Speaking to Fox News, Mike Huckabee opined: "We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed god from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"
Meanwhile, on his rightwing talk radio program, Focal Point, Bryan Fischer claimed that had he wanted to, god could have protected the victims of this massacre, but he chose not to intervene because "god is a gentleman" and "he is not going to go where is not wanted." Since 1962, Fischer explained, we have systematically removed god from our public schools, and now god would say to us: "Hey I'll be glad to protect your children, but you've got to invite me back into your world first."
Now let me see if I'm picturing this correctly. There sits god on his throne. Some messenger angel comes up to him and urgently informs him: "God, God, Maker of the Universe, Embodiment of Love, Thou from whom the smallest sparrow cannot fall unnoticed, Your loving, merciful Highness, I think something horrific is about to happen. A young man is breaking into Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. School is in session, it's filled with teachers and small children, and this man has guns! It looks like he's about to start shooting! Can you do something? Please??!! Now??!! Oh God, please!!!"
God looks where his messenger points and slowly and calmly speaks: "Well, I could do something. But they haven't invited me in lately, have they?"
"But sir, look! He just shot a teacher, he's pointing his gun at the children!"
"Yes, I can see that," god continues calmly. "But you know, since 1962 the US has been systematically shutting me out of its public schools. And this is a public school, isn't it?"
"But Your Loving Highness, he's shooting children! Little children! Innocent little children! Look at them! He's riddling their little bodies with bullets! Some are already lying in pools of blood! Can't you stop this?!! Please God, please!!!"
"Now, now, don't be so dramatic. I could allow far worse things to happen if I wanted to. Heh, heh, and I do from time to time, don't I? But seriously, if the citizens of the US don't want things like this to happen, then they'll have to bring back prayer in school. Until they do, well, let's just say it's open season. Now, let's have a look over here. I haven't looked in on Myanmar lately. What are those godless Buddhist monks up to these days? And speaking of godless people--those Swedes don't believe much anymore, do they? I wonder whether an earthquake or two might be in order."
Who I do begrudge are the self-righteous and self-appointed spokespersons for some almighty deity of their own making. Self-appointed spokespersons who, in the face of unspeakable horror, invoke their deity not as a source of comfort, but as a source of cold judgment. Maybe in the twisted theology of the Mike Huckabees and Bryan Fischers of the world, the god they describe is a god of comfort. But it's hard to see how. I find the picture of god they present as unspeakable as the horror just visited upon these most innocent of victims. May their families find peace. I know not what to wish for the likes of Huckabee and Fischer.