It’s Time to Hate Mass Murder and the “Liberal” and “Conservative” Idiots Who Help It Happen

The horrible violence in a small school against OUR six-year-olds perfectly reflects the nature of our violent retributive society. Mass killing is the new American “normal.” In fact it’s our idea of patriotism.

I spent the last two days in tears “seeing” the faces of my beloved four grandchildren and three children in the faces of the killed children. I can’t even read or listen to the news now.

So forgive this RANT. I’m so sad and so angry.

She was the ideal NRA role model: a white upper-middle-class mom collecting semiautomatic weapons, stocking ammunition, a gun enthusiast and regular user of gun ranges while teaching her son – who shot her in the face — to shoot.

She was the epitome of the ideal NRA middle class white homeowner armed to the teeth and ready to defend “what’s mine.”

She was prepared for every eventuality if, that is, you believe the NRA/rube/fool/fact-free “logic” that the possession of multiple weapons, knowledge of how to use them and plenty of ammunition makes you safe.

Her son shot her in the face and then moved on to murder 20 children and six more adults. He fired with the kind of accuracy that would make the shooting range instructors he had worked alongside proud.

My son learned to shoot too but not at home. He learned to shoot on Parris Island when he was a Marine recruit and qualified as “expert” on the range. He served two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. He’s long since out of the USMC now after 5 years of honorable service. He never talks about “his” wars nor does he own a gun. As he says “I did enough of that over there. I hate guns.” That’s because my son is a rational grownup. He didn’t play war– he went to war.

I own a gun, a single shot old 22 with which I keep the woodchucks who decimate my garden at bay from time to time. I don’t think that this gun makes me “free.” I think my right as a citizen to vote, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, our military men and women and my participation in town meetings in our town hall, my friendship with the local selectmen, my ability to write and express myself, and my neighbors and fellow citizens looking out for my rights keep me free.

But these days this freedom is starting to look like crap.

Yes you read that right I am beginning to think that our country is a blood-soaked monstrosity that mostly won’t admit what it is and we are.

I know hate is not cool, even wrong. But there are things I loathe and despise and ridicule. And among them is the sort of rube fools wandering around in forests in various militias practicing with their lethal toys thinking that somehow that what they are doing has something to do with freedom.

I loathe the sort of urban white moms and dads who think that a couple of loaded handguns in their house keep them safe.

I mock the secessionists that have sprung up in racist reaction to the election of our black president and are joining new versions of the sort of twits who used to put on sheets and pointy hats and burn crosses thinking that somehow they stood for something too.

But my anger – yes I know it’s unfashionable to be angry but I’m mad as hell – is not just aimed at the obvious white trash, rubes, Glenn Beck followers, Rush Limbaugh clones, Fox News-watching idiots, stupid, ignorant persons, blockheads, boors, bucolic buffoons, bumpkins, oafs, peasants, yahoos, yokels… and other Republicans.

I am also furious with the sort of Democrats who think that targeting innocent civilians as part of our counter-terrorism efforts and firing missiles at them and their families is a good substitute for foreign policy and diplomacy. I despise the neoconservative and Christian Zionist movements and the radical hate-filled bigots occupying the West Bank that have goaded our government into uncritical backing of the state of Israel to the point where we have made every right-thinking Arab or Muslim in the world our sworn enemy. That too is part of our national guns-solve-all-problems climate of perpetual violence.

Our militaristic posture also infects and “inspires” our crazies with a virus of lethal scope. It’s in the air so to speak.

I hate the idea that we have a military about 10 times bigger than we need for self-defense. That too is insane invitation to murder.

Yes, that’s right — murder.

George W. Bush was a serial killer of children too for no better “reasons” than the shooter in the school was.

Why were we in Iraq? Bush also went on a senseless killing spree. It was birthed by insane Christian Zionism, defended by neoconservative anything-for-Israel idiocy. Period.

I live in the state of Massachusetts where not so long ago the Pequot Indian tribe was burned to death inside a stockade as Christians stood outside reading Old Testament Bible verses justifying their violence. I live in a country that incarcerates more people in our jails percentage wise than the rest of the western world combined. We have watched blacks, Native Americans, and other minorities marginalized, targeted killed, raped, shot, and imprisoned.

We live in a country so isolated from the rest of the world that we don’t even know what a civilization looks like anymore.  “Right-to-carry” laws are a loud declaration that rubes and hayseeds are now running things here.

There are some fools who even say that what we need is more guns! Arm the teachers! Arm the preschool kids!

Why stop there? Let’s move back into caves!

Let’s just kill any stranger we see! Let’s have “right-to-carry” laws in all states and demand that everyone is armed, armed like the killer’s well-armed mother.

We hear nonsense about being the “best country on earth” when not just educational standards in every testable form put us at the bottom of the ladder of what we call civilized nations, but even with declining crime rates — since we locked up millions of people — the level of gun death in proportion to the number of people in our population is many times more than any other Western country.

So much for being “Number One.”

And yet we accept this is mass killing state as “normal.” We also accept as a normal state of affairs that children stare into little stupid screens 24/7 playing violent video games that greedy nihilistic a-hole game designers churn out. And then there are the creeps who pump out the anti-woman misogyny-saturated porn that should make any civilized person vomit. (I am not talking about explicit erotica many men and women enjoy but the ejaculate-on-her-face-make-her-gag garbage a generation of young men now think is sex.)

They create crap barbarity on cable television that passes for irony as “entertainment” like South Park. And then the only thing missing from this sophomoric juvenile nihilistic cynical shit aimed at young men is half a dozen semiautomatic weapons and stock of ammunition to complete the picture these pigs, these vermin, these profiteers from the destruction of our souls have drawn for us.

I have news for us Americans: We are no longer a civilized country. Actually, we never were. It’s always been South Park here. His name was Thomas Jefferson, our “hero.” He was a slave owning rapist who had sex with his 14-year old slave. Some “founder.” (I love the way “liberals” love Jefferson and say his raping children and slave owning was just a “blind spot.” I guess the Holocaust was Hitler’s blind spot too. And he was nice to dogs. Or maybe slavery isn’t as bad as killing white people.)

Yes, the phrase “love it or leave it” applies.

Will the rubes, secessionists, gun collectors, NRA members, cowardly Democratic Party leaders and cowardly Republican Party leaders please get out of our country? Clearly you don’t love it so please leave.

Take your guns, ammunition, secessionist parties, militia groups, NRA, video game designers, misogynistic porn producers, Hollywood moguls — and for that matter the education policy directors who have had the “great insight” to cut art, music and civilization from our curriculum – with you. You’ve reduced childhood to puerile vomit and “education” to a feeder for “jobs” instead of souls.


Maybe if the mother who got her face blown off by her well armed son had been taking her sons to art museums instead of teaching them how to use mutant semiautomatic handguns she’d still have a face.

Maybe if the educational system was not teaching “to the test” but instead teaching to the soul that troubled child who grew into a murderer would have sat down and talked with someone who loved him instead of grabbing a gun.

Yes this is judgmental! It’s ugly! It’s angry! It’s moralistic! It’s uncool!

It’s time to take back our country. No that’s wrong. We never had our country.

This whole place stinks of the blood that’s been shed, from the Native Americans slaughtered and lied to, to the 3 million buffalo shot down from train windows and wagons by swaggering fools for no reason, to the glorification of weapons by the lynch mobs surrounding one black man hanging from a tree to all the “sporting rifles and shotguns” that somehow turn out to be military weapons just-for-fun.

We never had this country.

America was built on a Calvinistic theology of retribution and hate of the “other” from the start in the North. And it was built on the slave trade in the South. So much for our enlightened founders.

And when our deadly “Christian” and “enlightened” founders’ spirits take an insane twist and “the other” turns out to be a six-year-old trying to go to school, say a big “Thank You” to every gun-toting, chauvinistic, revenge-filled, scared, ignorant violence-as-entertainment-loving-American NRA rube and to their supporting cast of “helpers” on the “Free Speech Left” who glorify cynicism and irony-about-everything for fun and profit and defend it as freedom.

We now have the perfect formula for horror: cut mental health funding, cut education in the arts and everything else that builds empathy and the human spirit, worship a military industrial imperial “culture” of violence sold as “defense,” desensitize our young men with violent porn, abandon all gun regulation, accept irony and cynicism as entertainment and “higher education” and then teach unstable young men to shoot and to glorify violence all round.

We’re getting so cynical that we probably won’t even care or notice when there is a mass killing a week or a day, instead of “only” once a month or so. Shoot-the-toddler video games anyone? South Park already had a “funny” episode on incest.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back .

About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • Otro Tierra

    Thank you Frank Schaeffer for sharing! We must speak out against all these atrocities!

  • John Lipscomb

    Fantastic post, Frank. It’s interesting. You’re a Christian and I’m an atheist but I’ve been following your posts for a few years now and feel we have so much in common. Thank you for your honest insight…it’s very refreshing to hear coming from your neck of the woods. Take care.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      John thanks for reading my stuff. Maybe we need a few of us atheists and Christians who are somewhat sane to band together and say we have a job to do. I’m glad to have you here and thankful. F

      • Lucy Hodge-Corrigan

        Thank you for this….it needs to be said….and you coined it perfectly.
        As I’ve been telling people, the problems started when people STOPPED caring!!!!!!!!!! And now everyone is SO paranoid they think everyone and everything is ‘out to GET them!’
        I only thank God I live in Canada….but hey…we’re just laid back socialist bastards here, right? And I AM ashamed of the 52 murders we had last year…..but we ARE working toward peace and acceptance….and having a GUN REGISTRY, and having OWNER’S have their guns under LOCK AND KEY, DO help…..because most use them for sport…..

        The NRA has accomplished it’s mission…scare the Beejesus out of people, so everyone arms themselves to the teeth and then some….It’s a pity they weren’t forced to go into that classroom and scrape what was left of those poor children and their teachers and staff off the goddamn floor! THEN they might think again…..

        PLUS having a Congress that is SO self involved it doesn’t care if your country IMPLODES doesn’t help, so I fear that all hope is gone in the US….there IS no sanity anymore….and people have NOT been speaking to me for two days….because I’m SOO pissed right now and I AM telling it like it is….and I guess it hurts some old Granny to realize her gun is probably going to GET her killed, rather than the opposite, but I will NOT be quiet this time….Not as long as I think of those dear children and that staff…and their families and loved ones.

        PEACE is the answer…and YES, I AM a dreamer….and to that end, I posted a radical solution…I told ALL of the gun mad enthusiasts thumping the 2nd Amendment and their Bibles, to ALL gather somewhere….FAR away from sane and sensible people, and hold a High Noon Shootout…..and then they’ll be gone….and maybe? Maybe…then we can live in peace…..and children can go to school without fear of being cut down with a GD assault weapon!

        • Shaun Yoder

          So your peaceful and radical solution is to have anyone who owns guns to shoot eachother?

        • Carol

          Maybe at least one root of the trouble began to grow right after WW II when we thought (and taught) that we were the saviors of the world. We need to be ‘on top,’ have the biggest army, biggest navy, and save Israel too. I mean we got self-righteous. I’m afraid that can’t go on but for just so long. We all have heard how other countries both like us and hate us. If we talk to any of our foreign students, they will say that they feel the US has exercised undue power and intruded into the affairs of their lands. Well, someone has to be on top–it might as well be us, but we shouldn’t delude ourselves into arrogance. At home, we can’t handle the huge split between those citizens with the power and those without.

        • Jerry


          The children at Sandy Hook were peaceful. The teachers at Sandy Hook were peaceful. How well did that work out? The reality is that there are guns out there and people who are willing to use them to shoot unarmed innocents. Where guns aren’t available, the crazies use knives, machetes or explosives.

          It’s amazing to me that you would brand millions of law-abiding gun owners as “gun mad enthusiasts” and punish them for the actions of one criminal. Would you support locking up all those “car mad enthusiasts” because one criminal drove drunk and killed a van-load of children? Why can’t you just place the blame where it belongs? People who murder with guns (or knives or cars or explosives) are responsible for their own actions.

