That Awkward Moment When a Book Review Becomes a Chance to Blame Atheists for School Shootings

The Creation Museum’s Dr. Georgia Purdom recently came across a copy of a book by Bill Murray, the son of American Atheists’ founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Bill was was raised without religion (obviously) but became a born-again Christian later in life.

In particular, Purdom notes a passage in his book where Madalyn picked up one of Bill’s junior high history books, noted all the Bible stories contained in it, and vowed to get them all removed. Here’s Purdom:

Having graduated from the public school system, I was shocked that at one time biblical history was part of the history books! The battles Madalyn and others fought with the public school system have made a huge impact on the information taught there over the last 40–50 years. We really shouldn’t be surprised that there is so much violence among children, especially in school. This is the result of children learning that — instead of being created in the image of God — they are nothing more than the result of time, death, and chance.

The one thing we know about violence in public schools is that there’s no one single factor that contributes to it. You can blame easy access to guns, bad parenting, social rejection, stress, whatever. But if the solution was that simple, we (probably) would have done something about it by now. The truth is that it’s a variety of factors, with some looming larger than others.

But in the black and white world of Creationism — where the complexities of evolution are ignored in favor of a “God poofed the world into existence” explanation — it’s not surprising that Purdom blames violence in schools on the teaching of evolution. It’s such a simple answer that, to her, it has to be right. Plus, it plays right into her belief that you can’t be good without God.

It makes no logical sense, and her explanation is so far removed from reality, that it’s only fitting it comes from “the smart one” at the Creation Museum.

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.