Men of God Blame Lanza’s Invisible Atheism, Crow About Being Action Movie Heroes

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, December 27, 2012 10:33 EDT
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Frank Schaeffer has written an angry piece denouncing the inevitable round of Christian leaders who claim that it was secularism and atheism that caused the Sandy Hook shooting. (Anything but chipping away at gun profits, remember.) It’s a wonderland of fantastical thinking, that’s for sure.

Dobson commented while speaking to listeners of his Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk program: “I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist… 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 [this Newtown massacre] judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what’s going on.”

Dobson is the biggest name. Bryan Fischer also went there, but his entire schtick is saying out loud what the Christian right merely says in private, so no surprise. But the rest of the examples are just variations on a theme, including the Washington Post giving Franklin Graham the space to say basically what Dobson was saying, but in more oblique terms, to preserve plausible deniability. (Because bearing false witness is a Christian value now.)

So, this presents an interesting hypothesis, that Adam Lanza wasn’t properly exposed to Christianity and thus shot up a school. They simply assume that Lanza was unchurched, but I can tell you right now they didn’t do their research.

But I did:

At Saint Rose of Lima Roman Catholic church, Jennifer Waters, who at 6 is the same age as many of the victims and attends a different school, came to Mass on Sunday in Newtown with a lot of questions.

“The little children – are they with the angels?” she asked her mother while fiddling with a small plastic figurine on a pew near the back of the church. “Are they going to live with the angels?”

Her mother, Joan, 45, assured her they were, then put a finger to her daughter’s lips, urging her to be quiet.

An overflow crowd of more than 800 people attended the 9 a.m. service at the church, where eight children will be buried later this week. The gunman, Adam Lanza, and his mother also attended church here. Spokesman Brian Wallace said the diocese has yet to be asked to provide funerals for either.

Emphasis mine.  The church obviously bears no more blame for this than the fact that we don’t have teachers preach evangelical Christianity in lieu of teaching, say, biology.  Sadly, the fact that they’re a setting to this story is hardly unknown in the area, which is probably why they received a bomb threat. Here is a picture of the evacuation of the church:

The point of this being that there’s no excuse for simply not bothering to look up Adam Lanza’s actual faith history before going off half-cocked in claiming that these things happen because Christianity isn’t being unconstitutionally pushed on the nonbelievers.

By the way, I found this minister, who uses his pulpit to metaphorically brag about his giant metaphorical penis, particularly amusing:

Then Old Paths Baptist Church Pastor Sam Morris (of Tennessee) said: “Why do you still send your kids to the governmental schools?” the pastor asked the congregation. “What’s behind this shooting that we saw on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Connecticut and the other one’s like it? What’s going on. Well, number one, deception… I got news for you, when you kicked God out of schools, you’re going to be judged for that. He added: “They think homeschoolers are a bunch of crazies, man. But I’m going to tell you something, I’ve never seen a police officer or a medal detector at a home school. Never. Amen. Now, there’s plenty of guns at my home school. Amen. I guarantee you we’re not going to have a mass shooting at any of the schools that are represented in this building today. I guarantee you, if there is a shooting, it won’t last very long. Amen. I guarantee you there’s at least six or seven guns in this place right now. Amen.“So, here you are, you’re an animal and you’re a god! So, what are we going to teach you about in school? Well, we can teach you about sex, we can teach you how to rebel to you parents, we can teach you how to be a homo!”

Not a lot about the peace-and-love Jesus that gets dusted off and brought out for a few minutes for Christmas at this church. There shall be no breaks in the pastor railing at you about his incredibly serious anxious masculinity issues. Maybe they should relabel it the church of No Homo.

But I do love that he claims that simply by having a lot of guns, he is 100% guaranteed of getting the drop on a madman shooting up a crowd. Screw the loaves and fishes nonsense; the congregation at Old Paths Baptist Church gets to skip seeing Django Unchained to hear their pastor explain how he’s a real life (albeit untested) action movie hero. After all, like in the action movies, Pastor Morris has unerring aim and the bad guy, while extremely sharp at hitting the extras without lines, suddenly can’t hit the broad side of a barn when aiming at Pastor Morris, who for our purposes will be played by Daniel Craig in a priest’s collar. (Yes, I know Morris is Baptist, but this is real life becoming a Hollywood movie, and it helps to have the collar so the audience knows you’re a Man of God.) While the spray of bullets that mowed down a roomful of 6-year-olds in a couple of minutes miraculously hits everything but Our Hero, he calmly unholsters his gun at lightening speed and pops off a shot right between the shooter’s eyes. And the crowd bursts into applause!

It would totally go down that way, of course. Anyone who doubts that and says things like, “Wouldn’t the shooter just kill you while you’re reaching for your gun?” is probably a communist liberal who faked their birth certificate and has homo-sex in their bedroom instead of surreptitiously at public restrooms like a proper Man of God.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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