Louis Gohmert (R-TX): The Aurora Shootings ‘Could Have Been Avoided if the Country Placed a Higher Value on God’

In the wake of a mass shooting like the one in Aurora, Colorado this morning, it seems like the obvious response should be to keep the victims in your thoughts and not jump to any conclusions about who the murderer was and what his motives were until that information becomes available.

In other words, don’t be Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), who went on a radio show this morning and blamed the shootings on our nation’s increasing godlessness:

Ernest Istook, the host of the show and a former Oklahoma congressman, jumped in to clarify that nobody knows the motivation of the alleged Aurora gunman. Gohmert said that may be true, but suggested the shootings were still “a terrorist act” that could have been avoided if the country placed a higher value on God.

“People say … where was God in all of this?” Gohmert said. “We’ve threatened high school graduation participations, if they use God’s name, they’re going to be jailed … I mean that kind of stuff. Where was God? What have we done with God? We don’t want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present.”

It’s beyond me to imagine how anyone could take a tragedy and turn it into a self-serving sermon. I’m also baffled by his logic that says this sort of crime would stop happening with more guns and not fewer. Who votes for someone like that? Shirley McKellar is trying to unseat him in the upcoming election. If voters have any heart, they’ll throw their support her way.

At the Christian Post, Pastor Michael Greiner took a similarly despicable approach, saying that, yes, 12 people were killed in the Colorado shooting… but abortion is legal in America, so we’re all killers:

James Holmes did this because he is a normal man. We will say that he went nuts, and of course he did. But nuts in a very human manner. James Holmes killed those people because humans kill people. That’s what we do. We are murderers. We kill.

Because taking the morning-after pill is just like walking into a theater and shooting people at will.

***Update***: The American Humanist Association has released a statement condemning Gohmert’s comments:

“Rep. Louis Gohmert truly tortures logic when he concludes that this violence had something to do with perceived attacks on majority faith in America,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “At a time when families are mourning in the wake of this tragedy, Gohmert used it as an opportunity to push a religious agenda.”

“Our condolences go out to the victims and families of the Colorado movie theater shooting,” Speckhardt continued. “In the aftermath of this terrible event, we hope that communities can work together, using reason, to prevent such tragedies in the future. Rep. Gohmert’s overt religious pandering has no place in the wake of tragedy like this.”


About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Carla

    I have nothing smart or witty or well-reasoned to say. Fuck this guy. That is all.

  • A Reader

    This is the first I’ve heard about the shooting. It’s absolutely tragic that things like this happen in the world we live in. Colorado will be in my thoughts today. Hoping for good medical & psychological care for the survivors and peace for the victims’ families. What an awful, horrible thing…

  • Onamission5

    Exploiting tragedy to further a religio-political agenda is despicable. Because no one who believes in his particular deity has ever murdered anyone, and if everyone was forced/coerced to follow his deity in exactly the way he wants them to, all killing would cease? As far as I can tell, belief in deities has little effect on human behavior, in that if someone gets it in their mind to commit atrocities, they will, regardless of their level of religious belief or lack thereof.  

    “We” are not murderers. People who murder other people in movie theaters, schools, homes, and on streets are murderers. Most people manage to get by in life just fine without murdering anyone.

  • Cincinatheist

    And cue Pat Robertson blaming the shooting on teh gayez and their secks in 3,2,1….

  • Ggsillars

    Studies, especially ones done by Greg Paul, have shown a correlation between the degree of religiosity in a country or region and social pathologies, including murder.  While correlation is not causation, it is clear that Gohmert has no empirical evidence to support his contention.  In other words, he’s pulling this out of his ignorant ass. 

  • Martin Wagner

    Here’s Louie Gohmert’s contact page if you’d like to offer him your opinion of his remarks.

    He only accepts emails from people in his district, so enter anything from 75601-75608.

    • guest

      Are you the Martin Wagner from the Atheist Experience? If so, keep up the good work!

    • Baby_Raptor

      I’m going to look for other ways to contact him. I’m totally not comfortable giving someone like that my name, phone number and address. I’d probably end up on a list. 

  • ortcutt

    Louie Gohmert is a Southern Baptist.  The Southern Baptist “Baptist Faith and Message” teaches that

    “Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour…”

    http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfmcomparison.asp
    So, according to the SBC, if James Holmes has or will accept Jesus as his personal savior, then he will go to Heaven and have eternal bliss.  How anyone can call that a “moral system” is beyond me.  Christianity isn’t focused on morality.  It’s focused on Jesus and sexual shame.

    • Thin-ice

      . . . and to extend this bullshit logic, some very nice children who died last night, if they hadn’t “accepted Jesus”, are this very moment being tortured in hell (for infinity) by a “loving” God.

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    As a Texas Republican, I’m surprised he didn’t point out that the shooter, as an intelligent, well educated biologist, became evil because he was taught evolution. Obviously, if he thinks he’s a monkey, he will act like one (you know… monkeys with semi-automatic weapons). The solution? Application of the death penalty (which Texas is expert at) for all educated people before they can become mass murdering monkeys. And hey… that will boost the size of the Republican voter base. Win-win.

    • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

      There’s a strong possibility that the guy who carried this out is a Tea Partier and was driven by his right-wing ideology out of a belief that the movie carried a strong liberal message. Therefore, it’s quite likely that he was doing this for “God and country” (i.e., Christian terrorism). News accounts say that he didn’t resist arrest, similar to Scott Roeder’s capture after the murder of George Tiller in 2009, and was very calm during the shooting, a hallmark of religiously-motivated terrorists.

      • roz77

        What are you talking about? There’s nothing at this point to suggest he was a member of the Tea Party.

  • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

    This is the same guy who was going on about “terror babies,” women from the Middle East taking advantage of the Fourteenth Amendment and coming here to have their children who will then be sent back home to become terrorists or something and rise up to kill all the infidels. Or something. Bottom line: this guy is utterly insane. But how different is this from John Piper claiming that the tornadoes in Indiana this year were God’s warning to America to repent? Or Pat Robertson opening his mouth? This is typical mean-spirited fundamentalist Christian sentiment, bordering on schadenfreude.

    • LesterBallard

      Bordering? They so look forward to being in Heaven and looking down on all the unbelievers burning in Hell for all eternity. 

  • Stev84

    Not really surprising to be honest. Gohmert is a well established lunatic who regularly says equally insane things

  • freemage

    Stricter gun laws would probably not have prevented this tragedy.  Laxer gun laws probably would not have prevented this tragedy.  The odds that this tragedy could have been prevented at all are minimal to non-existent.  That’s a bleak fact, but it’s one that anyone trying to push ANY agenda should be reminded of.  It’s a tragedy.  Treat, comfort and console the victims and their families; punish the perpetrator appropriately.  Anything else is just self-aggrandizement.

    • Carla

      I wish everyone had this much common sense.

    • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

      We can take steps to reduce the chance of something like this happening again, or we can not.

    • Thin-ice

      OK, let’s go with your logic: “There is nothing anyone can do to prevent anything like happening again. Anyone who thinks we can reduce these incidents is in la-la land. Don’t even try to think of anything that could prevent gun violence and deaths.”

      Sorry, I won’t cave in to such fatalistic logic. It seems to me that if entire continent of Western Europe has fewer gun deaths than any major American city, then they might have some solutions up their sleeve for our healing our horrible culture of gun violence.

      • freemage

         There’s lots we can do to cut down on specific categories of gun violence–violent crime is very much economy-reactive (bad economy = more violence).  That said, this is probably not one of those cases.  It’s a loon.  Europe has loons, too (see: Brevik, Anders).  Violent loons are a random factor that will find a way to cause carnage regardless of the overall legal structure.

        If this guy didn’t have a gun, he would’ve driven a leased Hummer through the line of fans outside.  Or he would’ve followed the Anarchist’s Cookbook’s recipe for a pipe-bomb.  Or any of a dozen other methods that are capable of doing similar (or even greater) damage.

        It’s possible, once we learn more of this man’s background, that we’ll find some specific bit that indicates how this tragedy could’ve been averted–better social services network, for instance, if this was a “I lost my job so f**k the world” rampage.  But a lot of time, accepting that you really, genuinely have no power over the folks that have gone completely off the rails is the best course of ‘action’.

      • Dead Optomist

        Western Europe has much fewer gun deaths, its a fact. England for example has 0.46 per 100, 00 compared to America @ 10.27. Pick any EU county you like, they are all very significantly lower.

        • Pablo

          And knowing any EU country has less gun deaths is completely useless to analise the present tragedy. As freemage said: there’s simple no way to know where the next random loon will turn a theater in a carnage scene.

          Now, if you’re talking about common crime gun deaths, that’s another thing…

      • Traveling Txn

        As stated by others, a person who has gone off the rails and is determined to kill people will probably find a way to do so, especially considering how intelligent he had to be to be in the education program he was in.  

        As for the EU having fewer gun deaths, this is true, but not all EU countries have weapons bans (if that not what your implying by this then Im sorry for the rant to fallow, but that seems to be where people are usually headed when they make the comparison of the US to the EU on guns) .  Switzerland also has a far smaller percentage of their population murdered with guns than the US, despite having a higher portion of their population armed (every citizen who is able is required to serve in their military, and when they leave the service, they keep their service weapon)

        If you want to look at policies to reduce gun deaths in this country you ought to look at policies that are actually plausible and enforceable.  Disarming the population of the US, not going to happen, even if there were laws passed to that effect.  It would be better to make everyone who wants to own/shoot a gun register the gun similar to how cars are registered, and apply for a license similar to a drivers license (hell could even put a stamp for it on their drivers license) but eve that is unlikely to get enough approval with the public to get passed and not be political suicide for any politician that tries to do so.  I’m not sure what gun regulations could be passed that would actually have much effect, but it’s kinda silly to imply that banning guns in the US is the solution.

  • Joseph

    To be fair, the left came out of the gate making connections between this sicko and the Tea Party, which turned out to be bogus. So it’s not all on one side of the political fence.

    • Mike_nam

      That was Brian Ross on ABC News…on the other hand, Breitbart.com tried to paint him as a “registered Democrat” this morning.  

      http://wonkette.com/478865/abc-news-should-fire-brian-ross-and-other-notes-on-being-terrible

      I’m pretty sure Hemant was mostly focusing on the religious component of Rep. Gohmert’s disgusting audacity.

    • Baby_Raptor

      The one article I’ve seen clearly says “It might not be him, it’s someone with the same name.” 

      The assholes trying to pin this on us without any evidence didn’t even TRY to be clear. There’s no comparison. 

  • ReadsInTrees

    People waste no time in exploiting tragedies for their own means. Our local newspaper website has a few commenting trolls who do this. Comments for this story today have been along the line of, “This is what you liberals get for electing that ugly Nigerian baby! Your liberal commie agenda is making everyone a welfare bum like this guy who think they can just shoot people if they don’t get everything handed to them on a silver platter!!” …except with more caps and misspellings.  Really? 

