Leaders of Christian Right Respond to Newtown Massacre, Fail to Mention Guns
Bill Berkowitz printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 10:41:40 AM EST
Christian Right leaders continue to insist that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which took the lives of 26 people, including 20 six and seven-year-old children, happened because Americans have turned their backs on God.

The list of prominent Religious Right leaders spewing this unholy venom now includes Dr. James Dobson, the founder and former head of Focus on the Family, Bryan Fischer, a popular  American Family Association talk-show host, and Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of the tax-exempt Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

These men are bound and determined to look every which way for reasons for the massacre - abortion, same-sex marriage, video games - except at one  staring them in their faces; the uncontrolled and widespread accessibility of guns in this country.

Dr. James Dobson, the founder, and former head of the Colorado-based Focus on the Family, and still one of the most influential Religious Right leaders, recently commented: "Our country really does seem in complete disarray. I'm not talking politically, I'm not talking about the result of the November sixth election; I am saying that something has gone wrong in America and that we have turned our back on God."


Speaking to listeners of his "Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk" program, Dobson added: "I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn't exist, or he's irrelevant to me and we have killed 54 million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition. Believe me, that is going to have consequences, too.


"And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the scripture and on God almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that's what's going on."

Bryan Fischer, who has more than earned the reputation as the American family Association's top in-house mudslinger said the victims at Sandy Hook had lost God's protection because prayer has been prohibited from the public school system.

"The question is going to come up, where was God?," Fischer said. "I thought God cared about the little children. God protects the little children. Where was God when all this went down. Here's the bottom line, God is not going to go where he is not wanted. "Now we have spent since 1962 -- we're 50 years into this now--we have spent 50 years telling God to get lost, telling God we do not want you in our schools, we don't want to pray to you in our schools, we do not want to pray to your before football games, we don't want to pray to you at graduations, we don't want anybody talking about you in a graduation speech...

"In 1962 we kicked prayer out of the schools. In 1963 we kicked God's word out of ours schools. In 1980 we kicked the Ten Commandments out of our schools. We've kicked God out of our public school system. And I think God would say to us, 'Hey, I'll be glad to protect your children, but you've got to invite me back into your world first. I'm not going to go where I'm not wanted. I am a gentlemen."


Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham and the man who would like to be seen as America's Preacher, has proved that it's possible to write a response to the Newtown Massacre and not mention the word gun at least once. His response to the Newtown Massacre is a short essay titled "Connecticut Shootings: Why Shock and Awe?" 



Graham pointed out that "God punished Cain for taking innocent life but the violent shedding of blood has continued for centuries. Why?"
"The Bible," he noted, "answers this question with certainty," Graham cites Jeremiah 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." He adds: "In fact, the Bible gives clear testimony to just how evil the human race became." `The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord "was grieved in His heart" (Gen. 6:5-6)."



"Where do we go from here?," Graham wrote.

"We might start by looking at what we watch and listen to." 

Graham takes a potshot at President Obama. "For example, South Korean rapper sensation Psy, who has gained worldwide acclaim by singing that Americans should be killed `slowly and painfully,' including, `daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers' was featured last weekend at `Christmas in Washington,' a charity concert attended by President Obama. Parents and children are feeding on entertainment that portrays violence whether through lewd television programs, violent movies, offensive music, vulgar video games and anything- goes Internet gaming sites."


Finally, this past Sunday, The Rev. Sam Morris warned his Tennessee flock at Old Paths Baptist Church that "We get all up in arms about 20 children being shot in a day care but we don't give one good-glory rip about the 4,000 that were removed violently from the wombs of their mothers [in abortion procedures] the same day."



"I believe they use children and Christmas and all that to pull on our heart strings about gun control. That's what it's all about."



As the Huffington Post's Meredith Bennett-Smith reported, "Morris went on to criticize public schools, which he said teach children about evolution, sex and `how to be a homo.'"



One thing can be said with near certainty; Columns, talk-show observations and written commentaries by Dobson, Graham, Fischer and Morris are not providing any relief or comfort to the families of the victims.




