What saddens me about the murders in Aurora, Colorado, beyond the immeasurable pain it’s caused to the families and friends of the victims, is how readily people continue to embrace—or even intensify—their faith in light of a demonstration of either God’s impotence, his apathy, or his nonexistence. Prayers are being offered, people are turning for consolation to their faith, and so on, not realizing that a loving God would never have allowed this to happen, even if he wanted “free will” for the shooter (which of course that shooter didn’t have). Now I won’t deny that some people find consolation in their faith in this tragedy, or try to deny them that consolation, but it’s sad that the tragedy doesn’t even make them question their faith.
But what’s worse is the unspeakable stupidity of American preachers who have to somehow work God into this tragedy. Now we’re not sure whether mega-Pastor Rick Warren really blamed the tragedy on evolution (some readers have their doubts, and I’m beginning to wonder if I was not too quick to exculpate him), but the usual group of moronic men of the cloth is standing up with some idiotic statements. According to PuffHo:
In an article published on OneNewsNow, evangelical Jerry Newcombe wrote:
“I can’t help but feel that to some extent, we’re reaping what we’ve been sowing as a society. We said to God, “Get out of the public arena.” Lawsuit after lawsuit, often by misguided “civil libertarians,” have chased away any fear of God in the land — at least in the hearts of millions.”
Why, then, do the more Godless countries of Europe have so many fewer mass shootings?
Newcombe couldn’t stop himself:
Perhaps more disturbing were Newcombe’s comments on a segment on the American Family Association dedicated to understanding the shooting tragedy in Colorado. In taking about the deaths, Newcombe separated the afterlife fate of those who died as Christians and those who did not:
“If a Christian dies early, if a Christian dies young, it seems tragic, but really it is not tragic because they are going to a wonderful place.. on the other hand, if a person doesn’t know Jesus Christ.. if they knowingly rejected Jesus Christ, then, basically, they are going to a terrible place.”Newcombe then turned the tragedy into an opportunity for people to become Christian and avoid the fate of hell:
“For those who are not ‘in Christ’ and see this incredible tragedy, this would be a good time for soul reflection and consider why have you not accepted Jesus Christ.. I would urge anyone who is not in Christ to repent of your sins.”
Finally, many of you have probably heard U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert’s unspeakably stupid remarks:
On the day of the shootingRep. Gohmert of Texasalso insisted that the shootings are the result of “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian Beliefs”:
“People say … where was God in all of this? We’ve threatened high school graduation participations, if they use God’s name, they’re going to be jailed … I mean that kind of stuff. Where was God? What have we done with God? We don’t want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present.”
Yep, we’re back to a petulant Yahweh who decides to smite everyone because they don’t give Him proper obeisance.
UPDATE (h/t to reader James below): On his Fox News show, Arkansas governor and now right-wingnut Mike Huckabee, on his Fox News show, also blamed atheism for the tragedy:
“Ultimately,” Huckabee concluded, “We don’t have a crime problem or a gun problem – or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem. And since we ordered God out of our schools and communities, the military and public conversations, you know, we really shouldn’t act so surprised when all hell breaks loose.”
Stay tuned: all hell breaks loose in Sweden and Denmark, those most godless of nations.