Denver Pastor: Arapahoe High School Shooting Happened Because Our Culture Abandoned God

If any of you want a writing job, I suggest submitting your work to Charisma since they publish everything, no matter how illogical it is.

R. Loren Sandford (below), a pastor in Denver, Colorado, lives not too far from Arapahoe High School, the site of a recent school shooting, and he would like to tell you all why it happened:

Why? These things never happened a generation ago, when, whether or not we really lived it, our nation at least acknowledged God and our families for the most part remained whole. I want to scream, “America! Wake up!” I have unhappily prophesied in writing that we are witnessing the catastrophic collapse of a once-great culture and our children are paying the price. I warned in my annual prophetic word just a few weeks ago of the rising tide of hatred around us that will surface in many arenas of life. This shooting is a manifestation of that hatred which inevitably results when a nation forgets its rightful Lawgiver and turns from His principles that were given to ensure the well-being of all God’s creation.

These things never happened before? The deadliest school massacre occurred in 1927 and there’s unfortunately no shortage of deadly incidents at American schools stretching back at least 100 years. So Sandford is just factually wrong there. As it stands, there’s also no evidence yet of the shooter’s religious beliefs, or that those beliefs had anything to do with why he had violent impulses.

Regardless of what Sandford says, America was never a “Christian nation,” only a nation with a Christian majority. It hasn’t helped. Other countries that are far more secular than ours rarely see the kind of school violence that we have. But, you know, facts.

This generation of young people is lost! Our self-centeredness as a culture has led to the breakup of our families and the abandonment of our children. We’ve failed to pass them stability. We’ve not imparted a faith in God and His absolute laws and principles, substituting instead a mushy postmodernism that eliminates the concept of a higher power who created us and who rules over us with love, wisdom and holy intent. When God’s morality is abandoned, love is lost and lives are destroyed.

There are nearly 1,000 churches in the Denver area alone. It’s not like people in the area don’t know about God. Yet we’re all too familiar with the shootings that have taken place in the area in the past couple of decades. Postmodernism, not teaching “Christian morality,” and promoting marriage equality (which Sandford paradoxically implies has hurt the stability of families) are not excuses for violence.

But Sandford knows very well what didn’t cause the shooting:

Guns are not the cause. We are the cause, and our sin is the root

That’s a bold statement, considering that we know a gun was directly involved in the incident…

So what really caused the shooting? I don’t know. It’s too early to tell. All we know is that the student was angry about losing a spot on his debate team and he targeted his coach. We’ve seen in other similar incidents that easy access to guns might have something to do with it — ditto with not adequately addressing mental illness — but I’m not jumping to either answer without more evidence.

Sandford could benefit from the gift of discernment.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Robbie Taylor

    “…the student was angry about losing a spot on his debate team and he targeted his coach.”
    Yikes! Be careful who you cut, Hemant!

  • The Starship Maxima

    I can’t even apologize on behalf of all Christians for the tone-deaf ones like this hick, because as soon as I get it out, another three say some objectionable shit.

    There was a time I used to read Friendly Atheist and say “How the fuck does a math teacher find time to scour for all these links?” Now, I’m like “How does Hemant actually whittle down the hundreds of stupid Christian blunders to just a few a day?”

    Sad.

  • John Lev

    You don’t speak for all christians therefore you owe no apologies. Both sides have what others consider asses and we atheists can be just as dumb at times. This is something that I have to remind myself of and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get swept up in the sterotyping at times. Many christians firmly uphold the ideals of sep. of church/state, civil rights like gay marriage and are against what people like Sandford stand for.

  • The Starship Maxima

    We can form a coalition of sane atheists and sane theists and deliver the hammer of church/state separation right to their face.

  • WallofSleep

    I admire your passion, but what I’d prefer is a Wall of Separation.

    The Hammer of Separation has a different purpose to which it is better suited. When used in conjunction with the Pickle Fork of Separation, it can break loose ball joints and tie rod ends.

