Thursday, April 19, 2007

Guns don't kill people; Darwin kills people

It is difficult to keep up with all the contemptible nonsense being spoken about Virginia Tech. However, one commentator stands out - Ken Ham:
We live in an era when public high schools and colleges have all but banned God from science classes. In these classrooms, students are taught that the whole universe, including plants and animals—and humans—arose by natural processes. Naturalism (in essence, atheism) has become the religion of the day and has become the foundation of the education system (and Western culture as a whole). The more such a philosophy permeates the culture, the more we would expect to see a sense of purposelessness and hopelessness that pervades people’s thinking. In fact, the more a culture allows the killing of the unborn, the more we will see people treating life in general as “cheap.”

I’m not at all saying that the person who committed these murders at Virginia Tech was driven by a belief in millions of years or evolution. I don’t know why this person did what he did, except the obvious: that it was a result of sin. However, when we see such death and violence, it is a reminder to us that without God’s Word (and the literal history in Genesis 1–11), people will not understand why such things happen

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars


Anonymous said...

Some people will do anything to exploit a tragedy like Virginia Tech. I don't suppose stupid redneck Deep Southern fried fundie Republican opponents of stricter gun control contributed to the situation at all, did they?


Craig Y

harvestbird said...

What are the cultural antecedents, I wonder, of biblical literalism as determined as this? Has it grown out of 19th-century Protestant revivalism, or is its emergence more recent?

Paul said...

Early 20th Century fear and trembling about Darwin and Liberal theology, I believe, was the cause of it all. It all started at Princeton Theological Seminary and spread to the masses.

The authors of the twelve books called The Fundamentals (1910-1915) identified the following as inimical to the Faith: Catholicism, Socialism, modern philosophy, atheism, Christian Science, Mormonism, spiritualism, liberal theology, German higher criticism and Darwinism.

I wish the fundies would waste more time attacking the Mormons and leave the rest of us alone for a while.

Sam Finnemore said...

Long ago, in 2001, someone on the Internet wrote possibly the best commentary ever on political reactions to tragedies like the Virginia Tech shootings. It's here:

"Of course the World Trade Center bombings are a uniquely tragic event, and it is vital that we never lose sight of the human tragedy involved. However, we must also consider if this is not also a lesson to us all; a lesson that my political views are correct. Although what is done can never be undone, the fact remains that if the world were organised according to my political views, this tragedy would never have happened.

Many people will use this terrible tragedy as an excuse to put through a political agenda other than my own. This tawdry abuse of human suffering for political gain sickens me to the core of my being. Those people who have different political views from me ought to be ashamed of themselves for thinking of cheap partisan point-scoring at a time like this. In any case, what this tragedy really shows us is that, so far from putting into practice political views other than my own, it is precisely my political agenda which ought to be advanced.
Not only are my political views vindicated by this terrible tragedy, but also the status of my profession. Furthermore, it is only in the context of a national and international tragedy like this that we are reminded of the very special status of my hobby, and its particular claim to legislative protection. My religious and spiritual views also have much to teach us about the appropriate reaction to these truly terrible events.

Countries which I like seem to never suffer such tragedies, while countries which, for one reason or another, I dislike, suffer them all the time. The one common factor which seems to explain this has to do with my political views, and it suggests that my political views should be implemented as a matter of urgency, even though they are, as a matter of fact, not implemented in the countries which I like.

Of course the World Trade Center attacks are a uniquely tragic event, and it is vital that we never lose sight of the human tragedy involved. But we must also not lose sight of the fact that I am right on every significant moral and political issue, and everybody ought to agree with me. Please, I ask you as fellow human beings, vote for the political party which I support, and ask your legislators to support policies endorsed by me, as a matter of urgency.

It would be a fitting memorial."

harvestbird said...

Twelve books; crumbs. How many fundies today would even be familiar with German higher criticism? And yet the real taking hold, politically, seems to have been so much more recent. I was surprised to read in the obituaries for Gerald Ford, for example, of how socially liberal Betty Ford was (she was pro-choice and pro-women's rights, for example): for them, Republicanism/Conservatism was an economic and cultural, rather than religiously-motivated, choice.

Paul said...

The Republican Party was traditionally the party of the North and the East. It was largely secular until the 1980s when Reagan pulled in social conservatives in the South who traditionally had voted Democrat. From 1989, Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed's Christian Coalition organised fundy voters to take over the party.

harvestbird said...

There seems to me frequently to be a correlation between those who claim panhistorical precedence for their arguments (the cited Mr. Ham, for example) and historically contingent, nay, recent, events.

It doesn't surprise me that the present political mashup (old republican + fundies) can find its origin in the actions of Reagan. He seems to have been a deeply cynical man, and it's my feeling that such cynicism now sits at the heart of Republican government. (Since we are not Manicheans, that doesn't mean I imply that Democrat government = not cynical, but here that might go without saying?)

Anonymous said...

Actually guns dont kill people - bullets do

Anonymous said...

heh, yeah have you heard that Chris Rock sketch? He advocates the mandatory gold plating of bullets:

"Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people. Shot ten times? You know that sucker deserved it."