I couldn’t watch the news yesterday or go online, as I simply couldn’t cope with the gut crunching imagery conjured up in my mind as a result of the US school massacre.
I braved it today and found myself shaking with rage.
First up, an article arguing not for the banning of guns, nor arguing the case for keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill; nope, arguing instead for the banning of psychiatric medication. Yep, you heard me right.
There’s talk online that the gunman was potentially suffering from a personality disorder; as far as I can make out, that’s all we know. We don’t know which particular disorder, or what medication he may, or may not, have been receiving, but that does not prevent this sort spurious bullshit:
No gun can, by itself, shoot anyone. It must be triggered by a person who makes a decision to use it. And while people like NY Mayor Bloomberg are predictably trying to exploit the deaths of these children to call for guns to be stripped from all law abiding citizens who have done nothing wrong whatsoever, nobody calls for medication control.
Why is that? After all, medication alters the mind that controls the finger that pulls the trigger. The saying that “guns kill people” is physically impossible. People kill other people, and as we all learned from watching the O.J. Simpson trial, you don’t need a gun to commit murder.
We should be outlawing psychiatric medications, not an inanimate piece of metal
I’ll let you read the rest of it if you can stomach it.
Piers Morgan Tweeted this earlier:
I’d ban ALL guns for convicted criminals and ANYONE with ANY mental health history whatsoever.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 14, 2012
Putting my cards on the table; mentally ill folk should not be allowed to own guns. I’m mentally ill, and am no danger to anybody, with or without a gun, but I still should not be legally allowed to own one, for the simple fact that I am mentally ill.
Does that mean I believe that all mentally ill folk are potentially mass killers, no it doesn’t. My main concern with the mentally unstable having easy access to guns, is to do with the ease of dispatching oneself into eternity.
That’s my opinion.
But what if this tragedy has nothing to do with guns, mental illness, evil, or what have you, but is instead a by-product of godlessness?
That’s the other angle being pumped out at the moment; this time, of course, by Christians.
Don’t believe me, check out The Freethinker
Are you happy now that the shooter grew up in a school without God? #thinkAboutit
— Eric Hovind (@erichovind) December 14, 2012
In the wake of the Connecticut shootings, many Christians are placing the blame on people’s lack of faith in God, on the increase of secularism in our countries and our schools, and on people’s increasing unwillingness to submit to God. Some are saying that this tragedy is God’s way of trying to cause people to repent for their depravity – a kind of punishment for people’s lack of devotion to God. These Christians are arguing that tragedies like this stem from us as a nation turning away from God.
And so on…..
Apparently this T-Shirt is doing the rounds:
I really can’t articulate a response to this any better that Prof McGrath
I am glad that fundamentalists are finally being a bit more honest about what they mean by “God.”
They clearly do not mean an omnipresent being who cannot be excluded from any place. It’s quite a different notion from that encountered on more than one occasion in the Psalms, for instance. The ancient Israelite author never said “Where shall I go to flee from your presence? I know – a public school!” And in the Book of Jonah, the main character’s attempt to flee from the one who he himself says “made the sea and the dry land” on a boat is depicted as a fool’s errand. And could you imagine any ancient Israelite or Christian author taking seriously the notion that God could be kept out of somewhere?
But even though creating laws that exclude a real and omnipresent God from public school would be utterly futile, there are in fact no such laws in the United States.
What is excluded is the use of state power and influence to promote religion in general or some sectarian religious dogma in particular.
And so I think that, when fundamentalists say that their God is excluded from public schools, they are speaking the truth. The God they worship is not the true God, the one that is omnipresent and ultimate, but political power and coercive imposition of their views on others.
That is what fundamentalists worship and serve. That is what they lament seeing expelled from public schools. And that is what they opportunistically use tragedies like the recent one to promote.
Those who know or seek the true God will not bow before such idols, and will call those who do so out, and seek to expose them for what they are, namely worshippers of false gods.
I’ll leave it there…..