On the topic of freedom...

The internet has been afire these last few days, since a deranged gunman, Adam Lanza, murdered his own mother, Nancy, and proceeded to Sandy Hook elementary, in Newtown, Connecticut, where Nancy taught kindergarten and opened fire on students and her coworkers.  

Six year olds Charlotte, Olivia, Ana, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Jesse, James, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin and Allison.   

Seven year olds Daniel, Josephine, Chase and Grace. 

Their teachers Rachel, Anne Marie, Lauren, Victoria and their principal Dawn and school psychologist Mary. 
They are gone.

I unfriended my brother (temporarily) on Facebook tonight, because he posted a picture of a rifle he'd helped restore.  I was still feeling the crushing weight of this tragedy so far away.  While my brother didn't mean anything by his post (other than to show off a restoration project he'd worked hard on) the image of a gun brought back the flood of visuals that had been conjured in my mind by this tragedy.  I wasn't even that upset about the photo, it was just a trigger....I wasn't mad at him that he had posted it (though I was upset by his reply which indicated I could unfriend him if I didn't like it -- how's that for cheeky brotherly love for 'ya).  So now I get to apologize with a blog post for being all emotional.

But I asked myself this question, why was I so upset?  He made a point I've heard many times in the past few days "guns don't kill people, people kill people"....logically I can't disagree.  The guns didn't walk in there and open fire.  And yet, I somehow think he'd have done a lot less damage with rocks than he did with bullets.  Than he did with guns from his mothers collection, guns that allowed him to murder her and desomate a classroom of little ones.

Why am I so upset?!  About children I don't know?

Because I am mom to T'ea and Matthew.  I am "Auntie" to Trea, Daryan, Angelica, Anthony and Stephanie.

I would do anything to protect them.


And THAT is why I am so upset.

Those kids had mothers and aunties, that are living a nightmare.  Having to face questions today that no mother, aunt, father, grandparent or sibling should ever have to face.

An image has been posted again and again by my friends and family.  A grey t-shirt that says:

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.  

I've seen it in my feed nearly a dozen times today.  While I understand the sentiment of why it's been posted, and the hearts of those posting it....I have to confess that it actually offends me more than the gun picture did.

You want to know why?  Because someone created a t-shirt and decided to speak for God in the midst of a horrifying tragedy.  The words they wrote, don't sound like the God I know.  No matter how well intentioned.

The God I know wouldn't reply to such a pain-filled question with a spiteful, passive aggressive answer.  As if he had been snubbed at the country club.  The God I know from scripture is one of great love and compassion.  God hates the violence in our schools as much (if not more) than the rest of us.

Hates it.

Explaining why God allows sin is far too long a conversation for one blog post...but let's just acknowledge for the sake of argument what we all know: He allows it.  For better or or painfully devastating worse He allows it.

In this moment, this alone could be a good reason to turn away (or reject) such a God that would allow babies to be murdered.  But this same God that allows us to hate, lie, cheat, yell at our kids, gossip about our coworkers, covet our neighbour's big screen TV...he allows child molesters and rapists to do unspeakable atrocities.  But with this (as of yet) horrendous freedom, he gives us a gift.

The freedom to love.

Freedom is a universally praised concept...we want freedom to choose, freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms, freedom to vote, freedom to marry, freedom of religion, freedom to roam, freedom to read.  Yet, we reject it when God doesn't step in when we use our freedom to sin.

Also, God doesn't need anyone's permission to be in our schools, on our playgrounds, in our homes, and with our children.

While the bible may not be TAUGHT in schools, it still can be taught in every home in the country.  We have that freedom.  The Lord's prayer may not be recited in schools, but we have the right to pray with our children, and to pray for them.  We have that freedom.

My children have the freedom to gather with other believers in their school to pray, worship, study scripture and find ways to love and lead their communities as Christ called them to. They have the freedom to attend church each Sunday and youth group on Fridays.  We live in a country where we can own Bibles.  Read them in public even.  That has not been taken away.

While it wouldn't be as catchy, I suspect if God was the designer the shirt would look more like this....


  1. YES. Thank you. Perfect Husband has a relative who is always posting offensively right wing things on Facebook, but when she posted this question and response, he looked nauseous and unfriended her for good.

    To suggest that bad things would never happen in schools if children were just made to pray at assembly this morning, to suggest that all bad things happen because God felt left out of some discussion is just offensive and blatantly incorrect.

    Furthermore, to use a tragedy like this to push your own personal religious agenda rather than address how to help and how to prevent this kind of tragedy through further attention to the mentally ill is just... anti-Christian.


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