More Christian Wisdom on Why the Aurora Shooting Occured…

More Christian “leaders” are giving us their wisdom as to why the Colorado shootings happened. This time, it’s Fred Jackson, the news director for the American Family Association, speaking with Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries (courtesy of Right Wing Watch, which has audio clips).

I’ve highlighted all the reasons they offer as to why the shooter committed this crime — the shooter himself? Guns? Insanity? Not on the list.

Jackson: In the community there were community standards that reflected biblical principles, whether people knew it or not, the standard in the community was based on Scripture. In that short period of time, roughly forty years, we have seen such a transformation in values in our communities, whether it’s rural or whether it’s big city. I have to think that all of this, whether it’s the Hollywood movies, whether it’s what we see on the internets [sic], whether it’s liberal bias in the media, whether it’s our politicians changing public policy, I think all of those somehow have fit together—and I have to say also churches who are leaving the authority of Scripture and losing their fear of God—all of those things have seem to have come together to give us these kinds of incidents.

Newcombe: I think that’s so true. It’s as if we said to God, publicly or in the public arena, ‘get out, You’re not welcome here anymore’ and it’s as if God removed His protection from our land.

Later in the program, Jackson and Teddy James of AFA Journal continued the list because they hadn’t covered everything:

Jackson: I think the sources of this is [sic] multifaceted but you can put it all I think under the heading of rebellion to God, a rejection of the God of the Bible. I think along with an education system that has produced our lawyers, our politicians, more teachers, more professors, all of that sort of thing, is our churches, mainline churches. We’ve been dealing Teddy and I know the AFA Journal has been dealing with denominations that no longer believe in the God of the Bible, they no longer believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation, they teach that God is OK with homosexuality, this is just increasing more and more. It is mankind shaking its fist at the authority of God.

James: And God will not be silent when he’s mocked, and we need to remember that.

Jackson: We are seeing his judgment. You know, some people talk about ‘God’s judgment must be just around the corner,’ we are seeing it.

Don’t be so quick to dismiss these men as not representative of the Christian population at large. The AFA has a $20,000,000 budget and nearly 200 employees. They wouldn’t be this powerful if Christians didn’t give them money.

Oh. And Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel says the shootings are no different that what you would see at Planned Parenthood:

Let me be clear: Am I comparing this incredibly wicked, illegal mass murder at Aurora’s Century Theatre to the incredibly wicked, legal mass murder committed at Planned Parenthoods across the country each day? Absolutely — and you can quote me on it.

Done and done.

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.

  • Randomfactor

    You can’t PROVE that the shooter wasn’t the Hand of God implementing God’s Holy Plan.  

    • http://www.sunstonescafe.com/ Paul Sunstone

       Of course you can prove it wasn’t the hand of God.  The undetectable elf farting invisible rainbows who lives outside my window told me it wasn’t the hand of God — and that proves it.

    • Pam

       Killing a 6 year old girl was part of God’s plan?

      • Randomfactor

        You think the god portrayed in the Old Testament would shy away from that?

        • rlrose328

          Of course not… but I’m sure Voldemort was there, too.  Let’s not let God hog all the glory.

          [eye roll]

          Your book is mythology and has no bearing on reality.  Please.  This guy was a nutjob (albeit, a very smart nutjob) who was a very broken human.  It had nothing to do with god, gods, evolution, taking god out of schools, banning prayer or roadside crosses.  It has everything to do with a random guy going overboard.

          • 3lemenope

            Your sarcasm detector needs recalibrating.

  • unclemike

    So, previously “God’s judgement” was to flood the entire world and kill everybody except one family.

    And now he kills 12 people in a theater.

    With all due respect, what a fucking weak god.

    • siddharth

       yeah dont worry, this pride, ego will kill you also!

      • Blahblah

        Fuck you

      • Wilzard

        Yeah, sure is our arrogant ego to ask for evidence before accepting it as truth… but it isn’t arrogant ego to assume one knows the Creator of the universe on an intimate personal level.

        Why don’t you fuck right off, anus.

    • Baby_Raptor

      I don’t see any respect due there…

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

      No respect is due. As Dawkins said after 9/11, ” Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense . . . Let’s now stop being so damned respectful!”

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    If you’re going to keep quoting these dim bulbs, you might want to get a keyboard utility that lets you map a function key to “[sic]“. That should make for faster posting.

