Mr. President, this past Thursday, Chris Harper Mercer entered a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, and proceeded to ask his fellow students to stand up if they were Christians. When they stood, he shot them in the head.
A few moments later, in Washington D.C., you took to the stage. Your remarks lasted slightly over twelve minutes and in those comments you said absolutely nothing about Christians. Nothing. A twelve-minute speech and not one word about those who were targeted for execution.
Mr. President, perhaps you can understand why we all watch with great concern as you prepare to visit the people of Roseburg.
Christians are being beheaded in the Middle East and you have lectured us about the Crusades. Christians have been killed in Charleston and you have preached to us about the National Rifle Association. Christians have now been singled out and murdered in Oregon and mum’s the word. Why?
What would you have said, Mr. President, had the victims been Muslims? What would you have said had they been targeted because they were transgender, gay, or wearing a hoodie? Would you have condemned it? Would you have called for hate-crimes legislation? Would you have confronted the ideology that led to the crime? Would you have lectured us about phobias and bigotry?
Perhaps you can understand why the Christian community from coast to coast is praying that you will finally speak on our behalf rather than against us and that you will defend our faith rather than disregard it.
Perhaps, Mr. President, you can understand why millions of followers of Christ across the nation and across the world say that we have heard your silence and it is deafening.
Mr. President, perhaps you can understand why, after we have watched time and time again as Christians are singled out for execution, we are not joining you in celebrating your desire to disarm the citizenry while arming the criminals.
And one final word: Mr. President, please stop the pedantic posturing about more gun laws being the solution. The data do not bear this out. If the solution is a gun free country, then why did this shooting just happen in a “gun free zone?” If the solution is fewer guns, then why is violent crime declining by and large across America at a time when gun sales are at an all time high?
Could it be, Mr. President, that the problem is not guns but rather ideas? Could it be that preaching victimization and fomenting class resentment is the problem? Could it be that race baiting and mocking our God and our guns is the problem? Could it be that belittling Biblical morality and dumbing down the value of life by creating a culture of death is the problem? Could it be that worshiping government rather than God is the problem? Mr. President, could it be that these terrible ideas, and not the law-abiding citizens exercising their constitutional right to protect themselves, are the problem?
Mr. President, you don’t stop evil by teaching victimization and revenge. You stop evil by teaching virtue and repentance. Newsflash: This shooter didn’t have the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes posted on his Facebook account! He had atheistic rants and pictures of ISIS!
Take away his guns and he will use a sword. Take away his sword and he will use a club. Take away his club and he will use a rock. When you take away a culture’s soul, there is nothing to stop the evil that lurks in every human heart. You can outlaw guns, swords, clubs, and rocks but without the Gospel we are all still broken and angry men filled with hatred and rage.
Dr. Everett Piper is president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.