On CNN’s Reliable Sources, Host Wrongly Calls Oregon Shooter an Atheist Targeting Anyone Religious

Sunday’s episode of CNN’s news program Reliable Sources was mostly interesting, focusing on the dramatic decrease in media reporting of the Oregon college shooter’s name and face. This was a response to the gunman making clear he did this for fame, after wistfully writing online of the limelight won by other high-profile murderers. I expect this to be a trend for the future as we belatedly catch on to the problem.

But then, the usually reliable host Brian Stelter had this to say:



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Did the Oregon Shooter Actually Target Christians? That Doesn’t Appear to Be the Case

It’s a rallying moment for American Christians angered by the growing voices of the nation’s non-religious, however small a minority we remain.

Christian communities online are feverishly crying, “Now do you believe we’re persecuted?” Political, cultural, and religious leaders are calling on Christians to rise up against their non-religious persecutors, accusing us of fostering violence, and demanding we take responsibility. 

That fever is rising with each news report about the massacre of nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. 



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VA Public Schools End Christian Recruiting Program After FFRF Warning

Two weeks ago I reported on a sweeping program of organized religious coercion of student athletes by their Christian coaches at public high schools across southwestern Virginia. Since then I’ve received reports of two more schools involved, bringing the total number we know to host this program to twelve:



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“Predatory” Illegal Christian Recruiting Program Uncovered at Many Virginia Public Schools

On a sweltering August afternoon at a Virginia public high school’s football practice, the coach calls his hot, thirsty players to attention.  A guest, he announces, has brought them ice-cold watermelon — and a message. As the grateful young teens in uniform drop to the grass to savor their treat, the coach steps back and nods to his guest. The visitor is a preacher, and he’s there to bring the boys around to Coach’s particular brand of faith.

Coach figures all his boys and assistant coaches are Christian, because that’s what good Virginians are. And if they aren’t, they should be. He tells himself it’s part of his job because it’s good for the team. A boy without Jesus isn’t as respectful, strong or reliable — you know, Christian traits.

The preacher reads “The Competitor’s Creed” from the back of the book he holds, God’s Game Plan: The Athlete’s Bible:

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The “Atheist” Neo-Nazi Just Convicted of Triple Murder Was No Atheist

In April of 2014, white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, shot and killed a boy, the boy’s grandfather, and a woman near a Kansas Jewish community center while shouting “Heil Hitler!” In a dark twist of fate, all three victims were white Christians. This week, Miller was convicted of capital murder. At his trial, he said he “wanted to kill Jews, not people,” and responded to the verdict with “Sieg Heil” and a Nazi salute.

Miller, who ran for several offices including U.S. House and Senate, has been described as “one of the pioneers in the modern hate world” and “a central figure of the white power movement.”

CNN has reported that Miller is a neo-pagan who also “self-identified as an atheist,” who uses anti-Christian rhetoric.

Here I take a deep dive into that characterization, and I will explain at the end why I think it’s worth the effort.

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