Friday, December 14, 2012Randal Rauser Nails It: Church-State Separation Not to Blame for Today's MassacrePosted by Jeffery Jay Lowder . . at 12/14/2012 10:18:00 PMLabels: church-state, Randal_Rauser, religion_and_politicsMatt DeStefano • 11 hours agoKudos. Rauser's fast becoming one of my favorite Christian bloggers - I'll have to migrate over there more often.
It, of course, comes as no surprise that atheists like Rauser’s brand of Christianity. They know their own kind when they see it.
This is a wonderful summary illustration of the kind of alternate universe that religious conservatives like Mike Huckabee live in.
I happen to think Huckabee’s reported statement was premature. At this stage we don’t know enough about the shooter’s motives to say why he did it, much less extrapolate from that case to a larger pattern.
It is a universe in which Bible thumping pastor-politicians like Huckabee court the NRA by calling themselves “a gun-clinger and a God-clinger” as if Jesus came to set us free to pack heat without government restriction.
So what is Rauser’s point? That this wouldn’t happen if we had stiffer gun-control laws, or had outright gun bans (as well as confiscating guns)?
Even if we had draconian gun-control laws, how would that make guns any less accessible than controlled substances? Illegal drugs are readily available, despite the “war on drugs.” Why think banning guns would be any more successful?
It is a universe in which the Bible is read to justify the stoning of misbehaving children and the slaughter and sacrifice of misbehaving societies.
Notice that Rauser adopts exactly the same posture towards the Bible as militant atheists like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.
In addition, there’s nothing unique to “religious conservatism” that reads the Bible that way. Atheists and theological liberals generally interpret the Bible the same way.
That’s just what the Bible says. The OT does, in fact, authorize capital punishment for juvenile delinquency. (Keep in mind that not all death penalties were mandatory penalties. That establishes the maximum punishment, but in some or many cases that could be commuted.)
The OT does command mass execution of the Canaanites inside the promised land–if they refuse to leave.
And since these are divine commands, what they command is, by definition, morally justifiable.
Of course, Rauser is a subdermal atheist. He has an epidermal layer of Christianity, but just under the surface he’s an atheist down to the bone. That’s why he constantly attacks Christian faith in Scripture. Like his pal, Thom Stark, Rauser is a throwback to Thomas Altizer and Paul van Buren.
I live in a country that is much more secular than the United States. (Heck, in terms of secular ethos Canada might as well be bordering Scandanavia [sic].) Thirty years ago I heard the Bible read every morning in my public elementary school. The Bible was removed long ago, and interestingly we didn’t see a spike in gun violence as a result.
Well, if he can appeal to personal experience, so can I. I attended public school K-12 during the 60s and 70s.
I’ve been reading some recent accounts about school safety. For instance:
Schools nationwide have increased security measures since the shooting at Columbine. Many have installed metal detectors, developed detailed crisis plans, implemented policies to keep doors locked and accessible only by buzzer, and put teachers and staff through training on how to recognize and deal with threats.A letter sent to Sandy Hook parents earlier this year described a new security protocol at the school. Most visitors are required to show identification and ring a doorbell to gain entry to the school’s front entrance, which is locked after 9:30 a.m.
Well, Randal, we didn’t have that when I was a kid. We didn’t need that when I was a kid. So something has changed.
Now, it’s worth exploring why society seems to be more dangerous than it used to be.
What I do see when I visit my daughter’s elementary school is an institution that is much more aware — and intolerant — of bullying and racism than my Bible reading school was thirty years ago.
What does Randal even mean by “bullying and racism” at an elementary school? Does he mean the rough and tumble of young boys at play?
And what was the ethnic composition of the Bible reading school he attended as a boy?