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What went wrong in Florida shooting? 4 crucial things that were missing

(NBC News/YouTube)





Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:


TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, it was just a little over a week ago we had that terrible shooting in the Coral Springs area of Florida. There’s now a lot of finger-pointing, a lot of people asking questions — “How did this happen?” “Why did this happen?”

One curious interview over the past weekend, MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt had a Harvard professor, Steven Pinker, on and Pinker asked, “Where was God during the shooting?” Pinker said, “It’s not against religion –it’s certainly against the belief that God interferes with the laws of the universe and that, by praying to Him, we can make the world better. I think that’s a dangerous belief because it’s not true.”

DR. REEDER: Well, let’s take that on just for a moment. I always tell people the bumper sticker “Prayer changes things” — it’s just not what you should use. What you should use is “God changes things through praying people.”


The answer to him is, first of all, you have attempted to win the debate by changing the premise of Christian theology around prayer. We do not believe that prayer is the instrument — we believe that God changes things. And what God says is, “I change things through people who pray.”


To this gentleman, I would say to him, if the man who perpetrated this violence had called upon God and said, “I am undone. I am in despair. I feel insignificant. I feel insecure. I want to come to Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I don’t want to commit mayhem to try to become somebody — I want to come to you,” then the Lord would save him and grow him and change him.

And history is full of such people. God is in the midst of a guy named Peter, who denied Jesus three times and attempted to unjustly take the life of a soldier. God changed him to a minister of the Gospel.

There is a man such as Moses who was guilty of manslaughter and then God worked in his life and he became the leader of an emancipated nation, a man who was once guilty of manslaughter.

There was a man who was a religious terrorist — who, in the name of religion, killed Christians and destroyed churches. God made him a man who was perhaps the most effective evangelist and church planter that ever lived. His name was Paul.

If we believe like he seems to believe — that prayer is what saves us — then we are misled, but if we believe that God intervenes when we call upon Him, then we have abundant evidence throughout all of history.


Where we really ought to look at is where were men when we needed them? This young man falls into a very distinct profile. The profile that he falls into is he was missing a father — not God the Father — what was missing was his own father. Even his adopted father had died and so he was being raised without a father.

Tom, if you go check the profile of these men, many of them young men, of these who have inflicted such carnage and death in their despair, you will find out a common denominator: They are fatherless.

And what is interesting is they are now in a culture that is attacking fatherhood all the way from the transgender movement to the redefining of marriage, to the depreciation of fathers, to the holding up fatherhood for ridicule on sitcoms. It is being demeaned, it is being derided, it is being redefined, it is being removed and the result is what you see.

A mother and a father lead their children differently. We began a whole ministry at Christ Covenant in Charlotte just for single moms so my heart goes out to them. But the reason my heart goes out to them is they are attempting to do an impossible task and that is be both father and mother. You cannot. A Father’s love and leadership in the life of a child is very distinctive, just like a mother’s love and leadership is highly distinctive.

That’s the first thing that was missing. It wasn’t God — God’s already given that prescription and God has given the ability to address that prescription.


The other thing that was missing was the competence of humanity. Now, it’s, “Well, let’s go to gun control.” Tom, with all due respect, if I thought that was the answer, I would destroy every gun in the world.

Let’s remember, why do you have the Second Amendment? You have the Second Amendment because our founding fathers realized that people need to have the ability to protect themselves. And, therefore, the instrument of protection in those days was a rifle — they were securing the ability of their citizenship to protect themselves.

Police and armies cannot be ubiquitous and there may be a time you have to defend your family, you have to defend yourself and, by the way, you may have to defend yourself against a tyrannical government someday — that actually was what they were referring to because they even attached this to the right to put together a state militia — so that’s why it is there.

No one will ever remove the Second Amendment. Well what about gun control? Certainly, we ought to be taking a look at the lives of people and, if somebody has certain obvious affirmed issues of their character and lifestyle, then they cannot purchase a weapon. That’s common sense, people, control to access guns.

