Disgraceful Reactions to a Tragedy

December 14, 2012

This morning, at least two dozen people -- most of them young children -- were killed in a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. While we are still in the process of learning details regarding this tragedy, two religious figures already claim to know its cause: separation of church and state. 


On his radio program this afternoon, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association said the following:

"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.'"

Soon after, FOX News anchor and ordained Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee -- appearing on, well, FOX News -- had this to say

"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. ... Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"

Enlightening and empathetic remarks, wouldn't you say? More like absolutely disgraceful and utterly deplorable. Instead of focusing on extending their condolences to all those involved, and perhaps providing a religious perspective on dealing with a tragedy (with which I might disagree, but would be understandable), Fischer and Huckabee decided to use their time on air to make clear their hatred for secular, religiously neutral government, and threaten that the United States must become a Christian theocracy or else continue to experience school shootings (gun control, anyone?). This is despicable behavior and should be widely condemned.

There are obvious legal responses to this madness, but quite honestly I think my friend Rob Boston has registered the most powerful and poignant response imaginable (which he later expanded on here).

"A god who allows innocent children to die because he's in a snit over his alleged expulsion from public schools is not worthy of our worship. If this is the god of the Religious Right, they can have him. I have no interest in spending eternity with such an unethical and evil being."

By the way: there's no information yet on the religious views of the suspect, who reportedly committed suicide at the scene.

Addendum: this morning I awoke to learn that there are actually more offensive reactions out there. What is the matter with these people?




#1 craig gosling (Guest) on Friday December 14, 2012 at 9:05pm

It’s the old question, why is evil in the world? Why did Jews die in the holacost? Why did Christians die in the Crusades? Why did American Christian Americans die in the Civil War? Why did Christians kill Christians during the Inquisitions? The answers are the same. God was not invited in. God punished the innocent for the sins of the non Christians. God punishes everyone because Adam and Eve sinned. If you swallow this crap, you have been brain washed.

#2 F. Bacon (Guest) on Saturday December 15, 2012 at 5:29am

Rigid religious dogma serves to punish those who have done others wrong. It’s easy to see how a mentally ill person would think that destroying his enemies would serve a purpose.

Not wanting to punish circumstance goes against the basic tenets of religion. If one feels he is the agent for the purpose of the almighty plan, these are who carry out retribution against those who have done them wrong, regardless of the real consequences.

#3 twinbeech on Saturday December 15, 2012 at 7:39am

This is, pure and simple, a problem of the lack of proper care for the mentally ill in this country. And the problem started with Reagan when he was Governor of California when he shut down institutions for the mentally ill in order to save money.

Well folks, we should have learned by now, we are going to pay for this sooner or later in one way or another. By waiting till later, we sacrifice our children and others.

Anybody care to put a price on that?

Charlie Sitzes
Bloomington, Indiana

#4 craig gosling (Guest) on Saturday December 15, 2012 at 3:33pm

Charlie - You may be right but I think the solution is more complicated.  Identifying and curing those who need help may help, but stricter gun laws are also needed. Automatic weapons and extended clips should be banned; all other guns need strict licensing; the illegal sale and resale of all guns must be strictly controlled. All guns now owned n the USA need to be registered and tracked, similar to autos, with large penalties for those who do not comply. The right to own certain guns for hunting, competition, and protection must be guaranteed. The number of guns anyone owns should be limited. In reality, these recommendations will never be adopted until many more atrocities occur.

#5 Kevin Rusnak (Guest) on Monday December 17, 2012 at 11:44am

If you want to believe in God, fine, let me know when he actually shows up in a tangible meaningful manner to do something. In the meantime, let’s address the real problem, mental illness. If guns never ever ever existed, Timothy McVeigh would have still blown up over 160 people with a home made bomb. Andrew Kehoe would have still blown up 38 school children with a home made bomb. OJ would have still stabbed to death Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman, etc…
Let’s work on fixing the problem that makes these people snap. The tool they use is not the issue.

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