In the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary everyone from politicians and pundits to religious authorities are engaging in hindsight bias attempting to dissect just how and why the second-deadliest school shooting ever occurred.
National Rifle Association CEO and vice president Wayne LaPierre recently said gun-free school zones created a safe haven for such attacks, and that perhaps the massacre could have been stopped if every school had cops with guns. Now, some conservative Christian leaders are claiming Atheists are to blame for the horrific events in Newtown, Conn.
Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza reportedly shot his mother Nancy four times as she lay in bed Dec. 14, packed at least three of her guns, and then drove her car to the Connecticut K-4 elementary school, opening fire in two classrooms around 9:30 a.m., fatally shooting 20 children and six adults, police said. Police are still searching for a motive; witnesses said the shooter didn't utter a word.
James Dobson, a prominent far-right wing Christian, as well as founder of Focus on the Family, and the Family Research Council - a group classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an "anti-gay hate group" - recently said the reason behind the shooting at Sandy Hook was obvious. God is enacting his wrath through such tragedies in response to abortion and gay marriage, he claimed.
Speaking to listeners on his radio program, the ironically named "Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk," Dobson said:
"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... 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 [this Newtown massacre] judgment to fall upon us. I think that's what's going on."
Another conservative Christian leader, Bryan Fischer of the American family Association, said the victims at Sandy Hook had lost God's protection because prayer has been prohibited from schools.
"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."
Another pastor, leader of the congregation at Old Paths Baptist Church in Tennessee, Sam Morris, insisted that the Sandy Hook shooting was punishment for the separation of church and state in American schools, and the country's growing acceptance of homosexuality.
"Why do you still send your kids to the governmental schools?" Morris asked. "What's behind this shooting that we saw on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Connecticut and the other one's like it? What's going on? Well, number one: deception... I got news for you, when you kicked God out of schools, you're going to be judged for that."
"So, here you are, you're an animal and you're a god! So, what are we going to teach you about in school? Well, we can teach you about sex, we can teach you how to rebel to your parents, we can teach you how to be a homo," he constructively added.
Controversial, quasi-religious organization, the Westboro Baptist Church recently made similar insinuations, announcing through its Twitter account that "God sent the shooter" to "execute judgement."