  • Pearlzm

    Sooo…. lunatics christians bomb and kill innocent people in abortion clinics, in the name of their god…but just plain lunatics lose it in a movie theatre….and it’s our fault for not believing? Yeah, that’s logical……(facepalm)

    • Rwlawoffice

      Exactly how many times has this happened? Not saying that any time is excusable and would condemn each one, but what is the point.

      • Kodie

        Not very often. It’s just the difference in excuses. Of course, a lot of Christians don’t support bombing abortion clinics or shooting abortion providers, or especially blowing up a federal building or drowning all of one’s children, but for believing in god, they like to distance themselves from anyone who says they’ve actually heard god speak to them, if it means he told them to do horrible things nobody should do. God only tells us nice things. On another hand entirely, these things happen because people are ill, not because Satan is in them. I had a fight online a long time ago because some Christians, specifically, but I think society overall, likes to blame the culture, as if safely hiding behind god, you are immune to being sick in the head. Laws would not have stopped any of these people, obviously. Vigilance would not have stopped them. A society that supports and does not stigmatize mental health may have helped any of them.

        Right now, there’s a huge debate about how many weapons this guy could obtain legally, and I’ve got another friend that says something like a security guard watching the door would be sufficient. For fuck’s sake, a security guard would shut the door and told the guy to go home, leaving a dangerously ill person at large, and still with intent to harm. We have agencies that spy on and thwart Islamic terrorists before they can do harm, but we do not have anyone watching people as they slip dangerously to the point where they want to kill large groups of people and have the means and the patience to effect a plan to do so. It’s not because it was easy to get in the theater. It’s not because he could get guns. He got guns because he wanted to, and there’s nothing in place to help people not want to.

        This is not to brand mental illness with fear of the worst. It’s from top to bottom difficult for a mentally ill person to recognize about themselves and seek help. People want to take them to church, or just “get over it,” or drink or drug their problems away. This guy was a sick person, and it’s hard to feel what would otherwise look like compassion for him, it’s easy to turn your back on all the psychopaths once they murder a bunch of people. It was apparently easy for him to get far enough in trouble to act it out without anyone noticing. For Christians to act out similar crimes in the name of god, I imagine it’s even worse. It’s coming from an ignorant place that supports zealotry and passion, while tending to advise prayer when someone has an emotion or mental instability they can’t handle, and/or blame Satan whenever something like that happens. It just makes me sick when something does happen how ignorant people are about mental illnesses and how eager they are to blame something as stupid as Satan and act like they had no collective part in someone’s unraveling.

  • CanadaGoose

    I’m always amazed at how ham-handed their god is. Apparently he flings some smiting down without regard to where it lands. If god is displeased with homosexuals, why not a bolt of lighting or two at a gay pride march?
    Abortion is an abomination? You’d think god could figure out a way to bring a rain of frogs onto abortion clinics.
    No, he causes a bunch of people at a movie….wait…maybe he’s just mad at Batman.

    It’s tough to read the “mysterious” ways.

  • http://www.sunstonescafe.com/ Paul Sunstone

    Face it! You atheists never listen to Jeebus.  You weren’t listening in 2001 when he sent Bin Laden to get your attention.  You weren’t listening 2005 when he sent hurricane Katrina to get your attention.  You weren’t listening in 2008 when he crashed the economy to get your attention.  And you’re not listening now when he has sent a shooter to get your attention.  Just what the hell does it take for Jeebus to get your attention?  How obvious must he be?

    • Stev84

       Appearing in person would be a start

    • Glasofruix

      I don’t know, maybe a few firstborns killed here and there…

    • Michael

      He only has to be more obvious than Odin.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    What the fuck. We’re not Ph34ring Teh Yahway enough so the Big-Sky-Guy pushes a button and Medical student James Holmes suddenly becomes a homicidal freak?

    I can just see it. God up in the clouds, smirking after the murderous rampage, saying “Ph34r Me!”

    Dear Christian Dominionist Freaks: Fuck you, you fucking fucks. And also your God, who is clearly a self-absorbed moistened wanker of the highest order.

  • littlejohn

    Two R’s in “Occurred.” Sorry.

  • Rcvulpus

    All these pastors in a nutshell: “You know this really horrible tragedy that recently occurred. This wouldn’t of happened if there was more belief in the supernatural coupled with authoritarianism that allowed us to greatly expand the circle of people whom we have power over, I mean Jesus.  We need more Jesus. Just sayin’.

  • http://twitter.com/stonemirror David Schlesinger

    A very nice basket of cherries you picked there.

