In the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, people have been examining the reasons that these tragedies keeps happening. Americans are afraid, and the fact that they can’t even go to everyday places like shopping malls, movie theaters, and churches without fear of being gunned down is weighing on the minds of many. While this has led to many bad conclusions, this one from Fox News‘ Ainsley Earhardt might be the very worst.
While interviewing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Earhardt seemed to imply that getting shot in your place of worship isn’t the worst thing, saying:
“We’ve been reporting this shouldn’t happen in a church. But I was downstairs talking with some people that work here that we all talk about our faith and we share the same beliefs. We were saying there’s no other place we would want to go other than church. Because I’m there asking for forgiveness. I feel very close to Christ when I’m there. So, I’m trying to look at some positives here and know that those people are with the Lord now and experiencing eternity and no more suffering, no more sadness anymore.”
Abbott seemed to agree, urging viewers that it was a “necessity for us to come together under one God to purge evil and to rely upon the love that God provides.”
Whatever your religion or creed, implying that people being massacred in the midst of worship is anything less than a tragedy seems deeply misguided. It also takes the freedom of religion that many hold dear in America and covers it in a shroud of fear, which most would agree is far more dangerous than discussing legislation following a mass shooting.
UPDATE: A Fox News spokesperson passed along the following statement from Ainsley Earhardt.
“As any Christian would understand, I feel church is sacred. For me, it is the place I worship, where I learn about God and feel closest to Him each week. I meant no disrespect, as I have continuously said, the Texas families are in my thoughts and prayers. And, anyone who truly knows my heart, knows that about me. But, I do believe there can be positives in death. Christians believe death is when they enter into the afterlife – a place without pain, suffering and away from the evil that takes place on earth like we saw this past weekend. I know one day I will take my last breath and if I am in His “house” when that happens, I pray my family can find a bit of solace and peace knowing that is where I saw Jesus for the first time. I pray for those families and the parents, children and loved ones who will be changed forever. I hope they cling to God during such a difficult time.”
(H/T Raw Story)