Pharyngula

Jesus made him do it

It wasn’t that long ago that we got to hear lots of wailing about how secular/liberal values led to the Virginia Tech massacre (although, to be fair, most of the wailing was of the “god works in mysterious ways” sort). We had Chuck Norris blaming the “secular progressive agenda”.

Though one can point to Cho’s own psychotic behavior and our graphic slasher media as potential contributors to his deplorable murder spree, we must also hesitate to consider how we as a society are possibly contributing to the growth of these academic killing fields. I believe those who wield the baton of the secular progressive agenda bear significant responsibility for the escalation of school shootings. Even conservatives who refuse to speak when evil flourishes must acknowledge some culpability.

We had church groups claiming that restoring prayer to the schools would fix everything.

American Family Radio has raised a similar battle cry, claiming in a video that events leading to recent years’ school shootings in places like Jonesboro, Ark., Springfield, Ore., Littleton Colo., and Blacksburg, Va., “started when Madalyn Murray O’Hair complained she didn’t want any prayer in our schools, and we said ‘O.K.’” That is an apparent reference to Supreme Court decisions that have outlawed government-sanctioned prayer and devotional Bible reading in public schools.

Now we have a federal agency releasing a profile of the killer.

Cho, 23, of Centreville, whose family was religious and had sought help for him from a Woodbridge church, repeatedly made religious references. He said that he had been “crucified” and that, as with Jesus, his actions would set people free. He called himself a “martyr” who would “sacrifice” his life. He wrote that he would go down in history as the “Jesus Christ of the Weak and Defenseless.” He thought his actions would inspire others to fight back and get even.

Ooops. I predict that, just like Tim McVeigh is conveniently forgotten when it’s time to characterize terrorists as brown and muslim, Cho will be forgotten when it’s expedient to pretend Christianity is a religion of peace and love.

Comments

  1. #1 Sastra
    June 19, 2007

    tinisoli:
    I remember the same thing — right after the shootings several major news sources said that Cho had written an explanatory diatribe which was against religion and that he “blamed Christianity” for the shootings. As I recall, the source for this information was a police officer who was at one of the first press conferences. He said Cho had left a message, and he had personally seen it — but he was not allowed to give out much detail. According to several reporters, however, he did reveal that the killer had verbally attacked both rich kids and “religion.” Then came a remark about blaming Christianity. I remember thinking “oh, no, please don’t let this be an angry atheist.”

    What the heck? Based on what I’ve seen and read since, I don’t see how anyone — especially a policeman — would have interpreted Cho’s rant as “anti-religion.” It’s one thing for the religious right to put a spin on events. But, assuming the officer was quoted accurately — and I am not misremembering it all — something kinda odd there.

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