Sunday School answer to violence in America?
I have wanted to write about this for a long time, but wasn't sure how to put it into words that were easy to swallow.
But then I decided, how easy is it to swallow reports of a school shooting, violence in the home, and other rampant violence in this country?
Everything I needed to know about being a good citizen of the earth I learned in Sunday School. Things like:
- Turning the other cheek. That doesn't mean be a doormat. It takes a lot more courage to walk away from a volatile situation than it does to take part in it.
- Thou shalt not kill. What if everyone would live by this one? Would we have the violence in the streets we have today?
- A soft answer turns away wrath. How many volatile situations would be diffused if folks could use the self-control to talk smart and use people skills to negotiate an argument?
- Give up the right to be right. Defer to the other person. Turn the other cheek. Walk. Away.
- Be nice. (Do not bully!)
- Be kind.
- Be polite.
- Obey your parents.
- Listen to your teachers.
- Do not steal.
- Do not lie.
- Do not want what someone else has. (Is our national debt a result of this?)
- Be faithful to your spouse. (According to the CDC 53% of marriages in the United States today end in divorce.)
- Do not use drugs
- Do not drink excessively (or do not drink at all)
- Do not drop out of school
- Work hard and be a good employee
- Help others.
- Stick up for those who can't stick up for themselves.
- Put others' needs before your own comfort. (Would kids be neglected by parents today if people lived with this set of ideals?)
Sunday school provides individuals with a moral compass they don't otherwise have if they aren't taught values at home. It can't replace parents, but it can help kids learn things their parents may not be teaching them.
Sunday school also provides children with a network of support they would not otherwise have. I still keep in touch with one of my Sunday School teachers. He was nothing more than a very dear friend and treated me with the upmost respect and kindness. I have never forgotten him even though he was my teacher more than 35 years ago. Kids need positive role models and mentors. I was blessed to have so many because of Sunday School.
What say you? Do you think Sunday School could be part of the answer to violence and moral decay in this country? Weigh in.