Religion will not prevent mass killings (such as VT)

April 26, 2007 at 10:36 pm 16 comments

The shooting in Blacksburg, Virginia last week caused many of us to ponder the social ramifications of a violent culture, which even includes violent religious ideologies.

Last week a lone shooter chained the doors of the Science and Engineering building at Virginia Tech and went from classroom to classroom killing every person he could. One doctor said there was not one surviving patient who did not have at least three shot wounds – this young man meant to kill everybody.

In light of this incident and other such brutal attacks, some of which are done in the name of religion, I cannot help but wonder about what can possibly happen to a person in life to create such killers. Or to put it more precisely, why are our young men turning into mass murderers?

Here is what Actor Chuck Norris said in a WorldNetDaily exclusive commentary:

If we are ever to restore civility in our land and our schools, we must turn back the clocks to a time when such shocking crimes didn’t even exist – when we valued life and respected one another much more then we do today. We must use the Bible (humanity’s blueprint for life and ”bluebook” for value) to retrain our youth about theirs and others’ value as children of God, made in His image. [sic]

Parental AdvisoryHow can a Bible that promotes genocide and violence by God himself help this situation? The God of the Bible condoned mass murder and even ordered vengeful violence on more than one occasion. I believe society would do better to find the answers outside of religion.

Although I never allowed violent video games or music in my home, I know there is plenty of this offensive material out there. In fact, one story that is not being told by the media is that the VT shooter loved to play one of the more violent computer games produced by Microsoft.

The computer game in question, which I will not name because it does not deserve to be mentioned, allows the player to shoot the images of people with several different types of guns. There is no way that this obviously unstable young man did not pick up a thing or two from Microsoft’s computer “game.”

Recently, radio shock jock Don Imus was fired for his racist and sexist statements. Yet every day our children are exposed to music – as well as religious teachings – that are so full of hate that it would even make Imus’ statement seem mild. Is it any wonder that society is producing murderers?

The next course of action – after such a brutal attack on a college campus – is for the officials at VT (and all other universities) to find ways to protect the students from another such attack. However, anyone who has ever been on a college campus knows it is near to impossible to ensure complete safety and still function normally.

Perhaps a better method of protection would be to eliminate the influences that encourage these types of attacks in the first place. The debate at hand should not be about gun control, security measures or what could have been done different. The solution is not to turn to an archaic book that promotes violence.

The necessary debate should be about the fact that modern society – heavily laden with violent scenes on the television, hate-filled lyrics in the music and video games that sear the tender consciences of our youth – is producing murderers.

If we want to protect ourselves from these killers, then it is upon us as parents and leaders of the community to protect the minds of these young men (I say young men because I cannot recall any women committing these acts) from the elements of society that feed hatred and murder.

We cannot expect our children to fill their minds with hate, violence and murder all day via the television, music and video games and then expect them to grow up to be well-balanced individuals who are ready to contribute positively to society. If we raise violent children, we will eventually live with violent adults.

It is time we took responsibility for allowing violence to permeate the lives of our children and start fighting back against this hateful culture that has overtaken society in the last few decades by eliminating these influences – including violent religious texts. Otherwise, we can only expect to see more massacres, more death and more violence.

It is time to let our children be young and innocent again.

- Stellar1

Entry filed under: Stellar1. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Why Do Christians Try So Hard To Convert Others? Who says church can’t be fun?

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. agnosticatheist  |  April 26, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    Here’s another quote from Chuck’s commentary:

    I believe those who wield the baton of the secular progressive agenda bear significant responsibility for the escalation of school shootings.

    Wow!

    aA

  • 2. Adam  |  April 26, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    I disagree with you – as violence in the media has gone up, youth violent crime rates have gone down.
    ( http://www.reason.com/blog/show/119889.html )

    There’s never been a good study that correlated exposure to violent art with propensity to commit real-life violence. The fact that the murderer was a *creator* of violent art instead of primarily a consumer seems pretty noteworthy.

