Violent America: What’s Missing from the Conversation?

In 2022, Americans experienced 213 mass shootings, with the recent shooting of nineteen children and two teachers in Texas. President Biden addressed politicians, stating, “Do something for God’s sake!” The only time the media or politicians mention God is after another tragedy.

What’s missing is the voice of the religious community. When people die due to violence, we ask for prayers. The media seldom discusses God or prayers without a tragedy. Our religious leaders fail to speak up to inform American youth that every human is a spiritual being with undiscovered talents.

Many parents don’t teach children about their many God-given gifts. Abusive and helicopter parents prevent children from trusting themselves or learning from mistakes. Children are born with a creative imagination and intuition that can guide them. Youth need to listen to their instincts which can alert them to danger. With a self-protective conscience, young people can stay safe if they choose to listen and become self-aware.

When youth don’t understand inner power, they can become vulnerable to being bullied or manipulated into drugs, crime, sex, gangs, and violence. We now have a nation with young people who never learned how to handle their emotions. Anger prevents spiritual growth, which challenges developing patience, persistence, self-determination, and self-confidence.

Over the years, religion eroded as broken families without fathers became commonplace. Children grew up with sex and violence promoted in movies, TV, and computers as supportive families and neighbors who protect children slowly eroded.

Without any moral foundation, angry young people become self-destructive and lose their self-worth and respect for others. They seek “friends” and distractions on computers. Without any spiritual understanding of self, youth may seek revenge.

We have become a sick society with up to 10 million children abused. Evil people are grooming children into sex trafficking and harvesting organs. Adults hooked on drugs and violence have resulted in 100,000 children living in Foster Care or on the streets. Children without family or neighborhood support are vulnerable to criminals.

Corruption is a national problem as local and national politicians line their pockets with taxpayers’ money. Drug dealers target vulnerable youth as homeless encampments grow. Anger, hate, and revenge are so pervasive that many families live in fear and social isolation in their neighborhoods.

Don’t be fooled; politicians and laws will not change people’s behavior. Only God can heal hearts and heal our nation! We need a conversation that includes people who turned their lives around and discovered a new way to live and thrive.

As a survivor of child abuse and neglect, I see a need for people of faith to speak up as politicians seek to divide! Many Americans don’t understand the power of prayer and forgiveness. We need messages of hope to strengthen Americans and bring us together.

The Hartford Institute states there are 350,000 religious’ congregations in America. Why aren’t they united and discussing the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity and anger in the media? Young people who kill are sending a message; I no longer care about you because you don’t care about me!

The warning signs are everywhere. American youth are escaping into drugs, crime, violence, and suicide because American families and faith leaders fail to discuss God’s power.

Never underestimate the power of a message that gives people hope.

The solution to violence is to ask for God’s help or seek support groups to help people look within to see the benefits of changing their thinking from anger and revenge to self-acceptance and peace. We all have the inner power to grow strong and resilient despite adversity.

Let’s broaden the conversation to include the power of God. Every human being has the potential to be successful and contribute to the American way of life if they get the support they need and learn how God can change lives and heal our nation!


Stephanie L. Mann
Stephanie L. Mann
Stephanie Mann co-authored, Alternative to Fear: Guidelines to Safer Neighborhoods,” which helped launch the national “Neighborhood Watch” Program. Within 2 1/2 years, involved residents in her community (17,500 residents) decreased crime 48%, WITHOUT a local police department. Mann worked as a community leader, neighborhood organizer, county coordinator, state consultant and authored, “Safe Homes, Safe Neighborhoods: Stopping Crime Where You Live” (Nolo Press 1993) In 2010, while working in Richmond CA, with “Mother’s Against Senseless Killings,” Mann saw people too scared to be involved or report crimes. She wrote, “The Adopt-A-Block Guidebook,” with an easy-to-follow guide for existing groups and “My first steps to a safe neighborhood” for citizens. These booklets give individuals and groups the tools to reach out and bring people together to help each other. Stephanie started a homeless men’s support group while working with “The Mary Ann Wright Foundation” in Oakland CA. She recognized the need to support children at an early age and wrote, “Street Safe Kids: 10 Step Guide for Teens and Adults” (which has been used in after-school programs) to help youth grow strong from within to develop self-esteem and stay centered. Book available on The Safe Kids Now National website states, “Every child needs a healthy family and neighborhood to stay safe.” In partnership with the CARR Foundation, a binder, “Safe Neighborhoods: Access to a Healthy Community,” was created for city leaders to make neighborhoods safer for families and neighborhoods. Stephanie’s books strengthen families and can decrease the social isolation that fuels bullies, domestic violence, abuse, drugs, gangs, and other destructive behaviors.”

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  1. Powerful Spiritual message here. It’s so true with the media and computer games and peer pressure. Kids have it alot harder than we did growing up. Parents turned to electronics as a babysitter. There’s so much violence on TV and computer games that I’m afraid kids are becoming desensitized. They can no longer differienceat between what is real and not. It starts at home. We all need to do a better job instilling morals and right from wrong in our kids. Great article. Now if we could all just get on the same page there might be change.

  2. Hi John,
    Yes, I think ‘because’ is the right word! The first step to understand a problem and how to solve it is to start a discussion. Everyone is free to make their own decisions but we need to hear all sides. With 350,000 churches in the US, I hear very little discussion about the plight of children and what parents can do to keep their children safe in today’s unsafe world. That is why I wrote, “Empowerment Parenting.” It has now been translated into Chinese for under privileged children in Taiwan. Thanks for asking!

  3. Hi Lynn, Thanks for your comment and thanks to Dennis for sharing these amazing articles. I didn’t grow up with any religion but when I was abandoned in Mexico City at age 15 and didn’t speak the language, I was like a soldier in the foxhole as the bombs started falling. Fear and social isolation took over. Without any support, I remembered what my grandmother had once said to me, “If you have no one, you can always turn to God.” That is the message I shared when I worked with the homeless for almost five years and men got jobs. I wrote, “Empowerment Parenting” as a result of learning what they never learned as children. Many young people don’t hear any messages about the power of God to transform and heal. Not sure the best way to get that message out to young people who are on drugs, committing crime, violence and even suicide. Thousands of people are now homeless and living on our streets. Here is just one man who figured it out. Do you have any suggests on how to get the broader message out to the public? People need hope for the future!

  4. Blessings Stephanie,
    What is missing in all this evil that is spreading, especially to our youths is a conglomerate of things (in my opinion). Your article touches on them. When God was taken out of our schools , “and so it began”. When our Politicians became even more corrupt due to the desire of flesh, power, and control. When our borders, unlike many other countries borders, were not protected, allowing the evil of drugs and guns, sex trafficking to infiltrate. I come from a parish that definitely speaks to the youth, I ‘d like to think that based on World Youth Day, started by St. John Paul II is making a difference, but when you have leaders of our country looking the other way, allowing Drag Queens in the midst of the most innocent, what is to be expected? Police have been defunded in many states, lacking in personnel, can’t really do the job they would like to do because of the left seeping into everything. Woke-ism, socialistic ideas, all of it is to blame. I grew up in the 50’s and yes, it was a good time, we could learn about history and what things to avoid or make better. I could go on, but the answer to your article is first and foremost, God, Faith, less Divorces, families with Fathers, and to make dinner the part of the family for conversation as a unit.