An Open Letter to President Obama In the Wake of Newtown Shooting

President Obama
President Obama speaks at Newtown High School (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Dear President Obama,

In your speech at the Newtown, CT high school last weekend, you mentioned that “as a society, we can do better.” I believe that is true--we can do much better.

The talk around Washington, D.C. in the next few weeks will no doubt be focused on more restrictive gun laws, but that only addresses the ability of people to obtain weapons. Making guns more difficult to acquire may certainly help, but a determined individual will find a way, or will turn to other weapons--explosives, poison gas, etc. Gun control does not deal with issues of the heart.

One of our most serious problems as a society is that we have excluded God. Prayer in schools is illegal, the Ten Commandments have been eliminated, and any mention of Jesus by a teacher is grounds for dismissal.  Therefore we are effectively training our kids, including the shooters at all of the six schools you mentioned, that God does not exist, or is irrelevant. There is “no fear of God before their eyes.” 

In regard to someone who harms children, Jesus said, “It would be better if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the depths of the sea,” and I would not want to be Adam Lanza now that God has gotten His hands on him. By our present policies we are thus failing our kids including the perpetrators like Lanza, and continuing conditions that have resulted in senseless violence. And even if the extreme of what happened in Newtown could be avoided by more security and gun control, our policies of excluding God creates more societal selfishness, infidelity, divorce, abuse, and many other pathologies that are ruining us.

Therefore, President Obama, if you really want to make a difference, you will seek to reverse the anti-God tilt of our country in general, and the education establishment in particular. In your speech you alluded to the difficulty of making changes, and given the anti-religious bias of the American government and media, change in this area will be very hard. But as you indicated, the difficulty of making changes should not deter us.

Furthermore, this is not a quick-fix solution, and regardless of what changes are made evil will never be eliminated. But it will be mitigated if our society starts doing the right thing. I leave you with God’s promise: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Richard B. Sorensen

Richard B. Sorensen is an author, academic, and software engineer with a life-long passion for history and religion. In his provocative new series, Unholy Grail, Sorensen links Judas to Mary Magdalene --- turning The Holy Grail debate made popular byThe Da Vinci Code on its head. Sorensen is a member of Cranston Christian Fellowship in Rhode Island. For more information, visit

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