On the heels of another mass shooting in Texas that took the lives of seven people and injured scores more, a guest on Sunday morning’s Fox & Friends blamed the uptick in gun-related killings on the decline of Christianity.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a former police officer, commented on the Odessa, Texas shooting, claiming an absence of morality is to blame, including the removal of religion from the public, according to Newsweek.
“It’s tragic and at some point we have to realize we have a problem as a nation, and the problem is not the absence of laws. It’s an absence of morality,” Perkins said, “[which is] really the result of a decades-long march through the institutions of America, driving religion and God from the public square.”
Perkins was questioned by one of the show’s hosts on what the country needs to do in order to help curb the increase in deadly mass shootings. He replied by agreeing with critics that it will take more than prayers and gun control measures to solve the problem.
“It’s not just about having a conversation about restricting those who should not have guns — criminals — but it’s also a discussion of the absence of a moral core in our culture today,” Perkins explained.
Perkins doubled down and insisted that by driving Christianity out, the decrease in morality means people don’t value human lives like they once may have.
“As the first president of the United States said, ‘don’t think we can have morality without religion,” Perkins said.
The Odessa shooting once again revived the gun control debate, with politicians and pundits on both sides of the political aisle bickering over the core cause of American gun violence and what the appropriate response should be.
Texas Rep. Matt Schaefer resisted calls for increased gun safety laws on Saturday, answering the “do something” calls from many Americans with a firm pledge to not pursue any gun control laws.
Schaefer said what he will do is encourage praying for the victims and their families and praying that God will “transform” those with evil intent. He also said single mothers in Texas should have the right to carry a handgun for self-defense without requiring permission from the state.
The Odessa shooting began as a routine traffic stop. Alleged shooter, 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator, then opened fire on Texas law enforcement officers before leading police on a chase while randomly firing at innocent bystanders.
The ordeal ended after Ator reportedly hijacked a U.S. Postal Service truck and was later gunned down by police.