      • Sukh Hayre

        As Billy Bragg said,

        we’ve got to find some moderate muslims
        with whom we can converse
        might be an idea if we try to find
        some moderate christians first

        Bush War Blues – Billy Bragg

    • Rick

      I heartily argee with you John. I too am an atheist & also enjoy Frank’s postings. I think this article really hit the nail on the head. We live in a sick society that thinks violence solves everything. We have no empathy for all the innocent people we have killed overseas. The kids killed in Iraq and Afganistan as well as those killed by drone strikes in Pakistan are of no concern to us. We let Israel plunder Palestian land without a peep of protest lest we upset the Jewish and Christian Zionists among us. Crazy people can easily obtain guns for purposes of mass murder but after every massacre we throw up our arms and say “Nothing can be done about it.” Yes something CAN be done. But we need to change the way we think about violence and guns. We need to start thinking about “we” rather than “me.” I only hope our society can change before we destroy ourselves.

  • stevietheman

    I disagree with a few of the details in your essay, but I won’t quibble. The thrust of what you’ve said needs to be big part of the national conversation. Thank you.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi Stevietheman; Thanks for reading and of course I’m sure I have some points wrong here but then again what we need is as you say a national conversation no holds barred. Its time! Thanks for reading.

  • Nate W.


    I love your passion and am with you in the overall thrust of your words here. I am not one who gets angry easily (even tending to the opposite error of failing to speak out when I should) so i admit that it is hard for me to not want to push back against the anger I feel in your writing. I do “forgive” you your rant as you requested, feeling tinges of your anger inside me at times and knowing that the day when I have children and then grandchildren will, I’m sure, push me towards reacting more like you. I see that you desire the same thing(s) that I do. Peace. Rest. Joy. Love. Unity. Communion. For every single soul.

    My question for you though, is this: To whom do you speak? Which of your “masters of war” (to borrow from the great Dylan song) is not himself oppressed by another master of war? Which is not drowning in shame and clawing at the swirling waves hoping to grasp a firm handful of peace, a shelter from the storm (Dylan again)? Which person on the face of this earth has not already been shamed by another, made to feel small, to feel unloved? And to which if these will be convinced by the violence of angry words to lay down their arms and know that they are simply loved?

    • Nate W.

      You know what, Frank, nevermind. I know who you’re speaking to. You’re speaking to me and every other hard hearted soul who doesn’t think that this applies to them. Thanks for the wake up call.

      : )

      • Frank Schaeffer

        Hi Nate, In my books I have the time and the will to say what I mean in ways that might stand the test of time… at least a bit. In these posts, and in THIS post, I’m trying to stoke the flames of a national debate that HAS to rile us all up! I want to make trouble for the complacent of us who just suck up news like this than return to the slow spiral down to a place from which society will never return. We are deadening our senses, and people are making a ton of money from this. It is time to go to the barricades on this. Sometimes people do change but it will take lots of voices saying ENOUGH! in a thousand ways. Thanks for reading my stuff, even if you’d put it differently. Best, Frank

        • Nate W.

          Thanks Frank. I would likely say it differently, but I’m not you and its a good thing everybody isn’t me. Who am I to judge how other’s hearts will respond? I will probably always disagree to some extent with your tone, but I know that your writing has at the same time broke. Through my walls and done my heart immeasurable good. I was an undergrad at the very conservative Grove City College in western PA, majoring in “Christian Thought” and “Christian Ministry” when I read “Addicted to Mediocrity.” I had always been an artist of sorts, but felt I had been “called” at a youth rally to be a professional Christian leader of some sorts. I had no idea what I was suppose to do though and probably was going to go to seminary to ward off the decision a little longer.

          Coupled with discovering photography, reading your book began to get me thinking about serving God BY being in the arts. I’m now a professional photographer and am sure that my portraits and images do immeasurably more good for souls than I would have as a professional Christian.

          To this day I still get a angry about the stuff in Christian book stores, but I am finally learning to couple that with compassion for those caught up in that shallow world.

        • kathy hurt

          I agree Frank! I listened and watched the post minutes after this disaster.I posted,it would be an Ugly conversation and one we keep avoiding……but one we are going to HAVE anyway.Yes! we need folks to get Riled up,if you are the one to accomplish that and help find a way to bring change to this thinking,I’m on your team. Thank you for this article.

        • Carol

          From what I have heard on CNN and FB, interest is rising for finding a way to deal with this problem. I just try to say a little bit here and there when I think I can, to plant the seed. The lend support to the idea. So, what you have written, whether perfectly on the mark or not, is valuable. Mental health care is as important as gun control. What confuses me is how I have been told that statistics are not used properly that show the top 20 countries have less crime than we do because they use a data from a country that has gun control. Isn’t that what it is supposed to expose…the difference? I am as tired as I can be of the blind Republican allegiance. Next to gun control, mental health, is balanced news reporting. A doctor on Piers Morgan show tonight said that he faulted the media for ‘reinjuring’ the public by replaying news clips again and again, such as they did on 9-11 with the airplane hitting the WTC. I favor Democratic views, but I want to know if Democrats are doing things that I’d blast a Republican for. Frank, I see you did a book on economics. I’d really like to understand a little better. Have you blogged about the economy? For example, why do Republicans say that tax breaks bring jobs. Wouldn’t we have had more than enough jobs after Pres. Bush? And isn’t it significant that the big corporations have sent manufacturing jobs overseas? That seems clear to me, but they don’t see it that way. Is there something I’m missing? I haven’t tried to understand economics until this crash we just had. Great blog….gets lots of ideas going. Like an art museum LOL!

    • cheriF

      Nate love ya man but it actually wasn’t Dylan who wrote shelter in the time of storm Jesus is our shelter in the time of storm and a song was wrote almost may it was a 100 years or so ago!
      Frank some of what you said I definitely agree with, All I can say man is we need to be preparing people for the second coming, to be reaching out to them sharing the word that they either accept or deny Jesus! We are living in last days, we can judge the day by the signs of the times! We are to be ready in season and out! Yes this world is more corrupt than it ever has been! It is a dirty rotten shame that babies have to die for the senseless need of someone with mental issues. The fact that this nation allowed prayer to be taken out of our schools, our country has gotten more barbaric than ever! OUr fantastic baby boomers who practiced in drugs didn’t help with the state of our nation! Our children more and more of them have mental disability, from parents choosing to use mind altering drugs, it destroys the genes!

      • NateW

        Thanks for the love Cherif. : ) I wasn’t trying to refer to the hymn, I was referring to Bob Dylan’s song “Shelter From the Storm.” If you’d take the time to give it a listen and contemplate the lyrics for awhile you’d find an awful lot that is true in that song too.

        It fits what I was saying because Dylan is talking about how every person is out in the harsh world looking for shelter, hope, love, and peace. For Dylan God is the source of this beauty that all men seek and is also Himself that which all seek. The trouble is, the moment we think we are safe, we begin to take our savior for granted. To truly live is to give hope by providing shelter for those who are searching for it desperately. To believe in Christ is to walk with him in saying, “Come in… I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”

      • David Duffey

        The “second coming” is a cop-out. If the end is near, no one has to take responsibilty for the difficult problems facing us today.

  • Ron & Helen

    Frank, We just shared this on our FB with this comment:
    Frank again is being “frank” and many will be offended by what he writes but he is a truth teller and the truth is hard to accept. Helen & I have read many of his books and earlier in life I became acquainted with the writings and work of his Dad, Francis Schaeffer. He was an American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor and also founded the L’Abri community in Switzerland in 1955 with his wife, Edith, where Frank grew up. Helen and I are shocked and saddened by what happened in Newtown CT and we’ve got to stop hiding behind the 2nd Amendment and bring back the Assault Weapon Ban for starters and rationally discuss other measures that can lessen the harm that is being done. Ron

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi Ron&Helen, thanks for posting this. I’m grateful, Best, Frank

  • Jeff

    Frank, You have to come to work with me tomorrow. All the aforementioned nuts you referred to will be locked and loaded with the usual bigotry, stupidity, and of course a sense of self-righteousness regarding the awful school shooting. Time and time again I hear the canard “if only the teachers were armed this would have been averted”, On top of that these are co-called Christians with right to life bumpers stickers along side those of Mitt Romney for President.. Crazy indeed.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Jeff, I wonder if any of these people have ever even traveled to a civilized country, say any country in Europe or most places in Asia where people would lough if you said teachers needed weapons. I mean do people know that we’re backward, broken, and dumb? America is really slipping and they still think we’re “Number One.” Amazing!

      • Carol

        You got that right!

  • Sleepy J Ranch

    I probably would agree if I had never had to defend my own life. It was a great comfort to have the ability to choose to not be raped, beaten, tortured, or killed…

  • Linda

    You have voiced what I have felt for quite some time. Thank you so much.I can’t understand why we can’t refer to these assault weapons. as what they are – weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps if we did, Congress would begin to hold hearings and actually have a dialogue about them.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi Linda, thanks for the note. Americans are so provincial they/we just don’t have a context, no one, I mean no one lets weapons flood their country this way, O sorry yes they do in Afghanistan, and they’ve been a t war for 40 years plus. what’s our excuse?

  • Joyce Maloley

    Very powerful words and emotions! Thank you. I have felt this for far too long….and am sharing your post on my FB page where some of my ultra-conservative friends WILL be offended, I’m sure. Needs to be said.

    • Li Harmon

      I totally agree and I, too, am posting for all to see!
      Frank, you have a new fan!

      • Frank Schaeffer

        Thanks for reading this Li, Best, Frank

  • Linda Shoemaker

    Awareness,early diagnosis and education of mental illnesses is way overdue here and the return of mental institutions to keep people like this away from society. Gun laws will change nothing. If someone wants to kill they will find a way to do so. My heart breaks for all involved here

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Linda you’re right about mental health, but there are plenty of countries with tough gun laws who have just as lax a mental health system as we do and nowhere near the gun deaths because they ban assault weapons and military style clips of rounds. Sorry, you just don’t know the facts.

      • Worthless Beast

        … as I’ve been saying on Slacktivist and other places I comment (I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, though I do read on occasion)… I really don’t like the idea of “Let’s bring back the bedlam houses! All mentally ill people are dangerous! Oh, noes!”

        I’m bipolar. Most of us are not dangerous. I don’t want to ever be around guns, myself, just because of how much I scare myself when I’m having some of my suicidal thoughts. After this incident, I’m almost thinking a quiet suicide at home might be logical as it might make the normals feel a little safer to have one less “nut” around, but I have people who love me so I don’t really want to do that.

        Now, I actually found out that I had my particular disorder (after being diagnosed and given the wrong kind of medicaiton) after having a semi-violent public outburst (I damaged some property, no physical harm done to anyone). I actually had to jump through some hoops to get help – instead of the law putting me in a clinic, I had to get into contact with local mental health services and then was only let into a clinic for a few days stay (as much as my poor-people insurance would allow) because I was acutely suicidal. It had to commit *myself.* After that, I’ve been fine… I take my medication. Some people feel their meds deaden them, it’s the other way around for me – it helps me be more creative, because it helps me focus.

        I fought for seven years and finally got Disability. It took freakin’ forever and my case was almost dropped. I function pretty well – I live, I drive, I buy groceries, I’m in love, etc. I’m introverted, but I don’t stockpile guns, I stockpile books, films, and yes, videogames (I tend to like the more “all ages friendly” stuff, though). I write and am trying to get fantasy novels published. Despite my username, I refuse to think of myself as completely worthless.

        But I had to jump through hoops to get help. Because I’m poor. Because my mental illness has kept me from holding a job for any great length of time. Because there is stigma and I have been discriminated against.

        I’m pretty sure my reaching out for help when I knew I was going off the rails was an act of courage. It shouldn’t be that way. Taking medication for your brain should be seen as no less shameful than taking heart medication. And the world seems to think that these problems aren’t “real” enough to fund or to help people enough so they can have functional lives without those of us who want the help dancing like circus monkeys.

        Lock me up if you think that’s the answer. I think there are better answers.

