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As for religion and the damage it does to our country: as soon as the news reports broke about the back-to-back shootings in El Paso and Dayton, many of the same Republican politicians whose answer to mass shootings is “More Guns!” began blaming the latest violence on “godlessness.”
“It’s because we kicked God out of our schools!” they cry. “It’s because of abortion and gay marriage!” “Turn back to Jesus and the violence will stop!”
It doesn’t matter that the most secular nations on Earth — places like Japan and Iceland, where the population is 98% atheist — have no mass shootings. You know what else they don’t have? Private ownership of assault weapons. Or the ability to purchase high-capacity magazines.
Calling for prayers and a “return” to Christian devotion in the face of gun violence isn’t leadership; it’s a failure of leadership. It marks the United States as a “culture” (and I use that word in the loosest sense possible) of superstitious, gun-waving yokels.
I know the fact that we are the last nation on Earth (other than Mauritius) to still use English weights and measures instead of the metric system doesn’t seem important by comparison. But it’s symbolic — of a people mired in the past, refusing to join the community of nations, enter the 21st century, and recognize that shared responsibility is just as important as individual freedom when it comes to keeping your homeland livable and decent.
We Americans like to think we’ve cornered the market on individual freedom — but how much can we be free if we’re all terrified of being shot at the mall or at a movie, or of our kids going to school and dying in a hail of gunfire?
The collective American consciousness is poisoned by our deeply sick fascination with guns, and our insistence on clinging to obsolete belief systems that only serve to divide us and hold us back.
In case you missed it: Why Liberals Cannot Afford to Apply Ideological Purity tests