  • Miko

    Insanity sounds plausible, but why would “guns” be on the list of reason?  Surely you don’t seriously think that he said to himself “Hm, I have a gun, so I guess that means I should go murder people.”  That’s even crazier than the suggestions the Christians you’ve quoted are giving.

    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.sheeran.92 Chris Sheeran

      Of course guns aren’t the reason for the killing, but are you seriously suggesting they have nothing to do with it? I don’t know about you, but at the very least the death toll would have been lowered if this psychopath didn’t have access to fully automatic, or semi-automatic, weapons. Outlawing guns wouldn’t stop shootings but it would certainly lower the amount of shootings.

      • johnee

        Chris, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt when you say that you want to outlaw guns. I am assuming that you mean automatic and semi-automatic weapons.  Your last sentence was too general.

        Repealing the second amendment and outlawing all firearms including hand guns and hunting rifles would not work.  There are over 300 million firearms in the U.S. , and violent criminals don’t give a damn about gun laws. We have the right as individuals to protect our families and we cannot always rely on the cops to be there to protect us. 

      • Kodie

         I effectively have just as much access and I haven’t acquired any guns. I don’t think there is any effective measure that could frustrate a person intent on killing as many people at once – they will find a way. I have no such intent, and why? Pretty unfortunately for a dozen people (this time), he probably alienated people who might have helped him if they saw the signs, it has a way of making people not give a crap about you, and probably contributes to making plans that much more elaborate.

        I somewhat agree that easier access makes a plan much simpler, but (a) suggest not selling them, or limiting them. “Oh, he just wouldn’t be able to kill as many people.” He’d still be sick. And you can’t lock up all means to kill as many people as you can, because people intent on doing so will not just buy a gun and kill a few people, and the rest of us still need access to fairly harmless things that can be used in combinations to create lethal weapons, if one is intent, you know, sick, smart, and patient enough. I’m projecting on this case someone who wanted the drama and he could get drama without guns; if he didn’t have access to guns, he still would have found a way. For instance, would I rather have shooting or dirty bombs or poisoned mail? My armchair analysis is that he wants to be remembered as a real life villain, like the kind in Batman movies, and not just some asshole nobody likes.

  • Db4d1984

    Well said. So tired of baby boomers and “the greatest generation” telling us how much better it was 50 years ago, acting as if our generation spawned from thin air and werent influenced by their selfish fuck ups. When a high percentage of a country, to include the highest levels of government, believe that it ia perfectly justified to not allow an entire race to drink from the same water fountain or eat at a restaurant with you, you forfeit your ability to discuss the topic of moral degridation nowadays

    • AusGeoff

       Oh dear… now it’s all us baby-boomers’ fault!  How do you know things weren’t “better” fifty years ago?  Were you there?  Of course not; you’re simply regurgitating the same old hearsay rubbish that your self-entitled generation brings to every sociological debate.

      We baby-boomers have one major advantage in this debate; we’ve lived (obviously) through the globally turbulent but relatively personal sane 50s and 60s, AND your generation’s formative years.  Therefore, we have intimate, first-hand knowledge of both;  and which you don’t.  Sorry.

      If it wasn’t for the efforts of baby-boomers, you wouldn’t now be enjoying the myriad “luxuries” you now so disdainfully take for granted.  You wouldn’t have a life expectancy of 90+ years, or artificial hips.  You wouldn’t have cell phones, or plasma TV sets.  You’d still be leaving school at 14 years of age without the slightest chance of a university education.  You’d still be dying from polio, tuberculosis and cholera. It would still take you 3 weeks to get a letter sent to a London address by steamship, or take you nearly 24 hours to fly from LA to New York.

      And have you noticed that, globally, mass murders are invariably committed not by baby-boomer-aged people, but by YOUR generation?  Statistically, the majority of mass murderers (4+ victims) are  white males in their 20s or 30s [School of Criminology & Criminal Justice, Northeastern University]. James Eagan Holmes is 24 years old. Since 1982, there have been at least 50 mass murders – carried out with firearms – across the USA, with the killings occurring in 30 states.

      Until (or unless) your generation should wake up to the realities of the very  fabric of society you’re degrading by your self-centredness and lack of compassion for your fellow man, these sorts of mass murders will continue by the disenfranchised younger generation, and particularly in America – with its contingent, lax gun laws.

      And to accuse baby-boomers of being “selfish” is the ultimate irony considering that the current young adult generation is acknowledged as the most self-serving, egotistical and self-entitled in the history of our planet.

  • http://www.theaunicornist.com Mike D
    • Tainda

      That’s one of my main argument points with the “other side”.  When I bring the point up, they look at me like I’m insane.

      • Randomfactor

        That decline is coming with a decline in mainstream religion, too.

        • Michael

          Of course, the decline also directly correlates to the age of Hemant Mehta. Trending variables do that.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Edwards/100000295343345 Anthony Edwards

             What happens when everyone realizes ‘hey wait a minute, things are actually kind of better now.’

  • LesterBallard

    I don’t dismiss these . . . persons as representative of the Christian population at large. I think they do represent the majority of the Christian population at large.

    • johnee

      Hmmm. I am pretty much in agreement with everyone else about these religious right dominionist whack jobs. I agree with guys like Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris when they say that  religion poisons everything.  However, I’ve gotta put my consistency and critical thinking cap on regarding what you wrote. 

      Now, I have no idea  as to how you feel about Islam. But just imagine, if you will, that you were commenting on an article about certain Muslim societies that oppress women, practice slavery, and murder gays. Now, imagine if you substituted the word Muslim instead of Christian in your post….  I think you know where I’m going with this.

      • LesterBallard

        Islam is oppressive, patriarchal bullshit, just like Christianity and Judasm.

        • johnee

           LOL Then, you are being consistent.

          • Sindigo

            I have come to think that the go-to and oft-spouted trope of the right wing: “If you wrote about Islam the way you wrote about Christianity…” is bullshit. Not if you live in Indonesia (for example), obviously but I’m seeing more and more people openly criticising Islam in exactly the same way they criticise X’tianity with no reprisals that I’m aware of whatsoever. And quite right, too.

            • johnee

               It’s half bullshit.  If one is a skeptical atheist, there certainly is an even handed smackdown of radical Islam.  However, if one travels in left wing circles as I do ( I’m an artist) one will notice a glaring inconsistency in a large number of the self identified progressives that comment on the subject.

              The immediate knee jerk apologetic attitude from some people is baffling. I’ve heard really bizarre stuff like ” we can’t criticize other cultures until we get our own house in order”. What the f*** does that mean? I mean, who pulled this rule out of their ass?  Bill Maher is right to point a lot of this stuff out.

              • johnee

                BTW you are right though. That is a go to “waa waa we’re being oppressed” line that the right wingnuts use all the time.

              • Sindigo

                I agree. I move in pretty left-wing circles too (I like people) but I hear plenty of criticism of all sorts of religion in pretty equal measure. I’m in the UK though and ironically, considering our established church X’tian voices aren’t nearly as loud or as shrill as they seem to be across the pond. 

                Obviously, a lot of people on the left of centre are concerned with being seen as racist but, as far as I am concerned your lineage, your religion, nor the colour of your skin can ever give you a right to treat anyone as lesser than or beholden to you. 

          • brianmacker

            There is a difference between saying Islam is X and that all Muslims are X.

    • Stev84

      I seriously doubt that they represent a majority. But I don’t think they are quite as far on the fringe as some people like to think they are.

      • johnee

        Great way to put it!  I look at them as a minority, but a  large and concentrated minority. They vote, and they do so in droves.

        • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

          Right. It’s clear they’re very well organized, and that shouldn’t be surprising given the nature of authoritarian organizations – to establish and consolidate power, you have to have a firm and expansive infrastructure. Which they do.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    In an earlier article there was a huge fuss over 2nd Amendment rights, but I have to agree with poster Summer Seale, who wrote what I think was the most perceptive comment so far on the shootings under that article: “But I’ve learned it’s not the number of guns around me, but the mentality of the people around me.”

    There are plenty of firearms up here in Canada, although of course we have no Concealed Carry and handguns are heavily restricted – many rules surrounding their possession, transport, and use. No fully automatic weapons either, but we have a horde of sporting rifles and shotguns. We also have a MUCH lower rate of murders involving firearms than the U.S.

    I would argue that the difference is a matter of *culture*. In the U.S., ownership of firearms has always been seen as a right, and from what I understand of the 2nd Amendment, said ownership was encouraged because of the deep distrust the early Colonials had for government, particularly the British Monarchy. The U.S. was established by revolution, under the auspices of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Much is placed on individual liberty in the American psyche, and firearms do play some role in that – owning a gun says “I can defend myself against people who might try to take away my liberties, people with guns, people who serve a Government I don’t agree with.” Not so in Canada, where we established our nation under the auspices of “Peace, Order and Good Government.” Canadians historically wanted, in fact DESIRED, government. Distrust of such was nearly non-existent. The fabric of the Canadian psyche was woven by reliance on a system that assumed Government was Good, and at worst Neutral. And so it went from there.