  • John Lev

    Actually, there are a few. If I recall correctly, the Americans for the Separation of Church and State is lead by a minister. The Military Freedom From Religion Foundation was founded by a Jew and the board is 75% Christian with a membership of 90% Christian. It was complaints from mostly Christians on an Air Force base to the MFFRF that recently had a nativity moved to a church.

  • $84687101

    Americans United for the Separation of Church and State would love your donation, and probably your volunteer hours as well. http://www.au.org

  • The Starship Maxima

    I knew there was a reason I dug this site! Thanks for the heads up.

  • lucky21
  • lucky21

    More Christian Responses to the Shooting

    http://www.christianexaminer.com/Web%20News/Webnews_Headlines08.html

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2013/december/school-shootings-and-christian-response.html

    The artilce by Ed Stetzer really talks about what all we as Christians should do.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/2932570621001/father-robert-sirico-on-shooting-at-arapahoe-high-school/

    This one is from Fox News but the guest speaks on the spirtual aspect of looking at this. I know people have grieavances about the news network but Father Robert Sirico does make some good comments on the situation.

  • Wildcard

    Closest chapter to me is about 4 hours away. Unless there is more than they show on their webpage.

  • lucky21

    Speaking of which I think one part of his speech was correct is the fact of hatred. Whenever I look into these shooting hatred seems to stem from these acts. A lot of these people had hate issues in the past. Hatred is a sin because its the thing that makes us want to murder others.

    Also I found a blog about one of the students who surivived.

    https://medium.com/p/600fae77a5d7
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/arapahoe-high-school-shooting-survivor-left-message-for-family-telling-them-hed-be-in-heaven-110936/

  • LesterBallard

    I love a grey haired pony tail on a man. The only thing sexier is a balding man with a pony tail.

  • $84687101

    All this time I thought Steven Seagal was a reincarnated Buddhist lama. I did not know he was now a Christian pastor.

  • Fentwin

    ” The only thing sexier is a balding man with a pony tail.”
    a.k.a a “Desperadoo”

  • Machintelligence

    Here are a few observations (not confirmed facts) from the local news sources:
    The shooter had not been cut from the debate team, but had had a serious disagreement with the coach. He threatened the coach and the incident had been reported to the school and the police. He was the top debater on the team and had attended the national competition in the spring. He told friends that he was not coming back to the team next spring.
    His family was described as a normal church-going one.
    He was said to have some strong political opinions, but the reports are vague and somewhat contradictory about what those were.
    He purchased the shotgun legally (he was over the age of 18) and there was nothing that kept him from passing the background check.

    This whole affair hits close to home since my son graduated from Arapahoe HS about 8 years ago.

  • jimlouvier

    Great, just another thing they will grab onto to prevent law abiding citizen from obtaining a gun. Notice all gun control laws only target those that but guns through the proper process, but have nothing to do with handling the black market dealings where most career criminals get theirs. Disarm the public and they can’t fight back against oppression, Hitler knew that well. The US government is doing everything they can to take the guns without it looking like they are.

  • Glasofruix

    Yeah, yeah, guns don’t kill people yada yada…. It’s funny how countries without guns sold in supermarkets manage to avoid kids shooting each other in schools.
    And, Einstein, where do you think the “blackmarket” gets its guns from, huh?

  • WallofSleep

    But guns don’t kill people. It’s the fucking bullets. Have you seen how fast they come out of the end of those things? Fucking dangerous. I’m surprised no one noticed this sooner.

  • $84687101
  • WallofSleep

    He’s not wrong. But he is late. Knowing that there is no way to ban guns outright just yet, gun control advocates have moved on to making the bullets progressively more expensive long ago. Savvy tactic.

  • $84687101

    Well, the video is 14 years old, so maybe not that late. :)

  • The Starship Maxima

    OMG! I remember when I saw this the first time. Hilarious!

  • cyb pauli

    They will say gangsters make them at home or Mexico.

  • WallofSleep

    Heh, it’s not like it’s that hard. Just about any machinist could do so with the right equipment. And I’m not talking about these new-fangled 3D printers.

  • Glasofruix

    Why bother? You can just break into a house and 90% of time it’s jackpot right there in the living room in that locked glass gun closet, and even more in the basement.

