On Sunday, I told you that Jordan Peterson's notion of what will prevent angry young men from turning to violence -- "enforced monogamy," which will supposedly redistribute women as sex partners to now-frustrated males -- might not catch on among conservatives, in part because conservatives have a large repertoire of excuses for male violence already.
Now the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins has weighed in on last week's school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas:
Mankind has had instruments of destruction dating back to Cain and Abel. The real crisis is the moral vacuum left behind when society kicked religion — and with it, morality — out of the public space. Violence, relativism, promiscuity, and suicide didn’t get their start when God was expelled from school. But they’ve certainly been given a culture in which to thrive now that we’ve removed the Judeo-Christian foundation that anchored the country.
... We can talk about limiting access to guns, but if we’re truly concerned about violence, let’s also talk about expanding access to God. Until we’re willing to address both — the instrument and the motivation – nothing will change. A spiritually sick society that embraces violence instead of values needs God.
This leaves me wondering why a shooting of this kind would happen in Santa Fe, of all places. As NPR's Wade Goodwyn noted this morning:
The town is a predominantly white, rural, and evangelical community. In 2000, Santa Fe High was the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court decision about whether students could pray over the loudspeaker before football games . When the Court ruled no, they could not, it prompted anguish and outrage in the town.
Perkins would say this just proves his point -- the town's high school football fans were deprived of pre-game loudspeaker prayer, and, well, everyone knows that inevitably leads to mass slaughter. I'd say that a town as religious as Santa Fe ought to still be as religious as it was when its students were praying openly over the PA system -- angry evangelicals talk as if bans on mass prayer from public schools somehow deprive them of all religious expression, but clearly that's not the case. There are eighteen Christian churches in Santa Fe, a town of approximately 13,000 people. The shooter attended a church dance days before the massacre. I'm sure Santa Fe is significantly more Christian than, say, the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where I'm typing this now, and where there's never been a mass shooting of the kind that just took place in Santa Fe.
Meanwhile, NRA spokesman Colion Noir seems to be playing the entire right-wing scapegoat songbook, like a veteran rock band playing a classic double album in its entirety.
COLION NOIR (NRATV HOST): So, when are we going to be completely honest and acknowledge the awkward, bullied, sexually frustrated, psychotropic drug-laced, suicidal, mass shooters in the room for what they are? Or are we just going to keep acting like we don't know what's going on in the name of not confronting the miserable reality that they are a creation of our so-called progressive culture and media?
... our moronic media in their blind pursuit for ratings will post every picture they can find of the shooter and repeat the shooters's name habitually, turning the kid into a damn rock star within hours of the damn shooting....
Instead of teaching our kids how to cope with the harsh realities of life, we shield them in safe spaces and give them participation trophies incentivizing mediocrity and tell our young boys that their masculinity is toxic, and our young girls that being a woman means acting like a man further confusing the hell out of kids who are naturally going to struggle with their identity as is.
Drugs! Progressive culture! The media! Safe spaces! Participation trophies! The questioning of traditional gender behavior!
Sorry, Professor Peterson, we'll keep your scapegoat on file, but I'm afraid we don't have an opening right now.
Originally published at No More Mr. Nice Blog