“Give Us Barabbas”

The issue of guns is pretty close to every conversation with small or large groups of people at the moment. Just about everyone has an opinion and it is passionate. They will continue far into the future because another Nikolas Cruz is on the near horizon.  Whether or not the massacre of Parkland in Florida is a turning point in the debate is to be determined, but if history is our guide, it will be forgotten. What has amazed me is how the media on both sides are dealing with “gun control” in a very superficial manner. No one seems to be addressing the root causes of violence as the debate isn’t bringing us any closer to actually solving the problem.

Is anyone addressing the fact that of the 27 deadliest mass shooters in American history, 26 boys committing these crimes were raised without a biological father in the home since childhood. The single issue of a boy without a father in the home is the glaring statistic no one is talking about in the mainstream media. However, it was a CNN reporter by the name of Suzanne Venker who recently tallied that 96.3 percent of mass shooters share this common trait. Boys and girls need fathers as much as they need mothers, as each parent has a beautiful and wonderful role ordained by God. To make matters worse, many liberals continue to push social policies removing the father from the home as an authority figure, and most often depict him as the bumbling village idiot on film.

Many speak of more security in schools, more scrutiny of who gets a gun, what constitutes mental illness, age limits, size of the clip, bullets per second, bump stocks, easy access to guns, the interpretation of the Constitution, gun free zones, what comprises liberty and freedom, and so forth. The way the Constitution is written and interpreted by many people, there will be no easy or peaceful compromise.

The fact is no one could ever tell in the time of Christ if He was a liberal or a conservative because He just about rattled every one with whom He came into contact. Jesus connected with those more interested in obedience to His word than discussing theological, philosophical, or civic debate. The biggest issue of the day was Roman occupation, and He ignored it until being trapped by the Pharisee’s. Even then He gave only a few word sentence with His view on the matter.

I am not sure Jesus would be on CNN or Fox News with the gun debate, but He would be among the people just like He did when He walked the earth and addressed the state of their souls in the light of Divine Truth. The roots of violence are in our streets and schools, because they are first in our hearts. Saint Teresa of Calcutta often quoted that “If there is violence in the womb, there will be violence in the streets.” Saint John Paul II said on many occasions “A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope.”

When Jesus was on trial, Pilate gave the people an option, take Barabbas or Jesus as a sacrifice for crucifixion. Pilate was clear he saw no crime that Jesus committed, so while washing his hands he let the people decide.   The name Barabbas means “son of the father.” Barabbas was a common criminal already incarcerated for a crime. He was the son of flesh born into original sin. Next to him after being chained and beaten for doing nothing but good was The Son of Man — God in the flesh lowering Himself and making Himself in the form of a slave for the redemption of mankind. Yet, true to human nature seeking expediency and lacking thought, the people chose an easy superficial solution rather than amendment of life – which He was asking.

The solutions being bandied about in the gun debate are just ointment on the existing wound of our sinful culture. They are not treating the root cause of the problem. I have heard conversations that going to the root of the issue will no longer work due to diversity and other civil concerns.  If that is the case, there is no solution to the violence and dysfunction in the culture from just about anyone in the media, so why not try the obvious one that is THE ANSWER. If a person has cancer, it cannot be cordially coaxed out, it must be driven out. More blood in the schools and streets, then maybe people will demand that God be welcomed back in the classroom.

Maybe concerned educators and citizens should start to demand the ONLY way to stop this carnage is for faith to be restored in the classroom. Several years ago I saw a story where a warden in a men’s prison provided every single prisoner with a Father’s Day card and a stamp. Not one prisoner sent the card.

Until we start to address the following we will not get to the roots:

  1. The billions of hours people (not just kids anymore) play playing violent video games originally designed for military use in combat situations,
  2. All forms of psychiatric drugs kids are ingesting at alarming rates,
  3. Music lyrics that are outright violent and sexual,
  4. A culture of violence on TV and all forms of media breeding a lack of compassion,
  5. A desensitization of youth to human pain and suffering,
  6. The proliferation of pornography on the internet available to a young child,
  7. Homes with no father’s,
  8. Homes with a mentally, emotionally, or physically absent father and/or mother, and rarely a family meal,
  9. Multiple billions (there are a thousand million in a billon) of hours youth have played banal, and time sapping video games where they are now in their mid to late 30’s doing the same thing they did as teenagers. Empirical scientific data supports a person’s neural pathways are rewired due to addictive behavior such as pornography, drugs, alcohol, and incessant media habits,
  10. A total lack of spiritual formation pursuing immediate gratification. If there is any spiritual formation, it is often so ill-formed teaching it makes no sense to them in their soul,
  11. Parents taking their child’s side in disciplinary issues at school. Any moral or philosophical compass to society that has been beneficial to mankind for millennia has been removed from public education,
  12. Absent parents. The day where a school board gets more calls than any day in the year is when school is cancelled due to snow. Why? It disrupts a parents work schedule. Teachers are baby sitters as much as educators and they know it. Many teachers have emotionally checked out and stay for the pension,
  13. Teachers that have quit disciplining students often because higher administration will support the parents so the schools won’t have to deal with hassles and potential lawsuits,
  14. Many youth see no purpose in their lives, and they lack family connectedness,
  15. An LGBTQ carnal and sinful culture proliferating like a spring rose in a life without boundaries, and kids without a grounded moral structure,
  16. Silence from the vast number of pulpits in America of all faiths and denominations on sin and its consequences. A rejection of biblical and Christian thought. There is a virulent diabolical agenda to remove God from the public square.

Guns are not the problem — a lack of values in our culture is the problem. The people who use guns as a weapon are the problem. Until a value-based education is restored, we will see a great deal more violence because two generations of people haven’t had any spirituality or formation in their lives.

The answers are staring us in the face, but the people want Barabbas. They chose man’s ways versus that of God’s.

Spiritual things have been stripped from thought and action in our culture. The name Nikolas Cruz of Parkland doesn’t matter because there are tens of millions of these wounded lost souls walking the hallways today, albeit not many as violent as Cruz. The name Cruz is not important because the shooters in these heinous crimes share nearly identical emotional and psychological profiles. Cruz as others to come has the profile of PURE RAGE against the system. After the killing spree he was so casual he sauntered to the local McDonald’s and had a hamburger. This young man has been so desensitized to love and a plan for his life as God intended, he is void of human emotion other than hate and rage.

What these people have not received is love at home, they are acting out in anger in all income brackets and social strata throughout the land. These people are screaming to be noticed at any cost and to have a purpose for living. Prayers are desperately needed for our homes.   Solve the problems in the home, and the country will heal itself.