The Culture War for Young Minds and Hearts

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      The War of Education - Dr. Bruce R. Porter

Recently I spoke at Veritas Christian School at their annual fundraising event. My message, while pointed and factual, sought to shine a light on the serious importance of a Christian education in the midst of a culture that seems entirely committed to eradicating all expressions of Christian faith and the establishing of a socialist/Humanist secular state in America.

It was tremendously gratifying to learn later from a staff member that the response to the fundraising appeal broke all previous records.

Are America’s Schools on a Jihadist ‘Hit’ List?

israeli condolencesSeptember 2014
By Bruce R. Porter, D.Div.
On September 1, 2004, Islamic terrorists infiltrated from Chechnya and attacked a school in Beslan, Russia. Over several days of hell-on-earth, they mercilessly slaughtered hundreds of students, teachers, and parents. Although there have been other attacks on schools in various places around the world—most notoriously the attack at Columbine High School in 1999—this attack stands out, not only for the vicious brutality meted out by the Islamic Jihadists but by the sheer number of children who were murdered there. Estimates of the dead ranged between 300 to over 600. It was, without any doubt, the deadliest attack on a school in modern history.

No decent person could ever comprehend how these Allah-praising Jihadists could justify their wholesale slaughter of children. We are always being lectured by our government officials and leftist pundits in the news media that Islam is a “religion of peace,” yet all around the world we see ample evidence that the exact opposite is true. While it is true that not all Muslims are terrorists, it is just as true that nearly every act of terrorism in recent decades has been carried out by Muslims.

Beslan Middle School #1 had students from the first to the eleventh grades. On the morning of September 1st, the first day of school in Russia, over a thousand students, teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles were gathered in the large courtyard of the school compound. It is a custom in Russia to celebrate the first day of school with students dressing in their best clothes, accompanied by their parents and siblings, and bringing small gifts and flowers to their teachers.

At 8:45 A.M. several vehicles transporting nearly three-dozen Islamists burst into the school parking lot. The terrorists jumped out, armed to the teeth with automatic weapons, grenades, night-vision goggles, gas masks, high-explosives, and silenced weapons. They joined other terrorists who were already mingling with the crowd and began shooting and herding terrified hostages into the school gymnasium. A few security officers, armed only with sidearms, were quickly gunned-down, and anyone who showed the slightest willingness to fight back was mowed down in the first seconds. Mayhem erupted, as several hundred people ran away under gunfire while more than 60% of the others were captured and driven into the school’s gymnasium to endure several days of thirst, hunger, and unspeakable abuse by the Allah-praising terrorists.

Once the hostages were secured in the gym, the Jihadists rigged explosive charges throughout the school. The captive men and older boys, who could potentially fight back, were lined up in front of their terrified wives and children and summarily executed with bullets to the head. Their bodies were shoved out of shattered windows and lay in a heap in full sight of their horrified families. Many of the women and young girls were humiliated and raped in front of the hostages. There are no words in the human language to describe what these evil beasts did to these young women. The prisoners languished in the school’s gymnasium in the sweltering heat of late summer, with no water, food, or sanitation facilities for three days. Some of the hostages were so desperately thirsty; they drank their urine. When the rescue assault by Russian forces finally began, the terrorists began detonating the explosives placed near the hostages and shooting as many of the children as they could. The carnage was indescribable.

My son and I traveled to Beslan with another international relief worker to help minister to the survivors, arriving one week after Russian special forces stormed the school. We walked into the burned and blasted shell of the school buildings a few days after the siege was over. What I witnessed in those ruins was off-scale grisly. The walls were pock-marked with bullet and shrapnel impacts. Walls were blackened by fire and smoke. The worst thing of all, however, were the splattered clumps of human remains from bomb blasts pasted on the walls and ceiling. Large pools of putrefying human blood was everywhere and splattered on the walls. I spotted what looked like a small wig, and when I moved it, I shrank back in horror and revulsion. It was a child’s skull-cap with bits of brain stuck to it. I feel sick just recalling the sights and smells of that terrible place.

