Several days before Dimitrios Pagourtzis killed ten people and injured ten more at Santa Fe High School in Texas, he was videotaped dancing at the Greek Orthodox Church he and his family belonged to. Clearly, Christianity was, if not something he believed in personally, at least something he was thoroughly exposed to.
However, this fact has not deterred several conservative and religious leaders from speculating that the real reason this shooting and others like it keep happening is because there is too much secularism and not enough prayer in schools.
Erick Erickson, writing for The Maven, wrote an essay titled “Guns Aren’t the Problem. The Collapse of the Morality You Mock is the Problem.” The “morality” we are mocking, of course, is belief in god and belief in not forcing gay people straight and trans people cis.
God is not mocked and our society has been mocking him for some time. From the collapse of the family; to a culture of death that champions abortion on demand; to a growing hostility towards people of faith; to championing deviancy while normalcy is defined a deviant; to attacks on the two parent, heterosexual nuclear household; to porn culture, our society is rotten and these things happen in rotting societies.
We have determined that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or don’t even matter. We have determined that sexual expression is the height of society. We have determined that humanity and personhood are severable. Frankly, even lax European cultures have less of a culture of death than we do. We stand almost alone in the West in liberal abortion policy.
His solution? Get to church!
But the only way to turn back from the road ahead is for all of us to reclaim some level of common morality. Get to church. Get your kids to church.
You know who got to church and most likely did not have an abortion?
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins also agreed that guns were not the problem, but that forcing God on people was the solution.
Of course, some liberals don’t want to have a discussion about the underlying problem, because it would mean acknowledging the fallen nature of man. That, not stricter gun laws, is what’s keeping us from finding real solutions as a nation. We can talk about limiting access to guns, but if we’re truly concerned about violence, let’s also talk about expanding access to God. Until we’re willing to address both — the instrument and the motivation — nothing will change. A spiritually sick society that embraces violence instead of values needs God.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick argued that taking God out of schools is what led us to this point.
“We have devalued life in this country. We threw God out of school.“
As did Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who also suggested that removing school prayer was to blame for these shootings.
“You absolutely need more prayer,” Scalise told TMZ. “In fact, they’ve removed a lot of the prayer, and that’s one of the problems. You need to bring faith back.
“You know, we’ve had guns for decades, and yet you haven’t had mass shootings for decades. So something different is going on in the culture, and I think, frankly, you can look at one of the elements that’s missing that used to be there is a lot more faith.”
Except that forcing people to simply practice your religion at school and recite your prayers does not mean that they will have faith in it. Just ask all the atheists (my own mother included!) who went to Catholic school. In fact, for many of them, attending a religious school was the very genesis of their dislike for organized religion. And having faith in a religion does not actually make anyone less violent, as we know all too well from history. This is not about faith; it is about power. It is a powerful thing to be able to force your religion on someone who doesn’t want it.
Over at the Daily Wire, Matt Walsh — the hateful Christian blogger so repulsive he is even hated by other Christians — suggested that this is the most violent time in all of human history.
This is by far, without question, the most violent time in human history. And it comes on the heels of the carnage of the early to mid-20th century, which was previously the most violent time in human history. Clearly, things are not getting better. They are getting worse, and in a hurry. We have simply gotten better at ignoring it.
Sure it is… except for the Protestant Reformation, Genghis Khan and the Mongol invasions that reduced the world’s population by about 11%, the Thirty Years War… do I need to continue? If anything, there’s a significant downward trajectory in violence since the beginning of human history, and technically, it is likely that this is actually the most peaceful time in recorded human history.
Those facts, however, are of no consequence to Walsh, who requires this misinformation to scare people into believing that “secularism” has made the world a more violent place.
There is one other notable global trend over the past century: secularism. Most countries have become increasingly godless as the years have progressed. The West is seeing historic levels of atheism and secularism, with some European countries now populated mostly by unbelievers. The world has never been a nice place, but it got quite a bit meaner when we abandoned religion. That is no coincidence.
No, it did not.
The grand irony with all of this is that more secular countries are actually far less prone to violence than heavily religious ones. In the United States, the least religious states have lower homicide rates and lower child abuse rates than their counterparts.
This “believe in God or else you love MURDER” crap is not terribly convincing.
Not to mention the fact that forcing Christianity (or any religion) on people has, historically, usually been a rather violent affair.
If anything, history indicates that the more secular a society becomes, the less likely it is to be violent. However, I’m not going to go around telling religious people to stop believing in God in hopes of ending school shootings, because it’s weird to try and force your beliefs on other people in order to achieve peace. Violence is as much a personal choice as belief. My suddenly finding Jesus would not prevent the next school shooting any more than Matt Walsh or Erick Erickson or Tony Perkins suddenly becoming atheists.
For the record, Christianity and opposition to abortion did not exactly make Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park Bomber, a less violent person. They did not make Scott Roeder, who killed Dr. George Tiller, a less violent person. Christianity and devotion to heterosexual marriage did not make Benjamin Matthew Williams and James Tyler Williams, who killed Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder because they were a gay couple, less prone to violence. Christianity did not make Christian homeschooling parents Jonathan Allen and Ina Rogers less inclined to torture and waterboard their own children.
If their Christianity didn’t deter them from violence, it’s hard to imagine that our believing in it, or simply “going to church” regardless of whether or not we believe in it, or being forced to pray in school to a God we don’t believe in, would make a difference.
Perhaps these people should consider picking up the glass from their own shattered houses before commenting on ours.
(Image via Shutterstock)