Christians, Don't Say Dumb, Offensive Stuff


Some Christians are making inane statements about the will and nature of God, and generally showing how little they know of either.  To them I say, in all Christian love and charity, "Shut up."

"Then Job replied:

 “I have heard many things like these;
    you are miserable comforters, all of you!
 Will your long-winded speeches never end?
    What ails you that you keep on arguing?
 I also could speak like you,
    if you were in my place;
 I could make fine speeches against you
    and shake my head at you.
 But my mouth would encourage you;
    comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

Job 16:1-5

Along with all of you, I have tried to absorb the horrors that played out before us in Sandy Hook, Connecticut on December 14.  I have listened to the news, scoured the Facebook postings of my friends, and looked at the various expressions of grief and shock as we all search for meaning.

And there, in the midst of unspeakable tragedy are some of my Christian brothers and sisters, making inane statements about the will and nature of God, and generally showing how little they know of either.  To them I say, in all Christian love and charity, "Shut up."

On the front lines of this nonsense is the Rev. Mike Huckabee, a man who (ironically) once campaigned to be the President of the United States--someone who is expected to show up and offer comfort and solace at precisely a time like this.  We see now how fortunate we are that he never attained that office.

What did Rev. Huckabee have to say to those grieving the loss of 20 six- and seven-year olds and the adults who tried to protect them?  He opined that these innocents were gunned down because we "removed God from our schools."  

The same sentiment is reflected in the T-shirt pictured with this post.  In case you can't see the picture, it reads,

“Dear God, Why do you allow so much violence in our schools? Signed, A Concerned Student

Dear Concerned Student, I’m not allowed in schools. God”

You're kidding, right?  Let's review a few Christian basics.

First, Omnipotency 101.  God is not subject to school authorities or any other authority for that matter.  Is your God really that small?  A God that can be legislatively bound doesn't deserve the title.  Nobody can keep God out of a school.

Second, the God represented on that T-shirt is callous and vengeful.  The implication is that God doesn't give a flip about the massacre of children in a school because God is holding a grudge.  Honestly, I'd ban that God from my school, too.  You preach the Cross and believe that?  Back to Sunday School for you.

Third, the words imply that if laws about prayer in school were changed, no one would ever shoot up a school.  Schools would then be holy places and, therefore, God would protect them.  You do know that there have been shootings in Christian churches, right?  During worship services.  In America.  Christian faith mandates special responsibility, not special privilege.

God was not absent from Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Watch the video of six-year-old Ana Marquez-Greene.  As her brother plays the piano, she sings the Christian hymn, "Come Thou Almighty King."  Are you telling me that Jesus let that little girl walk into school on Friday morning alone?  Not a chance.  He marched right in there with her, as he did every single day.  He walked with her, took a bullet with her, and with a giant, love-shaped hole in his heart he carried her to a home where no bullet can reach.

And it wasn't just Ana.  God walked into school with every last one of those children as well as every teacher.  I believe that God even walked beside Adam Lanza, trying all the while to convince him to turn away from such a terrible abuse of his God-given freedom.  And then God sobbed for all of them, as we all did.

God is not absent from Sandy Hook or any other school, public or private.  But the statements by Huckabee and others do remind me how grateful I am that public schools have the sense to allow our interaction with God to be a private, silent affair.  With that in place no well-intentioned bumbler can stand before students and intone that such horrors are in any way, shape, or form the will of God.

The people of Newtown, Connecticut are suffering enough.  Christians should sit quietly with them, offering a soft shoulder and a common tear.  If you must speak words, say only, "I love you."  Otherwise, bite your tongue and let others assume you are wise.


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