  • jedipunk

    Considering the scandal the catholic church has seen this decade regarding child rape  , I have to conclude this guy is full of shit.

    • http://twitter.com/KevinSagui Kevin Sagui

      He’s a Southern Baptist, so he probably doesn’t consider Catholics to be real Christians anyway.

  • newavocation

    Has he read his bible lately? God can be pretty godless!

  • observer

    So what’s Louis Gohmert’s take on George Zimmerman’s recent comment that shooting Trayvon Martin was in “God’s plan”?

  • Rwlawoffice

    Hemant you are normally pretty good about not taking comments out of context when you quote them but I must say you certainly did that when you made the comment about the Christian Post article.  The author was not just talking about abortion and he never equated this act with abortion.  He was talking about several different murders  and gave other examples along with abortion as how humans murder each other.

    For those of us who believe that abortion is one human killing another human, the only reason that abortion is not murder is because it is currently legal in some circumstances.

    • Guest

      But if you equate abortion with murder, then there is no difference between shooting someone in a movie theater and ending a first-trimester pregnancy. They’re both murder, under your definition (which I do not ascribe to.)

      • Rwlawoffice

         It was considered murder until Roe v. Wade outlawed it.  So the only thing that changed was the legal definition , not the reality of what is happening.

        • Randomfactor

          Not true, and Roe v. Wade made it legal nationwide.

          • Rwlawoffice

            Fair enough.  You are correct, some states had legalized abortions prior to Roe v. Wade

            • Semipermeable

              So if you think that abortion is murder, what should the legal punishment be? 

              How long will these women, who are over taxed possibly single mothers, scared teenagers, rape victims, victims of domestic violence ( http://www.redbookmag.com/love-sex/advice/reproductive-control ), mothers with high risk pregnancies, mothers who do not want or cannot afford to carry a doomed pregnancy to term etc have to spend in jail? What if she has had more then one abortion, should she get capital punishment as well?

              What about the back ally abortions gone wrong, would you have them sent to jail hospitals or kept under guard while they fight infection, pain and death?

              • Guest

                He won’t answer you; he’s a coward who only replies when he can fire his Parthian shot and scurry off.

              • amycas

                 I asked him this once, and also explained that in Texas, it’s a capital offense to murder a child younger than six years old. It’s also a capital offense to hire a person to murder somebody. So, even though the woman getting the abortion isn’t actually performing the procedure (in surgical abortion) she’s still paying somebody else to do it. So, if it’s really murder, then that two capital offenses. According to Texas state law, if abortion is murder, than women who get abortions should get the death penalty. He never answered me either.

        • Blitzgal

          Incorrect.  It was not considered murder, and it wasn’t even illegal in America until the mid-19th century, which means that abortion was only outlawed for just over 100 years, period.

        • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

          Murder is a legal definition.

        • Isilzha

           http://www.thisismyabortion.com/

          • Rwlawoffice

             Here is another picture of an abortion at 7 weeks.  Apparently the one you posted was taken before the jar was taken into the other room to identify the body parts to make sure that none were missed.  You do know that this is a part of the procedure don’t you?

            • Rwlawoffice

               http://www.mscperu.org/aborto/abortingl/0_indexaborto_ingl.htm

        • http://www.facebook.com/maia.cudhea Maia Cudhea

          False. Abortion wasn’t widely condemned and outlawed in the Americas (or most other places) until the 19th century. For the thousand of years prior to that, abortion was NOT considered murder by most peoples, not was is illegal.

    • michael both

      Doesn’t it bug you that apparently God designed women in such a way that spontaneously abort for all kinds of reasons? God is the greatest abortionist of all …. oh wait, the murder thing only applies to human killing another human? Clumps of cells aren’t human, BTW….

      • Rwlawoffice

         This argument never works.  Theologically it is wrong as well as logically it is absurd.  Equating death from natural causes to abortion by choice is just like calling a growing human being a clump of cells.  It is a fallacy.

        • Yoav

           There is nothing logically absurd about calling a clump of cells,  a clump of cells.

          • Rwlawoffice

             It is illogical when you are trying to divorce what we are all made of from us as being human beings with a right to life which is of course why pro abortion advocates call the unborn child a clump of cells and not a human being which it clearly and logically is.

            • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

              Clearly and logically? You have a very broad definition of “human being”.

            • Isilzha

              At the most it’s only a fucking POTENTIAL human being.  The woman, however, already IS a fully independent, living human being.  Her rights, her health and life take precedence.  Woman are people, NOT incubators.

              If YOU don’t want an abortion, that’s fine, don’t have one. 

              • Rwlawoffice

                 Just because I won’t have an abortion doesn’t mean that I will remain silent.  I will speak up for those innocent that cannot speak for themselves.  By your logic, just because I would not murder someone, I should not try and prevent someone else from doing so.

                By the way, when in your mind does a unborn child go from a potential human being to a real human being? And what gives you the right to decide that?

                • Isilzha

                  When it can survive independently of the mother AND extensive medical interventions. 

                  What the FUCK gives you the right to dehumanize women and turn them into incubators?  What gives YOU the right to force a human to give their bodies over to another?  What gives YOU the right to decide that women should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term?  What gives YOU the right to force a woman to risk her future fertility, her health or her life to carry EVERY pregnancy to term?? 

