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December 14, 2012 4:59 PM “Sitting Ducks” and a God On Strike

By Ed Kilgore

I’m not going to spend much time reading, much less writing about, idiotic or infuriating reactions—particular on Twitter, where uninhibited stupidity is never far away—to the Connecticut massacre. But one infuriating idiot—our old friend Brian Fischer of the American Family Association—distinguished himself from the get-go with a mocking comment about schools being “gun-free zones” that made children “sitting ducks.” This earned Fischer a Jehovian denunciation from that most articulate denouncer, Charles Pierce, which I won’t quote here (beyond his initial description of Fischer as “the most bloodthirsty schmuck of the year”)because this is a family-friendly blog—but you should read it.

Fischer, though, wasn’t through: he followed up with a tweet attributing the killings to a protest by Almighty God against liberalism:

We’ve spent 50 years kicking God out of our public schools, then wonder why he’s not around when we need him.

This, you may recall, echoes the sentiments expressed by that great Christian statesman Louie Gohmert after the Aurora massacre, which led me to label him a “blasphemer.”

Fischer’s taunt may be even worse. I don’t know what sort of “Christian” thinks God would go on strike in a particular locale because public policy won’t permit one set of believers to impose their religious rituals on everyone else. But it displays a theological understanding as primitive as Fischer’s politics.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • T on December 14, 2012 5:05 PM:

    Shootings like this (and endless other examples) do provide evidence on the question of whether a benevolent God exists that has anything to do with human's existence.

  • latts on December 14, 2012 5:06 PM:

    As another blog commenter said, maybe more people would have faith in God if His self-appointed spokespeople weren't so horrible.

  • Anonymous on December 14, 2012 5:35 PM:

    Shootings like this (and endless other examples) do provide evidence on the question of whether a benevolent God exists that has anything to do with human's existence.

    The classic question of "If God exists, why does He allow such evils in the world?"

    To which God might say, "Me? Why do you allow such evils in the world?" Why, indeed.

  • c u n d gulag on December 14, 2012 5:36 PM:

    /Brian Fischer,
    In the version of the Bible that I read decades ago, I think I remember that Jesus counciled people to "Turn the other cheek," not "RELOAD!!!"

    And, if your God is missing from the schools, it might be because the Constitution allows religion to be taught at home all that anyone can find, but that the state ought not to teach any one religion over any others. In the meantime, your children are free to pray whenever and wherever they want to - just not as an organization sponsored by the schools.

    You want Theocracy?
    Go to Iran and other countries in the Middle East.
    Wrong flavor, I know.
    But, the idea's the same.

    And that idea, ain't "American!!!"

  • gratuitous on December 14, 2012 5:59 PM:

    Gee, Mr. Fischer, why did it take God 50 years to get around to the smiting, since prayer has been out of schools since 1962? Getting slow, is He?

    And does that mean that Mr. Fischer is calling the shooter an instrument of God? I think even the most ardent AFA donors and suckers would have a bit of a problem with that.

  • schtick on December 14, 2012 6:18 PM:

    The twits like Fischer will always say hurtful, moronic and inflamatory statements like his twitter until it happens to their kids. I won't wish it on him and others like him, but I wonder what kind of vitriol they would spew if it was one of their kids.
    But I will wish that the teapubs and bible-thumpers would make an effort to practice what they preach.

  • exlibra on December 14, 2012 6:19 PM:

    Brian Fisher is for Gun Toting Tots? I don't think he's fully thought this through; I don't think children of primary school age would be capable of handling a machine gun.

    OTOH, I expect that a "pull the pin, lob at the man with the gun" daily drill (right after the morning prayer) with hand grenades would be "doable". With some support from Fisher and other "family values" gurus, it might even become part of all schools' curricula.

  • Neildsmith on December 14, 2012 6:26 PM:

    In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.

    Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."

    “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

    The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

    One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

    While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

    While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

    While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

  • weirdnoise on December 14, 2012 7:01 PM:

    Fisher and his ilk seem to forget that the founder of their faith instructed them to pray in private.

  • mudwall jackson on December 14, 2012 8:05 PM:

    may god forgive mr. fisher for he knows not what he says.

  • Rick B on December 14, 2012 8:13 PM:

    Brian Fisher is proving what Emile Durkheim discovered about religion. Religions is what happens when people begin to identify some things or events as sacred (which requires treating them reverently)while everything else is simply profane (a word meaning normal and not sacred, subject to no special ritual treatments.) The idea of a god was a personification of the sacred things in society which could be understood by illiterate and uneducated people.

    People belonged to organizations which treated the same things as sacred and performed the same rituals. Someone with a different set of sacred items who used different rituals was not a tribe member - meaning - was an enemy.

    Only with the discovery of science and the expansion of literacy, god ceased to have the power to compel everyone to join the same tribe. Modern society and large urban centers have grown up as the industrial revolution created a new society which was not so socially immobile and limited by which gods each tribe worshiped.

    Bryan Fisher is on the wrong side of modernism. Modernism frightens him greatly, so that he demagogues in the media to try to stop modern society. Modernism - and us, those of us who are educated and use the Internet, are his greatest threats.

    Which, by the way, is not to support atheism. No one knows if there is god or if there is, what his characteristics might be. The Gautama Buddha knew that 2500 years ago.

  • navarro on December 14, 2012 8:44 PM:

  • James M on December 14, 2012 9:16 PM:

    'Force Multipliers'

    I am around 200 lbs, have lifted weights for over 20 years, have a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do (From my college days but I can still execute a decent side kick)and did some study of Aikido and Judo as well. However, assuming I am unarmed,a non-athletic 150 lb man with NO martial arts training armed only with a knife would be favored to beat me in a 1 on 1 match. Give him ANY gun and it would be no contest if there were 3 of me. Give him any semi-automatic or automatic weapon and he could take out an entire martial arts class.

    If BO is really serious about taking 'meaningful action', he will have to begin with renewing the ban on assault weapons.

  • SYSPROG on December 14, 2012 11:01 PM:

    Bryan Fischer and his bro-in-arms Huckabee 'wonder' where Christianity has gone. It's gone to our hearts and out of the Church which allows such horrible people to their spokespeople. They are not 'Christians'. They are hucksters out for the almighty buck and microphone.

  • BJ smith on December 14, 2012 11:02 PM:

    This will take people power, relentless people power, not a short period of sadness, horror, & then back to the usual. It has to start NOW. Renewing ban a good way to begin, then relentlessly sensible laws at long , long last.

  • BJ smith on December 14, 2012 11:04 PM:

    This will take people power, relentless people power, not a short period of sadness, horror, & then back to the usual. It has to start NOW. Renewing ban a good way to begin, then relentlessly sensible laws at long , long last.

  • charlie don't surf on December 15, 2012 12:59 AM:

    "We’ve spent 50 years kicking God out of our public schools, then wonder why he’s not around when we need him."

    Please tell that to the Amish community in Lancaster County, PA.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amish_school_shooting

  • jcricket on December 15, 2012 2:12 AM:

    "We’ve spent 50 years kicking God out of our public schools, then wonder why he’s not around when we need him."

    No. We've spent 50 years telling YOU and every other snake oil salesman to keep your ideas about god out of our public schools.

    What happened today is about guns. Not god.

  • Snarki, child of Loki on December 15, 2012 6:15 AM:

    @exlibra:
    "OTOH, I expect that a "pull the pin, lob at the man with the gun" daily drill (right after the morning prayer) with hand grenades would be "doable". "

    "Once you pull Mr. Pin, Mr. Hand Grenade is NO LONGER your friend!"

    (thank you Bill Murray, for showing us the way)