Tennessee pastor plumbs new depths of idiocy

Tennessee pastor plumbs new depths of idiocy

JUST when you thought Mike Huckabee’s remarks about “godlessness” being at the root of last week’s Connecticut school shooting were as stupid as it’s possible to get, along comes Baptist pastor Sam Morris, who unleashed a torrent of invective against those he saw responsible for this and similar atrocities: The Gays and promoters of evolution.

According to this report, after warning his congregation on Sunday that his sermon “will not be pleasant”, Morris, of Old Paths Baptist Church, said that the number of mass shootings in the US were escalating because of schools were government “mind-control centres” that taught “junk about evolution” and “how to be a homo”.

We get all up in arms about 20 children being shot in a day care but we don’t give one good-glory rip about the 4,000 that were removed violently from the wombs of their mothers [in abortion procedures] the same day. I believe they use children and Christmas and all that to pull on our heart strings about gun control. That’s what it’s all about.

Morris asserted that equal rights was a “sham” because it’s “equal immorality”, and that authorities should take the body of the suspected shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza:

And string him up in public and set his body on fire and leave it out there to let the birds pick his bones.

And he warned:

We’re going to see more of this. Because notice, the first thing in America we start yelling about is gun control. Have you noticed that? Gun control. No one’s even thought about the fact that these shootings only happened at places where guns are banned. Have you noticed that? They have never had a mass shooting at a gun show, where you can find over a thousand loaded guns at one time.

The shit-for-brains Baptist then insisted that “humanism” in schools taught Lanza that he was God and:

He can just go blow away anybody he wants. When I got in high school, man, I started learning all this kingdom, phylum stuff, all this junk about evolution. And I want to tell you what evolution teaches — here’s the bottom line — that you’re an animal. That’s what it teaches. So, you’re an animal, you can act like an animal. Amen.

There was more of this rancorous manure:

So, here you are, you’re an animal and you’re a god! So, what are we going to teach you about in school? Well, we can teach you about sex, we can teach you how to rebel to you parents, we can teach you how to be a homo! But we’re definitely not going to teach you about the word of God! Amen.

He added:

They think homeschoolers are a bunch of crazies, man. But I’m going to tell you something, I’ve never seen a police officer or a metal detector at a home school. Never. Amen. Now, there’s plenty of guns at my home school. Amen. I guarantee you we’re not going to have a mass shooting at any of the schools that are represented in this building today. I guarantee you, if there is a shooting, it won’t last very long. Amen.

Meanwhile, reacting to the storm of outrage he reaped after his “godless” America remarks, Huckabee said at the weekend that he wasn’t merely talking about school prayer:

It’s the fact that people sue a city so we aren’t confronted with a manger scene or Christmas carol … Churches and Christian-owned businesses are told to surrender their values under the edict of government orders to provide tax-funded abortion pills.

On his Web page he wrote

We dismiss the notion of natural law and the notion that there are moral absolutes and seemed amazed when some kids make it their own morality to kill innocent children. We diminish and even hold in contempt the natural family of a father and mothercreating and then responsibly raising the next generation and then express dismay that kids feel no real connection to their families or even the concept of a family … and we teach that God was not involved in our origins, that our very lives are biological happenstances.

John Bell

John Bell

But here’s a thing: yesterday the BBC’s normally asinine Thought for the Day programme, which excludes the voices of non-believers, featured Scottish Christian hymn-writer, John Lamberton Bell, a “modern-day John the Baptist” whose message was, well, pretty damned atheistic, but for the ending:

If I were an atheist, the killings in Sandy Hook would have confirmed me in my belief that religion was a fatuous, sentimental and dangerous distraction.

If there is a loving God, where’s the evidence – particularly when innocents are massacred, and the dawning potential in children finds a hellish end?

If I were a parent, I would probably hug my children tighter today and feel an uncanny empathy for mothers and fathers in Connecticut who are dealing with an unimaginable grief.

If there is a loving God, where’s the evidence?

It’s evidence, to some extent, which people are now looking for: evidence of the derangement  of the gunman; evidence as to whether or not he was in a relationship of animosity with his mother or with the school; evidence of how he had managed to get into premises presumed to be secure; evidence of whether violence in films or video games encourages susceptible people to commit murder… not that such evidence will ever eradicate or mollify the pain of loss.

But where is the evidence for God?

There isn’t much really. And I don’t believe that the horrendous nature of Friday’s killings is made palatable by well intentioned nostrums such as:  ‘These things are sent to try us,’ or ‘Suffering breeds good character,’
or, most insensitively, ‘This is the direct consequence of sin’

No, there isn’t much evidence of God if we are looking for the missing piece to make sense of the jig-saw puzzle of life. God is not the instant answer to our quick request.

Instead, three times in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures we find people of faith having to deal with infanticide – the slaughter of innocents. And in the collection of poems we call the Psalms we find repeated unanswered questions Why? When? How long? and Why?… it’s a vocabulary not for piety, but for pain.

