What’s Missing from the School Violence Discussion

In the weeks since the massacre in Parkland, Florida, I’ve shared the heavy heart of many others, young and old, over the senseless loss of life at the hands of a troubled young man. For seventeen lives to be snuffed out because of a succession of failures on the part of many to identify this teenager as a serious risk is both infuriating and disheartening. Added to this, for gun owners comes the prospect of an eventual ban on the sale of military style assault weapons to regular citizens, which raises the inevitable questions about Second Amendment rights versus the need to protect school children. This, of course, will continue to be debated even as lawmakers wrestle with the writing and passage of legislation to restrict access to firearms as well as providing more mental health services to those deemed as high risk.
While the discussion and debate in the wake of tragedies caused by gun violence rages between advocates of firearms bans and gun enthusiasts who call for arming teachers and more mental health care, there’s another element to this whole problem I’m not hearing much about. It’s the role of how our whole educational process impacts the way our children today see themselves and each other. The teaching of evolution in our schools as an ironclad, unquestionable  scientific fact has left multiple generations in our culture with a schizophrenic view of humanity. The concept of survival of the fittest creates a dilemma for our culture, and for our youth in particular, when it comes to the matter of civility. If we’re all just animals, as evolutionists assert, with no more intrinsic value than a pig or a rabbit (if we even have that much), then why should we be so concerned about bullying, or even gun violence among kids? According to natural, evolutionary processes, do not the weaker, sicklier, less intelligent members of a species need to die off and get out of the way of the stronger, more intelligent, more advanced? What does this teach our children about being human?
I raise these rhetorical questions in order to focus our attention on factors that contribute to youth violence. While much is being said about identifying the mentally disturbed and sending them into treatment (i.e. medication to control their angry impulses), we don’t seem to be so willing to take a serious look at what our children are being taught about life in school and elsewhere. Take for example, the matter of human sexuality. Our schools and media, along with the scientific community, tell our kids that because humans are animals, whenever our hormones kick in, or our prostate glands fill up, we must get sex wherever we can get it. “You cannot do without sex any more than dogs or cats can,” is the message our youth receive. So, we make 12-year-old girls get vaccinated against HPV, while we explain to our young boys how to use condoms. This is all under the belief that kids are going to do it, because after all, they’re just animals following their natural impulses. But then, we pass laws governing sex, declaring the age of consent to be 16 in most states. So the message then to the kids is: “We know you’re going to have sex, because you’re animals, so that’s why we’re teaching you how to do it safely at age 12. But because of laws governing us humans that guard against sex crimes, you’d better wait until you’re 16 or you could get arrested and charged with statutory rape.” What do we have here? A mixed message based on animal science versus human reality. This is what I call cultural schizophrenia: confusing kids with a conflicting message about what they are and should be and how they should act.
Let’s translate this now to the matter of school violence. On the one hand, we teach children that as human beings we need to learn to celebrate people’s differences, grow to appreciate diversity, and treat each other with respect and dignity, including those with various challenges, physical and mental. But then we tell them that because of the laws of natural selection with the principle of survival of the fittest governing humans as well as the rest of the natural world, people who are somehow “defective” or “undesirable” for reasons physical, mental, philosophical, or religious, will need to be done away with if the planet is ever going to realize the “utopian” state that will supposedly ensure its survival. So, once again, children are given a mixed message that says “All people should be loved and appreciated as they are, but only those people who can learn to live in perfect harmony with each other and nature will live in the new world order of a brotherhood of humanity.” Again, this is teaching that amounts to cultural schizophrenia (not to mention a subtle promotion of Marx’s doctrine of mass genocide against utopian resistors.)
What’s the connection between the mixed message of evolutionary natural selection versus human dignity, and the problem of school violence? Let’s look at the young man at the center of the Parkland, Florida tragedy. Here’s a boy whose violent, aggressive, anti-social behavior got him thrown out of 3 different high schools, we are told. In one way or another, at some time, he got the message, “You’re not right as a human being, you don’t fit in, and therefore, you’re not going to be good for anything on this earth to help the planet or anyone on it, in the future.” Imagine his internalizing this message and its impact on his overall psyche. Mix in bullying and taunting by peers with the purchase of guns put into his possession and what do we have? A troubled young man who finds himself marginalized and ostracized by the immediate culture around him that he knows, leaving him with the feeling that if his life isn’t worth anything, then maybe nobody else’s is either. That in no way justifies the horrific act of bloodshed he committed against 17 innocent persons in that high school on Valentine’s Day. But does it not, at some point, illustrate the results of teaching our youth contradictory concepts of humanity?
As for the issue of bullying, we can and should try to stop it in our schools and elsewhere to prevent such tragedies as school mass shootings from continuing. But even with bullying, is there not a certain measure of split-tongued hypocrisy in our cries against it? If we teach kids that survival of the fittest applies to all species including humans, is it not natural then for children who are strong, healthy, and who lack any physical or mental abnormalities to taunt, harass, and abuse those who do? If the laws of natural selection are at work here according to scientific evolution, is this not a logical way for humans to work with nature to progressively eliminate those from the race who would weaken the gene pool with physical or mental deformities, or religious beliefs that stand in the way of evolutionary progress leading to an idyllic, utopian existence? Dare I even suggest that those who won’t likely help the earth move into such an existence must by necessity die from illness, suicide, or genocide, to get them out of the way of such “progress”? In no way am I endorsing bullying here. But I can’t help raising questions about the logical consequences of teaching children the importance of treating all people with dignity and respect out of one corner of our collective, cultural mouths, and then teaching them out of the other that only those humans who will help move the planet into a perfect, harmonious existence deserve to be allowed to live on it.
To summarize, what I am asking here is: Are we willing to look at this problem of school violence and gun control through a lens other than just getting rid of weapons? The bombings in Austin, Texas remind us that guns aren’t the only weapons that can bring death and destruction at the hands of a young man. But perhaps if we began elevating the true value of human beings above that of dogs, cats, pigs, or cockroaches in the educating of our children, would we not find that the message they receive from us concerning what it means to be human will be singular and sane, not schizophrenic? Or is that asking too much of an elitist, sophisticated  and rationalistic culture that says it cannot tolerate any obstacles to the realization of the utopian dream? Might our children learn and live better if they’re told they’re “made a little lower than the angels” (Psalm 8:5), instead of being told they’re lower than pigs?

“Thankful for a Traffic Ticket”

As bizarre as this may sound, I’m thankful today for a speeding ticket I received earlier in the week. While travelling north on I-77 in southwestern Virginia between my home near Asheville, North Carolina, and my parents’ home in Pennsylvania, I was pulled over for driving 78 in a 65 m.p.h. zone. The officer who stopped me was a Lieutenant Lyons from the Carroll County Police Department. There’s no way he could have known that he was pulling over a boiling cauldron of rage behind the wheel of that Ranger.

I wasn’t angry at other motorists on the interstate. I was growing a bit impatient with some trucks that were bottle-necking traffic passing each other, which led partially to the speeding. But what was really making me drive mad was the trouble I was leaving behind at home. It was not the result of a conflict with my wife Julie, but over trouble caused by neighbors that has gone on for over a decade. I have been the target of a relentless campaign by members of the gay community around Asheville, and possibly elsewhere, to make me “come out” and declare myself as gay. I’ve had members of a local homosexual satanist cult approach me at different times giving me the not-so-subtle message in one way or another of: “We know you’re gay, and we’re going to make you come out and join us.” I’ve also had to live with people practicing witchcraft and sorcery living in the apartment below us, using it against me for the same purpose.

The apartment building Julie and I live in is a wooden frame, three-story, six-unit structure with wooden floors. That means we can hear all kinds of things, including neighbors’ conversations. Ours is the middle floor apartment, so the neighbors above us can make noise that can become irritating and keep us awake at night, and whoever is below us can likewise make plenty of noise that can be heard. After twelve and a half years in the place, Julie and I have certainly gotten used to noise. But within the last seven years, it’s a particular kind of noise that’s become the most disturbing for me.

I’ve learned to discern the sound of sorcery-training videos being played, detecting instructions given on how to cast a spell on someone to make them go queer. I’ve also learned to discern the sound of witches’ incantations, which can sound like someone either grunting their way through an exercise or straining to have a bowel movement. Does this sound all too wild and weird? Trust me, it isn’t, because this kind of training material in witchcraft is readily available. I know, because I’ve been the target of it.

I first became aware of this several years ago while I was finishing up the writing of a biblical historical novel on the life of the prophet Daniel. Julie would sit at our computer and proofread my chapters out loud, while our sorcery-practicing neighbor below us listened in on every word. In the course of the novel, I wrote of how the practices of the Canaanite people with their worship of fertility gods and goddesses included ritual homosexual prostitution, carried out in tents right in the outer courtyard of the temple in Jerusalem. My purpose for including this in the story was to show the multiple reasons why ancient Judah was invaded and conquered by the Babylonians in the early 6th century B.C., with Jerusalem and the temple destroyed in the process. This obviously set off alarm bells both with the neighbor below us and the one in the house next door to our building. I became the target not only of witchcraft, but of efforts to stop my writing.

