Sadly, Mass Murders Have Become a Part of Our Society

By Joe Darby

joedarbyMy friends, we must fact the fact.  It’s part of the world we live in and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.

Mass murder, whether the weapons are automatic rifles, vehicles, airplanes or bombs, will be part of our society for a long time.  Whether the perpetrator is a hate-filled Muslim jihadist, a white supremacist looney, a left-wing fanatic like the man who shot U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise  or a twisted lone-wolf killer like the Las Vegas shooter, it’s going to continue.

Who in the world would have thought that the next mass killer would be a 64-year-old man who lives in a retirement community?  We expect most of the killers to be a angry young men.  Now we have to start worrying about senior citizen killers too?

And as I said, there’s nothing we can do about it.  If we tripled the size of our police forces and placed an officer on every downtown corner, we still could not stop these massacres.  The bad guys know exactly when and where they will strike next.  We have no clue as to the time and place.

I’m sure that good police investigative and undercover work has in fact stopped many nefarious plans of mass killings.  But there are so many of these people out there that we can’t stop them all, that’s my point.  And there are so many  copycat killers yet to be heard from.

I think now that residents of any large city are at risk.  My daughters live in the New Orleans area and I worry about them.  The chances of anyone actually ending up as the target of a mass killer must statistically be quite small, but that doesn’t stop us from worrying about it.

So far, to my recollection, smaller communities like Natchitoches have not been the target of terrorism.  But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

Remember the fear and apprehension that all Americans went through after 9-11?  Our lives had changed.  We had our society pre-9-11 and post-9-11.  Two different worlds.  Anyway, after a while, when the terrorists were unable to hijack anymore airliners things seemed to calm down a bit and we started to concentrate on everyday aspects of our lives again.

Now, although terror doesn’t come from the skies, it’s again a pervasive part of our existence, usually carried out by just one person.  You had the right -wing nut who crashed his car into the crowd in Charlottesville, Va.  Now we have Las Vegas.  Every time this happens it burns a little lesion into our psyche, I believe.

I don’t expect it to end in my lifetime, because I’m already well into senior citizen territory.  For you younger folks, I imagine this will eventually end, as almost all things do.  But how many more ruined lives must we endure before that finally happens?

Perhaps I should apologize for writing the gloomiest column I have ever written. I usually write on much lighter subjects.  But last week’s column on the athletes’ protest touched a nerve for many readers and this week’s effort is actually far more serious.

However, it’s about what is now happening in our society.  And it needs talking about.  God bless all.

40 thoughts on “Sadly, Mass Murders Have Become a Part of Our Society

  1. I am really sad to rediscover that bigotry and prejudice, as derived from stereotypes, labels, and shallow generalizations, show little chance of ever going away. I’m sure the folks on this thread mean well, but the inability to rationally address any of my points is evidence that emotional response, rather than careful reasoning, rule many people’s opinions about the world and current events. Instead of offering facts, evidence, or documented support for their ideas, they vilify as me as “arrogant” or a “Troll poster” (who doesn’t like posters of Trolls? Sorry.) rather than offering proof to support their desperate desire to cling to stereotypes they have been carefully brainwashed to believe.

    Why can’t we, professing to be Christian, not judge one another, including the motives of people responsible for such despicable acts of terrorism, but love each other and our enemy as the Lord has instructed us. Is this not the true message of our faith?

    Sigh.

    May the peace (and love) of the Lord be with you.

    Shall we all just drop this?

    And to you, Joe, just think of the consequences when you are compelled to use stereotyping labels,

    • Somehow I knew this would come down to some of us being accused of bigotry and prejudice.Because we believe that if a group of people who claim to be Muslim, but they are mean vicious people,and they start murdering people, blowing them up using young people at times wrapped in explosives, beheading people, running amuck through the Middle Eastern Countries destroying families, people of their own faith, murdering people in many countries. These people have told us they are Muslim, yet if we say they are Muslim Terrorists, we are accused of bigotry and prejudice. As always, the accusation is made by someone with a much different point of view that we might have. Now I know that I am not a bigot nor do I hold any prejudice against anyone. I am being judged because I merely call these people what they themselves have identified themselves as, Muslim terrorists. The evil that is Isis was originally known as ISIL. I’m sure the sad sad Christian patriot knows about this, but so do I so please don’t feel the need to write one of you long essays. You have the right to your belief, if you want to love your enemy, head on over there and give them a little love, while they hand you your head back on a platter.

      We as Christians are taught to love, that is true. But Jesus was not always one to let people do wrong. Do you not remember the story of the money lenders in the temple? Do you not remember the anger Jesus showed toward them? You quoted from the Koran earlier, but there was another quote you could have used. I don’t have the book in front of me but I believe that they believe in killing the infidels. I do believe they might be talking about us.

      I am not against all Muslims. But if someone says they are a Muslim, then comes at me with a knife, what should I do. Debate the point of his religion. I have never said they were like all Muslims, they are RADICAL Muslims. We are not using stereotypes, how foolish you are to believe that we are simply because they are Muslims. They are radical Muslims. They are murdering radical Muslims.

      I know that I will get an answer on this because that is simply your liberal nature. You can’t let it go without the last word. Always have to be right, and let us know how stupid we are for not believing you are right. You are a piece of work, that is true.