    But the entire “we distrust Government so we need guns” motivator has over time become complete bullshit in the U.S., PARTICULARLY with the Right Wing, who are now desirous of strong Authoritarianism. So on the one hand they’ll recite the importance of individual Liberty, but on the other, more honest hand they’ll do their best to vote in a government that undermines those individual rights and liberties that have the most to do with security of the person, in body and mind.

    And through it all, there runs a thread in the U.S. that gun ownership isn’t just a right, but a VIRTUE. Owning one makes you your own (wo)man, because you can protect yourself, your family and those you care for, with no reliance on an untrustworthy government. But when you put that against the present-day context of authoritarian values, it throws the hidden cognitive dissonance into sharp relief.

    • brianmacker

      The US is too diverse for your simplistic theory to hold water. Also it would be nice if you provided some kind of statistics to back it up. For example, if Americans are motivated by distrust of government to shoot more people then you’d expect a disproportionate number of government employees with a cap in their ass. Did you learn this nonsense in the Canadian school system, did you make it up, or what?

      • http://mattoneal.com/ Matt O’Neal

        I don’t think his critique of America was aimed at all of us, but more the God & Guns crowd. As a Southern American, veteran, gun owner, I didn’t take offense to any of his post. But I knew exactly who he was talking about; and I think his thoughts have some merit.

        There’s no arguing that we have a different culture from our neighbors to the north. As we also have some widely different cultures within our own country.

        I didn’t fact-check him on the statement that Canada has a much lower rate of murder from firearms than we do. But somehow I believe it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          Unfortunately it wasn’t written the way your first paragraph interprets it.  He has multiple false statements and jumps to multiple wrong conclusions.   He also made blanket statements that were obviously false.   

          I agree with isolated sentences but overall the entire comment was unsupported conjecture.   He implies all sorts of ridiculous notions to.  Like when he writes, “Canadians historically wanted, in fact DESIRED, government.”   Guess what, so did Americans which he implied they didn’t.   He totally botches natural rights philosophy.   It’s just on and on with nonsense.

          Also, because we are in fact differing in our cultural perspectives here in the US you don’t understand that, in part his comment was in fact directed at me, and my beliefs.  He gets them all wrong.  I believe in natural rights which include the right to bear arms but that is not based on a “distrust of government”.  

          With regard to the rest of your comment. I don’t think Canada has merely a different culture than the US.   It has mulitple different cultures of its own.  So saying, “There’s no arguing that we have a different culture from our neighbors to the north.”  is not responsive to my comment.  I wasn’t arguing that.

          Your last paragraph was also not responsive to my comment.  I’m aware of canadian crime statistics but arguing that the difference is due to a belief in natural rights theory is frankly ignorant.

          Not surprising that a Canadian would get it all wrong considering there are many of ignorant Americans who aren’t aware of our own philosophical roots.

  • LesterBallard

    Here’s a quote from Christian R.C. Sproul (from the 180 movie FB page):

    “Today a man walked into an Orlando office where he brutally murdered 20 babies, wounding the moms. The police made sure he was not disturbed.”- R.C. Sproul Jr 

    • Tom

      You or I might use hysterical, exaggerated rhetoric like this to emphasise a point.  I hope such people as this are simply trying to do the same thing, but I just can’t shake the disquieting notion that some of them are merely describing the world as they actually perceive it.

  • Jeff Ritter

    “Those who rationalize that bad things happen because god gave man free will automatically forfeit the right to suggest that everything happens according to god’s plan.”– Anonymous.” So this tragedy is gods plan to punish us for not fearing him, so he forced a man to use his free will to kill everyone so we through fear use our free will to adore him? The cognitive dissonance is so dramatic I have trouble forming  an point without being lost in it. Let’s blame the shooter for doing what he did.

    • Randomfactor

      And forcing free will to perform a massacre is somehow acceptable, where forcing free will to do good and achieve eternal bliss is somehow cheating.

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

    But wait, countries in Europe who have completely shut God out of the government don’t have this happen.  These things seem to be happening with the increase in schools and government pushing Christian agenda on people.   See I can find baseless links too :D

    • Glasofruix

      Also because every lunatic doesn’t own an arsenal in his cave.

