Adultism and School Shootings of Children

A psychologist offering advice in a time of school shootings advised parents to “Reassure the children that adults are there to take care of them.” 

Voiceover of Ted Cruz speech to the 2022 NRA convention, days after the Uvalde school shooting, with a montage of family photos with assault rifles and other guns. Tweet by @CWebbOnline (you may need to turn on the audio)..

But they AREN’T!  That is the problem.  Adult politicians with their priorities frozen have proven that they are married to the NRA no matter what happens to children.  Many adult politicians go into denial about murderers and their guns and instead talk on about mental health without a word about getting military assault weapons off the streets. 

Three days after the slaughter of children in Uvaldo, Texas, before the childrens’ bodies were even buried, NRA holds a gathering.  Texan senator Ted Cruz spoke there and offered his solution to gun violence–purchase more guns—this time for teachers.  Nothing about limiting assault weapons available everywhere.  (Ted Cruz has accepted over $450,000 in donations from NRA over the years.)

Many politicians are clearly not there to take care of the children.  Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has received over $350,000 of donations from the NRA over the years, responded to the Texas massacre by criticizing the Miami basketball team for running an announcement to ban assault weapons! 

Emma Gonzalez, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people died in a 2018 mass shooting, calls out President Trump and the NRA by name at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Report by CNN.

Neither are senators McConnell, or Governor Abbot or 47 other senators there to take care of the children.  They are there to coddle and love the NRA for the sake of their adult ambitions.  They have made that abundantly clear.  Their one priority is that money not cease flowing into their political coffers. 

Texas police—all supposedly adults—are being caught in lie after lie about why they did nothing for 40 minutes while the killer was alone in a classroom and there were 19 of them and one of him.

Adultism reigns when adult agendas—”keep me as senator,” “keep me as police chief”–prevail over children’s lives.

Would banning assault weapons help?  When America banned such weapons in 1994, shooting deaths fell by 43% in the country.  When the ban was lifted ten years later, killings increased by 243%!  So it seems like politicians can offer more than “thoughts and prayers” after all–if they choose to.  But those in idolatrous relationships with the NRA do not choose to do so.

‘You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,’ climate activist Greta Thunberg tells world leaders at the 2019 UN climate action summit. Guardian News.

The health of Mother Earth is another case of adultism.  There too many politicians prefer to turn their backs on children and on future generations to surrendering their cozy relationship to the fossil fuel industry that awards them as generously as does the NRA. 

The Earth is a children’s issue since they live on it too and might one day have their own children to do the same.  But many are the politicians selling out the future of the Earth for the sake of filling their current political coffers.  Adultism compounded.

In contrast, Jesus said, “do it to the least and you do it to me.”    He also advised adults to “turn and become like children.” 

I think he sensed the sacredness of children.  As opposed to the idolatry of adultist agendas. 

See Matthew Fox, “Adultism—A Society that Devours Its Youth,” in Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 181-199.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: “Uvalde, Texas – Strange Days of Sorrow in America.” Image by Daniel Arrhakis (2022) on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you believe that “adults are there to take care of the youth?” when politicians refuse to act to remove assault weapons from the streets?  Or to defend Mother Earth from assault?

Recommended Reading

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

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15 thoughts on “Adultism and School Shootings of Children”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, Today you ask us this in our Queries for Contemplation: “Do you believe that ‘adults are there to take care of the youth?’ when politicians refuse to act to remove assault weapons from the streets?” I think you answer this best yourself when you write that Mitch McConnell, Governor Abbot and 47 other senators who should be there to take care of the children, instead are there to coddle and love the NRA for the sake of their adult ambitions–which always end up being more money and power. This also goes for Mother Earth. The powers that be treat Her like a commodity to be exploited, and that is just what they do. They rape and plunder their Mother–our Mother.
    Finally I would just to speak a word on Adultism. When I was first a parent over forty years ago, I raised my son and daughter to be little adults. In church, they were supposed to sit like adults–still and quiet. Now I see that this was wrong. Now, with my seven year old grandson, when he is not acting like an adult, but rather like a seven year old, I say that it is perfectly fine with me. When he is a child I will let him enjoy being a child, but never judge him by those who are older than him.

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    Jeanette Metler

    When you really look to see, to understand with the gaze of compassion upon the children of humanity… what is revealed within the majority is an intense suffering… emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually… due to the utter neglect of the audultism that Mathew has been speaking of within these DM’s over the past several days. The state and condition of the heart, mind, soul and spirit of our youth… and the pain they embody… manifests itself in self-mutilation through what is known as cutting… along with self-medication through drugs and alcohol… as well as violence, either self-directed through acts of suicide or directed outwardly through mass murders. Some, try to flee the abusers of audultism… only to be caught in a web of prostitution and rape… or gangs of violence and drugs. Audultism, refuses to see, through the gaze of compassion, the suffering, the pain, the state and condition of the majority that our youth are in… and in their neglect, nor do these one’s, respond with mercy… a desire to do a loving act in some way that will alleviate our youths innumerable afflictions. Those in adultisim are indeed devouring our youth, as Mathew has stated, through ego self-importance, self-centeredness, and selfishness, all for personal gains.

    President Biden’s prayerful plea, to the people of the United States, through a Biblical prayer… “Mount up with eagles wings…” is not enough! Nor are his words, “This needs to stop.” Words are not enough… but rather courageous acts of compassion, mercy, and genuine love, for and towards our neglected youth are called for now! Standing up against the NRA and lobbying for greater gun control laws, is but one way in which the people can take action… that clearly in the past, as Mathew has quoted, will result in positive and necessary changes that can and do protect our youth from further harm, pain and suffering.