        • Suzanne

          Thank you for having the courage to share your story. It’s far too difficult for anyone to actually get the help they need. We hear all the time “why didn’t they get help” not recognizing that (a) they may well have tried to get help but couldn’t for cost or access reasons, or (b) it’s very hard to find the right place TO get help. Additionally, often help can only be obtained after actually hurting someone instead of before when it’s just thoughts and words rather than actions. There are better answers most of the time. Sometimes being in a facility geared to assist, heal and release would be helpful. They just don’t seem to exist any more.

        • Andrew P.

          I know how you feel when you talk about how hard it is to get help. Im not Bipolar but I have been battling extreme depression for years. It started when I was in the Navy and still goes on today. Even in the military it took me almost commiting suicide to even get them to not tell me just to suck it up. Im out of the Navy now thank god and on new AD’s all the time because nothing seems to work. Ive come to realize the doctors I see at the VA just throw pills at me hoping it will work so I’ll stop coming to them or something. I also know how you feel about only being able to keep a job for a short period of time. I don’t want to get into why I can’t, but its damn near impossible for me. In the eyes of anyone that can help me out in that area though, I’m just a lazy sack of, well you know. Not being able to help my struggeling family out with bills and whatever we need to stay afloat just seems to add to my problems and it’s frustrating. Thanks for sharing your story.

          • Worthless Beast

            It sort of gets worse, too… what I posted up there was long-story-short. I know other people in the same boat as I am…

            My older brother, for instance – and he actually is violent at times. He went to prison for a few years after waving an unloaded gun at an ex-friend of his. This was after a series of problems. The police visited my family’s home many times because of things he was doing in the neighborhood and calls after threatening my parents. I grew up like this. He found out he was bipolar in prison. Combined with the regular social stigma, this is why I basically refused the diagnosis whenever anyone tried to give it to me – I didn’t want to admit to having “the asshole disease.” I think my brother’s guns were confiscated, but I worry he may have hidden some… he lives in Arizona and I *twitched* when the Gabrielle Giffords shooting happen. He was not involved, it was down in Tuscon which was very far away from his area, but… you know… I worried. He hasn’t had the problems that he used to have since he’s been medicated. He thinks therapy is a waste of time, though. I, on the other hand… I think I’d like therapy, but I want the good kind that will actually help me, a specialist in my field and crap-all if I can afford it. Maybe if I hadn’t lost my last part time job I could have afforded it between that and the Disability I finally am receiving after a damn better-of-a-decade fight.

            Then there is my financee’s adult nephew who has different problems. Clear signs of severe depression, a seldom-seen but frightening explosive temper that’s gotten him canned from jobs… doesn’t own guns and is a great, fun geeky person… but he scares me sometimes when he gets that frustrated edge to his voice that tells everyone that someone needs to say something to calm him down. Everyone on this side of the family knows he needs help, but his other family – the rich side that actually gives him funding to stay in his apartment and enable him to eat – are in complete fucking denial. They’re all “bootstraps!” to him and don’t want to admit that someone in their prestigious family could possibly have brain-issues. And because the people who’ve *actually dealt with that kind of thing* in his life are *effing poor* nothing gets done.

            In our society, having a problem with your brain (things that can be handled with chemistry and cognitive therapy and other simple things) is still seen as some kind of moral failing – on the part of the victim or on the part of the parents and family of the victim and it’s got to stop. No one looks at my father funny for taking heart pills or condemns my niece for her kidney problems, so why do I come online after an incident like this and see page after page of people in commentary saying that all people who are even slightly in need of help for the brain should be locked up and the key thrown away? Way to increasae stigma and keep people from getting help, world!

      • Bill

        Thanks for this Frank… I too am an atheist who has been watching and listening to you over the past couple of years. I am also in Canada so I felt it important to just make sure that everyone realizes that your stats are absolutely correct. Here in Canada you cannot get an assault weapon period and it is extremely difficult to obtain a handgun. Hence we have a gun violence rate that is about 10% of yours per capita. This kind of craziness does happen once in a very long while and when it does a firearm is usually the weapon of choice. We don’t have the NRA or much of a gun lobby and thankfully Canadians don’t believe they have a “Right” to own a gun. Thanks for your post and for your insightful and relevant writings on most topics. Thanks !!!

  • Konni

    Thank you so much, Frank. For 48 hours, I’ve been posting on my own FB page that there is only one side in this issue, and outrage is the only acceptable emotional reaction to the massacre of babies. I’ve told all my FB contacts that I’m going to be nothing but a giant pain in the ass about this, and they can unfriend me if they wish. Thank you for the validation. Please don’t back down. Please don’t apologize. I believe there is a silent majority that will let this die if people like you don’t shake them up. I’d like to add to the right-wing government conspiracy theorists: the feds have drones. Your assault weapons won’t keep you safe against that.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Thanks for reading my post, and the good word Konni. Best, Frank

  • Michael Rappaport

    Wow! What an incredible post. You’ll have to excuse me for marveling that you’re still alive, with all those Amurrika-lovin’ patriots out there. I agree with what you say, basically 100 percent.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Thanks Michael, and you’re right about the violent undertone to the whole right wing gun club including the most deluded people in the country.

  • ottovonb

    Thanks Frank, it’s reassuring to discover civility still has a few champions. Keep fighting the good fight – please.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Thanks for reading my post Ottovomb, best, Frank

  • Julie Wilder

    Love this …I said the night of the tragedy a mother shot by her own son, with her own gun this speaks volumes of the changes needed in this country .. unbelieveable…we need to come together and make sure these changes to gun laws and the mental healthcare are going to happen..
    I too am not a Christian but I don’t like to think I am an Atheist either..
    thank you so much for such your honest words and emotion

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Thanks Julie, it is clearly worthy fight for the right thing. Glad we’re on the same side! F

  • Zita

    Thank you for having the courage to speak the truth. We all need to read this, wake up and start taking steps to mend our broken culture. Get rid of violent video games, ban assault rifles and put music back into the schools for starters!


    Zita Jefferson, Piano Teacher
    Portland Oregon

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Thanks Zita, just made sure my youngest grandchildren got a piano for Christmas. Lessons start in the New Year, in music, books, love, not weapons. You’re doing God’s work. Frank

      • Carol

        Touches my heart. My Mom played piano, and my husband is a piano technician. I meet lots of music people. Only one suicide at the School of Music, though. No one understood why, but he had achieved a high level of musical accomplishment, but perhaps somebody who couldn’t tell another person what was inside. Now, that’s one of the things I really appreciate about you, Frank. You didn’t hold back, at least it didn’t seem that way, when you wrote your books. I have read five of them now and am starting the sixth. I imagine some Christians would have thought you were at least perverted if not demented, but your honesty shows incredible courage and maybe even love for your fellow man. You are just human, the way God made us. That’s why he brought his message of love through Jesus….that’s the only way to deal with humanity. Love …forgive….sin….love…forgive…sin….love…etc. Makes us all seem less crazy. And art and music are other ways of telling our stories and learning about others.

  • Susan T.

    Frank, thank you for stating this with such passion. I have been feeling very much the same way for the past 20 years or so. We live in a culture that has been completely debased by raw commercialism. It’s rude, it’s crude and it saps the empathy, sincerity and “noble” impulses right out of us. The thing that strikes me is that almost all of these mass shootings have been perpetrated by men or boys. What’s up with that? At this point, I find this FACT to be sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF US yet no one – absolutely no one – is talking about it, except you!! How are boys being brought up? What is making them so angry? Why the impulse towards nihilism? Why do we use convenient labels like Asberger’s Syndrome or autism? Are we trying to make ourselves believe that it can’t be our culture, but “mental illness” that is to blame? If so, then we must be the most mentally ill society on Earth. But, perhaps, it’s the notion that “boys will be boys” – one that I heard all too frequently growing up in an Evangelical Christian home in the 1970s. I recall the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation’s “chastity” Ad Campaign – TV ads targeting ONLY GIRLS to be the “last bullwark of chastity”. After all, boys will be boys, right, so we’ve got to impress on the GIRLS that they are the moral gatekeepers. Meanwhile, every boy in my Sunday School class was trying to get the girls to give them blow jobs since “technically” that wasn’t sex – and, boys will be boys, and they can’t help themselves. I can’t tell you how many times that occurred with me as a young church-going woman. The message I took away is that boys/men live under a totally different standard from girls/women. Boys are allowed to be self-centered, self-engrandizing, “confident”, “cocky”, lacking in empathy, hyperactive, undisciplined, entitled to feeling they can be a Jackass at one moment only to “win” the “good girl” by the end of the Movie if they do a little “mea culpa” that rings completely hollow.

    OK, I’m sure I’ve insulted many good men and boys by my rant. Not my intention. There are good ones, like my husband. But even in him, I sense at times a level of suppressed anger that is quite disturbing. If anyone is out there that can explain that suppressed anger out there to me, please do. I’m begging you. Otherwise, maybe it’s time we totally re-think how the male sex is brought up.

    • Kimberley

      Hi Susan,
      I couldn’t agree with you more. As for looking at how we raise our boys, after a lot of research, I believe the problem begins shortly after birth. Welcome to the world, son! Now we will strap you down and mutilate your genitals without anesthesia. Circumcision meets the legal definition of rape. You can’t rape and mutilate baby boys and think that there aren’t going to be consequences. I agreed with everything Frank wrote about the perfect formula for horror. He just forgot this one vital ingredient. Watching videos of circumcisions leaves me angry and sad beyond words, and my genitals are intact! It’s against the law to so much a prick a female child’s genitals with a pin, but for reasons that I do not understand, our nation’s boys do not get equal protection under the law.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      His Susan and Kimberley, I agree with you both deeply. Thanks you for reading my article and speaking up here. I have two sons and two grandsons. As of now, reading aloud, no TV, art, music, love, a father and grandfather that treats his wife and daughters with respect, frank talks about sex and mutual pleasure has paid off. so far my boys/men are the sort of guys you’d like (I hope!) and most of my work has been in inculcating the good stuff — real art, music, books — before the horrible muck got into their heads. I was just determined to get there first and did. It takes work! And it “works.”

  • Dar

    Well said, even if it was hard hitting. I hope that you can get the type of dialogue going that will start change for America. Thank you.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Thanks Dar, every bit helps I hope. Best, Frank

  • David Fetcho

    I grew up with guns. I owned my first rifle at 12 years of age. I could walk around our vacation neighborhood with my rifle slung over my shoulder, and nobody gave it a second thought. I know how it feels to shoot. I know how it feels to kill game. I now know it’s time to repeal the Second Amendment.
    Repealing the Second Amendment would not, of necessity, mean keeping folks from owning rifles and shotguns for hunting for meat and sustenance. It WOULD mean eliminating the hegemony of the NRA and gun manufacturers lobby that refuses any rational control of the production and dissemination of any and all sorts of firearms. It’s about the money, after all, no matter what patriotic claptrap is trotted out to clothe it. Every gun that a criminal or disturbed individual uses started out as a legal weapon, produced by a legal manufacturer, and disseminated via legal channels. Regulate the source, and you mitigate the result, simple as that.

    By the way, Frank, I too have repented from a lot of my past, like founding the SCP in CWLF in Berkeley in the ’70s. And I still talk to Jesus about his way of liberation.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      David, I’m really honored to find you on this page as a reader of my blog. Thanks for the wise comment. I think that this madness is far more important than just about anything we hold dear. These were children! What freedom are we protecting other than the right to be paranoid these days?

