Congressman Louie Gohmert has it figured out. A mass murder in Colorado. Mass suicides by Iraqi and Afghan veterans. Blame them on one thing:
“What really gets me as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs and then a senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place,” he told an interviewer when asked about the Aurora midnight massacre.
Before the interview was over, Gohmert also explained that atheism was a key factor behind a preponderance of suicides for recent war veterans.
The problem, explains the Texas Republican and tea party favorite: We’ve told God “we don’t want him around.”
That settles it. The Aurora massacre couldn’t possibly be because a mentally ill man amassed enough arms and ammo for a SWAT team. The tidal wave of suicides couldn’t possibly be because of marathon hitches and stop-loss atrocities, of a mix of monotony interrupted by friends and innocents dying before one’s eyes, of policy makers sending men and women to war on calculated lies.
Godlessness, Gohmert explains. That’s what this is about.
This, he explains, is about graduation-day speakers being told they can’t evangelize to a captive audience, of school teachers told they can’t be prayer leaders. This, Gohmert says, is evidence of influences “at war with the very pillars, the very foundation of this country.”
This evil influence might also, since the Engel vs. Vitale case in 1962 and rulings by court after court, be called the Bill of Rights.
We all know what happened after that ruling, of course: The United States went to hell. That’s because the courts “took God out of the classroom.”
Before 1962 America had no violence, except for the lynchings so common in the South, no hatred, except for that which made Jim Crow so invincible and night riders so intimidating. It had no despair except if one’s skin were black or brown, or one lived in a clapboard shack without electricity, running water or any way of ever paying the doctor bill. It had no fear, except what the Red Scare could drum up.
It was all perfect, and it was because teachers could be preachers.
In his interview post-Aurora, Gohmert quoted John Adams as saying our Constitution was "only for moral and religious people.” These are words that certainly soothed those delivered in chains from Africa.
Gohmert is one to preach brotherhood and unity, except when it comes to forms of diversity he can’t hack.
Speaking of the Red Scare and days when Joe McCarthy ran roughshod over people’s rights, in recent days several Republicans including John McCain summoned the specter of McCarthyism to denounce — guess who — Louie Gohmert and a small band including Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for seeking an investigation into Hillary Clinton aide Huma Mahmood Abedin.
They want to know what her ties are to the Muslim Brotherhood. Actually, all they want to direct extremists’ attention to the secretary of state’s employing a Muslim. And aren’t you concerned?
By the way, the pesky and destructive U.S. Constitution — the one that continually wages war on Christianity — protects Abedin’s right to be Muslim.
It’s worth observing that though they may inveigh the creator’s name, and that of Jesus Christ, most of today’s politically inspired believers observe lifestyles and promote policies that bear no resemblance to Christ’s priorities: forsaking material pursuits, lifting up the poor, being neighborly to strangers, and of course swearing off violence. Mark Twain called man “the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight.”
Therefore, we seek God’s guidance in our wars, in stockpiling and venerating our weapons, in rationalizing our fear of people who call the lord by other names. We do all that in Jesus' name.
Louie Gohmert has it figured out. In November it will yield for him one more term in office, his fifth. Count on it.
Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.