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The violation of conscience is not a denominational issue. The issue here is not who gets baptized or when or how, or who may take communion. The problem is violation of the human conscience which God has given to each of us, something that we are born with, no matter what our ancestry…

My hometown of Swampscott, Massachusetts now features a transgender principal in my old elementary school, the Stanley School. (Who knows what will happen by the time this is published.) I can imagine the reaction of parents who would want to pull their children out of this situation or call for termination. Children are now going to have to deny their God-given consciences that tell them that male and female are traits that you are born with, and not choices like chocolate vs. vanilla or Coke vs. Pepsi.

As another example of how bad things have gotten, St. John of God Catholic Church in Somerset, Massachusetts, had a mass on March 4. Students who will be confirmed in a month attended the mass, but did not recite the Nicene Creed, joked with each other during the Eucharistic prayer, and did not recite the Lord’s prayer. The reaction to a Catholic attendee who spoke to one of the confirmation teachers was that the attendee should not judge [these teenagers], lest he be judged.

We wonder where school shootings come from. We blame guns, but guns have been part of the American landscape ever since Europeans came here. We blame the National Rifle Association (NRA), but mass shooters are not known to be NRA members. The NRA advocates gun safety, so blaming the NRA for mass shootings would be like blaming the American Automobile Association (AAA) for automobile fatalities. We could buck the NRA a bit and treat gun use and ownership the way we treat driver licenses. A certain age is required, along with a “written test” (computerized these days), a vision test, a driving test, proof of identity, and proof of residency. But guns can also be stolen and misused just as cars get stolen, and people drive crazily sometimes whether they own the car or have stolen it, so will this probably will not keep mass shootings down.

We blame the president for mass shootings, something we have not done under previous administrations. We blame video games, we blame television and the movies, which all might help desensitize us to killing. But we saw movies in the fifty-cent Saturday matinee days over fifty years ago which had their share of violence and even blood, and they did not turn us into killers.

We blame psychoactive drugs, which could certainly be a factor. The problem is that when a man brings his wife and child to see a doctor, and the receptionist cannot release information to the man in the waiting room because nobody filled out a permission form, a result of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) rules, we have to wonder if the reports of shooters being on medications is based on reality or is simply fake news.

We blame families, and there are more broken families today than in previous generations. Josh McDowell mentioned that the Columbine shooters came from families with good family structures, but poor relationships within those structures. We blame lack of prayer in school, and this might have been the beginning of the slippery slope. Mandatory prayer was removed from public school long before mass shootings, but students have been led into agnostic or even atheistic viewpoints more and more since then. Religion can rarely be discussed in public school now, so schoolchildren have no real God-given moral code presented during the school day unless they go to private religious schools. Those who kill time and time again can become desensitized to the bloodshed. Jewish priests who killed animals for sacrifice rotated in their duties.[1] The children of Israel who killed the Midianites needed to remain outside the camp before being allowed back with their families.[2] The Nazi killing squads known as the Einsatzgruppen were psychologically burdened by shooting.

Do we ever blame the dulling of the conscience that results when we go against our God-given instincts? The Nazis were pagans, and the Communists were and are atheists. Where is the body count the highest? In church history, with the Inquisition or the sometimes-defended Crusades? Or with philosophies, political convictions, and even modern liberal (progressive) religious views based on denying that which God has put into all of us?

Take a look at gang rape in the Bible. The best-known story is that of Sodom and Gomorrah found in Genesis 19, but less known is the civil war which resulted from the rape and death of a woman in Judges 19 following the attempted rape of a man. People may talk about choice, about love, about not hating. But the acceptance of “loving relationships” eventually leads to scenes where there is no longer any choice, where angry Sodomite gangs show no more love to their victims than the wolves do to their prey. 1 Corinthians 8 forbids us to eat food in front of someone whose conscience could be wounded. We wound consciences when we force people to accept beliefs and behavior which violate their God-given consciences, which tell them that male is male and female is female. Such violations dull the conscience to where the command “thou shalt not kill” (“thou shalt not murder” is a better translation) no longer has the force of conscience that it used to. Could this be part of the reason why school shootings have gone from a person shot due to a personal dispute or even gang violence to teenagers looking for the highest body count possible?

A perversion of western culture has infiltrated our schools, our businesses, even some of our churches. The media and the Hollywood elite promote a culture so liberal, so non-western, so hypocritical at times. People with tens or hundreds of millions of dollars complain about income inequality; you cannot make this up! As the culture of the west deteriorates, the human conscience is dulled. Religions preach against murder and nations outlaw it, but the person trained to ignore his conscience no longer cares about right and wrong.

The apostle Paul told us how wicked people become when they reject the witness of God’s creation.[3] He also wrote that nature teaches us that a man should have short hair, and wrote a verse later that a woman should have long hair.[4]

The violation of conscience, of course, is not a denominational issue. The issue here is not who gets baptized or when or how, or who may take communion. The problem is violation of the human conscience which God has given to each of us, something that we are born with, no matter what our ancestry. It is as human as our DNA, but it can be damaged much more easily.

There are genetic or biochemical reasons for abnormalities such as women with beards. And there are ways to deal with these. But that is a small fraction of a percent of people. Telling children that they can choose their own gender is a perversion of nature. David told his weak son Solomon to be strong and show himself a man.[5] Sometimes we just have to go by commands. A physically weak boy can lift weights and learn how to fight. And weak boys do not automatically become homosexuals. Women who mush dog teams, build cabins, and hunt and fish for food in Alaska do not automatically become lesbians. So what is the real problem?

We are no longer living in a postmodern culture, but in a post-truth culture, according to Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. What is truth today? What I feel? What the government tells me? What my teachers tell me? The 1960s saw immorality rise with the pill, but amorality, the rejection of absolute truth, is more recent in American society. And that leads to an assault on the human conscience both collectively and individually.

Sexual perversion cannot be blamed for mass shootings. But the denial of what the human conscience tells us is probably the biggest factor in these crimes. These denials start early in childhood now as manhood and womanhood are no longer thought of as fixed at conception, but can be considered fluid, treatable with surgery and hormone therapy. An elementary school child now has to deny his or her conscience to believe that people supposedly changing gender is a behavior to be accepted. Reality has changed from what God has done to what man can do with the proper medical procedure and medicine, or even with what children in their single digits decide to wear that day. The problem has gone from where prayer is absent in public schools, to where morals based on God’s truth can no longer be discussed, to where reality changes according to the whim of the student in the next row. That deadens the conscience, which helps lead to where a small group of dangerous young people has neither regard for the lives of others nor even their own.

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[1] 1 Chronicles 24.

[2] Numbers 31:19.

[3] Romans 1:19-32.

[4] 1 Corinthians 11:14-15.

[5] 1 Kings 2:2.

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