Catching a Ride on the Taliban's Coattails
After the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington DC on September 11, 2001, most people know that the terrorists believed they were carrying out God's orders.
In the days following the mass murders we have also seen an outpouring of goodwill and bravery from people of all religious backgrounds. Believers of many religions have voiced their sympathy and compassion for the dead and injured and for their families. Countless memorial services and prayer meetings have offered comfort and condolence.
In contrast to the many who have poured out their sympathy and help, a few of the nuttiest extreme-right wing Christian groups have expressed almost precisely the same thoughts as the Taliban: that the terrorists were carrying out the will of God. While the great majority of Christians have moved to show sympathy and understanding, these few extremists have gone the opposite way, by claiming that the victims deserved their punishment. Their claim: "We warned you and you wouldn't do as we said. Now you must suffer." Their most common accusation: that continued right to abortion and continued existence of gay people angered the Almighty.
The Extremists say "America, you are to blame!"
- World Trade Center Disaster The editor of the Cornerstone Evangelical Association newsletter concludes that Jerry Falwell has been wrongly criticised.
- Will Anyone Dare to Ask Why? September 15, 2001 - David Duke, National President
European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), gives the Christian Identity interpretation: "The ultimate cause of this terrorism stems directly from our involvement in and support of the criminal behavior of Israel."
- America, This is Your Third and Final Warning September 11, 2001 - Flip Benham, leader of Missionaries to the Unborn declaims: "Today, God declared war on America. America must repent and turn to God. It is her only hope of avoiding complete annihilation!" Just days before the attacks, Flip warned the nation, but nobody listened. So they got what they deserved.
- We Deserve it! September 13, 2001 - Paul de Parrie (The Portland Porcupine) a great advocate of anti abortion terrorism, says "The September 11 terror attacks on the U.S. were well-deserved recompense for this nation.We have polluted
the world with bloodshed and perversion and now we are paying."
- Who caused the World Trade Center disasters? September 11, 2001 - "this burning, imploding mass of people in one of our nation's greatest landmarks was a sign of God's judgment against our nation." "Either we recognize this disaster as coming from the Lord, or we deny His inspired Word."
- An Open Letter to America "America is in the clutches of remedial judgment! God has tried to wake us up with shark attacks, great forest
fires, earthquakes, huge storms and long droughts, school shootings, financial upheaval and power outages. Now look to the LORD with sorrow and be saved or pound your fists in the sand and we will tread ever forward to final destruction! 'But His hand is stretched out still.'"
- Three Different Colored Gloves - One Fist "Homosexuality, Islam, and abortion have something in common. They are three different colored gloves covering the same fist."
- Who Bears The Guilt? Operation Save America (formerly Operation Rescue) sees it this way: "God’s word clearly says bloodshed begets bloodshed He also tells us whatsoever a man sows so shall he reap. What we as a nation have sowed in shedding innocent blood on a daily basis at abortion clinics has come home to roost upon all of us. Yes whether we like it or not we are all guilty of permitting the sin of abortion in our nation. This includes you and I (Pro-life) pro-choice and the entire network of our society."
- Local pastor blames terrorism on faithlessness "The pastor of Houston's largest church joined national conservative Christians Friday in blaming this week's catastrophic terrorist attacks on faithlessness in America, saying the nation has lost God's protection because of it."
- Self-proclaimed 'war correspondent' takes aim at liberal groups October 12, 2001 - "This is spiritual warfare, beloved, beyond a shadow of a doubt."
- America's New-Found "Religion" Operation Save America asks: "Is America so arrogant, so utterly self-absorbed, so diseased by religious liberalism and philosophical subjectivism, that she thinks she can ignore all of history itself and demand from God blessings when she refuses to repent of her evils?"
- First the Arabs, then the Pro-lifers... Conservative columnist Daniel McCarthy asks "how long will it be before conservatives themselves are considered terrorists?" One "maniac" killing a doctor -- that's not at all comparable to the September 11 events, maintains McCarthy.
- Keyes declares abortion as another form of terrorism November 2, 2001 - Fringe Presidential candidate Alan Keyes tells a Virginia prolife group that "the violation on innocent human life is the same whether you commit terrorism or commit abortion."