And then ­ – as Christians believe – God comes in Jesus, flesh of our flesh, to share the pain, the uncertainty and the insecurity of human life, to enter into solidarity with all who suffer, and to bring to the mystery of unmerited agony the bigger mystery of unmerited love.

And all this because nowhere does any religion profess that God made the world perfect. Instead we believe that God made the world good. And love, only love can make it better.

My impression of Bell is that he’s a superannuated hippie desperately clinging by his fingertips onto the remnants of his faith. But perhaps that’s the only way he’ll ever stay on the TFTD panel.

Matt Westwood (Morris report) and James Merryweather (TFTD)

35 responses to “Tennessee pastor plumbs new depths of idiocy”

  1. the Woggler says:

    Is being an obnoxious creep the best way to heaven? If so Morris is fast-tracked.

  2. barriejohn says:

    Pastor Sam Morris : Rim poor smartass

  3. Barry Duke says:

    I confess I did, BarrieJohn, but with you on the case whatever I miss, you – and a host of others loyal visitors – can always be relied on to keep me informed. Thanks 🙂

    Now to get back to what I was doing: trying to find another missing item, namely €1,600 from my Spanish bank account!

  4. Stonyground says:

    A few years ago, John Bell did a TftD on the subject of slavery. I sent him an email pointing out that the Bible endorses slavery. He sent a reply denying that the Bible endorses slavery. I sent a reply quoting chapter and verse on the Bible’s endorsement of slavery. He never replied.

  5. Matt Westwood says:

    “No one’s even thought about the fact that these shootings only happened at places where guns are banned.”

    So here’s an idea: why not hand out guns to all the kiddies who come in through the school gates, playtime is when they get to learn how to use them – and last one alive is the winner?

    What it is, you see, is a deliberate ploy. Contraception in the US is frowned upon. (By all accounts, there are forces, sourced by organised religion, which are making it incredibly inconvenient for women to obtain their contraceptives.) Abortion is even more problematic to obtain. How are the Americans going to keep their population manageable? Easy-peasy: get them to shoot each other! And get this: after a few generations, by the forces of evolution and natural selection, Americans will be bullet-proof! How cool is that?!?

  6. Matt Westwood says:

    If the wrath of god at the sin of the US *is* being used as the reason for stuff like this to happen, then the wrong sin is being pointed at. Surely he’s cross at all those drones taking out schools in Pakistan.

  7. Stonyground says:

    For those of you who are still unaware of the Rev. Dr. Peter Hearty’s brilliant blog that does daily parodies of Thought for the Day. Here is his take on John Bell’s piece, along with the comments of his congregation.

  8. Barry Duke says:

    Thanks for that Stonyground. Seems Bell is no stranger to Hearty’s blog. This is a hoot!

  9. AgentCormac says:

    Sorry, folks – OT I’m afraid.

    In the wake of Savita Halappanavar’s tragic death, it looks like the Irish government is once again leading the way in rolling back the repugnant and outdated tenets of catholicism by preparing to amend the country’s legislation on abortion. Just wait for the inevitable howling and the gnashing of teeth!

  10. Robster says:

    The godbots should replace their god and the baby jesus with a lump of playdoe. That way, there’d be an excuse for the lack of any sign of actual existence. A lump of playdoe would save the kids in the school as well as god/jesus, the lump would save the starving kiddies as well as god/etc and would cost much less to run. The churches could fire all their kiddy fiddling staff and get someone in from romper room and that would save some money too. Think about it, a useless god or a useless lump of playdoe. At least wou can make shapes out of the playdoe, more than you can do with god/jesus/mo/ghost thingy.

  11. Matt Westwood says:

    @robster: But God and Jesus *are* already a lump of intellectual playdoh. They mould him into any shape they want in order to fit him into their own personal version of the fascist they want him to be. Thought everybody knew that.

  12. barriejohn says:

    Interesting comment from an American perspective here:

  13. Broga says:

    @Stonyground: I endorse your comments about the brilliant Platitude of the Day. Barriejohn put me on to it and I have been a fan ever since. It has the great and health giving virtue of providing a cathartic experience after the glutinous TfTD. My Labrador loves the programme and listens attentively. When it starts he begins to wag his tail. That might be connected with him always being fed immediately afterwards.

  14. AgentCormac says:


    Being such a fan of TFTD I thought you might be interested in another radio item which the BBC will apparently be broadcasting – this time on xmas eve.

    The pious, patronising, gut-churningly condescending xtian scumbag Cliff Richard will be presenting a ‘fascinating’ history of ‘Silent Night’, everybody’s favourite hymn (apparently). If it only it were a silent night instead of Cliff’s sanctimonious voice and repugnant beliefs being pumped out onto an unsuspecting world.

  15. Kufr Pete says:

    Naah. They all got it all wrong. According to the Iranians it woz the Jooooz wot did it:

  16. The Woggler says:

    Actually, Silent Nights IS my favourite hymn. I’m not, though, let Cliff spoil it for me.

