Newtown and Responsibility

I wish I could avoid writing about this because I feel like I’m just adding to the noise.  And, of course, anyone who comments on this tragedy, unless that comment is a direct memorial to the lost lives, runs the risk of distracting from what’s really important.  I’m taking that risk, but I hope there’s been enough time to process and someone benefits.

First, a couple of videos, a comment (at the very end) in context and a (presumably more prepared) follow-up:

Now, I like Mike Huckabee personally even though I disagree with his political statements at least 40% of the time. I think he’s generally a fun-loving, commpassionate, smart guy, and for better or worse he’s not a cookie-cutter conservative.

But, during the election season and in response to the Newtown tragedy, Mr. Huckabee confirmed the worst Christian stereotype. And, I’m afraid many preachers followed his example in their sermons the next Sunday.

He tried to place the blame somewhere that it doesn’t belong. The blame lies squarely on Adam Lanza and anyone who knew of his impaired mental health, was in a position to help him but did nothing.

I actually heard a sermon in which the preacher, after he talked about those who “celebrate what God says is wrong” invited his congregation to repent on behalf of those who were responsible for the nation’s turn from God, which resulted in this shooting. That’s almost a direct quote, and I’m pretty sure it’s not hard to figure out what specific group of people he was talking about. I was frankly appalled.

Now, there are a lot of reasons I believe that what Huckabee said was wrong and that it was the wrong time to say it, but I don’t want to get lost in the weeds here. I think it’s enough, for now, to say that I was disappointed that such an admired Christian spokesman as Mike Huckabee chose to use this tragedy for political purposes.

I’m also disappointed that he chose to use the “God’s Judgment” theme in a way he likely knew would be repeated in churches across America. It’s arrogant and it damages Christianity! God will stay undamaged, but His followers won’t.

To be sure, the Christian Right is not the only group to use the tragedy for their own purposes (notably the gun control advocates), but Christians should be better than this.