Freethought Today, May 1995
By Dan Barker
When extremists from predominantly Moslem countries commit violence, many in the media refer to them as "Islamic terrorists." Why is no one calling the Oklahoma City bombing suspects "Christian terrorists"?
The militias being investigated are called simply "right-wing" and "anti-government," but these hate groups, like the Ku Klux Klan, all have bible-based agendas. Timothy McVeigh is a Catholic. The Oklahoma City bomb was detonated on the anniversary of the raid on David Koresh's Christian militia in Waco.
Ignoring the obvious religious connections here, everyone seems eager to turn this tragedy into an opportunity to acknowledge a deity. Oklahoma City invited Billy Graham and President Clinton to pray publicly to their god in an effort to lend some "meaning" to it all. Don't they see the irrationality of praying to this supposedly omniscient and omnipotent deity?
If I had known what was about to happen at 9:02 a.m. on April 19, and if I had had the ability to prevent the horror, I would have tried. Wouldn't you?
But Billy Graham's all-knowing God (let's pretend he exists) observed the truck being loaded with explosives. He sat alongside the driver on the trip from Kansas, knowing what he had in mind. He noticed the laughing children entering the day-care center.
Graham's all-powerful "God of love" easily could have prevented the detonation. Yet he did nothing.
Graham and Clinton should not be asking their God for comfort. They should be asking him, "Whose side are you on?"
What would you call someone who could have stopped the killing, yet sat by and let it happen? I would call him an accomplice.
Yet FBI Director Louis Freeh, knowing that his main suspect is Catholic and is associated with Christian right-wing militia groups, called the Oklahoma bombing a "godless act."
There is no reason for our government to equate "godless" with "evil." The facts of history show that most terrorism and war have some kind of religious motivation. The recent chemical warfare in Japan waged by the "Supreme Truth" religious cult is one example. Since Christianity has a history of bloody persecution, wouldn't it make more sense for Freeh to identify religion as the culprit here?
After all, Jesus reportedly said, "I came not to send peace, but a sword." This sounds like "Christian terrorism" to me.