An opinion columnist for the Los Angeles Times penned a Wednesday piece mocking the act of turning to God following the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, with the "kind of faith that allowed brutal enslavement to be the law of the land."
What are the details?
LZ Granderson begins his Times op-ed by lambasting "so-called religious conservatives" who "like to explain away national tragedies — be they natural or man-made — through the lens of God’s wrath, or at least indirect punishment for 'sins.'"
After picking on the likes of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and evangelical pastor John Hagee, Granderson writes that "they clearly have a period in mind in which they believe God was happier with the direction of the country, but our history makes it impossible to pinpoint a date without looking racist. So they tend to talk in nostalgic Judeo-Christian generalities."
He then invokes the aftermath of last week's mass killing in Uvalde, particularly the funerals for elementary school students beginning to take place — and adds that at these services "we’re going to be hearing a lot more of these generalities."
"With each passing day, it is clear that conservatives want to move the national conversation surrounding these mass shootings away from gun access and toward God," Granderson writes in his Times op-ed.
Specifically, he says conservative Christians like Hagee, Santorum, and Gingrich believe evil is to blame for massacres like Uvalde rather than guns: "The adherents of this thinking say after any horror: We have to fight evil."
"My question is how a nation that romanticizes, even monetizes, its own evil beginnings can even start to fight the kind of evil some of these politicos speak of," Granderson continues in his Times op-ed. "This is the country that turned Christopher Columbus from being lost at sea into a folk hero who 'discovered' a land full of people. We are the ones who rebranded slave labor camps as plantations."
He also suggests there's a "desire to see ourselves as good people," which is "much more pleasant for us than acknowledging we were never as holy as we like to tell ourselves."
Granderson then declares in his Times op-ed that "we don’t need to return the kind of faith that allowed brutal enslavement to be the law of the land for centuries. We don’t need to return to the kind of faith that allowed Jim Crow laws to follow."
After quoting Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — "You just cannot change character without changing a heart, and you can’t do that without turning to God" — Granderson writes that he'd ask Patrick, "When exactly did a nation built on stolen land, kidnapping, and enslavement turn away from God?"
He concludes his Times op-ed by saying "many of us don’t wonder how this evil came in. We wonder why people ... won’t admit it’s been here since the beginning."