Key figures in the Radical Right segment of the Republican party have wasted no time in offering the vilest, most offensive rationales to why the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT happened.
Mike Huckabee and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer both blamed the school shooting on public schools adhering to the separation of church and state, saying God let the massacre happen because we’ve moved away from things like compulsory prayer. I find this a lame excuse, realizing most theologians should have learned in their studies that the Great Reformer, Martin Luther, was a firm believer in separation of church and state and instituted this separation in Germany in the early years of the Christian church. His philosophy was adopted by the writers of the US Constitution when Thomas Jefferson realized the obstacles of allowing a specific religion in government and public programs. So why do some Christians keep trying to get their “say” in government policy and the classroom!!
Echoing Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in the wake of 9/11, Focus On The Family’s James Dobson, said God has “allowed judgments to fall on us” because the nation has turned its back on him by accepting things like abortion and gay marriage. Such profound self-righteousness and judging of others is unfathomable. How will Christians ever be able to influence someone to be Christian when they’re judging them? Isn’t this cherry-picking sins? Why wouldn’t the sins of greed, corruption and ignoring the needs of those economically disadvantaged be named? After all, Jesus addresses the needs of the hungry, sick and outcasts repeatedly in the Bible and never spoke about abortion and homosexuality.
And Tea Party Nation blamed teachers and teacher unions for the school shootings, calling teachers “radicals in the classrooms”, accusing them of being a part of a liberal plot to “destroy the family” and create a society that coddled the shooter. This is particularly outrageous considering the inspiring heroics of Sandy hook Elementary teachers, most of them gave their lives to protect their students. As a parent of a public school teacher whose career has been dedicated to teaching and sincerely caring about the welfare and success of her special need teen students, I am most offended by the tea party’s disrespectful attack on teachers.
Something needs to be done about such extremists who are offending the memories of the deceased as well as their families in an effort to further their sick and anger-filled agenda. These who call themselves Christian seem to have a God different than the God I know. My God would not show contempt and condemnation for the sins of others by payback with death of beautiful children and compassionate school staff. In the words of a favorite Sunday school song “How do I know? The Bible tells me so!”
Using religion to justify hate is wrong. John 2:9-11 tells us “He that says he is in light and hates his brother walks in darkness and knows not where he goes. He that loves his brother walks always in light.”