Would there be valid laws for people in certain situations not to have access to guns such as this young man with literally 39 calls to the police? That’s a no-brainer. And then, of course, were the warnings that were given to the FBI — if you see something, say something. Well, people saw something, and they said something and there was no response. Somewhere up in the leadership, which has become highly politicized, there were decisions that were made about what they were going to put their resources to and this should not have fallen off of the radar.

I appreciate the FBI has owned it, but this was preventable in the sense of this young man could have been restrained from access to these firearms and should have been restrained. When you have students going around saying, “If there’s a shooting at this school, we know who it is,” that ought to tell you enough that somebody should have been at least engaged.

Where is God? He’s right there. Let’s call upon Him and ask Him to heal our hearts, and minister to young men with the Gospel, and to open the heart of that young man to the Gospel and ask Him to work in a culture that would cease its efforts to retard the church’s ministry.


My goodness, what would have happened if there had been a competent campus minister in that high school reaching out to this young man, and what would happen if we called upon the Lord and then opened the door for the culture to return to the sanity of a culture built upon marriages that are one man and one woman for one life, thereby giving children a father and a mother.

And then, again, the free practice of religion so that churches can step in to help without single parents having to fight so many battles in the culture and can help single parents with the various ministries that churches provide to those who are facing the challenge of raising a child in a fatherless or motherless home. That’s what needs to happen.

And then, to Mr. Pinker, finally, I would say the problem wasn’t where was God — the problem was we’re not calling upon Him in prayer. We are not opening the door for the ministry of the Lord throughout our culture.

And, thirdly, what was really missing was competency in the law enforcement, assistance of ministry into the life of families that house young men like this, and, finally, what was missing was proper security on the grounds of the school.

And, finally, what was missing is what is now missing in over half of the families because of the cultural elite attack upon marriage and family, in general, and fathers, in particular, was what seems to be missing in every one of these cases: a father.

May God grant the church to step into this abyss with the clarity of the Gospel of saving grace that not only saves men and women so that their security and significance is not found in carnage but in Christ, and may God grant the movement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to secure Godly families who stay the course in life for better or for worse and may God grant us churches that step into broken homes, whether by death or divorce, with ministries to assist the single parents who are facing these enormous challenges.


TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, on tomorrow’s edition of Today in Perspective, I do want to return to the transgender story. Interestingly, the story has now entered into the church.

DR. REEDER: We have three news events tomorrow that give a lot of insights, again, into the absurdity of our culture, whereby we call obvious fabrications, statements of integrity.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

18 mins ago

Alabama native and former Marshall quarterback Reggie Oliver dead at 66

The Marshall University quarterback who was part of the team’s return after the 1970 plane crash that killed 75 players has died.

Reggie Oliver was 66.


Marshall President Jerome A. Gilbert said in a release Tuesday that his “heart is broken” at the loss of Oliver.

He added that Oliver was “an integral piece of the fabric that makes up Marshall’s story.”

Marshall Athletics said in a release that Oliver “was one of Marshall’s true legends.”

The Herald-Dispatch reported Oliver was hospitalized in Huntsville, Alabama, last week after suffering a head injury in a fall.

Oliver grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and became a quarterback for the Young Thundering Herd, as the team was known.

In the school’s first home game after the crash, Oliver connected with freshman fullback Terry Gardner for a 13-yard touchdown on the game’s final play to upset Xavier 15-13.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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15 hours ago

Gov. Ivey appoints interim finance chief — ‘Thorough search’ underway for permanent appointee

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday named longtime state employee Kelly Butler as acting Director of the Alabama Department of Finance to replace outgoing Director Clinton Carter, who resigned this summer to become the Chief Financial Officer for the University of North Carolina System.

According to a press release by the governor’s office, Butler began his career with the Alabama Department of Revenue more than thirty years ago and has since worked for the Legislative Fiscal Office and the Alabama Department of Finance as Assistant State Budget Officer, State Budget Officer and, most recently, Assistant Finance Director for Fiscal Operations.

Now, a “thorough search” is underway for a permanent Finance Director.

