Christian terrorism

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At Religion Dispatches, Frederick Clarkson asks "When Is Terrorism 'Christian'?" and notes that the occasional media "use of the term 'Christian militia'...suggests that "a tectonic shift may be underway in our underlying culture and politics as we continue to struggle with how to acknowledge the realities of actual and threatened religiously-motivated violence in the U.S."

Until now, of course, the elephant in the room has been our double standard, at least since 9/11. We've had little difficulty acknowledging religious motivations when Muslims are involved, but it's been rare to find the word "Christian" modifying terms like "militia" and "terrorism" in mainstream discourse.

When discussing the indictment against the Hutaree Militia, Clarkson notes that it identified the Hutaree as "an anti-government extremist organization" but didn't mention that the name means "Christian warrior" or that their uniform patch features a cross and the initials CCR ("Colonial Christian Republic"). He mentions several other examples:

...while the sentencing [of Scott Roeder] was massively covered by national and international media, it would have been fair to describe [him] as a "Christian terrorist," though the media didn't go there--he was described neither as a Christian nor as a terrorist in any of the news or broadcast accounts I could find.

...the once infamous Aryan Nations group referred to itself as the Church of Jesus Christ, Christian, and its leader was Rev. Richard Butler, a minister in one of the sects generally referred to as Christian Identity.

Mark Juergensmeyer's RD piece "The Return of Christian Terrorism" observes that, regardless of terminology, the "awful mood of American Christian terrorism--culminating in the catastrophic attack on the Oklahoma City Federal Builiding--has now returned:"

...threats and incidents of right-wing violence have risen 200% in this last year -- unfortunately coinciding with the tenure of the first African American President in US history.

It's certainly odd that concern on the Right for limited government, deficit spending, and the like seems to blossom whenever Washington is in Democratic hands--but when the GOP takes the reins, the Right falls in line.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on April 13, 2010 1:47 PM.

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