We Can Stop Workplace Violence. So Why Haven’t We Done So?

There Is a Cure for This Week’s Workplace Violence: But Are We Willing to Administer It?

by Minister Paul J. Bern

The latest and ever more disturbing workplace shooting happened this past week in Virginia Beach, Va., and it has come to my attention that there is a lot more to these shootings than the evil deeds of some lone, deranged gunman. To be sure, the majority of the responsibility for this past week’s Virginia carnage is the gunman’s, who was killed by the police. Here was a man who was eaten up with hate, anger and bitterness to such an extreme that he killed or wounded 12 people before being killed himself by law enforcement personnel. So today I’m going to divide my message to you all, my dear readers and viewers, into 2 parts. The first will be the main part, which is what the Bible says about anger management and patience. The second will be equally as important – what are the root causes of workplace shootings, are why are they happening mostly in the United States?

To find these answers, the first place we look to is the Bible – the owner’s manual of humanity which is none other than the Word of God. We can start by finding the opposite, which is the complete absence of anger. “4) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1Cor. 13: 4-5) The lone gunmen in all workplace shootings had this very thing in common – there was a complete absence of love within themselves. To put it another way, these were individuals who were likely devoid of love since long before these various mass shootings ever occurred. They also had a propensity to keep score on their perceived enemies, like a game of emotional tit-for-tat. This is probably what happened this past week in Virginia, and it’s precisely the opposite of what verse 5 calls for.

God’s Word warns us against associating with those who are motivated by hate and unfocused rage that storms within them like a category 5 hurricane, as it is written: “24) Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered….” If anyone is not currently making an effort to disassociate from all hot-tempered people in their lives – and especially if it’s a spouse or parent – let today be the day you start. Violent people are toxic people, and it is up to ourselves to eliminate toxicity and toxic people from our lives. You can rest assured that there will be no toxic people or personalities in heaven! His Word also states quite clearly that righteous anger can only come from God. “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalms 30, verse 5) God can be stirred to irrevocable rage. Just ask one of those who lived in Sodom or Gomorrah when God destroyed their cities.

So only God can take life, since it is he who created it. When people take lives, they are playing god, and He holds in reserve the most severe punishment for those individuals who presume to do so. Those individuals who cannot, or who refuse to, keep their anger in check are held in the lowest possible esteem by God, as it is written, “11) Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” (Proverbs 29:11) Mass shooters are stone fools and pathetic morons according to Scripture. Those words were written roughly 3,000 years ago by King Solomon, son of David, of Jerusalem. King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived according to the Bible. His words are to be taken very seriously.

OK, now I want to move on to my conclusion for today. The culpability of the Virginia gunman is inescapable, and I would surmise that he is in an impossibly horrible place right now. But aside from his own guilt, what were, and what are, the root causes of workplace violence? For the answers to this and other questions like it, we need only look at American culture in the present. Everywhere we look on TV, the movies and particularly certain video games, we find ourselves bombarded with violent imagery that caters to our most basic instincts. Combine that with marriages that never last, which results in families being scattered all over the country and beyond. The twin safety nets of family and job security are both gone forever. As a result, life here in America can be downright terrifying at times. People are snapping under the pressure.

And, you can be fired for no reason if you’re in what’s called a ‘right-to-work’ state like Virginia. My own state of Georgia is the same way. According to Wikipedia, “In the context of U.S. labor politics, “right-to-work laws” refers to state laws that prohibit union security agreements between companies and labor unions. Under these laws, employees in unionized workplaces are banned from negotiating contracts which require all members who benefit from the union contract to contribute to the costs of union representation.” To view the entire page, click here. Of course, the flip side of ‘right-to-work’ laws is that wages are maintained at substandard levels in the absence of labor unions. While our wages are kept at an artificially low level, the American people find themselves boxed into student loans, mortgages and car payments they can’t afford. Actually, we can afford our loans. It’s the exorbitant compounded interest rates; that’s what we can no longer afford. And that very thing, this enforced inequality, that we must rise up against as a united people, while we still have time. And, that is what I have been trying to get people to do for the last 8 years that I’ve been blogging and writing nonfiction books.

Rise up against the powers that enslave you! Work your way out of the traps you are ensnared in – traps of the financial kind. Robots will be taking all our jobs soon. When that happens, we will have no resources left to fight with. Mass shootings solve nothing. These workplace shootings – I addressed school shootings in a separate blog post some time ago – are being perpetrated by deranged gunmen all right, but there is a root cause – like a least common denominator – for their rage to the point of insanity, even to the point of committing mass murder. Besides the evil natures of many, that root cause is America’s gun culture and the capitalist economic system that feeds this human craving for violence. Although I am still in favor of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution that give us the “right to keep and bear arms”, under no circumstances does the 2nd Amendment give any American the right to gun people down ad lib. A national gun licensing system similar to our current vehicle registration system would work quite nicely. Gun owners would be licensed too, concealed carry or not.

This latest episode of violence in an American workplace shows the entire world what a bunch of trigger-happy crazies we’re all turning out to be. I say this to America’s shame! Stop watching TV, the programming is filled with all kinds of subliminal messaging, especially the commercials. If you’re a parent, most of that subliminal messaging is aimed directly at your children, and the networks don’t care if you know that fact or not. The TV networks are trying to brainwash your children, and they are doing a frighteningly effective job. Stop playing those ultra-violent video games, and stop giving them as gifts. Looking at all those TV, computer and phone screens is hard on your eyes. Try listening to an audio-book instead. I have 4 out, with 2 more slated for release later this year. To find out more, just click here. And, I hope I’ll have something better to write about by this time next week.

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I am Rev. Paul J. Bern, a well-known Web pastor and regular blogger on The Social Gospel Blog here on Wordpress, as well as Medium, Booksie, Patreon and Linked In. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, I began my writing and blogging career in 2010 after becoming temporarily disabled in 2008 due to a stroke, a pacemaker implant plus some other health issues. Prior to that occurrence, I was a long-time computer/IT professional and computer shop owner (21 years altogether). I also own the websites Progressive Christian Ministries of Greater Atlanta, Inc, and https://www.authorrevpauljbern.com, I am the published author of “Cannabis Legalization and the Bible: Compatible or Not?”, “The Apostles in Plain English Vol. 1: the Apostle Paul”, "Sole Survivor", "Occupying America: We Shall Overcome", and "The Middle and Working Class Manifesto 4th Edition". They are available on Amazon Books or from my website at https://www.pcmatl.org/books-and-donations/. I also currently serve as a church keyboardist at Atlanta's Prayer of Faith Church of God in Christ.

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