- Church play gives incentive for piety in crisis November 23, 2001 - Gone With the Wind: To Heaven or Hell refers both to natural disasters and to the events of September 11, 2001.
- My View of Islam December 7, 2001 - Having been accused of hostility toward Islam and Muslim people, evangelist Franklin Graham explains it all.
- Getting the 'Gospel for All Peoples' Into Iraq April 25, 2003 - "A Christian attorney and public speaker is defending evangelist Franklin Graham in his desire to spread the gospel in Iraq."
- Taking the Gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ to the Gates of Hell: the Local Mosque! December 10, 2001 - The extreme antiabortion group Operation Save America presents its new tract against Islam. "What do Abortion, Homosexuality, and Islam have in common? They are all inspired by the same liar who has come to the earth to rob, kill, and destroy." OSA further elaborates their anti-Islam line in Exposing the Lie of Islam. "If we love our neighbors lost in the lie of Islam, we must love them enough to tell them the truth."
- Randall Terry on Islam RT never tires of featuring himself as the founder of Operation Rescue, the first extremist antiabortion group. He has now expanded into the anti-Islam market. "Randall compares the fruit of Christianity to the fruit of Islam, and shows from the Koran and 1300 years of Islamic history that Islam has only spread by the sword . . . ."
- Redefining 'terrorism'
threatens our liberty January 4, 2002 - An antiabortion partisan finds it so unfair to be compared with the Taliban -- after all, only a few killings can be linked to antiabortion activities.
- Reformed Fortune-Tellers: Judgment, America and the Prophets of Doom January 3, 2002 - Rod Martin of the Chalcedon Foundation cautions believers not to assume that God has prepared an immediate catastrophe for America. The Chalcedon Foundation is the major leader of Christian Reconstruction, a strong thread in the religious thinking of the extreme antiabortion movement.
- Legal kill Alan Keyes maintains that the victims of the September 11 attacks and aborted fetuses are all "innocent victims."
- Attorney General John Ashcroft Declares Jesus Christ King Over America But then he goes and links Indianapolis Baptist Temple to domestic terrorism.
- The Crescent Terror Randall Terry says of himself "I founded and led Operation Rescue." Now shunned by most of his former colleagues of the antiabortion movement, RT has moved on to promote himself as an expert on Islam.
- Lessons From The Shooting at LAX July 12, 2002 - Chuck Baldwin insists that "every person from a militant Muslim state who is not a U.S. citizen should be immediately deported from this country!"
- Homeland Insecurity: Why FBI missed Islamic threat July 25, 2002 - The Bureau was too busy searching for so-called "domestic terrorists."
- 9-11, God's Message to America? - Repent! September 10, 2002 - On the one-year anniversary, Flip Benham's message remains the same: "9-11 was a strong warning from God to America. God Himself is judging our nation!"
- The Steel Girder Cross of the Twin Towers September 25, 2002 - Flip Benham is convinced its a Sign From God. And the media are covering it up, says Flip.
- Falwell 'sorry' for Mohammed remark October 13, 2002 - On the TV program "60 Minutes" Pastor Falwell had characterized the Prophet Mohammed as a "terrorist." This utterance set off riots in India that left eight people dead.
- Muslims Accept Falwell's Apology October 14, 2002 - Falwell "deserves thanks for his return to the righteous path."
- Bloodshed Is Pursuing America - We Are Powerless To Stop It! October 23, 2002 - The Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America explains that the DC sniper killings were ultimately caused by abortion. "Bloodshed is pursuing us because we have sown bloodshed in the womb. We cannot continue to kill children in the womb and expect Almighty God to stop the bloodshed in our streets. That is absurd! God cannot be mocked, '…whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.'"
- Day of Reckoning for America October 29, 2002 - John D. Reyes of Operation Save America calls the September 11 attacks a "Day of Visitation." "What did America do on the day of Reckoning? She was stunned as a deer is paralyzed in the headlights of an automobile. America felt the hand of God sweep down upon her in the form of a nation from afar-Islam!"
- What every Christian should know about Islam February 1, 2002 - Extremist commentator Chuck Baldwin disputes President Bush's view of Islam, asserting that "The Muslim religion has been a bloody, murderous religion since its inception. Mohammed built the Islamic faith on violence, coercion, and intimidation."