When I hear someone speak of Islam as a “religion of peace” I feel like gagging. I have seen with my own eyes what this evil and pathetic excuse for a religion does to innocent people. I have no illusions. For nearly two weeks, my son and I visited the local hospitals where hundreds of victims, mostly children, were recovering from burns, gunshots, and shrapnel wounds. Most of them would eventually heal their physical wounds. However, they all seemed to have a hollow, distant stare that betrayed that their young eyes had seen things no person should ever see. I especially noticed several young girls in the hospital who were, I was told later, sexually abused by the terrorists. Their minds and souls were deeply wounded, and I wonder if they would ever find healing.

Why am I telling all this? Why would I invite you, the reader, into some of the dark horror chambers of my mind and memories, subjecting you even to a small portion of the horrors these people endured? It is simply this;

I believe it is going to happen again… right here in America, and I want with all my heart to awaken as many as possible to the clear and present danger we are facing. Perhaps, if enough of us wake up in time, we can mitigate the damage and save lives.

As I was thinking about this tenth anniversary of the Beslan massacre a few days ago, I suddenly felt a strong impression come over me. I am a man of God, and there have been several times in my life when such impressions came upon me, and I later witnessed the events unfold just as I had seen. For example, exactly three months before the Columbine High School massacre in my community, I had a horrifying dream/vision of a school attack with many vivid details. I awoke in the middle of the night screaming and drenched in sweat. The images were so real, and yet I had no way of putting together what I’d seen with present reality. Three months later, to the very day, I watched the Columbine attack unfold just as I’d seen it in my dream. I wrote in detail of this in my book, The Martyrs’ Torch, The Message of the Columbine Massacre.

This is what I believe was shown to me. Islamic Jihadists, quite likely elements of ISIS, (who have already infiltrated our southern border and in the midst of the 100s of thousands of refugees) are about to launch a coordinated attack on several schools in America. I realize I’m taking a tremendous risk in sharing this, for many men’s reputations and credibility have died upon hills of apocalyptic predictions that never occurred. I fervently hope I’m wrong. However, I cannot remain silent. Lives are at stake. I also don’t think it requires a prophetic vision to see the writing on the wall. The danger is, for anyone paying attention, all too obvious.

Why would they attack our school children? Think about it. Can anyone imagine a more emotionally devastating “soft target” than our children? If you were an Islamic jihadist seeking to maximize the psychological damage to your enemy, where would you strike? The answer is clear.

As horrible as the pictures are of little Iraqi children being beheaded, with their heads displayed upon poles, imagine just for a moment how parents in the United States would react if such atrocities happened during a hostage situation in our nation’s schools and displayed on an internet upload? GOD FORBID! However, we are terribly naïve if we think that our enemies haven’t already thought of this. Remember, Islamic fanatics do not launch such attacks with any expectation they will survive after committing outrageous violence. They want to die in the cause of Islam, for according to the teachings of the Qu’ran, this will ensure their entrance into the Islamic paradise of wanton sexual and gluttonous pleasures.

What can be done? I wish I could be optimistic, but I cannot. As things presently stand, our children are sitting ducks in their schools. The federal government has seemingly abandoned their constitutionally-mandated responsibility to protect the American people and secure our borders. Thousands of unknown persons are flooding daily across our southern border, and latest reports are that a significant percentage of them are Islamic Jihadists. They’re not coming to visit Disneyland or work as farmhands. They’re coming to hurt us in significant ways and manipulate our national will toward their goals of global domination and the establishment of sharia (Islamic) law.

In most of our nation’s schools, the insanity of “political correctness” drives policies related to school security. Tangible and effective measures, such as training and arming teachers to defend their students, are dismissed out of hand by those who naively imagine that putting up “gun free zone” signs on the schoolhouse door will somehow deter a suicidal terrorist or insane person seeking to hurt students. I cannot think of words to describe my feelings about such nonsensical thinking.

“Lock-down” procedures only ensure the formation of target-rich environments with children cloistered and concentrated in places easily breached by well-armed and trained assailants. In other words, we MUST rethink the entire concept of school safety and be done with nonsensical “zero-tolerance” policies that penalize students for bringing a pair of fingernail clippers or a plastic knife in their lunch-pails. The real threat is not a psychotic over-medicated student, but well-trained Jihadists armed with military-grade weaponry and motivated by hate and a desire to die for Allah.

