We see different things, Louie

Texas Republican Louie Gohmert’s response to the slayings in Aurora, CO.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Friday that the shootings that took place in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater hours earlier were a result of “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs” and questioned why nobody else in the theater had a gun to take down the shooter.

During a radio interview on The Heritage Foundation’s “Istook Live!” show, Gohmert was asked why he believes such senseless acts of violence take place. Gohmert responded by talking about the weakening of Christian values in the country.

“Some of us happen to believe that when our founders talked about guarding our virtue and freedom, that that was important,” he said. “Whether it’s John Adams saying our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people … Ben Franklin, only a virtuous people are capable of freedom, as nations become corrupt and vicious they have more need of masters. We have been at war with the very pillars, the very foundation of this country.”

“You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of a derelict takes place.”

The man sees an opportunity to  prop up himself and his religion where the rest of us see only a tragedy, and yet he has the audacity to lecture others on morality.  While others, including atheists, are occupied with empathizing with the victims, Louie Gohmert has decided that a suitable use for their ruined lives is for mud to sling at those with whom he disagrees.

If only there were fewer assaults on Christian values.  Then we could all be more like him.

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.

  • otrame

    Don’t want to be like him.

    And he’s not very smart making pronouncements like that before anyone knows anything.

  • http://writtenaftermidnight.wordpress.com jaime

    “If decency had any place in American politics, this would be an immediate career-ender for the ridiculous congressman from Texas”

    Absolutely. I think this calls for vocalization. He’s shown a fascistic attitude about his own beliefs, as well as a glaring disregard for the victims and their families; either of those are qualities a representative shouldn’t have.

  • Chuck Miller

    Did Louie consider that this might be a mental health issue? No, of course not. Eliminating funding for research and treatment is a priority with too many politicians.

  • Art Vandelay

    “People say … where was God in all of this?” Gohmert said. “We’ve threatened high school graduation participations, if they use God’s name, they’re going to be jailed … I mean that kind of stuff. Where was God? What have we done with God? We don’t want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present.”

    Yes, of course, Louie. God was so offended that we banned him from high school commencement ceremonies that he decided to let 50 people get shot up in a Colorado movie theater.

    Fuck you.

    • petejohn

      So let me get this straight…

      Zimmerman goes on Hannity and argues God had a plan for him, which presumably means killing a kid packing serious heat in the form of a bag of Skittles.

      Then this Gohmert fellow argues we kicked God out and so he wasn’t there to protect anyone in the movie theater.

      So which is it? Is god a shield or a sword? Does he protect or does he have people killed? And if he does both in different situations, how can we have any clue about which he’s doing at that particular moment?

      I’d like to hear some Christian somewhere answer this. I’ll be waiting. Considering that it’s a religion devoted to making shit up and then saying “Jesus!” I’ll not hold my breath…

      • http://www.dayv.net David

        Of course, it means both. Just which ever happens to be the more convenient explanation at the time. Their god is supposed to be all knowing and all powerful, so sometimes he wants you to kill a kid walking from from a convenience store, sometimes he wants you to commit genocide in his name. And though I haven’t read any official reports on the shooter’s motivations, he, too, could use the old standby that he was eliminating agents of Satan.

  • MichaelD

    See I’m not really convinced a dark smoke filled movie theater full of armed people would have solved anything. Also returning fire hardly seems like the christian response. What ever happened to turn the other cheek?

    • Condit

      This is the one that gets me. If the entire audience was packing, there’s a good chance the response to the first person to pull a gun in defense wouldn’t be “Thank Jeebus! We’re saved!” but would instead be something along the lines of “Oh shit! Second gunman!”

      Which is all well and good if you think bringing a little piece of the Wild West back to your local theater is a good thing, but I’d like to think we’ve grown up as a society at least a little bit in the last 200 years.

      • Ray

        I’ve been saying this in comments on other blogs. If there had been other gunmen in the crowd the number of dead would probably been much, much higher.

        • anteprepro

          No, you just don’t understand Sophisticated Gunology. The people in the crowd that should’ve had a gun would be perfectly rational, moral agents with no potential for misinterpreting the situation or accidentally harming anyone aside from the bad gun user. This is why guns solve every problem (that is also caused by guns). Ban guns from a movie theater, and only criminals have guns in a movie theater. Wouldn’t it be much better if everyone had a gun, and were justified to shoot at whatever dangerous, evil person dared to pull out a gun? That’s a recipe for a utopia that you gunophobes are just too frightened to understand.

          • kyoseki

            IIRC there were armed people in the crowd at the Gabby Giffords shooting in Arizona (because, well, Arizona), and neither scenario materialized. The CCW holders did not magically stop the shooting with a single bullet, but neither did it turn into a free for all with dozens of people shooting each other.

            The most common scenario is, as usual, somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, in this particular case, I’d lay money that anyone in the theater who was actually carrying a handgun would have been hiding and running for the door like everyone else.

