While most Americans have responded with sympathy, kindness, and love in the wake of the Friday's appalling mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, some commentators have shot below the waist in their response.
We have not even begun to pass the mourning stage that characterizes such a tragedy. And yet Bryan Fischer, spokesman for the American Family Association, has some incendiary words for liberals, gays, minorities, and women:
"We have spent 50 years telling God to get lost," he started.
Blaming the shooting on a lack of Godliness in public schools, Fischer continued, "I think God would say to us, 'Hey, I would be glad to protect your children, but you gotta invite me back into your world first. I'm not gonna go where I'm not wanted. I am a gentleman.'"
"You know, I think back when I was in elementary school, we had prayer in school and we didn't need guns. I'll repeat that. Back when we had prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments in schools, we did not need guns. So I'm gonna suggest to you is the ultimate solution here is not the Second Amendment, but the First Amendment that guarantees, protects, the free exercise of religion. It's time to get a little bit of that free exercise of religion back into our public schools."
Fischer added "maybe it's time for some school boards and administrators to say look, we don't care. The lives of our children are just too important to us. We are gonna pray in our schools at the beginning of the day, we are gonna pray for protection. I don't care what the Supreme Court says, I don't care what anyone says."
Fischer should be ashamed. His remarks imply, if not directly state, that the real shooter was not shooter Adam Lanza: it was liberals. It was children who did not pray in schools. It was teachers who did not let the children pray in schools. Really, this whole thing has nothing to do with Lanza: it has everything to do with Fischer's agenda, Fischer's demands, Fischer's personal interpretation of the Bible (one which, I might mention, led him to demand that a SeaWorld whale which killed a trainer be literally stoned to death).
According to Fischer, 26 people – including 20 children – are dead not because a madman was able to gain access to weaponry and direct it at the most vulnerable members of our society. They are dead because Americans do not pray to Fischer's right-wing God in public schools.
I'm going to address the rest of this article directly to Mr. Fischer.
How dare you?
How can a man who purports to be representing America's families blame them for the murder of 26 of their daughters, sons, husbands, wives?
Where is your condemnation of Adam Lanza? Mr. Fischer, why are you blaming this horrific massacre on anyone but the one responsible?
Do you believe that the shooting is the result of moral decay in society, or do you believe that we are actually in the thrall of some Biblical act of retribution? Do you believe this was in fact not just God abandoning us, but in fact an act of divine punishment – an act of revenge against secular policies? Or are you just making these claims to rile up your hateful listeners?
Where is your Christian compassion?
I don’t know.
All I know is this: apparently the God to which you pray is a hateful, petty one: a God willing to allow 20 children to perish to prove a political point.
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing."