Seth Udinski, FISM News
Last week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D.) surprised many across the political spectrum when he advocated for prayer in public schools, saying when prayer was taken “out of schools, guns came into schools.”
Adams made the comments early in the week, at the New York Public Library interfaith breakfast.
The statement drew strong reactions on both sides, with many conservatives pleasantly surprised. Right-leaning pundit Charlie Kirk summarized the sentiments of many conservatives, who were happy to agree with Mayor Adams on this issue, even if it was the first and only time for many.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams: “When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools…Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state…you take the heart out of the body, the body dies.” Strange to agree with Mayor Adams, but here we are.
On the contrary, liberal commentators turned their weapons on one of their own, blasting Adams for even hinting at the protection of the “church” in the debate over the separation of church and state.
Americans United, a left-leaning political action group, tweeted,
NYC Mayor Eric Adams stirred things up yesterday with some ill-considered comments about the separation of church and state. Adams doesn’t seem to understand the proper role religion plays in public education. We’d be happy to help him with that.
Gun restriction lobbyist Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the 2018 Parkland School mass shooting, also blasted Adams for his comments.
“This is a dumb & dangerous comment that shows ignorance as to why my daughter was murdered in the Parkland shooting along with others in Parkland and other shootings. Mayor, before you comment like this again, perhaps we should talk,” said Guttenberg.
Adams, who claims to be a Christian, has not walked back his comments. Later in his speech from last week, he said,
I can’t separate my belief because I’m an elected official. When I walk, I walk with God. When I talk, I talk with God. When I put policies in place, I put them in with a God-like approach to them. That’s who I am.
Author’s Biblical Analysis
Like many on the right, I was pleasantly shocked by Mayor Adams’ comments. I agree with his words completely.
As Christians, we see a sobering reminder of the reality of what happens to a group of people when they universally reject the rule of Almighty God. I believe that because of this rejection, in the last several generations, public schools have become some of the most dangerous places in American culture.
In addition to the uptick in school violence, teachers are forced to teach curricula based on a worldview that is not rooted in — and often runs contrary to — God’s truth. LGBTQ and CRT principles have commandeered public schools where, not so long ago, the Christian worldview still, at least partially, was used as a basis for what was taught.
My question is this: Should we be surprised that when educational elites almost universally rejected God in public schools, violence, and danger followed?
We must look to God, the source of all goodness, and beg for Him to return to these dark places and display His grace and kindness.
What is happening is clear: God has, like he did to Pharaoh in ancient Egypt, removed His common grace from a group of people who have universally rejected him. God shows a certain level of grace to all men, both the righteous and the unrighteous, which theologians refer to as “common grace.” This is different from the special, salvific grace He shows to those who belong to Him, who put their trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Still, common grace is also an undeserved gift from God. We see support for this idea in scripture, for example, from our Lord Himself in the Sermon on the Mount:
For He [God] makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. – Matthew 5:45b
Even though the unrighteous reject Him in life and will spend eternity in hell, God still shows temporary grace upon even these. One of the areas He does this is with the establishment of order and goodness.
What we see here, and what I believe Mayor Adams is correctly discerning, is that when mankind openly rejects God and walks in unrepentant ways, God gives them over to their desires. He pulls back His hand of common grace on them, and the result, which we have seen throughout history and in many public schools today, is violence and chaos.
Believer, we must pray that God would, as He has done for all of us and so often does throughout history, bestow His grace upon those who do not deserve it. The only way that order and virtue can return to such dark places as public schools is for the loving hand of God Almighty to return.
Then they cried out to the Lord, and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and Ashtoreths; but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve You.’ -1 Samuel 12:10