  • Lucy

    You forgot to mention the rape and poisoning of our environment. GMO’s, pesticides. Pollution of our waters, land and air. It is increasingly difficult to find safe, clean food. I am a parent of young children and I am continually amazed at other parents’ willing ignorance of nutrition. They feed themselves and their children what I call the barcode diet, which has resulted in an epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes. Many children today have what I have seen referred to as nature deficit disorder. They have very little connection or understanding of the natural world.
    We breathe, eat, watch, play with, listen to filth everyday. It is a practice, like prayer or meditation. Ever listen to the lyrics that children are listening to these days? Talk about perversion And their mothers and fathers sing right along.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Lucy good point! I’ve written about this elsewhere but thanks for the reminder! Frank

  • Daniel Imburgia

    Dr. Schaeffer, I think you articulate the feelings of many, and I share in much of your outrage and despair. I want to ask though, when you write, “please get out of our country?” who is the “our” your referring too?

    i think that part of what Jesus challenged those who would follow him with was to break free from our concepts of blood, clan, kindred, race, caste, horde, kulture, nation. So far I don’t see that we’ve come very far in this. Unlike the tens of thousands of dead Afghani and Iraqi children that we are responsible for killing and that we completely ignore, the murdered children in Connecticut allow us to fix blame outside ourselves and give us a way to purge our anxiety and guilt (‘thank god it was their kid and not mine’) but also a way to experience solidarity and community with other grievers against identifiable perpetrators (the one that actually pulled the trigger, but also impose collective guilt on gun companies, the NRA, or else the godless liberals who outlawed prayer in schools and want to restrict even more gun proliferation, or the devil, etc.). There isn’t anything new in all of this, except the marketing potential and the screen rights, which only makes it all the more depressing.

    Golda Meir said to Anwar Sadat before he was killed, “we can forgive you for killing our children, but we can never forgive you for making us kill your children.” But she was wrong on both counts; we will not (with a few incredible exceptions) forgive those who kill our children. Even more, we often kill the children of our enemies in cold blood and with unaccountable indifference. I think it is important to ask, where is there anything of the gospel, the so-called “good news” to be found in all of this???

    i will only offer this much. I have at times witnessed what I think was the Spirit of God working in peoples who have once been crushed and broken. And I have experienced them extending forgiveness and grace to the children of the nations that have inflicted and continue to inflict on them so much suffering and death. One such place for me and my wife was at the mass grave at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation (they still mourn the 18 children killed there by the U.S. cavalry). It is often at these places and with these kinds of peoples that those of us that want to find any kind of sign of God’s presence in this world may find it, but we may have to learn a different language than that which been taught us in commercial and corporate media, universities, and churches. I suspect as you say, it will not be the language of personal rights, autonomy, self-interest, self-protection, fear and freedom; but probably more in the language of justice, forgiveness, long-suffering, self-sacrifice, and compassion. Obliged.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi Daniel, I guess the “our” is sane patriots that aren’t in the paranoid gun lobby and I am simply reversing the old sixties nonsense about love it or leave it. The point was that this should work both ways. The right wanted to kick out the “hippies” its time they got the boot, if not out of the country, then out of the media and congress, and so to should the degenerate idiots who have turned entertainment into a call for a value-less, women-hating society of permanent male teens.

  • Henry Venema

    I live in Manitoba Canada, we have lots of hunters here who use guns for hunting. What a novel idea! I don’t own a gun because I don’t hunt. That would be only reason to own a gun. Gun ownership for personal protection is ridiculous, you more likely to injure yourself or family members with such weapons. I refuse to live in fear. Owning a gun does not give peace of mind, it just make one paranoid that every stranger is a threat.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Good point Henry, and in the case of our mass killer’s mother gun ownership made her the victim, as it does for countless suicides and other shooting victims.

  • Mark Verplank

    thanks Frank for saying so well what I’ve been trying to say for years, takes guts to suggest America isn’t just the most wonderful country in the world. People (mostly on the ‘right’) just can’t even discuss the ‘real’ history of America, but it IS important for students to know exactly who Jefferson really was, not just the hero we want him to be. Most can’t handle the truth.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi Mark, thanks for reading the post. Thanks for the encouraging word too. Yes, you’re right we live in a (literally!) whitewashed fantasy land.

  • Mark Matzeder

    I love the way you challenge us. Our stories–yours and mine–are somewhat similar. I saw your movie, years ago, when I was a member of an evangelical charismatic church in Texas and trying to reconcile what they taught with my concern for social justice and the things I was learning about how we even got the Bible. A lot of this made me squirm, but I shared it with my Facebook crew, nonetheless. I probably need to squirm more often. You’re always an inspiration, and a challenge to stretch my understanding. Thanks.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi Mark, it makes me uncomfortable writing this too. I mean this is our country! And admitting that actually we are the bad guys is humbling and hard to take. But it is proving more true by the day. We’re also insane.

  • Ralph A. Gilmore

    This was an amazing and well-written article Frank! As the saying goes, “the truth hurts” and these conversations not only needs to be on a national level, but it has to be encouraged in our schools, our churches, our communities, and among our peers. I often feel like our country is literally imploding right before our eyes and the nation as a whole, stands idle while it happens.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Thank you Ralph, and you are right “imploding” is the word. Our problem isn’t competition from China etc, but literal madness and mass delusion not to mention pandering to the tumbling lowest common denominator.

  • Colleen Lombard

    Thank you Frank.
    There is such a dichotomy. Americans are content to lose freedoms in the name of “Homeland Security”, but will not sanction any ‘perceived’ curtailing of internal weaponry, that has been shown time and again to do more harm than good.
    Terrorists don’t need airplanes or bombs. All they need to to is support the NRA and we will do the rest ourselves. :(

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Bin Laden was less of a threat to our actual lives than the NRA — literally! Do the math!

  • Shaun Yoder

    Frank, you attack people who use their right to carry rights as uneducated rubes. But you forget to mention what effect these laws have had. According to the Department of Justice statistics and the FBI, Florida has averaged a 36% drop in homicide while the US murder rate dropped 15%. Texas averaged 30% lower while the US averaged 28% lower. Michigan has seen an average drop of 4% while the US averaged 2% lower. All data spans from 1960-2008.
    Obviously these laws do nothing what so ever except show that these uneducated stupid racist white jerks are in charge.

    • Carol

      Where did you get these statistics? I’ve seen statistics declaring that the US has a higher violent crime rate than Europe. I can believe that. I have friends from countries that don’t allow guns as we do, and they say they are safer. Somebody please tell us the truth. I know what we’re doing now is not working, but what do we need to change? Besides taking better care of our ‘neighbor,’ especially our mentally ill neighbor.

  • Brenda

    Oh my goodness! FINALLY some common sense! I am so tired of people saying this happened because God is no longer allowed in our schools. This happened because WE allow mass production of weapons, WE allow them to be bought and sold, WE deny access to health care and health insurance to mentally ill people. God didn’t allow this…we did.

  • Kellen

    South Park and videogames are to blame for this?
    Sorry, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. Other countries also have South Park and the very same videogames.
    I also don’t think you’ve watched South Park. It’s quite often a show making the same arguments you make.

  • Franksafool

    Typical new england liberal who clearly never read the constitution, and spent way to much time in the communist halls of higher education. You seem to want to be a subject and not a citizen. Not me brother.

    I like your son was over in Iraq and a few other places such as Afghanistan fighting..I now know how fragile your beloved society is. It along with infrastructure can be gone in an instant and take years to recover. I also know that the police are many minutes away in an emergency. I further have read the stats on countries like the UK and Australia who have seen violent crime spike after guns were banned. You do know there are over 100 million firearms owners in this country. All of which didn’t commit a crime this week. That kid in Connecticut did what he did for ATTENTION. You should direct your anger to the MEDIA. They are the ones that BLAST the American public with these sickos that do these acts. They place them at near celebrity status.

    I own guns and its my right under the constitution to do so. I never want to be a subject. I don’t want out government having more and more power, they need less if anything. They didn’t keep us safe in 911, they didn’t keep those babies safe at that school. That kid would have used other means to kill if he did not have the guns. Bombs, knifes, you name it he would have used it. This is a MENTAL health issue not a GUN issue. Its also a MEDIA issue, the media needs to stop celebratizing these sickos As for the Indians owning america well go read up on the Kennewick man. He was a European not of Asian descent and the oldest skeleton ever found in NA. The oldest skeletons in SA were in Brazil and were of Aboriginal decent, not Asian. Kind of breaks the conjecture that native americans owned this country…before Europeans rediscovered it doesn’t it?

    Weapons are just tools, it’s the guy behind the weapon that is the Killer. Your son can tell you that, I too like all marines is a marksman first. Someone knew this sicko was a danger to others. What needs to change in this country is Doctor Patient confidentiality. I guarantee that kid told his doctor(s) he wanted to hurt others and they failed to do anything. Same was the case in Colorado. Blame the medical community and blame the media…Not the NRA…

    • Ali

      Thanks fellow for making Frank’s point. I just hope someone you love isn’t in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Don

    I wish I could have stated all this as well as you did, Frank. This is another atheist who disagrees with nothing in your article. Bravo!

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Thanks, don! Best, Frank

  • David Lewis

    You are right that America is never been the upright, moral, righteous, Christian, godly nation that many Americans assume it to be. But then again, what does that have to do with the massacre on Friday? Did Adam Lanza go to that school to murder children because he was an American? Was he trying to model America’s bloody history and live that history out incarnationally in his own person? Or did he go there to murder children for some demented reason that only he could explain? That he could carry out these murders because his mom owned guns and ammunition is one thing. That doesn’t explain the “why?”

    So as a father of young children, including a beloved 7-year old daughter, I have been trying to understand what would motivate a man to go to a school in order to murder children only 6 and 7 years old. I have been trying “to get into the mind” of such a person. What the hell was Adam Lanza thinking as he carried out the murders? On my own I have not been able even to come close to understanding this. Nor am I convinced that somehow it is the fault of either Republicans or Democrats for whatever the reason, or our nation’s history, or right-wing or left-wing anything, etc.

    So thank you for your post! Your silly, mindless, thoughtless, logically disconnected, hate-filled ranting and lashing out at everyone and everything that you find disagreeable probably brought me closer to the mind of Lanza than anything I could have imagined. I think I get it now: Here is a sick mind that is angry and blames everything and everyone (except for himself )–and then hates them and demands that they “go!” Someone who is mentally ill or truly convinced by his own argument then just might take the next step and act on that hate, thinking he is justified while doing so. Thus our Calvinist forefathers could wipe out the original occupants of what we now call Massachusetts in the name of God and believe themselves right while doing it. Thus Germans could murder children in concentration camps in the name of the Reich. And so on. Yes, this is how it always works when humans murder other humans: First there is this hatred for and/or dismissal of “the other” coupled with a sense of self-righteous self-assurance; this gives the rationale so we can act on such hatred and actually kill those we have hated or dismissed. I am wondering if Adam Lanza felt justified in his own mind for what he did, as illogical as it might seem to us. I bet he did–and that is truly disturbing.

    Your rant is otherwise both useless and unforgiveable. It would be laughable too if it were not for Friday’s events. But thanks for this one bit.

    BTW, I think you should trash that .22 rifle.

    • Carol

      I think that Adam Lanza’s shooting had nothing to do with his being an American, except possibly for the fact that that his country had no mental health infrastructure to support him and help him. Also, possibly, the American attitude that we can ‘change our attitude’ if we just try, or trust Jesus. There are people who really believe that we are created equal in a literal way and that what they can do, I can do. The longer I live, the more I see that this is not true. I guess there must be someone or a few someones who really choose to be outside, but psychology today is teaching that somewhere near 50% of our behavior is biological, to a great degree because of the twin studies. So, maybe his mom or some other people who wanted to ‘help’ him told him to ‘pull himself together,’ or ‘try harder,’ or ‘people really like you dear,’ though he was often alone. I have read on Asperger’s blogs how they really want to have a social life, but it is difficult for them because of their inability to understand sarcasm, irony, facial expressions, etc. I would think things like this could be fixed. But there is also the issue that the number of births of children with autism is increasing. So are the rates of diabetes and asthma. We need to find out what is causing it or we will lose our children, from more causes than guns. That will take….dare I say…..government support, NIH, support of universities’ medical research. I swear–I’d add a charitable contribution to pay off the national debt if it meant that we could do these things. And I am waaaay down below the 2%. And considering that, I certainly understand Frank’s rant.

      • Carol

        Plus the ridiculous availability of guns! I can’t fathom why that woman had three guns and why anyone would have a semi-automatic rifle. I know someone who has one, but he hasn’t explained why he wants it.

