Fischer: Teaching 10Cs in School Would Have Stopped Ft. Hood Shooting

Bryan Fischer’s reaction to the shootings at Ft. Hood was to claim that if only the shooter had been taught the 10 Commandments in school he wouldn’t have done it. Right, because post-war PTSD is totally prevented that way. As Jon Stewart once said: If you think putting up the 10 Commandments in schools will make them behave better, you probably also think that “employees must wash hands” sign in the restaurant bathroom is keeping the urine out of your cheeseburger.

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About Ed Brayton

After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He has appeared on the Rachel Maddow Show and the Thom Hartmann Show, and is almost certain that he is the only person ever to make fun of Chuck Norris on C-SPAN.

  • sugarfrosted

    Fun fact: The Ten Commandments are taught in school because it’s kind of important to three major world religions. Plus that wouldn’t have helped with the first Fort Hood shooter, since Islam does teach the 10 commandments as well.

  • lordshipmayhem

    Maybe they should start by teaching the 10 Commandments in church.

  • steve78b

    Are the 10cs supposed to be the cure-all for everything?

    If so, which version? The standard one that everyone spouts that Moses threw down and broke and therefore the Israelites never saw – or – the one in Exodus 34 that ends with “…not boil a kid in its mothers milk..”. The version that says “..these are the ten commandments..”

    I wish the religiots would decide. And re-write their bibles to eliminate the one that was not given to Israel.

    Besides, most of the mass shooters probably read the 10cs and probably went to sunday school.

    You don’t get many atheists shooting folks right and left.

    Steve in OK. ….. not shooting anyone…….Why is this Fischer guy not locked up in a rubber room?

  • dingojack

    Just lucky they were teaching people about the 10C in the Medieval Period otherwise nice Christian folks might have gone to the Holy Land to slaughter it’s inhabitants or something — Whew close call!


  • busterggi

    Actually the “employees must wash hands” sign do help some in lowering the level of contamination in food but that’s because they actually pertain to something happening right then & there.

    Of course no one in the US except fundies has ever heard of Je-zus or the 10 Commandments, its not as if there have been movies of tv shows or books of comics or radio shows or….that mention them.

  • eric

    So, a man who makes his living doing television shows on the sabbath is telling people to obey the 10Cs.


  • U Frood

    But the “employees must wash hands” signs don’t appear alongside another sign telling you how you MUST add poo to the foods of employees of other restaurants.

    The 10 commandments’ relevant rule “Thou shalt not kill” appears in a book where God metes out his divine retribution against his followers when they don’t kill the proper people well enough.

  • dingojack

    Answer me this Bryan – Would have teaching the 10Cs in schools prevented those students, once they had grown up, from voting for Glenn Grothman?*



    * “This year, Grothman has pushed to undo a state law that requires businesses to give their employees at least one day off a week.” [See Exodus 20:8-11 for god’s position on Glenn’s bill].

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Presumably BF refers to the line usually translated as “Thou shalt not kill.”

    The people who take that part seriously tend not to join the Army.

  • sinned34

    “Thou shalt not kill”. Two chapters later in that same book, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

    Consistency, thy name is Yahweh. No wonder so many Christians are liars and hypocrites: they’re just following the example of their deity.

  • robertfaber

    Well obviously, “Thou shalt not kill” should be amended to “Thou shalt not kill unless you believe it’s totally justified.” It’s how they’ve been operating all along, anyway.

  • sugarfrosted

    @9 @10 Eh, the actually meaning of “kill” is closer to murder+manslaughter in that passage. So that’s not really a good point. Granted this is moot since it would have done fuck all to stop it either way.

  • sugarfrosted

    *actual. German and Yiddish kind of shredded my English.

  • sugarfrosted

    @12 Sorry for the triple post, but I wanted to add an errata. If he finds the English translations inerrant then @10 does have a point, so… *shrugs.*

  • dingojack

    If he finds the English translations inerrant…. he’s gonna have a diet of sand, pretty much.

    :) Dingo

  • vmanis1

    There is a crazy idea floating around that the Bible was written, not by God, but by human beings who imperfectly recorded thoughts that they attributed to God, that many of these accounts were edited by imperfect humans, translated by other imperfect humans, into the document we see today, in a process not unlike a perverse mixture of the game `Telephone’ (aka `Gossip’) and Rashomon. If this crazy idea were true, you would have a book where foul depravities live close to profound insights. If this crazy theory were true, the `God’ who appears in it would appear completely contradictory.

