Six hours ago, the story broke that someone opened fire in a middle school less than an hour from where I live.
I don’t live in Santa Fe, Texas. (That was last week.)
I don’t live in Palmdale, California. (That was the week before.)
I don’t live in Lexington Park or Parkland or Bentland. (Those were earlier this year.)
I live in Indiana–where two people were shot in a school six hours ago.
Most of the people in my newsfeed are saying: “This has gotten too close now!”
“Where will it end?”
“What should we do?”
And I completely agree with those who are telling parents it starts at home.
A man named Cody Jefferson posted to Facebook this week with the headline “Why My Kids Won’t Be Shooting Up Schools,” and he outlined the importance of teaching kids self-discipline and teamwork. (You can read his post by clicking here.)
I don’t have a single problem with anything being said by the many people who believe it’s a parent’s job to teach their children the value of human life.
I just want to take it a step further, parents:
Can you explain to your children why?
Jefferson said: “Our boys need to understand the rules of the game and respect boundaries.”
But, why should they play by the rules?
Jefferson said: “I will not leave [my son] to find a version of himself and figure out what ‘man’ means to him.”
But, why should his son care what “man” means to anyone else?
I will TEACH you how to lose and learn.
I will TEACH you how to dream and work.
I will TEACH you how to add value and make money.
I will TEACH you how to treat a woman.
I will TEACH you what a gun is and what it’s for.
I will TEACH you what it is to be a PRESENT FATHER.
I will TEACH you what it is to be a MAN.
And you, son, will be the PROTECTOR of yourself, your family, and your community….
That’s beautiful! Wonderful! Another hearty AMEN from me!
But teaching a boy “how” is only half the equation.
The very last line of Jefferson’s speech is the most important of all. He writes “because that is who we, as men, are called to be.”
Friends, our children go to school and learn they evolved, from nothing, for absolutely no reason. The word “purpose” is considered religious and irrelevant.
They’re encouraged to create meaning for themselves, and not to ask WHY in the world “meaning” is a human need in the first place.
So then, when those little blobs of excited chemicals feel angry and worthless, they start shooting at other little blobs of excited chemicals, and our Humanist society looks around, scratching our collective heads, yelling, “This shooting thing is getting out of hand!”
Do you have answers for why those young animals shouldn’t kill each other?
I talk with Atheists all the time–and they agree point for point on what the problem is. But go ahead and ask them to explain “why.” Just ask. Eventually they will say you’re insane just for having that question, and they will advise you to see a shrink.
(That ought to make a depressed teenager feel even better about himself, amiright?)
Four years ago, I suffered an episode of depression/anxiety that had me holding my husband’s gun in my hand and wondering why I shouldn’t use it on myself.
Would you have been able to give me an answer for why I shouldn’t?
Parents, do we plan to give the reason “because I said” for the rest of our children’s lives?
That’s essentially the Atheist argument, you know? They change “because I said” into “because WE said,” as if the opinion of a million humans is more powerful and authoritative than the opinion of one.
Don’t shoot…just because?
Just because I said so?
Our public schools have nothing to offer our hurting, questioning children, because “religion” isn’t welcome. By law, teachers are allowed to tell students WHAT to do, but they can’t give solid, soul-quenching reasons why.
For my part, I would love to help parents think through this, so they can help their children process it as well.
Why shouldn’t an angry male mammal thin his herd a little, by shooting in a nearby school?
Until a child’s education includes a good answer to that question, this problem will only get worse.