Blaming Virginia Tech Tragedy on Evolution, Lack of School Prayer

Within 24 hours of a shooting spree that left 33 dead at Virginia Tech, countless right-wing commentators took the opportunity to call for increased access to guns on campus. Some on the Right have also used the tragedy to launch less-expected tirades.

American Family Radio, a part of the American Family Association, read over the air an anonymous e-mail, updated to include this latest tragedy, that blames school shootings on the lack of school prayer and Bible-reading in public schools, on abortion and access to condoms, and on the Lewinsky affair. “We reap what we sow.” published an article featuring letters from readers outraged that a Muslim spoke alongside President Bush, Gov. Kaine, and others at Virginia Tech’s convocation after the events: “How are we to know this wasn’t a signal to a sleeper cell?”

And AFA’s news website offered the warnings of “a full-time creation evangelist” and apparent kitten-hater, Grady McMurtry of Creation Worldview Ministries, who pinned the blame on evolution:

For years, he says, public schools and universities have taught the theory of evolution as fact, with no opposing viewpoints — and the result, he contends, is a lack of respect for human life.

Therefore, he asserts, people should not be surprised when mass shootings occur, such as the one on the Blacksburg university campus on Monday. “And at Virginia Tech, what do we have?” he asks rhetorically. “We have a person who, unfortunately, thought that humans had no more value than cats and dogs — and unfortunately, I think, probably felt the same way about themselves.”

The creationist continues explaining his premise. “And so what happens? If we are nothing but thinking animals, [and] if you have excess people, then you can just put them in a bag, throw them in the river the way you would too many kittens or too many puppies.”