  • Subnumine

    Thank you. I would quibble that there were free states which more or less paid for their land, and were not Puritanical – but we are an arguable minority.

    I have read the Constitution, not just the NRA’s favorite pieces of word magic. A constitutional militia would be organized and disciplined by Congress and officered and regulated by the several states. We had several in the early Republic; they were boastful, bullying, drunken, and cowardly, like the militia that killed the Pequots – and that’s why we have a Department of Defense instead.

    A semi-automatic is a weapon of war; it has no peaceful purpose. It would be unlawful and unsporting to hunt with one. Those who use them against Americans are levying war against the United States; those who supply and support the killers are giving them aid and comfort. And the Constitution does supply a remedy for that.

  • Sierra Volk

    Preach it, brother.

  • Ali

    I’m a Christian and Frank do I ever agree with you. If Jesus was here he would be disgusted. The United States is a free and great place to live in if you are white, male, and a gun totter.

    • Carol

      Thank you. When I read the pure (red letter) words of Jesus, I don’t see anything that supports the Christian Right. It is hard to believe there is such a polar difference between Republicans and Democrats.

  • goblin

    Thank you Frank for your article. I have felt much the same for a long time, much to the consternation of my conservative fellowship.I have been reading Jaques Ellul about Christian Anarchy and he might have the idea. And all the gun lobby says is it is not the time to talk about gun control, but when is? I believe right now.

  • onewanderer

    We need to have an open honest non-racist discussion about our zionist foreign policy. It’s maddening, to even use the word zionist makes one anti-semantic. The messianic vision of the far right has no business controlling the fate of our country, Canada now also.

  • Joy

    Thank you Frank. I am also very angry. I want people to stop being so selfish. Is this what the freedom in our country has come to? People defending their guns before thinking about all the lives lost, not just in Connecticut 2 days ago… but everyday do to gun (or any other sort of) violence. It’s not the absence of God that has doomed our country… it’s the absence of love and respect for one another.

    • Joy

      Excuse my typos… I wrote this while my toddler was jumping on my lap. lol

  • syracuseny

    All I can say is “wow” and “thank you, Frank.”

  • Sam Holloway

    Thank you, Frank.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi Sam, thanks and thanks for reading. Best, Frank

  • suzanne lehman

    Thank you Frank for speaking out!!! I too have been heartbroken about the loss of innocent life and find it incomprehensible how we keep integrating mass shootings into our psyche as the norm. I recognize that without guns and without violence, America is truly facing an identity crisis. Violence makes us what we are. I’m not saying I like violence, rather I “hate” it!! And underneath all of this grief, for all of the children and innocent life lost, is an even more desperate emotional state that I feel wrapped in. A desperation of trying to find hope for the future of this country and peace for all in this world. But when a country can not find it’s identity separate from violence, in all it’s many forms, than how do we progress as a society. Even now in the dialogue, as I have heard in many dialogues before, there is this “we” and “them” mentality!!! Although it is hard for me to have hope, I thank you for starting a dialogue and saying what is hard and unpopular to say!! Thank you again, for your honesty and truth!!!

  • grannygrey

    Thank you for writing that, Frank. I have hunted..for food. I taught for many years, and I raised a houseful of children. In 1977, my youngest one was not yet 5, in Indianapolis, and he and the little boy across the street were playing in their fenced in back yard, and his mother and I decided to fix supper for all of our kids. We were standing in the kitchen working on it, when I saw a gun outside the kitchen window..and a man, and then another gun and another man..and shots fired. I was close enough to the door I yelled at the boys to lay down flat in the yard, while we were frantically dialing for the police. The boys, for once, did what they were told..immediately…and shots were being fired OVER their heads and across the yard. The dispatcher was hearing all of this and within 2 minutes there were police cars everywhere. Turns out there had been a drug deal going down next door and it went bad. They did not have assault weapons but 6 shot hand guns; otherwise there would have been all kinds of dead around, including, probably 2 children. Today that 4 year old is now 40 and a principal of a small school. I don’t have the guts to call and ask him how he is doing right now. I don’t know if he remembers that day; I know my memories are back, along with memories of a parent who had been raping his stepdaughter and realized he had been found out and told his daughter he would kill me. My classroom had to be moved because it was along the street and the police couldn’t find him. We had to lock our small building down so no one could come in during class times. Our students knew we were locking the door; they didn’t know why. There was no way in hell we would have told them. These were high school students so we made up something that ‘sounded plausible’. It took several days to catch that stepparent, but I know how I felt, and how worried I was that he would start shooting into my classroom. BUT, would I want a gun in that classroom..NO…because teenagers are capable to doing really crazy things for really dumb reasons at times…and if they knew there was a gun, you would have a kid looking for it, or trying to steal it from a teacher.

  • Marenka Cerny

    Thank you, Frank. It’s also a big relief and encouraging to see everyone else who is thanking you too. I think everything you said had everything to do with what just happened. Not enough of us have been in this together. I’ve only just recently starting feeling connected to and responsible for what goes on in the world so I know what it’s like for others that feel disconnected and isolated and helpless or just uninterested. I support what you said and I’m looking forward to learning more about your work.
    I also really liked what Jason Alexander has said about guns.

    Best to you.

  • Jack Lynch

    Dear Frank, I am so glad to have read this post. I’ve been on the fringe of your writings and observations for a few years now and have wanted to get in touch. I first heard you speak a few years ago as a guest on Rachel Maddow’s show and couldn’t believe you, Francis’s son, was saying what you were saying. Years ago I was a ‘born-again’, and read your father’s works, saw the films, wanted to go to Switzerland…, so was surprised, but delighted, to hear where your journey has taken you. Mine, well, you might get an idea if you check out my website. I’ve lost my ‘faith’ in a ‘personal god’, but not my faith in compassion, empathy, forgiveness and benevolence. Thank you for your angry words. I’ve been fuming myself and I’m glad you are seeing and speaking about the broader picture of the US policing the world. We are not peace keepers/makers, not until we truly become a nation that turns its weapons into plowshares. That is the US I keep believing in, and I do believe there are so many good people in the world doing powerful, transformative work. Anyway, I would truly love to have a conversation with you one day. Blessings. Jack

  • Edward Owen

    Best post I’ve read since the tragedy. Thank you SO much for your thoughts and for sharing them with us.

  • Marquest Burton

    Greetings! Fellow Humans of Earth

    This is a very good and potent and very truthful speech about the state of the United States of America (or more accurately the Occupied Territories of this land known as North America) whom has sown so much hatred, violence, sexism, fearmongering, and all sorts of sin and wickedness and that what she is reaping right and shall continue to reap up to the glorious appearing of the one true Allah. I beseech ye all to re-evaluate and evaluate your lives in accordance with the law of the most High Allah and choose to surrender your whole lives unto the word of the living Allah that ye may become his children and live like his only begotten Son Jesus Christ that ye may inherit eternal paradise in the hereafter.

    Peace be unto you!
    Marquest Burton

  • Tom Leete

    Regarding public education and “teaching to the test”, well there’s a maxim in teaching: what gets tested, gets taught. I am a public school teacher, and I assure you that the only feedback with any consequences these days are the results of those high stakes state tests we administer every Spring. The results are public, and schools are rated based on their performance. When our performance doesn’t meet the government standards, we get hit with negative consequences. Every staff meeting relates to those tests, usually because we are being trained / indoctrinated into the latest fad method of improving our scores on those tests.
    We are never publicly measured on how well our students do in society. We are never measured on how well they do in college or what percentage of them succeed in becoming contributing members of society. There are no consequences to us for failure in these areas, nor are there rewards for success. If you want to change public education in this country, you’re going to have to start by re-setting our goals, find ways to measure them, and create public feedback based on them. As it is, we will continue dancing the tune our masters are currently calling – what else can we do?

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  • Frill Artist

    Sadly, this wonderful article will be lost in the sea of useless cat memes and viral videos for the 30 second attention span internet crowd.

  • Daniel Imburgia

    Guns don’t kill people, bad theology does?

    Like gun control legislation, because of all the passion surrounding recent events maybe some will think that now is not the time to talk about “bad theology.” But if not now when is the right time, how many children have to be put at risk before we act to protect them? So I want to start a conversation about how to engage “bad theology.” Theology is like a gun, it makes no difference till it does, then it makes all the difference that counts. Like a gun, when you need theology most it seems to fail you. One is as likely to be hurt or destroyed by bad theology as helped or saved by good theology. Most bad theology starts in the home, and many of those children hurt by bad theology, are hurt by a parent or relative. Like using guns, using theology, even at home, requires no special license, training, knowledge, or practice. But as much as I would like to save all the people harmed or killed, I don’t think there is any way to regulate theology sufficiently in this country that wouldn’t cause an even greater harm. Yet bad theology is responsible, in part, for the death of thousands of innocent people every year, mostly children. There are responsible users of theology of course, and some of them try to challenge and correct the bad use of theology, yet despite their best efforts bad theology seems to be increasing. Every year producers, collectors, purveyors, and voyeurs of bad theology meet at conventions and trade shows all around this country and distribute theology without any oversight into the hands of un-professionals without any way to track what they intend to do with the theology they acquire. Even worse, bad theology is in some ways more dangerous than guns; guns can only take a physical life once, but bad theology threatens to kill your soul as well, and most at risk is the soul of the bad theologian. The U.S. constitution gives americans the right to do theology without interference by the state, even the right to use, promote, sell, demonstrably dangerous theology. Indeed, the state itself, as we know it, is sustained by really bad theology. But of the few places one can avoid the overt practice of theology, american public schools, some zealous proponents of theology are working feverishly to impose theology on teachers and students. No amount of security can make a school completely safe from bad theology, but we must try and maintain schools as secure, theology-free zones. Children are first the children of God, we shouldn’t kill them, any of them, their bodies or their souls (that’s an example of good theology). Obliged, Daniel.

  • JaraJara

    Unfortunately, the end result of this disturbed young man is no different than a Muslim Jihadist that straps explosives to him or herself with the intention of inflicting pain upon others. But, that is the world we occupy…where anyone anywhere can assume the right to force pain on someone else, for any reason whatsoever within the 3 pound weapon of terror between the ears. Nowhere is there an answer to this reality. This is such a complicated issue, one that makes me wonder why gun owners are automatically called upon to answer for the actions of someone with a gun. Why not round up everyone diagnosed with clinical depression, or autism and the varied spectrum states of brain activity, or the narcissist and personality disordered and force them to answer for the behaviors of the small portion of their population that choose to act socially negative? I won’t get started on constitutional issues, or the reasons why our constitution means absolutely nothing since the advent of a standing American army. Second amendment arguments are moot, as are the limitations on government intended in the document. That discussion is for another time. I also won’t attempt to define for others why “assault” weapons are what they are. It is obvious that they have evolved in order to limit the loss experienced during the one activity more field soldiers have died or been wounded since the dawn of firearms in combat – reloading, but to help the simple minded reach beyond catch-all negative terms, like “assault weapons” is futile. I hope the President decides to take “assault weapons” off the street. I hope he is able to define what they are and then convince the American people of his definition. I hope he declares open war on firearms of all types, and pursues this “evil” with the intense passion we have battled the “war on drugs”. I hope, above all things, that he lets the American people know when he has them all, I’ll be waiting.

  • Sukh Hayre

    As Billy Bragg said,

    we’ve got to find some moderate muslims
    with whom we can converse
    might be an idea if we try to find
    some moderate christians first

    Bush War Blues – Billy Bragg

  • Andrew P.