  • WallofSleep

    Heh. I’ll have to take your word for that. I must admit that I have no experience at all in the B&E dept.

    I can say that of all the houses I’ve been invited into, not a single one of them had a treasure trove sitting there just like that for the taking the way you describe. You must be robbing different neighborhoods than the ones I’ve been to.

  • Pitabred

    It’s a cultural thing. It’s much more common in the south, and the Texas/Midwest area.

  • WallofSleep

    “It’s a cultural thing. It’s much more common in the south, and the Texas/Midwest area.”

    Robbing houses? Who knew?

    I kid.

  • cyb pauli

    ^Case meet point.

  • WallofSleep

    I am alleging nothing more than that fire arms are not complicated to manufacture, that is all. As to gangsters making guns at home, or guns being manufactured in Mexico… that was your idea.

    Although I will admit I would not be surprised to learn that there is a legal gun manufacturer in Mexico.

  • smrnda

    Well, how well do you want the gun to work? I’d suspect that people could bang together some kind of primitive device that would shoot metal, but making the types of guns that cause major damage isn’t exactly something a hobbyist can do with the tools in their garage. Machinists aren’t really so common.

    Drugs, by comparison, are far easier to manufacture and require less skill, and poorly manufactured drugs are still effective enough for sale on the street. Smack cut with powdered milk will sell, but a metal pipe that shoots a few bolts and screws when you flip a switch that jams half the time? You’d be better off using a knife, or a club or something reliable. The range is less, but a heavy wrench doesn’t jam or misfire or explode in your hand.

  • WallofSleep

    Well, with the rudimentary knowledge I have on the working of fire arms and machining equipment, I could make a better than passable zip gun of just about any caliber, guaranteed to be accurate at short range and not blow up in your hand. Effective, but very unimpressive.

    Now, I may be the odd man out, but I have known a few tool & die makers in my life, and I do know a couple of guys with their own heavy duty equipment in their home garage. With the proper specs, the right equipment, and enough time learning from the gentlemen I mentioned above, I guarantee you that in one year’s time I can begin to produce safe, reliable, accurate, fully automatic assault rifles with a startling regularity. It’s really no more difficult than manufacturing and assembling car parts.

    Of course none of this is going to even be attempted by your average joe, or even your above average gang banger, I’m just saying it can be done.

    By the way, none of this is intended as a gun control argument, either pro or con. Just a simple statement of fact. That wingnuts use some of these facts as a lame excuse to do nothing about gun violence is not just laughable, but wildly irresponsible and damaging. Just thought I’d say that in case it wasn’t clear.

  • smrnda

    I don’t deny it can be done – I’ve taken apart guns enough to see the parts and know that yes, you can make them, but I suspect that this knowledge is pretty rare. If you’re into that type of work, you know lots of people who can do the same, the way that I have normal conversations about machine learning algorithms. (I would say that a gun is probably easier to do than making an operating system from scratch. )I just think it would significantly decrease the number of guns, and that guns and drugs are an apples to bronze shield comparison.

    A possible issue would be that, if guns were totally outlawed, the only people with them would be true gun nuts (you might find the movie “Dear Wendy” funny for a film about gun obsession) but that’s the case already – most people don’t own them, and a few people own lots and lots.

    The ‘we can do nothing’ is really just ‘we don’t want to do anything and we refuse to do anything.’

    All said, nice to talk to a machinist. They are rather rare these days. I know a few and it’s strange to explain to people that you can actually *make things* you think up without specifically building some factory for doing so.

  • WallofSleep

    “All said, nice to talk to a machinist.”

    Oh, I am not a machinist, I just know a few, and have done a bit of simple finish work here and there as a temp.

    One guy I knew was particularly creative. He was always thinking up an milling little doo-dads or tools to solve various automotive conundrums.

  • Charles in NC

    I know this is a bit off topic but I think you two (WallofSleep and smrnda) might like the 1632 series of books by Eric Flint. Its an alternative history series were a small WV town gets transposed to central Germany during the middle of the 30 Years War. One of the things that got a fair amount of comment on the fan site and in the books was about making guns and ammo and the difficulties involved when you only have 4 machine shops and no way of replacing the tools in those shops after they ware out. There is also a lot about politics, religion, medicine, flight, military tactics, art, music, even plumbing and radio. I don’t know how this series comparers to other alt-history books because I haven’t read any other ones, so if you know of any other good ones I would love to hear about them.

  • cyb pauli

    I wish it was my idea, Ive just had this conversation so many times I know where it leads.

    Well the illegal guns come from legal places.>yeah well then criminals will just make ’em at home or get ’em from Mexico.

    At which point we discuss why gun enthusiasts (be they collectors or hunters) don’t just make all their weapons at home and save money or whether or not home gun manufacture is safe or effective. Since we’ve already covered Hitler I dont know where it goes after that.

  • $84687101
  • http://www.amazon.com/God-Awful-Worst-Religious-Leaders-Western/dp/0989961419/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408543857&sr=8-1&keywords=roger+bauman Roger Bauman

    The Nazi crap again? Listen there are roughly 300 million privately-owned guns in the US. The number is growing by about 10 million per year. Your claim that the government is doing everything it can to secretly remove guns from the country is both absurd and paranoid.

  • cyb pauli

    The Nazis actually encouraged gun ownership amongst nonJew Germans. I’m not sure where the idea that Nazi ruled Germany was disarmed comes from. http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4029&context=flr

  • Pitabred

    Projection

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Re: “I’m not sure where the idea that Nazi ruled Germany was disarmed comes from.”

    I do! It comes from the following syllogism:

    1. Gun control is bad.
    2. Hitler & the Nazis were bad.
    3. … therefore Hitler & the Nazis must have imposed gun control.

    It’s a psychological tendency known as “conflation” and is rather common … and not just in the realms of religion or politics.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    honey, the day the govt decides to employ the military and security forces against its own people (and it’s highly debatable if that will ever happen) the fact that some people have guns is not going to stop them. your shotgun isn’t going to stop a tank or down a plane.

  • baal

    Or armed drones (when they get around to having them).

  • smrnda

    I am worried about government repression, but I’m also worried about right wing gun nuts deciding to use violence to impose their idea of proper government on me. I’m the most worried about the 2 working together.

  • Matt D

    The gun industry does not sell guns by advertising or enouraging rumors that you don’t need one.

    Think about it.

  • Makoto

    Seriously tired of the Hitler reference to gun control. Check out http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/disarm.asp , please.

    The quote is referring to subject races, not local populace. Hitler did not institute gun control laws in order to take control. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Germany#The_1938_German_Weapons_Act loosened gun laws in Germany, rather than restricted them further.

    My family is mostly that of gun owners, and to the best of my knowledge we’ve all used them for target practice at the least. And we’re all in favor of stricter gun control laws. If you can’t hit something in your first couple of shots, you likely won’t hit it at all unless you’re aiming at a crowd – no need for expanded magazines. Background checks help close loopholes that criminals and others use to get their hands on guns, and we know that as law-abiding citizens, we can easily pass such checks.

  • jimlouvier

    Are you going to make sure government agencies and police comply with the new laws regarding magazine size? Constitutionally, all government agencies and police forces are subject to every law that they enforce. They can’t ban anything for the public that they keep for themselves.

  • Art_Vandelay

    How come God couldn’t stop all those kids from getting raped in all those churches? Did the evil atheists kick God out of church too?

  • Fentwin

    Beady eyes looks to the left…..then the right….free will, or something like that.

  • cyb pauli

    Why do you atheists always blame God for BAD stuff like pastors, priests, rabbis and monks raping kids and adults! You never see the GOOD stuff God does like giving a rape survivor a baby as a GIFT!

    *pout*

  • Glasofruix

    Because altar boys don’t get pregnant.

  • $84687101

    Wait, he’s prophesying? Hubris much? Does this mean he’s a witch? Because you know what the Bible says about witches: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”. He’s a witch! Burn him!

  • Oranje

    I think he weighs more than a duck.

  • Pitabred

    We don’t know until we test it out. I’ve got the carrot with a string.

