With the recent swell of violence in Macon Georgia, people are asking the question, “Why is all this happening?” When entering Macon’s downtown many people now feel insecure and vulnerable. Some are even choosing to leave Macon, letting someone else deal with the problems. This doesn’t solve the problems though; it succeeds only in prolonging the pain and heartache. The problems are immense, but the reasons are few. The violence between gangs, the rapes, the drugs, and the murders, all of these can be changed with one simple thing; Love.
Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that violent crimes have increased by 439%, while non-violent crimes also increased by 418% nationwide since 1962 when compared to crime rates for today (Bureau of the Census 140). But crime rates stood constant in years previous to 1962. Something happened in this one year that changed America.
In 1962 a lawsuit was brought before the Supreme Court stating that prayer was a violation of separation of church and state. After the Board of Regents in New York approved a short prayer to be said before school voluntarily the Engel family was outraged. Seeing this action as attacking their freedom of religion, the Engel family filed a lawsuit. The Supreme Court decided that a set time in schools for prayer, any prayer, was unconstitutional.
Schools around the nation were required to stop all scheduled prayers. Teachers were to no longer acknowledge any god without first being asked by a student. No prayer could be said allowed unless said by a student. All acknowledging of God was stopped. The separation of church and state became complete.
But this separation went further than that. It cut deeply into the character of the students. Students were no longer taught that they were ultimately responsible to God for everything they said or did. Cheating began to rise as SAT scores dropped. All thought of anyone other than themselves vanished leading the way to a sharp increase in violence. The respect of another’s property disappeared.
So now Macon stands in the middle; declining SAT scores on one side, increasing violence on the other. Prayer is not some magic pill that you take and everything fixes itself. No prayer is only part of the answer. It is powerful, but action is even more so.
NewsCentral, a local news station, ran a story shortly following the outbreak of violence in Macon. According to the story churches are beginning to pick up the slack of non-religious organizations (NewsCentral).
Heritage of Houston Church’s Macon Men Volunteer has started a recreational program to keep teens off the streets. Organizers are hoping that basketball and other sports will cause teens to want to steer clear of a violent lifestyle (NewsCentral). While not all churches are taking action to show God’s love, some are.
But prayer has nothing to do with love, right? Wrong. Love, however small, has a part in driving you to pray. After the news of a plane crashing into the...