    Wow, you sir said everything I felt and feel like saying after what happened the other day in Newtown. It just blows my mind that these mass murders that have been happening too often latley hit an elementary school. I have 2 sons, one of them is in the same age group as the victims, so this tragedy hit really close to home for me and I just hate it. I know every shooting that we have in this country is horrible but this one really made me angry at the way this country views its second ammendment rights. Some idiots I know on Facebook were quick to post thier usual guns dont kill people BS right after they heard the news. The only thing I could think of was when is it going to be enough for you to see that this is becoming a problem? If guns are not the problem, then why are they used in every mass murder we have in this country? I don’t see anyone of these psychos taking the time to make a bomb to do thier killings. That would be too risky for them and they might get arrested before they can commit thier crime. So instead they walk into thier local Wal-Mart or what have you and buy a gun or two because thats ok in the eyes of the law. I was in the Navy for 6 years and worked really closley with firearms, it was part of my job. I shot every gun that we had on the ship and was trained in all of them. The way I see it guns like the ones used in the shooting in Newtown and any automatic weapon should only be used in the military and law enforcement. No civilian needs a gun that has a 30 round magazine in it and can shoot 500 rounds a minute. They also dont need AR-15′s, which basically is the most popular rifle in the country. Not to mention was used in almost every mass murder we had in this country the past couple of years. I agree with everything you said in your post, you basically said what I think. The only thing that I don’t agree with, just stating my opinion here, is the hate that video games get when something like this happens. Some people may think that if you play a video game that has guns in it that you are getting some sort of training to use these guns. This couldn’t be more untrue. Video games may be more realistic these days, but they are far from being real. I have been playing video games since I was 10 years old or so and I have never once had a homicidal thought because of it. I do understand that video games now are more violent then they used to be and that kids shouldn’t be paying the Mature rated games. I won’t even let my 6 year old play video games yet but I’m pretty shure that alot of kids in his first grade class do. Which I don’t agree with at all. All I’m trying to say about the games is that they don’t drive people to commit mass murders. Those psychos were going to grow up to be insane with or without the help of video games. Looks like I went on a little rant there sorry. Your article was great, thanks for posting it!

  • Susan Burns

    These gun hoarders were raised on apocalyptic thinking. When the tribulation begins and society devolves Christians will need fire power to protect themselves until Jesus raptures them. Even those people that have fallen away from the church retain their childhood fear of the world ending. Having guns makes them feel more secure. The more guns they have the more secure they feel. Taking their guns away will create uncontrollable anxiety just like any other type hoarder.

  • Linda Ayn Edwards

    Thanks Frank for this article -I agree with so many of your points-That Bush did indeed set the policy to murder so many innocent civilians and continued to murder and torture etc . That so many Americans accepted that administration and continued to support them continues to haunt me. Many Americans have been isolated from all other cultures. Many of your points about American education are spot on. The lack of national civics and world geography have contributed to further isolationist policies. We need to wake up and put our resources into the things that we believe reflect our true values. I would hope that would be less about material things and more about raising our children to develop their own potential to be well rounded citizens with whole hearts and souls.

  • Ralph Wahrlich

    Thank you so much for sharing. It is encouraging to see someone asking the hard questions; holding up a mirror to society and challenging everyone to look at what they see; calling out *everyone* and asking : how?? HOW has it come to this?

    I suppose that the media will foment more argument; we’ll have politicians using this as an opportunity for grandstanding and for pouring muck all over the ‘other side’, etc. But then I come across articles such as yours, and I’m encouraged. Why? There are so many people who can see what’s happening – and realise that we have to stop what we’re doingm, ask ourselves “What use is it to try more of the same, harder, more determined than ever – if THIS is where we are as a result thus far?”.

    Thank you again.

  • Mary Bubier

    Amen, we are on downward spiral and I feel our only hope at this point is divine intervention or “Beam me up, Scotty”.

  • August

    Very poignant article. My only regret is that you didn’t also mention what our kids listen too *on broadcast radio* while going to school in the morning. If it’s rap, it’s sex, misogyny, violence and materialism. If it’s pop, then it’s dj’s playing cruel pranks on the innocent and sex.
    As a black man, I’m sick and tired of liberals painting minorities as victims. It’s just another stereotype that although well intentioned, is dehumanizing as well. In the end, we all must take responsibility for our lives and actions. And we must work hard to be compassionate to those who *have* had struggles in their lives. Wish I knew how to fix this all…

  • Daniel Mann

    I think that there is a lot of blame to go around – broken families, media-promoted violence, drugs (including psychotropics). However we often overlook the worldview changes:

    1. Darwinism that regards humanity as no more than a more-evolved animal. And if we are animals, then there is no reason to not treat us as animals.

    2. Moral Relativism claims that there no higher truths of right and wrong. . If this is so, then there is no higher reason to avoid the wrong.

  • William

    Thanks Frank! Your piece is raw, it is angry, it is honest. We can’t be quiet any longer, we must speak up and speak loud. Our country needs a culture change, now! We have always been a violent society while speaking the love of God. How very hypocritical! You know, Jesus was always the most critical of the hypocrites. I see where Mike Huckabee says the shooting is punishment from God for taking prayer out the schools. What a sick individual. Thanks again Frank for saying what alot of us are feeling. Peace to you my Brother, William

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi William, thanks. I feel raw, angry and am determined to “do” something about this. I just pray that something snaps in this nation and we wake up. Frank

  • Elane Vandenbergh

    Thank you for saying what needs to be said. There is a saying, “What you think about, you bring about.” So associating, focusing on negativity we the Americans have caused this situation. Those whom tout guns for hunting or protection, you don’t need semi automatic, extended clips etc. those are for nothing more than staging an assault, killing people. As you say Americans have been a violent people. Its time to focus on like you said, how to loving interact with each other.

  • Brandie

    So I am destined to be a killer? That seems to be what you are saying here is that anyone who grows up around guns is going to go out and kill others. This is where I believe you are wrong. I grew up around guns. My Father hunts, and so did his own father and down the line. My family has always hunted. They have always owned guns- which are used for hunting, stored under lock and key, ammunition kept elsewhere and not near the guns, guns with each their own gun lock. We where taught to respect these guns. We were taught to respect human life. Guns in my household are used for hunting of animals.

    Yes we need a list of gun owners. Of course this list would only have the legal gun owners. Those that do not own their guns legally will not be on the list. People also need to take yearly classes in gun safety and shooting. Gun Ids for guns would be a great step to just like driver’s ids for when you drive a car.

    People need to be taught the value of human life again. Americans have forgotten that. Why have they because we are an Independent people we are not a Collective people like the rest of the world. Parents have failed here. Parents are no longer teaching the value of human life and that everyone deserves a chance to live, to grow and to become the best person they can be.

    The value of human life cannot be legislated. It needs to be taught to children by their families and reinforced in schools. People need to be taught to care again.

  • Cindi

    I find it most interesting that there wasn’t any huge discussion about the fact that parents CAN and SHOULD turn off the tv!!! Any program that is popular is just that because PEOPLE WATCH IT! We must learn as a society to embrace what our own parents did…discipline. This is missing today! Trust me! I’ve seen it in all corners of my own community. It’s gone. Just because people can be parents, doesn’t mean they should! A new dedication of life to raising our children properly should be the emphasis here as well. This entire disucssion is multi-phased and should be looked at as such. That gun did not kill the people, that 20-year old did. Oh, and I think it’s important to mention that any adult with guns should and must keep them tightly locked up! This could have gone far in preventing this entire scenario. Even in countries where guns are outlawed, there are murders. Let’s begin by taking personal responsibility! That’s the ticket!

  • Nadia Bolz-Weber

    “A Theologian of the cross calls a thing what it is”
    -Martin Luther.

    Thank you.

  • Agnikan

    Preach it, Frank!

  • Leah

    I find both the author and David to have some very great points. We must be weary of our anger. There is a very sick system at the heart of this brutality but you and I are apart of it, we contribute everyday that we assume the worst in people and look past ourselves at the problem. This killer was disconnected, out of touch and murderously angry. But he was one of us, and we have a responsibility to look inward and see how we lost him. It scares me to go there, to possibly find that there is an evil in all of us. It terrify’s me more to think there is not, and some people can never be helped. I think the deeper we go, the closer we get to our darkness, the more honest a society we can build, more humane, and maybe one that recognizes the mentally ill as our own and get them help that can prevent this sort of act of unspeakable violence. I cut television out of my life a long time ago. I found I wasn’t strong enough to avoid the programming that feed the worst parts of myself. Let us admit our worst parts of ourself, of our society and try to make decisions and choices, even if harder, to build up something honest.

  • Antoinette Herrera

    Thank you for this column. It’s bracing, provocative, and a heartfelt cri du couer–and it cuts to the marrow.

  • j bohn

    An amazingly bitter and hateful diatribe by one who apparently hates everyone who doesn’t agree with His socialist progressive viewpoint. Even more amazing is the amount of people who agree with You. This is the kind of hate that is disturbing to me , this is the kind of hate that fueled Hitler and Stalins regimes, and maybe even Adam Lanza murder spree. This article is purely and simply hate speech directed at those you dislike. The violent tragedy that happened in Newtown is not the NRA’s fault or Republicans fault, nor the framers of the constitution, nor the constitutionalists, nor gun ownwers fault, you might be able to say it’s societies fault but society is a big crazy thing with many many different paradigms. This is really the fault of a mental illness… and hate.

  • Joe Ferri

    Sir, I am not a gun proponent, nor do I own a gun, nor am I a religious man, but I will say this to you as an fellow American who respects another’s opinion, that MY LIFE IS SACRED, and when you speak like this I feel threatened because when you’re using your position and your opinion like this it can be as dangerous as all of the guns in this country. These remarks can and will be considered incendiary when labeling people and calling them idiots. Even if it’s true, most of them love their freedom and fought for their country so that you can express your opinion. Perhaps you can recall the preacher in Florida who was was exercising his First Amendment rights and was forewarned of the repercussions by everyone including the State Department not to publicly burn the Koran, which he insisted on doing anyway, and it later cost American lives. Please think through all your thoughts with a sense of responsibility for any miscalculated words becoming adverse reactions and bringing about your version of the end of the world at the expense of everyone else who does not espouse those beliefs! The buck shot doesn’t always stop with the other guy who may be equally as angry and lighting the fuse leading to his powder keg won’t get you the higher moral ground you seek either. Thank you for listening.

    • Profoundly Sad

      Apparently your fear has blinded you to your own hypocrisy. That same fear of making “incendiary” expressions of opinion has delivered this reality we live in and all who give in to it are complicit in the tragedies that occur daily in this increasingly sickening society. I support Mr. Schaeffer’s right to express his opinion in language he deems appropriate. Further I ENCOURAGE IT and pray that all who are outraged do likewise. Outrage is the proper response, therefore the language of outrage is justified.

      • Joe Ferri

        @Profundity: Thank you for your observation about the hypocrisy and complicity. I’ll have to give it some serious thought. Your position is well taken as is Mr. Shaeffer’s. My main objection is to the language which is part of the problem and not the solution, in my opinion. When we resort to name calling we are dealing from a position of weakness and not strength which may get the other’s attention but surely won’t get their co-operation.

  • Fred Olsen

    Frank, you have been making sense since Addicted to Mediocrity…..the more you write…the more I agree.

  • Sarah

    This same rant has been developing in my head for the last decade and a half. Thank you for so articulately putting my rant into words.

  • KathyC16

    Mr. Schaeffer, thank you for this. We can argue about some details (as another commenter pointed out, many of my students actually understand South Park as a satirical attack on the same hypocritical values you are talking about here), but overall you tie together seemingly disparate threads to demonstrate the ugliness of the tapestry. As an educator, I especially appreciate your comment about “teaching to the soul” rather than “teaching to the test.” This beautifully articulates why standardized testing is so much more insidious than it appears on the surface–it not only treats students as commodities rather than as the valuable human beings that they are, but it steers the curriculum away from the values of a humanitarian education, for the precise reason that those values can’t be built overnight, nor can they be quickly assessed on a bubble test. Basically what you’re addressing here is a process of dehumanization that pervades all aspects of our society, and you’re courageously calling for us to become, once again, humane.
    I am a fellow traveler who was also raised in the bosom of fundamentalist Christianity (in a church that revered your father’s work and showed his films), but who left the right-wing church–not because I didn’t believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, but because I did. Your journey gives me comfort, courage and strength–since, as you no doubt know, leaving that world can be one of the most difficult and disorienting things a person can do. And yet, once we undertake that difficult journey–what freedom there is outside that cage. How much better it is to live without constant fear of the Other.

