with that nonsense.   It's bad enough the Sandy Hook shooting is fresh in my mind.  To see all of these other incidents...and to have a visual from the details given regarding the shooting in the Amish school...I'm sick over it.  There are more examples.  I haven't gotten into any of the Muslim schools, for example, and I haven't checked the policy regarding school prayer in South American countries, where several shootings also occurred.

Now I'm going to go tuck my kid in and hope I don't ever have to deal with this kind of tragedy with my own child.

4 comments:

Catmommy said...

Greg: You are 100% correct about bringing the Bible and "God" into schools not preventing murders and massacres. Those holy rollers pushing Christianity like some sort of magic amulet to ward off evil are the sickest opportunists to come out of this tragedy in CT. We expect such self-serving garbage from the gun freaks of the NRA, but this is a new low for Christian propagandists. I'm glad that people like you are calling them out for their shameless self-promotion.

Greg Reich said...

Thank you for the affirmation. The only part I have to respectfully disagree with is that it's a new low--they have been saying this sort of thing for time out of mind, though perhaps without the loud voice they have today. A fake historian named David Barton, one of the architects of the religious zealot takeover of the Republican Party, blamed all manner of moral maladies on the Supreme Court "kicking God out of schools". Of course, he "proves" this point using out-of-context statistics. For example, one of the things he blames on lack of religiosity in public schools is lower test scores on college entrance exams. His statistics do not take into account that exams were only used for high-end private schools in the first comparison decade he uses, but was applied to hundreds of other schools the next decade. The decade after that, the same exams were used in most schools. Soon after, an influx of students trying to avoid service in Vietnam took the exams. It's just one example of what they try to use as an excuse to force their faith on other people, and it's one of the more benign ones. David Barton has been operating since 1979. People of his ilk have been around since one group tried to get an amendment passed declaring that the United States is a Christian nation, back in the 1850s. The amendment failed miserably, but two of the members of that movement ended up in positions in government that allowed them to scheme to put "In God We Trust" on our currency for the first time. They proposed legislation to Congress that would allow the Secretary of the Treasury and and the Director of the Mint their own discretion regarding inscriptions on coins. They purposely left it vague, because they planned in advance to add the religious inscription, and they knew the Congress at the time would not pass that specific motto.

A deluge of conservative Catholic voters during and just after WWII allowed religious zealots in Congress to force even more faith on the country. That's when "In God We Trust" ended up on our paper currency and became our national motto. It's also when "under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance. Religiosity became a litmus test of one's patriotism.

In the decades following, the Eagles and the Knights of Columbus worked to get religious symbols into government institutions.

I realize that nothing I mentioned compares precisely with using the murder of children to promote prayer and Bible study in public schools. For that, we can look at the example of Columbine High School. Not only did Christian opportunists use that tragic event to promote their faith-in-schools agenda, but one of the mothers of a victim actually lied--on the national stage--to turn her daughter into a Christian martyr. Her lie--which may be forgiven her personally--was shamelessly promoted by religious zealots nationwide, even after being thoroughly discredited by student witnesses of the Columbine massacre.

Greg Reich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg Reich said...

As a follow-up, I just watched the documentary, "What's The Matter With Kansas?" on Netflix. The documentary has been around for awhile. In it, they mention Christian preachers blaming the Columbine shooting on the teaching of evolution in public schools, of all things.