I’m not sure which one Leonard Pitts dislikes more — Christianity or research. His April 8 column about “Christian terrorists” claims that we have no shortage of “Christians who believe Jesus requires … them to commit murder.” As evidence, Pitts provides a list of high profile knuckleheads. However, he either failed to notice or chose not to mention that none of them identified themselves or their motives as Christian.
Timothy McVeigh called himself an agnostic, mocked the concept of heaven and hell, and never mentioned religion as a motive for his bombing. (Maggie Gallagher, Townhall.com, Oct. 28, 2002; Julian Borger, The Guardian, June 11, 2001).
Eric Rudolph also denied any religious motivation and mocked Christians, saying, “I hate to break it to them, but I really prefer Nietzsche to the Bible.” (Blake Morrison, USA Today, July 5, 2005).
Matt Hale was the head of “The World Church of the Creator,” which believes that the white race, not God, is “the creator.” (Wikipedia). It’s tough to be a Christian when you don’t believe in God.
Scott Roeder’s wife could only identify her husband’s beliefs as “Old Testament, eye-for-an-eye” (Eric Fingerhut, The Telegraph, June 3, 2009). Not Christian.
The Williams brothers, the Phineas Priests, and plenty of other fools, had ties to the Christian Identity movement, which, despite its name, “rejects the beliefs of most contemporary Christian denominations. They claim that modern Christian churches are preaching heresy” (Wikipedia).
Although the repugnant Hutaree call themselves a “Christian militia,” they, like Christian Identity, have rejected basic Christian belief. Michigan clergy and at least one professor have made it clear that there is nothing Christian about the Hutaree’s beliefs. (Dan Cherry, Daily Telegram, April 2, 2010).
Granted, the violence, hatred and ignorance associated with the above-mentioned criminals requires a much more in-depth treatment than is possible here. Bigotry demands a clear, intelligent and thoughtful response, and many voices out there are attempting to provide that response. Leonard Pitts, however, is not one of those voices.
All bigotry — racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim etc. — is based on ignorance. Pitts only demonstrates that anti-Christian bigotry is equally ignorant.
Michael B. Tyne, Sumner