It’s enraging that we have blinkered, stupid Christians declaring that a shooting spree is caused by evolution, or liberals, or atheism. Why? Because there’s the obvious fact that the perpetrators of such crimes are usually not biologists, liberals, or atheists, but also because it is logically fallacious and offensive: the majority of atheists are not committing crimes, and there’s nothing in the principles of atheism that even implies we should be freely slaughtering other members of our communities. It is also the fallacy of mistaking a specific particular for the general properties of the whole; it’s like arguing that one cold day means the climate isn’t warming.
Atheists wouldn’t make such a stupid mistake, though, would they? The killer in Colorado was a church-going Presbyterian — we’re not going to see atheists crowing in triumph and saying that that shows the Christianity turns you into a mass-murderer, are we? That would be just as false as blaming it on evolutionists — the overwhelming majority of Christians feel no compulsion to murder, so it seems to be a rather ineffective ideology for encouraging killing sprees. One could argue that it does short-circuit critical thinking, and that at least the American version seems to endorse destructive policies, but pinning the actions of one unusual individual on the teachings of a religion? We wouldn’t be dumb enough to make that mistake.
I’m disappointed to see that we do have stupid atheists. Witness Why James Holmes’ Rampage is the Result of the Teachings of Christianity. I hang my head in shame. That’s no different than what Rick Warren or the American Patriarchy Association or any of a thousand other ideologues playing the blame game have done.
Christianity is piss-poor at doing more than providing lip-service against violence, but it’s at best a passive enabler. Blame it on the real causes: a culture that glorifies violence, easy availability of deadly weapons, and mostly James Fucking Holmes. Anything else is a distraction from correcting the real causes.