Lately, when there’s a mass shooting at a school, you can count on right-wing luminaries to claim that such butchery would have never happened if Jesus were still welcome in the schoolhouse and in our culture at large. Well, like clockwork, two of the right’s loudest voices claimed that the horrific shooting that took place at a high school in Parkland, Florida would have never happened if liberals hadn’t diluted Christianity.
Within hours of the shooting, Gateway Pundit’s so-called White House correspondent, Lucian Wintrich, told his followers on Periscope what really cased the shooting–a relentless attack on the church from those evil, evil libruls. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Wintrich was discussing the shooting with “New Right” activist Ali Akbar. About seven minutes in, Akbar mused that the shooting at Douglas High School was evidence that “something is wrong in society.” Wintrich believed he knew what that something was.
“Part of it is the lack of community and the lack of the role of the church in modern American society. And I think that the way the left has disparaged that, what they’ve done–and it infuriates me what the left has done these days–is they have demonized Christianity, the church, Jesus Christ, who if you read his teachings, right, it was ‘We’re all brothers. Look out for one another.’ The left has demonized that and then propelled these fringe ways of thinking.”
Wintrich went on to say that in the past, “we understood morality,” and the lack of that morality is what drives these shootings.
The next day, along similar lines, Rick Joyner took to Facebook to suggest that the shooting was more proof something dark had opened up in our society. Right Wing Watch got a clip.
Joyner suggested that the media was missing the spiritual dimensions of the shooting. He believed the Columbine shooting “opened a gate of hell into our country”–an “access point” through which the forces of darkness can get into “our lives, our families, our churches, our communities.” He believes that when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris opened fire, they opened a gate of hell into not only this country, but other countries as well–and only the church can close it through waging heavy-duty spiritual warfare.
To hear Joyner talk, this is but the latest gate of hell to open in this country. Supposedly, when the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to force kids to pray in schools, it removed “a hedge of protection” from the schools. He believed that for all intents and purposes, that decision effectively said, “God, we don’t want you in our schools.” He believes it was but a first step toward removing God from our culture–and the devil filled that void.
Wintrich and Joyner were peddling the same line that the religious right peddled after Sandy Hook. If you’ll remember, Bryan Fischer mused that God took his hand off Sandy Hook because “God is not going to go where he is not wanted.” Charisma’s Jennifer LeClaire demanded that prayer be returned to the schools right away. And Operation Save America had the gall to suggest the memorial service wasn’t Christian enough–even though there was a Sikh and at least two Jews among the dead.
Has it occurred to Wintrich and Joyner that God is still in the schools? My former girlfriend, an English teacher, told me something that makes a lot of sense–as long as there is even one Christian in a school, God is there. You can probably understand Wintrich not getting it. But you would think Joyner, a pastor, would understand this.
Wintrich and Joyner also don’t want you to know that kids can still pray. They just can’t have it forced on them. But then again, they’re speaking to an audience that thinks anything less than in-your-face Christianity is lukewarm.
Add this to the growing evidence that, at bottom, the religious right would like nothing better than to tear up the First Amendment.
(featured image courtesy Formulanone, part of public domain)