After Obama commented at the National Prayer Breakfast that Christians commit violence as well, the Christian right pretended that he had to go back 1000 years to the Crusades to find examples. Dean Obeidallah has an article at the Daily Beast detailing current examples of Christian extremism, violence and terrorism.
“There are still nine Christians here. We will capture them. We will kill them. When we finish here, we will go to the next village and kill the Christians there, too.”
If an ISIS leader made a statement like this publicly, Fox News would probably cut into their programming bring you a special report about the Muslims’ “religious war” against Christians. Mainstream media outlets would most likely cover it as well.
But that statement was indeed uttered in 2014. Except there was one simple word difference: “Christian” was replaced with “Muslim”. That is exactly what a Christian terrorist said about his militia’s plan to exterminate the remaining nine Muslims in a village in Central Africa Republic (CAR). But, of course, stuff like that doesn’t really make news here in our country.
Or did you hear about the Christian militant who publicly beheaded a Muslim man in the streets of the CAR capital last year? That was actually covered by the US media—in a short Associated Press paragraph buried papers like the New York Times. Anyone doubt that if a Muslim terrorist beheaded a Christian man in the public square it would’ve made the US news?
Any cable news channels cover in depth the Christian marauders in CAR that are – as we speak – ethnically cleansing tens of thousnads of the minority Muslim population there? These Christian militants “stage brutal attacks…wielding machetes” and have “burned and looted…houses and mosques.” True, this is part of a civil war, but these violent acts are still carried out by militants who publicly self identify as Christian fighters.
Or Obama could have simply focused on the violence perpetrated by Christian terrorists in America. For starters, since 1977 there have been ”8 murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 181 arsons, and thousands of incidences of other criminal activities” targeting reproductive health care facilities here at home. With few exceptions, there were perpetrated by Christians who opposed abortion for religious reasons.
Lets not forget that Eric Rudolph, who was tied to the white supremacist “Christian Identity” movement, had bombed abortion clinics, a gay nightclub and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, which killed two people and wounded 110. Rudolph’s stated motivation was to stop abortion, claiming our government had “legalized, sanctioned and legitimized” abortion, and thus, “they forfeited their legitimacy and moral authority to govern.”
And there was also the 2009 execution of Dr. George Tiller, who became nationally known for performing late term abortions. His killer, Scott Roeder, was a born again Christian who claimed that he the killing “was justified to save the lives of unborn children.”
There’s much more he could have mentioned, of course, like the violence coming from far-right militia groups and “sovereign citizens” who have attacked mosques, synagogues and killed or tried to kill police officers around the country. While modern Christianity is certainly a lot less violent than modern Islam, it’s wrong to pretend that there isn’t a serious problem with violence in both.