      God Bless, and I hope and pray that some day you will find happiness in your life.

      • Yes, despite all your lip service otherwise, you are a Christian bigot. You pre-judge someone by their religion, of which you know amazingly little.

        The prisons in this country are full of Christian criminals–Christian rapists, Christian murderers, Christian thieves, and, whether or not you’re willing or able to admit it, Christian terrorists. Christian bigots have no problem attaching the name of a religion to a criminal act if the act is committed by someone of that faith, but, boy, reverse the situation and all hell breaks loose!

        As you so poetically said:

        “SIGH….How hopeless this conversation is when someone can’t or won’t listen to anyone.

        SIGH”

        Love it.

        And what did Jesus do when He heard your bigoted rants?

        Gospel of John, chapter 11, verse 35.

        “You are a piece of work, that is true.

        God Bless, and I hope and pray that some day you will find happiness in your life.”

        Amen.

      • Yes, despite all your lip service otherwise, you pre-judge someone by their religion, of which you know amazingly little.

        The prisons in this country are full of Christian criminals–Christian rapists, Christian murderers, Christian thieves, and, whether or not you’re willing or able to admit it, Christian terrorists. Christian bigots have no problem attaching the name of a religion to a criminal act if the act is committed by someone of that faith, but, boy, reverse the situation and all hell breaks loose!

        As you so poetically said:

        “SIGH….How hopeless this conversation is when someone can’t or won’t listen to anyone.

        SIGH”

        Love it.

        And what did Jesus do when He heard your rants?

        Gospel of John, chapter 11, verse 35.

        “You are a piece of work, that is true.

        God Bless, and I hope and pray that some day you will find happiness in your life.”

        I couldn’t have said it better to you.

        Amen.

    • I failed to mention just one or two little things when I replied earlier. You mentioned that we should love each other and our enemy as the Lord has instructed us. I do remember in the Bible, a story about Sodom and Gomorrah, which were pretty evil places and were destroyed by God. Then we all know the story of Moses, and all the people running as far as they could begging to get on that big boat so they wouldn’t die. So while I believe we should pray for our enemies that they might change their ways, it’s not necessarily wrong to destroy them rather than be destroyed.

      Nuff said

      • Sorry about that mistake, see I admit I make them. It was Noah in the big flood, not Moses. Though Moses did go through a lot, was punished by his brothers for being his father’s favorite, was sold as a slave, grew to power, led his people out of Egypt and then he never made it to the Promised Land. Poor guy.

        I hope you, and everyone else will forgive my error, not sure why I typed Moses there. I’ve told both stories a thousand times I think, so I do know the difference, I simply made a mistake. Now I wonder what I will be called for that error.

      • Spoken like a true Christian hypocrite, who loves the Old Testament stories of “eye for an eye” intolerant disposals of every “enemy” in sight, but can’t quite understand the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount; not angry enough for you, I guess.

        Matthew 5:43-48New International Version (NIV):

        43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

        Not for you. I suppose you must have the annotated version of this passage, where He makes exceptions for the people you don’t happen to like. Or, maybe, Jesus just didn’t know what on earth he was talking about; he needed you to better clarify his ideas.

        Either way.

        Ignorance is its own reward.

    • I used no stereotyping labels. I simply listed different types of terrorists and mass killers that are active today. The intention of the column was simply to discuss the fact that we have to live with these violent acts in today’s society. That’s all. Religion was never intended to play a part. Your question as to why I didn’t include a Christian terrorist in my list was what started all of this rancor and ill will. To me it’s sad that this commentary has reached this level. Ninety percent of my columns are not even political but are meant to evoke nostalgia, tell a funny story or a bit of Louisiana history. That’s what I enjoy and that’s what I believe most readers of the column expect. Extraordinary events sometimes require commentary, but this is all just too much.

      • Isn’t it, though.

        I have no desire to fuel rancor or upset the nice folks who read your column. You do a good job evoking nostalgia and tell entertaining interesting stories. And I do apologize for my contribution to the more unpleasant aspects of this thread..

        In serving our nation I have lived in many countries and observed a variety of different cultures. So much of the world wallows in misrepresentation of others, treats its citizens and minorities with tyrannical contempt, and suppresses human rights on a grand scale; I revere this country because the freedoms this country provides its citizens, though sometimes imperfectly administered, are a model for the world. Unfortunately, when questioning my students, high school and college, about why they express pride in being Americans, few could offer concrete reasons describing what principles this country stands for, except for vague generalizations more jingoistic than accurate. Hence my earlier suggestion that schools return to the education curriculum of my youth, and teach civics–the study of a citizen’s responsibility in a republic and a democracy–and government– how the systems of U.S. and state governments are set up and actually function. Sadly, very few of my students even knew their United States Senators or the U.S. Congressman representing their districts. We all remember the famous story: When the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended, a Mrs. Powell of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

        Despite the overwhelming number of things human beings have in common, human nature seems to compel us to identify and focus on trivial differences, and then fuel the flames of fear and hate. Generalizations, labels, etc. are primary tools to excite and divide us against ourselves, through religion, race, sexual orientation, age, gender, you name it. Watching Fox News pepper their newscasts with subtle repetitions of “Muslim terrorists” as if the two words someone belonged together as one, reinforces the stereotype of a religion that Fox pretends, by its nature, encourages terrible acts to be committed in the name of “Allah.”

