President Obama spoke for all Americans last week when he said, "Our hearts are broken."

We had several deaths in our church recently, saints who had lived full, productive lives, yet still, it was hard on our congregation to have that many funerals in a row.

In Philadelphia, we lost two soldiers in Iraq months apart in 2004 and the grief was numbing for the whole town.

To lose 20 children in a shooting rampage at a school just before Christmas is a glimpse into hell.

The Christian response to such a tragedy is that we live in a fallen, sinful world and bad things do happen to good people, even children.


"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose," Paul writes in Romans 8:28.

"Why" is what many of us have asked standing beside the casket of a young person or a loved one stricken by disease or taken in an accident.

Some answers won't come this side of Glory, and the Sandy Hook shooting last Friday morning is definitely among our unanswered question.

Our battle is against evil, not each other, I was reminded reading The New York Times account of the massacre.

Satan is a real being and he seeks to destroy, but Christ has overcome evil and the victory is ours through Christ.

"What is the number of ambulances you will require?" a dispatcher asked in The New York Times account. "They are not giving us a number." Then someone at the school underlined the desperation: "You might want to see if the surrounding towns can send E.M.S. personnel. We're running out real quick, real fast."

Our minister reminded the congregation on Sunday morning that Christ's death in contrast to Sandy Hook was not a savage killing, that His crucifixion was part of God's plan of salvation - before the foundations of the Earth - to save us sinners, a free gift, the most important Christmas gift.

At an interfaith prayer service in Sandy Hook on Sunday evening, President Obama said, quoting the Bible: "'Let the little children come to me,' Jesus said, 'and do not hinder them - for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'"

Overall, though, Mr. Obama veered left, inserting hints of policy in an otherwise passionate, poetic, effective and very powerful speech.

While not specific, Mr. Obama was suggestive, saying the nation isn't doing enough to protect children. "We're not doing enough," he said. "And we will have to change."

The President is correct, in part. In the last decades, societal changes have created these mass killers and the need for change.

Many in Mississippi remember all to well Luke Woodham's shooting rampage at Pearl High School in 1997.

It was assistant principal Joel Myrick who ran to his truck and retrieved a .45 pistol from the glove compartment and subdued Woodham inside his mother's car until law enforcement authorities could arrive.

The guilt tip on gun control is unnecessary. I'm not for assault weapons, but the Constitution doesn't prevent Americans from owning them - for good reasons.

Reforming how we care for the mentally ill is the real issue at hand, not gun control. Anyone who is evil enough to shoot 20 children at point-blank range multiple time will take that aggression out one way or another.

Removing the stigma that is associated with mental illness - ever how mild - is essential, especially with regard to chemical dependency.

A blog circulating on social media entitled "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" illustrates the enormous challenges some families with mentally ill children face.

Conservatives are always backed into a corner on guns and religion and made fun of by liberal elites, but our arguments should be Constitutional, issues the left wants to - and usually can - emotionalize or politicize like Sandy Hook.

Rightly, there is outrage over these killings. But where are the liberals on life beginning at conception? They say out of the other side of their mouths that that's a right, a choice.

Liberal elites with their postmodern agenda have gradually stripped many of our educational, religious and cultural institutions of absolute truths and attempted in large part to make all things devoid of God.

And we wonder what on earth is wrong.

Jim Prince is editor and publisher of The Neshoba Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at @jimprincems or e-mail