Congressional candidate Zach Dasher — a Republican running for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District and the nephew of “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson — responded to atheist leader Richard Darkin's recent op-ed accusing him of "Christian intolerance."
Dasher, once again, defended his recently revealed comments about atheism and the Sandy Hook massacre in a statement released Wednesday night, warning that "in the absence of God, man becomes the determiner of all things."
It was a direct response to Dawkins' online article published Tuesday by Time Magazine in which the evolutionary biologist decried the "warped intolerance" of Christian politicians like Mike Huckabee and Dasher and dismissed perceived claims that nontheism contributed to the Sandy Hook tragedy.
Headliner Richard Dawkins, founder of The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, speaks during the National Atheist Organization's 'Reason Rally' on March 24, 2012 on the National Mall in Washington, DC. (Getty Images North America)
"Apparently, the premier driver was not the mental illness from which shooter Adam Lanza clearly suffered, nor was it that an unstable man was able legally to amass a stockpile of weapons, thanks to his mother supplying them," Dawkins wrote. "According to Dasher, 'the reason why (the Sandy Hook massacre) happened is that we have denied as a culture that man is made in God’s image.'"
Dawkins, who recently came under fire for tweeting that “it would be immoral” to willingly bring a baby with Down syndrome into the world, chastised Dasher for not recognizing that the atheists value life.
"Had Dasher bothered to find out about atheism, humanism and the nonreligious, he would have come to understand just how precious this community views life," Dawkins wrote.
But the congressional candidate hit back at Dawkins' claims Wednesday in a statement, noting that he stands by the original comments — statements that he has said were taken out of context in media — and believes that "the tragedy at Sandy Hook points to a much larger societal problem of moral decay."
"In the absence of God man becomes the determiner of all things, including the value and meaning of life," Dasher said.
Republican congressional candidate Zach Dasher (Image via Zach Dash/Facebook)
He added that he refuses to agree with Dawkins' past beliefs that "life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA" and that "life has no design, no purpose, and no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference."
And Dasher blamed societal decal on God's removal from society. Here's the complete statement:
"I stand by my original statement. The tragedy at Sandy Hook points to a much larger societal problem of moral decay. In the absence of God man becomes the determiner of all things, including the value and meaning of life. I’m a Christian who believes that man is made in the image of God and is therefore incredibly precious. These most recent attacks are just another glaring example of the war on traditional Christian values. I refuse to accept that, as Dawkins says, “life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA” and that “life has no design, no purpose, and no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” Our society is suffering from mass moral decay because we have removed God from the halls of Congress, our Universities, and as the foundation of liberty. It’s time that Washington and the academic cultural elitists respect Christians and our Faith."
Read more about his controversial comments about atheism and Sandy Hook here.