Amid national soul searching in the wake of one of the worst mass shootings in American history, faith leaders say the removal of God from the nation’s schools and communities is at the root of this monstrous tragedy.
Marshall Foster, a Christian historian, founder of the World History Institute and author of the introduction to the newly-republished 1599 Geneva Bible, says he’s sick of the media’s attempt to make excuses for Adam Lanza’s mass murder of school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
In the face of all the “politically correct mumbo jumbo,” Foster says the culprit is “not an imbalance of chemical enzymes in Lanza’s brain; the culprit is Lanza’s sin nature.”
For years, public schools have been teaching children that evil does not reside in their souls and is therefore, by default, circumstantial, Foster says, and according to this misguided worldview, there must have been something circumstantially that caused Lanza to shoot innocent children.
“So when we look at the tragedy that just took place and we start blaming … we immediately go to guns and other purported causes,” Foster told WND. “We go to some external cause: It’s his psychology, it’s his mother, it’s the divorce. It’s something outside, instead of looking at the real cause, which for thousands of years since the time of Christ, people have understood to be good and evil.”
Mankind, Foster says, always looks for excuses “outside himself,” but he never wants to face the “demons in his own soul.”
“If Lanza’s mass murder of innocents is given a pass, what about the thousands of Nazis who killed six million Jews? Did all of them have autism too? Or is the Holocaust not prima facie evidence of the very existence of evil?” Foster asked.
A number of faith leaders in the past week have weighed in on the spiritual dimensions of what may have motivated Lanza, 20, to kill his mother, 20 children and six adults at the school before killing himself.
As police seek a motive, the London Daily Mail reported Dec. 19 that a former classmate claimed Lanza “worshipped the devil and had an online page dedicated to Satan.”
In a blog posts earlier this week, New York Times bestselling author Joel Rosenberg – author of “Implosion: Can America Recover from Its Economic and Spiritual Challenges in Time?” – wrote the slaying is the 18th mass murder this year.
“The demons of violence and lawlessness are on the loose all across America – in Newton, Conn., …in Aurora, Colo., … in Oak Creek, Wis., … just as they were in Littleton, Colo., and at Virginia Tech in years gone by,” Rosenberg wrote. “But why? How is it possible that violent crime in the United States has surged by more than 400 percent since 1960?
“The answer is as painful as it is simple: The further we turn away from God in our nation – the further we drive Him out of our society, out of our schools and courts, and out of our media and out of our homes, or the more we give mere lip service to religion, the more men are ‘holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power’ (2 Timothy 3:5) – the worse things are getting.”
Mike Huckabee, a former Republican presidential candidate, governor of Arkansas, bestselling author and host of the Fox News Channel talk show “Huckabee,” said on Fox that Americans are asking why there is so much violence “in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools.”
“Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?” Huckabee asked. “We don’t have a crime problem, a gun problem or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem. And since we’ve ordered God out of our schools, and communities, the military and public conversations, you know we really shouldn’t act so surprised … when all hell breaks loose.”
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told WND that the shooting and similar ones in recent years are indicative of the nature of evil, and, “When evil is unrestrained, these are the kinds of unbelievable human tragedies that we see.”
“The Founders believed that religion and morality were necessary for a government of limited authority, which provides a lot of freedoms,” Staver says. “Without religion and morality as the base, they knew the government would devolve into chaos. We have to be a self-restrained people with morals. And the way people would be moral is through the teaching of Judeo-Christian values and beliefs and that there is a God to whom they are accountable.”
But schools no longer teach the Ten Commandments, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled school prayer was unconstitutional in 1962. As long as the nation continues to “marginalize God” in its public life, Staver says, the country can expect “more and more of these types of tragedies.”
“The solution is not to create more laws restricting guns,” Staver says. “If you restrict guns, people will use knives. If you restrict knives, people will use explosives. Those are only tools that people use, and those are not the problem. It’s the root cause we need to get to, and that’s the brokenness of humanity. The only way evil can be restrained is by God and the teaching of religious and Judeo-Christian values.”
In an article posted at Movieguide.org, Movieguide Publisher Ted Baehr wrote that by removing God, the Bible, the Ten Commandments, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit from society, including the mass media and the schools, “We are raising generations of people with no faith in God or Jesus and, hence, no moral conscience and no self-control.”
If so many people have no faith, no moral conscience and no self-control, then it’s no wonder society is suffering from all these mass murders by “evil lone gunmen,” Baehr wrote.
Baehr told WND he wasn’t surprised by the news reports that Lanza purportedly “worshipped the devil” and played violent video games.
“In my first book, ‘The Media-Wise Family,’ I have a whole chapter about opening yourself up to demonic possession,” Baehr said. “The forces of darkness would like nothing more than for someone to kill their mother and little children. It’s always been the goal of the adversary to kill, steal and destroy.”
Rick Scarborough, a pastor and the president and founder of Vision America, told WND that “our culture had better recognize quickly that God has a role to play in protecting us” and instead of “slapping God on every hand,” the nation needs to repent and turn back to God.
“I do believe that right now what America desperately needs is what we used to call an old-fashioned revival,” Scarborough said. “There will have to be a reawakening to biblical norms and biblical values. When President Obama prayed last week on behalf of the victims in Newton, Conn., and invoked God’s name, he appealed to God, but this is the same person whose party tried to eliminate God from its political platform.
“We have now a God of convenience. When we want God to bless us or want to acknowledge God in some way to encourage people, we’ll invoke his name until the cows come home,” Scarborough said. “But God is not a puppet. He’s to be feared and adhered to and his laws, which are irrefutable, must be obeyed.”
Rather than looking just at external solutions like more gun control, Foster says, everyone needs to look deeply into the “wickedness in our own hearts” at the root of not only this tragedy, but a series of intensifying and horrific incidents in recent decades.
“It’s not just (Lanza’s) heart; it’s not this one man – Adam – that we should be looking at,” Foster says. “It should be ourselves. What do we allow our children to sit in when we send them to a public school that doesn’t teach them moral principles? What kind of character do we have as a people, not just looking at Connecticut, when we allow a government to steal our wealth and money and allow babies by the millions to die in abortion, and when we allow the basic moral precepts of Christian civilization to be destroyed in a couple of generations?
“What kind of moral character do we have, and is it not ultimately our sin?” Foster asks. “We’ve got to own up to it – especially the Baby Boomers. Of all generations, there has never been a more blessed, physically blessed generation, than the Baby Boomers of World War II, and that’s my generation, and we are the most accountable. I believe we’re going to have to face God Almighty for what we have allowed to happen to our country.”