Tea Party congressman blames Dark Knight shooting on atheism, points to military.

Tea Party congressman blames Dark Knight shooting on atheism, points to military. July 20, 2012

Igor Volsky has an incredible story at Think Progress.

Volsky uncovered a Texas Tea Party congressman blaming the Aurora shooting on ‘attacks on Christianity’, furthermore citing ‘unreleased’ DoD suicide statistics pointing to atheists killing themselves.



Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have expressed their sympathies for the victims in Friday morning’s shooting in Aurora, Colorado, but at least one Republican lawmaker is using the tragedy to discuss the alleged war on Christianity.

During an appearance on The Heritage Foundation’s Istook Live, Tea Party Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX), a former judge, began talking about “ongoing attacks on Christian-Judeo beliefs” when asked about Aurora shootings. Later, in the program he seemed to blame atheists for violence:

ERNEST ISTOOK (HOST): What was your experience as a judge, when you’re on the bench, this is Congressman Luie Gohmert, when you’re on the bench, what was your experience with people who had mental health issues that were involved in crimes of violence?

GOHMERT: Well, it’s always a problem and there are some people who require medication … But you know, I might mention something else that hadn’t been public yet. Most of us that follow the military, love the military know that we have had an extraordinary increase in suicide rates in the military and it’s just heartbreaking … There was a study commissioned, 6,000 personal of index profiles and what they found, and I don’t ‘know if they’ll make it public…but all of the people who have committed suicide within their two percent studied, were part of their 2 percent most atheistic members of the military. We’ve lost our faith.

*Read the rest at Think Progress.*

Frankly I have little to add right now, other than condolences to the victims and their families, and shock and disappointment towards Congressman Gohmert. I’ll be submitting FOIA shortly, that’s for damn sure. This is disgraceful.

Gohmert is an opportunist of the worst kind.


On my Facebook wall, Louis Joon quipped:

“Just come back with EU stats. More atheists, guns are illegal. 500 million population, about 300 gun deaths a year.”


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  • w00dview

    Unbelievable. Even in the midst of tragedies like this, these godbots have to make it all about them. How narcissistic and lacking in empathy can you get?

  • Woof

    He also seems to have trouble putting together a coherent sentence.

    but all of the people who have committed suicide within their two percent studied, were part of their 2 percent most atheistic members of the military.

    What does that even mean?

    • Lady Godfrey

      So you know how there is a spectrum of atheism? (work with me here – I’m athier than you, but Sgt Griffith is the athiest?) So all the people in the study, the “six thousand personality index profiles”, are from the 2% most atheistic end of the spectrum. You know that the military keeps track of just how militant each atheist in each branch is. The more atheistic you are, the higher chance of suicide.

      Does that make sense? Of course the report that was commissioned hasn’t been released and might not ever be.

      • Justin Griffith

        It’s almost certainly the Spiritual Fitness bullshit I’ve been screaming about for nearly 2 years. I’ll be submitting FOIA because that “2%” / 6,000 number is a little too specific for my tastes. There just may be some theocrats shopping around some bullshit stat trying to get them to spend even more hundreds of millions of dollars (they spent more on that unconstitutional test than they did on rape prevention / reaction DoD-wide… also since then, both rape / suicide rates are at their highest.)

      • Lady Godfrey

        Justin, I was being a smartass. I’m glad you saw the connection – if you are correct, it is horrible. Our community is to lucky to have you. Keep up the good work!

        • Justin Griffith

          right on.

  • didgen

    I am also unable to follow his reasoning, is he saying that out of the group of atheists studied, all of the suicides were atheists?

  • Lady Godfrey

    On his FB, he posted a link to a statement on his gov page about half an hour ago – it’s already gone. I guess he didn’t like the comments!

  • I’m guessing he’s “reasoning” that believers wouldn’t kill themselves, therefore if they kill themselves, they must be atheists.

    • Steve

      If they hadn’t made suicide a “sin”, believers would kill themselves all the time just to have a shortcut to heaven.

  • Bob

    I’d really like to see a source for that comment. I get what he is trying to say, that most of the suicidal soldiers were atheists, but I don’t think it’s true. I’d like to see some source to back up, or refute, his contention.

    • Justin Griffith

      Hence, I’ll be submitting FOIA all around. I’m pretty sure I already know where he’s MANGLING the ‘data’… What a piece of work (and other descriptors).

  • MOderators, please could you amend. Sorry mir volsky.

    My apologies Mr Volsky, I thought you were the republican in question I should have said Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

    A view from outside the US, Venting in 3, 2, 1…

    As a non-american observer, I could cry, I really could, at the immoral carpetbagging and fuckwittery (if thats not a verb then it should be) of this (very loosely described as) person.

    I rarely resort to ubiquitous swearing, but sometimes it’s the only words which can express my true incredulity, my true sentiments at such a dumfuck, a brainwashed bigoted narrow minded inbred indoctrinated fucking useless waste of DNA and poor excuse for a human ape, no, sorry that is an insult to apes, in fact any sentient life, poor excuse for a pile of cells that can’t help which sentient being they belong to.


