. . . I'm just tired. Really, really tired. It all just hit me today when I saw Sarah Palin's relatively benign (for her) comments on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Essentially, like Mike Huckabee before her, she insinuated that the shootings could be attributed to the fact that Americans have lost focus on what's truly important--the main thing that's truly important being, apparently, God.
For the record, I am an agnostic: I don't know whether God exists or not. I feel reasonably certain that if there is some supreme being, He takes little to no interest in what's going on here on earth.
(EDITORIAL NOTE: I use "He" for simplicity's sake; I capitalize because I'm a slave to convention.)
That being said, I don't begrudge anybody else his or her belief in God. I'm certainly not about to argue it: As I say, I don't know. I'm a fairly logical sort of guy, and belief in God is, in the most literal sense, irrational: It must be taken on faith. And that's cool! If your faith helps you live a better life and provides you with solace in the face of tragedy, more power to you--or, to it, as the case may be. But I cannot abide self-righteous proselytizers who blame society's ills on insufficient fealty to God-as-they-see-Him.
For one thing, the idea that God has been "systematically removed" from public schools, as Mike "This-Guy-Was-Once-Considered-a-Legitimate-Presidential-Candidate?!?" Huckabee proclaimed, is ludicrous. Isn't one of the tenets of faith that "God is everywhere"? More to the point, while courts have declared prayer in public schools unconstitutional, nothing stops individual children or teachers from praying quietly--by and for themselves--while they are in school. I suspect every time a teacher gives a test, quite a bit of praying occurs. On a more serious note, I imagine many people at Sandy Hook Elementary were praying on Friday. Which brings me to my second and more profound problem with the Gospel According to Huckabee.
Think this through to its logical conclusion: If these children were slaughtered because of laws restricting officially-sanctioned prayer in public schools, then that means the God we are all supposed to pray to is some kind of petty-minded, insecure narcissist who will allow children and their devoted teachers to be massacred simply because we have failed to give Him his "props." I don't know about you, but I don't think that kind of God is much worth worshipping.
Don't even get me started on those who claim this whole thing could have been avoided if teachers--who a few months ago were gleefully derided as lazy moochers leaching off the public teat--had just been armed!
During the 2008 campaign, then-candidate Obama caught much flak for saying that certain people "cling to guns or religion. . . as a way to explain their frustrations." Quod erat demonstrandum.