By now I'm sure a lot of you have heard about the lunatic armed rampage at Virginia Tech that has, as of this writing, claimed at least 31 lives.
What will be nearly as hideous as these crimes is the fact that in the coming days, numerous groups a number of which I imagine will belong to the Christian Right are sure to co-opt this tragedy as they did Columbine for their own political gain, exploiting all this pain and suffering to propel more bombastic propaganda into the media that this is why we need the Bible and the Ten Commandments and forced prayer in schools and in the government, etc., etc.
Of course, I suppose I could be accused of exploiting the event to point to it as yet another piece of ironclad, irrefutable proof of the nonexistence of God. Difference is, I'd be right. But who's right or wrong here will be no consolation to the families of the victims. Our condolensces go out to them all.
Update tol'jaso!: Wingnut Coulter-wannabe Debbie Schlussel is first out of the gate with a Muslim terrorist conspiracy theory, based solely on the fact that the shooter was identified as "Asian" in some news reports. Nothing like a little right-wing racial profiling to heal a shattered community in a time of tragedy, eh?
Yet another update: Now Bush seems to be thinking a visit to VT would be the ideal photo op to boost his flagging approval ratings. Never mind that what happened today is a mild day in Baghdad. Thanks but no thanks, chimpy.
The updates keep comin': Well well well, Debbie. Turns out our shooter was a South Korean who'd been in the country since 1992 and who's been described, as so many unhinged lunatics seem to be, as a "loner". There goes your Muslim conspiracy theory. I just don't know how to contain my surprise.
The shooter apparently left behind a note railing against "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans." Meanwhile, deceitful charlatan Ken Ham, the creationist fool responsible for that momument to ignorance in Kentucky, has wasted no time blaming "naturalism" and "atheism".
I haven't seen it on TV yet--just saw it on Yahoo! News. It is a terrible tragedy.ReplyDelete
I hadn't really thought about it as regards religion. But your post reminded me of something I saw recently on television.
I don't even recall what the incident was, but I remember seeing a young girl, about 13 or so, sobbing and repeating that she had to believe god had a plan and that this happened for a reason. Other people were also talking about god comforting the victims' families.
I remember thinking--saying outloud actually--"Yeah, that sobbing child looks really comforted."
One man--armed and with a purpose only he understands--has just murdered 30 or so people who almost certainly had no connection to whatever his problem was. Whatever resolution he wanted has now become moot as he was either killed by gunfire or committed suicide.
It's one of those situations of absolute waste. There is no purpose other than the psychotic purpose of a lone lunatic, gunman. And I hope everyone involved can find some reasonable level of peace with this one day in the future.
From Debbie Schlussel's blog:ReplyDelete
Here's what we know about the murderer of at least 32 students and maimer of at least 28 more at Virginia Tech, today:
* The murderer has been identified by law enforcement and media reports as "a young Asian male."
* The Virginia Tech campus has a very large Muslim community, many of which are from Pakistan (per terrorism investigator Bill Warner).
* Pakis are considered "Asian."
This is the same talking air-head who attacked atheists on Paula Zahn and tries to link everything to a Muslim conspiracy.
Now she's trying her damndest to link this to Muslims and denigrating Pakistanis and Asians in with her broad brush of conspiratorial crap.
And here I was thinking that I couldn't despise anyone more than Ann Coulter...
Doh, and now I see that you added that in an update.ReplyDelete
I'm just hoping that the reputable media stops giving her air time.
My first thought, upon hearing his race, while admittedly racist, were: "Someone found out they were getting an F on a group project and discovered this would prevent them from graduating on time."ReplyDelete
I say that because, well, I'm- on occasion- guilty of stereotyping. But, never...EVER, could I have developed a theory as convoluted as Streudel...I mean, Schlussel.
My favorite moment of the day, as I blogged about, was when the Christian survivor started commenting on how God saved her...but, not the other 32 people. *rolls eyes* She must be destined for some "special purpose"...like fame-whoring on Fox News.
"I'm just hoping that the reputable media stops giving her air time."ReplyDelete
The what? Where?
