Allow me to preface this by saying two things. 1. I am a Christian (yes there is a "Christian left" , shocking I know ;) ) and 2. I have a son diagnosed with autism.
I have been in and out of tears since Friday, I struggled with every ounce of my being not to leave work early to go and snatch my 7 year old daughter from school and my 4 year old son from the sitter, take them home and never let them out of my sight again. Every part of my heart as a mother, as a human, screams as I cannot help but imagine the extreme pain and grief being faced by 20 families who have 6 & 7 year old children who went to school Friday just like my own child did, only their child never came home, and is not currently asking them daily how many days left til Christmas.
Adding to that however, is the two fold pain being wrought by CNN and certain people in my life regarding God.. and autism.
I am sure many here are talking about the insane arguments about gun rights and how if only those teachers were armed .. etc. I am not talking about that today. I am sure others have said it much more eloquently and effectively than I could. Suffice to say the same debate is raging within my own family and my facebook page as I am sure it is within many of yours.
I am talking about the discussion of God. I found it so upsetting to see so many passing around quotes and graphics blaming this on the fact that "God isn't allowed in schools." First thats patently untrue, God is allowed, religious instruction is not. But more importantly, I cannot as a Christian reconcile this position with my faith. If your (their) version of God would sanction or allow the murder of 20 innocent children (babies in my mind and I am sure many mothers would agree) along with their educators, because God is angry that the kids didn't say a morning prayer in their public school classroom, then I don't want to believe in your (their) God. (As an aside, there are reports surfacing that apparently God was there to some extent, by the stories of teachers protecting their charges, even one praying with her students as they hid in a closet until a police officer pushed his badge under the door to prove he was law enforcement and not the shooter to get them to open the door and come out) God didn't do this.. God didn't allow this, except to the extent that all humans have free will and sometimes that means they are free to do horrific things. I MUST believe that, or how can I call myself a Christian, a follower of Christ who said "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for theirs is the Kingdom of God"
As to autism.. my son has autism. He is both a joy and a challenge. I love him with all my heart, as does any parent, and yes we struggle sometimes with his emotions that he doesn't always know how to control, or needs he can't always effectively express. Autism is a challenge to be sure, but it is just that. A Challenge. Not a death sentence.
It did not, and does not, make someone a monster. My son may not have as much empathy as does a typical child his age, but he does have some. Autism did not cause this even if it IS confirmed that the shooter was on the autistic spectrum.
And, CNN.. please.. check your guest's facts a little closer. It is not helping the conversation when you have a forensic psychologist spouting "facts" like 80% of autistic individuals are mentally retarded (A fact I can find no credible source for and that does not match whatsoever with my experience with my son or any other person on the spectrum I have known), that we KNOW autism is inherited (again, I can find no credible source, many who suspect that is a factor but nothing definitive), or that defects on 2 specific chromosomes are "markers" for autism (see my notes about the inherited statement above, no credible source I can find says this is definitive, merely suspected at this point). Please don't use autism or these so called facts to define our kids, its not accurate and its not fair, and they (and their parents!) have enough on their plates without someone adding to it.