- 30 Years of Slaughter - 30 Years of Shuttle "Space Shuttle Columbia was on a mission during the 30 year date of legalized Infant murder in the USA. On its return to earth it breaks apart or explodes over Dallas and leaves wreckage across a large part of Texas."
- Is War with Iraq the Judgment of God? February 17, 2003 - Pastor Bruce Evan Murch reasons that war with Iraq would not be just. The US is deeply stained by godlessness, reasons Murch, pointing to the legality of abortion and of homosexuality. Furthermore, there is no credible connection between Iraq and terrorist acts against America.
- The new Christian crusades April 4, 2003 - Once the US occupation of Iraq is in place, the extremist Christian missionaries plan to settle in and spread the Word.
- Why Are All Terrorists Muslim? Operation Save America chooses an odd time to ask such a question, following the arrests and convictions of Clayton Waagner and James Kopp, and the arrest of Eric Rudolph.
- Terror Alert June, 2003 - Operation Rescue West compares Dr. Tiller and Sadaam Hussein, finding the former to be worse.
Rebuking the religious nuts
- The American Taliban January 22, 2004 - "Based on what we've seen post 9/11, we cannot afford to be concerned about terrorism as simply a 'foreign' phenomenon. From the earliest days of the Ku Klux Klan, domestic hate groups have been all too eager to perpetrate terrorism against their fellow Americans."
- Moral voice of US gambles on his credibility May 4, 2003 - Former US Secretary of Education and high priced consultant on morality is a high roller and big loser at the casinos.
- Muslims demand Pentagon to rescind Graham invitation April 15, 2003 - "Outraged American Muslims are urging the Pentagon to rescind an invitation for a prominent Christian evangelist who has harshly criticized Islam to appear at a prayer service Friday." See Franklin Graham's insults against Muslims.
- Powell attacks Christian right November 15, 2002 - Secretary of State Colin Powell has condemned anti-Moslem statements by the extreme religious right. "The administration's increased willingness to confront the Christian right reflects the Republicans' sweeping victories in last week's mid-term elections, reducing Mr Bush's reliance on the extreme fringes of his supporter base."
- Bush Takes on Christian Right Over Anti-Islam Words November 13, 2002 - "President Bush on Wednesday took on the Christian right core of his political base, denouncing anti-Islamic remarks made by religious leaders including evangelist Pat Robertson.
- Robertson Charity Wins 'Faith-Based' Grant October 3, 2002 - He preached against churches taking money from the government, but now a charity he founded is getting $500,000 from the feds.
- Basic Truths: The Christian right does not have a monopoly on religious devotion -- or calls to respond to 9/11 September 12, 2002 - Report on a religious conference held in Houston, Texas. "Fundamentalism's Threat to Democracy: Christians, Jews and Muslims Respond.'
- Cavemen Continue To Prove Elusive Preview of May 2, 2002 issue of Insight Magazine article - "Call them the cavemen. Osama bin Laden and Eric Rudolph may be the best spelunkers in the world, apparently moving from cave to cave to elude U.S. authorities."
- Falwell Preaches Against Parody Showing no sense of humor, Jerry Falwell is threatening to sue two websites that take him to task.
- Bigotry in Jesus' Name: Jerry, you just don't get it
"The answer is simple. Both Falwell and Robertson believe precisely what they said. Only when the outrage amongst Americans had risen to a fever-pitch did they duck for cover."
- The Other Holy War January 29, 2002 - "Religious extremists have terrorized abortion providers for years, and now the war is moving online." Tech TV's Cybercrime column looks at Horsley's Nuremberg Files, at the Army of God website and at clinicworker.com.
- On Theocracy November 1, 2001 - Both Falwell and bin Laden are theocrats: they believe that God must rule the world through his deputies.
- Context of remarks is clear: stupidity September 18, 2001 - Concerning Robertson and Falwell: "they have progressed
from being laughable clowns afraid of Teletubbies and into the region of being dangerous purveyors of hatred."
- The Other Enemies September 19, 2001 - "A despicable few have made us ashamed that
people like that breathe the same air as do the heroes." Looters and phony telemarketers who cashed in on the disaster were revolting, but worst of all: "The loudest, smarmiest of the lot was Jerry Falwell. He said on the TV show run by another religious nut, Pat Robertson, that the terrorist attack showed that God was mad at America."
- Abortion protester sparks anger September 20, 2001 - Claiming that he just happened to pick the spot, an anti set up his display of mutilated fetuses on the site of a World Trade Center memorial in Redding, PA.
- Jerry-miad / Falwell blames liberals, gays, judges for terror September 17, 2001 - "According to the White House, President Bush considers 'inappropriate' a suggestion by the Rev. Jerry Falwell that the American Civil Liberties Union, abortion providers, gay activists and the federal courts are complicit in the carnage from last Tuesday's terrorist attack."
- The uniters and dividers September 14, 2001 - The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel praises the broad unity among many religious groups in the face of the attacks and losses. Concerning Falwell, Robertson and the other extremists the say: "But just as there are people who sought to profit from Tuesday's events and just as there are politicians who will seek to push a pet issue or project under the guise of national unity, so, too, there are religious people who, unfortunately, will try to use this terrorist attack to push their own agendas."
- Wisdom, idiocy from the pulpit September 15, 2001 - San Francisco Chronicle columnist Stephanie Salter says of Falwell: "
Yes, yes, I know this alleged man of God -- and his
equally unholy twin, Pat Robertson -- have millions
of followers in our country. And when I say
followers, I do mean followers. To take Falwell and
Robertson seriously, folks have to practice a kind of
Greyhound bus-style of religion; you leave the
driving -- and the thinking -- to someone else."
- Faith can heal, but it can also spawn hatred September 16, 2001 Columnist Mike Thomas of the Orlando Sentinel: "Now the two televangelists would have us believe that hundreds of firefighters in New York were buried under tons of rubble because God is unhappy with the ACLU and the National Organization for Women."
- The Homegrown Anthrax Blitz October 19, 2001 - "Pro-Choice Groups Seek Protection From Domestic Terrorists."
- Bioterror Takes On Another Face: October 21, 2001 - The new face of bioterror: Americans who are determined to end abortion by any means necessary.
- The Real Bin Laden Threat October 23, 2001 - "Christian fundamentalists who bomb abortion clinics, or environmentalists who bomb
research labs, or Hindus who tear down mosques - all reflect an attitude of arrogant superiority over democracy."
- FBI and CIA suspect domestic extremists October 27, 2001 - "Everything seems to lean toward a domestic source."
- U.S. Groups Have Some Ties to Germ Warfare November 2, 2001 - "In the six years since Timothy J. McVeigh used a truck bomb to
destroy the Oklahoma City Federal Building, domestic antigovernment groups have spoken of the inevitability of using biological weapons."
- UTPB professor says America has always fought domestic terrorism December 3, 2001 - "From lynchings to abortion clinic bombings, America has seen its share of domestic terrorism . . ."
- Terrorism shows up at home December 18, 2001 - Clayton Waagner was as much a terrorist as any foreign extremist.
- Victorious American troops should convert their Iraqi enemies to Christianity. March 19, 2003 - At the end of the first Gulf War, Iraqi troops were allegedly "starving for food but also starving for the Lord Jesus Christ!"
- Is War with Iraq the Judgment of God? Antiabortion extremist Bruce Murch answers in the negative. How could the Almighty approve of any war fought by the supporters of abortion?
While it seems bizarre that leading American Christian religious extremists would agree so deeply with Islamic terrorists, consider how similar some of their views are: campaigns to restrict women's behavior and to punish infractions, a desire to fuse religious hierarchy and state, a fascination with "righteous" violence.
The most striking difference between the Islamic and the American terrorists: though the Americans have carried out a few murders, bombings and arson attacks, they are not organized and disciplined on a large scale, and have in fact lost a considerable number of supporters as they have become more violent. Though the American extremists' crimes are revolting, they will not rank equally with the crimes of the September 11 terrorists. History will more likely classify the American antis along with the other minor actors: the hawkers of ghoulish concrete pieces and shards of glass from the World Trade Center, for instance. Slimy opportunists who saw a glimmer of opportunity where others only saw grief and loss.