No imaginary solutions to gun violence, FFRF admonishes Tenn. congressman

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is calling out the fact-free remarks that a Tennessee member of Congress has recently made in response to school shootings.

On March 30, Rep. Tim Burchett clarified controversial remarks he had made earlier in the week asserting that “we’re not going to fix” school shootings. He explained to the Knox News that “we need a spiritual awakening in this country, and if we had that, a true revival, this type of thing would not happen.” Burnett has also recently said: “Repenting of your sins and having some sort of reform in this country seems to me to be the way we’re going to have to turn this way around, because we have some sick and evil people doing some very vile things. … Revival seems to be the way to go for me.”

Burchett ignorantly claims that a “spiritual awakening” will solve the rampant epidemic of gun violence in our country. However, scientific studies show that societies and states with less religion have less violence, FFRF emphasizes. When any given factor of societal health or well-being is measured, invariably the less religious countries score better. The correlation of lower religiosity with higher societal well-being also exists within the United States: States that tend to be among the most religious in the nation have the highest rates of violent crime and murder.

These studies reveal that Christianity and more faith are not a panacea and are actually counterproductive. As Thomas Paine said, “Accustom a people to believe that priests or any other class of men can forgive sins, and you will have sins in abundance.”

School shootings are a real-world problem that requires a real-world solution, not a plea for nonexistent supernatural intervention, FFRF points out. Atheists and agnostics and others unaffiliated with religion — who now comprise three-in-ten adult Americans — are some of the most avid supporters of gun safety reform, while evangelical Christians are among the least.

“As a U.S. representative, your duty is to support the U.S. Constitution, which is godless and entirely secular, and to protect the rights of all citizens regardless of their religious or nonreligious beliefs,” FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor tell Burchett. “Your promotion of religion, prayer and Christianity as a false panacea for this crisis is insulting and demeaning to nonreligious and non-Christian citizens.”

They urge the member of Congress: “Get off your knees and get to work!”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with almost 40,000 members and several chapters across the country, including more than 400 members and a local chapter in Tennessee. FFRF protects the constitutional separation between state and church and educates about nontheism.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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