As I’ve said before, the Beslan attack revealed a complete lack of compassion toward children by Islamic Jihadists. I visited scores of kids in the children’s hospital in Vladikavkaz near Beslan, who were deliberately shot by terrorists in their school. Some were as young as six years old. Can anyone imagine that such inhuman monsters would regard American kids with greater compassion? I seriously doubt it, in fact, I think they are going to deliberately attack our schools to maximize the psychological terror impact.

We must face the reality that Islamic Jihadists have no qualms about killing children. This is amply demonstrated repeatedly in Israel by the fact that terrorists will often place weapons and missile launchers in the midst of schools and hospitals (as in the case recently in Gaza) knowing full-well that any military retaliation by the Israelis to destroy these weapons will likely result in civilian casualties, including children. In the aftermath, the Jihadists parade dead or wounded children through the streets in front of cameras to maximize the negative PR against Israel. If they cared about these children, they wouldn’t deliberately place their missile launchers in schoolyards in the first place. More than this, in the case of Israel, they target Israeli schools and kindergartens with their missiles instead of military targets.

In May of 1974, three Islamic terrorists attacked a school in Ma’alot, Israel. They took 115 people hostage, including 105 students, and held them for two days. When Israeli Golani Brigade soldiers stormed the building, the terrorists tossed grenades and shot the hostages, killing 25 (22 children) and wounding 68. In the aftermath, Israel formed a special Counter Terrorism Unit called Yamam. Also, a national policy of arming teachers and posting armed guards at all Israeli schools was implemented. In the 40 years since this policy was in place, nearly all terrorist attacks on schoolchildren have ceased.

What can be done here in the U.S.? How can we reduce the risk to our schools? I make the following suggestions:

1. Parents and grandparents of school children must organize and come up with specific security policies to present to school administrators on the State, District, and Local levels. School officials MUST see that they have the support of parents and the community to confidently move toward real and effective security measures.

2. Such parent groups must DEMAND that armed guards be placed in and around the schools, comprised of well-vetted (background checked) military veterans, retired police, FBI and other officers, who would receive extensive training specific to school environments, taking into consideration “shoot/no-shoot” scenarios, and threat assessment;

3. Schools should immediately implement EVACUATION procedures instead of “hide in place” policies that place students and teachers into indefensible target-rich “lock-downs.”

4. Teachers who are willing to receive training and undergo vetting should be allowed to carry concealed weapons. Their identities (as to who is armed) must be carefully guarded for obvious reasons and known only by Principals and Law Enforcement.

5. “Student Watch” patrols should be instituted with vetted upper-grade students trained to spot persons or activities that seem out of place or pose a potential risk. These could be valuable “eyes and ears” to guards and administrators as a “first-alert” system.

6. Until these policies are implemented, schools officials should DEMAND more police protection with active-duty officers on-site. Sound expensive? Sure, but what price can be put on the life of one student or teacher? We expect armed guards in our banks to protect our money. Why would we not provide at least as much protection for something infinitely more valuable than our money—the lives of our children?

Can we reliably prevent all attacks from ever occurring? This is an impossibility, given the nature of violent Jihadists and the present at-risk environment. However, the primary benefit of these measures would be manifold:

First, such policies would serve as a real deterrent to most school attacks. Second, parents and students would have a greater sense of security, knowing that REAL and PRACTICAL measures have been taken to ensure their safety and not just silly “violence-free”, or “gun-free zone” signs. For those who are philosophically or politically opposed to the presence of weapons on school grounds, I would only point out that when violent incidents or active-shooter scenarios have occurred in the past, the very FIRST persons they call to help are GOOD PEOPLE WITH GUNS. No “gun free” advocate would ever rush over to an active-shooter scene with more “gun free zone” signs. Let’s be done with silly, ineffective, and politically correct banalities.

WE MUST ACT NOW. I pray I’m wrong, and I fear that it will take more tragedies to awaken our people to this real and present danger. I must speak out and remain hopeful. The lives of our schoolchildren are at stake.

