Lately, whenever a mass shooting occurs, two things are as certain as death and taxes are in more peaceful times. You get conspiracy theorists claiming that the shooting was a false flag, and you also get Christianist pastors saying that bloodbaths like this are a sign of God’s wrath.
Like clockwork, both occurred in record time after Stephen Paddock opened fire on a concert in the Las Vegas Strip, killing more than 50 people and wounding over 100. InfoWars and other conspiracy theory mills started ranting and raving about the carnage being yet another false flag. And at least two wingnut preachers have sought to warn us about the shooting, and explain that it happened because the Almighty isn’t pleased.
Just hours after the bullets stopped flying–and while there were still shelter-in-place advisories out for much of the Strip–Dave Daubenmire told his audience on his “Pass the Salt” podcast that this latest shooting was a demonstration of God’s wrath. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
About 14 minutes into Monday’s show, Daubenmire warned us that the shooting was a sign that “the wrath of God is being revealed”–and we don’t recognize it. He then tried to explain.
“In America’s world, in the world of America, where guys climb up on towers in Las Vegas and pick off people at a concert, where people indiscriminately kill one another, the wrath of God’s being revealed. See, the wrath of God being revealed means that the things that the Lord used to prevent, he doesn’t prevent so much any more. He doesn’t prevent them. Maybe He doesn’t cause them, He doesn’t cause a hurricane to come into Houston, but He didn’t prevent it. That’s for sure. Maybe he doesn’t cause that guy to shoot people, but he didn’t prevent it. There was a restrainer. We used to have a sense of spiritual covering over us but it’s rapidly disappearing because, even though I stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, the American government is pretty wicked.”
It was obvious where Daubenmire was going here–this country has become so evil that God has taken his hand off it.
Pat Robertson was even more blunt a few hours later on “The 700 Club.” From where he was sitting, this shooting happened because we don’t have enough respect for Trump. No, this isn’t snark. Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Robertson has already let it be known that opposing Trump is tantamount to opposing God’s plan for America. At around the 6:45 mark of Monday’s show, Robertson suggested that opposition to Trump may have planted the seed for the carnage on the Strip.
“You know, what I’d like to give you is that the fact that we have disrespect for authority. There is profound disrespect of our president all across this nation. They say terrible things about him. It’s in the news, it’s in other places. There is disrespect now for our national anthem, disrespect for our veterans, disrespect for the institutions of our government, disrespect for the court system. All the way up and down the line, disrespect. And when you lose that kind of respect, you lose the civil authority.”
Robertson went on to say that there needs to be “some kind of controlling authority” in a society in lieu of Biblical authority–and unless God is in a society, “the people run amok.”
Really, Pat? So you’re saying that because we don’t bow down to a president who thinks there are both sides to a situation when one of those sides was made up of Nazis, and who sees fit to retweet GIFs of himself violently assaulting women, we open the door for mass shootings? Sounds like you’ve learned and forgotten absolutely nothing since you got deservedly slammed for suggesting that 9-11 came about because of abortion and gay rights.
We heard a similar line in the aftermath of Sandy Hook. The religious right tried to peddle the line that this tragedy happened because we’d pushed God out of our society, particularly out of the schools.
Displays like this make left-leaning Christians like me roll their eyes in disgust. Has it occurred to Daubenmire, Robertson, and others that they need to be offering words of comfort in the wake of this latest bloodbath, rather than hellfire and brimstone? Apparently not. Then again, they’re preaching to an audience who thinks that anything less than 24-7 hellfire and brimstone is lukewarm.
(featured image courtesy 700 Club Facebook)