But what’s the evidence that the shooter, who would have been in youth group during the presidencies of Obama and Trump, was taught the toxic purity culture that peaked in the 1990s?
My argument is not “no evidence will ever or could ever exist,” but rather “no one actually knows, and therefore we shouldn’t draw that connection until and unless evidence emerges.”
If I was a betting man, I would actually put a hefty wager on this young man having heard the normative / traditional / orthodox teaching on sexuality that David French taught his youth group instead of the toxic legalism that Bill Gothard taught.
And if that’s true, then the argument of this piece basically falls apart. It could become a good standalone article on purity culture, but not a very illuminating one of the killer and his theological culture.
(By the way, if you want to hear from the church itself, you can read their statement.)
So my encouragement to everyone: let’s slow down on drawing connections that might seem obvious but are actually quite tenuous.
— Justin Taylor (@between2worlds) March 23, 2021
Update: Terry Mattingly also has helpful reflections Read it all.