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Religious leaders call for prayer and action following Florida school shooting

Parents wait for news after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. Nikolas Cruz, a former student, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

(RNS) — “A child of God is dead.”

That message came Wednesday (Feb. 14) not from a religious leader, but from CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd as he broke down while discussing the school shooting that had happened earlier in the day.

In all, 17 people were killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., making it one of the deadliest school shootings in modern American history.

The shooting came on Ash Wednesday, when Catholic and many Protestant Christians remember their mortality as they begin the penitential season of Lent. It also happened to be Valentine’s Day, when many Americans plan to celebrate their loved ones, not lose them.

Details still are emerging, and authorities have not commented on a motive. The 19-year-old suspected gunman reportedly had been expelled from the school. The leader of a white supremacist group also has claimed the suspect was a member and had participated in paramilitary drills, though local police say they have not yet found a connection between the suspect and the group.

Jorge Zapata, Jr., center, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, holds candles with his mother Lavinia Zapata, and father Jorge Zapata, Sr., during a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Wednesday shooting at the school, in Parkland, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

And many religious leaders are still searching for words in the aftermath of the tragedy; most called for prayer, while some begged for that prayer to be accompanied by action.

Here is a sampling of their reactions, some of which have been edited for length:

Paula White, pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Fla., and spiritual adviser to President Trump

“It is horrifying to once again be grieving another school shooting with multiple lives lost, this time at a high school in Parkland, Florida, my own home state. As a mother and a grandmother, I grieve for the victims who have had their lives and futures stolen from them, and for the families who are left to cope with the aftermath of this terrible tragedy. We pray that God would be close to the brokenhearted, as He promises us in scripture He will be, and that the community of Parkland will be comforted in their time of need.”

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

“No other country in the world tolerates this level of deadly slaughter. Sandy Hook. Orlando. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs. The many other attacks that have left families forever shattered by loss. And now Parkland. Until our elected officials stop issuing empty calls for thoughts and prayers and start protecting all Americans, we are left to wonder which community will be the next one added to this dreadful list.”

Ronnie Floyd, president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force

“Psalm 145:18 says, ‘The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.’ This is a moment when every American who professes to believe in God must call on Him with all of his heart. Let us pray for the victims of this terrible attack and their families the way we would like others to pray for us. It’s in times like these when we need God’s presence and comfort the most. May God be with all of us and our nation.”

Suhag Shukla, executive director of Hindu American Foundation

“The Coral Springs community, like other communities affected by such cruel and avoidable violence, will emerge from this tragedy stronger than ever. Now the onus is on the leaders who we entrust to ensure the safety and security of our country’s citizens to show such strength and resilience to set politics aside and do the necessary.

“As Hindu Americans, we see the enacting and enforcing legislation that keeps military-grade firearms out of the hands of the general public, as solidly rooted in Hindu dharma. The ancient holy text, the Mahabharata, reminds us that: ‘Dharma exists for the general welfare of all livings beings; hence, that by which the welfare of all living beings is sustained, that for sure is dharma.'”

The Rev. Katharine R. Henderson, president of Auburn Seminary

“As news continues to come out from the horrific gun violence in Florida we cry out ‘How long Lord?’ How long must we wait before we as a nation do something to stop the violence? Even as our hearts break with those who have lost their loved ones, our spines stiffen as we recommit ourselves again and again to the cry ‘not one more death’ to gun violence. … I call upon all leaders of faith and all people of moral courage to join together to create a sane gun policy in our country so that the events in Florida will never happen again and no parent must shed the tears that cannot be comforted in the loss of a child.”

Tim Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors

“This tragedy, like so many before, highlights the glaring need for our country to better understand and destigmatize mental health issues. I agree with Broward County Public School Superintendent Robert Runcie who said mental health issues, ‘need to be addressed within our school systems as well as the broader society to make sure these tragedies don’t continue.’ To prevent these atrocities we must identify and reach out to those who need our caring intervention, guiding them to healing and away from potentially harmful decisions. For today, though, we must focus our efforts on comforting the brokenhearted and those traumatized by the evil they encountered.”

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism

“What is our response to the question of how a good God could let this happen to anyone? To some of our very dearest. To young people and their families. No one can speak for the Holy One but I find it impossible to hold God responsible for this callous slaughter.

“Rather, I can imagine the Holy One sobbing along with (us), distraught over the senseless bloodshed we’ve collectively allowed to happen. Human care for one another, perhaps Divinely inspired, is what is desperately needed right now.

“What’s also needed is action. … There was no reason to expect this shooting at this time and in this place, but there was every reason to believe that violence like this would be unleashed again. And again and again until we take meaningful action.”

National Council of Churches

“There is no way a troubled teenager should have had access to an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and what was described as ‘countless magazines’ full of high-powered bullets. Even as we mourn this unnecessary loss of life, we call on our lawmakers to shake off fear of the gun lobby, distractions of other legislative matters, and the paralysis of hyper-partisanship and take action to ensure universal background checks be enacted and high powered weapons be taken off the streets of our nation.”

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

“Catholics and many other Christians have begun the journey of Lent today. I encourage us to unite our prayers and sacrifices for the healing and consolation of all those who have been affected by violence in these last weeks and for a conversion of heart, that our communities and nation will be marked by peace. I pray also for unity in seeking to build toward a society with fewer tragedies caused by senseless gun violence.”

Zachary Herrmann, president of NFTY – the Reform Jewish Youth Movement

“Many of the teens affected by the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were known closely by our participants and alumni. Our hearts go out to each and every person who is grieving today. We are angry and devastated that we have to mourn our peers, who went to school yesterday on an ordinary day, like many NFTY teens, but didn’t come home.”

 

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.

175 Comments

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  • Evangelicls and conservative Christians vote for republicans overwhelmingly.
    republicans are owned, lock, stock, and barrel, by the NRA. They don’t vote to do anything to actually regulate and restrict guns, let alone to deprive ammosexuals of their preciouses.
    We are the only civilized– and I use that term with derision– country in the world that refuses to attempt anything remotely approaching gun control. We are the only country in the world which has this sort of thing happen on a regular basis.
    Do the math…but don’t expect hyper conservatives or hyper conservative Christians to, because all they have is thoughts, prayers, and guns.

  • I once read a comment that Sandy Hook was the acid test for acting on gun control. The failure to act then meant that an assumed unfettered right to own guns trumped all – no pun intended,

  • “Religious leaders”, my foot!

    None of whom, see, calls for an investigation, starting here:

    (1) “Nikolas Cruz was trained taking JROTC marksmanship course” – Daily Mail – 4 hours ago

    (2) “FBI was tipped off 5 months ago on Florida school shooting suspect” – American Military News – 8 hours ago

  • It was without a doubt a miserably failed test. We’ll keep hearing the right wing whine about their guns and refuse any kind of control or claim that we can’t control it so why try. All they are demonstrating is controls arwe for others and their love and concerns about lives is just belied by the facts.

  • Dear Ben, I have not posted to this site since well before Thanksgiving. And in posting now, I will make no comment in reference to any subject being discussed here. When I quit posting, it was because I was finally overwhelmed with a weariness beyond description, and as I have visited this and other sites since then which invite comment on religious and social issues I am confronted by about the same half dozen perspectives or commenting strategies as always; they are ubiquitous. And as might be expected, they range from “Righteous” Right to the “Lathered Up” Left, with the usual suspects in between, i.e. Christians faulting other Christians, and Atheists chiding People of Faith for their “Buffoonery.” It never changes. Granted, a handful of voices are respectful, tolerant, and thoughtful in their remarks, but they are far outnumbered by the rest. I have decided that I no longer wish to participate in the circus, though I will continue to monitor the news stories which provide the impetus for other folk’s continued input. However, out of a genuine regard for you, and in light of our many past conversations, I simply wanted to stop by and say hello, and offer my best wishes to you, quite sincerely, and to the small but remarkable balance of souls from whom I have gained insight on these pages. Be well.

  • Let’s look at some facts.

    Everyone knows that God exists. (Romans 1:18)

    Children (and adults) today have very little concept of God other than what they may learn through a culture that hates God and disregards scripture that it chooses not to believe. God has lost His authority in our culture and children are confused knowing one thing, seeing another thing acted out by parents and culture. No wonder children are suicidal and destroying what they can – the only Authority there is, the only absolute there is and possibly the only Person who loves them has been denegrated, denied and torn apart and people are celebrating rebellion against Him because there are no longer any absolutes. Lost and alone in this world is a scary place and for a child, and today, it must seem even worse.

    As wrong as what has happened is – and what keeps happening – this young man is really to be pitied in a culture that doesn’t care about him, and will use him to villify others – last I heard was Trump being blamed.

    But, who is going to care enough for this child to assure that Jesus loves him, and all of the others like him who have been orphaned by this culture – knowing the truth and not seeing it anywhere must be extremely confusing. I would say we should be thankful we don’t see more of this

  • Thank you – I am so glad you said hello so to Ben. Now I also know that you are well and are simply taking care of yourself.. Which is good news/

  • You don’t understand “facts” do you?

    “Everyone knows that God exists. (Romans 1:18)” does not mean that everyone knows that God exists – it means that someone once wrote (or mistranlated) that everyone knows that God exists.

    They were wrong.

    As to praying for God to stop what it’s so far refused to stop – empty gestures often make those without power fell better. – they don’t change anything.

    I don’t know who Mark Ruffalo is – presumably he’s a believer but he at least has some compassion

    “Mark Ruffalo
    ✔@MarkRuffalo
    Prayers without accordant action are silent lies told to oneself, heard by no God, amounting to nothing. Action is the language of truth, the prayers of the Saints.”

    Truth is that too many Americans would rather wash their hands of responsible citizenship and stick their heads up the corporate derriere of the NRA than take effective action to save human life, amputations, chronic frailty and desperate mental distress. This determination to place fear above compassion, together with the shenanigans surrounding the dysfunctional WH are destroying any shred of moral international leadership that the US used to be credited with. And many US citizens won’t care whether I’m right or not – and that, sadly, just confirms the point.

  • As always, well said Edward, always the special touch of grace and warmth in your words. Definitely I will miss you (but will not forget).

  • Just because some dude in 60 CE wrote that he thinks everyone believes in God says nothing about the reality…there are atheists…ergo Paul is wrong.

    “Children (and adults) today have very little concept of God other than what they may learn through a culture that hates God”

    Yeah that must be why so many leaders like Pence, Carson, Ryan and McConnell are atheists….oh wait.

  • Liberty’s Tweet was interesting “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

    I have a better idea:

    “The Lord be near the people who are about to get shot and save them from the crush of bullets.” – Mountain Humanist 34:18

  • This guy’s parents couldn’t be bothered to spend time and effort to deal with his education or disciplinary problems at school, but they were willing to pony up $2K for an assault rifle. Some set of priorities they had.

  • Keep in mind every mass shooting was done with guns which were legally purchased. Every illegally obtained gun in America was first acquired in sales that appeared legal on their face.

    Outlaws have guns, they get them in stores. Conservatives enable them.

  • Well, the same way we stop them now, of course. so far, it hasn’t been a good guy with a gun.

    But your question indicates that your christian morality is really just a pretense to tell people that what they do with their genitalia displeases your god. He is apparently fine with SEVENTEEN young lives being sniffed out by another child who gets access to a gun while you keep asking stupid questions.

  • Hi, Edward,

    It’s good to “see” you again. Thanks for taking the time to write. Though I was concerned something had happened to you, my guess was that it was something like this. I certainly don’t blame you. There is a level of toxicity frequently present that is sometimes difficult to manage. And you seem to be both a sensitive person and a good person. So I understand the difficulty.

    For whatever it is worth, I have also been thinking of abandoning the online world, though it does give me some intellectual and logical training that I always find invigorating and useful. I used to have eight websites I visited regularly. Now it is down to two, perhaps three, and I’m not looking for more. There aren’t enough baths in the world….

    Best of luck and health to you, my friend.

  • You keep bringing it up in discussions that have nothing to do with sex. That’s what makes me think you are fixated on it.

  • National level record keeping makes the illegal gun trade virtually impossible in its present form. It also allows for more effective background checks.

    Mandatory liability insurance creates financial incentives against gun hoarding and unsafe gun storage. The Vegas shooter bought 37 guns and nobody batted an eye. Try owning 37 of anything that size or cost without raising hackles.

    Our current laws enable irresponsible ownership and illegal gun selling simply by not doing enough at the national level.

    There is also no need to make assault rifles or high capacity magazines easily available. A separate license for them is the easiest way to create disincentives for putting them in civilian hands. Nobody needs an AR-15 or AK variant for legitimate civilian non law enforcement use. They just want them because they look cool. Make them more expensive that way.

  • You are right, you can’t. At the same token assault rifles shouldn’t be sold to civilians and states, such as Florida, should put restrictions on who can sell guns, how many at a time, and to who. I recently read that you don’t need a license to sell or buy guns in Florida nor do you need to register them.

  • Pandora’s box has been opened and there is no way to close it.
    Consider: ” So exactly how many guns are there in America at the present moment? It’s difficult to calculate, but in 2015, The Washington Post estimated the number of firearms nationwide at 357 million. That’s already a staggering figure, but it becomes even more so when compared with the country’s population, which at that time was 317 million.” https://www.bustle.com/p/how-many-guns-are-there-in-america-the-statistics-are-staggering-2746615

  • Europe is mostly secular and they don’t see such mass school shootings. This is an American phenomenon. In the Philippines, where the vast majority believe in God, their leader recently advocated shooting female rebels in the genitals. Duterte is extremely popular.

  • I agree it is a huge problem but stricter regulations going forward would at least make it more difficult and would hurt who? The NRA?

  • Why bother with either prayers or calls for action on gun violence? Neither of them do anything. We go through this song and dance every few weeks when another person takes an assault weapon or a gun modified into an assault weapon goes into a school or a concert or a movie theater and kills many innocent people. It’s the same response every time:

    1. Republicans say how sad they are and offer their thoughts and prayers.
    2. Progressives say “let’s do something about this”.
    3. Republicans say it’s not the time and accuse everyone who wants to do something as “politicizing” the issue. Insults get traded.
    4. The whole thing gets sidetracked on some issue like bumpstocks, high capacity magazines, mental health screening, armed guards at schools, or something else that never gets at the core problem of millions of firearms being readily available with no training, regulation, or significant oversight of any kind.
    5. We get to the next news cycle and promptly all forget about it.
    6. The NRA quashes any of the rare attempts by legislators to do anything after we’ve all moved on
    7. The process repeats a few weeks later.

    We have accepted as a society that mass shootings are a part of our national identity. We have accepted that they will continue happening, and nothing is going to change that. In another few weeks, there will be another set of human sacrifices to the great god “Second Amendment” and we will go through this futile ritual all over again.

  • Ben, you’re making one of those — how did you put it? — “toxicity” mistakes when you try to exploit this Florida tragedy to attack “Christian morality.”

    That would be like me trying to exploit gay Omar Mateen’s mass-shooting gig in Orlando, broad-brushing the gay community’s morals on it.

  • And you wrote all this in a letter to your elected officials, right?

    So what was their written reply to you?

    (P.S. I don’t see how anything you wrote there, would have stopped a rich, big-money, successful, intelligent, 100-percent-legal, white businessman like the Las Vegas shooter.)

  • I’m not attacking Christian morality. I’m pointing out JP’s lack of same.
    As for broad brushing the gay community with Mateen? You’ve been doing that ever since it happened.

  • What you perceive as fighting against your god may actually be, most likely to be, protecting the innocent from its sycophants. You know, the type that sows weeds on Saturday and pray for a drought on Sunday.

  • Actually yes. It is something I am trying to drum up support for. Especially the liability insurance thing. It would be a major windfall for both the public and private industry.The reaction has been lukewarm. Democrats generally want more
    affirmative actions and Republicans can’t give a crap about any form of
    regulation of firearms.

    The idea has traction
    https://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/gun-liability-insurance-mandatory.aspx

    https://www.cnn.com/2015/10/08/opinions/yang-gun-violence/index.html

    As for the vegas shooter, he purchased 37 firearms in a relatively short period of time. That alone would have raised red flags for an insurer of those firearms. Plus multiple firearms would have been very expensive to insure.

  • Shooting in a school, so what, it is not even news anymore, it is the new normal for the U S, and nothing is done nor will it be to prevent or stop it. Guns are a multi million dollar industry in the “good ole U S of A” and no life no matter how young, how innocent, how undeserving of death can compete with the god of profit that rules this nation. The right wing nut jobs and the robber barons who use them can spin this until a reasonable person vomits but absolutely nothing will change. The evil that rules this culture and government does not care a damn about innocent lives. “Thoughts and prayers” from Republican and evangelical voices are blasphemy and stench in the Nostrils of God!

    Rev Andrew R Gentry

  • Nope. And I prefer not to bring up Mateen, honestly. But occasionally I do have to remind you of what he did, for whatever reasons (such as this instance).

    The fact is that some of the media, and the pro-gay forces, successfully exploited the mass shooting in Orlando, to put pressure & leverage against evangelical churches in Florida, even though the shooter was a gay man with no Christian ties.

    Christians may not be able to stop such pressure, but they can at least speak up.

  • if He didn’t exist, then why worry about those who want to believe in Him. Are you not imposing your values on them?

  • I agree that school shootings and mass shootings are the “new normal” in America. No joke, no sarcasm. We’re really in trouble. More shootings really ARE coming down the pike soon.

    So what is your proposed solution, Rev. Gentry? And how will you make it work where other laws have failed?

  • We discussed the Australia approach after the last massacre…We’ll mention it here after this tragedy…and we can talk about it again in a month or so after the next mass killing.

    Oops, Yes I know, Australia’s approach is impossible in the USA…we just have to live with the nightmare of more massacred of children..

    For those, not familiar… after the terrible 1996 Tasmanian mass killing, Australia banned private ownership all guns except hunting rifles and shotguns (no semi-auto).

    They have not had a mass shooting in Australia since then. Australians have liberty…we don’t !!

  • Contrary to what many Evangelicals believe, God does not direct all earthly action, unless, of course, God hates the United States and its young people and many other countries.

  • The NRA gave $30 million to the Trump campaign. Many of the Republicans sending their cynical prayers have taken hige sumes for the NRA. Cjhirdren’s life is cheap in the USA. Sacred is the grotesque mis-uniterpretation of the 2nd amendment by the NRA and right wingers.

  • It’s quite the opposite. Laws and legislation are constantly being tweaked to accommodate the proclivities of those claiming to adhere to one particular deity. To not be a dedicated sycophant to that deity prevent can and does prevent employment in many for profit businesses and corporations. Kind of tramples the civil rights of non-believers and atheists when we must submit to the tyranny of the majority.

  • If your god does exist, why is he NOT preventing his sycophants from continuing to inflict dishonesty, trauma, and death upon the innocent, the non-believers, and the atheists? Why? How much blood and graft does your god require? And for how long?

  • “Religious leaders” must be spooks I mean spooky by now because:

    (1) Second student witness says up to three shooters in Parkland Florida school mass shooting – steemit – February 16, 2018

    (2) Multiple shooters participated in Florida school shooting according to eyewitness Alexa Miednik – steemit – February 15, 2018

    (3) Deputies called to shooter’s family home 39 times – CNN – February 15, 2018

    (4) Local law enforcement: No ties between militia and Florida high school shooter – Tallahassee Democrat – February 15, 2018

    (5) School shooting drills prove beneficial in Parkland gun tragedy – MSNBC – February 14, 2018

  • I’m not fighting against God – I’m fighting against the harm that people suffer because of belief in god(s).

    I suspect that if a perfectly good/moral god were to exist he would agree with me!

  • I agree that He does, which means we would agree on three out of four things.
    1. Your not fighting against God.
    2. You are fighting against the harm people suffer because of belief in god(s).
    3. That if a perfectly good/moral god were to exist he would agree with you.
    4. I honesty believe in that God. If I said otherwise I would lie.

    Even though we differ on number 4, I have faith in what you are saying about certain people who would believe like me on number 4. I would want you to know that.

  • Thank you – I think.

    My unbelief is, I suspect, rooted in disappointment.

    The god I believed in was wonderful – and absent, powerless or wicked. I chose absent. I can find no reason to change that choice.

  • Ban all assault rifles period. Confiscate those already owned, make background checks mandatory and enforced no matter the market, outlaw hand guns, and make the gun industry legally and civilly accountable for damages and award large sums of money to litigants who sue them!

  • Well, okay, at least you’ve got some ideas there. But two key proposals…

    (1) the government door-to-door confiscation of assault rifles that are already legally bought & legally owned, and
    (2) the outlawing of handguns (which is meaningless unless the government is totally ready to door-to-door confiscate all legally bought & legally owned handguns)…

    …are totally impossible.
    The 2nd Amendment would have to be repealed, and no politician nor USSC Justice will do it. Plus the fact that there isn’t nearly enough government money or manpower for such a huge effort.

  • You’re right, we have discussed it before. Obama loved the Aussie ban, & preached it, but nobody on ANY side signed up. Even today, his Democrats don’t sell it.

    Why? First, because gun ownership. including semi’s and rifles, IS a constitutional right. (There is no 2nd-Am in Australia.)

    Even Americans who never own a gun, DO accept the 2nd-Am self-defense right. Harriet Tubman had her own gun as she rescued 70 slaves, and later her own sharpshooter’s rifle. No robbers, racists, or rapists messing with her.

    Second, Aussie leaders only had to convince 6 states to give up their guns. That AIN’T like 50 states.

    Finally, government door-to-door confiscation would HAVE to take place to make most people give up the guns that they legally & appropriately bought. They obeyed all the rules & laws, and still doing so, but NOW they have to get confiscated too? In places like Chicago? Oh no no.

  • Here is an interesting insight:
    ““I don’t think it’s about more gun control,” said Samuel L. Jackson, who stars as a conniving house slave in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming revenge fantasy “Django Unchained.” “I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.”https://www.theblaze.com/blog/2012/12/19/samuel-l-jackson-takes-a-surprising-position-on-gun-control

    This is what we get in a culture that doesn’t value human life (abortion) and is anti-Christian.

  • Instead of grieving and praying at this tragic moment, all Americans must persuade the congress to pass a bill to ban the right to buy or own firearms. This may go against the Second Amendment of the American constitution which empowers its citizens to bear arms. But this Amendment was brought in the late 18th century (around 1791) when situation was different. The Americans had to fight the British, the French and the native Indians whose lands they were grabbing. Today, the Republicans are in a majority and are backed by the evangelicals. The NRA has bought the Congress and no Republican will dare to go against the NRA. Which government in the world will allow its citizens to be massacred by its own citizens? Mr Trump holds a very flimsy excuse that the shooter was mentally ill. He does not have the courage to endorse anything stronger since he too is in the pocket of the NRA. It’s up to the citizens, normal, sane citizens and not the so-called religious evangelicals who offer prayers, verses from the Bible and empty sympathies to the families of those killed. You needed a man of courage and conviction to see that America is weapons free or else every year this tragedy will continue..

  • The Second Amendment would not need to be repealed. According to one former Chief Justice, a Republican in fact, the Second Amendment was fashioned only to allow fora well regulated militia not for any nut case wanting to own a gun! But nothing we say will change anything that will only happen when there are more people with an IQ larger than their waist size than there are now!

  • Except, of course, during the two world wars, the Spanish Civil War, the Russian Revolution, and so on. Then they see shooting everywhere.

    Europe – pre-secular, post-secular – has never experienced “mass school shootings” outside of wars.

    It has nothing at all to do with religious beliefs.

  • Oh, you mean things like “shall not steal”?

    What would you like to be up that you’re prevented from doing by “those claiming to adhere to one particular deity”?

    Offering human sacrifice to Baal?

  • The NRA supports the Second Amendment. As to “do anything to actually regulate and restrict guns”, we have a nationwide system for weeding out the criminals and loonies, a system which the NRA advocated for and advocated strengthening.

    We are the only nation – with notable exceptions like Israel – that protects a right to defend yourself with effective means because we’re the only nation with a Bill of Rights.

    It’s always amazing when someone who constantly touts his constitutional rights also touts his desire to strip millions of his fellow citizens of their constitutional rights.

  • Bona-fide assault rifles – which are fully automatic – are controlled by the National Firearms Act and have been since the 1930s.

  • There a many cases each year where a good guy with a gun stopped a mass shooting.

    Schools in most state are a hunting zone because state laws prohibit adults from carrying self-defense weapons.

  • The FBI has admitted it failed to act on actionable intel that should have led to an investigation of Nikolas Cruz.

    This is not the first time, nor the tenth, law enforcement dropped the ball.

  • The NRA can’t give “$30 million to the Trump campaign” as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. In fact it can’t contribute to campaigns at all.

    The related NRA-ILA (Institute for legislative action) has an entire annual budget less than $25 million which is spread across the entire country, including state races, ballot issues, and lobbying.

  • The largest selling and most commonly used sporting rifles in the USA are derivatives of the AR-15.

    Jay Leno has more than 37 cars and no one stopped him.

    Real assault rifles are heavily taxed and regulated. Look-alikes differ not a whit in function from their cousins sold everywhere since the early 1900s.

    Explain how “National level record keeping makes the illegal gun trade virtually impossible”, which seems to not be the case in Mexico, and what you believe “National level record keeping” consists of.

  • The results of Christianity across globe is nothing to shine about, that’s for damn sure. Wish you and yours would self police, for the sake of the innocent if nothing else.

  • First and foremost I’d be dragging a lot of Christians to conversion camps when they’re caught violating their own dogma. I’d make sure they were stripped of their right to legal representation since they have their own book of rules.

  • “Drop the ball” is the totally wrong expression. The right one summing up FBI & local deputies here is – ready?

    “On the juiced ball”!

    If only there are more serious people like “comedian Bill Burr … [given] how well-read he was on political conspiracy theories.” (“Bill Burr Talks Ron Paul & Political Conspiracy Theories On CNN (VIDEO)”, Huffington Post, December 2, 2011.)

  • US government loves guns as much as the Christian Right & Nationalists love America.

    Here, have a lesson learned from: Josh Harkinson, “Fully Loaded: Inside the Shadowy World of America’s 10 Biggest Gunmakers: Meet the moguls making a killing from gun sales in the United States”, Mother Jones, June 14, 2016.

  • NRA pales in comparison to corporations manufacturing arms in the US, according to Josh Harkinson, “Fully Loaded: Inside the Shadowy World of America’s 10 Biggest Gunmakers: Meet the moguls making a killing from gun sales in the United States”, Mother Jones, June 14, 2016.

  • This latest massacre is JUST another boon to said “multi million dollar industry”, according to Josh Harkinson, “Fully Loaded: Inside the Shadowy World of America’s 10 Biggest Gunmakers: Meet the moguls making a killing from gun sales in the United States”, Mother Jones, June 14, 2016.

    Life goes on; but in America, death does.

  • Correctly stated “The results of people – many of them Christian, Muslim, or Jewish – across globe is nothing to shine about, that’s for damn sure.”

  • I have the strong impression that you’ll never be found dragging anyone anywhere unless they’re in grade school and small.

    Since you don’t have a book of rules, you sort of self-absolve.

  • What Ben in Oakland said.

    Nonsense.

    And yes, though I’m a fired-up & die-hard follower of THE Christ Jesus of the gospels, epistles & revelation, I have become, as you put it, “anti-Christian” against the Christian Right & Nationalists.

