Tag Archives: American exceptionalism

The One and Only Way to Stop Mass Murders at School

All this past week most of the mainstream press has been pushing the idea that what is needed to stop today’s school shootings and other mass murders is to inaugurate effective, total gun control—which is to say, to confiscate all firearms from the American public. The idea is “no guns equals no murders.” President Trump, however, has called for arming teachers at schools, and to more tightly control the vetting process for buying guns. He would eliminate some types of firearms that facilitate a mass murder spree, and do a better job with handling the mentally ill. Will any of this work to really change the situation on the ground? Frankly, at this stage of the game, I have my doubts, because all those suggestions don’t get at the heart of the problem..

After all, as far as gun control goes, if would-be murderers can’t use guns they’ll use trucks — or knives, screwdrivers, hammers, poisons, and any other means that a bloody-minded individual can devise. When you think back on history, humanity has often resorted to some of the most basic, brutal tools in order to murder others. The root of the problem is not the fact that there is a stone, a baseball bat, or a gun in every American home. The root of the problem is the spirit of murder and lawlessness that is now stalking America. The problem of mass murder is a people problem, not a tool problem.

When I was a youth in the 1950s and 1960s, guns were readily available to practically anyone who wanted one. My Mom (a divorced woman) kept a holstered, loaded handgun hanging on her bedpost, which she took with her when out horseback riding by herself in the boonies—it was for shooting snakes or other varmits. Don’t you know that we boys never would have dreamed to touch much less play with Mom’s gun. It never would have entered our minds because we knew better—and we also knew how to use guns ourselves. Of course, my brother and I also never would have dreamed about telling any of our teachers to F— off or to ignore an instruction in class. We showed our teachers and school administrators respect and, our parents expected nothing less of us—or else!

Mom only had to use that pistol once when a would-be thief was trying to steal my motorcycle parked in the carport. The fella saw that Mom had spotted him and he took off to hide behind some bushes in our large backyard. Mom, who was a crack shot—Annie Oakley had taught her grandma to shoot and she in turn had taught Mom—put a few rounds into the ground at the base of those bushes where the guy was lurking. Immediately he leaped over the 6 ft. tall back fence in a single bound and took off like a bat out of hell down the alley. Mom didn’t want to hurt anyone, but she did want to communicate that she wasn’t fooling around. The thief never returned. I wonder why? Low-lifes figure out pretty quickly who to respect and who not to.

For $20.00 in the 1950s and 60s you could buy on demand without a background check a “Saturday night special” and a box of shells at the corner hardware. But I can’t remember any dreadful mass shootings at schools during that time period that even remotely approached today’s problem in Florida. It just didn’t happen. The problem is that the American people have changed—and not for the better. Why? What’s the root of the problem?

In a letter to the editor of my local paper last Saturday, a fellow wrote:  “While its consequence might manifest on the roads [or in schools], discourtesy is a much deeper problem in our civilization that has worsened during my lifetime. Whereas people detest each other as much today as at any other point in history, today’s citizens no longer feel a duty to be courteous to each other for the sake of the community.

“I blame the decline of our civilization’s traditional moral-reinforcing institutions. People might or might not like churches, but it’s hard to deny the role churches played in our society as sources of civil order, and as touchstones of right conduct.

“It is also hard not to correlate declining church attendance with rising aggression and apathy across the whole spectrum of our civilization… We need a politically independent moral industry today, more than ever” (D.S. Victoria, Times Colonist, Feb. 24, 2018.)


So dear reader please take to heart this warning from the Apostle Paul that we ourselves should not be caught up in the same spirit of violence and disregard for human life that is sweeping our society:

“Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come; for men will be lovers of self, loves of money, braggarts, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self control, savage, despisers of those who are good, betrayers, reckless, egotistical, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having an outward appearance of godliness, but denying the power of true godliness [that transforms from the inside out an authentic believer’s life]. But as for you, turn away from all these” (2 Timothy 3:1-5, The Holy Bible in its Original Order trans.)

As a society, we must return to teaching Judeo-Christian morality and ethics in our homes, in our schools, and in our churches and synagogues—day in and day out. America was built on and positively refined by Biblical values for close to 190 years. By abandoning these founding values and breaking faith with the God of our ancestors we risk destroying everything that once made America a shining city set on a hill—a good example to a world wallowing all too often in darkness and despair.

The Sunset of the American Empire

1-Obama-vs-PutinWhen it comes to the quick and successful Russian occupation of the Crimean peninsula, U.S. President Barak Obama insists that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “on the wrong side of history.”

Again, in comments about the Crimean takeover, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, “The world cannot just allow this to happen.” But neither Obama administration nor the other Western democracies are even remotely suggesting they use the military option to meet such aggression with determination and power.

Neither Obama’s America nor the European Union will risk going to war with Russia over the fate of the Crimea or even ALL the eastern Russian-speaking half of the Ukraine. It’s just Putin’s for the taking.

