And once again, before the bodies are even cold, Cathy Cooper at Debunking Christianity writes a post titled Why James Holmes’ Rampage is the Result of the Teachings of Christianity
We have already heard of some of the emotional stressors that triggered James Holmes’ rampage, such as dropping out of the PhD neuroscience program at Colorado University. I hypothesize that this combination of factors including the double bind message of Christianity that he was taught and believed, combined with the stressors of his life, led him to his rampage. The other horn of my disjunction goes without saying. I merely note that we are all aware of the cases of the immoral actions and chaos committed by those who, whether they are Christian or non-Christian, are the result of their belief that they are controlled by Satan or possessed by demons or Satan and so on, and is the result of the teachings of Christianity. So either way, whether it be cases such as James Holmes or the other cases just mentioned, they are the result of the teachings of Christianity. This is the best explanation. Yes, James Holmes was a “normal Christian boy”–what a scary thought.
Let’s be honest. At this moment, I’m not sure of the validity of her argument. I don’t care if she is right or not. I don’t care that people like Rick Warren are ghouls who send tweets (since removed tweets, but still) such as:
“When students are taught they are no different from animals, they act like it.”
What I care about is an atheist using the 70 victims of this tragedy to make a point against religion before the 12 corpses were even stiff.
There is a time and place for every thing. Cathy Cooper brings up several good points in her post. The effect of Christianity on morality is a subject that needs to be discussed. But laying the blame for this shooting at either Christianity or atheism is ghoulish, opportunistic, and in my opinion, wrong. The teachings of Christianity may have a negative influence on morality; but Christianity doesn’t cause people to enter a crowded theater with an arsenal and attempt to rack up the highest possible body count. I’m sure there are many contributing factors to this massacre, but the blame has to land on the person responsible; James Holmes.
When I first heard of the shooting, I wondered how long until a Christian attempted to shift the blame from James Holmes to the teaching of evolution, the removal of state sponsored prayer in schools, homosexuality, or atheism. And attempt to shift blame they did; quickly and en masse. What I didn’t expect was an atheist ghoulishly attempting the same.
What is fair, is fair. As I told Rep. Gohmert in part one of this post, I sadly must say to you:
Fuck you, Cathy Cooper.
Needless to say, I’m not the only atheist/skeptical blogger who noticed Cathy Cooper’s post. PZ over at Pharyngula certainly did.
Atheists wouldn’t make such a stupid mistake, though, would they? The killer in Colorado was a church-going Presbyterian — we’re not going to see atheists crowing in triumph and saying that that shows the Christianity turns you into a mass-murderer, are we? That would be just as false as blaming it on evolutionists — the overwhelming majority of Christians feel no compulsion to murder, so it seems to be a rather ineffective ideology for encouraging killing sprees. One could argue that it does short-circuit critical thinking, and that at least the American version seems to endorse destructive policies, but pinning the actions of one unusual individual on the teachings of a religion? We wouldn’t be dumb enough to make that mistake.
I’m disappointed to see that we do have stupid atheists. Witness Why James Holmes’ Rampage is the Result of the Teachings of Christianity. I hang my head in shame. That’s no different than what Rick Warren or the American Patriarchy Association or any of a thousand other ideologues playing the blame game have done.
Which caused John Loftus from Debunking Christianity to respond with a post maturely titled, On the Stupidity and Divisiveness of PZ Myers and His Cadre of Followers:
First off, he cannot understand what he reads, if he read what she wrote at all. Professor Cooper’s point was apparently too nuanced and complicated for him to understand…. She was emphatically NOT saying that “Christianity turns you into a mass-murderer,” so if anything he’s the one who is stupid in this case.
I am sure John Loftus would then consider me stupid as well. As I said above, I think she makes some good points on the effect of Christianity on morality, and that it is a discussion that should take place. However, I think her timing and tying of her argument to this tragedy is ghoulish and disgraceful. From reading her posts, I am sure that Cathy Cooper is a very intelligent person, and I’m sure she wasn’t suggesting that Christianity turns people into mass murderers. She was just being a disgusting, opportunistic ghoul.
Although, perhaps neither I nor PZ can actually read, because I’m sure we both read the words “So either way, whether it be cases such as James Holmes or the other cases just mentioned, they are the result of the teachings of Christianity. This is the best explanation” in her post.
Loftus’ post then seems to go off the rails:
I now consider PZ Myers to be a scourge upon atheism. He’s a divisive, uncaring, mean-spirited, power hungry, greedy person. If you wonder why atheism is in disarray at the present moment it’s largely because of him. Even if he misread Cathy’s post he had absolutely no reason to call her stupid. After misunderstanding it he could simply have said that he disagreed, or asked for further clarification. And the tags for that post including “bloody-mindedness” and “just plain viciousness” are themselves vicious. I strongly suspect that he picked on her not because of this particular post, but because she criticized the views and actions of the skepchick types for the crime of reasoned debate that he cannot tolerate.
John, quit holding back. Tell us how you really feel.
I can’t speak for PZ (and I’m sure he doesn’t need or want me to) but I can speak for myself. I had no idea who Cathy Cooper was before this post. I had no idea she had a problem with the skepchicks. All I knew is that she is a ghoul no better than Rick Warren or Louie Gohmert. I “picked on” her post because it deserves it.