        FYI: Allah is the Arabic word for God, the same God of Abraham and Moses and the Old and New Testaments; the literal English translation of the phrase Allahu Akbar is “God is greater”; an ancient Islamic phrase that has been co-opted by jihadi extremists, much to the distress of moderate Muslims. I have many Muslim friends that are appalled by the terrible violence committed by the extremists, as they are also frightened to be associated with those fanatics by Christians whose view of their religion comes through Fox News and other biased sources.

        I also have fruitlessly argued with people that Allah is not another god, just the word for God in the Arabic language, just as Yahweh, Jehovah, Lord, etc. are not separate gods that are worshiped in the Old Testament, but terms used sometimes interchangeably for the universal higher deity. But one acquaintance refused to believe that Allah did not mean God, but was instead a separate idol the Muslims worshiped. When I offered an Arabic-English dictionary to prove what I said, he refused to see the proof, and replied “I don’t want to know.” He is quite happy to remain an ignorant bigot about a religion he derided and knew absolutely nothing about.

        Don’t hold an entire religion responsible for the actions of a few radicals.

        And, please, remember when you use the term “Muslim jihadist,” perhaps without meaning to, you reinforce terminology that leads to simplistic and false generalizations encouraging bigotry and hate. We have seen on this thread how determined someone can be to hold onto the destructive labels regardless of any evidence to the contrary. Labels are so easy to use; generalizations give us a sense of power over a complicated world. Let’s think before eagerly stereotyping things we don’t understand.

        Sorry to bore you; too many years in the classroom, I guess, responsible also for my seemingly “arrogant” tone. I am only trying to share my experiences.

        Have a great day.

  2. BTW Patriot, I just read the reply to my chastising you about calling someone stupid. Sorry I didn’t know that the two of you were acquainted and possibly do not get along. I didn’t realize that he was making an inappropriate joke about murders. But you again were rude, and arrogant rude person when you said to me, ” Do check your facts before you attack me. You only end up looking rather stupid.” First of all I wasn’t attacking you, I was merely trying to teach you some manners. Just thought I would let you know there is a difference between attacking and teaching.

    As for Timothy McVey being a Christian terrorist. You may call him that, but anyone who knows anything about Christians, knows that is not possible, not for a true Christian. That does it for my trying to teach you something tonight. Sometimes you just need to get away and have some nice quiet peaceful silence without rude remarks and people talking down to you.

    Oh, and just for fun, I changed my name too.

    • As for Timothy McVey being a Christian terrorist. You may call him that, but anyone who knows anything about Christians, knows that is not possible, not for a true Christian. ….. I bet true Muslims say the same thing about Muslim terrorist.

  3. Christian patriot with an eagle tatoo, also known as anonymous patriot, and now I’m wondering if we are going to read things written by another patriot. You said “There are Christian churches who spew hate toward other groups and religions, even if you don’t happen to have heard them.” Really? How would you know whether I’ve heard of them or not as I don’t remember mentioning anything about this.

    You said, “If all you know about another faith is based on selected media clips, I suggest you grab the revered texts of the many religions on this planet and educate yourself about them before making simplistic generalizations that do far more harm than good. And try other means of getting your information about the world than from Fox, now more than ever, America’s Pravda.” Just because I don’t mention things about religion as you would like me to state them doesn’t mean that I get all my information from Fox. True fact, I’ve never watched anything about world religions on Fox. I think years ago when Janet Reno decided to attack the David Koresh compound, I lived in Houston and I watched the happenings of that fiasco on a local television station, one with an excellent news team. So don’t start with me about getting all my news from Fox, though I do think when there is news on Fox, it is the most truthful news to be had. What so many so called intellectuals try to tell us who don’t have the same level of smarts, there are some shows on Fox that are more the host’s view of happenings in the world than news. I do remember when news used to be factual, truthful, did not have the political spin of the news caster. I sure do miss those days.

    But to get back to your comment on suggesting that we grab the revered texts of the many religions……..and on and on and on. I have news for you Mr. Patriot who is an anonymous Christian with an eagle tatoo, I have studied the various religions of the world. The first paper I wrote on world religions was years ago as a term paper. Then I’ve had the opportunity to study and teach about the different religions of the world and their beliefs. I don’t have problems with the core religion, it’s the fanatics that i have issues with. They always cause trouble, some worse than others. You know of course, about the Westboro Baptist Church, which is in no way a Baptist church. Their little stunts are irritating and rude and cruel, but they are not as dangerous as others. Then years ago, there was Jim Jones; years later David Koresh. Both bamboozled many people, taking all they had, abused their daughters, and eventually led all, as with Jim Jones or many, as with Koresh, to their death. Not a great ending I would think. I know we are all going to die, sooner or later, but I don’t choose to go out looking like a gullible fool if I can help it.

