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December 18, 2012 2

Christian Conservatives Blame Elementary School Massacre On Lack Of Religion In Schools

In the wake of the shoot­ing of 20 young chil­dren and six adults at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­town, Con­necti­cut, peo­ple are search­ing for answers about how and why this tragedy hap­pened. Some promi­nent Chris­t­ian con­ser­v­a­tives are blam­ing the mas­sacre on the lack of reli­gion in schools and the sec­u­lar­iza­tion of Amer­ica more generally.

In an appear­ance on Fox News for­mer Arkansas Gov­er­nor Mike Huck­abee said, “We ask why there’s vio­lence in our schools, but we have sys­tem­at­i­cally removed God from our schools. Should we be so sur­prised that schools would become a place of car­nage?”  He later clar­i­fied that he did not think that prayer in school could have directly pre­vented the shooting.

Bryan Fis­cher, a spokesper­son for the Amer­i­can Fam­ily Asso­ci­a­tion, a non-profit that pro­motes con­ser­v­a­tive fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­t­ian val­ues, echoed Gov­er­nor Huckabee’s sen­ti­ments.  He said, “Here’s the bot­tom line: God is not gonna go where he’s not wanted…We have spent 50 years telling God to get lost, telling God, we do not want you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you before foot­ball games, we don’t want to pray to you at grad­u­a­tion, we don’t want any­one talk­ing about you in a grad­u­a­tion speech. We’ve kicked God out of our pub­lic school sys­tem. And I think God would say to us, ‘Hey I’ll be glad to pro­tect your chil­dren, but you’ve gotta invite me back into your world first. I’m not gonna go where I’m not wanted. I am a gentleman.’” 

David Brody of the Chris­t­ian Broad­cast­ing Net­work (CBN) wrote an online col­umn defend­ing Huck­abee and Fis­cher. Brody asserted, “Guess what folks? Huck­abee and Fis­cher are not alone. There are mil­lions of evan­gel­i­cals who believe the same thing. This is not heart­less. It’s based on the bib­li­cal prin­ci­ple of reap­ing and sow­ing. Not that these lit­tle chil­dren sowed any­thing but are our schools left unpro­tected because of the past actions of our nation when it comes to remov­ing God from our pub­lic schools? The con­ver­sa­tion is now all about ban­ning guns but should the con­ver­sa­tion really be about allow­ing God back into pub­lic schools?”  Joseph Far­rah, the edi­tor of World Net Daily, and William J. Mur­ray, the Head of the Reli­gious Free­dom Net­work, made sim­i­lar state­ments blam­ing the shoot­ings on the lack of reli­gion in schools.

For­mer head of Focus on the Fam­ily James Dob­son, cit­ing sta­tis­tics on the num­ber of abor­tions in Amer­ica and the accep­tance of same sex mar­riage, said on his radio show, “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 judg­ment to fall upon us.  I think that’s what’s going on.”  Oper­a­tion Save Amer­ica, an anti-abortion group that also opposes homo­sex­u­al­ity, sim­i­larly claimed that “we are los­ing our kids because we are ignor­ing God’s Law.”

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