  • 3. Heather  |  April 27, 2007 at 12:13 am

    **If we are ever to restore civility in our land and our schools, we must turn back the clocks to a time when such shocking crimes didn’t even exist – when we valued life and respected one another much more then we do today.** So … he wants to bring back racism? Slavery itself? Lack of women’s rights?

    Seriously. Every time I hear about how the Religious Right wants to restore the US to a Christian nation, exactly which point in time are the Religious Right referring to?

  • 4. agnosticatheist  |  April 27, 2007 at 12:37 am

    Chuck’s rant reminds me of a Carmen song in the 80s that blamed all of society’s woes on the removal of prayer from the public schools.

    aA

  • 5. honjii  |  April 27, 2007 at 2:07 am

    They just don’t get it, probably never will. So much killing and persecution, so many wars fought in the name of religion. I posted on my blog (see Extreme Religion, Score God: Untold Millions,
    Atheists: 0). Yet they keep insisting we need more of that good old time religion to fix everything and anything.

    Mother nature has many ways of keeping things in balance. I’m starting to wonder if perhaps we are evolving as an ever more violent species as a means of population control. (I know that’s pretty out there isn’t it?)

  • 6. Pedro Timóteo  |  April 27, 2007 at 5:03 am

    While I agree with you that religion certainly isn’t the solution (and I mean it both in the “supernatural” sense (which doesn’t exist at all) and in the “morality” it teaches people), I have to disagree with you on blaming violent media instead.

    I’ve been a gamer for 25 years, and I’m as un-violent as they come. :) I also love horror and war movies, and, again, I have never felt the urge to get a gun and go out kill strangers.

    Don’t blame the media. Don’t blame “society”. If you want to blame anything, blame the parents, who are often too self-involved to take the slightest interest in their kids’ education… or, even better, blame the actual monsters who do the killing.

    Why are we so afraid to admit that some people are really crazy, or simply monsters, and have to always look for an external cause instead?

  • 7. HeIsSailing  |  April 27, 2007 at 6:38 am

    Heather sez:
    “Seriously. Every time I hear about how the Religious Right wants to restore the US to a Christian nation, exactly which point in time are the Religious Right referring to?”

    Many MANY years ago, I saw an episode of Fantasy Island that made fun of people who wanted to return to a ‘Christian Nation’. (Yes, I am referrencing 70’s pop schlock. Sue me) A young couple with kids asked Ricardo Montalban if he could provide them the wholesome and pure experience of living amongst the Puritans of early 17th century New England. No problem sez Ricardo. Well, I forget the whole storyline, but I do remember that they really suffered under the Puritans because they were not righteous enough, and they begged Ricardo to end the Fantasy after spending some time in the stocks for heresy.

    Sure, it was a dopey show, but it made a point here. Some Christians have an idealized view of a supposedly wholesome past that I don’t think exists.

  • 8. stellar1  |  April 27, 2007 at 6:45 am

    Adam,

    I think the fact that every time one of these mass shootings occur, it is a history setting event. First it was the university in Texas, then Columbine and now VT that all set historical markers for being the deadliest at something. That fact alone shows the escalation of violence over time.

    Pedro,

    While I agree that some people can play video games – even the violent ones – without becoming violent themselves; I also think there are some, like the VT shooter, who are mentally unstable that cannot seperate reality from fantasy. These are the ones from whom society needs to protect itself.

    -Stellar1

  • 9. tobeme  |  April 27, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I agree there is more exposure to viloence in more ways than there ever has been before. Some may point to violence of the past where children and adults were exposed to the real violence of the world. The difference now is that the violence we are exposed though in games, music and movies is violence without real consequence, therefore children of today who are exposed to violence do not grasp the reality of violence and the damage that it does to them and society.
    I agree, organized religion is not the sole answer. This is whole community probem which needs holistc solutions, not simply pointing to a bible and saying there is your solution.
    Good post.

  • 10. honjii  |  April 27, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Pedro,
    Personally I don’t like watching violent movies, televison shows, or playing violent video games. I do agree that games or movies don’t give most adults violent urges, and the extremely disturbed among us may eventually commit an act of violence with our without this exposure. The problem is, all the violence in entertainment makes us, as a society, desensitized to the point where when we hear news of violence most folks just shrug it off. It has become too much a part of normal everyday life for some.