  • Lara

    Thank you for igniting my passion. This is not a time to shut off our emotions so that we can continue to function in our everyday lives. This is a time to set aside homework and dishes and video games and instead weep and yell and argue and talk until something is done. We cannot ignore this anymore.

  • Profoundly Sad

    I’ve been in your place for many years and sadly, no longer have hope of a future for humanity. I’ve given up on religion, having suffered the savagery of the self righteous, disgusting, divinely entitled who claim to believe in and follow a man who possessed unbounded love and tolerance. My country is governed by the tyrant Fear, which is omnipresent, unrelenting and patriots cheer it as liberty.

    The only way to change any of this and restore hope is to do as you have done here: Stand tall and shout what you know to be true and inherently right. Use language that is impassioned and brave that accurately describes the disgusting monstrosity our society has become. Scream at your representatives, state and federal, make them hear your voice and drown out the noise paid for by the truly entitled self interested few. Hold your representatives to account and make our government do what we want it to.

    Thank you for giving my outrage and sadness voice. Please don’t stop here.

  • Monica

    Thank you for your emotional yet rational & wise words..I have been feeling this way for years and I couldn’t articulate it this well. I posted it on my Facebook page, only to offend my very conservative friends and family. I should have warned them, but oh well, the truth hurts.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Thanks Monica, I’m grateful you read the piece. Best, Frank

  • mannettaikus

    Wow. Well, I can’t say that I agree with the vitriol. I get your anger, but it seems you may have blown a gasket. Where I am coming from: I did read your book “Crazy for God” and finally felt validation for I had run the same course in my life. I visited L’Bri in ’76, ’77, and ’78. I got very involved in the Pentacostal Evangelical movement (I know that’s a stretch, but…). But your father’s writings taught me how to question everything and I could never really buy into it; too many unqualified beliefs. (And, by the way, how is it possible to take the Bible literally when there are a gazillion churches in the world each having it’s own idea of what it literally means? What’s up with that? But I digress.) Your evaluation of the American Church was spot on. I felt free in a sense. I could be a Christian but not the kind that is marketed like the sellers in the Temple. And I thank you. But this? No, this I can’t get. It is difficult for me to see the difference between your diatribe and the right-wing diatribe. If this was a speech, it would have been too fiery for me. Kind of like those fire-and-brimstone preachers. What’s the point of taking a polar opposite view of America from the far right? We have many major problems, but we also do good things for the world as well. I have by no stretch of the imagination mastered this, but what about I Corinthians 13? Can we take that approach? Well, anyway, thanks for the opportunity to speak my mind. And, cheer up, man!

  • http://patheos Threeten2yuma

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

    -The Gospel According To Mathew, chapter 24

  • klavalli

    You forgot to add that we hate nature, refuse to recognize that we are part and parcel of it rather than the ruler of it, and believe that we can control it instead of live in harmony with it. We murder other species to the point of extinction without a second thought all for the worship of more profit and more useless shit that we don’t need. We are a scourge — terrorists don’t need to do anything to us, because we are the agents of our own destruction.

  • Nicole Plyler Fisk


    Thanks for this honest reaction. You and I met this summer at Wild Goose. My daughter, now an 8-year-old 3rd grader, was the blond responsible for dunking you so many times. I recorded, in writing, our conversation about Sandy Hook, and her absolute faith in our ability to make this right. That, along with the anger you have managed to capture so well, motivates me to be and do better, and no longer “stand idly by.” So, thank you.

  • Eric Folkerth

    I was deeply angry like you on Saturday. But, today, I found myself strangely encouraged…that perhaps many people are waking up from the mental illness we have concerning guns and violence.

    Wrote an angry blog, like yours Saturday…a more hopeful one today:

    I so appreciate all the powerful comments you make on msnbc shows from time to time….I “Amen” quite a lot in the privacy of my own home.

  • Jim Lewis


    This probably sounds like jumping on a bandwagon, but I too am an atheist, married to an American Christian and living in Scotland. Some mixture, huh? Your words are the kind which are needed. It’s gone way past debate. It’s too late, and the stupid don’t want to anyway. Anger may not be cool, but it’s necessary. Don’t ever stop.

  • Sunny

    Frank, Yes! It’s time for righteous anger. It’s time for being judgmental and for speaking truth to the powerful and to the venal. Keep raging. For way too long we have accepted the blood sacrifice of so many people — now of babies just going to school — in exchange for living a shallow, ugly, perverse and oh-so-fun lifestyle filled with LOL cats and memes. I agree with everything you have said. And I don’t know the answers. I just know that if we who feel this burning anger don’t start asking the questions and demanding to be heard, nothing will ever change and I’m not prepared to accept that possibility.

  • JonLynnHarvey

    Well, that was a blast of fresh air!! I try to always avoid communicating this way, but sometimes opposites attract, and the spontaneity of this was marvelous.

  • Damascus

    I wonder why it is that Americans never look to, never mention, never consider Canada, and how we do things here. We have a parliamentary system of government, just like Great Britain, we have gun laws, we have medicare, a Governor of the Bank of Canada, and we did not go into recession like the United States these past years.

    We do not believe in Canadian exceptionalism, that God will bless Canada in a way that he will not bless other countries in the world, and we do not speak of the Canadian dream. And when we speak of constitutional rights we all know what we mean: the right to vote, etc. We are just north of the border, and very few Americans know anything about us.

    Consider that last year alone 52 people were killed by handguns in Canada, while 10,728 people were killed by handguns in the United States. That tells you something. So, yes, using your own words, Frank, we see the United States as a “blood-soaked monstrosity,” drowning in the deep of its own folly.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi Damascus, good point and thanks for reading. Why don’t Americans look to Canada? For the same reason we don’t know that we have slipped backward in everything we’re doing. Fools are insulated from reality living inside their own delusion. And America is isolated from reality, fact-free and backing itself into the stone age. Just try taking a train here and compare that to ANY European country. Just get sick without insurance. Just try and teach a child to value art in a school and a home where the pop culture rules and they even sell soda to students… on and on and on, but don’t worry, we’re Number One right, in um… gun deaths and child poverty that is…

      • Damascus

        Thanks for responding, Frank. I just want to add that it’s disheartening for us to see what is happening in your country, when to the north of your nation there is a land in which alternatives work. This afternoon, I will walk into a doctor’s office, and then out without paying a cent. Two weeks ago, I spent a night in emergency, walked out in the morning after x-rays and a whole battery of test, without even thinking of what it would all cost. It cost me nothing. And, on another note, I can anywhere I want, and I will probably never once meet a person who is carrying a handgun. It’s simply not done here. People buy rifles to hunt, and that is about it. And, one last thing, your nation needs to do something about your televangelists, multi-millionaires trading on a “gospel” they have morphed into something bleak, sinister, hate-filled and patently untrue. The IRS needs to investigate and expose everyone of them for fraud and the Elmer Gantrys that they are. Thanks for listening. to me.

        • http://patheos threeten2yuma

          While not intending in any way to defend the reprehensible Elmer Gantrys among us and/or, especially, murderous gun violence, I feel someone should point out that the Constitution of the United States has a First Amendment and also a Second Amendment that secure certain liberties that most of us in our country hold dear. And it should also be noted that so many young Americans in the last hundred years, who you’d probably consider to be uneducated and overly-religious rubes, have done most of the heavy lifting to save European, and, even, Canadian bacon at least a couple of times. And ol’ Frank, here, would probably have been arrested under Canadian blasphemy laws if he ever said up there what all he gets to say down here in the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” You’ve got yourselves a fine country, Damascus, but y’all haven’t yet saved the world even once, now have you?

          • Damascus

            Canadian blasphemy laws, eh? Must look into that. Never heard of such thing. We have every freedom in Canada that you have in the United States, except perhaps the freedom of an entire population to carry military weapons of assault. I don’t think that for the United States to look at what works in other democratic countries it is necessary for that country to have “saved the world.” And so now we will watch as the “Land of the Free and Home of Brave,” as you say, tries to save itself from drowning in its own blood. May God have mercy on what was once a great nation, and I say without the sarcasm you put on the table.

  • Justin Stewart

    I agree with everything except for blaming video games and TV, you might as well throw music in there too I guess. These are all forms of art, and are a side affect of the society we’ve created outside of it. All of them are products, copies, interpretations of the world as described by our leaders, the realities we see as an effect of the way our society functions. If you want to see them disappear, fix the real problem, and don’t blame them as a source.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi Justin, thanks for the note. You may well be right, but I’m glad to have you as a reader and grateful for your comment even if I don’t agree or you don’t agree with every point. Never claim to be right about everything! Thanks for being here. Best, Frank

  • Peter

    While I do not mean to blame the victim I do think that we need to look at Nancy Lanzas own culpability. She bought to guns, she taught her son how to use them, and she left them where he had access to them, all the while knowing that he was a seriously troubled boy.

  • Peter

    …she bought THE guns…

  • Amanda

    I agree with a lot that you are saying but I also have to say that when it comes to violent movie or tv shows the failing is of the parents letting their children watch these shows and not explain or teach to them that this is make believe, it’s completely different than the real thing. Our society has fallen into the idea that they aren’t going to ask what they can do for their country they are going to take it for all it’s got.

    I love Jane Austen, I get dressed up and wear clothes like she did and go to tea with my friends. I also enjoy the Expendable movies. They are a fun lark. yes it’s violent but I also understand that it is a movie, life is not like that. The good guys don’t always win, they don’t always survive to come home to their loved ones. I have two small sons one of them is just a toddler, but I’ve taught him to think of others. it’s not a one time lesson, its a whole life thing. People feel that religion can replace this, but it can’t…you have to live it be it, to teach it. and How many people do that?

    I think you got the right idea there sir, and I thank you for posting this :)

  • PJ in JN

    Wow! Thank you for this article. Finally, someone speaking the truth! I agree with you on every point. “American Exceptionalism” has become a joke in the rest of the world.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi PJ, thanks for the good word, sadly you’re right, we’re “exceptional” all right, just like any lunatic howling at the moon is exceptional. Only we’re much more dangerous.

  • Frank David

    a deep thank you for posting your text, mr Schaeffer, it gives hope for a future nation
    i write this close to the arctic circle in scandinavia – i write to you after your honest sound, and very healthy reaction

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi Frank David, thanks so much. Grateful to have you read my work. Best, Frank

  • Stefan Stackhouse

    A popular question among Evangelicals: “What would Jesus do?”

    I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t carry a gun, let alone use it – He who said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God”, or “he who will save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake will find it”, or “whoever lives by the sword will die by the sword”.

    We live in a world of fallen people, and that includes Americans. Our people are not all that exceptional after all, except in maybe thinking that we are exceptional. Americans – all of us – are every bit as much in need as everyone else of being touched and transformed by the loving grace of God through Jesus Christ. Eternal security – the only security that really matters – is to be found through radical trust and faith in Christ to the point that we place our life and our fate in His hands rather than our own, willingly take up the cross of sacrificial love, and follow Him daily – which means following his words and example. If one is taking up one’s cross, that wouldn’t seem to leave much room for shouldering a gun.

    That, at any rate, is what I thought Evangelicals were SUPPOSED to believe. Some (many?) evidently don’t. Even more shamefully, some (many?) were taught by their Pastors to believe something different. As Jesus said, there are wolves out there seeking to lead astray His flock, but we shall know them by their fruits. “Not everyone that says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but [only] those that do my will.”

    People who sincerely want to follow Christ and live consistently with his words and example won’t by themselves change everything – but they will be agents of change. What better can they be or do?

