Prayers are Precisely what’s Needed - Top 3 Takeaways – May 26th, 2022
- Prayers are precisely what's needed. Many politicians, like Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner and Democrat candidate for Governor, Nikki Fried are quick to make statements like this... I want to be completely clear: offering ‘thoughts and prayers’ is not enough. It’s past time for us to take serious and meaningful action to prevent gun violence. The Legislature must add gun violence prevention reform to the current Special Session agenda. There cannot be any more children massacred or lives destroyed by mass shootings while our government sits idly by. In the wake of the second deadliest school shooting in American history on Tuesday, there are multiple issues with that sentiment. Specific to Florida, it's almost as though Nikki’s oblivious to the fact that Florida’s already done this. As part of the Stoneman Douglas School Safety Act, Florida passed extensive gun control measures, which would have prevented the perpetrator in Tuesday’s attack from being able to lawfully obtain firearms. Frankly, Florida’s policies, from lawfully obtaining a firearm, to school security measures which most recently have included Alyssa’s Law, could and perhaps should serve as the national model. There’s a difference between politicizing tragedy and acting responsibly as a result of what you’ve learned from it. Calls for action in our state at this point are political ploys. Calls for action nationally may be legitimate, but the most unfortunate dynamic of all is the willingness to be dismissive of what’s most important and what’s most lacking in our society right now. Prayers, and more directly, faith.
- It’s the absence of faith, and belief in God that’s driving violence. Without hesitation, if the perpetrator in the Texas attack, or any attack were right with God, it’d never happen. Conversely, guns can’t kill people on their own. As I’ve illustrated many times over the years, and as Harvard’s 2018 study on mental health and faith proved, by the age of 20 those raised with religious practices are happier, more likely to help others, less likely to engage in substance abuse and are much less likely to suffer from mental health issues. As the study also found the more closely engaged with their faith people are the stronger the benefit of all of the aforementioned. As I’ve also illustrated: Entering 1980, the first full year of operations for The Department of Education, the average education outcome for Americans was 2nd in the world (with only Australians ahead of us). Religious holidays, references and prayers were acceptable. Over the next twenty years, entering the 2000’s, we experienced a 300% increase in diagnosed depression. This while the United States slid to 17th from 2nd in education outcomes. Coincidence? Maybe. Next up those who identify with any religion/faith. According to the Pew Research Center only 6% of Americans didn’t identify with any religion or faith in 1980. Today that’s up to 14.4% But even the 240% increase doesn’t tell the whole story.
- Over 26% of those under the age of 35 don’t believe in God. The proliferation of faithlessness connects directly to the rise in mental health issues in society which connects directly to the timetable of the onset school shootings – starting with Columbine in 1999. That was the first generation raised in the current, faithless public-school system under The Department of Education. We didn’t have school shootings until Columbine in 1999, and yet as recently as 1985, fully automatic guns were readily available for sale in the United States. What’s changed isn’t that guns decided to become more violent, it’s that an increasingly faithless society has become more violent with them and other weapons. Let's say guns didn’t even exist, you’d still be left with a person so broken they wanted to kill people. Gun control won’t fix that, but prayers will – specifically when they’re coming from the person who has been broken inside. It was just three weeks ago, on back of the Supreme Court leak, I suggested our society needed to start erroring on the side of God. For over 40 years our society has errored in the opposite direction and look what its brought us. Whether its politicians like the President who will use "the name of God”, or Nikki Fried who dismisses prayers to God, they talk about how they’re tired of these issues. I am too. But rather than focusing on symptoms of an increasing faithless, and thus increasingly lost society, it's time we errored on the side of God to actually fix our problems. Our society has been running away from God for 42 years and this is what it brought us. More prayers, more faith is precisely what this society needs.