On Thursday, May 27, 1999, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. In the light of the latest school shootings, I think that it is important to reflect on a portion of his testimony:
…The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.
In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent.
I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy-it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies!…
…Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation?
We have refused to honor God, and in doing so, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs-politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key…
There is a lot of important information in here, but I want to focus mostly on this idea that men and women are three party beings, or the Tripartite Man as I’ve seen it called from time to time. We can find in Genesis 2:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, and Hebrews 4:12 this idea, that man (and woman) are the body, the soul, and the spirit- or the body, mind, and spirit as I see it.
In our schools we are supposed to be training the body and mind- through gym classes and math and science classes, two of the three natures of man are being addressed. And in our educational systems the third part of man is also being addressed, but not in a manner that is consistent with any sort of religion from any culture. In education, children are being taught to be hostile to God and his Word, to deny the existence of God, to ignore any sort of rules or teachings from any religion at all whether it be Christian or other, and to mock those who are religious. We can see this in textbooks, in classrooms, in standardized testing, in national and local standards- all of which impress on students that religion has no place in education (separation of church and state) and that faith and spirit are nowhere to be found in any sort of book or lesson or standard.
School shootings will happen, as will murder with blunt instruments or with knives or with hands, because there will be evil men out there who will desire to do evil things. Yes, implementing suggestions such as I have made on this blog will help to limit the damage that these evil men are able to do, mostly by unleashing the forces of good and liberty and property rights. But evil men will commit evil acts, and I don’t think that the answer to this is to simply say “there is no evil” or that “it all depends on who is judging to figure out what is evil” or to say “we can do nothing in our society to suppress evil in the hearts of the young.” I don’t think the solution is powerlessness, but rather empowerment.
At some point, our nation will need to move away from this nationalized one-size-fits-all secular hostile-to-God educational system, and move to something different. Local control, more values, religious education welcome, individualized and personalized instruction- all of these need to be brought into the educational system, and maybe after several generations of this sort of education the good in men can be encouraged and the bad in man discouraged. America can be a shining city on a hill, a beacon of light to all not just in a secular sense but in a spiritual sense, if only we return back to our founding values in education.
Original Post: A Conservative Teacher