    Now we have the really bad guys, the guys filled with hate. They aren’t a part of the core religion, they are an off-shoot because I guess there was just too much hate in them. You do know that these problems started back in Biblical times, right? There will never be peace in those lands. Poor old Abraham, he just didn’t know the problems he was going to cause. There is hate among the heirs of the hand maiden’s son and Sarah’s son’s heirs. There will be wars as long as there is an earth, until the end of time. But the men, women, and children who are taught to hate, are hate filled. They want things done their way, they want to be bad. But they are still part of the Muslim religion. No matter that you don’t like it mentioned because Muslim people are peaceful, they are Muslims. They are like the Westboro church, call themselves something, but are going against everything good in that religion. They are going to kill as long as they are standing, and they will recruit, they will have money, they will exist and they will kill. So if Isis is mentioned or jihadists are talked about, they are Muslims. Many of them go to Mosques, they follow the prayer rituals, they call themselves Muslims. I think if a murder is a murder with nothing said, then there is nothing to say about religion. If the words “allahu akbar” are screamed as a person goes to murder someone, then yes, it should be said that it was a Muslim who attacked. Why? Because that is the way we can tell if terrorists cells are forming here. I hate it for the Muslim people who are good people, but perhaps they should acknowledge the problem of the terrorists and start trying to disband them. I’m sorry that you can’t see it this way, but sometimes people actually are wrong, and this time it might be you. I know that we would never get that acknowledgement though. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, and it is a pleasant Sunday for you. Maybe tomorrow there will be nothing to cause an argument.

    Peace.

    • “But you again were rude, and arrogant rude person when you said to me, ” Do check your facts before you attack me. You only end up looking rather stupid.” First of all I wasn’t attacking you, I was merely trying to teach you some manners. Just thought I would let you know there is a difference between attacking and teaching.”

      Sigh.

      You have to know something before you deign to teach someone else.

      You were stupid to chastise me for answering the comment posted regarding the mass murderers. The writer deliberately provided false information in order to provoke me. It did, but not in the way he expected. If you feel that someone who callously mocks such tragedies deserves a more respectful response, that is your opinion. However, I would think you would reserve more animosity for him in that he duped you in the first place; I’m sure he was most amused by your enthusiastic defense of him.

      Forgive my arrogance, but you really don’t get it do you?

      If we were to position the word “Christian” in front the name of everyone committing some atrocious act because they happened to be a Christian and may even have justified their actions for that reason (the Westboro Baptist Church is a very good example), you would be justifiably offended because constantly associating your religion with such awful behavior seems to violate the very core of your religion.

      The VAST MAJORITY of the world’s one billion Muslims have denounced acts of terrorism and the Koran EXPRESSLY FORBIDS the murder of innocent civilians. Get it? The Muslims that commit such acts are VIOLATING the tenets of the religion, just as Westboro Baptist Church may be seen to violate the tenets of Christianity.

      “So if Isis is mentioned or jihadists are talked about, they are Muslims. Many of them go to Mosques, they follow the prayer rituals, they call themselves Muslims. I think if a murder is a murder with nothing said, then there is nothing to say about religion. If the words “allahu akbar” are screamed as a person goes to murder someone, then yes, it should be said that it was a Muslim who attacked.”

      So if someone yells “Kill for Christ” and murders, that makes him a representative of your religion. You come across as a Christian bigot, defending and feeling smug about your own prejudices and generalizations, without realizing that, believe it or not, those on the other side of the world make equally simplistic generalizations about Christians and Americans.

      “I hate it for the Muslim people who are good people, but perhaps they should acknowledge the problem of the terrorists and start trying to disband them.” Just like you have infiltrated and tried to disband any group you know about that preaches their own brand of hate. Again, the vast majority of Muslims have forcefully denounced the terrorism committed in their name.

      Now, let’s see why you are unaware of it.

      Fox News is owned by Australian Rupert Murdoch, a close friend of Israel. As a result, the news is slanted in favor of that country; repeating the term “Muslim terrorist” is an effective way of demonizing a religion and brainwashing its viewers into believing somehow that terrorism is an important component of Islam, which it isn’t. Fox “news” is not real news; it’s the propaganda arm of the Republican Party.

      Your comment

      “So don’t start with me about getting all my news from Fox, though I do think when there is news on Fox, it is the most truthful news to be had.”

      betrays a shocking, but widespread ignorance about what is going on in the world, as Fox has been caught numerous times in overt bias and lies that would astonish you. If any organization deserved the title of fake news, Fox is the baby.

      “I’m sorry that you can’t see it this way, but sometimes people actually are wrong, and this time it might be you.” Or you.

      I am often wrong, but usually search out and accept factual evidence to support or challenge my views. I am most definitely wrong when I claim to know what you’ve read or what you believe, aside from what you’ve written here. I just wish you showed more Christian love and charity toward people of another faith, rather than pigeonhole them because of the limited exposure you’ve had to them. I bet you most of them are just as sweet and accepting as you are.

      No one of any sanity supports terrorism. Resist the labels; look elsewhere for explanations for the terrible actions of sick sick people of any faiths.

      “I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, and it is a pleasant Sunday for you. Maybe tomorrow there will be nothing to cause an argument.”

      And to you. I really think our interpretation of Christianity is the same. We differ in how we characterize another faith.

      Have a great day.

      • Dear Eagle Tattoo,

        The reason no one accepts or respects your view is because you are a Neo-Nazi/Alt-Left. You do know this, right? We all know that a person’s personal theology is not a good measure of their qualities as a citizen. We all know that personal faith and public displays of piety are often not the same.

        Your line of questioning seems to show that your concern is about theology. It is significant that the Founding Fathers wrote into our Constitution, “there shall be no religious test for…”. Attacking the author or any commenter for his or her ‘theology’ is not only cheap, but a discredit to your position. And it discredits you as a Troll poster.

