I used to live in Miami, Oklahoma. The local college, Northeast Oklahoma A&M, was my first teaching job out of grad school. That was where I became a Lutheran, being catechized and received into membership at the wonderful congregation of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church.
Imagine my surprise to hear about Gregory Arthur Weiler II, 23, of Elk Grove Village, Ill., who had a list of 48 churches, with maps and diagrams, that he planned to bomb in and around Miami. An alert motel worker noticed that this particular guest was collecting materials for what appeared to be Molotov cocktails.
Miami police arrested Weiler and found in his room, in addition to the bomb-making equipment and the list of churches, a journal and other writings, including this statement of his plans:
“Self-Promote for the next 4 years while beginning list of goals written out in Oklahoma having to do with destroying and removing church buildings from U.S., a tiny bit at a time — setting foundation for the years to follow.”
Mt. Olive would have had to have been one of the churches on his list. The churches were all in Ottawa County, and 48 would have had to include them all.
I grew up in the next county over from Miami (pronounced “my-am-uh”). And in yet another case of the news striking close to home, I see that Weiler’s court-appointed attorneys are from a law firm run by a guy I used to go to school with!