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To be honest, I expected the religious right to start blaming our godless librul culture for Friday's nightmarish shooting in Connecticut.  But remarks made today by so-called Christian leaders are enough to make even longtime religious-right watchers like yours truly roll their eyes.  They seem to be doubling down--tripling down, even--on Mike Huckabee and Bryan Fischer's disgusting claim just hours after the shooting that it happened because we don't force kids to pray.

First up, James Dobson.  The former chief of Focus on the Family said on today's edition of "Family Talk" that Friday's shooting was the first iteration of God's judgment.

Our country really does seem in complete disarray. I'm not talking politically, I'm not talking about the result of the November sixth election;  I am saying that something has gone wrong in America and that we have turned our back on God.

I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn't exist, or he's irrelevant to me and we have killed fifty-four 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.

And a lot of these things are happening around us, and 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 judgment to fall upon us.  I think that's what's going on.

Listen to the whole thing here.

Operation Save America--the original Operation Rescue--not only blamed the tragedy on the lack of mandatory prayer, but even went as far as to call last night's memorial service a farce because it didn't mention Jesus enough.

Watching the Memorial service for the twenty-six precious lives taken from us was painful to say the least, but it was far more painful to the God who made America great. Newtown cancelled Christmas so it could properly mourn. How foolish, yet typical of governmental strategy to replace God. The "Interfaith" service was an affront to Almighty God. Those claiming to be His priests barely mentioned His Name --Jesus! After all, He is the only God there is!
[snip]
What happened? We violently removed the fear of Almighty God from the hearts of our children. We expelled God from school and banished Him from the schoolyard. He was replaced with metal detectors, condoms, policemen, anti-bullying policies, No-gun zones, and violence of unprecedented order. Our strategy has replaced God's Truth. We are losing our kids because we are ignoring God's Law.
Jennifer LeClaire, news editor for the charismatic/pentecostal-oriented magazine Charisma, thinks that only mandatory prayer can prevent more tragedies like this
Rather than waiting until the aftermath of a Columbine, Virginia Tech or Newtown school shooting to pray, can we please put prayer back into schools on Monday morning? I know it's not as simple as that, but I ask you: If Columbine wasn’t enough, if Virginia Tech was not enough, can the Newtown school shooting finally be enough? If not, when is enough enough?

In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court examined a 22-word prayer children used to acknowledge God. That prayer went like this: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence on Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.”

It’s a simple, put powerful prayer that I believe invoked God’s protection over schools and inspired morality in the hearts of a generations. Removing prayer from schools has spawned a well-documented impact on our educational system and on the broader society.

So where did is this "well-documented impact" recounted?  From none other than that great historian, David Barton.

Joseph Farah of WorldNutDaily thinks that we can expect more horror like this because God is punishing us for following in the footsteps of Hitler and Stalin.

What should we expect when we not only prohibit weapons of self-defense in our schools, but when we banish the Creator from them?

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions that removed prayer from the public schools of America. Just look what has happened since. It’s not that God is exacting punishment on America as a result. He is giving America over to the desires of its wicked heart.

We are reaping the seeds of the whirlwind we ourselves planted.
[snip]
Think of the societies and governments that have chosen this path before us – Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union, Mao’s China. Were those societies better off as a result? Or were their judgments quickened? Did the bloodshed cease? Or did it increase beyond the imagination of anyone except the tyrants who imposed it?

Such callous and uncaring rhetoric makes reality-based Christians like me cringe.  Some of us actually have the weird idea that being preached at is the last thing the families need right now.  They need to be loved on, and to know that a nation is standing with them.  

To the people who actually have the gall to say God wasn't in Sandy Hook, I ask the same question I asked Bryan Fischer--one he still has yet to answer.  Would you say that to a parent who lost a child on Friday?

4:07 PM PT: Just took a peek at some of the comments in LeClaire's piece in Charisma.  Apparently some of the readers there are a little uncomfortable--several of them have pointed out, correctly, that kids can still pray.  They just can't be forced to do so.

4:12 PM PT: Hey338Too mentions in the comments that one of the victims was Jewish.  Yeah, an in-your-face Christian climate at the memorial service would have been really appropriate for that boy, wouldn't it?

4:27 PM PT: mph2005 points out that one other victim was Jewish, and another was Sikh.  Hey, Flip Benham--you STILL think an exclusively Christian memorial service was appropriate?

Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 03:36 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Anglican Kossacks.

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