Columbine Father

On CBS Evening News last night, in response to the Amish school shooting, Katie Couric’s FreeSpeech segment showcased a father who lost his son at Columbine.  Brian Rohrbough spent the segment trying to answer his own question: Why did this happen?  Here’s what he said:

I’m saddened and shakened by the shooting at an Amish school today and last week’s school murders. When my son Dan was murdered on the sidewalk at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, I hoped that would be the last school shooting. Since that day, I tried to answer the question, “Why did this happen?”

This country is in a moral freefall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak without moral consequences. And life has no inherent value. We teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong, and I assure you the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion. Abortion has diminished the value of children. Suicide has become an acceptable action and has further emboldened these criminals. We’re seeing an epidemic increase in murder/suicide attacks on our children.

Sadly, our schools are not safe. In fact, we now witness that within our schools, our children have become a target of terrorists from within the United States.

So the reason the Amish guy killed those innocent girls was because of Evolution?  Or maybe the guy just wanted to prevent the girls from having abortions.  Or he was a byproduct of a Godless school.  (Which seems odd, considering this was a village of the Amish…)

I have yet to hear anything about how the Columbine shooters did what they did because they were taught Evolution.

And what does he mean by saying that God was replaced “with evolution, where the strong kill the weak without moral consequences”???   Forget the fact that Evolution isn’t about saying what is right and wrong (it just observes what is there).  Didn’t almighty God kill plenty of innocent people in the Bible?   Ugh… this guy disgusted me.

I’m all for free speech, but a diatribe against those who don’t share your beliefs under the guise of answering why the shootings happened is plain irresponsible.

A video of the segment can be seen at Media Matters.

[tags]Brian Rohrbough, Katie Couric, CBS Evening News, Amish, school shooting, Columbine, Evolution, atheist[/tags]

  • Huckleberry

    What’s the problem here?

    If the Amish, etc, Christians are correct in their beliefs, then these lucky children are all happy in heaven with Jesus, no disease, no problems, singing fun hymns.

    If the Christians are incorrect, only then is there a problem. The Christians.

    Worship of anything is demeaning and anti-life, and the fictional mass murdering, fear distributing, God/creator with a control problem is a creator of the mass murdering psyche. Where’s the surprise? Where’s the problem?

  • http://humaniststudies.org HumanistPR

    I agree with your main point. But Roberts, the shooter, was not Amish.

  • http://www.brucealderman.info/blog/ BruceA

    I wonder how Rohrbough would explain the fact that every other industrial nation in the world has both a higher acceptance of evolution and a lower rate of violent crimes than the U.S.

  • Julie Marie

    I think Rohrbough could benefit from some history lessons. I don’t think the world (or the US) is any more morally bankrupt than it was 100 years ago. In many ways, it is much better. 100 years ago, abused women and children had no recourse. 100 years ago racisim was almost a “given.” 100 years ago workers had no protection against exploitation. Heck, there are men buried in the concrete of the Hoover Dam because no safety harnesses were required back then, and if it wasn’t a requirement, it wasn’t provided.

    Is there more alienation today? Could be. The necessity for cooperation and cohension in families/communities to meet basic survival needs has diminished considerably. I feel sympathy for anyone who has lost a child, but that is not an excuse for scapegoating. Sloppy thinking isn’t going to keep anyone safe.

  • QrazyQat

    But Roberts, the shooter, was not Amish.

    No, but he was a Christian, a homeschooled Christian, whichg usually means a conservative Christian. Just by coincidence I’m sure this does not seem to be mentioned in news stories in the USA, even when they mention he was homeschooled. I found out from an Australian paper; it’s been widely reported overseas.

  • QrazyQat

    BTW, I also see (again, look for foreign sources for this news, although it was also mentioned on CNN by someone they interviewed) that Roberts was indeed a conservative Christian.

  • Scott Marshall

    Hemant –
    As a Christian pastor, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    That kind of “we’re in this mess because of loss of absolutes/the rise of evolution/etc” IS just irresponsible. The real reason for the Amish situation (in my opinion) is a loss of community and a profound sense of isolation that we as North Americans feel in our day of hectic overscheduling and increasing social fragmentation. The latest sociological research indicates that we juggle as many as 35 different relational “worlds” (work, hobbies, family, friends, etc.) resulting in what some have called “crowded loneliness.” Is it any wonder that the single thread running through all the school shootings is a person isolated and disconnected from his fellow man?? To put it in Christian language, we are made for relationships and something goes haywire when we don’t have them.

    That said, allow me for a moment to offer some sort of explanation for this good man’s well-intentioned efforts to make sense of the Amish shooting so you won’t roll your eyes when you run across this sort of ignorance again:

    #1 – A mistaken assumption that we are individuals only (this is an American, rather than a Christian, error).
    Couple with:
    #2 – A mistaken assumption that truth exists as a list of propositional statements that everyone must agree to in order for goodness and righteousness to reign in the land.
    #3 – Participation in an evangelical sub-subculture that unintentionally perpetuates an us/them mentality all in the name of God. Interesting side note–with the exception of a couple of references, the Bible itself almost always talks in pejorative terms about religion–it can be a great evil.
    #4 (actually a corollary to point 1)- A complete misreading of the message of Jesus in terms of the radical individualism of North American culture. Community, as I described above, doesn’t even enter the picture for consideration.
    #5 – An accurate assumption that we live in a culture of death, not life. I mean this in the broadest possible sense–not trying to make statement for or against the pro-life movement here.

    Those seem, to my mind, to be the main things generating a comment like this.
    Thanks for letting me in the conversation.

  • jon hoyt

    i would classify myself as an agnostic. i guess i’m just not as smart as you people who know with certainty that there is no god. if you can’t see that this columbine father is as right as rain, you’re all just kidding yourselves. i wish you and you’re children luck. you, and especially they, will need it!

  • Siamang


    I sense some hostility. Find some inner peace, my friend.

    I haven’t heard anyone here say they know with certainty that there is no God.

    You say you’re an agnostic. Well, so am I. So are most atheists.


  • Bra


    As you lay dying, you will know.

    Love All, Serve All.