  • Paul Hunter

    We struggle to understand because Hate is Irrational. We can’t fix crazy so instead just expect every far left or far right crackpot to use this as a reason to try to impose their “fix” on all of society to the detriment to all of us.

  • baal

    Dear Christians who are reading this post today, are you willing to be part of a movement that thinks like Rep. Gohmert?

    While this is an unusual case, this kind of response where thing the xtians don’t like is tied to an atrocity or disaster somewhere else is something we see entirely too often from the ostensible leaders of the various christian faiths.

  • petejohn

    John Adams also signed a treaty with the words “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”

    Ben Franklin spoke of virtue, not religion, and they aren’t the same thing. And Franklin was about as close to an atheist as one could get in the 18th century without actually being one.

    DEAR CHRISTIAN RIGHT WINGERS: IF YOU’RE GOING TO CITE HISTORY, KNOW WHAT IN THE HELL YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT!

    • petejohn

      Also… Adams was a fairly religious guy and I can fully believe him saying something to the effect of “the constitution is for moral and religious people.”

      But that means that the Constitution could also be for moral and Buddhist people. Or moral and Jain people. Or moral and Hindu people. All of whom are moral and religious but believe in a very different sort of god to the Judeo-Christian god. And given that the Constitution guarantees there shall be no officially-established state religion, moral non-believers are perfectly welcome too.

      So, Mr. Gohmert, your argument is no closer to convincing me that Christianity and Judeo-Christianess is so integral to the fabric of our nation than you were before you began to speak.

    • Mark

      petejohn,

      As far as the beliefs and intents of the founding fathers, you would probably find this video interesting:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU24fJ4NQxo&

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs” and questioned why nobody else in the theater had a gun to take down the shooter.

    Because guns hadn’t been INVENTED yet when jesus was around, so everyone was stuck in the bronze-age where you wanted them to be?

    There’s never a legionary around when you need one, it’s true.

  • kyoseki

    I still can’t reconcile the idea of self defense, particularly lethal self defense, with Christian values.

    I mean, seriously, what’s the logic here? “I believe that upon my death I will enter a world of complete and total bliss and I will shoot any bastard who tries to send me there one minute early” ?

    How does this make the least bit of sense?

    • anteprepro

      They also claim to believe that are sins are equally serious, and yet treat homosexuality as horrific, and seem to have no problem with people receiving life or death sentences for murder while others get no punishment for working on the Sabbath and just get a firm talking to for disrespecting their parents.

      They also claim to believe that all of their sins are absolved if they believe in Jesus, and yet still claim that belief in Jesus is an indicator that you behave morally and that Christianity is offers the ultimate in moral codes, despite providing a “get out of moral behavior free” card.

      They claim to believe that their loved ones will live on in bliss in Heaven forever, and yet they mourn their loved ones like they know they will never see them again.

      They claim to believe in marriage, yet have pre-marital sex, affairs, and divorces just as much as anyone else.

      In other words, they claim to believe in a lot of things. That’s never stopped them from believing and doing contradictory things before.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-crime-murders-with-firearms

    One look at the data on American firearm violence, when compared to less religous/more liberal first world countries like western Europe or Canada, proves beyond a reasonable doubt that everything this man said originated in his ass.

  • believeinme2

    Remember… religious people will believe anything. They have to!

  • John Horstman

    Hmm, I’m not empathizing with the victims (nor their surviving loved ones, for those whom died), mainly because I see no sense in forming emotional bonds with strangers on the basis of the nation-state in which they happen to reside (I have deconstructed my nationalistic socialization to the point that this would be a conscious choice, and not an impulsive reaction, and I never had a sense of shared culture with mainstream, normative US culture to begin with), and forging empathetic, emotional bonds with EVERY victim of tragedy in the world would be paralytic if not suicide-inducing. Basically, I feel no more attachment to the Colorado shooting than I do to this one (where, somehow, no one died – I just picked it as the most recent example from Gaza): http://www.alresalah.ps/en/index.php?act=post&id=910

    I would very much like a world where neither of them, nor the countless others taking place every day, occurred, and I try to act in accordance with that wish. I just can’t form personal emotional connection to such events, and I view nationalism as a shitty basis for empathy. Such a practice is ethnocentric if not downright xenophobic. In no way do I mean to fault those who DO respond to such events with empathy; I view this as a function of problematic socialization of which most people aren’t even aware. What I DO intend is to highlight the inconsistencies in emotional responses to similar or near-identical events in different geographic locations in order to make people aware of socialization processes I view as problematic, perhaps convincing others to be more critically self-reflexive and question the ways we construct, view, and relate to ourselves and others. I found an article in response that I think does a pretty good job of connecting the dots with respect to gun violence here in USA: http://www.examiner.com/article/u-s-gun-violence-and-the-hypocrisy-of-shock


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