The innocents of Sandy Hook have not yet been laid to rest, yet snipes of the blame game sound like a barrage in the background. Facebook posts with God supposedly reminding us, often on t-shirts, “I’m not allowed in schools” abound. Mike Huckabee has gone so far as to proclaim that we have “systematically removed God from our schools.”1
God is with us. That’s not something that any outside source can forbid or allow. God cannot be legislated out of schools. Whether we’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim or other, God, Yahweh, Allah, the Divine is with us, always. God was with Principal Dawn Hochsprung, as her only hesitation was to warn others before she confronted the gunman.2 God was with the teachers. From where did they draw their strength to do whatever was needed to protect, calm, and love their young charges?
Are we who yearn for greater religious expression in schools really prepared to teach our children that because they were in school, the staff and children of Sandy Hook faced evil without God’s strength and comfort?
Maybe God teaches lessons whether regardless of what is “allowed.”
Does the heroism exhibited inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School not evoke a semblance of “Love your neighbor as yourself?
I don’t understand why such violence happened. I don’t understand why God allowed it, or didn’t intervene more. I’m not sure how we prevent further violence. I do know, however, that God was there and will be with us as we comfort the grieving and try to make this horrible loss of life matter.
1Nick Wing, “Mike Huckabee Explains Bizarre Claim That God’s Absence From Sandy Hook Led To Massacre,” Huffington Post, last modified 2/17/2012 10:35 am EST, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/mike-huckabee-sandy-hook_n_2315340.html.
2Brad Knickerbocher, “Sandy Hook shooting: Stories of heroism, ways to help (+video),”Christian Science Monitor, last modified December 15, 2012, http://www.csmonitor.com/About/Staff/Brad-Knickerbocker.