It has become routine in the wake of some major tragedy for some religious idiot to say that it was punishment from god for something or other. The only question is who will enter that swamp first. This time Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and Republican huckster Mike Huckabee who do the honors, saying that god did not prevent this unspeakable tragedy because of the fact that school-sponsored prayer and Bible readings and the Ten Commandments are no longer permitted in public school classrooms.
I was a little surprised by this, to be honest. It is one thing to talk about god punishing entire communities of people with hurricanes, earthquakes, and even gunshots for the sins of the adults, with any children that are killed being collateral damage, so to speak. There is Biblical precedent for that, since presumably a large number of infants and toddlers were killed during Noah’s flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the wickedness of the adults.
But it is quite another to invoke god when the targets themselves are very young children whom we normally think of as innocent (apart from their Original Sin, of course). To say that god deliberately allows the killing of twenty elementary school children because he is ticked off at US Supreme Court decisions on the Establishment Clause would seem to be a bit much for even a devout Christian to swallow and so I did not expect such a response this time and I am surprised that Fischer and Huckabee actually went there.
Perhaps these two are so used to using any tragedy to make a political point that they reflexively say these things without thinking it quite through. On the other hand, maybe they truly believe that god targets children and maybe enough people agree with them. After all, there is precedent for that too, in his murdering of the first-born children of every Egyptian family in response to Pharaoh’s recalcitrance in freeing the captive Israelites.
The Bible seems to have precedents for any atrocity that can be attributed to god. Fortunately, most of those things never happened and are the stuff of myths. Unfortunately, too many people believe that they are actual events and can be taken as indicators of what their god can and will do.