    I have argued here before that if you strip out the God references, you get 8 or so commandments that are actually very good sensible advice (don’t kill, lie, steal, cheat; maintain a good work/life balance; don’t go claiming you speak for God when you are really only spouting your own ideas) that people of diverse backgrounds can agree are a good (if incomplete) basis for ethical behavior. Those ideas can and should be taught in school (again, lest I be misinterpreted) in a secular manner, though it is reasonable to draw connections with the teachings of various religions.

    Of course, this is the direct opposite of what Fischer wants, he wants kids believing that you shouldn’t kill because God says so, rather than because killing is wrong.

  • Modusoperandi

    “911. What’s the emergency?”

    “There’s this guy here, and…”


    “I…I…I don’t think he knows the Ten Commandments!”

    “Stay calm, sir. I’m dispatching a pastor to your location now.”

  • rory

    @3 Steve,

    “Besides, most of the mass shooters probably read the 10cs and probably went to sunday school. You don’t get many atheists shooting folks right and left.”

    I don’t see this as a useful statement. You could as easily say “Most people eating at McDonald’s probably went to Sunday school…you don’t get many atheists eating McNuggets.”

    Atheists are a fairly small piece of the overall population in this country, so unless there’s some link between religiosity and propensity for mass murder (which I’m not aware has been reliably demonstrated) it’s hardly surprising to find that most mass killers have some kind of religious background. Let’s not resort to bogus reasoning to condemn our opponents OR to pat ourselves on the back.

  • democommie

    Hey, Brainless Fissure; if the people who took us to war had PRACTICED the 10 commandments–as in not coveting other countries oil supplies, we prolly wouldn’t have so many KKKrazzeepants mofos in the military to begin with.

  • Area Man

    @9 @10 Eh, the actually meaning of “kill” is closer to murder+manslaughter in that passage. So that’s not really a good point.

    Yeah, but murder and manslaughter are legal terms that define something already against the law. So it’s either just telling you not to do something that’s forbidden anyway, or it’s too vague to mean anything, or it means that you’re not allowed to kill anyone.

    The first two would render the commandment useless, and the third contradicts Western legal tradition and what the 10-C fetishists themselves believe (they’re typically big fans of justified killings that go well beyond what others considered justified).

  • timgueguen

    How about they teach about 10CC in schools instead? They’re lots more fun than some old tablets.

  • cjcolucci

    I hate those “employees must wash hands” signs. I wait and wait and wait and no employee shows up to wash my hands. Eventually, I give up and wash them myself.

  • Lofty

    The “10C” sounds like homeopathic goodness.

  • democommie


    I can never find “Ooooh Effendi” on the yoohootoobz–it was the first song I heard when a bass player I knew put on “Sheet Music”.

    I always liked the clever lyrics and the seemingly effortless and nearly seamless transitions from one style/time signature to another–my favorite is “Don’t Hang Up”, I’ve tried to have a couple of choreographers think about doing something with it, they listen and look at me like I’m insane.

    Yes, you’re right, btw; talking about 10CC is far more productive and enjoyable than talking about the TEN C’s.

  • eric


    9 @10 Eh, the actually meaning of “kill” is closer to murder+manslaughter in that passage. So that’s not really a good point.

    Um, its a very good point given Numbers 31 and other biblical passages like it. Unless you are claiming that the intentional killing of noncombatants in war zones doesn’t count as murder or manslaughter, God has in fact broken (and ordered the Jews to break) that commandment.

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @19. democommie :

    .. if the people who took us to war had PRACTICED the 10 commandments–as in not coveting other countries oil supplies, we prolly wouldn’t have so many KKKrazzeepants mofos in the military to begin with.

    In reality we didn’t invade Iraq for its oil you know – or really should by now.

    There were a lot of reasons for the second war Saddam Hussein caused – most significantly the behaviour of Saddam Hussein himself. If the late and unlamented former Iraqi dictator had wanted to and behaved reasonably he could be alive in exile today with his murderous sons and the whole mess would’ve been avoided by him fleeing pre war – as was offered as an option many times.

    If the Second Saddam War was really about oil then you have to ask why we didn’t target Saudi Arabia instead? Because, y’know, in reality as opposed to far left wing conspiracy theory when the USA and other Coalition of the Willing nations want oil we buy it from the nations that have it and have pretty good relations with ’em as a result.

  • thebookofdave

    I think he has a point. Sure, knowing the Ten Commandments wouldn’t prevent a shooting rampage. But having them repeated by Bryan Fischer might drive a killer to shoot himself instead.