"If you're not a Christian, you're going to die."

Glad I didn’t work with this wacko, because I might be dead. A gunman came to work with a semiautomatic handgun to kill co-workers who were not Christians:

A 24-year-old ski lift operator who fatally shot the general manager of the Eldora ski area was determined to kill co-workers who weren’t Christian, according to court records obtained Thursday.

The documents, filed Wednesday in Boulder District Court, said witnesses told authorities that Derik Bonestroo walked into a building at work, fired a gun into the ceiling and said: “If you’re not Christian, you’re going to die.”

General manager Brian Mahon was shot and killed Dec. 30 at the ski area west of Nederland, Colo., in Boulder County.

Witnesses said when Bonestroo asked Mahon’s religion, Mahon said “Catholic” and Bonestroo shot him twice: in the chest and head.

If I were there, I would have said I was a Christian. I have no problem lying to a madman to save my life. If he didn’t believe me, I’d have asked Jesus into my heart right there to prove it. And then if I had a chance, I would have tried to get his gun and shoot him before he hurt anyone else. Psychopath.

Of course, he’s not a real Christian. Just a poser. He didn’t really believe. Thought I’d anticipate that comment in advance.

It’s not like God would ever want someone to do that. I mean, he didn’t ask Abraham to wrap up and kill his only son, did he? He never told his chosen people to massacre another nation and slaughter all their women, children and animals, right? God is love and would never ask a human being to hurt another!


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • God made sure HIS only son died… Yeah, sure, he came back for a few days, but still…

  • Dutchgirl

    >Of course, he’s not a real Christian. Just a poser. He didn’t really believe. Thought I’d anticipate that comment in advance.<

    Oh, he believed, he just didn’t understand. Then again, the thou shalt not kill rule does appear rather flexible in the bible. In the not too distant past non-Christians would have been burned or stoned.

  • Here is a story that talks about God’s work as well. Only this guy was actually CHANNELING the Lord through his hands. It’s quite exciting to know God has the time to do these things in amongst all the paperwork and such.


  • claidheamh mor

    This is simply a more extreme example of how much hatred many Christians have.

    It’s just a more extreme example of the hatred that expresses in pushing for laws that force everyone to live by their Christian beliefs (forced prayer in schools, forced births by banned abortion, banned gay marriages, etc.); name-calling, verbal attacks both overt and covertly disguised with “excuse me”, “I’m sorry”, and questions; their contempt for anyone who does not buy their beliefs and therefore must be hopelessly stupid; and the vitriol and invective that spews out in posts written by Christians on this site. (And anywhere else.)

    It’s just a little more obvious when it finally expresses as murder.

  • Sundog

    And yet, my Christian friends don’t understand why I fear Christianity…

  • Crazy! I used to live in Boulder, and I’ve been to Eldora!

    So strange. What could have been going through his mind that drove him to prepare and carry out this act? I wonder why he thought he should take it upon himself to cast judgment, rather than let it happen when we die (what supposedly happens).

  • Jeremy

    I have a question about this. If, hypothetically, I read a news story about a person who went nuts and killed a bunch of people for being religious, and said that anyone who wasn’t an atheist deserved to die… would I be justified in fearing atheism?

  • Ryan

    ““If you’re not Christian, you’re going to die.”

    “Witnesses said when Bonestroo asked Mahon’s religion, Mahon said “Catholic” and Bonestroo shot him twice: in the chest and head.”

    Uhh did I miss something because are Catholics are Christians correct?

  • Ryan

    wow maybe I should read my comments before I post them.

  • I think it’s very clear that this rampage is due to a dangerous combination of scripture and psychoactive substances.

    As evidence, I submit that Derik Bonestroo anagrams to “book ired stoner.”

    • LRA

      Whoa! Very John C-esque! :)

    • Karleigh

      VidLord, Daniel has detailed his study of the Bible a number of times. It obviously hasn’t impressed him much…
      God is NOT within me… and I’m going to be just fine without him, thank you.

  • Brian
  • Brian

    ….”The sexual touching began when she was 12 or 13. Then he used sex toys on her and eventually, six months later, had sexual intercourse. She was sexually naive, having been raised as a fundamental Christian….”