Thermostats and Thermometers

Columbine High School: Ten Years Later

The world you have created
has led to my death.
Rachel Joy Scott, April, 1999
Slain Columbine Student

 

Although school violence was occurring around the country in the years leading up to Columbine’s massacre, it just didn’t seem to be a very large blip on the media’s radar screen, or in the public’s mind. Suddenly, Columbine was THE breaking news story across the nation and world for several months.

 

ColumbinehsPerhaps it was the number of victims, (13 dead, 26 wounded) or the continuous revelations related to the hateful mindset and vicious motivations of the killers on their websites and video tapes they left behind for posterity. Without doubt, it was a major wakeup call to us all that something was very wrong in our schools. It is clear now that we’ve collectively hit the “snooze” button.

 

A point worth mentioning is that the real story—entirely lost in the liberal media’s fanaticalscd1401 obsession over the firearms used in the attack—was the fact that the vile cretins who did this planted bombs in the school that would have killed over 600 students and teachers had they detonated! Only their gross ineptitude at bomb-making prevented an attack that would have been unimaginable in magnitude.

 

eric-dylanThe event triggered an international debate over everything from gun control to prescription psycho-med use in schools. Side-issues like bullying, psychological profiling of “troubled students” and school “zero-tolerance” policies were the subject of endless talk shows and print media.

 

In the months that followed, other school violence events occurred around the nation, and even overseas. Some attacks were averted only at the last minute by vigilant students who overheard unguarded comments by would-be perpetrators who were bragging about “doing another Columbine.” Paranoia about school safety was nearly pandemic for nearly 29 months, until that is, the Islamic terror attack on our nation occurred on 9/11/2001. From then until now, our nation’s focus was on a “war on terror” and our incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq. Now most of our attention is focused on our economic problems and the Socialists in charge of the country.

 

It’s been ten years since shots were fired at Columbine, destroying the lives of twelve990425c students and a brave teacher, yet the memory of that horrible day remains for those of us who live here and experienced it. Those who were wounded and survived, and now live with the scars and disabilities inflicted upon their bodies and souls, have mostly moved on with their lives. Some are married and starting families, and others are pursuing their careers. However, all live with the memories of that dark spring day, and were forever changed by it.

 

Each of the lives lost that day were precious beyond comprehension. This month of April, ascrosses-6 in all years previous, we will again visit their graves, place flowers and memorabilia upon them, and pray for the ongoing healing of the surviving families and victims. Once again we will have to endure the media talking heads pontificate about the evils of firearms while virtually ignoring the abysmal lack of character education in public schools. We will ponder yet again the deep mysteries of good and evil, life and death, and our own mortality. Once again, those of us who believe will ask, “Why God? Why?”

 

As one who has studied history and history’s God for many years, I come to believe that His unseen hand guides the course of nations and individuals. Personally, I have come to terms with the fact that although I may never understand in this world why tragedies happen—even to the young and innocent—I have complete confidence that there is a higher purpose and plan in play. In the larger scheme of things, a greater good will emerge—like the mythical Phoenix bird—from the flaming ashes of tragedy, and we will one day marvel at the wisdom of God in all things.

 

bruce-crossUntil that bright day of understanding, we labor to preserve and cultivate what remains of goodness in the world. Jesus said we are the “salt of the world.” I understand this to mean that one of our functions in this present world is to preserve what remains of goodness, mercy, love, and truth from the corrupting influence of mankind’s fallen state. While salt does not bring dead things to life, it does season and preserve them.

 

One particularly bright light in Columbine’s darkness was Rachel Joy Scott. I speak of herr_scott bruce-rach-funernot because she was more precious than any other person who died there, but because she was a Christian who tried to sprinkle “salt” into her school and the people around her. Other victims did also, but I am more familiar with Rachel since I was honored to be a minister to part of her immediate family. She was known as one who tried to push back against the prevailing tide of license and immorality in her generation.

 

Against all opposition, Rachel sought to make her faith in Jesus known to her friends and schoolmates through many well-documented acts of kindness and compassion. She was a friend to the friendless, a comforter to brokenhearted, and an influencer toward goodness. This drew secret admiration from the timid, and the vicious hatred of the monsters who slaughtered her.