  • Short of the abolition of state capitalism, problem-solving this thing is a fairy-tale wish. Certain things like guns defy every “proposed solution” under the sun and life goes on. But in America, death does.

    God & Jesus know what They’re doing, though. I take comfort in that gospel truth.

  • I share your (oxymoronically active) pessimism.

    And this, after I read Josh Harkinson, “Fully Loaded: Inside the Shadowy World of America’s 10 Biggest Gunmakers: Meet the moguls making a killing from gun sales in the United States”, Mother Jones, June 14, 2016.

    Without guns, America ends up in an economic depression. Which nobody want. The latter, I mean. But so, never the former.

  • Here’s a potential lesson learned for you, TheMountainHumanist, simply by comparing the Messianic prophecy of that verse and the rest of it in Psalm 34:18-20, with its fulfillment according to John 19:32-37, 2 Corinthians 1:5, and 2 Timothy 3:11:

    PROPHECY: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”

    FULFILLMENT: “The soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, ‘Not a bone of Him shall be broken.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘They shall look on Him whom they pierced.’ … For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. … What persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!”

  • again, why fight against Him if you don’t believe He exists. I don’t go around fighting against unicorns, or dinosaurs, zombies….

  • That’s a very silly comment isn’t it?

    But – Oh I don’t know.

    People who disregarded the influence of a deity on the world performed, and trusted the results
    of, experiments that lead to vaccines, medical drugs, MRI/CT/Ultrasound and Xray scans, cars, planes and trains, computing, the internet …. you carry on with the list – they’ve stopped premature deaths, starvation, pain and fear haven’t they?

  • Less silly than quoting Mark Ruffalo, and no more silly than “As to praying for God to stop what it’s so far refused to stop – empty gestures often make those without power fell better. – they don’t change anything.”

    Many of the people who “trusted the results of, (sic) experiments that lead to vaccines, medical drugs, MRI/CT/Ultrasound and Xray scans, cars, planes and trains, computing, the internet” were believers who prayed.

    Your attempt at setting up a dichotomy is not particularly effective.

  • Civilian sales of firearms taken together don’t amount to a fraction of, say, the home appliance business.

    No, without guns America does not end up in an economic depression.

    Josh Harkinson is a tout, not a reporter, and certainly not an expert on guns or economics.

    “They are all white, all middle-aged, and all men.” No, at least two American gun manufacturers are woman-owned.

    “…. after the massacre in Orlando—which was carried out with a Sig Sauer assault rifle designed for US special operations forces …. “, no the assault rifle is fully automatic firing from an open bolt. It is not available to civilians at all. The civilian firearms is semi-automatic firing from a closed bolt – one of the differences which makes it impossible to turn the civilian into the military.

    “But a decade later, lawmakers let the ban expire amid pressure from the National Rifle Association.” Amid evidence from the FBI and the CDC that the ban had no measurable effect on firearm deaths.

    “Current NRA President Allan Cors has boasted that of all the guns he owns, his favorite is the 1 millionth Springfield Armory M1 rifle, originally presented to its designer, John Garand, upon his retirement from Springfield Armory in 1953.” That rifle was made by the U.S. Government armory known as the Springfield Armory which closed in 1968. Inserting it into an article on Springfield Armory, Inc., an unrelated private company founded in 1974 shows Harkinson’s complete and total lack of knowledge of his subject.

    Etc., etc., etc..

  • People pray to all sorts of god(s). There is no valid evidence that such prayer has ever changed anything.

    And, in logic, it can’t.

    If you believe in a personal god, one who is good and cares for people, then prayer is a waste of time. Such a god, because he loves you, will do what is best for you – whether you ask or not. If he didn’t he’d be wicked – just as you would be if you refused to give a man dying of thirst a drink because he didn’t ask you for one.

    You can’t be a Christian unless you first pluck out the eye of reason – Martin Luther.

  • My deity? Nah…don’t need one. The beliefs and rituals of the Five Civilized Tribes are of more value to me. Chickasaw and Cherokee in my region of the country.

  • Whatever floats your boat. Crashing it purposely into those who are paddling fine gives me the greatest grief.

  • Actually it shouldn’t honey.

    John 14:6 English Standard Version (ESV)
    6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  • Let’s revise this a bit:

    “People pray to all sorts of god(s). There is no evidence that I accept that prayer has ever changed anything.”

    “If there is no deity, it is logical that it would not.”

    “I don’t see evidence of a deity that suits me.”

    “You can’t be a Christian unless you disagree with me.”

    That makes it clear you’re presenting your personal impression of various matters and your conclusions thereon, not a logical evidenced argument which would convince a believer to give it all up.

    There’s certainly no problem at all having a personal opinion.

  • Provide evidence that prayer has changed anything

    Provide a rationale as to how a loving deity would not do what is best unless asked to do so

    Provide evidence of the existence of a deity

    A Christian is
    1. someone who self-defines as Christian or
    2. someone who follows the teachings and example of the Christ of the Gospels

    Anyone can be a 1. Christian – I’ve yet to meet anyone who is a 100% 2. Christian.

    Religion, I suspect, is usually gained either by culture or by emotion. I doubt that reason is likely to be the instigator of escape from beliefs so obtained.

  • There are quite a few steps in between being “without guns” and what we have now. Requiring licenses, selling smart guns, requiring gun insurance, limiting sales of military-grade weapons, requiring gun safety training. Not one single thing will be done, of course. We’ll just chalk up the latest round of human sacrifices and wring our hands about it for another couple days. Then we’ll completely forget for a few weeks until the next mass shooting and impotently wring our hands again for the customary week and repeat for the rest of the foreseeable future.

  • “Sporting rifle” being the weasel worded qualifying term. A rifle which is not primarily used for hunting or target shooting. A nice term for assault rifle. A military type intermediate size ammo using rifle sold for civilian market. That is not to say it is the most popular rifle sold.

    Jay Leno’s ownership raises regulatory red flags for registration and insurance. Cars have far more regulation on a national level than guns. By all means let’s pretend owning 37 guns is a normal act. Why should I even pretend you have a rational point to make?

    “Explain how “National level record keeping makes the illegal gun trade virtually impossible”

    The “iron pipeline” of illegal gun sales depends on the lack of coherent interstate gun pertain record keeping enables straw buying in states with lax background requirements for guns to be sold illegally at a profit in stricter states. Typically the operation is from VA to NY. National level record keeping would note patterns of regular gun purchasing and from where. The organized nature of the illegal gun trade means the straw buying is repeated regularly. It enables law enforcement to find the illegal.gun buyers in a way out current system does not.

    Your opinion of my take on such things means zilch to me. Your comments are going to be stupid, inane and lazy.

  • While neither of us were around there, I am wondering how many plantation owners would have offered up the same line of reasoning about abolition.

  • I think everyone participating in this discussion would benefit from seeing a list, even a partial list, of some of those cases where a good guy with a gun stopped a mass shooting.

  • I hadn’t seen that, but it does pretty much seem to sum up the problem. Nothing screams “I’m a victim” like having to be armed to the teeth to go out and buy a sandwich.

  • Except in all ofe countries that have gun control, and don’t have our problem with mass murder.

    Speaking of mendacity…

  • Evolution is science. And as far as I can tell, long before there was evolution in schools, people, especially religious people who claim to cornervthe market on morality, were killing everyone else.

    Speaking of mendacity, or maybe, just ignorance…..

  • Imagine, instead, if “[Non-]Religious leaders call for [a truth investigation] following Florida school shooting”, into the following leads:

    (1) “Here Is the List of Attackers the FBI Was Warned About But Still Failed to Stop” – The Western Journal – February 17, 2018

    (2) “Parkland student: ‘Secret Service was present, changed school security policy, several weeks before shooting'” – Intellihub – February 15, 2018

    (3) “There was obviously, definitely, another shooter involved: Stoneman Douglas High School student” – Intellihub – February 15, 2018

  • An orphan is someone with no parents. Way to miss the point.

    He was adopted, both his adoptive parents were dead, and he was emancipated.

  • There is no weasel words. An assault rifle is a fully automatic shoulder-fired weapon that fires an intermediate size cartridge.

    The classic example and the progenitor of the type is the Sturmgewehr 44. Your ignorance does not make plain English “weasel words”.

    The rifle used in the shooting is used for hunting or target shooting. In fact it is, and has been for almost a decade, the most popular style hunting rifle in the USA.

    The rational point, of course, is that we do not limit the number of cars, guns, or toothpicks people own. That’s why we use the phrase “it’s a free country”. Given that firearms are specifically protected by the Second Amendment, there is even less reason to limit firearms.

    The attempts of the last administration to detect an “iron pipeline” of illegal gun sales from VA to NY, from Indiana to Illinois, from the USA to Mexico failed utterly over eight years because there are no pipelines.

    National record keeping would, therefore, solve nothing but it would violate the Second Amendment.

    These hare-brained schemes are the product of people who don’t know anything at all about guns, criminals, crime, or much of anything else relevant to the discussion.

    Since this is a forum for discussion, your opinion that my take on your take on such things means zilch to you means zilch to me.

    I simply note that your comments on any topic are likely to be stupid, inane and exhibit lazy thinking.

  • No, Bill.

    You’re relying on propaganda from here, directly or indirectly:

    https://everytownresearch.org/reports/mass-shootings-analysis/

    But NBC says 18% were obtained illegally

    https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/san-bernardino-shooting/more-80-percent-guns-used-mass-shootings-obtained-legally-n474441

    as does ABC

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/guns-mass-shootings-obtained-legally-including-congressional-baseball/story?id=48055331

    using the same source you did, which means your conclusion was erroneous.

    The reality is that mass shootings are extremely rare and tell us nothing about gun crime:

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/mass-shootings-are-a-bad-way-to-understand-gun-violence/

    The rationale would be like looking at a driver who plows through a crowd of people in an automobile and claiming automobile control is the solution.

    In addition, Bloomberg’s current propaganda front, Everytown, counts illegal purchases as legal. For example, every straw man purchase is felonious. Everytown counts them as “legal”. This is called “spin”.

    It does demonstrate that what distinguishes criminals from ordinary citizens is that laws of any kind mean nothing to criminals. And more than 90% of the firearms used in crimes are obtained illegally, usually by theft, including theft from law enforcement.

    What we need is not more laws, but law enforcement.

  • Prove that prayer has never changed anything

    Free will and Original Sin.

    Prove there is not a deity

    Since Christians believe all men are sinners, you’ve probably met many Christians.

    Atheism, I suspect, is usually a result of either culture or emotion. I doubt that reason is likely to be the escape from the ills of day-to-day life.

    Billions of people, with the very same information that you have, have reached diametrically opposed conclusions.

    But most of them are looking for a deity rather than Santa Claus.

  • November, 2017 – Stephen Willeford, a former National Rifle Association instructor who lives next door to the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Spring, Texas, grabs his AR-15-style rifle after hearing gunfire. Confronting Devin Kelley, Willeford shoots him in the leg and torso. Kelley drops his weapon and flees the scene in his SUV unarmed and is apprehended.

    1997 – the assistant principal of Mississippi’s Pearl High School, Joel Myrick, uses a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol kept in his truck to stop and detain 16-year-old Luke Woodham after the teenager stabbs and bludgeons his mother to death at home and kills two students and injured seven at the high school.

    2007 – Matthew Murray, who has already killed four people at Colorado Spring church, is shot by church member and volunteer security guard Jeanne Assam.

    April, 2017 – an Uber driver with a concealed-carry permit shoots a gunman who opened fire on a crowd of people in Chicago’s Logan Square.

    September, 2017 – an usher at a Tennessee church uses his personal firearm to subdue a masked gunman who had already killed one woman in the church’s parking lot and injured six others inside the church.

  • “Prove that prayer has never changed anything”
    Unreasonable request – the onus of proof is always on those make the claim – in this case that prayer changes things. If that wasn’t the case you would have to disprove the existence of every god, demon, nymph, satyr, succubus, incubus, angel, djinn etc. etc. that anyone has ever claimed existed. You make the claim – you have to back it up when asked to do so – and clearly you can’t.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    “Free will and Original Sin.”
    Free Will – as generally interpreted is regarded by the overwhelming majority of experimental neuroscientists as a fairy tale we tell ourselves in order to make us think we are more in control of our lives than we are.
    Original Sin – an invention by those who think that a loving god would punish descendants of someone who, many thousands of years ago, did something that they (Eve/Adam) didn’t know was wrong.
    – – – – – – – – –
    “Prove there is not a deity”
    See first response
    – – – – – – – – – –
    “Since Christians believe all men are sinners, you’ve probably met many Christians.”
    That’s not rational – but yes I have met many who consider themselves Christians – I doubt that the Christ (were he to exist) would have agreed with many of them.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    “Atheism, I suspect, is usually a result of either culture or emotion. I doubt that reason is likely to be the escape from the ills of day-to-day life.”
    Atheism is, in my fairly wide experience, often (probably usually) the rejection of the irrational religious culture that was dumped on them by others – I know many ex-Christians, some ex-Muslims and at least one ex Hindu – atheists all. And generally ex because of the lack of either evidence or rational need for that superstitious belief.
    – – – – – – – –
    “Billions of people, with the very same information that you have, have reached diametrically opposed conclusions.”
    If you want to play a numbers game you must concede that many more people reject Christianity than accept it – therefore it’s false?
    – – – – – – – – –
    “But most of them are looking for a deity rather than Santa Claus.”

    I really have no idea what you mean by this – are you suggesting that “them” should be looking for Santa?

  • Just one problem with that argument. Guns created slavery. But when slavery was abolished because the possibility was there, guns that created it, weren’t abolished because the impossibility was there.

    What am I on about? Well, check this out:

    According to Cameron Duodu, “Slaves and guns: It was European offers of weaponry that lured African chiefs into the slave trade”, The Guardian, March 31, 2007:

    “African kings and chiefs [had] ‘sold their own people’ to the whites. … Why and how did they become part of such a heinous trade? The single most important – and also, alas, the most overlooked – causative factor is the gun. … [What happened was, they were told by the] Slaver … [to] capture as many people as you can … Don’t kill your war captives. We shall take the war captives – men, women, healthy children – as payment for the guns we supply you. … Eventually … the ‘raiding’ of ‘enemy tribes’ purely for slaves became common. This is the cause of so much of the ethnic distrust that exists in Africa today, and which makes African countries find it difficult to establish stable polities [long after the abolition of slavery]. … Rwanda proved in 1994 what a terrible toll the memory of the past is capable of exacting today. In Biafra in 1967, in the Sudan over the past 30 years and in Darfur and the Ivory Coast today – to mention but a few – Africans have been reaping the deadly harvest of a past that was forced upon them by clever marauders from Europe. While they profited from the labour on the plantations of the millions of people they stole, these slavers simultaneously took the engine out of Africa’s own economic and social development. Denuded of able-bodied persons, sprinkled with a deadly suspicion of ‘strangers’ of their own colour, Africans were then struck a third blow – enslavement on their own territory, through colonisation [long after the abolition of slavery].”

    Lesson learned: people can always abolish their slave trades, but never their guns!

  • So this is the license to attempt to thwart secular public policy in order to accommodate perceived religious dogma. This manuscript should not and cannot be used to force others into compliance in the public square. It cannot be used to divide the public at large. To do so is to invite chaos and death, history demonstrates this.

  • They did not have our problem with gun crimes of any kind before gun controls, speaking of post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

  • Since the onus of proof is always on those make the claim, and since you’re claiming the common belief is a false one, the onus is on you to prove it.

    Whether free will is a fairy tale or not, it answered your question. Since you claim “the overwhelming majority of experimental neuroscientists” believe it to be a fairy tale, the onus is on you to prove the claim.

    Whether Original Sin is an invention is a claim. Prove it.

    It is completely rational to point out that Christians believe all men are sinners. The two largest Christian communion have sacraments called “confession” or words to that effect to deal with sin.

    Yes, by definition atheism is the rejection of religion.

    In order to reject Christianity rather than accept it those who do not adhere to it would actually have to have had it offered to them and rejected it.

    Out of the world’s population, roughly 6.3 billion people adhere to one of the five major religions. Atheism and agnosticism combined did not make the top 20.

    38% to Christianity, 29% to Islam, 18% to Hinduism, 8% to Buddhism, and the remainder to folk religions. That’s over 67% to the two major Abrahamic religions, and that’s including Judaism and some minor Abrahamic sects.

    What you described was someone who gives you everything you want without asking for it, never finds fault, never punishes, is perpetually jolly, and while he may keep a list of who’s naughty and nice never does anything about.

    That’s Father Christmas, aka Sinterklass, aka Santa Claus.

    You’re certainly entitled to believe as you wish, but you have not made a compelling case for your position.

  • This looks like a good start. Where can I read more details of the incidents above, and read of more such incidents?–of course, I’m looking for respectable news sites, newspapers, etc.

  • There’s something Existential and Zen about Assassinations & Massacres. You’re right, “we’ll completely forget for a few weeks until the next mass shooting” to be covered here by Religion News Service. See you then, same time and same channel.

  • Millions if not billions of people have died thinking the sun goes round the earth. Being right is not a deocratic point of view – it requires evidence.

  • “Since the onus of proof is always on those make the claim, and since you’re claiming the common belief is a false one, the onus is on you to prove it.”
    No the claim is that prayer makes a difference – the belief is only common in certain populations – does that mean it’s right in some places and wrong in others where the belief is not common. (Hint it’s either right or wrong, and without evidence the rational assumption is that it doesn’t exist.)
    – – – – – – – – –
    “Whether free will is a fairy tale or not, it answered your question. Since you claim “the overwhelming majority of experimental neuroscientists” believe it to be a fairy tale, the onus is on you to prove the claim.”
    Read “Free Will” by Sam Harris and “Incognito” by David Eagleman and follow all the links to the experimental data – You’ll have your evidence.
    – – – – – – – – –
    “Whether Original Sin is an invention is a claim. Prove it.”
    Of course it’s an invention – if you want to demonstrate that it’s also real you have to provide evidence.
    – – – – – – –
    “It is completely rational to point out that Christians believe all men are sinners. The two largest Christian communion have sacraments called “confession” or words to that effect to deal with sin.”
    I know – so what?
    – – – – – – – –
    “Yes, by definition atheism is the rejection of religion.”
    No – by definition it the absence of belief in god(s). Most people who don’t believe in god(s) don’t practice a religion (though, for example, Buddhism is different).
    – – – – – – –
    “In order to reject Christianity rather than accept it those who do not adhere to it would actually have to have had it offered to them and rejected it.”