      • Sigh

        It’s hopeless. S I G H

        When the liberals can’t see anything but their own way of thinking,and everyone else in the world is wrong and stupid. SIGH It really must be horrible living in a world filled with stupid people & be the only smart one, you have no one smart enough to talk to. Oh well, I guess you just have to talk to the ones who are stupid and tell them you know they are stupid by what they write.

        SIGH….How hopeless this conversation is when someone can’t or won’t listen to anyone.

        SIGH

        THE END!!!!

      • Dear Nicholas Ryan Wright,

        “The reason no one accepts or respects your view is because you are a Neo-Nazi/Alt-Left.”

        Glad to know you speak for everyone; it must be gratifying having that kind of self-esteem. I speak for no one but myself.

        How you arrive at the conclusion I am “a Neo-Nazi/Alt-Left” is mystifying, unless, of course, you think you are making a joke. Since the entire thrust of my comments is to question simplistic labels attached to people, applying a false one to me merely reinforces my point.

        “We all know that a person’s personal theology is not a good measure of their qualities as a citizen. We all know that personal faith and public displays of piety are often not the same.”

        I completely agree. That is not the issue I have been discussing. I have been trying, with obviously no success, to suggest that applying religious labels to anyone committing terrorist acts is wrong and counter-productive. If we are to stop the awful massacres of innocent people in public places, we should probe more deeply into the causes than some superficial religious stereotyping, which clearly doesn’t explain the motives for the Las Vegas and many other shootings.

        “Your line of questioning seems to show that your concern is about theology.”

        No. It is about labels and generalizations, trying to demonstrate by presenting examples that applying simplistic labels to anyone is unfair and inaccurate.

        “It is significant that the Founding Fathers wrote into our Constitution, “there shall be no religious test for…”. Attacking the author or any commenter for his or her ‘theology’ is not only cheap, but a discredit to your position.”

        I am not attacking anyone’s theology, particularly since it is one I share. Are you even reading my comments? You seem to be leaping to bizarre conclusions based on your own projections of my meanings.

        “And it discredits you as a Troll poster”

        Thanks for the name-calling. No doubt we should follow your example.

        Have a great day.

      • Dear PHWEM,

        “How hopeless this conversation is when someone can’t or won’t listen to anyone.”

        How true. Look into the mirror.

        God forbid anything anyone says should get you to disavow your generalizations and bias. For someone living in the South, which has been on the receiving end of the stereotypes from the rest of the country, I would have thought you would be aware of the damage such thinking may cause.

        Probably not.

        Have a great day (full of simplistic labels and gross generalizations)!

      • Since my comment has been awaiting moderation since this morning, I assume it has gotten lost in the ozone. Knowing friend Mr. Wright has been waiting for my response with bated breadth, I decided to post it again. Love you, Nick.

        Dear Nicholas Ryan Wright,

        “The reason no one accepts or respects your view is because you are a Neo-Nazi/Alt-Left.”

        Glad to know you speak for everyone; it must be gratifying having that kind of self-esteem. I speak for no one but myself.

        How you arrive at the conclusion I am “a Neo-Nazi/Alt-Left” is mystifying, unless, of course, you think you are making a joke. Since the entire thrust of my comments is to question simplistic labels attached to people, applying a false one to me merely reinforces my point.

        “We all know that a person’s personal theology is not a good measure of their qualities as a citizen. We all know that personal faith and public displays of piety are often not the same.”

        I completely agree. That is not the issue I have been discussing. I have been trying, with obviously no success, to suggest that applying religious labels to anyone committing terrorist acts is wrong and counter-productive. If we are to stop the awful massacres of innocent people in public places, we should probe more deeply into the causes than some superficial religious stereotyping, which clearly doesn’t explain the motives for the Las Vegas and many other shootings.

        “Your line of questioning seems to show that your concern is about theology.”

        No. It is about labels and generalizations, trying to demonstrate by presenting examples that applying simplistic labels to anyone is unfair and inaccurate.

        “It is significant that the Founding Fathers wrote into our Constitution, “there shall be no religious test for…”. Attacking the author or any commenter for his or her ‘theology’ is not only cheap, but a discredit to your position.”

        I am not attacking anyone’s theology, particularly since it is one I share. Are you even reading my comments? You seem to be leaping to bizarre conclusions based on your own projections of my meanings.

        “And it discredits you as a Troll poster”

        Thanks for the name-calling. No doubt we should follow your example.

        Have a great day.

  4. I know I said I was going to make only the one comment, but I can’t resist this one. So shame on me, but here it is:
    Authorities announced today they’d foiled a plot for terror attacks in New York City. Saw it on Fox News moments ago. So, what was the organization behind it? Was it the Knights of Columbus or the Southern Baptist Association? Well, no. It was ISIS. Who would have thought?

    • ISIS is a organization composed of vicious intolerant fanatics following a deluded power-hungry maniac, who, like the cult surrounding David Koresh, for instance, do not represent the mainstream religion they name themselves after and pretend to champion. By far the greatest number of their victims have been members of their own faith who do not share and have completely disavowed their violent terrorist attacks on civilians and narrow fundamentalist ideology.

