While one assumes that not all of the victims of the horrific Newtown, CT shooting were Catholics, the "Fair & Balanced" Fox News is providing only the Catholic spiritual perspective from Fr. Jonathan Morris who is the only clergy with a weekly Sunday time slot and almost exclusive religious air time on Fox News. While it would be interesting to have a variety of religious perspectives on this issue (one of the victims might be Jewish), the only one, so far has been Morris'. This morning, Morris provided his view of the reasons behind mass shootings with a plug for God and prayer. Brian Kilmeade then made a typically stupid comment which suggested an agenda that wasn't really picked up by Morris who was rational, except for his invoking "evil" as a factor in the shooting. The chyron, however, suggested a Mike Huckabee perspective that never materialized. Odd...
As the chyron, the only chyron for the piece, said "God's Role, Bringing God Back Into Schools," Alisyn Camerota asked Morris "where do you begin, with the parents, here." Morris responded: "Isn't it amazing, just to see how people naturally turn to prayer and naturally turn to God....and that's understandable because that's, I believe, at the core of who we are." (Not all people turn to Fr. Morris' god. Some turn to each other; but you won't hear that on Fox News) Morris, who has had doubts about President Obama's faith, praised Obama for quoting Scripture. Morris continued that "we should be comfortable expressing our belief in God, our religion in good times." (So Obama needs to do more god talk?)
Brian Kilmeade followed this with perhaps the second most idiotic Fox News comment, after Mike Huckabee said that the shooting happened because "we've systematically removed God from our schools." Brian said - ready for it - "But Father, here's the problem, it's the guy who needs God, I mean you can't blame the people, that seems like a perfect town, idyllic school, an incredible principal, heroic teachers. The person that needs you is dead now. He shot himself in the head."
Fr. Morris responded that these cases involve mental health issues, personal responsibility, and "evil" that affects a person's spiritual core. He then said that pastors, families, and communities need to reach out to those who are marginalized. Alisyn Camerota astutely asked how you can say that "we should wrap our arms around these people" while at the same time, saying that they're evil. She added "that makes us less compassionate if they're evil." Morris claimed that a person could be mentally ill while, at the same time, "be inclined to evil" and to act out on it. He continued that "building spirituality, loving, being involved with our kids in that way" is important and an example of that is how social media is allowing people to offer prayers on sites like Facebook. He advised parents to hug and love their children and be "unafraid to pray with them."
As I said - Odd...
Note - Rev. Emily Heath, of the United Church of God, has a great piece about dealing with trauma experienced by children. Too bad Fox News can't have folks like this on to provide alternative religious perspectives. (A woman pastor, from a liberal church, providing pastoral guidance - not on Fox!)
OUR job should be to fight for laws and controls that will make it more difficult for sick individuals to kill or harm innocents while Gawd is looking the other way.
And I agree entirely with Joseph’s post on how evil and “un-Christ-like” supposedly christian societies have been in the past.
I would only add that people who call themselves Christians are still capable of spouting the most violent sort of verbal intolerance and hatred only to condemn anybody who takes action along those lines. I will never but never be able to condone Fox for giving that sort of pseudo-christian so much face time.
And the nameless being seems to not remember that many “God-fearing” people have been more than willing to kill, maim and torture people all in the name of that God of theirs. During the Crusades, the city of Constantinople (which, at the time, was the seat of Eastern Christianity through the Byzantine Empire) was sacked (which means property was stolen and people were killed) by other Christians (Roman Catholics to be specific since this was a couple of centuries before the Reformation). Then, of course, there were the millions of Native Americans who were slaughtered (or simply killed from introduced diseases) by both Catholics and Protestants. And there were the European Christians who felt so strongly about “saving the African savage” that they were willing to kidnap them from their African homes, chain and pack them into ships and transport them thousands of miles away where they could enjoy “working” for no wages for people who didn’t really care if they lived or died.
The closet you can get to someone being “biblically evil” is someone like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, or Khomeini. Those are the people who believed their actions were the wills of their collective higher power, that they would be justified by history and spirituality.
These shooters aren’t like those people- They’re just sad, misguided, and troubled individuals that chose to be remembered for a final, monstrous act.
And show us where Ellen said that it’s weird to feel spiritual after a crisis- She said that she found Kilmeade’s approach to shoehorning religion into a discussion where it doesn’t belong as baffling as it is inappropiate. That’s it.