Christianity ain't the solution

In response to the Aurora shootings, some prominent Christian leaders seized the opportunity of others’ tragedy to demonize the non-believers.

 “What happened up in Aurora … was the product of pure evil. It was the result of a depraved individual taking his free will to the extreme,”  -Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family

“The Fall released human moral evil into the cosmos, and every single human being is a sinner, tempted by a full range of sinfulness,” he wrote in a commentary. “We cannot afford to be shocked when humans commit grotesque moral evil. It tells us the truth about unbridled human sin.”  -Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“When students are taught they are no different from animals, they act like it.” ~ Rick Warren

There are lots more I could trot out.

There was even an atheist who said it was the fault of Christianity.

PZ is right when he says they’re both wrong.  James Holmes was insane.  Can unwavering religious faith move sane people to kill?  Yes.  A cursory glance at a history book confirms that.  But there was no religious rhetoric with James Holmes, no slaughtering the infidel.  He was just crazy.

But the Christians are the ones saying that more Christianity is the solution.  They’re the ones saying if more people bought into Jesus, this stuff wouldn’t happen.  Yet history is flooded with immorality endorsed by the church later overturned by human progress, and James Holmes himself was a church-going Presbyterian.  So while Christianity may not be at fault for this one, is sure ain’t the solution.

That’s a point I think does need to get made fiercely.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • usingreason

    Obviously he wasn’t a real christian, I mean come on, Presbyterian? (end sarcasm and disgust)

  • Ganner

    I just can’t ever get over how anti-human Christian doctrine is. To me, this event stands out because it is an outlier. This was a psychotic individual. Almost everyone in our society is appalled by what he did. What he did is not an indictment of humanity; our response shows that we are different. Christianity has to drag us all down and say “see, that’s what being a human is like unless you’re afraid of our sky daddy and saved from your horribleness by his son”

    • kagekiri

      Yeah, even if we grant that Warren’s stupid quote was actually about someone’s daughter having sex before marriage or whatever, I know what Christians and the Bible teach instead of “We’re just animals”.

      They teach that we’re worthless scum who were created to worship God yet failed horribly and who deserve to be punished forever for it, that we have no real meaning outside of this worship, and that our happiness, hopes, dreams, thoughts, goals, and relationships are all pointless. All our goodness is not in us, but just lent to us by God, and that we deserve no credit for any of our accomplishments or achievements. Anything less than hell is better than we deserve to expect.

      Fuck Rick Warren. When you teach people that they have no real value on any meaningful level and don’t deserve to feel good about themselves, they give up on fucking life.

  • baal

    The godly don’t seem to be immune from being murderous. Until and unless they can show that, Warren etal. dropping the argument would be good.

    /agree demonization is bad. Very human, good for building group cohesion but still bad.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    FYI: Rick Warren claims that his tweet was not referring to Aurora, but some sex ed teacher.

    I tend to give benefit of the doubt in situations like these, since there’s no way to know if that’s true or if he’s just covering his ass after receiving negative reactions.

    • anteprepro

      Well, he seems to have deleted the original tweet. That, and also the fact that he gave absolutely no indication within the tweet that his blather was a response to a personal question that no-one reading his blather would have knowledge of, makes me suspect “covering his ass” as the explanation here. But, yeah, there’s no much to go on, one way or the other. Perhaps Hanlon’s Razor applies.

  • wholething

    So what if Warren’s tweet wasn’t about Aurora, is he saying his idea only applies to sex but not violence? He’s still wrong and shouldn’t have said it.

    • OverlappingMagisteria

      Well… lots of people are putting his tweet into the context of Aurora, which is misrepresenting him. JT just used it as an example of someone using the tragedy to demonize non-believers when it likely wasn’t referring to the tragedy. That’s what.

      There are plenty of actual things that be used to show Warren’s sliminess, but you won’t (and shouldn’t) be taken seriously if you misrepresent your opponents words.

  • leilah

    I think it’s worth noting that Holmes is unlikely to actually be insane. This kind of violence isn’t really a mental illness problem – there’s a good write-up here:

  • Mark

    Don’t confuse “the church” and Christianity.

    • anteprepro

      Don’t confuse idiotic canards with insightful remarks. Besides, you don’t get to pretend that True Christianity isn’t this hateful when you were just proudly presenting to us how you supported homophobia just the other day. Fuck off.

  • nicole introvert

    A woman named Carli posted about surviving the theater shooting in Colorado. The blog is long and potentially triggering, but I was so moved when she said this:

    “I am not trying to talk down to anyone who thanks their higher power for this miracle (and I will agree that that’s a very appropriate word for this) at all, so please do not take it as such because that’s not what this is about. This is about me wanting you all to realize the immense feeling of gratitude that I have for Chris and the medical staff who took such amazing care of me. From the paramedics and the one who held my hand in the ambulance, to the nurses, radiologists, doctors, chaplain, social workers, and even the pharmacy tech at Safeway, I want you to know that you all are the reason I am ok and in so much less pain right now.”

    Her full post is here: