It’s telling that amidst acts of shared tragedy and suffering, the very first thing some think to do is lash out in indulgent attention-seeking bouts of rant.
In the wake of the admittedly horrific shooting in Colorado this weekend (in brief, a 24 year-old grad student killing a dozen, injuring more during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises), it’s touching that the best and brightest of God’s flock decided to buckle down and offer words of solace and reflection, in a genuine show of temperance and community, regardless of what creed of race or religion one may individually belong to.
Oh no, wait, they actually did the complete opposite of that.
If it wasn’t evangelical minister and megachurch founder Rick Warren putting the proper blame where it belongs-that damn animal kingdom*:
When students are taught they’re no different from animals, they act like it.
It was Texas GOP Representative Louie Gohmert assuring us that a dozen murders at the hands of a disturbed man is just what’s to be expected when you turn away from God and forget to brush your teeth after dinner:
You know, when people say, where was God in all of this? Well, you know, we don’t let… in fact we’ve threatened high school graduation participants that if they use God’s name that they’re going to be jailed, we had a principal of a school, and a superintendent or a coach down in Florida that were threatened with jail because they said the blessing at a voluntary off campus dinner. I mean, that kind of stuff… where is God? Where, where? What have we done with God? We told him that we don’t want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present.
Leaving aside nothing he said was true, let’s not forget Jerry Newcombe of the American Family Association reminding us during a radio show of their wonderful teachings of salvation and purity by practically gloating over the eternal damnation of the non-christian victims of the shooting:
If a Christian dies early, if a Christian dies young, it seems tragic, but really it is not tragic because they are going to a wonderful place … on the other hand, if a person doesn’t know Jesus Christ … if they knowingly rejected Jesus Christ, then, basically, they are going to a terrible place.
What sterling examples of godliness.
There’s a very real sense of detachment from men like Newcombe and their ilk, as they sneer down at the sinful while basking in the reflected glory of their chosen religion. Even as they preach unity and offer, let’s be fair, genuine compassion for the victims of tragedy, you can almost hear the moral scoreboard in their head ticking up as they judge the ‘sins’ of others, shaking their heads back and forth as a godless society gets its just desserts. It’s macabre to realize that in the back of their heads, we deserve everything we get coming to us for forgetting our place as God’s children, and if only we’d listen to them, we’d be saved. To them, morals aren’t a matter of fact, they’re rules to avoid pissing off an omnipotent being, and oh boy you better watch out if you don’t, or God’ll get ya good!
There’s no room for self-reflection, hope or tolerance in their worldview, it’s just a selfish scramble to prove yourself worthy in front of an arbitrary set of rules at the threat of eternal punishment. Which of course, they’re perfectly safe from. That’s really the underlying sick feeling behind the words of men like Newcombe, it’s just a humblebrag warning to fear god like he does, to suffer the sinner and sin in hopes of passing onto the next stage of the journey with a gold star. I mean, who cares about this world or the steps needed to make it a better place for everyone currently standing around anyhow? It’s just probation, if we’re to take Newcombe at his word.
What always gets me is why people invest so much trust and faith in people who couldn’t care less about this life, already mentally packing for the one after instead.
*As it turns, ole Rick swore up and down later that he hadn’t been tweeting about the Aurora shooting, instead replying to an email sent in to him about someone teaching their daughter that GASP, people can have multiple sex partners without it being unnatural. Of course, that easily begs the question of why anyone would reply to an email via twitter, or why that same anyone wouldn’t have just explained in a later tweet the context of their first one. Glad to see he was only making an incredibly moronic argument about sex, as opposed to murder, though.