  • jimlouvier

    The only statement he made that was even remotely true was that “Guns are not the cause.” The gun didn’t make him do it, I was merely the tool he chose.
    There have been many children killed in schools in china by someone going on a rampage, none used guns. They used knives, hammers, machetes, and other tools that were misused.
    The issue was that he apparently had a vendetta against one of the teachers and went with that target in mind, anyone else was probably just collateral to him. It’s a mental health and an anger management issue. Kids are no longer taught how to vent frustrations and safely release anger. They are taught that any show of anger is bad, and so the just hold it in until it blows.

  • RN from NY

    I agree. And sucking the life out of schools with test-prep, loss of recess and non-academic classes (art, music, vocational-tech) and weeks of testing doesn’t help. The loss of guidance counselors with the budget cuts doesn’t help. Massive schools with large class sizes where kids get lost and left behind doesn’t help. We are creating such an unhealthy environment for children, and we’re surprised when they go bananas?
    Oh well. Small price to pay for lower taxes, huh?

  • Pitabred

    But the administrators still get paid quite well, and have lots of assistant principals. Because that’s obviously necessary. How could school work without lots of highly paid administrators constantly expanding their fiefdoms?

    http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/03/administrative-bloat-educratification-in-americas-public-schools-educrats-now-outnumber-teachers-in-25-states/

  • smrnda

    Nothing like administrative bloat, with actual teachers dealing with classes of +40 kids.

  • http://www.amazon.com/God-Awful-Worst-Religious-Leaders-Western/dp/0989961419/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408543857&sr=8-1&keywords=roger+bauman Roger Bauman

    The reason we have a shooting here and not a massacre is because the shooter brought the wrong kind of gun. If he had used a semi-automatic rifle with a large ammo clip, we would be erecting crosses outside the school with the names of all the dead kids on them. Instead we have one kid who was very seriously injured and a suicide. Studies have shown that the most important factor in the death tolls of school shootings is the number of shots fired per minute. A shotgun just can’t pump out the death fast enough.

  • WallofSleep

    And I’ll wager the reason he chose a shotgun was because they don’t often fall under the same lengthy “wait” periods that hand guns and assault rifles often fall under.

  • smrnda

    Could it also be an issue of aiming? A shotgun gets you anything within a certain spread, so your aim can be a little bi off.

  • smrnda

    Wow, so kids in the past were never say, beaten when they were bad with nobody bothering to listen to *why* the kid did what they did without any concern for say, the home situation, psychiatric problems? The kid who *didn’t get it* just got failed, beat, and held back since ‘learning disabilities’ were unknown. Totally, back in the good old days of corporal punishment and authoritarianism kids had such better anger management tools and such better psychological health.

  • Justatron

    These guys believe in such a weak and pitiful god that can’t even intervene to keep one kid from shooting up a school…he must have used up all his mojo killing all those heathen back in bible times…

  • Glasofruix

    Huh, no video games?

  • WallofSleep

    Dude?!?! STFU! It’s been years since I’ve heard a Jack Thompson style rant. I’m enjoying the lull.

  • Glasofruix

    Speaking about Thompsie, it’s been a while since i’ve heard him ranting. Haven’t heard anything from him when GTA5 got released. Is he dead or something?

  • WallofSleep

    He lost, we won. And the GTA series gets to close on a high note.

    Ya know, it was all fun and games when video games were just… fun and games. Just another stupid toy kids played with. Now they’re all full of narratives, mature concepts like the roll of gov’t, and shit like that which can make gamers think. We can’t have that.

  • Feral Dog

    Stepdad used to think video games were evil. Then he played a few of mine, and now he’s a supporter of them.

  • Gehennah

    I admit I am biased, but I’m loving the studies coming out that are showing that video games are helpful, even to the elderly.

    I forgot the exact study, but George Takei was talking about it on his new podcast on YouTube on some of the effects found on it.

  • WallofSleep

    Disqus ate my comment. Anyway, he was disbarred or something. He lost, we won.

  • Glasofruix

    I know he was disbarred (because of his frivolous lawsuits and because he managed to insult the judge) i followed it with delight, but it didn’t stop him from being vocal about his hate of videogame industry, he was posting quite frequently at gamepolitics, but then it all stopped all of a sudden.

