Eric Harris Columbine Distraught-Girl Dylan Klebold
Eric Harris, Columbine High School April 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold

Columbine School Shooting

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A History of Religion in American Schools

Why did students kill other students?  

The Columbine School shootings shocked America, and people have searched for reasons why this happened.  Some have blamed the NRA and the right to own guns.  Some in the media have demonized the 2 boys, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as Nazi crazed killers, as they planned their attack on the anniversary of Hitlers death.   It is obvious they were troubled teens and seen as outcast in the Columbine H.S.  They were often taunted and jeered by other students as weirdos.  Their reaction to this name calling was anger and resentment.  Eric Harris wrote this e-mail before the shootings.

"Your children who have ridiculed me, who have chosen not to accept me, who have treated me like I'm not worth their time are dead.  Surely you will try to blame it on the clothes I wear, the music I listen to or the way I have chosen to present myself.  But no, do not hid behind my choices.  You need to face the fact that this comes as a result of your choices.  Parents, teachers, you fouled up!  You taught these kids to think and act like those that came before them, to not accept what is different.  You are in the wrong!  I may have taken their lives on my own, but it was your doing.  Teachers, parents, let this massacre be on your shoulders until the day you die."  

 A friend of Eric and Dylan who was also taunted said, that what they did was wrong, but I knew the knot in my stomach when I got to school to be verbally assaulted, jeered, and shoved into the locker.  I avoided certain halls and would detour outside the building to avoid confrontations.   I believe that all people when pushed too far will choose a course of action to counteract abuse.  I believe that Eric and Dylan felt that there was no one to turn to for help, and decided the way to even the score was with guns and bombs, which ended in a great tragedy.  

Is this another result of removing God from our classrooms?  

 When our country was founded, the Bible was taught in our schools.  Listen to what some of the founding fathers had to say about teaching the Bible and morals to children.2  Benjamin Rush said, "Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind."  Gouverneur Morris said, "I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God."  Noah Webster said, "The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. . . All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."  Robert Winthrop said, "Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet."  

I ask the following question:  If Christian moral values where taught at Columbine, would not the students have learned, the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  They would have learned about the Ten Commandments It is wrong to kill another person.  It is wrong to lie.  Honor your father and mother.  Would not that have been a positive influence on these students?  Praying before class to ask God to bless and protect the teachers and children acts to make children more respectful of each other.  Would not the students have been more inclined to treat each other in a more civil manor with more respect?  If Eric and Dylan had not been mistreated they would most likely not have committed murder.  If Eric and Dylan had been treated with kindness and friendship as the Golden Rule commands, then we probably would not have had a "Columbine."  Eric and Dylan would have also known that it is wrong to kill, and that true Christians would want to help them, not torment them.  

I believe that our founding fathers were right in teaching their children moral values from the Bible.  I believe that it is time for the government restore the First Amendment right of free speech, (including prayer, including reading from the Bible, including the right to study and learn from the Bible) and the Freedom of Religion.  I believe that the blood of those children killed at Columbine is on those Supreme Court Justices who in 1962 who turned the First Amendment upside down.  Those same Supreme Court Justices are now facing a much higher Court, but it is up to us, "We the People" of this generation to correct their past mistakes.   


Last Update Jan. 2009  

1.  "The Wounded Spirit", by Frank Peretti  

2.  Founding Fathers quotes from David Barton's books and videos.