By Martin E. Marty
Four daily newspapers greet the Martys at breakfast. The morning after the school killings at Newtown, Connecticut, twenty-four pages of these informed us, while zillions of twitters and tweets and television and radio programs also addressed the tragedy. Readers don’t need Sightings to spot traces of religion-in-public life this time, since coverage of it comes in blinding flashes when certain issues come up. So, just three reflections:
First, God showed up most vividly in language of the competitor to televangelist Pat Robertson’s assessment that God smote a wayward people in the Sikh-temple murders so recently. This week’s competition was broadcast by Governor (and GOP presidential candidate and ongoing television host) Mike Huckabee. He wins, hands down, the prize for his absurdist judgment that “Newtown” should have been no surprise; Why? Because our nation had “systematically removed God” from public schools. Hence the schools have become a “place of carnage.” So a capricious but vengeful God took revenge on twenty Newtown pupils, representative sufferers for all.
Read the full story at Sightings, the Martin Marty Center’s twice weekly publication on “the events, agents, and trends in public life where issues of religion are writ large, in plain view—or are simmering under the surface.”