    Louie Gohmert (R-TX), you are a waste of the air you breathe, a waste of the resources you use, a blight, a cancer on this planet and a disgrace, A DISGRACE to your country. You are an embarrassment to your ancestors whose’ progeny you are. You sir, are an ass of the highest order and should be served cold as an example of what a human being is not. You and your kind are a cankerous growth on the life of humanity and your country, you are a cancer, a putrescent scab on the rotting and festering wound in the flesh of America an open wound called the Tea Party.

    You sir are a disgrace and the world is laughing at you, not because you’re funny but because you are quite simply a fool of the worst kind, a fool with an imaginary god in his heart.

    America has the capacity to be the most intelligent, forward thinking, liberal and advanced nation in the world, it has the capacity to bring peace through negotiation and action, bring succour to the poor through healthcare, respite for abused women through their human rights and a model country to all around the world. Your president is attempting to do this, to drag your country kicking and screaming out of the middle ages but is thwarted at every step of the way by people like you , petty, small minded, faith addled Luddite.

    If, in the unlikely event you do meet your maker, be sure to ask him for a refund because he made you with a piece missing, your brain.

    • F

      America has the capacity to be the most intelligent, forward thinking, liberal and advanced nation in the world, it has the capacity to bring peace through negotiation and action, bring succour to the poor through healthcare, respite for abused women through their human rights and a model country to all around the world.

      We have the patents on that, we just gave up on any actual innovation and bringing products to market.

      • DigitalAtheist

        heh… after ya patent, ya don’t really have to produce… just sell the licence to others and collect royalties. 😉

  • Chris

    Gohmert is also one of the co-signers of Bachmann’s crazy new letter demanding a congressional inquiry into prominent muslims and americans of mid-eastern descent in american government such as Huma Abedin. Nut job.

  • I’ve been saying for sometime (though few have heard) that increasing arm-twisting, extremist evangelism in the military has shown an increasing growth right along that of the suicide rate (and the rape rate… when it comes out of the closet). The former appears due to cognitive dissonance: When someone is stressed to the max, and another tries to tell him he’s going to burn in hell for all eternity unless he comes to Jesus, and neither Jesus nor God make any sense in the day to day reality being faced, there are two military choices: go bonkers or go bonkers. That is, you do that come to Jesus thing, to get the idiots off your back, because stress has to be cut somewhere, or you don’t even bother. You cut the pain, put a dead stop to it, no matter what it takes. When the military decided to make chaplains “counselors” for individuals dealing with stress, they added fuel to the fire. BTW, I’m a reasonably recent veteran.

  • Kelly

    I hope this idiot goes to show what lunatics we have running things in this country. Seriously. Talk about mental health problems! This guy is below any sort of moral standard we should be aspiring to in this country. To bring up your own back-asswards political agenda in the face on one of the biggest tragedies we’ve seen in a long while shows a serious lack of humanity. The members of the Tea Party are so far out of touch with reality as to be terrifying because they actually have power, and that power was given to them by people who go in for this christian vs. everyone else bullshit. To think that these people actually exist in America, waving their bibles and confederate flags, is fucking embarrassing. There was a shooting rampage at a theater full of people, dude. No one wants to hear you bashing atheists, muslims, or anyone else. In the face of a crisis, no one cares how holier than thou you are, dude.

  • PickledMutt

    Be very interesting to hear what he says if/when it ends up being an extremist Christian who purportrated (sp?) this senseless killing.

    My sympathies go out to all the families of those that died and injured in this ridiculously nonsensensical killing.

    I won’t pray for you, or for their souls but I hope you find peace someday soon and can come to terms with this horrible act.

    • He just might have pointed the finger at atheists because he, himself, suspected a Christian Crusader type and wanted to jump on the brainwashing team before Tea Baggers could know the truth and get offended. They’ll stick with the first story and consider any connection with Xtianity a mere conspiracy theory put out by radical atheists. That’s propaganda for you.

      As for prayers, I felt deeply disgusted and offended with Pres. Obama’s remarks, where they included a call for all Americans to pray. Srsly, Mr. Obama? WTF!!!

      • P.S. Reminds me of that saying, something about prayer being a good way to feel like you’re doing something when you’re actually doing nothing. Better than wasted time and effort on prayers, we should be sending real cash money to help with medical costs and funeral arrangements. Srsly.

    • Claire

      The shooter was RAISED in a christian home… being from that area myself I think the “idiot” was ass-covering… knowingly. It has always boggled my mind that so many military are super religious… it totally makes sense once you know they have to access foodbanks because they are paid so little… only deluded people would work for token wages and put their life on the line for rich folks who never send their own… Sad.

  • Don McLaughlin

    I don’t believe in the Christian god, or any other gods for that matter, so I guess that makes me an atheist.However, I think that it is absolute nonsense that those who think like me are in anyway responsible for this shooting or any others.

    There may well be some who don’t believe in the Christian god who have committed such acts, but there are also a cases where those accused such attacks identify themselves as Christians. Timothy McVeigh, for example, was raised Roman Catholic and he and his father attended Mass regularly. In a 1996 interview, McVeigh professed belief in God. In another case, the man responsible for the attack in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, describes himself, on his Facebook profile, as a Christian although he is critical of the Catholic and Protestant churches.

    So, it would seem that there is more going on here than people choosing not to believe in gods.