    Yes – but the “offer” can range from being born into a believing environment to being harangued by a street corner preacher. Many of the atheists I know were born into religious families.
    – – – – – – –
    “Out of the world’s population, roughly 6.3 billion people adhere to one of the five major religions. Atheism and agnosticism combined did not make the top 20.
    38% to Christianity, 29% to Islam, 18% to Hinduism, 8% to Buddhism, and the remainder to folk religions. That’s over 67% to the two major Abrahamic religions, and that’s including Judaism and some minor Abrahamic sects.”
    So what? I’ve already explained that being right is nothing to do with numbers.
    – – – – – – – – –
    “What you described was someone who gives you everything you want without asking for it, never finds fault, never punishes, is perpetually jolly, and while he may keep a list of who’s naughty and nice never does anything about.
    That’s Father Christmas, aka Sinterklass, aka Santa Claus.”
    Nonsense – I described someone who loves, cares, is moral and supportive – most people’s god(s) are just plain evil.
    “What you described was someone who gives you everything you want without asking for it” – yes – demanding that you be asked before you help someone is a sign of a disturbed, un-empathetic mind.
    “never finds fault, never punishes, is perpetually jolly, and while he may keep a list of who’s naughty and nice never does anything about.” – I didn’t say any of that – but if he cared at all (and was able to do so) he’d have sorted out his error strewn creation and got rid of cancer, arthritis, dementia etc. etc. many generations ago. He didn’t because either he can’t, he won’t or he doesn’t exist – the most likely explanation is the third.
    – – – – – – –
    “You’re certainly entitled to believe as you wish, but you have not made a compelling case for your position.”
    My position is the absence of belief and the acceptance that there are things we don’t (yet?) know. The way to tackle any lack of knowledge is not to shout “Goddidit” (unless you can provide appropriate evidence to support that claim) but to search for the evidence-based answer using the scientific method in order to minimise the impact of bias, irrationality and wishful-thinking.

  • It seems that very few Americans have any idea of what constitutes Marxism doesn’t it.

    edited having read the reply that came in whilst I was typing

    Ben – you’ve struck a nerve with a nutter – I suggest you ignore the ignorance and stupidity.

  • https://www.google.com/advanced_search

    You insert what you are looking for at the appropriate points and fire away.

    If you’re looking for something in the summary vein, this might be helpful:

    https://www.nap.edu/read/18319/chapter/1

    Two findings more or less stand out:

    Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker:

    “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

    Defensive uses of guns are common:

    “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year…in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

  • No, the claim is that prayer makes no difference because there is no deity.

    That’s your claim.

    If you can’t prove it, that’s okay. You’re as entitled to hold it as the people who hold the opposite opinion.

    No, I will not be reading “Free Will” by Sam Harris and “Incognito” by David Eagleman.

    http://www.philosophynews.com/post/2012/05/15/An-Analysis-of-Sam-Harris-Free-Will.aspx

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/the-brain-on-trial/308520/

    Like the deist’s First Cause argument, neither “proves” that there is no free will, but it does provide a rationale for holding that position.

    If you can’t support your claim in a discussion, that’s okay. You’re entitled to hold the opinion. Just don’t expect to convince anyone you’re right.

    If Original Sin is “an invention”, I am sure you have evidence to support that. We can wait while you provide it.

    That the two largest Christian communions have sacraments called “confession” or words to that effect to deal with the sins they know Christians will commit means your criterion for considering someone a Christian are idiosyncratic and unrelated to the beliefs of Christianity. But they are yours, and you are entitled to use them.

    And I agree – so what? Everyone has opinions, this is just one of yours.

    By definition atheism is the rejection of the existence of a deity or deities, which precludes religion at its root.

    Historically most atheists were born into religious families. The roots are generally psychological, not philosophical. Santa failed to bring the sled, dad was drunk, and so on. Then the formulation of rationales begins.

    Yes, you’ve explained that being right has nothing to do with numbers. On the other hand, you have not presented any evidence you’re right. Betting people will go go with the billions to one odds.

    What you describe as a deity who loves, cares, is moral and supportive doesn’t match up with any of the major religion’s deities that I have been able to find. It does match up well with Father Christmas/Santa Claus.

    I am not completely certain what that means, but apparently many people have different expectations of a deity than you do. Anyone can look around and see that things in this life on this earth can be outright unpleasant. Ask a Holocaust survivor. Many don’t seem to attribute that to their deity or deities, and so they don’t share your conclusion that “most people’s god(s) are just plain evil.”, i.e., are not Santa Claus.

    Your position is that the absence of belief pleases you. No deity can ever make your cut because you will never enjoy paradise on earth. Because people remain people, no religion’s adherents will ever actually attain the perfection you demand, so that provides a rationale for dismissing them. Your sense of disappointment, betrayal, aloneness, fear, or name one at finding out things will never be as you wish them to be leads to despair which leads to rejection and thus construction of a nice rationale to explain it all. It’s neatly done, self-fulfilling, and nearly bullet-proof.

    Good for you. Enjoy your disbelief and leave the billions who don’t share alone and in peace.

  • Translation: An old book claims to fulfill the plot of an older book. Sorry..I have no reason to think either of the books are mostly non-fiction.

  • “No, the claim is that prayer makes no difference because there is no deity.
    That’s your claim.
    If you can’t prove it, that’s okay. You’re as entitled to hold it as the people who hold the opposite opinion.”

    Wrong.
    You may make that claim if you wish – I’m saying that the claim that prayer makes changes is wrong. Wrong actually because of the lack of valid evidence and wrong theoretically because a just god would not require prayer before acting justly.

    For all I know there could be a “god” but, if there is, he is incompetent, immoral and irrelevant.
    – – – – – – – –
    “No, I will not be reading “Free Will” by Sam Harris and “Incognito” by David Eagleman.”

    OK but, unless you have already read them, you forfeit the right to deny what they say.
    – – – – – – –
    Like the deist’s First Cause argument, neither “proves” that there is no free will, but it does provide a rationale for holding that position.
    If you can’t support your claim in a discussion, that’s okay. You’re entitled to hold the opinion. Just don’t expect to convince anyone you’re right.
    “If Original Sin is “an invention”, I am sure you have evidence to support that. We can wait while you provide it.”

    What is original sin? –
    Original sin is an Augustine Christian doctrine that says that everyone is born sinful. This means that they are born with a built-in urge to do bad things and to disobey God. It is an important doctrine within the Roman Catholic Church. The concept of Original Sin was explained in depth by St Augustine and formalised as part of Roman Catholic doctrine by the Councils of Trent in the 16th Century.

    Definition of doctrine – a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group.

    Beliefs are invented – someone thinks them up – in this case possibly Augustine.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    “That the two largest Christian communions have sacraments called “confession” or words to that effect to deal with the sins they know Christians will commit means your criterion for considering someone a Christian are idiosyncratic and unrelated to the beliefs of Christianity. But they are yours, and you are entitled to use them.”

    You think that “someone who follows the teachings and example of the Christ of the Gospels” is idiosyncratic? How on earth do you define a Christian then?
    – – – – – – –
    And I agree – so what? Everyone has opinions, this is just one of yours.
    “By definition atheism is the rejection of the existence of a deity or deities, which precludes religion at its root.”

    Wrong, but a necessary wrong because you can’t maintain your argument when, as it is, atheism is merely the absence of belief in god(s).
    – – – – – – –
    “Historically most atheists were born into religious families. The roots are generally psychological, not philosophical. Santa failed to bring the sled, dad was drunk, and so on. Then the formulation of rationales begins.”

    First sentence may be right but unless you have access to, and can provide links to, your evidence – in my experience – the rest is rubbish
    – – – – – –
    “Yes, you’ve explained that being right has nothing to do with numbers. On the other hand, you have not presented any evidence you’re right. Betting people will go go with the billions to one odds.”

    Billions to one – yeah – don’t offer your bookmaking expertise to anyone who understands odds.

    The vast majority of betting people are losers – that’s why competent businessmen make a lot of money out casinos, betting shops etc..
    – – – – – – – –
    “What you describe as a deity who loves, cares, is moral and supportive doesn’t match up with any of the major religion’s deities that I have been able to find. It does match up well with Father Christmas/Santa Claus.”
    I am not completely certain what that means, but apparently many people have different expectations of a deity than you do. Anyone can look around and see that things in this life on this earth can be outright unpleasant. Ask a Holocaust survivor. Many don’t seem to attribute that to their deity or deities, and so they don’t share your conclusion that “most people’s god(s) are just plain evil.”, i.e., are not Santa Claus.”

    Do you think that your god was unable to prevent the Holocaust – or merely disinclined to get involved?

    If you think that a deity who tolerates (and sometimes encourages) evil deeds, who could cure but refuses to do so, who is incapable of getting his creation even near right and demands supplication before doing nothing is a deity worth worshipping that’s OK. I don’t – fortunately there is no good reason to think it exists outside believers’ heads (The sacred space is the one between the ears).
    – – – – – –
    “Your position is that the absence of belief pleases you.”