  • WallofSleep

    Shit, I used to lurk that site all the time, but completely forgot about it a while ago for some reason. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Richard Thomas

    “whether or not we really lived it, our nation at least acknowledged God”

    So, your god is so petulant that he doesn’t even bother to check to see if you’re actually being faithful, he just wants you to tell him how pretty he is? Sounds more like a spoiled brat to me.

  • OhioAtheist

    Apparently a perfect god is a vain one.

  • diogeneslamp0

    Australia had a gun buyback program. Now no school shootings.

    Problem solved.

  • Uncle Meat

    They had a lot fewer guns to deal with, I suspect. By orders of magnitude.

  • unbound55

    I suspect the primary reason for success in Australia was due to doing something in lieu of the NRA solution of “Nothing Can Be Done”. It’s amazing the problems that can be solved or reduced when people get over inaction.

  • smrnda

    Your average Australian may have less of a gun fetish, perhaps because many Americans are keen on guns since it’s a way of feeling big and powerful. Many pro gun Americans don’t even want crime to decline – they want things to get worse so they can run around shooting ‘bad guys’ in some kind of post apocalyptic fantasy.

    I also want to add that I don’t blame movies. Japanese movies are violent but they haven’t led Japan to be violent.

  • Mick

    “In the 18 years before the buy back Australia experienced 13 mass shootings with 112 dead and 52 wounded. In the 17 years since the buy back – not one mass shooting. Not one!

  • Cat MacKinnon

    so far it’s all speculation (as Hemant pointed out), and we don’t
    really know WHAT his actual motivation was. the local news has been
    throwing out their own ideas (as they are wont to do), but the
    investigation is ongoing and nothing concrete has come out. the only
    solid fact is that he seemed to have an issue with one of his teachers
    and asked for him by name when he
    entered the school, but that’s about it. he fired off a few rounds and
    injured one student and then took his own life.

    the police
    department did hand over control of the school back to the school
    district yesterday (Monday), which i assume means they’re done
    collecting evidence and investigating the scene. the student that was injured is still
    in critical condition, but so far they don’t think she had any
    connection to the shooter; she unfortunately just happened to be in the
    wrong place at the wrong time.

    obviously the incident is upsetting, but what infuriates me more is that the conspiracy nutjobs have already jumped all over it as some kind of “false flag” bullshit (ala Sandy Hook or the Aurora movie theatre shooting.) it really pisses me off that those people are belittling the victims by claiming “it never really happened”. logic is not strong with these people, and sometimes it really drives me insane.

  • WallofSleep

    You know how it goes. The wingnuts spend months saying Obama never lets a “crisis go to waste”, which is to say that they constantly accuse him of using such tragedies as a way to gain more political power.

    That the wingnuts are the ones actually, constantly, using such tragedies as a way to gain more political power seems to blow right past them.

  • Octoberfurst

    Ugh! I get so sick and tired of hearing preachers blame everything from shootings to floods to tornados, etc on the premise that “We’ve forgotten God.” Yeah like shootings and natural disasters never occured in this country prior to now.

  • baal

    Or that ‘adding back god’ would change anything. I’ve yet to see that study done.

  • WalterWhite007

    god is hardly forgotten in the US of A. Almost half of Americans do not believe the theory of evolution is a fact; or to put it another way, about half of Americans think the earth is about 6,000 years old. It’s not possible to forget god in the USA.

  • KMR

    Everytime a kid shoot ups his school all I can think is where the fuck he learned to shoot. Why do people teach their minor children how to load and use a gun? I know that kids hunt and whatnot but are all these kids hunters? And even so, how are they getting a hold of their parent’s guns? Put those damn things in a locked safe where only you know the combination.

  • Pitabred

    Kids aren’t dumb. There’s no magic “minor” that can’t figure things out, because honestly, loading and firing a gun just isn’t terribly difficult. They use a modern Nerf gun, and they’re 90% there. Just as abstinence only education doesn’t work for sex, you can’t just hide guns from kids in our society and hope they don’t learn about them elsewhere.

