An editorial today in The Oregonian:
I could not help but notice all the coverage about the downtown shooting. All this coverage got me thinking -- the shooting was just a symptom of a much bigger problem. America lacks God.
America was once a godly nation. Times were better. People were safer. However, we have stepped away from God. We have let humanist views slip into our lifestyles. This absence of God was one cause of the downtown shooting.
The young shooter did not know the God that I know. He was probably taught about evolution. He was probably influenced by atheism. This lack of God leads to dangerous things that even the strictest laws cannot prevent.
More gun laws may be a result of the shooting. Fewer gun laws may be a result. Whatever happens, we should consider adding God back to our lives.
RUSSELL MATHEWS Milwaukie
My editorial response sent to The Oregonian:
This is a response to the editorial Blame Godlessness written by Russell Matthews.It's easy to make accusations such as that which Mr. Matthews has made, blaming humanists, atheists, and evolution for violence. However, I notice that Mr. Matthews cites no proven correlation between violence and any of these. The fact is that the USA is the most religious industrialized nation in the world, with the highest rate of violent crime. In my opinion, too many people assume they have brought their children up with morals because they have raised them on religion. The problem is that these people don't teach children to THINK and evaluate the real human consequences of their actions, but focus more on how displeasing things are to God. Instead of focusing on the Golden Rule, which is universal, religions get caught up in petty issues such as gay marriage, pre-marital sex, and "dangerous" movies, books, and music. Where are the lessons on valuing human worth for the inherent dignity of being human? Where is the lesson that hurting people is just wrong, not something one can just confess, be forgiven of, and walk away with a clean slate? Mr. Matthews, I am an atheist and a humanist, who supports evolution, and I am raising thinking, feeling children, who instills morals and ethics in her children, and teaches them not to make generalizations and look for scape-goats, but to make the world a better place from having them in it.