    • Pseudonym

      Butbutbut… God’s protection left Europe ages ago. See, it’s not the mere absence of God’s protection that causes these disasters, it’s the magnitude of the derivative with respect to time.

  • Ellie

     Oh, right, I get it now! I’m pretty sure that 6 yo girl in the crowd not only had an abortion, but was also marching for gay rights and never went to church in her life. And voted Obama, of course. She clearly had that coming. Duh, I’m *so* stupid for not seeing this earlier! *headdesk*

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

      Yup, she made your average prostitute on the street look like Mother Theresa. The horrible thing is, these people actually see it that way. Unless you say the magic prayer, read your Bible every day and go to church without fail, God sees you the same as Ted Bundy or Adolph Hitler.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Edwards/100000295343345 Anthony Edwards

         Hitler was a good Christian though, David Philip Norris.

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

    Just another example of trying to use fear to spread their faith.  “Oh noes, this is what happens when you don’t believe in God, but I mean don’t believe in God the way I say you should believe in God!!!  if you don’t believe in my God people will come in your theaters and shoot people”. 

    Disgusting!

  • Emma

    This is pretty minor, I know, but… I can’t believe Jackson called it “the internets” unironically.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-De-Fleuriot/611844223 Mike De Fleuriot

    Sorry guys, but might I suggest that you do your trolling where it actually can have a better effect, I would suggest sites like AFA and Christian Post, which has a nice comment section. And herds of sheep ready for kicking.

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

    Speak of the devil (and I knew someone would), this pastor is apparently blaming Satan:

    “I’m just ticked at Satan,” he said, noting that Christians should know that there is a spiritual realm and “it’s real, it’s powerful, it’s pervasive, it’s perverted, and it’s malicious. Was he (Holmes) demon-possessed? Was he influenced? We don’t know. We can’t see into the spiritual realm. But I would say at the very minimum, Satan was whispering in his ear if not fully controlling his heart,” said Stier.

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/james-holmes-went-to-church-weeks-before-colo-shooting-78629/

    Scary stuff. Stier would fit right in to the 17th century. I can’t believe there are actually people in the modern world who believe such utter nonsense.

    • Sindigo

      “We can’t see into the spiritual realm.”

      But I’m going to take a wild stab at it anyway, knowing that y’all hang off every word I say.

    • cipher

      The people who write for, read and comment at The Christian Post aren’t operating in the modern world.

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

        That’s the scary part! I’m willing to bet most of those people seem perfectly normal on the surface. They must go grocery shopping and take their kids to soccer practice. Yet they also believe in an unseen world populated by devils and demons. How does that happen? I know childhood indoctrination is to blame, but such obvious superstition seems so out of place in the 21st century.

        • cipher

          I’m convinced it’s primarily genetic. There’s a growing body of experimental data strongly suggestive of a neurological foundation. It’s also explainable in terms of Altemeyer’s authoritarianism and Kohlberg and Piaget’s stages of development – but I’m convinced those have a genetic foundation as well.

          And a lot of them are just psychotic. They have no problem with the idea of billions of their fellow humans being tortured for all of eternity – indeed, many (I maintain it’s most) anticipate it eagerly. Classic Antisocial Personality Disorder.

          Authoritarianism, arrested development and psychopathy – a lethal combination.

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

            Could be, but it also varies wildly from region to region. Some populations have a lot more fundamentalists than others. I can’t imagine there’s much genetic difference between the Southern white population and the people from the now-largely secular countries from which their ancestors hailed.

            • cipher

              Well, they’ve had two hundred years in which to reinforce those traits through breeding.

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

                But wouldn’t there be more genetic diversity in America, not less? It seems to me that if your theory is true, it should work the other way around. The people from homogeneous European countries should have remained fundamentalist, while the American “melting pot” group should have become less religious over time.

                • cipher

                  Not necessarily. I’m thinking fundamentalists have tended to marry among themselves for a long time. “Be not unequally yoked”, and all that.

  • http://www.brothermatthew.com/ DrA

    The violent tragedy in Aurora has many sources and to select one would be simplistic.  However, it is certainly correct to put some blame on America’s obsession with guns and our very strange attitude that all people should have one or more.

    I cannot help but wonder what would have occurred if this young man could not have gotten (legally) an assault rifle and 6000 rounds of ammunition.   I remember Charleton Heston’s comment about taking his gun from his cold dead hands.  I wish that he could have had even a tiny bit of the wisdom that his character Moses had.