      If Stephen Paddock identified himself as a fervent Christian (as have many white supremacists and abortion clinic murderers) and revealed to others that his motives were to attack the godlessness of Las Vegas (as many so-called “Christians” had justified God’s destruction of New Orleans because of its “sinfulness” and evil) most sane and fair-minded people would recognize the utter idiocy of characterizing all Christians by his actions. I, too, think the real message of Christianity is one of charity and love.

      But select a random group of 50 self-identified Christians, place them in a room, and ask them to write a detailed description of their personal beliefs about God, Jesus, and what it means for them to be a Christian. Even though there would be much overlap, you would read 50 often very different answers (particularly about war and killing), as evidenced by the quite wide variety of sects and beliefs in the world today by those identifying themselves as Christians (start with Catholics, Protestants, and Mormons). Who gets to decide the beliefs of someone else, the faith of an individual other than yourself? You? People have fought terrible wars over the centuries arguing over these questions.

      If you are willing to accept a sometimes almost unimaginable gulf between Christians who all claim to be of the same faith, why is it so difficult to understand another religion composed of over a billion people has a vast majority of their population who are as disgusted by “jihadist” violence as are you, despite the fact Fox’s political agenda doesn’t allow it to publicize this.

      If all you know about another faith is based on selected media clips, I suggest you grab the revered texts of the many religions on this planet and educate yourself about them before making simplistic generalizations that do far more harm than good. And try other means of getting your information about the world than from Fox, now more than ever, America’s Pravda.

      The point, which seems so elusive, is that if every violent act committed by someone baptized as a Christian were referred to in the media as perpetrated by a “Christian gunman,” even though the vast majority of Christians are appalled by the terrorism and sick determination to harm others, I suspect other labels that have come to be associated with terrorism might be used with more caution. By far most people of every faith want to raise their children and live their lives in peace. Every society has its demented fanatics and social outcasts who crave power and attention, and then try to justify their violence with a religious or political agenda.

      I am disappointed in your lack of love and charity about these issues. Most un-Christian and certainly most ill-informed of you. Is it so incredibly hard to avoid simplistic generalizations that reinforce stereotype and lead to bigotry?

      Have a great (and hopefully more tolerant) day!.

  5. I am really, really loathe to get into religion, but, very briefly, I will go where angels fear to tread, as they say. I thought I had pretty much covered all types of mass murdering fanatics, from white supremecists to Muslim jihadists. It just didn’t occur to me to single out Christian killers, because actually these days they are pretty rare. Yes, religion over the centuries, including that of Christianity has been responsible for untold amounts of cruelty. But today, the overwhelming number of people who kill in the name of religion are the ones who shout Alihu Akbar and who think they’ll be greeted in paradise by a bunch of virgin girls I must also say I think MEWHP makes a pretty good case for his beliefs here. The basic tenet of Christianity is compassion and forgiveness. Holy War, or jihad, is the battle cry of another religion, one whose zealots seek to totally destroy Western Civilization. I really didn’t intend for this column to get into religion, but when I read you guys’ comments I could not restrain myself from adding my own. But I’m done on this subject. You all may continue, but this old man ain’t going to.

    • Sigh.

      Believe it or not, Joe, or MEWHP, or anyone reading this, the point I was making is that NO RELIGION overtly encourages its followers to commit heinous acts murdering innocent people, and using religious labels like “Muslim jihadists” ignores the twisted psychology of the terrorists who pretend to justify their actions through a religious belief.

      Christian terrorists have committed crimes and wrapped themselves in their own sanctity (David Koresh is just one who comes to mind) just as much as “the ones who shout Alihu [sic] Akbar and who think they’ll be greeted in paradise by a bunch of virgin girls,” which is pretty much nonsense. Except for some fanatics, Muslim leaders have repeatedly and forcefully denounced the violent murders by terrorists consistently since 9/11 and before; just because Fox and others don’t bother to report on it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

      Bigotry against any group–Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.–is disgusting and based on ignorance about the religion and desire to latch on to scapegoats (remember Hitler and the Jews). If you feel labeling a murderous demented psycho “Christian” is offensive because you feel the true spirit of the religion is not represented by his actions, remember billions of people peacefully and decently practice religions different from yours and probably don’t appreciate simple-minded labels being attached to them by you or others.

      Labels are dangerous because they encourage stereotyping and prejudice, and avoid searching for the real motives behind random acts of violence, committed mostly by social misfits searching for a cause. Remember how school shootings were blamed on everything from video games to heavy metal music until school authorities realized their protection of bullying jocks drove some students over the brink.

      Insane acts of people or individuals with weapons are not caused by vague religious or political motives, but by personal issues deep within their sick personalities. I doubt anyone thinks the Las Vegas murderer, despite being a Christian, NRA member, gambler, or whatever, could be seen as a representative of any of those groups, but if we were to constantly refer to him as the Christian NRA gambling conservative Republican gun-worshiper, I suspect many might find that characterization offensive and unfair.

      Respect differences, avoid generalizations, and stop hypocritically blasting one group, when your group could just as easily be condemned.

      And doing more to identify potential crazies before they explode, might be more effective than blaming a entire group of people you misrepresent and don’t care to understand.

      NO ONE, of any religion or political persuasion, outside of the few fanatics who bask in publicity or psychotic glee, justifies or supports murdering innocents. All bigotry does is feed into the fanatic’s or psychopath’s agenda, and tears apart the rest of us.

