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Christian Right Uses Elementary School Massacre to Attack Secular Schooling
Sandy Hook: Beyond the Spin of the Capitalist Politicians (Part 1)
By Steven Argue
This is Part 1 of a series of three articles on the root causes of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre. On December 14th, twenty year-old Adam Lanza murdered his mother and then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and proceeded to kill 6 adults and 20 young children between the ages of 6 and 7.
The shock and horror of Sandy Hook naturally causes everyone to ask “why?” and look for solutions. Yet, the corporate media and capitalist politicians are failing to give us the facts, let alone give useful theories of “why?” and what to do about it.
Part 1 in this series deals with how the Christian right is using this tragedy to argue for Christianity, attack atheists, and argue against the separation of church and state. Part 2 takes up the questions of gun control and violent movies. Part 3 presents evidence that it is the pharmaceutical industry, union busting, and alienation under the failing system of capitalism that are fundamentally responsible for creating the epidemic of mass shootings.
[Photo: Truck targeting abortion doctor George Tiller two days after his murder. (Steve Hebert/Atlas Press for The New York Times)]
Christian Right Uses Elementary School Massacre to Attack Secular Schooling and the Separation of Church and State
By Steven Argue
Lacking any information about the motives of Adam Lanza in his senseless human slaughter of children, leaders of the far-right are quick to apply their religious fanaticism to the Sandy Hook massacre. Two who have done so are Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and fascist political pundit, Pat Buchanan.
Governor Huckabee declares that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre happened because "We've systematically removed God from our schools, should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"
So Huckabee’s solution is one of ending the separation of church and state by imposing religious teachings and school prayer on poor unsuspecting children. But did Adam Lanza’s early education really lack an indoctrination into Christianity? No. To the contrary, in middle school Adam Lanza actually was subjected to religious schooling at St. Rose Catholic School in Newton, Connecticut.
Huckabee then went on to attack the morality of atheists. Huckabee claims, “We’re not just going to have be accountable to the police if they catch us, but one day we stand before a holy God and judgement, if we don’t believe that, we don’t fear that.” Pat Buchanan made similar claims that it was Adam Lanza’s lack of fear in God that caused him to carry out the massacre.
Did Adam Lanza’s lack of fear for “eternal damnation” really cause him to commit mass murder? Was Adam Lanza actually an atheist? Despite Huckabee and Buchanan’s bold assertions, my extensive search of the internet found absolutely no evidence that Adam Lanza was an atheist.
According to Pat Buchanan, Mike Huckabee, and many other Christians, Adam Lanza must be an atheist because Christians don’t commit mass shootings. This is false. For instance, Anders Breivik is a Norwegian Christian extremist who wants to expel Muslims from Europe and who blames feminism for eroding the fabric of European culture. In 2011 he shot 179 people at a youth camp, mostly teenagers, killing 69 and injuring 55 seriously. That same day he set off a bomb that killed 8 people and injured 209. He said he was fighting for “our Christian cultural heritage.” Apparently he had no fear of eternal damnation, despite his faith in Jesus.
Does The Bible even teach us not to commit mass murder? Actually, the Bible is full of incidents where God supposedly wiped entire peoples off the face of the Earth. Far from stopping mass murder, those stories actually could serve to inspire genocide. In addition, the Bible calls for killing people for many harmless activities, everything from lying with another man to worshipping another god. Example:
“If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” (Leviticus 20:13)
In fact, Shirley Phelps-Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church declared after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that Adam Lanza was sent by God to punish Connecticut for their same-sex marriage law. Here’s another example of how the Bible incites mass murder:
“If you find out a city worships a different god, destroy the city and kill all of its inhabitants... even the animals.” (Deuteronomy 13:12-15)
“Foul” cry some Christians, that is the Old Testament of the Bible, not the new one. Jesus, we are told, preached love and freed us from the teachings of the Old Testament. Actually, according to the New Testament, Jesus himself says it’s OK to kill people for the flimsiest of reasons. Here’s an example of Jesus from the New Testament:
“Those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them -- bring them here and kill them in front of me.” (Luke 19:27)
Truth is, Charles Manson was inspired by Jesus. So was Dena Schlosser, who, in 2004, cut her baby’s arms off when ordered to do so by God. The baby died the next day. Dena Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity and released in 2008. Dena Schlosser was a roommate with Andrea Yates, a woman who in 2001 drowned her five children in a bathtub to protect them from Satan.
In the name of Jesus, religious fanatics have been regularly carrying out terrorist attacks on doctors and abortion clinics in the United States. This is a one sided holy war against women’s rights. The murder of doctors has made abortion unavailable in many places, causing some women to need to travel out of state to receive an abortion. Meanwhile, some state governments have passed laws making it illegal to travel to receive abortions in other states.
The FBI and local police are looking the other way as the God nuts carry out their terror. One example was Scott Roades, the killer of abortion Doctor George Tiller. Scott Roades twice carried out a federal crime by gluing the doors shut at the abortion clinic where George Tiller worked. The FBI was informed of these activities, but they refused to act, claiming that a Grand Jury had to convene in order to take action. The cops and FBI have no such restrictions when carrying out their “zero tolerance” policies against the general public, especially the left. Yet, they simply sat and watched as Scott Roades escalated his illegal activities from vandalism to murder.