    Hang on – first I say there’s no deity – now I (accurately) merely say that I have no belief in one. No wonder you don’t make much sense – you haven’t worked out what it is you think you’re arguing against.
    – – – – – –
    “No deity can ever make your cut because you will never enjoy paradise on earth. Because people remain people, no religion’s adherents will ever actually attain the perfection you demand, so that provides a rationale for dismissing them. Your sense of disappointment, betrayal, aloneness, fear, or name one at finding out things will never be as you wish them to be leads to despair which leads to rejection and thus construction of a nice rationale to explain it all. It’s neatly done, self-fulfilling, and nearly bullet-proof.”

    It’s not that people are imperfect – I’m one and arrogant enough to assume that others are also imperfect – it’s the visions of god(s) that are imperfect. If a god exists it has to be either very flawed or very disinterested – either way not worth my concern.

    Your cod-psychology is way off target – but presumably fortifies you against the realisation that you’ve (like all of us in some ways) been suckered.
    – – – – – –
    “Good for you. Enjoy your disbelief and leave the billions who don’t share alone and in peace.”

    Until you understand the difference between disbelief and the absence of belief you’re not going to get much right.

    Do you advocate for leaving the billions whose belief is not Christian in peace? Matthew 28:19-20?

  • Marxism for the far right is anyone even remotely to the left of Attila the Hun. If they fail with that meme, it’s off to cultural Marxism.they fail to notice their own group think.

    And yes, I don’t propose to argue any points with this, errr, ummm nutter. ??

    I agree, it’s pointless. ?

  • Yes, you’re saying that the claim that prayer makes changes is wrong. It is wrong because you find no evidence which pleases/convinces you, and because the deity you’re looking for would not require prayer before acting “justly”, which appears to mean as you would like it to act.

    That’s your egocentric approach and your self-crafted criterion and therefore no one can argue with them as a result.

    Original Sin is not Augustinian, it is part of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The notion is that a deity wishes better for us than this world, and the defects in this world are to a large extent self-created.

    If beliefs are invented, so are yours.

    I think that defining a Christian as “someone who follows the teachings and example of the Christ of the Gospels” perfectly 100% all the time is idiosyncratic as well as remarkably unrealistic.

    “The rest is rubbish” sans a robust argument is simply another rationale.

    Billions to one, Billions to a million, the odds still favor the contra opinion.

    As the Judeo-Christian tradition defines “god” – and since that’s the largest tradition in the world as well as the one I am most familiar with it is the one I’ll use – I think god was capable of preventing the Holocaust, but to do so would have completely negated free will, rendering mankind automatons or puppets.

    As to whether the deity was “merely disinclined to get involved”, that echoes Woody Allen’s comment that “if god is omnipotent, he’s a serious underachiever”. It certainly underlines why evil is a mystery, but it leads us no further towards an answer.

    The notion that a deity encourages evil deeds seems to rest, again, on your personal definition of evil. What a deity wills is what the deity wills. There is no higher criterion, although what that deity wills may displease you. If you have no belief in a deity, and that answers all your questions to your satisfaction, then I am not sure what your issue with my comments might be.

    It isn’t that I haven’t worked out what you think, it’s simply that you don’t like the fact that I consider it simply what you think.

    Your entire “it’s the visions of god(s) that are imperfect. If a god exists it has to be either very flawed or very disinterested – either way not worth my concern” rests on personally constructed and imposed criterion on a deity, which apparently billions of people do not share. Again, you’re free to look for the purple god with three eyes, but that really is your quest, not mankind’s.

    Also if it pleases you think all of us in some ways have been suckered, good for you if it helps you get by. The impression I’m getting is that suckering yourself is the project.

    Matthew 28:19-20 is rather pointless within that context of your disbelief. Certainly I don’t see walking into your self-constructed rationales which – while styled as rational analyses – in fact reflect internal issues which apparently need resolving as either an obligation or productive on anyone’s part.

    It’s difficult to respond to “Bah humbug! Prove I’m wrong.” in any constructive way.

    Pointing out that your rationales are not as iron-clad and logically compelling as you seem to think is probably as good as it gets.

  • “you’re saying that the claim that prayer makes changes is wrong. It is wrong because you find no evidence which pleases/convinces you, and because the deity you’re looking for would not require prayer before acting “justly”, which appears to mean as you would like it to act.”

    Justice is a well understood concept – your god is unjust.
    I find no evidence – you got some?
    – – – – – – – –
    “Original Sin is not Augustinian, it is part of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The notion is that a deity wishes better for us than this world, and the defects in this world are to a large extent self-created.”

    Your sources(?) say different to mine. It’s a puny deity that wishes but doesn’t act.
    – – – – – – –
    “If beliefs are invented, so are yours.”

    You’re back to confusing belief and lack of belief
    – – – – – –
    “I think that defining a Christian as “someone who follows the teachings and example of the Christ of the Gospels” perfectly 100% all the time is idiosyncratic as well as remarkably unrealistic.”

    So would I – which is why I didn’t write it – Straw man!
    – – – – – –
    ““The rest is rubbish” sans a robust argument is simply another rationale.”

    It’s my opinion based on my experience and discussion with quite a lot of atheists. Yours was based on what?
    – – – – – – – –
    “Billions to one, Billions to a million, the odds still favor the contra opinion.”

    Nope – no evidence – no need – no odds other than a whiney “you can’t prove that my god doesn’t exist so there” (Kindergarten level shouty-shouty). You can prove that there aren’t invisible, insubstantial spirit fairies hiding in the bushes at the White House can you?
    – – – – – –
    “As the Judeo-Christian tradition defines “god” – and since that’s the largest tradition in the world as well as the one I am most familiar with it is the one I’ll use – I think god was capable of preventing the Holocaust, but to do so would have completely negated free will, rendering mankind automatons or puppets.”

    What a wonderful god you have – I’ll just let 6 million people die (as well as all the others) so that I can’t be accused of interfering with a few peoples’ free will. What about the free will of the 6 million – God shrugs and shuffles his feet. Your God is vicious, vindictive, vainglorious and violent – and not very bright.
    – – – – – – –
    As to whether the deity was “merely disinclined to get involved”, that echoes Woody Allen’s comment that “if god is omnipotent, he’s a serious underachiever”. It certainly underlines why evil is a mystery, but it leads us no further towards an answer.

    Actually it does – it leads us towards the answer that your God is a fiction.
    – – – – – –
    “The notion that a deity encourages evil deeds seems to rest, again, on your personal definition of evil. What a deity wills is what the deity wills. There is no higher criterion, although what that deity wills may displease you. If you have no belief in a deity, and that answers all your questions to your satisfaction, then I am not sure what your issue with my comments might be.”

    It requires a seriously dysfunctional mind to associate divine command morality with the god of the Sermon on the Mount.
    – – – – – –
    It isn’t that I haven’t worked out what you think, it’s simply that you don’t like the fact that I consider it simply what you think.
    “Your entire “it’s the visions of god(s) that are imperfect. If a god exists it has to be either very flawed or very disinterested – either way not worth my concern” rests on personally constructed and imposed criterion on a deity, which apparently billions of people do not share. Again, you’re free to look for the purple god with three eyes, but that really is your quest, not mankind’s.”

    You’re getting desperate – a second straw man!
    – – – – – –
    “Also if it pleases you think all of us in some ways have been suckered, good for you if it helps you get by. The impression I’m getting is that suckering yourself is the project.”

    We all get suckered sometimes – usually in minor ways – it’s part of the vulnerability that our evolved strategy of mental short-cuts creates.
    – – – – – – –
    “Matthew 28:19-20 is rather pointless within that context of your disbelief. Certainly I don’t see walking into your self-constructed rationales which – while styled as rational analyses – in fact reflect internal issues which apparently need resolving as either an obligation or productive on anyone’s part.”

    Deflection
    – – – – – – –
    “It’s difficult to respond to “Bah humbug! Prove I’m wrong.” in any constructive way.”

    Not asking that you prove me wrong – just prove you’re right.
    – – – – – – –
    “Pointing out that your rationales are not as iron-clad and logically compelling as you seem to think is probably as good as it gets.”

    Yep – when you going to more than talk about it?

    Over – next time is over and out
    unless you stop repeating yourself.

  • “Over – next time is over and out unless you stop repeating yourself.” is not much of a threat when you keep repeating the same material over and over and over and expecting fresh responses.

    The first responses were about as good as it gets.

    Since your rationales are circular, there is really no way to prove you’re wrong or that I’m right. Every deity proposed will fail to meet your criterion. Every religion suggested will fail to pass muster since its adherents are not 100% perfect.

    It requires a seriously dysfunctional mind for the puny creature to stand up and announce the deity is immoral by the puny creature’s self-invented criterion (“What a wonderful god you have – I’ll just let 6 million people die (as well as all the others) so that I can’t be accused of interfering with a few peoples’ free will.”). I am not sure that you’re in the position to deliver ultimatums to a deity.

    It does not lead us towards the answer that the Judeo-Christian God is a fiction, it leads us to the conclusion that your expectations are on the fringe.

    No, no one is under the slightest obligation to address your concerns, least of all any deity or deities.

    No, trying to address your concerns which could only be met if this world becomes paradise and a god comports itself to your concepts of love, fairness, and justice is a fool’s errand.