                • Rwlawoffice

                   So by your definition, the baby is not a human being until it is viable?  So would you agree that all abortions done after that point are murder?

                  I don’t dehumanize woman by calling them baby factories or incubators- you have done that.  I know what a pregnant woman is- she is a mother.

                  What gives society (not me) the right to ban abortion is that society has the obligation to protect the vulnerable and innocent who cannot protect themselves. This is who I speak out to protect.

                • Isilzha

                  I’m sure you don’t even realize that most late term abortions are because of problems with the pregnancy.

                  You may not be using the words “baby factory” or “incubators”, but that certainly is what you’re actually SAYING.

                  You’re speaking out to protect clumps of cells and repressing women, wow.  Why don’t you care about the babies AFTER they’ve been born.  All you anti-choice nutjobs get all worked up over clumps of cells and non-viable fetuses and yet seem to really ignore the children who are already independent beings in this world.  You just have so much more fun shaming and punishing women for being sexual beings, I suppose.

                • Rwlawoffice

                   Don’t pretend to know what I don’t  to protect children that are already born. Your assumption is wrong not only for me but for most pro life advocates.  But if it makes you feel better about your point of view that killing a child in the womb is justified because all born children are not taken care of, then go for it.

                • Isilzha

                  Oh, and one more thing…I’m DONE with you.  So, when I don’t reply to you again, don’t think it’s a ‘victory’.  You’re one troll on an internet sea of trolls and I’ve wasted enough time with you.

        • Baby_Raptor

          You’re hand-waving. There is no difference. Either way, the clump of cells dies. And there is no theological argument against abortion that actually comes from the bible, because your bible does not treat the loss of an unborn fetus as a loss of life. 

          Calling an embryo a person is the fallacy here. It’s a clump of cells. The only thing it has in common with an actual person is that they both have DNA patterns. If you’re going to tout that as the end-all to life starting, then you’d best start demanding better treatment for corpses. Or no radiation treatment for cancer. Those are human as well, by your definition. 

          Having a full DNA set is NOT the only requirement for life. An embryo is not sentient. It cannot think, feel pain, communicate, be emotional, interact with the world around it…There are no indicators there that the tissue involved is a human life. 

          That’s why the abortion date is set at viability. You know, facts and common sense. If you choose to forego that and believe something else, more power to you. But leave the rest of us to act how we believe. 

          • Rwlawoffice

             The logical gymnastics that people will go to to justify the killing of unborn children never ceases to amaze me.  Since when does viability turn something that is not human into a human?  It doesn’t.  All viability does is determine when one human can live outside of the body of another human.  It doesn’t change a “clump of cells” into a human being when it wasn’t a human before that. It is an artificial line drawn to give the woman more rights to terminate the unborn life.

            By the way, i will say it again, your reading of the Bible is flawed.  Pro abortion advocates have tried that argument before and it simply isn’t true.

            • Isilzha

               Why hasn’t anyone gotten rid of this troll yet?

              • Stev84

                I don’t know why people keep feeding him. Especially when it comes to abortion

                • Isilzha

                  Lol, well, I was in a mood today and just lost my temper with him.

            • Thin-ice

              Millions of fertilized cells (or human beings, as you call them) are expelled naturally every day from women’s bodies. Obviously, because these are human beings, God is aborting millions of babies every day, right?

              But as a fundamentalist Christian, you will find a way to twist the language for it to mean something else.

            • amycas

                “All viability does is determine when one human can live outside of the body of another human.”

              Exactly. Good we have it clear that the fetus is living inside the body of another human. This is not an artificial line. It is the same line drawn in all other situations where one person’s life is dependent on using another person’s body.

              Please, can you give actual arguments and stop just asserting things like,”You reading of the Bible is flawed,” that argument simply isn’t true.” Give reasons, facts and evidence to support your claims.

            • Alchemist

              Anyone walking on two feet looks like they are performing feats of gymnastics to those who still drag their knuckles on the ground.

        • Edmond

          Except that there’s no such thing as “natural causes” in a theistic universe.  EVERYTHING is god’s will.  He controls every cellular division, every tectonic shift.  Every miscarriage, every case of cerebral palsy, every cleft palate, every automobile accident.  In the context of the supernatural, where a god is in command of every event, these are deliberate components of his design.

        • amycas

           So, what’s the difference between death by “natural causes” and death by “act of god.” Can you give a good working definition for these things? Also, is death by “act of god” murder? Apparently you consider any death of humans by other humans to be murder, so can you explain why it’s not murder when god kills people?

    • Randomfactor

      And the only reason killing in self-defense is not murder is because it is currently legal in some circumstances.  Abortion is even less murder than is self-defense killing.  Your beliefs do not make it otherwise.

      • Rwlawoffice

         Actually it is you that is viewing the unborn child as something that has no right to live and is something less than human. Your beliefs do not make this so. Only when you dehumanize the unborn child into something less than a human can you try and justify killing it because you want to.

        • Isilzha

          You’re the one dehumanizing women and wants to force them to be incubators.  You’re the one who doesn’t see woman as already independent humans with their own rights. 

          • Rwlawoffice

            Not so, I just don’t agree that a woman’s right to convenience trumps a baby’s right to live.  The right to life supersedes any right the woman would have to end it unless her live is in jeopardy then the right of both of them to live comes into play.

            • Isilzha

              What the FLYING FUCK gives you the right to judge that women mostly have abortions out of ‘convenience’.  That comment RIGHT there shows exactly what you think of WOMEN, you misogynistic moron.   Do you have NO fucking concept of what pregnancy can do to a woman? 