Display:
Bill, your last paragraph is very important. Both sides of the political or religious spectrum, and good people of all kinds of special interests have been deeply touched by this senseless violence. A tragic event like this brings out my desire to fix the problem. This sorrow for a community and many families personally touched by senseless violence and grief is beyond repair. There is no fix - families my have another child, but nothing can be done to repair the loss of a loved child. No amount of revenge, or financial compensation brings healing - by the grace of God, the miracle of human resilience, the support of family and friends, with the passing of time most will endure and bear their sorrow, continue on with their life, and forever feel that empty place where their memory of grief remains. It is difficult to support from a distance - but it is very easy to make the grief that much harder to bear. Perhaps the best lesson clergy could take from this great suffering in Newtown, would be that there are people in nearly every family and neighborhood who grieve and often suffer in silence. A listening ear, a patient cup of coffee, a hug or shared tear, the giving of your time in a busy schedule might just lighten the load for some family member or neighbor. Neither tougher laws, nor bigger jails will bring safety to the vulnerable of society. Compassion - sharing the good and bad of life - and listening to those to afraid or beaten/weighed down with grief/fear/worry/poverty/illness or loneliness might be a simple start to making our family, neighborhood, community, nation and world a safer, happier place to life.

by chaplain on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:22:53 PM EST

The Religious Right just sees this as another attempt to grandstand for its worldview, no matter how hurtful it is.

by khughes1963 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 at 09:30:33 PM EST

The NRA and the fundamentalist Christian Right are attempting to tag Hollywood as the complete perpetrator of the evils in America.

Yet, we can be sure that thousands, if not millions, of NRA members, as well as those in the Christian Right and evangelical churches, have under their Christmas trees, as I write, video games and movies that proliferate the virtual pursuit of murder in the minds of children, teens, and adults.  In the homes of Christians throughout America over the next 24 to 48 hours and infinately beyond, human and spiritual dignity will be virtually slaughtered repeatedly on a video screen using guns, bombs, and other killing devices.  In addition, tens of thousands of guns will be given as "Christ-mas" gifts, on what should be a holy day of worship and gratefullness in the Christian home.  All of the material things given will be given under the guise of American "freedoms" and "rights".

Since the Newtown massacre, this verse from 1 Corinthians 8:9 has played over and over in my mind:

"Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak." (NIV)

I believe Adam Lanza's mother would see her error in judgment of promoting weapons use, and likely video games, too, in her house were she still alive today.

And for those of us remaining, there needs to be a deep query, first to ourselves and then to God, examining our fervor for weapons rights and possession, as well as obcession with virtual violence.  Such selfishness, ignoring the impact of our own desires on others, is in violation of the scripture cited above.  

When situations like Newtown's massacre arise, there is a strong tendency for the Christian Right and evangelicals to talk more about "defending" parts of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights, and less about how those who follow Christ have caused another to stumble.  Essentially, such concern for the right to "things" and "possessions" is usurping the scriptural commandment of love we should have for our neighbors.

What we have done to the least of these (the children and teachers at Newtown), we have done to Christ.

by Tuf on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:03:32 AM EST



WWW Talk To Action


Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (21 comments)
Religious Freedom is Not Just for Christian Conservatives
Religious freedom is one of the central issues of our time. Arguably, it a central issue in any time, and every time, at least......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Dallas and its Historic Connection to the Religious Right
There has been a recent rash of demonstrations outside of the famous First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.  The current pastor appears to be......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Fr. Frank Pavone Claims the 2016 Coughie Award!
Yes, folks it's time for the presentation of the annual Coughlin Award. As always, the competition was fierce. But this year, the gold......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)
Christmas Broadcasting Traditions
It is time to once again note the preposterous-but-malevolent claims that there is a War on Christmas. The annual revival of this repulsive anti-Semitic......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Steve Bannon: Alt-Right Anti-Catholic or Political Opportunist?
In March 2016 Trump campaign strategist and CEO Steve Bannon made a comment that could be construed as being blatantly anti-Catholic. He accused the......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
How The Election of Trump Made My Life Easier
I might be one of a select few who didn't vote for Donald but would have to say Trump's election made my life easier...I......
By wilkyjr (10 comments)
The Bakke Plot To "Infiltrate" Secular Institutions
Back in 2012-2014 I did a lot of writing and research on The Gathering, the yearly meeting of elite evangelical right philanthropists who collectively......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
The Term "Alt-Right" is All Right
There is a misguided effort underway to not use the term "alt-right."  The effort, currently led by the Center for American Progress, claims that......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Getting the Low Down on Dominionism
A refresher on dominionism will probably come in handy over the next little while. -- FC I am pleased to report that the task......
By Frederick Clarkson (10 comments)
The New Kochs: Anthology of DeVos Support, Funding of School Privatization and Religious Right
This post from 2-14 will be a helpful resource in the days ahead. -- FC Mother Jones' January/February issue includes an article titled "Meet......
By Rachel Tabachnick (1 comment)
Strategy for Privatizing Public Schools Spelled out by Dick DeVos in 2002 Heritage Foundation Speech
This post about the long term strategy for privatizing the public schools takes on fresh importance in light of the nomination of Betsy DeVos......
By Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
Did God Engineer Trump's Win?
Political analysts have postulated a number of theories to explain the victory of Donald J. Trump in the presidential election: Hillary Clinton failed to......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)

Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (4 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (3 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (0 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (1 comment)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (11 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.