Wingnut: Murdering Kids is Good for Them

There have been a lot of appalling responses to the tragic school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. We’ve had numerous wingnuts use the tired old “this is what happens when you kick God out of schools” bullshit. But this one, posted to Facebook by a guy named John Rennard, may be the worst:


First of all, it’s wrong even from a Christian standpoint. Original sin, remember; everyone is guilty and can only go to heaven if they believe in Jesus. If that’s true, then no doubt some of those kids are headed to hell. But even without that, how fucking disgusting. If he really believes that, shouldn’t we reward the killer? If it’s the greatest gift ever, shouldn’t he be out killing people? As one of my Facebook friends said, if he really believes this then shouldn’t he greet his friends by saying, “Merry Christmas! I sure hope you die in a terrible car accident on the way home!”

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  • F [disappearing]

    Ah yes, what manner of douchebaggery is this.

  • mudskipper

    If I was the parent of one of those kids and read this, I would be tempted to give him the Best Christmas Present Ever.

  • matthewhodson

    “First of all, it’s wrong even from a Christian standpoint”

    Well to be fair there isnt really a single Christian standpoint; there is a spectrum.

    Some would say you need to “make a personal commitment to the Lord (Hallelujah)”, with some insisting on a ritual to confirm this.

    Calvinists would assume that the elect amongst the slain would be “with the Lord”.

    Others take the stance that before one comes of age there is no chance to make an informed decision about eternal life so they kids must be in heaven right?

    I dont know if this last stance has any support from the great big book of multiple choice but it does lead to the terrible conclusion that the kids are better off dead.

    This idea I think stems from not wanting to think that children could be tortured forever by a loving all powerful god. The problem is the doctrine of Hell, but some Christians have trouble questioning it.

    The reality of annihilation is also difficult to accept when we think of our kids; but with a realistic view it is clear they are better off alive.

  • D. C. Sessions

    If he really believed this, why isn’t he handing out “Christmas Presents” to his family, friends, and neighbors?

  • Catholics would argue that young children yet to attain the age of reason would upon death be wafted into heaven provided they had been baptized (and thus washed clean of original sin). Children who had attained the age of reason and were therefore capable of sin would still go to heaven provided (a) they had been baptized (fixing the original sin problem) and (b) had not subsequently committed a mortal sin without seeking the sacrament of confession and absolution. (Hence the best time for an unexpected death is right after completing the rite of confession — often called the sacrament of reconciliation these days.)

    Anyway, that’s what Catholics would say. They’d be wrong, too, of course, but no damnation of the innocents. As for the unbaptized children, burdened with original sin, the Vatican jury is out. The concept of limbo has disappeared from the Catholic catechism, but without a definitive ruling in its place. I’ll guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • iangould

    Unless, you know, some of those kids weren’t Christians in which case the filthy little sinners get to spend eternity in hell where they belong.

  • slc1

    Here’s a post from Jerry Coyne’s blog about William Lane Craig, truly a first class asshole.

  • Ed:

    Not even close to the worst, but this:

    is very fucked up.

    If I was to run into some asshat who actually thought this way, I might want to shoot him. But, after thinking about it, I’d prolly opt for something that would take longer.

  • slc1

    I’m sure that the blog’s favorite physics professor will be along with his no true Scotsman alibi.

  • deepsix

    I especially hate the idea that if more people owned guns, there would be fewer murders. This is akin to the idea that if more people owned dynamite there would be fewer explosions.

  • Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish

    If the logic underlying this is true, why are Christian funerals solemn affairs? They should be riotous celebrations. Or is it because they’re all envious that the recently deceased is now kicking back with Jesus and they’re stuck here?

  • davidct

    It seems that this odd way of thinking has been used by otherwise smart people. A certain christian apologist, WLC, has claimed that god commanded slaughters of the Old Testament were not that morally reprehensible. This is because the innocent children go to be with god. He makes the claim that it is actually the poor soldiers who are the victims since they are required to do the killing. Small wonder that lesser minds share these ideas.

  • “Best Christmas gift ever”?

    *headdesk* I. Can’t. Even.

  • Michael Heath

    Tom Thompson and John Rennard

    About 20 children are receiving the BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER . . . the presence of our God and Lord Jesus Christ

    [italics mine – MH]

    Notice how these two delusional morons didn’t reference the adults; plus they equivocated on whether all twenty children are supposedly in Heaven given their use of the word “about”.

    I would argue that if even one of those victims ended up in Hell as Hell is described in the Bible, that in itself is convincing evidence of near-infinite evil by the god they celebrate. Therefore the only moral response is not to celebrate those who made it to Heaven. Instead it’s to mourn a near-infinitely evil god exists who caused more people to suffer for infinity for no just reason.

    There is no argument which can justify any celebration here if what these morons believe is true.

  • Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    If it’s the greatest gift ever, shouldn’t he [John Rennard] be out killing people?

    Well, maybe he’s still at the planning stage. Local law enforcement should certainly search his property thoroughly.

  • greenspine

    And they accuse atheists of nihilism. Holy shit.

  • dannorth

    But apparently it does not work for an abortion even though a nickname for clandestine abortionists(the guys with the coathangers) was angel makers

  • StevoR, fallible human being

    Well you know, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you … Oh wait.

    Really? Wonder if he’d dare to tell their grieving parents that – especially the non-Christian ones? (Were there any?)

  • StevoR, fallible human being

    @17. dannorth : Exactly. Seconded.

  • raven

    This means that abortion is a supremely xian thing to do.

    A fetus simply hasn’t had time or opportunity to sin. They will all go to heaven.

    As they are born and grow up, their chances of going to hell steadily increase. According to the bible, straight and narrow is the way and few are chosen. Most people are going to end up in hell. (Although xians vary a lot on this. Roughly half of all US xians don’t even believe in hell).

