When students are taught they are no different from animals, they act like it.
— Rick Warren (@RickWarren) July 20, 2012
Mega-church pastor, Rick Warren, chose to tweet on Friday, shortly after the massacre at Aurora, Colorado, that the blame is to be placed on evolution and a lack of God in society. There are many reasons why such responses should be ignored, not namely due to the fact that someone feels the need to respond to such a tragedy in political point-scoring and attacking science is nothing less than ignorant and pathetic.
Allow me to state the obvious for a minute: humans are animals. Can Mr Warren not see that evolution has brought us as humans to a state of being unique among animals? Not many other animals use guns to kill each other needlessly. Yet we are like other animals: based on the same genetic code.
A quote from Paul Braterman on as pointed out by James F. McGrath states:
United States is weaker on the teaching of evolution, both in terms of the number of people who deny it and the number of biology teachers who skip it to avoid controversy, than any other major industrialized nation. We are, on the other hand, the leaders when it comes to the number of shooting deaths and mass murders that take place each year. There may be no actual connection between science education and shooting sprees, but if there were, it would presumably have to be due to our relative failure to teach evolution, rather than with our teaching it.
Rick Warren has responded to comment on this tweet saying:
TWITTER’S limit on words allows no context for statements. A lack of contxt causes misinterpretation. So when you tweet what’s on your mind, people preassume (incorrectly) that you are talking about what’s on THEIR mind. This is a clear example. My tweet was a brief response to a question to me about SEXUAL PROMISCUITY. It had NOTHING to do with the tragedy in Colorado.! I had received this email from a dad: “Pastor Rick, my daughter told me her teacher said in class “There’s nothing wrong with sex with multiple partners! Sex is a natural, inate drive, and any attempt to limit it to one, single partner is a manmade construct.” THAT is what I was commenting on. Unfortunately, you also incorrectly presumed the context.
While the connection between the shooting at Aurora and this tweet may be coincidence, there still remains much idiocy in such a soundbite. More on this on the Exploring the Matrix blog.
Another crackpot to get on the airwaves with a hit at secularism as the blame for the shooting is Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) who spoke on on the radio on Friday:
“You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place,”
“Some of us happen to believe that when our founders talked about guarding our virtue and freedom, that that was important,” he said. “Whether it’s John Adams saying our Constitution was made only for moral and religious people … Ben Franklin, only a virtuous people are capable of freedom, as nations become corrupt and vicious they have more need of masters … We have been at war with the very pillars, the very foundation of this country.”
While these are the words and thoughts of Christian American Founding Father, John Adams, the 1796 Treaty with Tripoli states that the United States was “not in any sense founded on the Christian religion”. It was written under presidency of George Washington and signed under the presidency of John Adams.
“We’ve threatened high school graduation participation, if they use God’s name, they’re going to be jailed … I mean that kind of stuff. Where was God? What have we done with God? We don’t want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present.”
A fellow American founding father, Thomas Paine stated:
“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of… Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and of my own part, I disbelieve them all.” — The Age of Reason, pp. 89.
As per the Examiner piece, the First Amendment prevents government led prayer forced onto people, but does not prevent private prayer.
Jerry Newcombe has also blamed the attack on the lack of “fear of God“.
Suffice to say, science is not to blame for a man shooting 71 people in a cinema theatre, anyone who says so is simply exploiting what has happened to sell their ideas and political agenda. Bottom line is that at this point we do not know the shooters motives.