              UGH…I really wish this place had an ignore feature.  I’m so sick of your misogyny on here.

              • Rwlawoffice

                 Change the word convenience to  “because they want to” and the result is the same.  Call me names all you want if it makes you feel better but it won’t change my position.   People like you throw around the word misogynistic and bigot all the time when your other arguments are shown to be false.  It means nothing to me.  As for knowing what a pregnancy can do to a woman, I have more knowledge of that than you imagine and unless the woman’s life is in danger and under immediate threat, these changes do not justify killing the unborn child.  You may think they do, but that doesn’t make it right.

                • Isilzha

                  And forcing women to endure a pregnancy they don’t want for YOUR reasons is right?  It’s disgusting that you think women are nothing more than baby factories. 

                • http://www.facebook.com/maia.cudhea Maia Cudhea

                  Yes, because wanting to responsibly care for the children you already have is a matter of “convenience”. Because wanting to not get fired from your job is  “convenient”. Because wanting to escape an abusive relationship or household is just “convenient”.

                  Sure, you’re not trivializing the reasons women have abortions by calling them “convenient”. Because we all know that women who have abortions are just selfish wenches who can’t accept god’s plan for them to be in a super-shi**y/unjust situation because it’s “inconvenient” for them.

            • http://www.facebook.com/maia.cudhea Maia Cudhea

              Yeah, except how come that’s not the rule in any other situation when someone else wants/needs to use my body to live?

              In every other situation, another person has no (legal) claim on the use of my body – even if they need it to live, even if they are my child, and even if I had originally agreed to let them use my body only later changing my mind. This is true even if my reason for wanting to refuse use of my body is a really, really, selfish, crappy, terrible reason.

              So, even if I we assume that you are correct about fetuses being people and about women having reasons of (mere) “convenience” to get abortions (both of which I think are false, but let’s stick a pin in that) – why is it that your special rules only apply to pregnant women?

              If fetuses are independent people – not a part of a pregnant woman’s body – why do they have special rights to someone else’s body that no other human being (even newborn children) have???

              • Rwlawoffice

                Why do parents have anybdutybto care for their children. If a mother left her child alone in an apartment and it starved to death she would be charged with murder because she has a duty legally and morally to care for her child. This is the same reason that a mother has the moral and legal duty to protect her child in her womb. It is her child. It is not like someone else placed their child in her womb. She participated in creating the child and therefore placed the child in its vulnerable position to be totally depended on her for survival. Because they are vulnerable they have the right to be protected and the woman has the obligation to protect them.

                • amycas

                   “She participated in creating the child”

                  …and if she didn’t participate in creating the child??

                • http://www.facebook.com/maia.cudhea Maia Cudhea

                  Yeah, you’re just doding my question & pretending that there is no difference between “my body” and “not my body” (which there always has been for most people, and there definitely is legally).

                  You say that parents have a (legal) duty (read: obligation) to care for their children. This is true when it comes to providing things that are not my physical body. HOWEVER, this legal duty and obligation does NOT extend to the use of the parent’s/parents’ body/bodies in any other situation.

                  For instance, I am in no way obligated to breast feed my child, donate an organ to them, or even to hug them. This is so even if my child needs those things in order to live. I am NOT obligated to provide my body as a form of care in any other situation. Why are there special rules of pregnant women???? Why do I suddenly become obligated to provide my body because I am pregnant?

                • http://www.facebook.com/maia.cudhea Maia Cudhea

                  Also, FYI, a parent who left their child to starve to death in an apartment could be charged with a wide variety of crimes. Murder would be the least likely charge. Child abandonment would be the most likely.

                  But in either case, it’s not analogous, as food & shelter (what is being denied in this case of abandonment) is not a part of MY BODY, therefore, I have no particular right to deny access to it.

        • Shane Guilkey

          Once upon a time a there was a man from the land of Obtuse, where all their laws and “morals”  were based on an ancient book about a invisible mighty “Being” and his family dynasty, and these beings commandments and laws.  These laws were interpreted and handed down by self selected people who governed over the Obtusians. This man felt that these people were not Obtusian enough and declared that they were not ‘true Obtusians’ and set out to find a place where he could convince others of the true way to be Obtuse. 

          He came across a place where people worked to live their lives based upon logic, reason, kindness to others and the scientific method. Well”this can’t be right” he exclaimed to himself, “I can change these people to the right way as I interpret the Holy Book”. Thus he spent his days on the corner being laughed at for his ramblings. But he was lucky because the people of the land only tried to listen to what he had to say, ask for proof of his claims, and then make up their own minds. Back home in the land of the invisible mighty ‘Being” and the Holy Book, many before him had been burned alive or stoned to death for believing in a different type of  Obtusianism.

          We all know how this fractured fairy tale ends.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Have you ever read your bible? The one time the loss of an unborn fetus is mentioned, it’s treated as a property loss, not as a loss of life. 

      Your own bible doesn’t even claim that unborn fetuses are people. 

      • Rwlawoffice

         Not true at all.  You need to read the Bible yourself if you believe that is what it says.

        • Isilzha

          No, just wait until they’re born and dash their brains upon the rocks! 

    • Isilzha

      The bible is nasty and immoral and so is anyone who follows it.  If you want to get angry about the termination of pregnancies then you need to take that up with your ‘god’.  He kills most of the potential babies anyway.