>My favorite moment of the day, as I blogged about, was when the Christian survivor started commenting on how God saved her...ReplyDelete
They also featured comments from a Reverend yesterday. The newsman actually asked him what his response was to people who might ask how a "loving god" could let something like this happen.
His reply included "god loves us all..." I just said, "Yeah--all but those 32 people that were gunned down today."
The capacity to credit their image of god 100 percent with anything "good" that happens--and hold that same image totally blameless for everything else that occurs is mind-boggling. Not to mention that many Xians can't even tell when something is "good" or "bad"; many, I'm sure, are telling themselves that this is somehow part of god's overall plan and that, hard-to-fathom as it may be--is somehow for the best for everyone concerned.
Far be it from me to try to steal someone's "comfort"--if these weak apologetics actually do offer real victims and their families any comfort (mainly it's people who are on the outside telling those who have been victimized about how comforting thoughts of god are); but I wouldn't say these idiotic things to someone who just lost a family member to a deranged gunman. I'd be fearful of offending a person in a vulnerable state.
The level of insult to someone who lost a loved-one, to hear someone saying that god must have been there looking out for someone else's child who survived is profound.
And saying something so ignorant and blatantly careless as "it's all for the best, I'm sure god knows what he's doing" is just a give-away of someone totally out of touch with sympathy and empathy.
"Yeah--all but those 32 people that were gunned down today."ReplyDelete
You guys just don't understand. He loved those folks the most...he took them home to be with Jesus.
The level of insult to someone who lost a loved-one, to hear someone saying that god must have been there looking out for someone else's child who survived is profound.ReplyDelete
I completely agree. Thank you for verbalizing the point that I was struggling to make. It's such a ridiculously pompous and insulting claim when a survivor says, "God saved me!" Don't get me wrong...I don't think they mean to be pompous, I think they are- most likely- just grateful to be alive. But, wow... the implication that you were saved means that others weren't! Not only does that illustrate that your God CHOOSES TO LET A MADMAN murder someone, but it also exposes a cruel self-righteousness.
To further on this, one of the survivors said, today; "God saved me for a special purpose and... I need to figure out what that is, but I know...I know I need to do something big with my life."
A) Was this person's life completely without purposes BEFORE this tragedy? Generally, most people who put themselves through the hoops of academia have some idea of a "purpose". At the very least, they have a goal. As such a devout Christian, you'd think that this survivor would've ALREADY BEEN working towards some "special goal". If surviving a massacre is the only thing that makes you special in God's eyes, then your God sucks.
B) Does this mean God couldn't find anything "special" or "worthy" in the people who "He" allowed to be slaughtered?
C) This particular survivor had broke their leg, jumping out a window!! I'd say THEIR PURPOSEFUL ACTION, to avoid being shot, was most responsible for escaping with "just" a broken leg. And, since they did make a conscious decision to jump out a window...can they really say that God did anything to save them? Did God push them out the window? How much would it suck, for that person, to arrive at the pearly gates and see God standing their going, "You're late!! I tried to kill you years ago... why did you jump? Jumping was not part of my plan!"
You guys just don't understand. He loved those folks the most...he took them home to be with Jesus.ReplyDelete
Yeah. He loved the person who died, but must've really fucking hated the parents/family/friends that are now left behind to figure out how to get by this without the loved one. Pretty selfish deity, if you ask me.
I'll second your "Blech" and throw in a befuddled, head shake and eye roll.
>As such a devout Christian, you'd think that this survivor would've ALREADY BEEN working towards some "special goal".ReplyDelete
I know someone who is in cancer remission. He likes to note how the diagnosis of "cancer" changes some people. He says (I think wisely) that if a life-threatening diagnosis completely alters your mode of living, then there was something very wrong with your worldview previously (since any person old enough to watch nightly news and mentally capable to comprehend the concept of death should realize anyone can go at any time).
Your point is similar. If a life-threatening experience totally leads you to "seek purpose"--the real question is "Why weren't you seeking purpose before? Did you not realize your time on Earth is limited before...could anyone with full mental capacity possibly be that ignorant?"
According to NPR today, the shooter's family were devout Christians. Wonder how they'll spin that?ReplyDelete