On the Devotional page of the January 18th edition of the News Democrat and Leader there was an article written by Chad Johnson titled “Where Was God.” I am a proud Episcopalian who follows this page closely. In our church we learn how deep God’s love is for all people. We also learn that we are human beings and in being so we have free will and choose our actions, even when they are harmful. In Mr. Johnson’s church he teaches that every action, thought and word is controlled 100% by God. If that were the case then the God we know would be a very cruel and vengeful God. If that were the case then God was pulling the trigger to kill the innocent children at the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. Does that sound like a God that loves his children unconditionally? God loves us all. God knows that we are going to sin because that is the way that he created us. He also knows that if we ask for forgiveness then it will be granted.
Mr. Johnson says that the reason the shootings are happening in schools and colleges is because “God’s name (not God) has be removed from these places.” This sounds as if he were blaming the shootings on the Public School Systems. The untimely deaths of these children are not to be blamed on the school systems but on the person pulling the trigger.
Evolution is a scientific fact and Creation IS a theory passed down from generation to generation. The Bible is a book of accounts recorded by people from thousands of years ago. It was written in a language much different from ours with words that have totally different meanings in today’s time. We have to live in the present.
Further in his article he declares “Our founding fathers meant for separation of church and state to keep government out of church, not the church out of the government.” The definition of separation is: a point, line or means of division; an intervening space. So by the definition I cannot say Mr. Johnson is correct, or even close. Separation of church and state is to keep the church out of the state’s affairs and the state out of the church’s affairs. Period.
He then goes on to say “We now have metal detectors and nurseries in schools to protect against guns and to give teen mothers a government tax payer provided baby sitter. We can see that a nation who forgets God will be turned into hell.” We also have metal detectors in airports and government buildings. Should we do away with those too? How safe would you feel taking a flight without security? We have to live in the present. If we didn’t have “government tax payer provided baby sitters” how high would the high school dropout rate be? How many young women would suffer? How many children would suffer? As Christians we have to help those in need. At Mr. Johnson’s church he must teach “tough love” instead of “unconditional love.” Mr. Johnson seems to have forgotten more about God than our nation since our nation is taking care of those in need.
In Mr. Johnson’s last paragraph he says “The Liberals will never remove God from society, but God can remove his hand of blessing and show us what a Godless nation can be.” This sounds more like a sad, angry, pessimistic, scared man who wants to frighten his church into submission rather than encourage them how to love their neighbors and live true Christian lives.
I follow a God who loves me for who I am. I follow a God who forgives my wrongdoings and teaches me how to do better. I follow a God who gave me free will even as he walks beside me every step. My God is a God of true love. My God doesn’t punish his flock by killing innocent children. The only person responsible for the death of those beautiful children was the person pulling the trigger, and I don’t think my God’s name is Adam Lanza.
I hope the people who read the devotional page are aware of the negative scare tactics that some people write. Rather than condemning those with the greatest need such as teen mothers, I would prefer to read about positive thinking, positive outreach and positive actions by those in the religious community.