    As for the public policy side of this, governments exist first and foremost to protect their innocent citizens from harm. Both the scriptures and secular philosophy lead to this conclusion, it should be one place of common ground for everyone. Our federal, state, and local governments need to protect innocent citizens, and that most definitely starts with our most vulnerable citizens congregated together in vulnerable places. Whatever else can be said by Newtown, it must be admitted that the relevant governments failed to do enough to protect the victims. We can talk about various gun control schemes, and we probably do need to be doing more than we are. However, that is all going to take time, it is going to be a difficult path to travel, and it is not going to effectively protect those who are at risk RIGHT NOW. Talk or even action on gun control is no substitute for governments actually doing what they need to do to protect innocent citizens from harm. We need more and better police protection, and we need it now. Yes, it will cost some more. Tough, do it! We spend hundreds of billions on a military establishment, and it is highly questionable whether much, or even any, of that buys us much real security at all. Securing our schools, malls, and other public places from armed crazy people would seem to be a much higher priority than we have made it, and this needs to change immediately. Jesus taught that our compassion, righteousness, and justice needs to be measured by how the most vulnerable in our society – widows, orphans, children, the poor, the sick, the immigrant, etc. – fare under it. Right now, such people are not faring very well at all, especially when they end up being all too often in the gunsights of angry and deranged but massively armed dangerous people. That needs to change, and it needs to change right now, and anyone that thinks that they have any reason at all to apply the terms “Christian” and “citizen” to themselves has a profoundly serious obligation to insist upon such a change.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Stefan, thanks for reading the post and your long and thoughtful response. You make great points. I’m grateful to have you add them to my page. Best, Frank

  • Jeff

    Sir, I wonder if you “hate” our president as vehemently as you say you hate conservatives. He has aggressively pushed for more abortions. He approves dismembering babies for convenience sake. If the abortion/murder is botched, he does not even support saving the babies life after it has left the mother’s body. Your hypocrisy astounds me. Our presidents words about doing everything we can to save children’s lives sicken me. I hate murder in all it’s forms; mass shootings, genocide, and abortion. Those who take no stand against abortion, are not against murder – they are only opposed to certain kinds of murder. They are not against children being murdered, just against certain kinds of children being murdered.

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Jeff, fair point, too bad you haven’t read my books like Sex, Mom and God where I spend a lot of time talking about the failings of the left as well as the right to actually do anything to help there be less abortions. I’m glad to have you as a reader here though even if you think you disagree with me.

  • JGS

    It’s all reactionary. The time for all this talk is before disasters happen, and after the talk comes the action. Gun related mass murders have been part of the American scene for decades. Have they stopped because someone touched nerves with words? These posts seem like the meeting of a mutual admiration society.

    Where I was born and raised in South Florida, police and government sometimes protected offending criminals, and went after their victims for retribution. The Feds deposed many in that government. Their deposition was no consolation to people they hurt. I know several past incidents where someone was aware that a crime or other negative, destructive act was going to happen. Sure, they told others, but only to be ignored. Judging from the history of humanity, it is easy to surmise that the evil in most everyone, which some say is hidden, shines like a beacon from hell with every new mass killing. Underneath it all, I believe you all want these atrocities.

    I am one person who had known in detail about the attacks of September 11, 2001 since September of 1997. Did I tell anyone? You bet I did. I told about 130 people, many in great detail. In my hometown I told authorities in law enforcement repeatedly in 1998 and in early 2001. What did I get for it? I got ignored. I got the twirly finger to the head from a detective in early 2001. Not even an anonymous call I made to the law the night of September 10, 2001 in Fort Pierce, Florida made it into local media. All information of my detailed warnings was concealed. After the attacks actually happened, government launched a campaign of lies so effectively, I was labeled delusional every time I tried telling people I had know of the attacks before they happened. For years government and media insisted nobody could possibly have known what was going to happen. How was I supposed to overcome a monstrosity of lies by powerful corporations and governments? People ended up trying to demonize me. They reelected without question those whose negligences were partly responsible for the attacks of 9-11-2001. Is that what you want? Is that the kind of governance you want? That’s what you got. You have nobody except yourselves to blame.

    Was anyone aware that boy was going to kill those children? I don’t know. However, I can ask, what if he did tell some people he was going to do it? What good would it have done to alert the authorities?

    In Stuart Florida it was not in the interests of the authorities that people should know someone had been informing them repeatedly and in detail about the coming attacks, and they just ignored it. I mean, one deputy I told kept looking at his watch like he had better things to do, and just got up and walked away in 1998. A detective looked at me like I was lying. He said, “Yeah, sure. I suppose they are flying around here right now?” He mocked me. Then came the twirly finger to the head. I called 911 there in early 2001 and told them terrorists were in the area planning attacks and using airplanes. All these warnings and all I told them were completely omitted from even the local news.

    Okay. You support a system that lies and suppresses the truth. You pay for forces that convince truth is a lie and lies are truth. Welcome 1984. Are we supposed to believe we are now getting the entire truth about this latest nightmare horror in Sandy Hook? In my own humble opinion, and my judgments are certainly not infallible, you secretly or subconsciously want these atrocities to happen. You just don’t want them to happen to yourselves and your own children. That you want atrocities may not be the entire crux of the matter, but I am sure it is part of the problem.

    I would not doubt for a moment that someone or others could have been warning about what was going to happen at that school.

    We are sad and perplexed. God has a special place in heaven for children.

  • justin lantana

    Pointed in this way by a stranger,
    I came to this well.
    I could see by the sign hung above
    That it was full of hate and anger.
    But like some tragic naïf,
    I held the rope and descended
    Into the heat, the fire, the sulfurous tube.

    At first, I tried to grasp the tome;
    So many things ran true.
    But as the monologue spiraled downwards,
    A venomous heart rang through.
    In one breath, the righteous indignation
    Became self-righteous proclamation.
    Like Orwell’s pigs and Lewis’ dwarves
    Conceit and narrow thoughts
    Shot from your heart for all to hear.

    All the craven hapless people
    That live beyond your walls
    Are fools and beasts
    And deserve a bitter taste
    Of what you see is their evil.

    All but you are damaged goods,
    Are worthy of the grave beneath.
    You exhaust your verbal munitions
    With tales of false grief.
    You are no better than the naked throng
    You believe bring cruelty to the world.

    Hate is what kills.
    Hate and death are meet.
    Hate begins from a putrid heart
    Hate is what you seek.

    Your acolytes are pleased
    To lamely follow course.
    But see? They are truly few
    Among the vastness of humanity.
    Like lemmings they run behind your lead
    And suffer the piteous fate
    To fall into this cavern of hell
    Of undisguised bigotry.

    How easy to overlook the leader’s faults
    Who, when other times seems thoughtful,
    Exposes his inmost lust and greed
    To destroy, not build
    To expunge, not fill
    To take, not give.
    Not to love
    Not to cry
    Not to seek answers.

    My heart did sink when descending further
    Seeking for a hope
    That some would – lovingly – quench your fires:
    All but few would stoke.
    Those who burned and yelped like a beaten dog
    Were left in silence to twist in their fate.

    I admit that I am angry at your diatribe.
    It tempts me to respond in kind
    And I fear that this speech may show
    That I have succumbed to fight fire with fire.
    If that is so, I pray to God,
    “Please keep me from this pyre.”
    Sadly, the pyre I speak of will keep you
    In your self-inflicted fate.
    Until, I say again to you
    “Hate is death is hate.”

  • http://patheos threeten2yuma

    Well, doggone it! This blasted Comments section won’t let me reply to my Canadian friend Damascus’s reply to my reply to his reply to Frank’s reply to . . . whoa, where the hell am I? The whole room is starting to spin again!

    Anyway, as I was trying to say (and I do hope that Damascus sees this “reply”), I was every bit as sincere as a Canadian, and not a bit sarcastic, not even a little, when I defended “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” from what I took to be somewhat snarky claims by him and Frank of Euro/Canadian exceptionalism, if not superiority!

    Damascus claims that he is completely unaware of any Canadian blasphemy laws. Well, I’ll take that claim as true, but, then again, maybe Damascus and his friends only go around on their native soil cussin’ the Baby Jesus . . . or maybe Moses. That probably won’t attract the attention of authorities up north of us or anywhere else on the planet, for that matter. But just let fly with even the slightest criticism of the so-called Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), and see what kind of legalistic hell breaks loose! If you don’t believe me, ask a recent refugee from Canadian persecution that America has taken into its embrace, Mark Steyn, whose sad saga is described in the link below this comment.

    But hell, it’s Christmastime, and that once used to mean something to Americans and Canadians, as well as to Europeans. And in that Spirit, I’ll say thanks to Damascus for all his prayers for our nation, both the sincere and the sarcastic, because in times like these we sure could use all the prayers we can get. But if you would be so kind, could you put an “In Jesus’ Name” on the end of them!

    Ever Your Friend, -”3:10″

  • Jerry

    “She was the epitome of the ideal NRA middle class white homeowner armed to the teeth and ready to defend “what’s mine.”
    She was prepared for every eventuality if, that is, you believe the NRA/rube/fool/fact-free “logic” that the possession of multiple weapons, knowledge of how to use them and plenty of ammunition makes you safe.”

    These statements are blatantly false. This woman knew her son was mentally ill and she kept weapons and ammunition available to him. She was FAR from a responsible gun owner.

    The reality is that possession of these weapons and knowledge of how to use them did make her safer from home invasion, murder and rape. Her unwillingness to secure them made her vulnerable to the fate she suffered.

    Your article is full of half-truths and outright misleading statements about guns and gun owners. You really ought to be ashamed of yourself.

    • Cindy

      Jerry: can you provide a link that says she didn’t keep her weapons locked up? Except for maybe when she slept and kept a gun near her bedside or under her pillow? Or maybe she locked up all the weapons even during sleep. How do you know that her son did not put a knife to her and had her open up her safe and demand she lie back in bed and then shot her in the face? You simply do not know (as most likely the evidence is still under wraps) that she ever made her “weapons and ammunition available to him.”

      Frank: you used a shotgun approach to this subject. It was hard to follow your rant. It seems as if you’ve fallen pray to the hype of the MSM. They only focus on today and slightly recent past. Research the mass murders of the long distance past and you’ll find that it isn’t the lone shooter, or the GOP or the Neo-Cons, or the Christian Zionist groups that are the problem historically. You’ll find one demographic and that would be Communism/Totalitarian regimes that are the real problems. And the DNC is full of them. Find out why the Federal government via DHS is amassing over 1-2 Billion hollow point rounds. What good rationale reason does the NOAA have for bullets? Or the IRS for that matter. The FED’s have enough rounds to wage a 24 year war. I don’t fear your list of causes for Sandy Hook, etc. I fear my own government. Government democide is historically and by far the reason for all large rates of murder.

      Blame the media for the focused attention that draws copycats to repeat this sick act of mass murder all over again.

      Read this article:

  • Carlos

    you are just plainly one of those brainless fools that thinks that peaceful assemblyvia all that is needed to secure a free state; one of those idiots that believes that this country is somehow, unlike other previously free nations that have fallen to dictatorship and totalitarian rule, that this nation is somehow immune to tyrany. sadly, you are the very type of fool that is growing in the populace, the type of ignorant thinking conducive to the birth of a fascist state.

  • Nick Gotts

    The original of the comment below has been “awaiting moderation” for 3 days. I’m guessing this is because of two links supporting what it says, to Wikipedia on “Crime in the USA”, and a Mother Jones article on lead poisoning. If this doesn’t appear, I’ll know it’s for some other reason.

    I agree with much of what you say, but it’s worth noting that crime in general, and violent crime specifically, have been on a downward trend for around 20 years, which doesn’t really fit with the narrative of a collapsing society. Similar trends are evident in many other rich countries, such as my own, the UK. Why? The most plausible answer is that the earlier spike in crime was fuelled by lead poisoning, principally from additives in gasoline, and since such additives were banned – by Ebil Big Gubmint of course – children are no longer being poisoned to the same extent.

  • micky

    no not everyone who has guns is gunna go out a blow someones face off. guns are not the problem the problem here is stupid people doing things out of anger! you take guns away a killer is just going to find another way to kill then what are you going to take the knifes out our kitchen? didnt think so so shove it wear the sun dont shine and shut the hell up!

    • Nick Gotts

      If it’s just as easy to kill people with knives, why is it that all armies have guns?

      so shove it wear the sun dont shine and shut the hell up!

      Gun-nut mentality in a nutshell – thanks!

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