71 shot, 12 dead.
This tragedy had already been re-purposed by opportunist theocrats by early this morning – 8 hours later. Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) went on the air and attributed this massacre to ‘attacks on Christianity’ and specifically cited so-called ‘unreleased DoD statistics’ that military suicides are all / mostly atheists.
I am in the process of writing a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request to see what he is talking about. I’m pretty sure he’s referring to the illegal, yet still mandatory Spiritual Fitness testing and training nonsense that the DoD wasted $125 million in 2009. That’s more than they spend on rape prevention and reaction ($113 million) annually, DoD-wide. Ironically, both suicide (one a day) and sexual assault (19,000 per year) numbers are peaking in the military.
Rep. Gohmert quoted an alleged ‘unreleased DoD’ statistic involving a 2% sample size. He gave a realistic number (6,000) for viable Spiritual Fitness test results. That perked my ears up, perhaps in a way different than most. I’m sad to say, I don’t think he’s making this up. There very well may be some champion for their demonstrably failed program who is lobbying congress for more money (or some other motivation)… using this very type of dishonest statistic. I want to know what this is immediately.
GOHMERT: …But, ya know, I might mention something else that had not been public yet, most of us that follow the military know we have had an extraordinary increase in suicide in the military –and it’s just heartbreaking. And, I’ve sat with families around their kitchen tables and they are going ‘we never saw this coming – ya know, we didn’t know.” And there was a study commissioned…
ISTOOK: And, Louie, we’re gonna have to finish…
GOHMERT: Well, let me say this very quickly – but its six thousand personality index profiles. And, what they found, and I don’t know if they will make it public – one of the participants told me ‘ the results may not go public’; but, all of the people who committed suicide, within their thousands of people studied, were part of the 2-percent most atheistic members of the military. We’ve lost our faith.
ISTOOK: Thank you, Louie Gohmert – Congressman from the First District of Texas.
Military linking atheism to suicide
The entire justification for the Spiritual Fitness testing and training was to curb the growing suicide rate. When I failed the five questions on this test, it said this:
That 800 number is a suicide hotline. I didn’t know that at first, because I was going to call them and basically just yell at whoever answered the phone… until I heard “If you intend to harm yourself or others, your anonymity can’t be maintained…” Then I was even more pissed off, and I fired off my first ‘real’ blog post that crashed my server. I was told 6 million people read a mirrored copy.
2 US Air Force personnel were at the theater. 1 Navy service member has yet to be accounted for. Yet Rep. Gohmert drags the military into this. He drags atheism into this. He may also be pointing to statistics generated by an unconstitutional tool of oppression that kicked this particular foxhole atheist’s activism into overdrive 18 months ago when I broke the Spiritual Fitness story to the public.
Attacks on Christianity?
I would generally consider it bad taste to bring up the shooter’s religion if it’s not a clear motivation for the crime. Rep. Gohmert insisted that attacks on Christianity were to blame, and it’s just a fact that the shooter was active in his local church. I don’t think anybody should draw any conclusions about other Christians from that fact… except for one Christian – Gohmert.
According to a piece in the L.A. Times.
Holmes could not find work after graduating from UC Riverside in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience, said Tom Mai, a retired electrical engineer who lives in the Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood where Holmes grew up.
A former high school classmate, Keith Goodwin, 24, now a Columbia Law School student, said he had a couple of conversations with Holmes during an AP European history class at Westview. He called Holmes a “generally pleasant guy.”
“James was certainly not someone I would have ever imagined shooting somebody,” Goodwin said.
Tori Burton, 24, a fellow with the National Institutes of Health, said Holmes was part of Westview’s cross-country team for at least one year.
“He was very quiet,” she said. “He was a nice guy when you did occasionally talk to him. But he was definitely more introverted.”Holmes’ last known address in California was at the University Iowa Gardens Apartments less than a mile from UC Riverside. Maintenance worker Jose Torres, 45, said he remembered Holmes as a quiet person who kept mostly to himself.“He didn’t talk too much,” Torres said. “Friendly? No.”Mai said he remembers Holmes as a very shy, well-mannered young man who was heavily involved in their local church.“He seemed to be a normal kid, I don’t know what triggered it. This makes me very sad,” Mai said.