The FBI’s lack of action to defend the safety of abortion doctors from religious nuts has a parallel in the Greensboro massacre of 1979. Textile workers, who were members of what would become the Communist Workers Party, organized coworkers in a rally against the KKK. The KKK responded to the rally by driving up to it and shooting into the crowd, killing five people and leaving one permanently paraplegic. Leading the day’s terrorist operation was Edward Dawson, a federal agent of the ATF who had infiltrated the KKK. Synchronized with this ATF / KKK terrorist attack was the local police who were called away for lunch just before the KKK pulled-up and started shooting.
The Ku Klux Klan itself is composed entirely of white Christians who believe that their race and religion are superior to people with different colors and religions. They believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible and regard it as their number one source of knowledge. The KKK is a terrorist outfit that seeks to impose their outlook through direct action including murder. For many decades they successfully did so in America’s south. Working hand in hand with the police and Democratic Party, the KKK imposed, and policed, semi-fascist rule in America’s south through murderous terror.
Many credit the Civil Rights movement for ending Jim Crow segregation, winning the right of Blacks to vote, and greatly weakening the power of the KKK. In reality, it wasn’t until Blacks became armed that the Federal Government took notice and sent Federal Troops into the south. Yet, today, we are told to trust that same government that helped impose almost 100 years of KKK terror as politicians attempt impose big restrictions on the right to bare arms (more on that in Part 2).
The KKK is a terrorist outfit that is still alive, still promoting fear and racism while opposing the separation of Church and State. This can be seen in the following 2012 Christmas statement from Cole Thorton, the Imperial Wizard of the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan:
“We also stand for Christianity. The proof is in the pudding. …. IF the Christians were to unite and stop arguing over who has the right system of beliefs, or the right hymns, or the right choir robes then we might just be able to squash the evil influence hindering our beliefs. Once again in history the Christians are coming under severe persecution and it will only grow worse under the guise of separation of church and state".
To these fanatics, it is the Christians who are oppressed in America. The fact that atheists, Jews, and others aren’t forced to pray or learn their religion in school is seen by them as oppression against Christians. Likewise, they think that equal rights between Blacks and whites amounts the oppression of white people.
The ideas of Mr. Huckabee actually don’t stray far from those of the KKK. His desire for a Christian state that imposes Christian education is obviously the same. As a mainstream politician in this political period, he can’t openly avow his other agreements with the KKK, but he’s left some pretty big hints. One of these was in 1993 when he sent a video taped address to the annual convention of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). The speech was reported as “extremely well received”. The CCC is descended from the White Citizens Council and is the largest openly white supremacist group in the United States. The CCC says in their statement of principles:
"We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races."
Huckabee’s speech was well received at the convention. Anyone with anything worthwhile to say to such a group would obviously have been booed and shut down. The CCC also says in their statement of purpose:
“We believe that the United States of America is a Christian country, that its people are a Christian people, and that its government and public leaders at all levels must reflect Christian beliefs and values. We therefore oppose all efforts to deny or weaken the Christian heritage of the United States, including the unconstitutional prohibitions of prayers and other religious expression in schools and other public institutions.”
So there you have it. Mike Huckabee is preaching the same morality and the same unity of church and state as the KKK and CCC. Such unity of church and state, he argues, is needed to stop mass murder like what occurred at Sandy Hook.
Yet, far from stopping people from committing mass murder, Christian governments have often been the reason for it. A few examples include the “Holy” Crusades, Inquisition, many genocides against Native Americans, burning of witches, the Pope’s support for the Holocaust, Orthodox Christian Serb genocides against Catholic Croats and Muslims, as well Catholic Croatian genocides against Jews, Serbs, and Muslims. These are but a few examples. History is littered with the corpses of innocents who were put to death under Christian governments.
One of the major gains of the American Revolution was the separation of church and state. It was a move that greatly reduced the potential for people being killed by the government in the name of God. It was also a step forward that helped eventually advance the sciences as well as the rights of Blacks, women, and other oppressed minorities.
Yet, the United States is a violent and angry country. This flows naturally from its history of slavery, semi-fascism in the south, and genocide against Native Americans. It continues on through an extreme and growing differentiation between the standard of living of the working class and those of the capitalists, police brutality, imperialist wars that have murdered many millions of people, the death penalty, and the mass incarceration of the poor (with of over 2 million people in prison mostly for drug offenses).
The fact that the presidents of this nation are all Christians certainly has done nothing to curtail the brutality and murder of the capitalist state. The Christianity of President Barrack Obama is no deterrent from him carrying out acts of mass murder, including drone attacks that have murdered large numbers of families, including children, or other acts like overthrowing the democratically elected government of Honduras to impose a death squad government. The emotion Obama showed regarding the children murdered at Sandy Hook rings hollow when one considers the fact that Obama has murdered far more children, yet has failed to show any remorse for his victims.
We need answers to move forward into a future where we can stop tragedies like the Sandy Hook massacre from happening. Likewise, we must adamantly oppose those who say the problem is the separation of church and state, atheism, and removing Christian religious indoctrination from public schools.
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