    I pray daily that America will learn that we need to learn from Jesus and lay down our arms and approach the lost and lonely with compassion.  Violence of this type might not disappear but it would surely diminish.

    Matthew Anderson D.Min.

    • Glasofruix

      Yeah, i’m pretty sure somwhere in the bible Jebus appears wielding a sword and cutting heads.

      • Sindigo

        No, pretty sure that’s “The new adventures of Jesus” or maybe “Jesus Christ and the last crusade”. No, wait that’s Mormonism.

        I guess it must be in the new US edition bible. The one where Jesus has no problem with moving his vast wealth to off-shore accounts to avoid tax:

        “Render unto God what is God’s, Caesar can shove it. We’re taxed enough already.”

        • Glasofruix

          When i say “pretty sure” i mean there are actually passages of jebus leading armies to battle and killing people, i just don’t know the exact number of the chapter.

          • Sindigo

            Sorry, my sarcasm detector must be on the fritz.

            *Runs to Google it* 

            Revelation 19. I must have dozed off during that bit at Sunday school. :)
            http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/6619.htm 

            Well, he must be the son of God in that case. Wielding a fiery broadsword of deific vengeance must be tough in sandals.

            • Glasofruix

              Now you know what to ansver to “what would jesus do?” question ;)

              • Sindigo

                Actual LOL. :)

    • brianmacker

      Americans aren’t obsessed with guns and we don’t believe that all people should have one or more, so your statement can’t be “certainly correct”.

  • cipher

    Fundies really don’t understand the concept of cause and effect.

    I’d like to have “Western Europe” embroidered on a sampler, have it framed, then beat them over the head with it.

    • Guest

      You mean like Norway?

      • cipher

         I direct you to snoozn’s comment below:

        Breivik was a self-described Christian himself, while most of his victims were probably secular humanists.

        Of course, I realize it’s only true if you hear it from your pastor.

        • Guest

          Breivik was a cultural/historical Christian with no ‘religious’ beliefs.  He saw Christianity as a valid and important foundation for the Western civilization that he promoted.  His religious beliefs, on the other hand, were secular at best.  Read his own statements.  Do atheists even know how to distinguish?  Or do they hear someone say God bless you when someone sneezes and assume they’re a religious fanatic?  Or is it that atheistic insecurity that insists all religion must be evil and all evil religious, so we must force the square peg of our insecurities into the round hole of reality?
          Oh, and in any event, it doesn’t matter when one considers the host of other mass killings across Europe.  Smaller numbers?  Of course.  Smaller populations with far more draconian gun control laws, and yet it still happens.  That’s the point.  Not the demented and ludicrous mantra of insecure post-modern atheism that must ignore the complexities of reality while claiming intellectual superiority at the same time.

          • cipher

            Leave it to a Christian to choose the one exception to a culture of pacifism, pounce upon it and use it to bolster his flagging faith.

            Meanwhile, big talk from someone not brave enough even to choose a pseudonym. What’s the matter – doesn’t Jesus have your back?

            Furthermore, stop addressing me. I have no interest in interacting with trolls. Toddle off now and fantasize about us roasting in hell. That ought to calm you down.

          • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

             “Not the demented and ludicrous mantra of insecure post-modern atheism
            that must ignore the complexities of reality while claiming intellectual
            superiority at the same time.”

            Wait. A theist is arguing that atheists are ignoring the complexities of REALITY?

            Well-played, sir! I chortled heartily!

            • amycas

               I love that he called it “post-modern atheism,” especially since most of the atheists/skeptics I know all hate post-modernism (or most of it anyways).

  • brianmacker

    Hemant,  Maybe you should reconsider your article titled “Fundamentalist Mormon Sect Kills a Kitten to Send Message to Former Member” considering you don’t want atheists to be blamed for things there is no evidence they are responsible for.     I thought that was pretty careless how you just accepted that claim at face value.   If you are against demonization then please be consistent.   There is actually no evidence that anyone purposely put that cat in the cement, and plenty of evidence it was a work site accident.  

  • kaydenpat

    So why aren’t there shootings like this in atheist/secular countries (i.e., Scandinavia/Western Europe)? Apart from the Brievik (sp) incident in Norway, I haven’t heard that countries that are more secular are prone to violent outbursts like what we have here in the US.

