BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Christian Right leaders continue to insist that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which took the lives of 26 people, including 20 six and seven-year-old children, happened because Americans have turned their backs on God.
The list of prominent Religious Right leaders spewing this unholy venom now includes Dr. James Dobson, the founder and former head of Focus on the Family, Bryan Fischer, a popular American Family Association talk-show host, and Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of the tax-exempt Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
These men are bound and determined to look every which way – abortion, same-sex marriage, video games – for reason for the massacre, except at the one staring them in their faces; the uncontrolled and widespread accessibility of guns in this country.
Dr. James Dobson, the founder, and former head of the Colorado-based Focus on the Family, and still one of the most influential Religious Right leaders, recently commented: "Our country really does seem in complete disarray. I'm not talking politically, I'm not talking about the result of the November sixth election; I am saying that something has gone wrong in America and that we have turned our back on God."
Speaking to listeners of his "Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk" program, Dobson added: “I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn't exist, or he's irrelevant to me and we have killed 54 million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition. Believe me, that is going to have consequences, too.
“And a lot of these things are happening around us, and 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.”
Bryan Fischer, who has more than earned the reputation as the American family Association’s top in-house mudslinger said the victims at Sandy Hook had lost God’s protection because prayer has been prohibited from the public school system.
“The question is going to come up, where was God?,” Fischer said. “I thought God cared about the little children. God protects the little children. Where was God when all this went down. Here's the bottom line, God is not going to go where he is not wanted.
“Now we have spent since 1962 -- we're 50 years into this now--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 do not want to pray to your before football games, we don't want to pray to you at graduations, we don't want anybody talking about you in a graduation speech...
“In 1962 we kicked prayer out of the schools. In 1963 we kicked God's word out of ours schools. In 1980 we kicked the Ten Commandments out of our schools. 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 got to invite me back into your world first. I'm not going to go where I'm not wanted. I am a gentlemen.”
Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham and the man who would like to be seen as America's Preacher, has proved that it’s possible to write a response to the Newtown Massacre and not mention the word gun at least once. His response to the Newtown Massacre is a short essay titled “Connecticut Shootings: Why Shock and Awe?”
Graham pointed out that “God punished Cain for taking innocent life but the violent shedding of blood has continued for centuries. Why?”
“The Bible,” he noted, “answers this question with certainty,” Graham cites Jeremiah 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” He adds: “In fact, the Bible gives clear testimony to just how evil the human race became.” ‘The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord "was grieved in His heart" (Gen. 6:5-6).”
"Where do we go from here?," Graham wrote. "We might start by looking at what we watch and listen to."
Graham takes a potshot at President Obama. “For example, South Korean rapper sensation Psy, who has gained worldwide acclaim by singing that Americans should be killed ‘slowly and painfully,’ including, ‘daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers’ was featured last weekend at ‘Christmas in Washington,’ a charity concert attended by President Obama. Parents and children are feeding on entertainment that portrays violence whether through lewd television programs, violent movies, offensive music, vulgar video games and anything- goes Internet gaming sites.”
Finally, this past Sunday, The Rev. Sam Morris warned his Tennessee flock at Old Paths Baptist Church that “We get all up in arms about 20 children being shot in a day care but we don’t give one good-glory rip about the 4,000 that were removed violently from the wombs of their mothers [in abortion procedures] the same day.”
“I believe they use children and Christmas and all that to pull on our heart strings about gun control. That’s what it’s all about.”
As the Huffington Post’s Meredith Bennett-Smith reported, “Morris went on to criticize public schools, which he said teach children about evolution, sex and ‘how to be a homo.’"
One thing can be said with near certainty; Columns, talk-show observations and written commentaries by Dobson, Graham, Fischer and Morris are not providing any relief or comfort to the families of the victims.