    … “her younger brother was routinely forced into sex acts by the stepfather and he had sex with his fundamentalist Christian mother who belonged to the swinger subculture that swaps sex partners…. ”

    I guess these are just samples of rotten apples?, what do you think Telepromter?

    I think we should speak up and stop pretending that because of these sick people we can’t judge the whole religion organization.

  • Brian

    Teleprompter, I agree with you, those hideous were not done *because* they were christians. Christianity didn’t push them to do it, but neither try to avoid it.

    It makes me really sick when these people preach “jesus loves you” and “god is love” and they can at the same time make such a horrible acts.

    Not only they brainwashed their kids as “fundies” but also messed up their heads. I wonder how many times those parents talked about god with their neighbours. I wonder if those sick parents went to the same church were I used to go…

  • Trykt

    The point of something like this is that being a Christian says nothing about whether a person is capable of murder which is widely regarded as one of the worst crimes a human being can commit. It in fact can give actual justification to the murderer because they believe their crime to be for a righteous cause.

    Being an atheist has nothing to do with whether a person will commit an evil act either. But it also does not promise reward for such a thing.

    Christianity gets touted as inspiring true peace, happiness, and morality in people and that’s certainly not universally true. Even if some people do find happiness in it, there are plenty of perfectly happy atheists. What use is religion in this context then? If anything it only ever gets twisted into justifying murder. An athiest murderer cannot make the same excuse, such a person would be just plain bad or mentally ill.

  • dufas

    Hello, Daniel,
    Here in Brazil, we are horrified because of this: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,505183,00.html

    Notice that the raper has NOT been excommunicated.

  • prttimnehuman

    I take it you guys aren’t familier with the “left behinf” game where you kill people you aren’t able to convert.

  • Barry

    @ demar

    Besides Columbine, here’s another incident that you think might have happened somewhere in the past.


  • claidheamh mor

    I didn’t know about this until not too many years ago.

    Mormon-led Massacre

  • Chris

    Hypothetically speaking, for the Christians…

    If this man did this because he was mentally ill, could he have still been a “true” Christian? Because if he really did believe, he would be saved by faith, no matter how many people he killed.

    But if he was a Christian and full of the grace of God, wouldn’t he NOT kill, as good works are evidence of salvation? Is mental illness stronger than grace?

    And if he was mentally ill and not able to understand or live in reality, and he was not a Christian, is he in hell right now? Are the truly mentally disabled held accountable for accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and savior?

    If God damns a mentally ill person who has little control over himself, is that just? Or if God pardons mentally ill people, isn’t it good to be born with a servere mental disorder, to be sure to avoid hell?

    Or maybe it was a demonic possesion. I have questions about that too but they can wait.

  • The most salient aspect of religious fervency is narrow-mindedness, i.e., A person’s inability to tolerate any religious view other than his or her own. This simple fact is well understood by religious leaders and very easily exploited. First they use rhetoric to whip their followers into a religious frenzy; then they foment hatred and violence against those who do not share their creed. Derik Bonestroo and others fanatics like him emerge as the fruits of their efforts.

    When things like this happen, religious moderates are quick to decry such atrocities and admonish us not to associate them in any way with people like Bonestroo. Yet, as members of the 85% of Americans who call themselves Christians, they tacitly endorse the blank checks on hatred and violence that their leaders are handing out to the fanatics.

    When moderate Christians bite into the cherries they’ve picked from the Bible, they should be mindful of the pits within.

  • I’d lie about being a Christian too. Then, when I get the chance, I’d take out my concealed carry weapon and end the situation.

  • Daniel: “He never told his chosen people to massacre another nation and slaughter all their women, children and animals, right? God is love and would never ask a human being to hurt another!”

    You’re obviously interpreting the bible literally. When God said this it was about the INTERNAL struggle within, the battle between good and evil – it had nothing to do with the literal depictions written down. If you interpret the bible literally you’re obviously foolish and immature. You must study it over the course of many years to grasp what is implied. God is within you – all he asks is that you accept him! God IS love!!!

  • RobotzAreAwesome

    Holy Sh@@! I knew about this shooting (as I live near Boulder), but I didn’t know the gunman was a christian zealot. Not good. I’m actually going skiing THERE next weekend, so please pray for me, I mean, wish me luck…….

  • You are really twisted in your viewpoint.

    Have you forgotten the Columbine massacre where only Christians were killed?

    Do you know about the millions of Christians who have died for their faith over the centuries?

    Do you know about the Christians who are currently being tortured and killed for their faith today?

    Physically, you are here, but you have already died.

  • Glad I found another skeptic. Religion. the three siblings of Abraham in particular, have morphed into a cavalcade of political power monsters and deadly control freaks.
    Christianity is finally shown in the light of day, no longer is it fashionable to cover up the horrors they perpetrate.
    Islam never bothered to cover its deadly problems. Judaism has always advertised it’s passion for ‘laws’ and justice … but never bothered to apply those same laws to itself, especially under the excuse of being threatened.
    Religion in general has lost my respect. I do, however, respect individuals of faith who wander blindly, believing in the peaceful side of their faiths.
    Horrific acts of violence must be recognized for what they are … the conflict inside people about the contradictions their religions demonstrate. Religions love to use the word zealot to distance themselves from their radicals.
    I welcome you to my blogroll at TruthHugger.

  • BB

    Daniel: I just came across this story and just wanted to share my comment and story with you.

    First, I am a Christian, did the bibe school thing, all the things you say you have done. I really don’t like to use the term Christian, cause what the title brings with, just as you have written in your story. Crazy People!! Just as you are an athiest, I am a believer. I too struggle sometimes with everything. Why would God do this, why does God allow all the bad things to happen? Where is God, God is nowwhere! Does God exist or not?

    I have a 6 year old son. I would do anything for him. He is very special to me. I love him very much. I’m sure you have someone you love very much and would do anything for.

    My son who is a part of me, sometimes does bad things. He disobeys, throws fits when he doesn’t get his way, gets mad when I don’t get him a toy the store. The typical kid stuff. I have to punish him sometimes. I take away his toys, make him go to his room and yes I have taken a paddle to him. I have made him cry! On those days when he is at his worst and I have to punish him, at the end of the day when I am putting him to bed, I look at him and he looks at me. We talk, and he doesn’t ask me why I spanked him or why I made him cry. I don’t ask him why he was bad. He looks at me and say’s “Daddy I love you” and I reply “Son, I love you too.” Unconditional love!

    No matter how much we question God about what he has done or hasn’t done. No matter what we say, No matter what we do, He is still looking at us and saying “I love you”.

    To those who say they don’t believe in God, I would say it doesn’t matter, God believes in you.


    • LRA

      “Physically, you are here, but you have already died.”

      That statement is such sanctimonious crap! Your condescending attitude won’t score any points here.

  • Brian


    I am sorry, but the comparation does not make sense.

    I love my children as well and I know the love me, and I know the exist. We talk, we laugh, we go to the park, we read books, we eat together. They listen to me, I listen to them. We hear each others voice.

    No matter what they do, I will never curse them forever (neither theis kids, or their kids’ kids), or kick them out of my house (eden).

    I will never ask them to put a knife in anothers chest to prove they love me (Abraham). And I will never kill our dog (jesus) to forgive them for something they didn’ do. I will never bet love with them (job)

    I could go on and on with samples…

    Hey, and when my kids ask me for money I hand them a tooney.

    That is real love.

  • And yet after reading about this shooting, some people will still think atheists are morally inferior to Christians. When’s the last time an atheist went on a shooting spree? When’s the last time an atheist blew up a church? Or flew a plane into a building?

  • caliliee

    Many would say that Atheism has led to the millions of babies being killed via abortion, and the assisted suicide killings of the elderly.

  • Lee

    Atheism FTW!!!!

  • thenaturallawyer

    Both of your examples are pre-Christian old testament (Hebrew Bible) examples, not Christian examples. I am unaware of any specifically Christian teaching (i.e., after Christ actually showed up) authorizing murder, political killings, or familial killings.

    You may recall that God didn’t actually allow Abraham to kill his son. God’s blessing of the Israelites’ military conquests is a deeper theological issue, and certainly cannot be compared with the psycho you described.

    The reason you anticipated the argument that he wasn’t a true Christian is because you know he is acting inconsistently with Christian doctrine. Christian doctrine (as stated in the New Testament) authorizes the believer to seek voluntary conversion of others through persuasion, voluntary suffering of persecution (allowing oneself to be imprisoned), and loving service of both Christians and non-Christians.