    • snoozn

      Yes, I would love to hear how these fundies explain that. And Breivik was a self-described Christian himself, while most of his victims were probably secular humanists.

    • Glasofruix

      Breivik was a christian btw

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q6Y2K7P4QGJQEH257RF7XMXSZ4 Rích

        oh no but he wasn’t *REALLY* a Christian… ;p

    • Pseudonym

      Oh, that’s easy. Europe doesn’t have Obamacare!

    • Guest

      There are.  And there have been.  Smaller populations, fewer people. 

  • duhsciple

    To what do you attribute this mass murder? It is a mystery to me.

    • duhsciple

      It is a mystery, to me, regardless of whether one has a “faith,” or not.

  • duhsciple

    I am very sad for those who died. I am grieved for the killer, too. This is not what life should be.

    I lament people of faith using this event to play the Blame Game. In fact, I dont like the Blame Game. Period. My hope is for increasing healing. Period.

  • Chris Kilroy

    I become more enraged at these people all of the time. Now it is not just the degradation of morality in society to blame. I could ALMOST excuse that argument because you could say something like – well, society is becoming less moral and more tolerant of violence. That naturally leads to more sociopaths committing acts of this kind. 
    No, now it is god being a dick  and judging society through random acts of human violence, or at least not stopping them, because people are less Christian-y. And to top it all off, they are blaming education producing smart people who can act in the capacity of teachers, professors, lawyers and other roles. Clearly, we are too smart for god’s liking, so he better judge us with violence.
    WTF?
    I am so sick of this concept that education is evil. 

  • Gunstargreen

    “Everything we disagree with politically is why this happened. All of it. Even the bits that make no sense. ”

    Also they used the word “internets”  without a trace if irony which is just delightful.

  • Guest

    Amazing.  Pro-life religious people interpreting events like pro-life religious people.  You just never know do you?  Why can’t they be more like the free thinking pro-choice atheists who always happen to think alike?

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

      Have you ever read one of our comment threads? Good luck getting all of us to think alike!

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    Looks like Skeptic’s Dictionary can add some new content to their article on shoe-horning.

  • Rclarkdaniel

    You do know Mr Holmes is an atheist, right? Not good for your side, ole pal.

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      [citation needed]

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

    Why are God’s judgements so seemingly removed from their source? Why punish a bunch of people randomly enjoying a movie, and not a hot bed of sin and vice like New York City or Las Vegas? It’s nothing more than confirmation bias. These people see what they want to see, and what they want to see is a deity as hateful, bigoted and judgmental as they are.

    In the words of Ben Franklin,  “I looked around for God’s judgments, but saw no signs of them.”

    • Kodie

      Hurricane Katrina was “obviously” God’s judgment, but tornadoes in Missouri and wildfires in Colorado are not! Mass murderers in Colorado are themselves demons, though, the victims are not victims of god’s wrath, just a collateral damage to warn all the sin-advocating people to fall to their knees and oppose gay marriage and abortions. OR YOU COULD BE NEXT!

    • Glasofruix

      I remeber some crazy woman ranting that the tsunami in Japan was sent to punish the sinner in the united states…

  • Brian Macker

    Unfortunately it wasn’t written the way your first paragraph interprets it.  He has multiple false statements and jumps to multiple wrong conclusions.   He also made blanket statements that were obviously false.   
     
    I agree with isolated sentences but overall the entire comment was unsupported conjecture.   He implies all sorts of ridiculous notions to.  Like when he writes, “Canadians historically wanted, in fact DESIRED, government.”   Guess what, so did Americans which he implied they didn’t.   He totally botches natural rights philosophy.   It’s just on and on with nonsense.
     
    Also, because we are in fact differing in our cultural perspectives here in the US you don’t understand that, in part his comment was in fact directed at me, and my beliefs.  He gets them all wrong.  I believe in natural rights which include the right to bear arms but that is not based on a “distrust of government”.  
     
    With regard to the rest of your comment. I don’t think Canada has merely a different culture than the US.   It has mulitple different cultures of its own.  So saying, “There’s no arguing that we have a different culture from our neighbors to the north.”  is not responsive to my comment.  I wasn’t arguing that.
     
    Your last paragraph was also not responsive.  I’m well aware that they have better crime statistics but arguing that it is because in the US people believe in natural rights, is frankly, ignorant.
     
    Not surprising that a Canadian would get it all wrong considering there are many of ignorant Americans who aren’t aware of our own philosophical roots.
     


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