Friday, December 28, 2012

Blaming the Atheists for Mass Shootings

Chris Stedman, Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University.


A number of influential political and religious public figures have used this heartbreaking massacre as an opportunity to blame or marginalize nonreligious people, and to decry religious pluralism and the separation of church and state. Shortly after the shooting, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said: “When you have an anti-religious, secular bureaucracy… seeking to drive God out of public life, something fills the vacuum.” Mike Huckabee claimed the shooting happened because America has “systematically removed God” from public schools.” James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, had this to say: “Millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant… Believe me, that is going to have consequences … I think we have turned our back on the scripture and on God almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us.” Bryan Fischer, spokesperson for the American Family Association, said that God could have protected the victims of this massacre but didn’t because “God is not going to go where he is not wanted.” In other words: if we want to ensure that students are safe in their schools, we’ll need to incorporate Christian theology into public schools’ curriculum.
You know what this is? It's just more of the deflection game. Most of the people who blame godlessness for the frequency of mass shootings are pro-gun folks who, like Wayne La Pierre, desperately want to deflect attention from the first real problem, gun availability to unfit people.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. Those statements (the ones made by the religious fanatics) could be interpreted as an incitement of violence, punishable by law. I doubt that such would be classified as "protected" speech.

  2. this is the 1st i've heard of atheists clinging to their guns. guns and religion are intertwined-to our peril!
    tom webber

  3. The people who are most pro-gun want to blame the people who are the most anti-gun for gun violence. Typcial.

    1. Since the percentage of Americans who identify as atheists is small, it's hard to draw a valid conclusion about what attitudes atheists, as a group, hold, other than denying the existence of God. Adding one new person to the group will cause wild swings in the data.

  4. I don't see anyone offering proof or evidence that these mass murderers were not atheists.

    orlin sellers

  5. What this shows is that there are control freaks in every group. Attempts to shove one version of Christianity into schools is no different from attempts to restrict or ban guns.