      Oh, and how can you say that abortion is evil yet still worship a god that wants disobedient children to be stoned to death, sends a bear to kill some kids making fun of a bald guy, kills all the first born boys in a family if their parents didn’t smear some lamb’s blood on their door, and downs a bunch of babies and kids in a flood just because he felt he screwed up creating the world the first time.  Your ‘god’ is a complete  egomaniacal LUNATIC.  There is NOTHING worth worship there. 

      A woman choosing to have an abortion is not committing  murder since the fetus is not yet an independently
      living being.  It’s not yet a person, it’s only maybe a POTENTIAL
      human.  In fact, most abortions happen when the fetus is not much more
      than a clump of cell.  The woman, herself, IS already an independently functioning human being and is NOT an incubator.  She has a right to chose whether she wants to carry a pregnancy to term.

      • Rwlawoffice

        Calling a developing baby a “clump of cells” that only has a potential for life is a fiction used to justify killing it becuase the mother wants to. It is a fallacy.

        If  I understand your logic, I should not worship  God because of your interpretation of certain passages of the Old Testament, yet you think it is morally okay to kill unborn children because you believe them to be nothing more than a clump of cells.  No thank you.

        • Isilzha

           Of course you’re going to pull out the ‘but it’s in the old testament’ argument tripe.  The thing is in your nasty new testament that jeebus dude also says he didn’t come to put aside the old laws but to affirm them.  So, go suck a lemon.

          • Rwlawoffice

             If you really want to get into  a theological discussion of the Bible, I am more than willing and ready to do so, but from your comments, I believe it would be a complete waste of time. Suffice it say your limited understanding and warped view of Biblical teaching is flat wrong.

            • Isilzha

              No, I understand just fine about the bible, how it’s taught and how it’s twisted and interpreted to fit people’s agenda.  I grew up in a very religious Southern Baptist household.  I went to Sunday school, sunday service, church training, Sunday evening services, Wednesday potluck, Thursday visitation, Saturday cleanup; almost anytime the church was open…I was THERE.  I even went to crappy xian schools until 7th grade.  My parents helped to START a church.  My mom did the Sunday bulletin, my dad was on the building committee, finance committee, a deacon, and even led the music.  So, I have a VERY clear idea of Biblical teaching and I know how evil it all really is.

              • Rwlawoffice

                Than you know better than the nonsense you are posting here.

                • Guest

                  “Then”

    • kagekiri

      Numbers 5, read it.

      God says to abort fetuses conceived out of wedlock by having a priest give a woman a special potion that causes miscarriage and makes the woman sterile.

      God was punishing “human beings” for sins they had no complicity in. If you really wanted to apply God’s rules, that’d mean you’d force people having sex out of wedlock to abort their babies. Still incredibly fucked up (like forcing women to carry pregnancies to term no matter the circumstances), but it’s actually Biblical, if you think that’s a virtue.

      Anyway, regarding your “clump of cells=human” bit, nope. It has the potential to become something that’s conscious, but until it is, whatever. If you put sperm on the ground next to an egg, it’d be the exact same materials. Then they touch, now they’re magically human and deserve full rights? Shouldn’t jacking off be a crime then? Shouldn’t having surgeries the damage or destroy viable eggs be a sin? They’re each potentially half a human! Who are you (but the owner of the body they’re growing in) to decide what to do with your own DNA?

      That clump of cancer cells in your heart is mostly human too, just genetically different from your normal cells in a way that’ll make it kill you. But nope, since the DNA isn’t exactly yours, you can’t decide what to do with it, you have to let it kill you; surgery to remove it or chemicals to treat it would be murder of a fellow human being that depends on you for life.

      My point is, DNA isn’t fucking magic. Potential is not biologically relevant to life.

      Every copy of your DNA has potential to be a full human now that we can implant cells with foreign DNA and de-differentiate them.

      So now what, you’re going to sue someone for destroying one of your cells by bumping your arm? That’ll be “murder” to you? Scratching your own fucking head would be mass suicide.

      Going into the sun and mutating some of your cells with UV? Now you’re not allowed to scratch yourself, because some of the DNA no longer matches yours and is therefore a separate human being that depends on you for existence. If you let them die, we’re going to have to test you for intent or jail you for reckless endangerment.

      That’s the situation to compare this shit to, not murder; giving specific cells way too many rights just for having different DNA is stupid beyond belief.

      • Rwlawoffice

         I have read Numbers  5.  Your shorthand version is not correct.  Read it whole and you will see.  As for the rest of your argument , the key difference of course is that until the sperm and the egg join, there is no new human being created. This potential is not the same as a created new human upon conception.  I see this argument alot and it really should be dropped by the pro abortion crowd because it is just plain silly.

  • cathouseumbrella

    So by Gomert’s logic Haiti, one of the most Christian countries in the Americas, should have one of the lowest crime rates, right?

  • michael both

    Wait, remind me again how many people God either killed himself (the flood etc) or ordered killed for different reasons?

  • Megazeusthor

    If only we all thought the same. If only we all though __________.

    Sorry, but the bible has its share of violence.

    Finally, we can play he No True Scottsmans Game if needed: “No true Humanist would have done this. If only everyone…”

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Golly, Gomer Pyle has gotten mean since he got elected and lost all his hair. 

  • Xeon2000

    Someone is looking to get re-elected.

    • Randomfactor

      And in his district, it’ll work.

  • Baby_Raptor

    *hugs* to everyone involved. I can’t begin to imagine what they’re going through.