      And if you “really, really loathe to get into religion,” stop with the dangerous generalizations about any of them.

      • Excuse me, but was there really a reason for you to comment “You can’t fix stupid” which was a totally rude comment for you to make. I would hope that we could keep this above the name calling and have a conversation that is civil. That remark of yours was totally uncalled for, IN MY OPINION. He was making a point, you weren’t. Remarks like yours lead people to believe that you are some of the things I said about you before. I actually was dumb enough to think we could all have a civil conversation about this, but quickly I’m finding out that it ain’t gonna happen. I understand what you are saying generally, but when it comes to stupid remarks, I really don’t see much sense in continuing the discussion. It appears you have your mind made up, and we must be stupid if we disagree with you. What a shame that it’s senseless to contribute our thoughts, and get shot down as stupid. BTW, Paul Johnsom, I didn’t think your remark was stupid. You had something that you wanted to contribute, and you had the right to do that without another contributor to the article being rude. I’m sorry that he felt he had to do that, it was to me inexcusable. Now we get back into the fray, and I hope that we can keep it civil.

      • Jared Lee Loughner, the mass murderer who shot Congresswoman Giffords and pleaded guilty to 19 charges of murder and attempted murder in connection with the January 8, 2011 Tucson shooting, was certainly not “a leftist Democrat.” Loughner was severely mentally ill and socially maladjusted.

        Paul Johnsom, the writer of the comment, knows this and is making a cruel joke at the expense of those murdered that day. No doubt he thought he was being funny.

        Hence my response.

        Do check your facts before you attack me. You only end up looking rather stupid.

      • And, for the record, Timothy McVeigh was raised Roman Catholic, took Last Rights administered by a priest, and was a registered Republican and NRA member. I suppose we could call him a registered Republican NRA Roman Catholic Christian terrorist.

        Some people, like Mr. Johnsom, think mocking tragedies are funny. I don’t.

  6. Hey Mr. anonymous, I know you probably though you were rid of me, but I’m back. You asked Joe about referring to someone as a Christian right-wing fanatic, which is a term to me that is almost laughable, except I know you are serious. First of all, you called me narrow minded yesterday. Well, that may be so in some ways. There are a few things I don’t necessarily approve of, and I guess abortion is at the top of that list, along with murder. Now I know there are always exceptions to the rule, so please don’t start with the what ifs. Both you and I both know abortion is used as a method of birth control. This is the way most of the right wing Christians think. They are not narrow minded on all things, and believe me, Thanksgiving at my house was never dull, not until I lost my son to cancer. Now it’s not dull, it’s just quieter. But to label a right wing (another way liberals say Christian sometimes) person as a fanatic is a little amusing, when most of the world looks at us as boring, we don’t cuss, we don’t go out drinking and we just don’t know how to have fun. Now I know there are right wing fanatics. Anyone who would blow up a clinic that does abortions, is undoubtedly a right wing fanatic, but I would definitely hesitate to label him a Christian. For you see, true Christians just don’t believe it’s o.k. to do harm to others. We have the 10 Commandments we believe in and most of us try to live by them and other things written in the Bible.

    Now, I apologize for getting into a battle of words yesterday, it was not my best day, and you hit a few tender spots. I knew I could not win a battle of words with you, as you are a true word smith, as my son called people who were really good with words. I do much better by just expressing my beliefs and why I believe that way. The shooter in Las Vegas might have been a right wing fanatic, which is almost impossible to wrap my mind around, a conservative fanatic??? but I can assure you of one thing, he was no Christian. Christians strive to be Christlike daily. They read the Bible so that they can understand what God wants us to do. Here I should be saying we instead of they, because I consider myself a Christian. I could go into many reasons why I’m a Christian. I’m sorry that I didn’t behave like one yesterday, but Christians do realize that we are sinners saved by Grace.

    I don’t know why Joe didn’t refer to any of the people who have done harm to or murdered others as right-wing Christian fanatics, but I hope I explained to you why I wouldn’t do that. I don’t think I saw any right-wing Christian fanatics marching in the streets, burning and looting when their candidate didn’t win almost 9 years ago. I didn’t see any trying to break up an Obama rally, or his swearing-in ceremony, or destroying property at any time during his presidency, at least that I can remember. So, if you don’t mind, would you just refer to anyone who was a nut-job at any point that you can remember as a Right-wing fanatic, and not as a Christian. A true Christian loves and tries through ways not violent, to change things. I would appreciate it very much

    Thanks from a contrite Christian, but is not a fanatic.
    It’s me again, you know who.

    • You have nothing from me but my very very deep condolences on the loss of your child. No parent should have to endure that. I share your pain and suffering.

      And I generally agree with your discussion. My point was not to introduce new labels and generalizations, which I don’t espouse, but to “put the shoe on the other foot” so to speak, that others should feel firsthand the injustice of unfair simplistic labels. Let’s give each individual credit for their own actions, and allow misguided expressions of their political, religious, or emotional beliefs to be a reflection only of themselves and nothing more.

      • Joe, I apologize to discussing religion, I simply wanted to point out to Mr. anonymous that it would be impossible to have a right wing fanatic Christian, and did not or do not want to get into a discussion on religion. I truly do not wish to do that here or anywhere.

