HandgunsKilledLawrence Lessig, an American academic and political activist, claims that when political discourse becomes isolated, it becomes more extreme. Nowhere is this extreme discourse more evident than amongst the religiously conservative wonkery. These folks have gone from prudishly quaint to desperately pandering to boxing-above-their-intellectual-weight-class annoying. Consider the tragic shootings in Connecticut that created a groundswell of grief and sympathy across the nation. Despite any political differences, deep within us all is the dreaded reality that these unspeakable deaths could have happened to our children, sisters, mothers, and neighbors. Yet, when these events in Littleton or Fort Hood or Virginia happen, we are caught off guard. We react with shock, sadness and outrage. And interrupting our individual and collective mourning, are the increasingly irrelevant few who seize the opportunity to champion their own self-fulfilling God prophesies to convince themselves and others that they are not obsolete, that their myopic worldview is relevant to every disaster. From local yokels to more public figures, their thought processes are singular and simplistic.

Take the example of eleven skinned animals found on a Pennsylvania roadside. Originally thought to be skinned puppies, the discarded foxes generated disgust and a hefty reward. Not to miss an opportunity to talk about her favorite subject, a local anti abortion activist submitted a letter to the local newspaper. Of the skinned animals, she wrote “the same atrocities are committed against unborn children” and, further, that “a couple thousand unborn children are hauled away as infectious waste” without “public outcry.” Finishing, she wrote that the reward of $7,000 for information leading to an arrest added “insult to injury.” To say that this is a woman with extreme fixations is an understatement. From relating abortions to road kill to filing a $200, 000 lawsuit against an abortion clinic for her mental suffering due to her personal decision to protest to her obsession with others’ salaries, expensive cars and expansive homes, it’s apparent that this anti abortion activist is an outlier, desperate to be relevant.

On the national scene, Fox News host and former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), believing that Satan is in our public schools, said: “We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools, Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?” Not satisfied with the God comment, he later linked the shootings to “tax-funded abortion pills” and society calling “sinful” acts “normal.” I guess he forgot about Ft Hood and the Colorado theater shootings.ProlifeHateGuns

And in one of those God-will-judge-America themes, James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, said the shootings happened because American turned its back on God by removing prayer in school, allowing marriage equality and allowing women to have abortions.

In yet another shameless attempt at sounding relevant by politicizing a senseless act, Bryan Fisher, a conservative Christian known for his anti-gay rhetoric and vitriolic tirades, claims “God did not protect the victims of the Connecticut shooting because prayer has been prohibited from the public school system.” Again, explain Ft. Hood and the Colorad theater.

The former Saturday Night Live comic and current outspoken Obama-hating ultra conservative Victoria Jackson posted on her Facebook:

Obama dramatically wiped a tear as he said, “The majority of those who died today were children — beautiful little kids … They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own…”

YEAH OBAMA. SAME AS THE MILLION BABIES YOU HAD ABORTED THIS YEAR.

ARE YOU CRYING FOR THEM?!”

The Westboro Baptist Church, an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America,” known to be anti gay and anti abortion, stated that “God sent the shooter” to execute his judgment on America.”

DollFaceYolkJeffrey Lord, a former Reagan White House political director, connects mass shootings to Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood. He writes that there has been “wholesale discarding of human life” and a perpetuation of a culture of violence in a society that has turned the protection of the most vulnerable — babies — into the unmentionable.” I’m guessing he’s not counting the thousands of men, women and children our military kills in other countries or the children killed in our inner cities. I’m guessing they don’t count?
Comments such as the above are irrelevant for certain. Dobson, Lord, Phelps, Huckabee and the scrappy streetside anti abortion activists are not truly interested in the welfare of children as much as they are desperate to be heard. So they take senseless acts of violence and connect them to their own personal obsessions. I have no doubt that when these whackadoodles crack an egg, they  think of abortion. When they see road kill, they think of abortion. And when the news media shines a light on any disaster, they connect it to God and abortion. Extreme? Yes, they are. Relevant? No, they are not.