Sunday, December 16, 2012

creator or creativity?

"God help me"... the teacher's prayer. Do you think there has ever been a teacher who when standing at the front of class with too many students and too few resources, hasn't asked for help from God?
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) weighed in on the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, saying the crime was no surprise because we have "systematically removed God" from public schools.
"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"
Despite what Huckabee thinks, God has not been removed from our nation's schools. Ask nearly any teacher, and they will tell you that they pray. They take their cares and concerns for their children seriously. Teachers are immersed in situations each day that are often beyond their own capacities and they enlist whatever higher power they are able to connect with. It's called prayer and it happens in schools. I might add that the current state of prayer in American schools is consistent with the New Testament which tells that prayer should be quiet, within oneself, and not be performed as a public spectacle. The following is from Matthew:
6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
And so Huckabee should have kept his mouth shut. What has been removed from too many schools is not God the creator, but creativity, displaced by standardized testing. When Huckabee, a Baptist Minister, had been governor of Arkansas, he had been a proponent of the arts in school. He acknowledged that he had only stayed in school because of his love of music. It wasn't God that saved Huckabee in his education, but the guitar.

Children, much more than needing someone preaching at them and haranguing them with prayer, the Bible, and Ten Commandments need to participate in creative acts, thus becoming acquainted with their own creative rather than destructive inclinations.

At the heart of this matter is how making makes one feel about oneself. Those with the power to create have a stronger connection with others, a stronger sense of history and purpose, within their communities. To be a creator is to identify with the creator and to have a sense of one's purpose within the vast scheme of things.

And in the meantime from Nickolas Kristof:
Children ages 5 to 14 in America are 13 times as likely to be murdered with guns as children in other industrialized countries... So let’s treat firearms rationally as the center of a public health crisis that claims one life every 20 minutes. The United States realistically isn’t going to ban guns, but we can take steps to reduce the carnage. ... The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has five pages of regulations about ladders, while federal authorities shrug at serious curbs on firearms. Ladders kill around 300 Americans a year, and guns 30,000.
My article about Wisdom of the Hands in British Woodworking can be found here...

Make, fix and create...


  1. Adam Raisch6:52 PM

    Our four fathers, who possessed the intelligence to create such a great nation, the longest standing of it's kind, saw the right to bear arms as the fifth most important right of all rights. It was only proceeded by life, liberty, the persuite of happiness, and the freedom of speech. After all, the freedoms that we are suppose to appreciate in this country came only by the rising up of individual men bearing arms, GUNS, for such a cause.

    I find it curious how one thinks that the abolition of such a right, which allows individuals the ability to protect loved ones and themselves against the selfish and sinful acts of those seeking to disregard the sanctity of human existence and GOD given rights would, in any way, be an answer to such evil.

    Outlawing guns will not keep those bent on harming others from their goals any more than outlawing drugs keeps people from embibing. Lest we forget the lawlessness and mass murdering that prohibition led to in this country.

    The tough question that should be asked does not relate to gun control but, the human condition. All humanity is selfish. The extent to which that selfishness reveals itself has become more prominent because, as a society, we have abandoned the teaching of personal responsibility, we have forsaken discipline and accountability, and we are more worried about hurting people's feelings or being insensitive than speaking the truth. That is what happens when we run from the logical idea of intelligent creation and drive God from our society.

    What you're missing is not the praying to God rather, the teaching of God. And not the God who we want but, the God that is.

  2. Adam,
    Please read my post again and see if I said anything at all about abolishing gun rights. I did not.

    Those who only see things in black and white often miss what folks actually say.

    There was an incident of school violence in China last week in which 22 folks including children were stabbed. All lived. So yes, even without guns there can be ways folks can hurt others. But 20 children murdered dead should make you stop and think. What if the maniac in Newtown had been armed with a knife?

    There is no evidence or logic when it comes to "intelligent creation." There is some significant evidence of evolution, though it does not preclude the notion of an intelligent force in the universe far greater than our own. And so, no doubt in my saying that, you will imagine all kinds of other godless things I'm saying, and on nearly all counts you would again be mistaken.

  3. Also, Adam, the right to bear arms is conditional. Try getting on the plane with your 22 popper and see what happens next. Or try to visit your granny in the federal prison and see if they let you carry your deer rifle with you, even if you are on your way to the happy hunting grounds.

    And so folks associated with the NRA and other far right cults equate even the smallest restriction on their gun rights as a violation of the constitution.

    I'm not sure how you can explain your position to the parents of the dead children in Newtown, or what you can come up with to stop gun violence in America.

    If you can't do those simple things, then perhaps you should learn to keep mum, like the 31 pro gun NRA sponsored Senators who refused to be interviewed on the Sunday programs. They cannot explain their positions in light of such an awful tragedy.