One day after a gunman killed seven people and injured 21 others in Odessa, Texas, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins appeared on Fox News to regurgitate the old fallacies about a lack of religion in the “public square” and how it relates to violence.
According to Perkins, if you teach children that they’re the result of an evolutionary process rather than a divine plan, they’re likely to grow up with a corrupted moral compass.
“We’ve taught our kids that they come about by chance through primordial slime and then we’re surprised that they treat their fellow Americans like dirt,” Perkins said on Fox & Friends this Sunday.
“I think we have to go back to the point where we instill in these children, at least give them the opportunity to know that they’re created in the image of God, therefore they have inherent value,” he added.
The latest shooting in West Texas is tragic. We need to come together from all sides to have a discussion as to how to end this. But we can’t just discuss the instruments of violence – we must address the inspiration. We need a return to faith & morality.https://t.co/OqoluqSE4j
— Tony Perkins (@tperkins) September 1, 2019
Blaming a growing secular society in the wake of human-induced tragedy is a consistent go-to for evangelical leaders, and Perkins’ words are just a small example in a huge litany of Christian figures who try to redirect the gun violence debate to a question of religious morality. Last year during an appearance on the same show, megachurch pastor and Trump spiritual advisor Robert Jeffress said that the solution to mass shootings lies in changing “people’s behavior, and that can only happen with a change of heart, and we believe only the Gospel of Christ can do that.”
“I’d remind our viewers that for the first 150 years of our nation’s history, our schoolchildren prayed, they read Scripture in school, they even memorized the Ten Commandments, including the commandment ‘Thou shall not kill,’” Jeffress said.
On Sunday, Perkins shared a clip of his Fox interview to his Twitter account, reiterating his belief that the solution to gun violence lies in his preferred faith.
“The latest shooting in West Texas is tragic,” he wrote. “We need to come together from all sides to have a discussion as to how to end this. But we can’t just discuss the instruments of violence – we must address the inspiration. We need a return to faith & morality.”
Featured image via screen grab/Fox News