Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested on Wednesday that the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre was tied to godlessness in contemporary American society.
Speaking to Brian Thomas of radio station 55KRC, Gingrich reflected on Friday's shooting in Newtown, Conn., which claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six adults.
"When you have an anti-religious, secular bureaucracy and secular judiciary, seeking to drive God out of public life, something fills the vacuum," Gingrich said. "I don’t know that going from communion to playing war games, in which you practice killing people is necessarily an improvement."
Gingrich urged the national dialogue in the aftermath of the shooting to focus on the problems with America's youth, who "don't see their fellow Americans as human beings, but as objects."
He also went after "Natural Born Killers," Oliver Stone's 1994 movie about two mass murderers, saying it had no redeeming social value. "How can you possibly justify dehumanizing people to that degree and what do you think it does to young people who watch it over and over again?" he asked.
Gingrich is not the first high-profile Republican to invoke godlessness as a possible root cause in the wake of the tragic shooting. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) caught heat for saying the crime was no surprise because America has "systematically removed God" from public schools.
Huckabee later sought to clarify his remarks, saying he did not believe increased prayer in school would have stopped the shooting from occurring.
"I'm not suggesting by any stretch that if we had prayer in schools regularly as we once did that this wouldn’t have happened, because you can't have that kind of cause and effect," he said. "But we've created an atmosphere in this country where the only time you want to invoke God’s name is after the tragedy."
Read more at ThinkProgress.