Skip to comments.Reducing Violent Crime in the US From the Inside Out (Part 4 of 4)
Posted on 02/12/2013 4:49:44 AM PST by Kaslin
In the past few weeks, I've highlighted ways we can reduce violent crime in the U.S. But I've saved the best and most powerful solutions for last because they work from the inside out.
In Part 1, I revealed how rational and rewarding it would be to post armed guards at our schools. In Part 2, I showed how reducing the number of firearms in the U.S. would not curb violent crime. In Part 3, I began to discuss the first of two ways in which our Founding Fathers expected to produce and maintain civility and decency in society. They esteemed all human life as equal and possessing intrinsic value far above the rest of creation, albeit while struggling with executing their beliefs as much as any generation -- e.g., with slavery and the treatment of Native Americans and women.
The second thing our founders did was embed that value and care of humanity via the freedom yet accountability of moral absolutes -- codes of ethics, namely through religion. They believed in the absolute and imperative role of religion in society and that without it, civility and decency would vanish.
For our founders, moral fortitude was dependent upon the foundation of religion, not the laws of men. As John Adams, our second president, explained, "religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society."
Gouverneur Morris, who, in 1787, represented Pennsylvania at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and subsequently signed the U.S. Constitution, said, "Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore, education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God."
Benjamin Franklin put it this way: "That wise Men have in all Ages thought Government necessary for the Good of Mankind; and, that wise Governments have always thought Religion necessary for the well ordering and well-being of Society, and accordingly have been ever careful to encourage and protect the Ministers of it, paying them the highest publick Honours, that their Doctrines might thereby meet with the greater Respect among the common People."
Because our founders firmly believed that religion prevents liberty from turning into licentiousness, President George Washington warned the nation in his Farewell Address to beware of the time when leaders dismantle society's basis of morality: "And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
Unfortunately, in our day, we have discarded Washington's warning by not respecting and cherishing the role of religion, and in so doing, we've abandoned moral absolutes in lieu of personal expediency and selfishness. We've confused liberty and licentiousness. We've discarded the high value of human life in exchange for lower life forms. And we're paying the price for it, as Washington predicted; the ways we treat one another prove it.
So should we really be so shocked with the degradation in our own modern society?
My great friend Mike Huckabee said something very similar after the tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. Huckabee asked: Why should we "be so surprised" at the violence in society when "we have systematically removed God from our schools"? Yet many in the mainstream media assailed Mike for repeating exactly what our founders believed.
That is why I believe that youths today need to return to America's core values. As Benjamin Rush -- a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a member of the presidential administrations of Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison -- wrote, "I had rather see the opinions of Confucius or Mohammed inculcated upon our youth than see them grow up wholly devoid of a system of religious principles. But the religion I mean to recommend in this place is that of the New Testament."
We must return to being a nation where mutual respect is king -- where I am my brother's keeper and we agree to disagree agreeably. It's time to renew our commitment to the basic premises of humanity: Do unto others as you would have them do to you, and love your neighbor as yourself.
I might play a tough guy who protects victims from bad guys on screen, but in real life, I'm an advocate for those who are at-risk, too, particularly through my KickStart Kids foundation. My wife, Gena, and I consider KickStart Kids our lives' mission. KickStart Kids means building strong moral character in our youth through the martial arts. Its purpose is to help raise self-esteem and instill discipline and respect, which so many children are lacking today.
Two other warriors who are raising the bar of societal and youth decency are our dear friends Darrell and Sandy Scott, who spearheaded Rachel's Challenge and Columbine Redemption in memory of their beautiful and kind daughter, Rachel, who was murdered at Columbine High School more than a decade ago. Rachel said, "I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same."
KickStart Kids and Rachel's Challenge recently partnered to further help American youth and families, and we're doing it with a core values curriculum that reinstates civility and decency back into the souls of individuals and, hence, the soul of society.
On May 27, 1999, a month after the tragic shootings at Columbine High School, Darrell appeared before a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee to discuss what he believed could reduce violent crime in our country. In the midst of his eloquent and moving statement, he cited a poem he wrote that perfectly describes where the blame lies and our answers must come from:
Your laws ignore our deepest needs.
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped our heritage.
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere
And ask the question, "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws
Through legislative creed.
And you fail to understand
That God is what we need.
Very nice, thank you.
And this article explains why violent crime will continue to escalate until the Gov’t has no choice but to declare martial law in many of its cities which will have become free fire kill zones, (term from the Vietnam War). And then, at some point, the Gov’t will have crossed the line into illegitimacy.........its not far from there now!
My wife and I listened to a message by Ravi Zacharias last night on youtube entitled, “What Does It Mean to Be Human”. He covered many of these ideas in a defense of Christianity. Very good stuff - I highly recommend it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdytBEOj0M0
He covered the Enlightenment, 18th century empiricism, 19th nihilism with its unyielding despair, 20th century existentialism - the will to passion & power, will to meaning - in the face of despair your choice is to make whatever meaning you want - and finally, post modernism which he says “claims” to debunk all of the above arriving at the conclusion that there is no truth, no meaning, no certainty - even language itself is questioned (who’s meaning writer’s or reader’s). He humorously stated that no one wants a post modernist for a pilot! He then talks about how today people are left with this idea of meaninglessness and that as their mind tries to deal with this (wrong) view of reality the human cannot accept its claims. Our hearts still cry out for meaning, significance, and love. Only Christianity, only God can meet all those needs. Great message! Please check it out.
Absolutely, undoubtedly, sin is at the heart of America’s problems. 2 Chr. 7:14 and repentance is the answer.
America has always had a large number of Christians. There have always been many calling for repentance. Previously, though America lived in peace, prosperity, wealth, and literacy. Now we don’t. Why?
Scripture never told us that everyone would get saved. There will always sin and the unsaved on this side of the 2nd resurrection. What has changed pre-1800s vs. post 1800s is Kingdom focus. The enemies of Christ really don’t care if you believe in personal salvation. But they are deathly afraid of the Gospel of the Kingdom. John 11:48 “If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.
Our fathers who settled here and their sons who gradually developed our national government, did so inseminating Christianity into every institution and facet of this kingdom.
The battle wasn’t lost because we didn’t have armed officers in the schools. Nor was it lost because we didn’t have enough guns. It wasn’t even because there weren’t enough people opposed to the idea of murder, rape, theft etc.
The battle was lost when:
We stood by silently while each new seminary professor espoused less biblical views.
We allowed these ever-more-liberal ministers to come into our churches, and tell us “this world is not your home”, just believe in Jesus, and keep your religion in the walls of the church and your home. There was a reason Roger Williams was thrown out of Mass., and started Rhode Island. There is a reason R.I. was the hub of the slave trading ships. Start a state where the idea is to separate state and religion and what do you expect.
We stood by in the 1800s while the Unitarians pushed for public education so they could ensure our children were not taught the gospel of the kingdom.
We stood by silently while free enterprise was corrupted into the greed of capitalism.
We stood by silently while preachers taught that Gods law has been done away with. Now our nation has done away with Gods law. What else did we expect.
We happily embraced usury, forbidden by God and Jesus. Now we have financial chaos and wonder why.
Well, having established as the official state church the worship of Moloch "might" have something to do with it.
Thanks for that.
My conclusion; nothing can again progress until this new paganism has run its course which will end in utter ruin for most of mankind. Kinda like, you can’t make an omlet without breaking a few eggs.