  17. barriejohn says:

    Oh, boy, AgentCormac, are you serious? I just can’t wait for that: it will make my DillyDallyHannickyPannickyHolidaymass complete!

    Not a dry seat in the house, as they say!!

  18. AgentCormac says:

    You just had to link to that video, didn’t you, barriejohn! My brain has now turned to mush and I feel more than a little suicidal.

  19. Marky Mark says:

    (So, here you are, you’re an animal and you’re a god!)

    …And what does that exactly mean? All animals consider themselves gods? The fact is most all religious leaders like this guy consider themselves the only one of their flock that god talks to, so that seems to be more godlike of a belief than one knowing that we are very smart rats evolving over millions of years, and responsible for our actions that are NOT influenced by the dogma of religion.

    (Now, there’s plenty of guns at my home school. Amen. I guarantee you we’re not going to have a mass shooting at any of the schools that are represented in this building today.)

    …He conveniently forgets that the shooter, Adam, was home schooled.

  20. Broga says:

    AgentCormac: Really! Dear Cliff. All I would need for perfection would be if he were accompanied by the saintly Aled. We will need a yukky meter for that programme.

    The Woggler: Hands up time for me. I like Christmas Carols. I think as a child they were absorbed into me as I heard them so often. And I assocate them with an innocent and happy time.

    Marky Mark: If my dog believed in God he would be certain that God was a dog. And there is persuasive evidence for this as God is dog spelled backwards. As for the denomination of Dog it would be a Labrador and all these other apostate breeds are going to be forced to believe that.

  21. Stephen Mynett says:

    This has reminded me of an old favourite, about the agnostic dyslexic insomniac who used to lay in bed wondering if there were a dog.

  22. JohnMWhite says:

    The ignorance is strong with this one. It is amazing to see somebody so determined to say something deeply inaccurate with almost every sentence. Pastor Morris starts by mistaking a school for a daycare and goes downhill from there. Does not understand evolution at all, makes frequent weird grammatical errors, seems to know nothing about the shooter, and manages to completely turn his own argument inside out by arguing that this wouldn’t have happened if there were more homeschooling in places full of guns. Obviously, the shooter was homeschooled in a building full of guns and that’s where he got the damn things. He couldn’t be more wrong if he tried. It’s like he actually did try, as if he were a parody written by The Onion.

    Then the detestable Huckabee continues with his own allergy to information by claiming he didn’t say what he said (then saying it again) and coming up with a completely nonsensical but scary boogeyman of “tax-funded abortion pills” that don’t fucking exist. I hoped that if anything remotely good came out of this incident it would be the bursting of the bubble and the United States would finally start to have a grown-up, responsible discussion about gun control. Instead, the religious right has shown they are still grotesquely immature and entirely self-centred, more interested in taking the opportunity for self-indulgent whining about abortion, homosexuals and secularists. To them, children being killed in is not a reason to come together and make sure it never happens again, it’s a chance to attack their enemies. That they insist on simply lying to further this whining rather than do anything remotely constructive is to their tremendous shame… if only they were capable of feeling it.

  23. barriejohn says:

    Sorry, I didn’t realize that any more comments had been added to this thread! Broga: how about St Cliff, Smart Aled, and Daniel O’Drip Feed as the Three Wise Men in the Freethinker Nativity Play? Any other suggestions for cast members? I fancy casting Eric Pickles as The Angel Gabriel. I was going to use Wilfred Pickles (“What’s in the stable, Mabel?”), but Barry has discovered that he is sadly no longer with us. (Apologies for spoiling your day, AgentCormac – but have you ever heard his version of “Over the Rainbow”?)

    This pic is now being circulated on the net:

  24. JamesB says:

    When I look at these loons, and their endless game of one-downsmanship, I suspect there may be a phylogenetic tree that evolutionary biologists aren’t telling us about.

    Why doesn’t one of them come out and say that the people of Newtown weren’t sacrificing enough animals?

  25. barriejohn says:

    And just look at this tripe from Richard Littlesense regarding a sex-change teacher. Oh, the poor children!–hes-wrong-job.html

  26. Matt Westwood says:

    @barriejohn: Your last posting has provoked uncontrollable mirth.

  27. barriejohn says:

    Matt: Unanswerable logic. The more guns people own, the safer they will be!

  28. Broga says:

    @barriejohn. What about Widders as the Virgin Mary and Ratzinger as Joseph? That should leave no doubt, twice over, about the baby being born of a virgin.

  29. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Brilliant suggestions, but Ratty says if he can’t be God he’s not interested. Maybe Rowan Williams will do it. I’m gutted about the non-availability of Wilfred Pickles to play Gabriel – another of his catchphrases was “Are y’ courtin'”, I seem to remember!

  30. AgentCormac says:

    And here, finally, is the NRA’s response to the massacre: put armed guards in every last school in America because ‘the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun’. And there’s me thinking that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to not let him get his hands on a gun in the first place. Insane, irrational, immoral bastards.