  • raven

    If he really believed this, why isn’t he handing out “Christmas Presents” to his family, friends, and neighbors?

    Maybe he is. Maybe he is still out buying ammo.

    I hope we don’t find out when the next mass shooting incident happens.

  • Michael Heath

    Jerry Coyne writes:

    [William Lane] Craig should rot in hell.

    What an evil thing thing to assert. I loved the science aspect of his book but his emotional intelligence is down there with the wingnuts he criticizes.

  • sabai456

    @ Michael Heath

    Your irony meter is apparently not working.

  • Doug Little

    Maybe he should give that gift to himself. He has failed as a human being.

  • rory

    The justification offered by several of Rennard’s supporters before the page went down was that KILLING the children was very bad, but the children being dead meant being with Jesus, which was very good. So killing someone to send them to heaven would be wrong, but being happy they had died would be okay.

    Yeah, doesn’t make much sense to me, either. Fuck them.

  • This Christmas display:

    Look for “new nativity set”.

    might be right up Mr. Rectum’s alley.

  • Rike

    When I was a catholic kid (in Germany) some disaster happened where many children were killed. I remember asking our priest why god would let so many children die. The answer was something like: “Well, maybe some of these children would have grown up to become bad sinners, and so god decided to take them now, and save them from having to go to hell”.

    I was seven or eight years old then, and I think that was the beginning of the end of my faith.

  • anubisprime

    Even more disturbing is that in the Facebook C & P example…45 folks gave it the thumbs up!

  • Even if extinction is better than this vile life, which I firmly and potently believe, what about the poor parents?

  • deepsix: “the idea that if more people owned dynamite there would be fewer explosions”

    This actually does make sense.

    If enough people had dynamite the number of explosions might well be reduced to one.

    It’d be big, but only one of it.

  • slc1

    Re MH @ #22

    Well, Prof. Craig is pond scum so, although Prof. Coyne may be a little over the top, his sentiments are in the right place.

  • lldayo


    I can’t believe it took this long for someone to point that out. That was at the time of the blog post too. I don’t use Facebook, could someone see what it’s up to now?

  • Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    Well, Prof. Craig is pond scum – slc1

    He is indeed, but how an advocate of genocide now gets to wag the finger at an apologist for fictional genocide is, I admit, beyond me.

  • slc1

    Re Nick Gotts @ #33


  • Taz
  • freemage

    Nick@33: You failed to note the part that was missing–Coyne simply said that Craig should rot in Hell. He didn’t give a timeline.

    If there were a Hell, I would have no trouble throwing utter, unrepentant bastards like Craig in there*, upon their otherwise perfectly natural deaths, and I see no reason to believe Coyne was suggesting anything more than that. Thus, it’s hardly a call for genocide.

    *: Indeed, I’d probably specifically include torments designed to affect them most greatly. Also note the word “unrepentant” there–if Craig were to wake up one morning, and begin preaching tolerance and equality, even if he ladled it with more God-bothering, he’d no longer be deserving of such a fate.

  • howardhershey

    In 18th century Europe, some people who wished to kill themselves would first commit murder (especially young innocents who would go directly to heaven) and then repent before they were killed for their crime (the death penalty) in order to avoid the eternal damnation of being a suicide.

  • jws1

    @29: You are a nihilist. Only such a vile person could come to such a vile conclusion as you have. This life is gorgeous, and loving it means loving it for its horrors as well as its awesomeness. To come to any other conclusion is to hate life for what it is and to prefer something other than life as it is.

  • typecaster

    If there were a Hell, I would have no trouble throwing utter, unrepentant bastards like Craig in there.

    Interesting. You’re annoyed with an asshole, and that deserves an eternity of torment? I’ve always felt that even one soul condemned to that non-existent Hell – and I don’t care who, pick your favorite historical monster and it wouldn’t affect my feelings on this – makes this Ghod guy an infinitely worse monster. The torments of Torquemada, e.g., were unspeakable, but they did eventually come to an end.


    It would be interesting if that torment were limited. Having Craig experience the Hell he admires for, say, an afternoon would wake him up some. But eternal? Infinite punishment for finite offense holds little appeal, and makes less sense. No one can conceivably “deserve” it for any reason. The folks on our side of the argument should be better than that.


    Aside from that, of course, I have no strong feelings on the matter.

  • Ichthyic

    wait… there are people here actually arguing about fictional punishments?


  • Sastra

    I think John Rennard’s big mistake here was putting this view up on Facebook in all its bare, stark glory: he should have written a long, agonized essay about understanding the ways of God in tragedy and then introduced this conclusion to a receptive audience of faith, surrounding it with a waffling wall of Christian love rhetoric. Nobody would have noticed or thought anything of it. The purpose of suffering and death is to bring us in blissful relationship with God. He’d just be interjecting an interesting metaphor, the “Christmas gift,” into a larger and longer sermon harping on a larger theme.

    Instead, he was too quick, too clear — and in a public forum.

  • Nick Gotts (formerly KG)


    WTF has your response got to do with my comment?

  • Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    Ah! I see. You misread “Craig” as “Coyne” in slc1’s comment. William Lane Craig is an apologist for the fictional genocides in the OT; slc1 is an advocate of genocide against present-day Iranians.

  • Lets not forget that Obama said pretty much the same thing in his Sunday night address. After reading the names of the child victims he said something to the effect of “god has called them home”

    I was disgusted to hear him express such an odious sentiment.

  • slc1

    Re Nick Gotts @ #42

    slc1 is an advocate of genocide against present-day Iranians.

    And Gotts is an apologist for the Mullahs in Iran and the Assads, pere and fils.

  • dingojack

    SLC – Really? Citation required!