In the wake of the racially-motivated mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appeared on Fox & Friends where he suggested that gun violence was the result of a lack of devotion to God.
“As long as we continue to only praise God and look at God on a Sunday morning and kick him out of the town square at our schools the other six days of the week, what do we expect?” Patrick said.
“What do we expect? There’s no excuse for this. We condemn it totally, but as a nation, we have to look at this and leave all of the politics out of it," he added.
In a column published on Monday at the Christian magazine The Relevant, writer Matthew Martin-Ellis took umbrage with the claim that God was using mass shootings to punish the United States.
“The disturbing implication of Patrick’s statement is that God is somehow sending, allowing, or refraining from stopping these mass shootings as a way of hitting back for the lack of prayer in schools,” Martin-Ellis wrote.
“It is also logically indefensible—it just doesn’t make sense. The very premise is flawed, not least of all because, generally speaking, economically advanced and democratically focused nations tend not to include prayer in their schools (the United Kingdom being, on paper, an exception, but in practice, non-practicing),” he added. “Yet while the United States is not the only country to exclude prayer from its curriculum, it is the only western country with so many mass shootings.”
In addition to blaming mass shootings on a lack of prayer, Patrick has also claimed that the video game industry “teaches young people to kill.”