    The solution is education in empathy, which is where we’re sorely lacking as a society. We’ve got a cultural balkanization of the US that’s drawn with black and white “You’re either with us or against us” rules by a lot of people. It’s the same reason we’ve got such abhorrent prison sentences for effective non-crimes. Anything illegal must be wrong, and punishment must ruin the offender’s life. Anything else wouldn’t be “tough”.

  • smrnda

    Guns aren’t that hard to use. That’s kind of the point in their design – a hard to use weapon isn’t going to be very useful.

    On prison sentences, they’re disgusting, and what I find most repulsive is that people end up spending a long time in jail for non-violent offenses, but yet, somehow, the law hasn’t been busting sex abuse enabling clergy and religious institutions.

    An issue with Americans is that I don’t think many want a decrease in crime. Punishing crime is a way that brutalization can occur in an approved fashion, so many Americans aren’t interested in anything that would actually reduce crime, since they want institutional brutality. It’s not ‘how do we stop crime?’ it’s ‘how can we use crime as an excuse to be sadistic punishers?’

  • WallofSleep

    “Americans aren’t interested in anything that would actually reduce
    crime, since they want institutional brutality.”

    Actually, we really don’t want institutional brutality. It’s just that we’ve been sold a false bill of goods about what constitutes a just legal system when it comes to crime and punishment, and sadly many of us bought it.

  • smrnda

    My apologies. Many Americans want institutional brutality, and some of us know better. Those who want institutional brutality are probably not able to do a cost/benefit analysis.

  • Buckley

    In a sociology lesson I taught last week, they researched the history of school shootings (including the Bath School Massacre in 1927 and the Our Lady of Angels Fire that many believe to be arson from a student) and the profile was a White, male, aged 14-19 and suicide was typical end result. Motive is typically not known for most. Isn’t it amazing that the Fundies have tagged the motive as “No God”.

    Of course having easy access to guns isn’t the problem. Of course not recognizing or treating mental illness isn’t the problem. Of course parental involvement in the child’s life isn’t the problem. It must be god.

  • Pitabred

    Mental illness doesn’t exist, that’s just demons. And if parents believe in Jeebus, there’s nothing they can do wrong because Jeebus. The same Jeebus that would also be driving a pickup truck with 4 AR’s in a gun rack in the back window with a confederate flag on the bumper. The only problem is those non Jeebus-ers, because they’re an actual example that everything I believe is wrong. They must be stamped out.

  • Buckley

    How can you be wrong if Jeebus is right.

  • CamasBlues

    I read this a few days ago about one socioligist’s analysis of behaviors exhibited by many school shooters – I found it thought provoking and horrifying: http://sociological-eye.blogspot.com/2013/12/sandy-hook-school-shootings-lessons-for.html

  • Buckley

    Thanks, I’ll look into it.

  • Malcolm McLean

    It’s a cocktail of factors. Easy access to weapons obviously has something to do with it, but is hardly the sole cause. Basically people who indulge in these types of shootings are spoilt brats, grown big enough to carry a gun. They simply can’t cope with perfectly ordinary and routine setbacks, like being rejected by a girlfriend or, in this case, losing a place on the debate team. The pastor is right up to a point to focus on parenting. But we also need to look both at therapy culture – the way that popular entertainers present themselves as counsellors, then encourage subjects to indulge self-centred feelings, to make good television – and at the celebration of violence you see in Hollywood action movies. You do need a certain amount of combat in an action movie, of course, but it doesn’t have to be done in a way that glamorises the powerful, crude man. (In the British series Dr Who, the Doctor never carries a weapon of any description, despite being attacked by Daleks, cybermen, sea monsters, and all sorts of nasties).

  • smrnda

    My problem with blaming the celebration of violence in media (even though I personally find it quite tiresome) is that you should *see* the violence in some Japanese films, or J or K (Korean) horror films. I’m suspecting that a difference is that in the US, lots of people truly believe in redemptive and just violence, probably since it’s part of how we established this country ,and it’s a powerful cultural narrative that the lone guy with the gun shooting the bad guys is the hero. I suspect the Japanese public doesn’t believe you can fix much with people running around with guns no matter how entertaining it might be on TV, but lots of Americans *do* think it can solve things, because hey, how else did white people end up running this whole continent?

