"In the immediate aftermath of the Columbine High School massacre, a modern myth was born. A story went around that one of the two killers asked one of the victims, Cassie Bernall, if she believed in God. Bernall reportedly said “Yes” just before he shot her. Bernall’s mother wrote a memoir, titled “She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall,” a tribute to her daughter’s courageous Christian faith. Then, just as the book was being published, a student who was hiding near Bernall told journalist Dave Cullen that the exchange never happened."

I am certain a mother of a just murdered daughter has many thoughts, some of them too horrid to remember and others that calm a distressed mind. I do not accuse this mother of telling a lie; I do charge her with telling her story that eases her pain. If she had revealed that truth, she would be surrounded with compassion and care and understanding.

We don't need new myths to meet life's challenges. We need facts, support for families torn apart by economic stressors, realization that many of our misguided youth need attention, institutions that provide real comfort and not those that rest on delusions, communities that stand together in mutual support, thinking based on reality while shunning denial, realization that there is no supernatural planner of our lives or a heaven or hell, and understanding no demons take control of mentally ill individuals.

We need to understand we live in a dysfunctional culture that breeds dysfunctional people. We criminalize mental illness. We close institutions of care and treatment. We perceive prison as a "protect society from criminals and mentally ill" without realizing some need only skilled treatment.

Does christianity suffer from persecution? I think it suffers from wanting to stay in the Bronze Age while screeching and clawing away at modern ways of knowing.

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