God's answer

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dear God, Why didn't you save the school children at Moses Lake, Wash. (Feb. 2, 1996), Bethel, Alaska (Feb. 19, 1997), Pearl, Miss. (Oct. 1, 1997), West Paducah, Ky. (Dec. 1, 1997), Stamps, Ark. (Dec. 15, 1997), Jonesboro, Ark. (March 24, 1998), Edinboro, Penn. (April 24, 1998), Fayetteville, Tenn. (May 19, 1998), Springfield, Ore. (May 21, 1998), Richmond, Va. (June 15, 1998), Littleton, Colo. (April 20, 1999), Taber, Alberta, Canada (April 28, 1999), Conyers, Ga., (May 20, 1999), Deming, N.M. (Nov. 19, 1999), Fort Gibson, Okla. (Dec. 6, 1999), Santee, Calif. (March 5, 2001), El Cajon, Calif. (March 22, 2001)? Sincerely, Concerned Student.

Reply: Dear Concerned Student: I am not allowed in schools. Sincerely, God.

How did this get started?

Let's see. I think it started when Madeline Murray O'Hair complained she didn't want any prayer in our schools. And we said OK.

Then, someone said you better not read the Bible in school, the Bible that says "thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love you neighbors as yourself," And we said OK.

Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehaved because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem. And we said an expert should know what he's talking about so we won't spank them anymore.

Then someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And the school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when he misbehaves, because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued. And we accepted their reasoning.

Then someone said let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won't even have to tell their parents. And we said that's a grand idea.

Then some wise school board member said since boys will be boys and they're going to do it anyway, let's give our sons all the condoms they want so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents they got them at school. And we said that's another great idea.

Then some of our top elected officials said it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And we said it doesn't matter what anybody, including the president, does in private as long as we have jobs and the economy is good.

And someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children and then stepped further still by making them available on the Internet. And we said everyone's entitled to free speech.

And the entertainment industry said let's make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence and illicit sex. And let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide and satanic themes. And we said it's just entertainment and it has no adverse effect and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, classmates or even themselves.

Undoubtedly, if we thought about it long and hard enough, we could figure it out. I'm sure it has a great deal to do with "We reap what we sow."

Southeast Missouri State University president Kenneth W. Dobbins is often in Jefferson City rubbing elbows with state legislators. But it was on his home campus that he earned the title of honorary senator, a title bestowed by Student Government for only the second time in its history.

"He has done a lot for us," said Rachel Padgett, former vice president of Student Government. "He really listens to students and takes all things into consideration. He is very approachable and willing to work with us to make this a better university."

"The executives were very impressed with the work he has done," stated Adam Hanna, former Student Government president and a senior from Sparta, Ill.

Talks to name Dobbins an honorary senator continued in earnest with the Executive Council throughout the spring, and in late April Student Government met in closed session to make the idea a reality. The resolution was unanimously approved, Hanna said.

Dobbins was presented with the honor April 30 at an annual banquet for Student Government, the All-University Judicial Board and the Student activities Council. "This recognizes his commitment to Student Government and involving us in decision-making," Hanna said, noting that Dobbins has supported Student Government on a number of issues, including naming of the new mascot, building of the Student Aquatic Center, initiation of the WINGS Shuttle and the launch of the Student Entrepreneurship Program.

Padgett, a junior social student major from Belleville, Ill., who will serve as a Student Government senator next year, said Dobbins "has a real openness with students."

Upon receiving the award, Dobbins told students attending the banquet this was one of the best awards he had received.

Felix Kinsley of Cape Girardeau was the first to be named an honorary Student Government senator in April 2000, Hanna said.

-- Southeast Missouri State University News Service

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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