About a week ago, another mass shooting occurred, this time in Florida. Before I begin, I want to express my sorrow and sympathy that lies with not only the victims but with their friends and families as well. Tragedy, heartbreak, and sadness gripped the nation and still does. Various solutions were proposed; gun control, mental health reform, and so on. There was one proposal, however, that grinds my gears still; "let God back into schools."
The argument is simple; since the Supreme Court decisions regarding prayer, God, and the Ten Commandments, we have (supposedly) observed increases in crime, violence, so on and so forth. This is oftentimes interpreted as God being "angry" with us, and can only be corrected by introducing God and mandatory prayer into schools, thus improving society. While this may seem like quite the "easy" argument, it is one easily discredited.
For one, crime has been trending downwards for the past two decades. FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics data shows sharp declines in crime. Crime spikes can easily be attributed to other factors, as well, such as the drug trade of the '80s and so on. What would introducing God into the classroom do to that? Nothing. Furthermore, America has become far more secular. Does that correlation mean that removing God from the classroom HAS worked? No.
The most deadly massacre of school children occurred in 1927, the Bath school bombings, and God was considered part of school then. This isn't even a purely American phenomenon; multiple societies that are far less religious than ours have also seen a decrease in crime over the past two decades. Is that the product of God being removed from schools? It works both ways, and it's a bad argument.
Second, which God? Oftentimes, this is coupled with the idea of the Ten Commandments and "school prayer." But oftentimes, this is promoting one God; the Christian God. I'm Catholic, but there are other students of other religions at my school, and have been throughout the years. Jewish students, Muslims, Hindu, even a few Buddhist students.
What would introducing a God do to the other students besides alienate them? Oftentimes, this is "refuted" by saying we should introduce all the religions into the classroom, but that's not introducing GOD, that's introducing religion. Furthermore, what will that do to the situation? Pretty sure God wouldn't be content with being compared to other deities. Speaking of God...
This contradicts literally every Christian tradition of God out there. This confines God to a box, or makes him seem petty, vengeful, and indifferent. Is that not a contradiction of what we are taught? That God is limitless? Why would removing him from school cause this to happen? It implies that God has abandoned us or is punishing us for this, and that should offend every Christian out there. God that is NOT omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent? Sounds like it isn't any sort of Christian God.
At the end of the day, the calls will cease. This has been ruled unconstitutional time and time again, and that set the precedent for the future. However, people still call for this change. It's a bad one. It hasn't changed anything. Putting God in a box should irritate any Christian, and anyone who is a proponent of religious liberty should be irked by these proposals, as it oftentimes is nothing except a masquerade for introducing Christianity into schools under the guise of the vague "God." Best way to affect change is to change legislation. Let's do that.