    That said…I have a question for Mr. Gohmert. Why did his god not protect these people? His god is supposedly omni-powerful…How does our society not allowing him to be forced on others stop him from protecting peoples’ lives? And if he’s so good and just, why would he kil totally random innocent people to show his wrath?

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      Free will.  It’s their way of weaseling out of their deity having to take responsibility for anything bad. Either that, or they blame their devil. Of course since their god created their devil and supposedly could zap it out of existence, one wonders how they can blame an entity that their god allows to exist. It would all be funny, if only it weren’t so laughably insane.

      • amycas

         I hate the “free will” argument. What about the free will of those who did not want to be shot? The gunman was clearly allowed to violate their free will, but god can’t violate the gunman’s free will so these people would live? I know you’re not actually arguing this point of view, but just hearing it annoys me.

        • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

          I agree; definitely annoying. But since theists can’t blame their deity for tragedies, it’s interesting to see what lengths they will go to in order to defend the concept of it being all-good and all-powerful. This is when they usually trot out the “God works in mysterious ways” and “It must have been their time to go” adages. 

  • JenL

    That so-called Pastor is despicable – he says we’re all murderers, and offers up abortion as one example to “prove” it, and then he says this:

    To do less than capitol punishment when there is murder is to say that
    the image of God is worth nothing. Punishment for murder is to be penal,
    not remedial. In other words, we are not to rehabilitate the killer,
    but punish him. As a Christian, we should also fight to have that killer
    hear the gospel and find forgiveness of sins before the punishment is
    administered.

    Wait, what?  A sick individual goes out and kills random people, and the reason he does this is because we’re all murderers, but the proper response to this is … to kill him?  What?  Completely aside from the issue of whether the right person is being executed for a crime, if we all go out and murder because we’re all murderers, it doesn’t really seem productive to authorize our government to KILL PEOPLE.  Somehow, I suspect this guy claims to respect all life while applauding the murder of abortion doctors…

    • allein

      They should be punished, not rehabilitated, but they should also get the chance to accept Jesus and be forgiven, presumably so they can be rewarded in heaven. In their view, how is that punishment?

      • JenL

        They should be punished, not rehabilitated, but they should also get the chance to accept Jesus and be forgiven, presumably so they can be rewarded in heaven. In their view, how is that punishment?

        I’m not sure what you mean – it’s not like convicting, sentencing, appeals, and the whole process leading to execution isn’t a long, slow, drawn-out process that gives the killer plenty of time to do the same thing.

  • Randomfactor

    And here I was sure he was going to blame it on the constant anti-Obama rants about the Dark Knight movie by the on-air pilonidal cyst.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FOW2XZJTKN7U5FE2KPS3D2V5GE John Ozed

    Where was this stupid god that lets innocent people be murdered and lets morons like 
    Louis Gohmert live and breathe and spew bile?

  • snoozn

    My daughter’s friend, a wonderful young woman who is a high school senior and an atheist wrote this on her blog in response:  
    http://iamrootless.tumblr.com/post/27642058482/and-apparently-its-because-were-all-atheists-that

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Love that :)

  • Blitzgal

    It’s Exodus 21:22, and for centuries it has been translated to say that if two men fighting strike a woman and she loses the pregnancy BUT NO HARM FOLLOWS that only a fine must be paid.  But of course the evangelicals can’t have that, so since 1995 the NASB has changed the translation to say “gives birth prematurely but no harm follows.”  Y’all didn’t like what the Bible had to say about fetuses, so you changed it.

    • Rwlawoffice

       Not true at all.  The original Hebrew text and the following passage shows what this verse meant- if the child is born but not injured and is alive, it is not considered murder, however, if the child dies, it is considered murder. See Exodus 21:23.  Also, look at the King James version which refers to “and no mischief is done”.  This means that no harm comes to the unborn child. This was done of course in the middle ages, long before 1995.  

      • Blitzgal

        The King James version says “her fruit depart from her.”  The “no harm follows” refers to no injury to the woman herself.  The “fruit depart from her” has been referred to as a miscarriage in many versions of the Bible.  You’ll see a list here: 
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/03/22/mischief-follows-in-partisan-bible-translations/

        Just admit it.  Christians re-wrote a passage that was inconsistent with their propaganda.

        • Rwlawoffice

          Changing what I know the Bible says by virture of an atheist blog writer, I’ll pass.  If you want to read a good review of what the actual Hebrew said, here is a good explination.

           http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5700

          • Brian Scott

            And I’ll personally defer to those who read Hebrew as the primary language of their liturgy, as opposed to the descendants of a splinter group seeking to subsume the aforementioned text as a means of shoring up their own legitimacy: 
            http://www.uscj.org/JewishLivingandLearning/WeeklyParashah/TorahSparks/Archive/_5772/Mishpatim5772.aspx

            http://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/sites/default/files/public/halakhah/teshuvot/19861990/feldman_abortion.pdf 

            • Rwlawoffice

              Interesting article. Did you read it before our cited it? It says that the Jewish rabbis are opposed to abortion.

              • amycas

                 I just read it. It does not say the Jewish rabbis are opposed to abortion. It gives a history of how Jewish law formed around abortion, with some arguments from both sides, but it ends the article generally on the side that abortion is permissible because the welfare of the mother supersedes the welfare of the fetus. In fact, it states that last bit over and over and over again. It even says the “mental anguish” counts as harm to the mother sufficient for obtaining permission to get an abortion.

              • Brian Scott

                Yes, but not because it’s considered murder, which current anti-abortion rhetoric focuses on. The point still stands: that verse was, in fact, about induced miscarriage, not premature birth, and the change to the translation was done to fulfill a modern political need.

