Christian Extremists? (Timothy McVeigh Edition)

A combination of a few posts from 2010
that had dead media or bad links
combined and reposted

This is a myth — that Timothy McVeigh was a Christian — that reverberates in the liberal community, never seeing the light of day. Here I will post what CNN’s Ali Velshi said back in August on 2010 via NEWSBUSTERS:

VELSHI: Did you know that, as an American citizen, you have two freedoms granted by the First Amendment of the Constitution, when it comes to religion? The first part is known as the Establishment Clause. The Establishment Clause essentially says the government can’t pass laws that will establish an official religion. This is commonly interpreted as the separation of church and state. The second one is the Free Exercise Clause, and it prevents the government from interfering with or controlling a person’s practice of his or her religion. Religious freedom is an absolute right in this country, and it includes the right to practice any religion, or no religion at all, for all Americans.

After briefly touching on how many of the early American colonists came to North America for religious freedom, the CNN anchor moved on to his morally relativistic argument:

VELSHI: Suppose our government leaders or New York state leaders do step in, in some capacity, whether official or non-official, and assist in moving the mosque elsewhere. Then what? What kind of precedent does that set? Timothy McVeigh was raised Catholic. Do we then entertain petitions of moving Catholic churches away from the Oklahoma bombing site? I’m sure you’re thinking it sounds ridiculous, but ask yourself, is it ridiculous because Catholicism is familiar to you, or, is your argument that what he did was different, or is your argument that Timothy McVeigh didn’t kill in the name in Allah?

Actually, the comparison is ridiculous, because, as his own network acknowledged the morning after McVeigh’s execution, that the murderer was “baptized in the Catholic Church as a boy, but had stopped practicing and recently described himself as agnostic.” Moreover, as the terrorist himself admitted, he bombed the Oklahoma City federal building as a “retaliatory strike; a counter attack, for the cumulative raids (and subsequent violence and damage) that federal agents had participated in over the preceding years (including, but not limited to, Waco).” McVeigh did not carry out the attack in the name of the Christian God or in the name of the Catholic Church. On the other hand, Al Qaeda issued a fatwa in 1998, which declared that killing “Americans and their allies…is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it…in accordance with the words of Almighty God.”

Velshi concluded his commentary by stating that it didn’t matter whether Americans were for or against the planned mosque: “If you’re an American citizen and choose to remain in this country, then whether you are against or you are for the Islamic center and mosque should be irrelevant. I say ‘should be,’ in an ideal world, because, as an American citizen- well, we should all be for the Constitution that so many have fought, lived, and died for, including the 2,976 souls who died on September 11th at Ground Zero, at the Pentagon, and in a field in western Pennsylvania.”…..

Michael Medved interviewed the Reverend Susan B. Thistlethwaite (PhD, is Professor of Theology Emerita and President Emerita at Chicago Theological Seminary) on his show back in May of 2010. The discussion was initially about Anders Behring Breivik, the racist in Norway that killed 85 people (almost all kids). The conversation then turns to Timothy McVeigh where the Reverend said he was a Christian — this is simply not true:

A Caller into the Michael Medved Show tries to compare Christians to terrorists by bringing up Timothy McVeigh. After that myth is shot down, the caller then tries the “Bush said God told him to go to war.” Another strike.

UPDATED REFERENCES

Human Events Shot This Down — again — many years ago in their article “Timothy McVeigh was not a ‘Christian’ terrorist,” (HUMAN EVENTS, May 6, 2002 by Lofton, John). But the Left likes to attack straw-men. That is they set up a false premise as if its true then they attack it… all the while their opponents are waiting on the sidelines for them to stop circular thinking and engage the world. Here are some of the past contributors to the Liberal Mantra:

  • Objecting to Muslims and Islam being blamed for terrorism, Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation Of Islam, has said, according to the, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service (9/17/01): “Timothy McVeigh was from a Christian nation… and nobody said the Christian Timothy McVeigh, they said Timothy McVeigh.”
  • The Boston Herald (10/07/01) quotes convicted rapist/boxer Mike Tyson as saying: “Religion can’t be defined from one single person’s action. Timothy McVeigh was a Christian.”
  • The Providence Journal-Bulletin (9/18/01) quotes Reem Alkurdi, a Muslim, as saying, Timothy McVeigh was a Christian-American.” But, nobody is blaming “all the Christian-Americans.”
  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (9/18/01) quotes Suleiman Badwan, a Muslim, as saying: “Don’t target me. . .. Tim McVeigh was a Christian … and he still blew up a federal building.”
  • The Denver Post (9/16/01) quotes Imam Tali Eid of the Islamic Center of New England in Quincy, Mass., as saying, “‘[A]t the time of McVeigh I haven’t seen any minister or priest’ having to defend his faith because McVeigh was a Christian.”
  • The Manchester Union Leader (9/12/01) quotes Shuja U. Saleem, who’s on the board of the Islamic Society of Greater Manchester, as saying that even though McVeigh was a Christian, “nobody points a finger at Christianity.”
  • The Minnesota Daily student newspaper (9/25/01) quotes Sarah Schadegg as saying, “Timothy McVeigh was a Christian but we didn’t label him the Christian bomber.”
  • The Canadian newspaper The Record (9/24/01), in Kitchner-Waterloo, quotes the mayor of Kitchner, Carl Zehr, as saying, “We don’t condemn Christianity because Timothy McVeigh was a Christian.”
  • The Los Angeles New Times newspaper (9/20/01) quotes Naji Harden, president of the Islamic Center of Hawthorne’s board of trustees, as saying, “The bomber of the Oklahoma federal building was a Christian, but we didn’t hear people singling out Christians.”
  • An article in USA Today (11/7/01) says, of many Muslims interviewed, that “several mentioned Timothy McVeigh. The media, they say, did not call McVeigh a Christian terrorist, but simply a terrorist.”
  • Nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist Mike Peters, whose cartoons appear in many newspapers, drew one cartoon labeling Timothy McVeigh as a Christian.
  • And in Reason magazine (12/1/01), Abdulwahab Alkebsi, a Muslim from Yemen, is quoted as saying: “Let’s call bin Laden what he is: He is a terrorist. It has nothing to do with Islam-just as much as you don’t want to call Timothy McVeigh a Christian terrorist or a Christian killer.”

MORE

WINTERY KNIGHT: Actually, according to this CNN interview with a McVeigh biographer, McVeigh was an agnostic.
BREITBART: He told the authors of American Terrorist that he “did not believe in Hell.” If there’s one tenet that’s consistent with Christian religions, it’s a belief in Hell—and Heaven, for that matter.
THE GUARDIAN: In his letter, McVeigh said he was an agnostic but that he would “improvise, adapt and overcome”, if it turned out there was an afterlife. “If I’m going to hell,” he wrote, “I’m gonna have a lot of company.”
TOWNHALL: Reporting on his execution, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described McVeigh as “an avowed agnostic” whose sudden last-minute decision to see a Catholic priest just before his execution surprised everyone who knew him. As recently as July 2001, even a lefty like Barbara Ehrenreich (writing in the Progressive) did not portray McVeigh as having religious motives. She called McVeigh a “homegrown neo-Nazi mass murderer,” yes; Christian fundamentalist, no.
RELIGIO-POLITICAL TALK: When in fact Timothy McVeigh was an atheist who renounced the Judeo-Christian God and said his “god” was science. So in reality, McVeigh’s motivations line up closer with John’s political (and some would say, religious… because “atheism” is a metaphysical viewpoint) views rather than the “religious-right.” And most of the violence has been committed by people who have left leaning political views.