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Guest Commentary / June 23, 2022

The Role of Religion in Curbing Violence in Our Society

You’re not going to get people to escape sin without bringing God into the picture.

By Larry Craig

Recently, faith leaders throughout Chicagoland banded together to try to stem the flow of bloodshed in Chicago. God knows we need to.

I must admit I am a bit disappointed in the particulars of their plan. They offered nothing that anyone or any group that was not a part of any faith would offer. In other words, nothing of their faith itself was offered as a part of any solution to the problem of violence and killings in Chicago.

I went to school to become a faith leader myself. It didn’t work out as a career, but I never stopped reading, studying, teaching, and writing on all things relating to faith.

I suspect that maybe because these faith leaders are so focused on inclusion and ecumenicity, they are not giving enough thought and credence to their own faith.

The central idea of Christianity is that God became human so that we can have a personal relationship with Him. Christianity is not simply a number of propositions to be believed but an experience of God in one’s life such that it bears the fruit of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.

Now THAT is the answer to stopping the hatred and shootings and killings. It’s only God that can take out the anger and selfishness and rage and frustration and envy and hatred that precipitates all this violence.

Christianity also teaches that human beings are created in the image of God and are of immeasurable worth, and we must love them as ourselves.

It was not the intent of the First Amendment to keep God out of our public life and policies. Read the early writings. Congress was forbidden from choosing a Christian denomination that would become a part of our government, like in England, where the Queen of England is the head of the Anglican Church.

John Adams, our second president, said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

Removing religion out of our public schools and our public life and policies removes the incentives for people to find a new life free. You’re not going to get people to escape from all those negative feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and plans that end up in violence without bringing God into the picture.

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