Like the recent crisis in Syria over the use of poison gas to kill Syrian rebels and civilians, it appears that Putin’s Russia is setting the agenda in the arenas of its choosing.

And I have to acknowledge that in such an age as ours with its omnipresent video and social putin bear obamamedia, Putin is remarkably media savvy. He has cleverly stage-managed a Crimean velvet invasion, avoiding nasty scenes on the nightly news and Internet of Russian troops causing violence and bloodshed.

Still, whatever the Russian rationale (and they can make an interesting case) the heart of the issue remains clear in international law: invasion of one state by another without a serious existential threat or provocation in order to annex coveted territory is plainly and simply a no-no. If not effectively opposed and reversed what’s happened in Crimea will be a blinking neon sign advertising that its now open season for the world’s aggressors to initiate a new round of changes to the world’s maps.

What’s at stake is not just about defending the right of Ukrainians to decide their own future. What’s hanging in the balance is the whole structure of current international relations and the present status quo. Is the crisis in the Ukraine announcing the sunset of the American Empire? Has America effectively abandoning its role as the world’s policeman?  And, if it will not longer act as the dominant power of the world—how long will it be before the American dollar also loses its role world’s reserve currency? The implications of all this is profound. Is the American era unraveling and coming to an end before our very eyes?

The consequences of what has happened in Crimea should not be viewed in isolation from what has been happening elsewhere on the world stage over the recent past. There are some principles iranian hostage crisisof human affairs that are immutable. High stakes diplomacy is inevitably a test of wills. Every act by a state during a crisis signals either of its strong will and convictions or its lack thereof. Weakness invites more aggression.

The present situation calls for a beefy presidential backbone rather than a turkey wishbone to be sitting in the Oval Office. Many commentators are drawing parallels between Jimmy Carter’s weak presidency and that of the current occupant of the White House. But actually, the situation for America now is much more dire now than it was 35 years ago during the Iranian hostage crisis.

crimea europe mapWithout strong leadership from America, the rest of the Western democracies will prove unwilling to make any move that could harm their own narrow economic interests and/or complicate their domestic politics. Besides, all together, the Western allies just don’t possess the raw military power that the U.S. does.

Although the United States actually has the power to force a reversal of the Crimean takeover, America’s political leadership doesn’t have the strength of will that comes from strong moral convictions to actually use that power to stand up for the underdog Ukrainians.

Of course this isn’t the first time the current U.S. president preferred wet noodles over backbone. This is the same president who last year refused to force the Shi’ite Iranians to stop developing their nuclear weapons program that threatens to destroy and/or intimidate America’s major allies in the Middle East: Jewish Israel and the Sunni Arab petro-states of the Persian Gulf.

So why does the United States lack the backbone to speak softly while credibly threatening to use their great big stick on the world’s bullies? Why indeed!soldier flag

The answer is surprising.

From its founding, America thought of itself as an “exceptional” nation, a shining city on the hill beckoning all of humanity to embrace high moral values. The explicit foundation of this American “exceptionalism” was the nation’s Judeo-Christian morality, which was sustained by a vibrant personal religious zeal that believed that faith must be put into action whatever the cost in time, treasure, and blood. This lively personal piety flowed from the private sphere into the public sphere to enlighten the conduct of the nation’s business. Judeo-Christian morality informed the government in its policies, diplomacy, and even the exercise of power. Americans saw themselves as the best hope to change and improve the world. And they did something about it because they believed they had a mission to do so.

But for two generations now the well-spring of American exceptionalism has been dramatically drying up just like the American Southwest has been drying up in its worst drought in 500 years. In ca droughtfact most leaders of the American public sphere can no longer sincerely proclaim “In God We Trust” without a large dose of brazen hypocrisy. I almost gag when I hear some particular American politicians say, “God bless America.” They are such hypocrites!

Major segments of America’s leadership have completely turned their backs on biblical morality and are actively seeking to undermine and destroy it.

Consequently, the shining city is being transformed—rapidly now—into a 21st Century version of Sodom and Gomorrah with a heavy emphasis on prosperity and almost none on biblical morals. The shining city on the hill is fast becoming a den of iniquity that must resort to buying its lovers attention since it can no longer attract them with the beauty of sincere high moral virtues.

As a direct consequence, the Bible’s God promises that He will “break the pride of your power” (see Leviticus 26:18-19). God is speaking in this scripture of an “exceptional” nation that once publicly claimed Him far and wide as their God. But such a people later turned against Him and became degenerate in the both public and private spheres as defined according to the biblical scriptures. As a consequence, those people were punished and punished some more until they repented of their faithlessness and turned back to their God.

Woe to any nation like the Ukraine that depends on a similar faithless, hypocritical nation to defend it from the covetousness of an audacious enemy. A hypocritical, faithless nation’s pride in its power will always be broken—eventually. The Ukrainian crisis is revealing to the bullies of the world just how weak America’s pride in its power has become.

Leviticus 26:18-19 (ESV) 18 And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, 19 and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.