    On a more directly, intimate and personal level, each one of us all, can reach out to the children, the youth within our own little circle of influence… be it within our own families, our neighbors or others within our communities… by choosing to become and be mentoring brothers and sisters, grandmothers and grandfathers of compassion, mercy and love… to those experiencing the many manifestations of neglect, due to audultism. We are not powerless in protecting and preserving the innocence, beauty and inherent goodness within our children, and it is our responsibility to do so… in whatever ways we are inspired to… through the indwelling presence and essence of the Spirit of the Divine Mother… the archetype of the Black Maddonna… desiring to arise and resurrect in our midst… within our own hearts, minds, souls and spirits… that we may move forward, in Her strength, courage and wisdom ways… reaching out to our youth whom are unjustly suffering such deep pain.

  3. Avatar

    Well and strongly stated, Matthew. Yet the ears that need to hear it are deaf, the hearts that need to feel it are hardened, and the minds that need to consider it have other agendas. Out of the crooked timber of lawmakers, few straight, square, and true things have seldom been made, and the will or good of the people are seldom considered. I believe the best we can do is look for the helpers among the common folk who console and comfort each other. The divide between the will and good of the people, and the power elite is yawning, and practically irreparable.

  4. Avatar

    Adultism~Racism~Sexism~Ecocide~Toxic Patriarchism/Masculinity~Egocentric Consciousness~Evil… or
    The choice of our Faith, Hope, Love, Trust, Truth, Wisdom, Peace, Justice, Creativity, Compassionate Being/Action is clear for our Loving Eternal Souls on our spiritual journeys here on earth….

    1. Avatar

      I also read both of these wise mystics and prophets every day and find that they so often complement each other, Richard Rohr and Matthew Fox. I am so grateful for them both.

      1. Avatar
        Jeanette Metler

        I too, access these daily devotions from both Mathew Fox and Richard Rohr, and I too see how they compliment one another, and I am also grateful for them both.

  5. Avatar

    Thank you for your brave, inspiring words, Matthew Fox!

    I especially loved learning about the wit, love and courage of Rhea.

  6. Avatar

    We read Matthew Fox newsletter regularly. We share many of his views. I engaged a family member, who does not share my desire for gun control. I shared the startling statistic from the newsletter about the increased deaths due to semi automatic guns in the last 10 years. There is no reference given in the newsletter. I received this article in response and I have no reference to share.

    I wonder who to believe?? Are the facts “mixed”?

  7. Avatar

    Clearly, adults with power DO NOT defend children—or much of anything else beyond their own position and insatiable desire for MORE—more power, more money, more fame, more of whatever it takes to attempt to satisfy their bottomless egos.
    At this time, there is no political solution to this. The evangelical/republican party (ERP) has, as reported in several reliable media outlets, made plans and placed “judges” to support their intent to subvert election processes in the red states. They will certify election results that show ERP wins and refuse to certify election results that show Democratic wins. They have a bought-and-paid-for “supreme” “court” that will uphold this plan as “constitutional.” The ERP discovered years ago that the way for a minority to dominate the government is by entrenched obstructionism of alternate solutions and refusal to negotiate.
    So if there is to be a solution, it must be made by those in the country who actually are adults and are able to create and implement solutions without any help from the non-functioning government.
    We must take over primary and secondary education to once again instruct children in logical thinking and to acquaint them with their inclusion in Nature. We must withdraw from the government-sanctioned economic template and refuse to finance the oligarchy because it cannot function without money. We must adopt self-sustaining patterns of living to include things like exchange of talents for food if we’re unable to grow our own—for example, the elderly can do many things with and for children while younger adults are producing food and other necessities. The Transition Movement is doing these things and needs expansion and support.
    If We The People do not “grow up” and take adult responsibility for the next generations and our own behavior, there is indeed no hope.
    As we’ve been reading lately about the nature, existence, and practice of Evil, it’s safe to observe that the people who, through refusal to act, are encouraging and supporting terrorism in our country are definitive Evil.

    1. Avatar

      Well said, and thank you. I would only add that we should borrow a page from this evil political machine and start organized and sustained protests at every gun shop that sells automatic weapons to private citizens and every company that manufactures them. It would take a huge amount of money and a sustained effort–sadly, there seems no political or other party strong enough to do this.

  8. Avatar

    I think the problem is that we do not have enough real adults in government. Gone is the concept of public service. It seems that most of the politicians are more like spoiled children who simply must have their way without concern for anyone else and whose greed is insatiable–greed for money that can bring them power. And, as we all know, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The image of Cronus eating his own children is spot on. Thank you for another thoughtful and thought provoking meditation. I think that these politicians in Congress and in too many states, along with a warped Supreme Court, have already gone too far. As with Cronus, their end will come, but I fear at a terrible cost to many innocent people. I will not live to see it or the shape it will take, but history does seem to teach that tyranny can only last just so long, whether in years or decades or even centuries, and then some violent upheaval occurs. I pray that enough people wake up and work for positive change to prevent that pattern from recurring. In the meantime, we do what we can, as John Wesley wrote:,Do%20all%20the%20good%20you%20can%2C%20by%20all%20the%20means,long%20as%20ever%20you%20can.

  9. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    In my country, Canada, our Prime Minister Trudeau, is in the midst of passing Bill C21… which legally restricts the producing, selling, purchase or ownership of any automatic weapons… as apart of furthering gun control, as well as addressing ways to reduce violence. What’s unfolding in the United States I do believe was apart of why this Bill C21 has been initiated in Canada.

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