Faith

Ban Secularism and Fatherlessness, Not Guns

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In a poignant article, PJ Media’s Susan Goldberg asks the important question: “When will we have the guts to link fatherlessness to school shootings?” In an equally poignant article, theologian and pastor Douglas Wilson tackles that question, and does so in a manner that goes right to the heart of the issue.

According to Douglas Wilson, secularism needs to own its large role in creating the problem of gun violence.

Wilson opens his article with a brief reminder that guns have been around as long as there have been schools in America. In fact, as he points out, during the “earlier age,” as he puts it, guns were even more prevalent, often being openly displayed in the backs of pick-up trucks in school parking lots. What’s more, that “earlier age” didn’t experience the tragedy of school shootings that is a growing menace in our “enlightened” progressive society.

He wisely points out, “So if you want to analyze a changing culture in a thoughtful way, you should look at the variables, not at the constants. So what has changed? When it comes to comparing the days when school shootings were uncommon to our time when they are common, the availability of guns is not what has changed.”

Narrowing his target, Wilson hones in and delivers a stinging rebuke:

So do you want real systemic analysis? Do you really? We don’t need to do anything about the guns. But we do need to do something about all the fatherless boys who are loaded up on psychotropic drugs, administered by the school nurse, and educated by a school system that is prohibited by law from telling anybody what the meaning of life is. That is your toxic mix, and if you don’t want to do anything about it, then you need to stop pretending that you want a systemic solution.

As he continues, Wilson unravels the thread of consequences that have resulted from banishing God from our schools and public squares. Among the consequences is the erecting of an idol, according to Wilson.

Having taken away God the Father, we have substituted the state—a ramshackle federal father, if ever there was one. So not only are we idolaters, we are clumsy idolaters, proving it by making a clumsy god in our own image. And we cry out to this idol we have fashioned, and it answers us the way all idols do, with silence. Whenever a shooting reveals inept legislation, we call out—we think, naturally enough—for more inept legislation.

Of course, the sexual revolution is not left unscathed in Wilson’s sharp analysis of the problem of gun violence in our culture. The break-up of the traditional family and the rise in fatherless boys have woven themselves into the natural, narcissistic consequences that result from free and unfettered sexuality. With that freedom, though, comes pushback when one person’s freedom is another person’s prison. In moments of conflict, what recourse do those steeped in the moral vacuum of secularism have other than to lash out?

Wilson concludes his short article by poetically pointing out that when confused, fatherless, godless boys lash out, “they find a gun, left around from simpler times, and do their bloody work. Our proposed solution is to ban all reminders of those simpler times.”

Douglas Wilson’s article is a needed reminder that the answer to gun violence is found in Christianity. Instead of banning guns, we need to ban godlessness and fatherlessness. Sadly, as Wilson knows and alludes to, secularists will never cede their gains in society, even if that means sacrificing children.