    If your sources on Original Sin “say different to mine”, your sources are utter rubbish. Get better ones.

    So, you’ve backed yourself into a rationale for rejecting deities, religions, and the majority of your fellow human beings’ beliefs. You seem rather pleased with yourself having done so.

    I fail to see why you’re not therefore deliriously happy or why you would wish to engage any of those billions who disagree with you, you being so bright and they being so suckered, in discussing it. We are all so benighted and you are so “light-bringing”.

  • I think I’ll try to find out what police authorities say about this. I’ve read comments from a few gun-owners that were in places where shooters were murdering people who said that they feared that police might mistake them for the “real” shooter, if they pulled out their weapons.

  • “Every religion suggested will fail to pass muster since its adherents are not 100% perfect.”

    Another straw man – I said “It’s not that people are imperfect – I’m one and arrogant enough to assume that others are also imperfect – it’s the visions of god(s) that are imperfect.”

    Either you haven’t read my comments, you have failed to understand them or you are unable to address them so misrepresent them.
    – – – – – – –

    “trying to address your concerns which could only be met if this world becomes paradise and a god comports itself to your concepts of love, fairness, and justice is a fool’s errand.”

    Agreed there’s no such being – , but a god who isn’t loving, fair and just isn’t what most people think of as a god – they tend to attribute the lack of those characteristics to the Devil. Are you actually a devil-worshipper?

    Unless it were deliberately lying the god you proclaim would be incapable of authoring the Sermon on the Mount.

    Mind you, as I understand it, some varieties of Christian believe that this world will become paradise.

    – – – – – – –

    “no one is under the slightest obligation to address your concerns, least of all any deity or deities.”
    Agreed – I haven’t suggested so – this is just another invention of yours which obscures your inability to conduct a rational debate.
    – – – – – –

    “If your sources on Original Sin “say different to mine”, your sources are utter rubbish. Get better ones.”

    I requested your sources – you haven’t provided them – perhaps they only exist where the sun never shines? (Try BBC and Wikipedia). – “The concept of original sin was first alluded to in the 2nd century by Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon in his controversy with certain dualist Gnostics. Other church fathers such as Augustine also developed the doctrine,”
    – – – – – – – –

    “I fail to see why you’re not therefore deliriously happy or why you would wish to engage any of those billions who disagree with you, you being so bright and they being so suckered, in discussing it. We are all so benighted and you are so “light-bringing”.”

    Petulance is no substitute for rational discourse.

    – – – – – – –

    I’m out.

  • You were out when you began, with a circular definition of a deity which could only be met if your every wish were granted, and requirements on religions which could only be met if its members were pinnacles of perfection. In addition you’re relying on defective sources, or taking them in ways that distort their content.

    An example of this approach:

    “I requested your sources – you haven’t provided them – perhaps they only exist where the sun never shines? (Try BBC and Wikipedia). – ‘The concept of original sin was first alluded to in the 2nd century by Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon in his controversy with certain dualist Gnostics. Other church fathers such as Augustine also developed the doctrine,’”

    The entire story of the Fall, the banishment from Paradise, and the alteration of Man’s relationship with the natural world to his detriment is told in Genesis, probably written down in the 10th century BC, about 1,200 years before “the 2nd century”.

    We go to St. Paul, where in Romans 5:18-21 we read:

    “18 Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    which describes Christ’s alleviation of the penalty of Original Sin two centuries before Irenaeus.

    There is no way to actually dialogue because you defeat a discussion with a priori conditions and assumptions which preclude discussion.

  • Don’t even try to compare the US to Israel. Despite what Mike Hucksterbee and the NRA try to tell you, Israel has serious gun control.

  • Great suggestion.

    Israel maintains armed guards at its schools and has since 1995. The armed school guards are backed up by special police forces on motorcycles that can be on the scene within minutes.

    Guards are stationed not just at schools, but at many other public facilities, including bus and train stations, parking lots, malls and restaurants.

    While Israel has fewer private weapons per capita than the US, there are gangster shootouts on the streets from time to time, and Israeli-Palestinian gun rampages are hardly unheard of.

    Israel’s actual gun laws are generally stricter than those in the US. The Israeli Constitution does not guarantee the right to bear arms.

    Gun licensing is limited to people who are deemed to need a firearm because they work or live in dangerous areas.

    Practically, however, if you live in the West Bank, a community on the borders with Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, in fact in most of Israel and are Jewish, you will get your license.

  • All true. Israel’s actual gun laws would be a good start for the US . One major difference that should be added is that Israel is a much smaller, more homogeneous country than the US. Compulsory military service makes much of the populace at least basically familiar with firearm use. So when you see someone in a store with a rifle slung over his back, you don’t think it’s some “open carry activist,” it’s just normal. As is the experience of security guards at cafes and malls asking you if you have a weapon before allowing you in.
    One more thing: there are a lot of pictures going around purporting to show teachers, bridesmaids (it’s usually attractive women) with rifles. These are generally not what they seem. Teachers are not generally armed, but as you say, there are armed guards, especially on field trips. Also, if you see an armed young person, she’s probably an Israel Defense Forces soldier on basic training and is required to carry her weapon everywhere she goes. This is not a privilege, it’s a duty (and not necessarily a fun one).

  • Dear Edward, I am very glad to hear you’re okay. Your absence was certainly noted by me. I respect your decision not to participate but we’ll miss you.

  • There are reports that he belonged to the “Republic of Florida,” a white nationalist organization seeking to make Florida a “white ethnostate.”

  • We don’t see more of it, in Canada for example. Yet what you say of our supposedly godless society should go double for Canada, Western Europe, and all the other supposedly secularized countries. So where are their weekly mass shootings?

  • We have had kids in schools shot – I believe it has happened in Alberta. I know of an instance in Montreal – although I in no way want to try to keep up with the U.S, Arb. Canada left the Lord so many years ago, it’s tragic and immorality is just accepted and you move on it.
    They don’t even care if you don’t like their immorality unless the can make some money on I don’t think the US has achieved our indifference yet, and this may be a sign that your children don’t want to. Maybe there still is some value to the Lord in the US.
    The Prime Minister of Canada didn’t want anyone in his caucus who was against abortion and no one batted an eye.
    The difference between the US and Canada.

  • My sincere thanks. Whatever it may be worth to you, I always found you to be one of the more well reasoned and articulate voices on RNS.

  • Israel does not have an equivalent of the Second Amendment.

    Therefore, Israel’s actual gun laws would not even get out of the gate in the US.

  • Some might pass muster, such as the mental health screening. In light of the Heller case, it seems unlikely any law in which you must prove a specific need for a firearm — something Israel has — would survive Second Amendment analysis.

  • It would depend on how it’s structured. Put it this way, if the Second Amendment allows convicted felons to be denied firearms, it would allow dangerously mentally ill individuals to be denied them as well.

  • It already does.

    In order to be considered dangerously mentally ill, you have to be adjudicated mentally ill.

    What you were suggesting was some sort of screening.

    You can’t condition exercise of a right on passing a test.

  • If you wish, change to it to adjudicated mentally ill. The key to surviving constitutional review is that any “test” has to be objective and not pretextual discrimination.

  • We already have adjudicated mentally ill.

    Not only must a condition be objective but it cannot infringe a right.

  • “Prayer and action” are powerless because:

    (1) “Police say more deputies waited outside school during Stoneman Douglas shooting” – Sun Sentinel – February 23, 2018

    (2) “Armed sheriff’s deputy stayed outside Florida school while mass killing took place” – Washington Post – February 23, 2018

  • But your “Mountain Humanist 34:18” version of “Psalm 34:18” kind of dignifies the latter, “mostly non-fiction” though, it is.

  • OK, “religious leaders”, how about you guys go now & investigate these leads to the truth of all truths behind this massacre?

    (1) “Commanding officer initially ordered responding deputies to ‘stage’ not enter Stoneman Douglas, sources say” – Fox News, March 1, 2018

    (2) “Broward County Sheriffs deputies were ordered not to enter Florida school unless body cameras were on: Sheriff’s Department told Broward deputies not to enter the Florida school during massacre” – The Duran, February 27, 2018

    (3) “Questions Emerge Over Florida Shooter’s ‘Full Metal Garb'” – Zerohedge – February 26, 2018

    (4) “”Never Seen Such A Large Crowd’: Record Numbers Flock To Florida Gun Show After Shooting” – Zerohedge – February 26, 2018

    (5) “Parkland Shooting: Top 10 Reasons for Deeper Interrogation” – Global Research – February 25, 2018

    (6) “Teacher grazed by Parkland shooter’s bullet: ‘Shooter was in full metal garb, helmet, face mask, bulletproof armor, shooting a rifle I never seen before’ – Intellihub – February 24, 2018

    (7) “District proposes tearing down Stoneman Douglas High building where attack took place” – Sun Sentinel – February 16, 2018

    (8) “‘This building must come down’: Lawmakers agree on $25-$30 million to demolish school: Florida legislators said Thursday they will provide the resources to help the Broward School District tear down Building 12, the site of the massacre that killed 17 students and teachers” – Tampa Bay Times – February 16, 2018

    (9) “The building where the Florida school shooting took place will be torn down” – Business Insider – February 16, 2018

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