        Now let me say, that I went back and read Joe’s column closely, one paragraph VERY closely and found that he said exactly what you thought he should have said, anonymous. You should go back and read it, just make sure you look at each work carefully. I would like to quote that part of the article here. “Mass murder, whether the weapons are automatic rifles, vehicles, airplanes or bombs, will be part of our society for a long time. WHETHER THE PERPETRATOR IS A hate-filled Muslim jihadist, a white supremacist looney, a left-wing fanatic like the man who shot U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise or a twisted lone-wolf killer like the Las Vegas shooter, it’s going to continue.”

        He is not necessarily pointing out groups, he is pointing out individuals who so often bring on these labels on to themselves. So Joe, could you please add a gang member, a satanist. or just a kid down the street. What is wrong with giving information about the perpetrator? Who seems to be in the news because of murders around the world? I think we all know the answer to that one. I don’t know about you, but I like to have information on any group that may be out to kill me simply because I am a white Christian. As for most Muslims being good people, I won’t argue that fact. But I do know that there are mosques around the nation that are not always filled with peace loving people. Is it wrong to know this information? I personally think it’s smart to have every piece of information like that that is at our disposal.

        I think the point of this article is that we are in a bad time. There are mass murders happening, and that is scary. It’s not enough that we have hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and fires, we have to deal with people who love to kill, who wait for the day that they can murder as many people as possible. So let’s don’t nit pick everything that is written. Joe has explained his article and that is enough for me. Some people are gonna kill. That’s it. I don’t know why, maybe it’s hate, mental illness, anger, or the idea that it is what God wants them to do. Whatever the reason, it’s happening, it scares me at times. I feel safer in our little corner of the world, Natchitoches, LA, but I don’t know if that’s something I should feel or not. I’m comfortable with Joe’s words, I, to some degree, have no problem with yours (except the stupid remark) and I think we should take the article as Joe intended and not start putting our own little spin on what we think he meant. It happens a lot around here, have you noticed?

      • But when someone murders and screams Allahu Akbar, that cannot be an unfair simplistic label. We know from whence he came, for others often come with him. He identifies himself, thought it might be from a fanatical faction of the Muslim religion. As for the leaders of that particular religion, I really don’t hear many of them speaking out loudly against these radicals. Mostly they are silent, and I said mostly. I have heard very few mention and condemn the atrocities of the fanatics. So when Joe put them into the list, he was not wrong. Just ask the families that have been harmed by these fanatics all across the world. They are undoubtedly mental cases, but first they are are radical Muslims. Sorry, but you have heard the saying, “if the shoe fits”, well the shoe fits these people who kill the innocent and at other times cut off the heads of people who were doing their jobs in foreign lands, but did nothing wrong. So I don’t believe new labels and generalizations. I don’t see any misguided beliefs when it comes to the radical jihadists for they shout it for the world to hear. Others, yes, we should not judge all by what they do, but ISIS and jihadists and others are radical members of the Muslims, and they need to be stopped. How, I don’t care! But stop them please.

        Matt F, I don’t know if you were referring to me or to anonymous patriot, but I have a definite reason for not using my real name here. As has been said, there are those that act out things because their minds are not right, they are angry, evil, or just full of the devil. I am a woman who had rather not tell those people who I am for my own safety. I was quiet and shy when I was younger, but got very tired of people walking all over my beliefs and letting me know I didn’t know anything because I was female. I resented that and decided my time of taking it was over. I will defend my beliefs, I will stand strong for what I believe, and I often will defend the one who is treated wrongly. I abhor bullies. I abhor arrogant people. I remember as a young woman, my mother and I were shopping in a hoity toity store in Shreveport. The sales clerk walked up to us, and looking down her nose at us asked if there was anything we needed. It really hurt me, but my mother looked at me and said, “Always remember in this store, thought they act better than you, they are the ones working here, you are the one shopping here.” Kind of stuck with me. But all that aside, you now know why I don’t post under my own name. As for anonymous, he will have to answer your question, if he will.

      • There are Christian churches who spew hate toward other groups and religions, even if you don’t happen to have heard them. Hate and bigotry derive from the ignorant generalizations about religions formed by watching the media or listening to those who distort events for their own purposes. Read the books of other religions; and, remember, there are enough nasty incidents described and justified in the Old Testament that strike me as far from “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and “Love thy enemy” that someone might use to characterize Christianity as a religion of entitled hate. I wouldn’t agree with that, but the misuse of texts from other faiths is on the same level.

        Read.

  7. Hey Joe,

    How come you never refer to a “Christian” right-wing fanatic, even though many terrorist acts, abortion shootings, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting, the Oklahoma City bombing, and perhaps even the vicious massacre in Las Vegas, may have been committed by someone with Christian conservative political views? Can’t we accept that anyone nasty enough or just so totally deranged as to commit mass murder, must be so mentally twisted and morally disabled that whatever pretense of justification by religion or politics merely masks a complete social misfit, who would have benefited more from recognition of his mental disorder than allowing him access to weapons of mass destruction.

    So many terrible shootings in this country (recall the office shootings that occur periodically, or the “Batman” midnight film shooting not too many years ago, and many many others to numerous to mention) reveal nothing more than personal animosity and private emotional grievances as the catalysts for the crimes.

    Just saying, you know, generalizations and labels rarely help us to understand the motivations of a sick personality.

    Have a great day.

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