“Christian Terrorism” and the Far Left
There are people who will say absolutely anything in pursuit of their political objectives. A case in point: Mark Juergensmeyer, professor of sociology and Director of Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who writes occasionally writes for the left-wing site Religion Dispatches, and who I’ve encountered before. His specialty is finding non-Muslims behaving badly and accusing them of engaging in “Christian terrorism.” He used that line with regard to the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, Holocaust museum killer James Brunn, and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. The problem with these caricatures, of course, is that none of these guys claimed to be Christians (Breivik, for instance, while claiming he was seeking to protect “Christian culture” from Muslims, explicitly denied being a Christian himself). The latest example of this untruth in labeling is Wade Michael Page, the neo-Nazi who killed six Sikhs in Milwaukee this past weekend.
Juergensmeyer is very much in the mode of the politicized academic. If he can’t find evidence for his thesis, he simply makes stuff up:
The killing spree by Wade Michael Page on the Sikh Gurudwara in Milwaukee that left seven dead including Page’s own death in a hail of bullets is an act of Christian terrorism. Page was a member of a skinhead band, End Apathy, that advertised the evils of multiculturalism and advocated white power.
It is fair to call Page a Christian terrorist since the evidence indicates that he thought he was defending the purity of white Christian society against the evils of multiculturalism that allow non-white non-Christians an equal role in America society. Like the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh, and the Norwegian militant, Anders Breivik, Page thought he was killing to save white Christian society.
Though there is no evidence that Page was a pious Christian, that is true of many religious terrorists. If the hard-talking, swaggering al Qaeda militants can be called Muslim terrorists, certainly Page can be called a Christian terrorist.
What a load of bilge. It’s a funny thing about Page: no where, in any of the reporting that has been done on his shooting spree, has there been any mention of him having any connection whatsoever to anything even remotely Christian (not even Christian Identity churches). He was a neo-Nazi, a skinhead, a white supremacist, and founder of a racist heavy metal rock band, but not even the Southern Poverty Law Center (which says it has known about him for years) connects him to any far right Christianity, politicized or otherwise. Every reference to “Christian” in Juergensmeyer’s rant is nothing more than a complete fabrication.
The reference to al-Qaeda makes clear what Juergensmeyer’s agenda is. He wants to portray Islam—a faith where religion and state authority have been intertwined since the beginning, and which began to engage in military conquest within the lifetime and with the leadership of its founder—as directly parallel to Christianity. Hence, he poses a nonsensical comparison: if al-Qaeda (made up of people who will insist to the last breath that they are acting in accordance with the Koran) is made up of Muslims, then murderous maniacs like Page (who claim no connection to Christianity at all) must be “Christian terrorists.” Obviously, since Christians want no part of this world’s Pages, they are forced to conclude that al-Qaeda (and Hamas, and Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad, etc.) are not really Muslims, which means we can safely ignore any and all apparent “religious” motivations or connections when it comes to “Islamic” terrorists.
Except that we can’t do that if we value our own safety or the safety of innocents. Deliberate, self-imposed ignorance of an enemy guarantees that one will respond in incorrect or inappropriate ways when attacked. Pretending that religion plays no part in the actions of al-Qaeda and its gruesome compatriots guarantees that the West will never be able to deal with the phenomenon that they represent properly. That’s apparently OK by the Juergensmeyers of the far left, who have inexplicably cozied up, in thought if not in deed, with the most reactionary and violent elements in Islam.
In the process, they have decided that fundamentalist Islam is not an enemy, but a friend, and that the real enemy is “right-wing Christianity,” which must be destroyed regardless of the cost. If that means that truth, or even reality, gets trampled in the process, so be it.
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