Outgoing State Treasurer Young Boozer has emerged as the clear favorite for the appointment, as he leaves office in January due to being term-limited. Former Congressman Jo Bonner, who recently left his role as Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at the University of Alabama System, is also on the shortlist. Another possibility that has been floating around is state Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville).

Until then, the state is in experienced hands with Butler.


His duties as Assistant Finance Director included overseeing the State Comptroller’s Office, the State Purchasing Division, the State Debt Management Division, and the State Business Systems Division.

“Kelly Butler has more than two decades of experience working with the state’s budgets and more than three decades experience as a fiscal analyst,” Ivey said in a statement. “I know he will do an excellent job leading the Alabama Department of Finance during this interim period.

The governor added, “I appreciate him stepping up as acting director and his commitment to my administration.”

In addition to handling his new job responsibilities, Butler will continue to work on crafting the Ivey administration’s budget proposals leading up to the 2019 Legislative Session. He accepted the new role with graciousness and thanked the employees that work with him for making the department run smoothly.

“I am honored that governor Ivey has asked me to lead the Department of Finance,” Butler announced in a statement. “The department has many talented employees who work hard to provide excellent services to other state agencies and to the people of Alabama. I look forward to working with them to continue those excellent services.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

15 hours ago

Alabama’s state climatologist John Christy rebuts claims of recent fires, heat waves being caused by human activity in in-depth interview

There is one particular word that Dr. John Christy turns to frequently for describing climate science: murky.

It’s a point of view foundational to his own research, and a message underpinning each of his twenty appearances before various congressional committees.

“It’s encouraging because they wouldn’t invite you back unless your message was compelling and not only compelling, but accurate,” Christy, Alabama’s state climatologist, told Yellowhammer News in an interview.

Christy, whose day job involves doing research and teaching as the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), has gained notoriety over the years for dissenting from mainstream climate scientists and policymakers who argue that climate change is anthropogenic, or man-made, and that something must be done to stop it.


A “working-stiff” scientist

Dissent has gained for Christy the characterization as a “climate change skeptic” or “denier,” as critics refer to him, but he himself rejects those terms.

“I’m a working-stiff atmospheric scientist,” he said, “as opposed to those who support modeling efforts, those who use data sets that other people create and analyze them, but they don’t build them themselves.”

According to Christy, the result of fewer “working-stiff” scientists contributing to the prevailing climate debate is more frequent misuses of data.

“They’re not aware of what goes into it,” Christy said, referring to the data.

“Here we have a science that’s so dominated by personalities that claim the science is settled, yet when you walk up to them and say prove it, they can’t,” he said.

Christy spoke at length about what can be proven and what cannot in his self-described “murky” field, referring often to principles of the scientific method.

“You cannot prove extra greenhouse gases have done anything to the weather,” he said, responding to claims made by many scientists that more greenhouse gases have caused extreme weather patterns to intensify.

“We do not have an experiment that we can repeat and do,” he said.

Christy outlined another problem with attempts to implicate greenhouse gases: a failure to account for things countering trapping effects.

“We know that the extra greenhouse gases should warm the planet,” he said. “The weak part of that theory though is that when you add more greenhouse gases that trap heat, things happen that let it escape as well, and so not as much is trapped as climate models show.”

Economics of climate policy

Though his scientific arguments are primary, Christy also frequently discusses in interviews and testimonies the economic consequences of proposed climate change mitigation policy via carbon reduction.

“Every single person uses energy, carbon energy, and relies on carbon-based energy,” Christy said. “None of our medical advances, none of our technological advances, none of our progress would have happened in the last hundred years without energy derived from carbon.”

Christy contrasts that reality within the modern, developed world with the world he saw working as a missionary teacher in impoverished Africa during the 1970s.

“The energy source was wood chopped from the forest, the energy transmission system was the backs of women and girls hauling wood an average of three miles each day, the energy use system was burning the wood in an open fire indoors for heat and light,” Christy told members of the House Committee on Energy in 2006.

Broad availability to affordable energy enriches countries, Christy said, praising carbon.

“It is not evil. It is the stuff of life. It is plant food,” he said.

What about the fires and heat waves?

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, fires were burning in fifteen states as of Tuesday, August 14.

Alaska reported seventeen fires, Arizona reported eleven, both Oregon and Colorado reported ten, and California reported nine.

Much of the news media’s discussion about these fires over the past few weeks has established a correlation between the many fires and anthropogenic climate change, a correlation that Dr. Christy rejects.

Christy argues that exacerbating fires out west, particularly in California, results from human mismanagement. Such states have enacted strict management practices that disallow low-level fires from burning, he said.

“If you don’t let the low-intensity fires burn, that fuel builds up year after year,” Christy said. “Now once a fire gets going and it gets going enough, it has so much fuel that we can’t put it out.”

“In that sense, you could say that fires today are more intense, but it’s because of human management practices, not because mother nature has done something,” Christy said.

Data from the Fire Center indicates that the number of wildfires have been decreasing since the 1970s overall, though acreage burned has increased significantly.

As for the heat, Christy said there’s nothing abnormal going on in the United States.

“Heat waves have always happened,” he said. “Our most serious heatwaves were in the 1930’s. We have not matched those at all.”

Christy continued, “It is only a perception that is being built by the media that these are dramatic worst-ever heat wave kind of things but when we look at the numbers, and all science is numbers, we find that there were periods that were hotter, hotter for longer periods in the past, so it’s very hard to say that this was influenced by human effects when you go back before there could have been human effects and there’s the same or worse kind of events.”

Though Christy didn’t deny that the last three years have been the hottest ever recorded globally, he doesn’t concede that the changes are attributable to anything other than climate’s usual and historical erraticism.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

16 hours ago

Alabama state Rep. Standridge on ‘In God We Trust’ legislation: ‘It’s a simple message, but I believe it’s a powerful message’

Alabama state Rep. David Standridge (R-Hayden) was interviewed Tuesday on “Fox and Friends First,” where he discussed the state’s new law that allows “In God We Trust” to be displayed in public buildings.

Standridge, who sponsored the legislation in the state legislature, explained that the idea came in part out of recent debate about school safety. He said he views displaying the national motto as a way to bring added comfort to students, teachers and staff while they are at school.

Along the way, Standridge was shocked by the number of people who were afraid to touch the subject, due to what he views as a modern-day culture of hypersensitivity and “political correctness.”

Media outlets like and the Associated Press reported that legal challenges are “expected,” but, like Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Standridge does not see an issue with simply displaying the national motto – which he points out was passed by Congress and is featured on American currency.

“It’s a simple message, but I believe it’s a powerful message,” Standridge said on “Fox and Friends First.”


Standridge’s wife, Danna, is a former teacher at Hayden High School in Blount County, which is being viewed as the guinea pig county for the new law.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

16 hours ago

The media, including some in Alabama, continue endorsing aggressive action by liberals that will lead to violence

During the rise of the Tea Party, the American media pretended the group was violent and was going to get people hurt. There are multiple instances where the media disingenuously tied violent acts that were unrelated to the group or others on the American right; the facts didn’t matter.

Now, liberals are in the street punching reporters, cutting audio cables, yelling at people while they eat, showing up and screaming at town halls and throwing items at U.S. Senators like Doug Jones over Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, while shouting, “You can kiss my ass if you vote yes. You can kiss my ass if you vote yes. You can kiss my ass.”

If the woman who committed this act were Republican, we would know every single thing about her and she would have been fired from her job.

But because she is fighting the liberal’s fight, the Alabama Political Reporter’s Josh Moon praised this ridiculousness:


This comes on the heels of CNN’s Chris Cuomo endorsing violence by Antifa in a “fight between good and evil”:

The violence is going to get worse. It is being fueled by bad people for bad reasons. The cowards in the media will make excuses for these people, and they will tell those who might be considering action that they are morally right. It implies doing nothing is complicit, and that it is more important than ever that Americans resist — even if that means violence.

It is easy to see that Josh Moon and Chris Cuomo aren’t going to get out in the street and start throwing hands, but rather, they will praise violent acts from behind their keyboards and from their televisions studios as they benefit from the carnage.