Creationist Wisdom #633: Campus Violence

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel of Lodi, California. It’s titled Absence of God leads to a hopeless heart. The newspaper doesn’t have a comments feature.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. But this time we’ve got a preacher — Pastor Frank Nolton of the New Hope Community Church. Excerpts from the rev’s letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Another case of mass violence has occurred, this time at UC Merced. However, a gun was not the weapon that caused the injuries, but a knife. Guns aren’t the problem in our society. It goes way beyond that.

The rev is talking about this: “Manifesto” detailed revenge plot in Calif. campus stabbings. You probably heard about it. That news story says:

An 18-year-old California university freshman went on an elaborately planned rampage with a hunting knife because he was barred from a study group, authorities said. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said a two-page “manifesto” detailing Faisal Mohammad’s motive and plans to terrorize and kill several classmates at the University of California, Merced was found on his body Thursday during his autopsy. Campus police shot and killed Mohammad after the teen stabbed two students, a university employee and a construction contractor … .

The rev’s letter promises to explain the cause of this problem. He says:

When our kids are taught that they exist by random chance, the result of billions of years of evolution, instead of the fact that there is a Creator who specifically and intentionally created them and who loves them deeply, this naturally leads to the belief that there is no purpose, no reason, and no meaning to life.

So true! But is that what motivated the knife-wielding student? That news story tells us:

[Sheriff] Warnke said Mohammad’s plan was written in English and referenced the Muslim god Allah several times. But Warnke said the student was motivated by personal animosities and the attacks had nothing to do with religion or terrorism.

There seems to be a conflict between what the Sheriff says and what the rev is telling us. But the rev must know what he’s talking about. Let’s read on:

Why are so many people angry, violent, and uncivil today? Because the human heart without God is hopeless. And without hope there is nothing to live for except a few years of searching for happiness on a planet gone mad.

Jeepers — how depressing! The rev continues:

If this life is all there is, than life is indeed a cruel joke and void of any meaning. If there is no personal God who is our Creator, we are, in the end, all alone and accountable to no one. So who cares if we shoot, stab, step on, or harm others? After all, it’s survival of the fittest, baby! What a pathetic view of life, the view of life that naturally occurs when God is absent.

It’s obviously Darwin’s fault, because he gave us a pathetic view of life. Here’s more:

The evils we see in our society — senseless violence, broken families, out-of-control drug and alcohol abuse, rampant sexual immorality, rage and anger — are just symptoms of a deeper problem, which is the human heart without Jesus. We are seeing very clearly what a society looks like without Him. And it is terrifying.

At the end of his insightful letter, the rev tells us how to solve the problem:

Church, it’s time to forget political correctness and being “cool” and boldly proclaim the truth that God exists, that He created us and loves us. To proclaim that life does have purpose and meaning — to know and worship our Creator and to have a deep relationship with Him. … Church, stand up and be bold! The future of our nation is at stake.

Sound advice indeed! Go forth, dear reader, and do as the rev says.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #633: Campus Violence

  1. Faisal Mohammad

    Who was presumably a Muslim and thus almost certainly a Creationist, rather than a loathsome adherent to the hideous, godless idea that we “exist by random chance, the result of billions of years of evolution.”

    Incidentally, if he was armed only with a knife, how come the only way the cops could find to stop him was to kill him? I can envisage scenarios in which this was indeed their only option, but plenty of others where they could have brought him down non-lethally . . . unless they wee simply too incompetent/untrained. Maybe they were good Christians like Pastor Frank. Er, “Thou shalt not kill”?

  2. Once again, we have someone complaining about an individual being the product of a natural event, that is, reproduction.
    I cannot understand why anyone would think that the science which describes the process of reproduction is evolutionary biology.

  3. Pastor Nolton catalogues all the

    evils we see in our society — senseless violence, broken families, out-of-control drug and alcohol abuse, rampant sexual immorality, rage and anger —

    –and the heartbreak of psoriasis? Surely that’s Darwin’s fault, too!

  4. If this life is all there is, than life is indeed a cruel joke and void of any meaning. If there is no personal God who is our Creator, we are, in the end, all alone and accountable to no one. So who cares if we shoot, stab, step on, or harm others? After all, it’s survival of the fittest, baby! What a pathetic view of life, the view of life that naturally occurs when God is absent.

    And of course people were so kind and loving in the good old God-fearing days of the Inquisition, or, later, the Salem witch trials.

  5. michaelfugate

    That was an entirely evidence-free rant – nice job, rev.

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    And for your homework Pastor, how about a look at violence in China, one of the most atheistic countries.

  7. Hey pastor, here’s a new study for you:
    Religious Kids Aren’t as Good at Sharing, Study Finds
    https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/religious-kids-arent-as-good-at-sharing-study-221423445.html

  8. The paper doesn’t have a comments section, but it does have a nifty little “report an error in this story” button at the bottom of the page. In the form that opens up, I checked off “fabrication” in the roll down menu, and described the “atheists don’t praise Allah” problem in the space provided. Won’t be public, but might make someone think, or be amused, or in the best of all worlds, pi*s off a fundie employee.

  9. Oh, and since I was feeling all Slain in the Spirit, or whatever one would call the skeptical analog of same, I also emailed the pastor. To wit:

    “Dear Pastor Nolton,

    I found it a bit unusual that in a story referencing recent mass violence at UC Merced, you identified accepting evolutionary biology and having a lack of belief in God as causes of such behavior. As it happens, the individual responsible for the violence was clearly identified in the news story as a Muslim believer in God, and, as such, was almost certainly also a creationist.

    Does this not strike you as making the letter seem a bit disingenuous? Do you think such untruthfulness is an effective witness to your faith?

    Yours truly, etc”

  10. @Ken Phelps

    I for one would love to learn what reply you get, if any.

  11. > “[Sheriff] Warnke said Mohammad’s
    > plan was written in English and
    > referenced the Muslim god Allah
    > several times. But Warnke said the
    > student was motivated by personal
    > animosities and the attacks had
    > nothing to do with religion or terrorism.”
    —————-
    This sheriff just contradicted himself. Hurting and killing people, just to be mean, while babbling about non-existent desert deities is the very definition of religious terrorism. Why are people so unwilling to tell the truth about the nature of reality? Terrorism. That’s what it is. Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot or a liar.

  12. @James St. John

    Yes, but at a guess what he’s trying to do is defuse the notion among the Jesus-lovin’ locals that they should form theyselves up a lynch mob to go out and string theyselves some Muslims up, like Jesus dun tells ’em to. The good sheriff may be doing this a bit clumsily, but I find it hard to criticize him for the attempt.

  13. @realthog – Will do. Although since it is Sunday, I’m sure he is otherwise occupied doing his business in the minds of the flock, so it may take a while.

  14. ” life does have purpose and meaning — to know and worship our Creator and to have a deep relationship with Him. …”

    That’s the meaning of life: going to church?! That would drive anyone nuts if they truly thought that was all there is!

  15. I know that the roof will probably fall on me for saying this, but according to the newspaper account Faisal Muhammad wounded four people with his hunting knife, and all are expected to survive.

    Now ask yourself – what if he’d exercised his Constitutional right to carry, say, an AR-15?

    Just sayin’

  16. No response from the Pastor so far.