    Notice in the above paragraph, I refer to adults. Unfortunately in many popular movies, television shows and games being BAD is made to look glamorous and super cool. When children are constantly bombarded with these messages and there is no balancing force, they don’t have to be crazy or disturbed to want to emulate what they see as being cool. It’s a sad reality that for many children their favorite tv, movie, or game criminals are their primary role models.

    Perhaps if the violence portrayed in games and movies looked anything at all like real life violence (and trust me it’s not even close) people would be so horrified (as they should be) they’d stop watching.

  • 11. brad  |  April 27, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Super, more blame-game scapegoating. I am pretty sure this is how religion itself started. Any two-bit psychologist can tell you that we pseudo-sociologists are looking in the wrong places. How about looking at the situation this way:
    A= “Event” (ie. playing video games, reading the Bible, playing soccer)
    C= “Action” (ie. shooting people, declaring war, swearing at a ref)

    What is missing here is the key ingredient: B, the “interpretation” of the event. Stellar’s idea that video games and violent media are to blame are no different than the ideas of Chuck Norris, Pat Robertson, and, of course, Jack Thompson: they all want to blame something external. Something that can be fixed. The logical problem with this idea is that it all comes down to believe that their was this imaginary utopia where people did not hurt each other. I suppose this is okay if you believe in the Disney version of Atlantis or the Garden of Eden, but I don’t.

    Anthropologists have yet to see any evidence for a time in human consciousness that humans were not extremely violent towards one another. Humans didn’t always have video games. We didn’t have violent movies. We didn’t have guns. We have the potentiality for acting for another’s benefit or harm. So ban violent violent video games, movies, and guns, and guess what, we will still be violent and still hurt each other on a mass scale.

    I will tell you what you people do when you blame something other than Cho Seung or the two guys from Columbine: you cheapen it. You simplify it for your own superficial comfort. Life sucks, you can’t fix everyone so you need to explain it away. Sounds an awful lot like a couple religions I know of.

  • 12. honjii  |  April 27, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Brad,
    You brought up a point I meant to mention earlier. We probably don’t have anymore violence per capita then there ever was, we simply have a population that is expanding exponentially, and more readily available information than we have had in the past.

    A good friend of mine is a primatologist who has spent years observing chimps as well as some lesser primates. The amount of hugging and the amount of violence, according to her, pretty much mirrors that of human populations.

  • 13. dwhitsett  |  May 2, 2007 at 10:32 am

    So much of what you say is true. In places in the Bible there are depictions of terrible violence. I was, however, a little curious about your statement that violence is promoted therein. Even the “good guys” like David became unrighteousy violent but it is hardly condoned. It is commonly expressed that the Bible promotes violence, but I think that thought deserves closer scrutiny. http://dwhitsett.wordpress.com/

  • 14. Anonymous  |  August 19, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Although I agree with your point, I think that eliminating violent texts in the bible would be taking it too far. It is like telling only half of a story. I however am not even a Christian; I am Jewish, and I can assure you that in the Old Testament, there is enough violence, but I believe that with age, things will become more appropriate for kids to handle. Would you read Ayn Rand to your kids? Probably not, but with age, they will mature into young adults, the material will be more appropriate, and the concept easier to grasp.

  • 15. cag  |  August 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    #14 Anonymous, violent fiction or non-violent fiction, the bible is still fiction. As long as it is presented as fiction, I have no problem with adults reading the book to see how ridiculous it is. Unfortunately the bible is not usually read, but sanitized by some scam artist in a fancy outfit, and presented as some form of truth rather than the absurdity that it actually is.

  • 16. ubi dubium  |  August 20, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    @ #14 Anonymous, I wouldn’t read Ayn Rand to adults either. I find it promotes callous selfishness, and I don’t care to encourage that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

Twitter

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 2,011,507 hits since March 2007

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 201 other followers