Two commentators come to mind. First, Kevin Swanson blamed the Orlando massacre on national sinfulness during a recent edition of his Generations with Vision radio show. At the 6:01 mark of his "Why the Orlando Shootings" show, Swanson claimed that America is collapsing because it is celebrating sin. Violence is a natural result of turning away from God, he argued.
"During the breakdown of an American republic, the breakdown of an entire empire, a civilization, a society is breaking down as the social fabric of the nation is unraveling, and that inevitably leads to a political and social collapse, and that's what we're witnessing in our present day. So hopefully, as Christians, we understand what is happening as man is destroying himself, but of course, the gospel of Jesus Christ still reaches ... those who are crying out for God's salvation from sin.
The problem of course with the nation is that not only have we sinned, but sin is now being institutionalized in just about every major institution in this country. That is, sin is preferred, and any form of righteousness is being persecuted across this country. Well today, we're going to talk about some of the effects of what happens when sin dominates in a nation. Violence, destruction, social unraveling is pretty much the result that we have witnessed and will continue to witness in the years to come."Swanson ignores the fact that society isn't collapsing and that Christian "righteousness" isn't being persecuted. Furthermore, Swanson's indictment ignores the complex roots of the Orlando shooting, including homophobia, Islamic extremism, and the shooter's personal issues. Rather than offer insight into the shooting, Swanson uses it as an opportunity to spout apocalyptic rhetoric and blame society for not sharing his religious beliefs.
A similar indictment came from American Pastors Network president Sam Rohrer during his appearance on the June 15th edition of The Steve Deace Show. While Rohrer reserved most of his condemnation for the "enemy ideology" of Islam and our "soft" political leaders, he claimed that God "removed his hand of blessing" from America because the nation rejected his laws. Those laws include "God’s design for the family", he said. (Hat tip to Right Wing Watch.)
"...God has removed his hand of blessing on this country because we've turned our back upon him, and when he removed his hand of protection, these kinds of things come forth ... God has made very clear that every nation that he has established, and He establishes all nations. We’re told that all nations are established by God, even the very geographical boundaries of the nations are determined, that when a nation, any nation, does what God says, meaning that they fear him, that they uphold and enforce God’s moral law and God’s design for the family and for the church and for civil government, all of those are his. When those things are done, then God will bless a nation.Rohrer fails to understand that tragedies take place for specific reasons, not because God is angry at America. Infusing society and government with fundamentalist Protestant beliefs would not have extinguished the homophobia, extremism, and personal demons that likely drove Mateen.
One of those blessings are the increase of wealth. One of those things is a security and protection from the neighbors around them. Even the enemies will be at peace with them, we’re told in a number of places in scripture. But when a nation backs off of that, particularly a nation such as ours that has a very biblical basis in an understanding of biblical principles, that’s where our Constitution came from, Declaration of Independence before that came out of that. When those things were there and put in place, when a nation turns their back on those things as we have and increasingly, arrogantly doing, then at that point the justice of God says ‘I cannot any longer bless’ and these things which you’re doing will lead to not his lack of blessing, but insecurity and so forth. That is basically the sense of where it is."
Ultimately, it's easier for Religious Right to blame society than to look long and hard at their own attitudes. The Religious Right is a vocal proponent of homophobia, but its adherents are reluctant to consider the ways that homophobic attitudes contribute to anti-gay violence. Unfortunately, self-reflection required humility and honesty, two virtues in short supply among the right.