    You may also recall Peter attempting to take the sword to the Roman guard who came to get Jesus for crucifixion, and after Peter cut off his ear, Jesus miraculously put the ear back on and rebuked his own follower rather than the non-Christian. That is Christian doctrine.

  • LRA

    It is also Christian doctrine that Armageddon is coming…

  • raiukyuu

    Interesting post.

    Even more puzzling to me is all the debate that this has started in the comments section. It tickles me. Very much indeed.

  • jtornado

    I don’t believe this story about some psycho killing a co-worker has anything to do with the Bible. Someone who is obviously mentally unstable associating themselves with religion or belief does not make a realistic statement about that group. Saying that all Christians are murderous because one man says he is going to kill everybody but Christians, is like saying that all Muslims are killers because some extreme faction of Muslims try to kill all non-Muslims. It’s a unfounded generalization.

  • jtornado – “All of those men you mentioned above did things which they had been very clearly told not to do.”

    they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD.

    You don’t find that the least bit odd that God would instantly kill two people for this? You don’t question the validity of this story in the slightest?

    You don’t think that two Priests – who had spoken to God, the creator of the universe, and were instructed to burn something in a certain fashion, would deliberately disobey him and burn it in a different way? Why would they do that? If they were Priests certainly they would have nothing to gain by deliberately disobeying God right? Especially after he told them how to do it.

    Attack the story with logic. It’s just anther example of absurd desert scribbling.

  • donotscarethebully

    The bottom line of an argument about religion is that if people do not begin to value life on the earth then it leaves room for people with radical ideas to infect the world with them. If someone is willing to belief in ONE certain thing whether it is a religion, higher power or a paradise after life then there WILL ALWAYS BE RADICALS. EVERYONE should doubt, no matter what you’ve been taught, no matter how much a belief in a higher power helps you get through the day, no matter how much it may cause a rift in ones own family. If we ever accept ANYTHING as a singular truth we are resisting progress. Whether you have a PHD in Biology or are a lifelong Christian, you should doubt. The reason why doubting is so important is because if someone does not believe they know something 100% it will immensely reduce the chances of a person being radical for a certain cause. So if you are a moderately religious person, take a second to look at the bigger picture and you may just see that by believing in a certain religion, you are, in fact, the base of the pyramid. /\ If the moderates who make up the base begin to doubt their belief, the radicals, who are the tip, will be forced to collapse. Maybe then will we be able to truly value human life on earth.

    • Chris

      Actually, I think chalking it up to demon possesion is writing it off- very irresponsible. Fortunately, their are many doctors and medical researchers working every day to try to help people with mental illness. Its hard work but they do it.

    • It’s lucky that demons can be driven out with anti-psychotic drugs, then.

  • There is no way of determining whether a person is a “real” Christian or not. just as there is no way of determining which religions are “true” and which ones are “false.”

    Some Protestants, for example, insist that Catholics are not real Christians. Many “mainline” Christians insist that Mormons are not Christians and that their religion, like Christian Science, is just a cult.

    Christianity, shortly after it was founded, was considered a cult. The difference between cults and mainline religions is that the latter somehow managed to survive long enough to be considered “respectable.”

    The bottom line is that a “cult” is a recent religion that you don’t like and a “real” Christian is one that you like and that a “false” one is a Christian that you do not like.

    Harleigh Kyson Jr.

  • Wren

    Catholics are Christians. Christians are the people who follow Christ’s teachings and try to be Christ like. Of course, we will never be perfect……..but one should try.

    Some people don’t get happy when they drink….they may fall asleep or get the urge to fight.

    I think this man was unstable…and if he had not used that way of thinking …he would have still done this for some other reason.

    I know my comments are disjointed but I was reading the entire thread.

  • “poof”. Hilarious.

  • softmelon

    I’d be praising Jesus and hail Marying like there was no tomorrow!

    Funny world sometimes

  • malindalou

    We’re all gonna die. Question is, what do you believe will happen afterwards?

    No true Christian would go around shooting people for no good reason (unbelief certainly falls in that category!!)

    Atheists and Agnostics do not deserve to die. They deserve to be treated like the human beings they are.

  • Wren

    WE are all going to die……what are you going to do while you are here and what do you believe will happen when you are dead?

    oh yeah, the definition of a Christian is : follower of Christ.
    That is not my opinion that is the definition found in Websters Dictionary.

