Gus Kenworthy
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Tony Perkins: 'Moral Vacuum,' Not Guns, to Blame for School Shooting

Tony Perkins

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins didn’t quite blame LGBT people for the nation’s latest mass school shooting, but he is blaming a “moral vacuum” and a “spiritually sick society.” Oh, and gun control isn’t the answer, according to Perkins.

“It's human nature to want to blame something, but the problem has never been guns,” Perkins wrote in his Monday Washington Update column on the FRC website, addressing the shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas that left 10 people dead Friday. “Are there policies we could strengthen? Absolutely. But mankind has had instruments of destruction dating back to Cain and Abel. The real crisis is the moral vacuum left behind when society kicked religion -- and with it, morality -- out of the public space. Violence, relativism, promiscuity, and suicide didn't get their start when God was expelled from school. But they've certainly been given a culture in which to thrive now that we've removed the Judeo-Christian foundation that anchored the country.”

Perkins quoted Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who listed the causes of the tragedy as follows: “We have devalued life in this country. We threw God out of school. ... We have families that are broken apart, no fathers at home. We have incredible heinous violence as a [video] game, two hours a day in front of their eyes. And we stand here and we wonder why this happens to certain students.”

He also quoted Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh, who wrote, “The world has never been a nice place, but it got quite a bit meaner when we abandoned religion.” Scholars of history would likely disagree that the world is meaner than it ever was, plus it’s a questionable assertion that people have “abandoned religion,” when many churches and temples, conservative and progressive alike, boast large congregations. Perkins and his allies, however, would probably settle for nothing less than organized fundamentalist Christian prayer in schools and other public spaces (where anyone is free to pray privately).

“Some liberals don't want to have a discussion about the underlying problem, because it would mean acknowledging the fallen nature of man,” Perkins continued along his highly disputable line of reasoning. “That, not stricter gun laws, is what's keeping us from finding real solutions as a nation. We can talk about limiting access to guns, but if we're truly concerned about violence, let's also talk about expanding access to God. Until we're willing to address both -- the instrument and the motivation – nothing will change. A spiritually sick society that embraces violence instead of values needs God. … Guns don't steer men wrong, hearts do.”

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