 

Rachel was a “Thermostat” in a world populated mostly by “Thermometers.”

 

A “thermostat person” influences their environment. The thermostat on the wall of your home “sets” the heating and cooling system and determines what the temperature will be. A “thermometer person,” on the other hand, merely reflects or reveals their environment and is influenced by it. There is a vast difference between the two.

 

Rachel was a “thermostat person” at Columbine. She set her own pace, in clothes, style, beliefs and behavior. She stood up for her convictions about Jesus, and paid a heavy price. Her friends at school (even some who claimed to be Christians) razzed and hurt her deeply. In one of her journal entries, Rachel lamented that she endured cruel rejection after setting a Christian example at Columbine:

 

I lost all my friends at school. Now that I have begun to ‘walk my talk,’ they make fun of me. I don’t even know what I have done. I don’t really have to say anything and they turn me away… I know what they’re thinking every time I make a decision to resist temptation and follow God… They talk behind my back and call me ‘the preacher’s churchgoing girl…’  …I have no more personal friends at school. But you know what? … I am not going to apologize for speaking the name of Jesus, I am not going to justify my faith to them, and I am not going to hide the light that God has put into me. If I have to sacrifice everything… I will. I will take it. If my friends have to become my enemies for me to be with my best friend Jesus, then that’s fine with me.

 

rae4f61Rachel’s “thermostatic” influence—her ‘set point’—touched and moved the world around her.  Her influence was increased exponentially when her persecutors pulled the trigger on the bullet that took her life. Even at the last moment, lying on the ground crying with three gunshot wounds, she answered her killer’s vulgar, sneering, vicious taunts with courage. She affirmed one last time her undying faith in Christ, and her words and life-example touched the entire world!

 

In the past ten years, her story and testimony has been shared before millions of people around the world, and HER thermostat setting of love, compassion, faith, and uncompromised devotion to Jesus has influenced hundreds of thousands of young people to follow her example and receive the grace of God in Christ.

 

I end this article with a short excerpt from my book, The Martyrs’ Torch; the Message of themt_handstorch Columbine Massacre. It was part of my eulogy I delivered at her funeral:

 

Rachel carried a torch—a torch of truth, a torch of compassion, a torch of love, a torch of the good news of Jesus Christ her Lord, whom she was not ashamed of, even in her hour of death. …The torch has fallen from Rachel’s hand. Who will pick it up again? Who will pick up the torch again?

 

That torch represents a life lived as a “thermostat” and a light in the darkness. It symbolizes a life lived for the highest purpose of making the love and grace of God known to all who have ears to hear. Will you live your life as a thermostat? Will you imprint upon the world, or will you allow it to imprint its values and worldview on you? Thermometer people cower in fear and timidity, seeking the approval of the world and acceptance from their peers without concern for their values. Seeking to conform to the world around you and be a chameleon is a coward’s choice! The choice is yours! Take up your torch! YOU set the standard to those around you, and don’t let the world impose its standards upon YOU!

 

I end with Rachel’s words from her journals…

 

Don’t let your character get camouflaged with your environment.
Find who you are and let it stay in its true colors.

 

About Bruce Porter:

 

Bruce R. Porter, D.Div., is an author, chaplain, writer, speaker, and a pastor in the Littleton area. At the time of the Columbine massacre, he was pastor to Rachel Joy Scott’s mother and stepfather, and ministered intensely to the family during the months following her death, and officiated at Rachel’s funeral.

 

In the years since Columbine, Bruce has ministered at numerous other scenes of tragedy, including New York City after the 9/11 terror attacks, the school shootings at Bailey, Colorado, Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota, the Amish school massacre, Erfurt, Germany, Beslan, Russia, to name a few. He continues to respond to crisis situations as able.

 

He has conducted scores of school assemblies and rallies sharing the story of Columbine and Rachel’s amazing testimony. He is also the author of the book; The Martyrs’ Torch, the Message of the Columbine Massacre. (Destiny Image)

 

For further information, you may go to: www.torchgrab.org

 

Placard at Columbine High School Memorial Gardens
Placard at Columbine High School Memorial Gardens