Archive for the ‘Virginia Tech’ Category

UAB Remembers Virginia Tech

April 24, 2007

This worker is painting the trim on Broken Vessel church, undergoing restoration in the South Highlands neighborhood of Bessemer. They expect to be using the church within a few weeks.

There is beautiful and there is ugly, and sometimes the two are linked.

Last night a candlelight vigil was held at UAB Commons to remember the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. Several hundred students and staff were present, as several people spoke, including Dr. Carol Garrison, the president of UAB and Dr. Jeff Graveline, the president of the Virginia Tech Alumni Club of Greater Birmingham. Most moving were the remarks by Melissa who spoke of her friend Ryan Clark, a triple major, 4.0 student who she had known for eight years since they served together as counselors at a camp. She said media reports said Ryan died a hero coming to the aid of another student in the dorm where he was resident assistant, but she tearfully said that he was a hero long before that. She had worked her way up to assistant director and Ryan had become music director, and he was always a favorite of the campers. They became close friends even away from camp and her description of his concerns for others and the way he encouraged and helped friends who were troubled were an inspiration. She said the world was already a darker place without his light shining, yet through her words his light shines on.

Then there is the ugly.

The American Family Association has released a DVD that begins with a letter being read. “Dear God,” the letter begins, “Why didn’t you save the students at…” and then a long list of cities where school shootings have occurred is read, ending with Blacksburg, Virginia. “Signed, Concerned Student.”

Dear Concerned Student” the voice over continues. “I am not allowed in schools. Sincerely, God.”

The narrator then goes on to describe how this came about, blaming Madeline Murray O’Hare for removing God from schools, Dr. Spock for the lack of discipline our kids recieve, the removal of corporal punishment in schools, internet child predators and the legalization of abortion, among other things. The dialogue ends with “You reap what you sow.”
Finally, the truth.

When you sow gun laws that allow the sale of automatic and semi-automatic weapons, you reap murder. When you sow ignoring requirements that certain mental health patients can not purchase guns, you reap mass murder. When you skirt federal law requiring reporting of patients who have been determined to be danger so that they will be flagged during the laughable instant background checks and prevented from buying guns, as the state of Virginia did, you get Blacksburg, VA. When you sow arming the general public, including students in classrooms, as some have proposed, you get disaster.

Let me remind you of something. Last year a man shot and killed five girls at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, PA, a location curiously left off the AFA list of “Godless schools”. If God was ever present in schools, the Amish schools for sure would be filled with his presence. The Amish practice discipline in the manner the AFA suggests, and I assume the Amish do not support abortion. So God being in the schools, and disciplining children does not protect the students.

How can people who claim to be Christians overlook the facts and distort the truth to promote such views? Why don’t they focus on fixing the mental health system? Why don’t they work to promote responsible gun ownership and laws that protect the public? This is no different than Jerry Falwell blaming 9-11 on homosexuals. In my view, they lose all credibility and are more likely to drive people away from Christianity rather than attract people to it. Of course, people need to be driven from this radical Christianity, which really isn’t that much different from radical Islam, but that is a different subject for a different day.

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>UAB Remembers Virginia Tech

April 24, 2007

>

This worker is painting the trim on Broken Vessel church, undergoing restoration in the South Highlands neighborhood of Bessemer. They expect to be using the church within a few weeks.

There is beautiful and there is ugly, and sometimes the two are linked.

Last night a candlelight vigil was held at UAB Commons to remember the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. Several hundred students and staff were present, as several people spoke, including Dr. Carol Garrison, the president of UAB and Dr. Jeff Graveline, the president of the Virginia Tech Alumni Club of Greater Birmingham. Most moving were the remarks by Melissa who spoke of her friend Ryan Clark, a triple major, 4.0 student who she had known for eight years since they served together as counselors at a camp. She said media reports said Ryan died a hero coming to the aid of another student in the dorm where he was resident assistant, but she tearfully said that he was a hero long before that. She had worked her way up to assistant director and Ryan had become music director, and he was always a favorite of the campers. They became close friends even away from camp and her description of his concerns for others and the way he encouraged and helped friends who were troubled were an inspiration. She said the world was already a darker place without his light shining, yet through her words his light shines on.

Then there is the ugly.

The American Family Association has released a DVD that begins with a letter being read. “Dear God,” the letter begins, “Why didn’t you save the students at…” and then a long list of cities where school shootings have occurred is read, ending with Blacksburg, Virginia. “Signed, Concerned Student.”

Dear Concerned Student” the voice over continues. “I am not allowed in schools. Sincerely, God.”

The narrator then goes on to describe how this came about, blaming Madeline Murray O’Hare for removing God from schools, Dr. Spock for the lack of discipline our kids recieve, the removal of corporal punishment in schools, internet child predators and the legalization of abortion, among other things. The dialogue ends with “You reap what you sow.”
Finally, the truth.

When you sow gun laws that allow the sale of automatic and semi-automatic weapons, you reap murder. When you sow ignoring requirements that certain mental health patients can not purchase guns, you reap mass murder. When you skirt federal law requiring reporting of patients who have been determined to be danger so that they will be flagged during the laughable instant background checks and prevented from buying guns, as the state of Virginia did, you get Blacksburg, VA. When you sow arming the general public, including students in classrooms, as some have proposed, you get disaster.

Let me remind you of something. Last year a man shot and killed five girls at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, PA, a location curiously left off the AFA list of “Godless schools”. If God was ever present in schools, the Amish schools for sure would be filled with his presence. The Amish practice discipline in the manner the AFA suggests, and I assume the Amish do not support abortion. So God being in the schools, and disciplining children does not protect the students.

How can people who claim to be Christians overlook the facts and distort the truth to promote such views? Why don’t they focus on fixing the mental health system? Why don’t they work to promote responsible gun ownership and laws that protect the public? This is no different than Jerry Falwell blaming 9-11 on homosexuals. In my view, they lose all credibility and are more likely to drive people away from Christianity rather than attract people to it. Of course, people need to be driven from this radical Christianity, which really isn’t that much different from radical Islam, but that is a different subject for a different day.

Violence in America

April 17, 2007

The killings at Virginia Tech yesterday bring up the subject of violence in our country once again. Here’s my take: more guns, more violence.

A guest on the Glenn Beck show on Headline News last night (the only news I could pick up in my car other than Fox) said part of the problem was that the American public is not armed. Not one of those people in that class room was armed, and had they been, they could have stopped the killer was the message.

Yeah right, let’s arm all the college kids along with the rest of the general public. That would solve the problem. In my class last night my study group was scheduled to give a presentation part of which involved violence and injury on college campuses, and the question was raised “Do you feel safe on campus here.” Not many hands went up. Do you think more people would have responded positively if they knew their classmates were packing heat?

The guest on Glenn Beck must feel good about New Orleans. This from the Associated Press recently:

People across New Orleans are arming themselves — not only against the possibility of another storm bringing anarchy, but against the violence that has engulfed the metropolitan area in the 19 months since Katrina, making New Orleans the nation’s murder capital.
The number of permits issued to carry concealed weapons is running twice as high as it was before Katrina — this, in a city with only about half its pre-storm population of around 450,000. Attendance at firearms classes and hours logged at shooting ranges also are up, according to the gun industry.


Our nation is becoming more violent, in part because that is what we see from our President. As much as the public has come to distrust him, still we see that our government thinks the only solution to a major problem is violence. And if violence isn’t working, amp up the violence. We may not like what we hear, but it fills our heads and if we aren’t careful, we begin to believe what our government is teaching us: violence is the answer. Four years ago, rather than put all their effort in to seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis (well it wasn’t even a crisis before we got involved) in Iraq, our leaders ramped up the war machine. Bush is now looking for a “War Czar” without realizing (or admitting) that he already holds that position.


But why not a “Peace Czar?” Rather than promoting war, why not promote peace? Let’s get out of Iraq, and then let’s start talking about peace. Let’s frame the issues with Peace as the main heading, not conflict and see how the attitudes and actions of the American public change. It’s worth a try.

>Violence in America

April 17, 2007

>The killings at Virginia Tech yesterday bring up the subject of violence in our country once again. Here’s my take: more guns, more violence.

A guest on the Glenn Beck show on Headline News last night (the only news I could pick up in my car other than Fox) said part of the problem was that the American public is not armed. Not one of those people in that class room was armed, and had they been, they could have stopped the killer was the message.

Yeah right, let’s arm all the college kids along with the rest of the general public. That would solve the problem. In my class last night my study group was scheduled to give a presentation part of which involved violence and injury on college campuses, and the question was raised “Do you feel safe on campus here.” Not many hands went up. Do you think more people would have responded positively if they knew their classmates were packing heat?

The guest on Glenn Beck must feel good about New Orleans. This from the Associated Press recently:

People across New Orleans are arming themselves — not only against the possibility of another storm bringing anarchy, but against the violence that has engulfed the metropolitan area in the 19 months since Katrina, making New Orleans the nation’s murder capital.
The number of permits issued to carry concealed weapons is running twice as high as it was before Katrina — this, in a city with only about half its pre-storm population of around 450,000. Attendance at firearms classes and hours logged at shooting ranges also are up, according to the gun industry.


Our nation is becoming more violent, in part because that is what we see from our President. As much as the public has come to distrust him, still we see that our government thinks the only solution to a major problem is violence. And if violence isn’t working, amp up the violence. We may not like what we hear, but it fills our heads and if we aren’t careful, we begin to believe what our government is teaching us: violence is the answer. Four years ago, rather than put all their effort in to seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis (well it wasn’t even a crisis before we got involved) in Iraq, our leaders ramped up the war machine. Bush is now looking for a “War Czar” without realizing (or admitting) that he already holds that position.


But why not a “Peace Czar?” Rather than promoting war, why not promote peace? Let’s get out of Iraq, and then let’s start talking about peace. Let’s frame the issues with Peace as the main heading, not conflict and see how the attitudes and actions of the American public change. It’s worth a try.