  • Thats why we should all keep our beliefs to ourselves…. I’m not religious, but hearing some stories, watching some movies, and just looking at the world in general… it really seems to make crazy people even crazier…. lol… they use their beliefs to carry out violent acts.. then they say “god made me do it”… for instance:

    Terrorists, Jennifer Cisowski, Teresa Ann Archie, Andrea Yates, Joseph Herman Dartez,… you get the idea.

  • javedusmani

    The God is great . so I keep him .

  • orionblack

    Is this sparta? No, this is madness.

  • Oh, you know how Christians have to have a Christian version of everything “the world” has.

    Christian pop music, Christian romance novel, Christian really bad actors (kirk cameron).

    They couldn’t just leave well enough alone. They just had to have Christian serial killers. God they’re such copy cats.

  • faithnomore

    Let’s not forget the guy was an idiot. Catholics are part of the Christian religion. Duh.

    But, yes, I would not hesitate one nanosecond to lie in order to save mine and others’ lives.

    It helps to know what the shooter wants. In the case of the Columbine incident they were asking if people believed in God, but then shot those that said yes.

    They’re psychopaths. You’re screwed if you do, screwed if you don’t.

    Just get the gun and turn it on him if you can.

  • caliliee

    You say “If I were there, I would have said I was a Christian. I have no problem lying to a madman to save my life”. I think this is very interesting.

    One of the most convincing proofs that God exists, to me, is the Christian martyrs. If the disciples, when threatened with death or torture would have renounced their beliefs and “lied” to stay alive, then Christianity could have ended right there. But, they didn’t. And, Christians haven’t for centuries. (I’m guessing you’ve probably read Foxe’s book of Martyrs). That is one of the main reasons why Christianity continued to spread worldwide, in the early centuries after Christs’ death, despite the great danger of professing faith in Christ. These men and women were truly convinced of God’s existence/Christ’s deity/eternal life. So much so that they were willing to die for that belief.

    Just wondering…why wouldn’t you be willing to give your life for your belief that God does not exist? (please don’t take this as a sarcastic question, I just want to see your reasoning/thinking). I mean, let’s say it became illegal to be an atheist in this country and you couldn’t buy goods, own property, marry, go to school, etc. unless you professed faith in God. Now, this should be an afront to you, and I would expect you to protest. But, if it escalated to the point where you were threatened with torture/death, you would give up and lie/renounce your belief system to save your life? why? what changed to make you do this?

  • Caliliee

    So, at the end of your life, when (according to my, and your former, belief system) you stand before God and you face a second eternal death, and you cannot “lie” to get out of that situation, what will you do? In other words, what is your plan if you are wrong and Christianity is right? And you do, in fact, end up face to face with God? (again, this is just an honest question)

  • vorjack

    Caliliee –

    “In other words, what is your plan if you are wrong and Christianity is right? And you do, in fact, end up face to face with God?”

    The same thing I’d hope that you’d do if you found yourself facing Allah, wondering why you had not born witness to the fact that He is God and Muhammad is His prophet. Or if you find yourself standing on the edges of the razor bridge leading to Ahura Mazda, God of the Zoroastrians.

    I’ve hope I can say that I’ve lived the best life that I can, and in doing so left the world a better place for my descendants. If such humanism is of no use to whatever God I encounter, then that God is of no use to me.

  • Caliliee

    I mean, if “lying” can’t “get you in” to whomever’s eternity because they ultimately know what you believe, then would you be prepared to accept their judgment?

  • Caliliee

    Sorry, I seem to have gotten us totally off of the subject. I’ll end it here. We can agree to disagree on the topic.

  • Caliliee

    Thanks for giving me a heads up on that. Well, I usually don’t get into discussions with Atheists, this is really a first for me. It is pretty scary and intimidating, but also very humbling and enlightening. My faith has not been shaken, nor will it be, as I know your beliefs won’t either. One thing I have learned from this debating is that it truly does have to be God, himself, that breaks into the life of an individual to change his mind about Him. No human argument is capable of convincing a person otherwise. Thanks for taking the time to discuss with me. I’m so thankful that we live in a country where we can have civilized discussions about our differences. Perhaps I’ll join in on another topic here that catches my eye in the future.