Now, I'm a socialist, so this sickens me on more than a human level. This infuriates me on a political level. You can bet that if this were a leftist, the rhetoric would be far different. The guy is a "madman" now. Or a "crazed hunting fan" (if you read The Sun. Don't read The Sun.) What if he were a lefty? Then what? Socialist! OMG!
And OMG. If this had been a Muslim... Hell, the racist shit started immediately. I even assumed it was Islamic terrorism, simply because of the timing. (Norway arrested a Muslim man last week for terrorist threats). That being said, I'm an individual. I don't have a responsibility to the public not to shoot my mouth off about these things. And I didn't change my label of him after I found out I was wrong.
So, he's Christian, is he? Great. So if I say he's not a real Christian because Jesus preached love, not hate, the atheists will get on their high horse (that horse must have some awesome hallucinations, because it is really fucking high) about Christian extremism being the root of all evil and how when Christians disavow themselves of this, we're being hypocritical asshats, blah blah blah (see Pharyngula's site, for examples). Okay... so I have to own it. I can deal with that. The guy called himself Christian. I cannot for the first second fathom how one can follow Jesus and then go on a killing spree, but it's happened before and it'll happen again. I abhor this behaviour, and so does every mainstream Christian church. It's not the No True Scotsman fallacy to say this man wasn't a true Christian, btw. Because being a Christian isn't someone one is born to like being a Scotsman is. It's how one lives one's life. I can call myself vegan all I like, but if I eat meat and wear leather, I'm not a true vegan.
Seems to me that the problem isn't his religion (and yeah, I'd say that for a Muslim. In fact, I have said that.) Seems to me that the problem is the politics and that religion is somehow, mindblowingly, used to justify it. Extreme ideas of right-wing politics backed up by religion (any religion) is a recipe for disaster. The same could be said for left-wing politics, but I've not seen any religion-backed left-wing extremist violence. Left-wing violence seems to be atheistic. Please, if you know of examples where the left uses God to justify their violence, I'd like to hear about it. I don't claim it never happened, just that I don't know about it. When one starts thinking that God is on their side of the political fence, it seems a bit weird to me. Of course, I joke that Jesus was a socialist, what with the sharing and healing and feeding people who couldn't remember to bring their own fish and bread to the picnic. But to actually say that God wants me to commit acts of violence to weaken the strength of a competing ideology is just absurd.
Someone on Twitter, I think it was DeBeauxOs of Dammit Janet! wanted to know why people who commit violent acts like this are called "cowards". That one got me too, so I asked MrFCS who asked, "How brave is it to gun down a bunch of kids? He was too cowardly to go after those who are actually the problem. Or, the problem as he sees it, that is." Makes sense I guess. My thought was that his rationale was that he'd stop dozens of young people from growing up to be socialists. Never mind the bit about dead martyrs... Stupid more than cowardly. But I guess I understand the label better now. I still don't think it fits quite right though.
Anyway, I'll be praying for the victims, their families and friends. And I'll be praying for the shooter. Because he is one twisted son of a bastard. But I'll be praying for the victims and their loved ones first.