We Don’t Need to Force God Into Our Schools; Mass Murders Happen in Religious Places, Too

Bryan Fischer:

Fischer said that God could have protected the victims of this massacre, but didn’t because “God is not going to go where he is not wanted” and so if school administrators really want to protect students, they will start every school day with prayer:

Mike Huckabee:

“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” Huckabee said on Fox News, discussing the murder spree that took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, CT that morning. “Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”

Since Columbine, there have been dozens of mass shootings in America. For all the talk that God was kicked out of our schools and that God won’t go where he’s not wanted, it seems appropriate to mention that several of the shootings occurred at religious schools or places of worship:

  • August 5, 2012. Six Sikh temple members were killed when 40-year-old US Army veteran Wade Michael Page opened fire in a gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Four others were injured, and Page killed himself.
  • April 2, 2012. A former student, 43-year-old One L. Goh killed 7 people at Oikos University, a Korean Christian college in Oakland, CA. The shooting was the sixth-deadliest school massacre in the US and the deadliest attack on a school since the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.
  • October 2, 2006. An Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster, PA was gunned down by 32-year-old Charles Carl Roberts, Roberts separated the boys from the girls, binding and shooting the girls. 5 young girls died, while 6 were injured. Roberts committed suicide afterward.
  • March 12, 2005. A Living Church of God meeting was gunned down by 44-year-old church member Terry Michael Ratzmann at a Sheraton hotel in Brookfield, WI. Ratzmann was thought to have had religious motivations, and killed himself after executing the pastor, the pastor’s 16-year-old son, and 7 others. Four were wounded.
  • September 15, 1999. Larry Gene Ashbrook opened fire on a Christian rock concert and teen prayer rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX. He killed 7 people and wounded 7 others, almost all teenagers. Ashbrook committed suicide.

The point here is that senseless violence doesn’t stop at a church door. God doesn’t put a bulletproof dome over our body when we profess our faith in Him. Religion doesn’t prevent any of this shit from happening any more than belief in God stops people from committing murder.

So enough of the ridiculous notion that the Newtown massacre happened because we “took God out of our schools.” Not only did we never do that, but even if we had, it wouldn’t have stopped this shooting from occurring.

Anyone can pray in a public school. No atheist/liberal/civil-liberties group has ever wanted to take that right away from anyone. It should be a personal decision, though, not a mandated one.

To Christians: Pray all you want in school. I hope it makes you feel better. But stop pretending like reading Bible verses aloud in class or saying the Lord’s Prayer over the loudspeaker will make everything better. It won’t. It never has. It never will.

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.


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