Christine O’Donnell: School shootings caused by lack of Bible and prayer studies

By Sahil Kapur
Thursday, September 16, 2010 8:47 EDT
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The newest Republican nominee for US Senate has been called “nutty” by even Karl Rove – and yet another controversial statement from her past has appeared.

Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell, who routed longtime Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) in the Delaware Republican primary Tuesday night, years ago claimed that school shootings are caused by a lack of Bible and prayer studies in class.

“We took the Bible and prayer out of public schools, and now we’re having weekly shootings practically,” O’Donnell, then a Christian activist, said in August 1998 during an appearance on ABC’s “Politically Incorrect.”

She didn’t cite any sources and defended her statement when host Bill Maher and other guests scoffed. She prefaced: “My point is there are consequences to our actions, and if we as a nation tolerate sin, generations to come will reap the effects.”

O’Donnell is a fiercely pro-gun candidate who this month won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association for her Senate candidacy.

Tuesday’s victory for O’Donnell, who is widely viewed as unelectable in November, elevated tensions within the Republican establishment. It dramatically diminished the GOP’s chances of winning a seat that pollsters say would have been a virtual shoe-in if Castle were the nominee. She will now face Democratic nominee Chris Coons in November, who has emerged as the favorite.

The former Christian activist has been mocked and criticized for other remarks such as comparing masturbation and viewing pornography to adultery; and arguing that it is “spinning with words” to describe AIDS sufferers as “victims.”

O’Donnell, who is largely unknown to the public, saw her candidacy escalate after winning the endorsements of conservative firebrands Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).

Her stunning upset marks an impressive victory for Tea Party groups but has escalated speculations that the fledgling movement is hurting the Republican Party’s chances to win back power in November as Democrats sink in the polls.

The following video, of O’Donnell’s remarks, was uploaded to YouTube by NaughtButEddie.

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