By Jason Miciak | 2 September 2019
Daily Sound and Fury
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, and Evangelical ambassador to Trump, has the answer to ending mass shootings. Stop teaching evolution. Because if kids learned that they were made in God’s image, they wouldn’t shoot people, or something. Make us cry, HuffPo:
“We’ve taught our kids that they come about by chance through primordial slime and then we’re surprised that they treat their fellow Americans like dirt,” Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, said on “Fox & Friends.”
Presumably, Perkins did not address the obvious. How to explain how it is that primordial slime manages to simply grow peacefully without shooting off its extended southwest end. Perhaps primordial slime evolved ahead of us? Which is the most highly evolved species in this discussion?
Regardless, this is straightforward, according to Perkins:
“I think we have to go back to the point where we instill in these children, at least give them the opportunity to know that they’re created in the image of God, therefore they have inherent value.”
We absolutely should be teaching children that they have inherent value, but I totally disagree that public schools need invoke God to do so. After all, there are many nations that remain far more secular in governance, that don’t teach creationism, nor religion in their public schools, and yet they are not undergoing a mass-shooting epidemic. Under Perkins’ theory, their children do have an inherent sense of value.
Perhaps we need to ask Canada, the Netherlands, or Germany, how it is that their more secular society instills sufficient morality, how they do not have rampant gun violence? Except, if we did ask, the answer would likely be something like: “Nothing, we just don’t allow AR-15s and powerful handguns to flood our streets. Don’t overthink this.” We know this because they have laws addressing this exact problem.
But, Tony Perkins will not do so, because he is forced to look for an answer that A) Fits his personal faith, which I don’t mock, and B) Doesn’t upset the gun manufacturing lobby that is the NRA, which I most certainly will.
But, alas, Twitter says there might be hope. We should give Perkins another chance at this.
The latest shooting in West Texas is tragic. We need to come together from all sides to have a discussion as to how to end this. But we can’t just discuss the instruments of violence – we must address the inspiration. We need a return to faith & morality.https://t.co/OqoluqSE4j
— Tony Perkins (@tperkins) September 1, 2019
We can’t “just discuss” the “instruments of violence”? Is he saying he is willing to discuss the instruments of violence? Because if he is, if he is willing to back a ban on high capacity, high powered, guns, then I am willing to listen to his thoughts on instilling morality. I will not go so far as to support teaching creationism in schools, or any religion (because whose creation story are you going to use? Native Americans? Hindu? See the problem?). But, if Perkins is willing to set aside the gun lobby in search for an answer, I would be willing to reach out to him, and hear his thoughts on addressing the inspiration.
After all, even primordial slime finds a way to evolve, searching for a better life. Perhaps it can teach us lesser creatures something. If Perkins is willing, then so am I…
Except, wait. He doesn’t appear to be willing:
And the problem is not the absence of laws, it’s an absence of morality. Really, the result of the decades-long march through the institutions of America, driving religion and God from the public square.
No, Tony, the problem actually does involve an absence of laws, with or without an absence of “morality.” One cannot instill morality in everybody, but one can create a law that covers everybody with regard to their own personal AR-15. After all, if you join the military, they don’t hand you an assault rifle to carry around the base right off. You have to be taught, you have to be checked out, and then you have to have a legitimate use for one. We have an absence of laws requiring the same thing in everyday society. The military has stricter gun laws than the parking lot at the Piggly Wiggly.
The effort to instill universal morality may be admirable, I suppose, but when it comes to ensuring that my daughter isn’t gunned down in her school, I prefer to just keep the guns away from everyone but law enforcement.
I truly wish we could have had a real discussion, but apparently Perkins believes that getting evolution out of public schools is a greater priority than getting the AR-15 out of the public. I am not even going to ask his thoughts on accepting gay people as full and equal citizens.
What do they teach Swiss kids?
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