  • 0ddman

    When the Europeans invaded the Americas they brought with them a host of pathogens to which the Native Americans had no immunity – millions upon millions were killed through infection or through exploitation. Sanford’s god designed and created the pathogens fully aware of the horrific destruction they would cause. So sad that faith is such superficial nonsense clung to by a deeply held narcissistic belief that believers will get to live forever in a supernatural Disneyland . . . .

  • Leisuresuitbruce

    He looks like that Billy Jack character douchebag.

  • Mick

    I’ll bet pastor Sanford can tell within a few dollars how much extra he will get on his collection plate after writing that article.

    Religion works on fear. When something bad happens the preacher will tell the flock that they are backsliding and if they don’t strengthen their faith then more bad things will happen.

    The mugs in the pews are usually too lazy to put any real effort into their faith strengthening exercises, so they buy their way out of the dilemma by plonking a few extra dollars on the collection plate next time they go to church.

    Sanford and his cronies are always on the lookout for situations where innocent victims are hurt or killed. It’s money in the bank for those parasites.

  • TheG

    Uh, as someone who lives just a few miles away and drove by Arapahoe HS yesterday, I can tell you there are several churches within a few blocks of the school. Including one across the street. And if I learned anything from SciFi, it is that protective force fields reinforce each other when they overlap.

    Maybe he means that huge Christian bookstore across the street from the school that is now a liquor store.

  • WalterWhite007

    Facts never get in the way of christians’ arguments.

  • Jacqueline Lee Smith Borrero

    I don’t know why people think comments like this make God look more favorable. It only gives me one more reason to not worship him.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Actually it’s part of their campaign of psychological terror. They actually think that threats … either of eternal perdition in the Afterlife, or of real harm in this one … will compel people to believe in their God.

    It sounds like a crazy PR scheme, but if you think about it from their perspective (and, having been a fundie myself once, I can), it’s entirely expected. You see, they view their God as a terrifying creature. It’s no coincidence that they use the phrase “fear of God” to describe piety and reverence. They want to please him, and bring him new converts, because they fear him. They want to please him and do all the things they think he demands of them, because the consequences of not doing so are horrific. (No, don’t let all the “I’m already saved!” talk fool you … these people honestly do have worries about whether or not they will be “saved.”)

    Since they view their God this way already, and since they’re motivated to worship and serve him by their own feelings of terror, it’s not that far of a stretch for them to assume the same motivation will work on other people. Their reward, of course, is eternity in paradise and a favored place by their God’s side. A form of “future elitism” if you will … they’re “special,” you see, because they did everything their terrifying God told them to do.

    Now, people who can think rationally about the fundies’ God, know that no moral or ethical person should willingly knuckle under to a terrorist (which ultimately is what their God is). Rather, such malevolent beings need to be resisted, in every possible way. But fundies don’t think rationally about him. Quite the opposite, they emote about him instead, and view rationally analyzing him to be profane (because he demands not to be analyzed rationally).

    Note that this tends to work in other venues as well. On the whole, people are much better at emoting than thinking, and will do so whenever and wherever they can, in preference. Rational thought is difficult, not instinctive, and takes a lot of work, compared to just emoting.

  • Gr8GooglyMoogly

    Steven Seagal called. He wants his hairdo and jacket back. Oh, and if, by chance, you have seen is acting career anywhere, please let him know…

  • California Curmudgeon

    Yeah, wouldn’t this be a great country again if women would leave the workplace and take care of their husbands and children and let the white guys run everything?

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Quoted from Sandford: “These things [i.e. school shootings] never happened a generation ago …”

    Oh, really? Since when was 1764 less than “a generation ago”? Just asking.

  • $84687101

    No, he means exactly a generation ago. That’s twenty years, so as long as there was no school shooting twenty years ago to the day, he’s right…. Or something.

  • $925105

    I thought our culture abandoned ponytails for men back in the 90s.

  • Karen Mitchell

    The guy has a pony tail; I can’t take him seriously.