Using tragedy to promote religious agendas
by: John Tyrrell
A week ago we saw the mass murder in Connecticut. I have no idea what motivated the shooter and I am not about to use this space to suggest what needs to be done to reduce the likelihood of the next incident. Or the ones after that. What I will say is that the religious excuses offered by a number of supposedly Christian commentators were thoroughly offensive. Morally offensive, theologically offensive, and logically unsupportable.
Let's look at what these "Christians" think of their God
James Dobson (Founder of Focus on the Family): I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant to me, and we have killed fifty-four million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition. I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what’s going on.
That's Dobson's Christian God for you. He's unhappy because there are atheists and agnostics, he's unhappy because of abortion (fetuses, not babies, Mr. Dobson), and he's unhappy about same-sex marriage. So he knowingly permitted 20 children to be slaughtered - twenty children who had nothing to do with any of those issues that God is unhappy about.
And Dobson wonders why people turn away from his God.
Bryan Fischer ( American Family Association): "You know, the question's going to come up, 'Where was God? I thought God cared about the little children? God protected the little children? Where was God when all this went down?' And here's the bottom line: God is not gonna go where he's not wanted. ... We've kicked God out of our public school system. And I think God would say to us, 'Hey, I'll be glad to protect your children, but you gotta invite me back into your world first. I'm not gonna go where I'm not wanted. I am a gentleman.'"
That's Fischer's supposedly omnipotent omnipresent Christian God for you. He, like Fischer either does not understand the rules or deliberately and knowingly misstates them. After all, God has not been kicked out of the public school system. The rules only prevent school teachers and school administrators from forcing any particular religion on children. Students can on their own initiative pray, say grace before a school meal, even read holy scripture on their free time.
Further, it would be highly unlikely given the state of religion in the USA that not a single person in Sandy Hook Elementary did not call for divine intervention while the shooting was going on. Almost certainly, God was invited to intervene.
And Fischer wonders why people turn away from his gentleman God.
Sam Morris (Pastor Old Paths Baptist Church): “We get all up in arms about 20 children being shot in a day care but we don’t give one good-glory rip about the 4,000 that were removed violently from the wombs of their mothers the same day... When I got in high school, man, I started learning all this kingdom, phylum stuff, all this junk about evolution. And I want to tell you what evolution teaches — here’s the bottom line — that you’re an animal. That’s what it teaches. So, you’re an animal, you can act like an animal. Amen.”
That is a Christian pastor speaking - minimizing the death of actual living children by bringing in irrelevant abortion statistics. Then going on to blame the teaching of evolution for the actions of the killer. No logical link necessary. After all, we're dealing with Baptists here.
Dr. Marshall Foster, Christian historian, founder of the World History Institute: "I'm sick and tired of the media's attempt to make excuses for [killer's name deleted] mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In the face of all the politically correct mumbo jumbo from pundits and religious leaders alike, it's time that someone took a stand and told the truth. The culprit is not an imbalance of chemical enzymes in [the killer's] brain; the culprit is [the killer's] sin nature! Man is wicked beyond belief,"
Well isn't that so helpful in understanding why and in preventing recurrences? The killer had a sinful soul, just as Christian theology tells us everyone is sinful. Then why, Dr. Marshall, aren't we all out there committing mass murder? Why Dr. Marshall, aren't you out there committing mass murder? Your sinful soul explanation explains nothing.
It is not the media out there making excuses. It is you and your fellow Christians that are making up totally nonsensical excuses which explain nothing and solve nothing and detract entirely from identifying solutions.
Mike Huckabee (Ordained minister, former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate) responding to the question how could God let this happen?: We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability? That we’re not just going to have to be accountable to the police, if they catch us. But one day, we will stand before a Holy God in judgment. If we don’t believe that, then we don’t fear that.
See comments above for Bryan Fischer. Also, Huckabee is clearly one of those people who have the mistaken idea that you cannot be moral without belief in God and Judgement Day.
In his own news program over the weekend, Huckabee doubled down on his thoughts, saying:
"We’ve escorted God right out of our culture and marched him off the public square, and then we express our surprise that a culture without him actually reflects what it has become.”
Here, he's blaming godlessness for the mass murder in the absence of any evidence that it had anything at all to bear on the matter. Shooting off his mouth in ignorance.
Later on in another interview, he tried to back off;
I’m not suggesting by any stretch that if we had prayer in schools regularly as we once did that this wouldn’t have happened, because you can't have that kind of cause and effect,But we’ve created an atmosphere in this country where the only time you want to invoke God’s name is after the tragedy.
I think it’s important that we quit apologizing for having a spiritual conversation. Quit being ashamed that we believe in God.
And if you really read between the lines here, he's admitting that he has been using the tragedy, using the mass murder of innocent children to advance his religious agenda.
And that's what all of these fine upstanding Christian clergymen have been doing. Using the dead children to promoting their personal religious agendas, agendas which are irrelevant to the cause of the killings, or the solution to prevent future such murders.