              • http://www.facebook.com/maia.cudhea Maia Cudhea

                Reading comprehension fail!

          • amycas

             Unless Slacktivist changed his religious views, he is an evangelical Christian. That’s what he was describing himself as the last time I read that blog. Did you even follow the link?

            • Brian Scott

              He was probably relying on a cached thought: “contradicting conservative Christian claims = atheist, atheists = wrong”. A fairly common bias we all fall prey to.

  • http://miriammogilevsky.wordpress.com Miriam Mogilevsky

    This is so disgusting. I have no more words for it.

  • Tymscripts

    According to this guys god, those people deserved to die. They were idol worshiping a graven imiage. If his god was real, he would have sent to gunman.

  • Bob

    oh fucking please…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesus-Chrystler/1797838676 Jesus Chrystler

    So the killer turns out to be a Christian “Heavily involved in his local church”  http://global.christianpost.com/news/james-holmes-colorado-shooter-described-as-normal-christian-boy-amid-mental-health-investigation-photo-78623/ 

    Normal Christian Boy, and they wonder why we are scared of religious people.

  • BADKarma

    …And the AB C branch of the Propaganda Ministry IMMEDIATELY blamed the actions of a 24-year-old college drop-out on a 52-year-old member of the Denver TEA Party… You kids should stop throwing stones from inside that glass house of yours.

    • amycas

       I read some articles about that. They all stated clearly that they did not have confirmation as to whether or not it was the same man. Something Gohmert never even tried to clarify (as to his lack of evidence that the gunman is godless).

  • BradleyHart

    A higher value, you mean he don’t already sell his blessing to the highest bidder?

  • Isilzha

    Yes, because the citizens would have all been at home in bed so they could be up early and at the city gates to attend to the stoning of a disobedient child.  Later that day they’d all be dashing the brains of babies against rocks and taking young virgins to rape.   Then, your nasty deity could murder all the first born boys in families that don’t smear their doors with blood.  And as a finishing touch, he will just wipe out almost all living things except for one idiot and his family just for the LOLs!

    If anything it seems that people should be looking TO god and xanity as the SOURCE of immoral crap.

  • Istj04

    Another theist that REINFORCES my atheism! 

  • YoJersey

    Complete pile of sh*t! Not wasting my time with anything else to say.

  • Jeff Xenobuilder

    Everyone knows the Christian platitude  “Love the sinner; hate the sin.”  It’s one of my most disliked Christian platitudes.  This guy’s comments caused me to think of that, and I came up with “Respect the fool, but rage against the foolishness.”  I imagine that Christians would hate it since they consider the atheists the fools.  If you search Google for my new platitude, all you get are religious quotes about fools and foolishness.  Not sure here… just throwing it out there.

  • Ray

    WTF? Did he suggest that if someone else had a gun they could have stopped this? Perhaps if they were some calm-under-all-circumstances expertly trained marksman in just the right position in the theatre. More likely if there were more shooters, good or evil, in the audience all hell would have broken loose where one or more might have shot Holmes and in doing so caused a lot of collateral damage, as some like to call it, and now with all that shooting going on would have confused each other for the bad guy with the result being the number of deaths being an order of magnitude higher.

    This is life not CSI.

  • Farallonwhites

    Why didn’t god prevent it Louie? and before anyone says it’s because we turned away from god let me remind everyone that there once was a time when everyone believed in god and the church ruled and that time was called the “Dark Ages” 

  • atheistwill

    I have nothing right now. So fuck this guy.

  • Hempmaven

    If god has a protective hand, why wasn’t he/she protecting the victims?

  • Independence for Scotland

    Can’t believe some of the comments on here involving abortion and religion. It’s your country’s ridiculous gun laws that are to blame (yet again!) How many more innocent people will have to die each year before your politicians say enough is enough and restrict the sale of guns in the US? Because it’s been the right of every citizen for 200+ years to ‘bear arms’ doesn’t mean it’s right. You’re living in the 21st Century now, not Dodge City in the 1870′s.

  • Ncrs2003

    I think maybe you should pray before some kills you!!!

  • http://mosereien.wordpress.com/ Andreas Moser

    Just two brief questions to the gun lobby today: 
    http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/aurora-questions-gun-lobby/

  • http://www.facebook.com/eileen.hargreaves.7 Eileen Hargreaves

    Here in S.A. people go over the top when it comes to ‘Black Culture”, Americans supposedly
    a trend setter in our developed World, except I do not include people so obsessed with religious matters?! I can`t understand backward thinking from whence it comes- regarding religion events gathered from dubious sources………guys get with it! Far more urgent, issues facing Humanists. The believers set us back in what is a kind of timewarp!!! Awful distraction from realities of 21st Century living.

  • Ddearco69

    Scary that this guy is a public servant!! Shows little moral actually within the voting public in his district!!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/OffensivAtheist bismarket

    Of course. Beats me that anyone is even remotely surprised by anything these nutcases say anymore. They Know that barring “God’s” intervention, Obama has the election sewn up already & they’ll “Literally” jump on ANYTHING (tragedies included) as a way to get some votes/support from their fundie followers. Oh my, it’s breaking my heart.

  • NaboCane

    Yes. Because God prevented all those deaths during the inquisition, and the crusades, and in the middle east, and he saved that woman’s life when that AK-47 was aimed at her for committing adultery…oh, wait…no, he didn’t.


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