Among the things that have happened to my computers in the course of writing two novels that are now completed, was the planting of a Trojan horse that prevented me from writing the word “homosexual” in anything I was trying to write. I had to get a rather expensive cleaning done along with the repair of my software to make it usable. I ended up being fooled into buying a bogus software protection package for my laptop that gradually began eating up and destroying my word processing program while I was writing my second novel. Again, another expensive repair and cleaning. But I did manage to complete my second novel by keeping the laptop offline most of the time. Otherwise, I found the computer at home constantly monitored to see what I was doing on it. Whoever gave the tools to the neighbors in the building to watch all of my computer usage either had to be some criminal element, or a federal agency. I more strongly suspect the latter, because I could get no help from law enforcement people to track down who was doing what to my computers.

So why am I confronted with this all-out attack against my name, character, marriage, and work? 1) These people do not want me saying, writing, or thinking anything against homosexuality or the gay lifestyle, and 2) they are still convinced I am a closet queer who “needs to come out.” There’s one big problem with their thinking. Granted, I look lie the stereotypical gay man, with thin, bony arms; narrow, rounded shoulders, and a waistline that’s a little too thick. But I can say unequivocally, with God as my witness, that I have never felt any physical, sexual attraction toward men, and I have always liked women as far back as I can remember. I was a shy, bashful, awkward teenager when it came to being around girls, and that insecurity carried into adulthood. But I never had any desire whatsoever to engage in sexual behavior with other men, and recoiled from it when approached by gay men for it.

Obviously, these enemies of mine, many of whom are Marxists as well as devil-worshipers and gay rights activists, do not accept these facts about me because they don’t want to. I’ve said out loud in the hearing of some that I would have to be killed before I would go live the gay lifestyle, and I still stand on that. I very well could lose my life at the hands of gay rights activists and/or their sympathizers, but if that happens, it will only happen because God permits it, and will only serve to prove what they are, not what I am.

This brings me back to my traffic stop and speeding ticket. When Lieutenant Lyons pulled me off to the side of the interstate, I felt an initial flush of embarrassment as anyone would, especially since it was my first speeding violation in my many years of driving. But as the lieutenant took my license and registration to write out my ticket, I felt a strange calm come over me. It was as if God’s Spirit was speaking to me saying, “It’s time to cool down, Brian, and give your anger over to me. You’re driving dangerously and you need to settle down and quit letting this bitterness and rage you’re carrying eat you up.”

I left our apartment that morning feeling the affects of sleep deprivation from the previous couple of nights. The neighbors below and above us seemed to be determined to rob me of as much sleep as possible, especially after hearing I was leaving to go back up to Pennsylvania. Between witch’s incantations directed at me from below, and the little girl above us following the instructions of the couple camping out in the apartment below us to do various noisy things to try to set me on edge, I was seething that morning as I headed north.

What was galling me the most was the fact that everything these people are throwing at me is intended to give me one message: “You’re gay, and you need to leave your wife and come out.” The taunting and harassment, I’ve concluded, are intended ┬áto either make me blow up in a rage so I can be arrested and sent off either to jail or to a state mental hospital to be “deprogrammed of my Christian beliefs” and persuaded that I’m gay and need to go live with queers, or to break me down mentally to where I finally give in, tell Julie to divorce me, and go live in the gay community. One way or another, the primary goal is to silence me and stop me from dissenting against homosexuality any more.

My anger over this cruel and demonic effort to destroy my marriage and turn me into something I am not burned within me even as I sped up over the mountain just inside the Virginia border. The pressure to turn my back on Julie, a woman who gave up everything familiar to her twenty-one and a half years ago to follow me six hundred miles to Pennsylvania was eating at me. So did the thought of the six fruitless years we spent in Michigan where I tried to establish a different career. Then came a year living in parents’ homes where we were both unemployed most of the time. Then finally, it was on to North Carolina where Julie has patiently supported me through a lengthy and expensive process of building a career as a freelance writer and novelist, to give me the opportunity to do what I do best. It’s where I walked with her through the valley of breast cancer. And it’s where she has faithfully toughed it out alone for a good part of the past three years while I’ve shuttled back and forth between her and my parents’ home, partly to care for them, and partly to get away from the evil down there to let God deal with it. My rage and bitterness made me lean on my gas pedal harder, until the Carroll County Police car came up behind me with its lights flashing.

Other than Jesus Himself, Lieutenant Lyons became the best friend I could have had out there on I-77. Even as he wrote up my ticket, God’s Spirit was telling me, “Relax and rest in me, Brian. While you’ll have to pay a speeding fine, I will make your enemies pay for the evil they’ve done to you.” Thanks to the traffic stop, I was reminded that “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20, NKJV). I could leave my enemies in God’s hands that day and concentrate on driving safely the rest of the day to my parents’ home that night. So, out of gratitude to Lieutenant Lyons for being God’s intervention in a difficult and dark hour of my life, I will gladly pay the speeding fine to Carroll County, Virginia.