The outpouring of blatant Islamophobia and barely disguised racism coming from the right-wing in the wake of the Paris attacks is utterly despicable. Every time one of these attacks happen, conservatives insist on blaming the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims for their complicity, even though the majority of terrorist attacks are carried out against Muslim. American far right-wingers like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) are calling for religious profiling of incoming refugees, because somehow being a Christian automatically removes the risk of terrorism – even though Christian right-wing terrorists in America have killed more people since 9/11 than Muslim terrorists have.
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee even had the sheer gall to tell conservative blowhard Joe Scarborough that “I don’t know of any other group of people uniquely that are targeting innocent civilians and committing these acts of mayhem.” Warmonger and avowed bigot Ted Cruz said that “there is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror. If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation.” Since both grifters seem to have severe selective memory problems, let’s take a look at the worst Christian terrorist attacks that our own citizens have perpetrated within our borders.
1. The Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church Shooting
Jim David Adkisson, a devout Christian and anti-abortion right-winger, walked into a Knoxville church on July 27th, 2008, and began firing a shotgun at children who were performing Annie Jr. He killed two and wounded seven, targeting “the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country.”
2. The Campaign of Terror Against Abortion Doctors
In 1993, Dr. Richard Gunn was shot dead by an anti-abortion protester. In 1994, Drs. John Britton and James Barrett were shot to death by Reverend Paul Jennings. In 1998, Dr. Barnett Sleipan was shot dead in his home by a Christian terrorist. In 2009, Dr. George Tiller was shot by Scott Roeder in a church. The ability for Christian right-wingers to justify cold-blooded murder in the name of their pro-life beliefs is a colossal hypocrisy worthy of a terrorist group like ISIS. According to the National Abortion Federation, there have been 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery, 13 wounded, 100 butyric acid attacks, 373 physical invasions, 41 bombings, 655 anthrax threats, and 3 kidnappings committed against abortion providers since 1977. Terrorist groups like the Taliban and ISIS are very fond of acid attacks and chemical weapons like anthrax; apparently Christian right-wing terrorists share that same preference.
3. The 1995 Oklahoma City Bombings
Timothy McVeigh, America’s most notorious domestic terrorist, was obsessed with the Seventh-Day Aventist splinter group known as the Branch Davidians, who resisted an ATF raid on their citadel at Mount Carmel in 1993. He travelled to Waco, Texas during the Waco Siege and heavily supported the religious extremists within it. Two years later, he detonated a fertilizer bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing a hundred and sixty-eight people, including nineteen children, and wounded 648 others. This Christian specifically targeted innocent civilians and committed horrific acts of violence to make his political point heard – something Mr. Huckabee believes he should be incapable of, since he’s not a Muslim.
4. Everything The Ku Klux Klan Has Ever Done
Since its creation after the American Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan has been terrorizing Americans in the name of Protestantism and racial purity. Known for their terrifying costumes and hoods, they wrought have fear and violence against blacks, Jews, immigrants, gays, and Catholics for hundreds of years, responsible for countless massacres, lynchings, rapes, and bombings that have killed thousands. In the modern day, it still has a membership of 5,000 to 8,000 terrorists that operate in individual chapters. Just two weeks ago, Frazier Glenn Cross, the leader of the Carolina Knights of the KKK, was sentenced to death by lethal injection for murdering a fourteen year old girl and two seniors outside the Overland Park Jewish Community Center in Kansas City. The man gave the Hitler salute during his trial and declared that “Jews are destroying the white race.” None of his victims were Jewish.
5. The Massacre At Zion Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.
On Wednesday, June 17th of this year, a man rose from a pew in the historically black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, and opened fire with a .45 caliber pistol, killing nine worshipers, including pastor and State Senator Clementa Pickiney. The shooter has been photographed wearing patches representing the racist apartheid regimes in Southwest Africa, had a Confederate license plate on his vehicle. All signs points to this being a hate crime- not only is it the oldest black church in the South, it was a symbol of resistance against slavery, and a survivor reported that the shooter yelled ‘I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” Roof was a member of a local Lutheran church, yet somehow his baptism didn’t prevent him from gunning down innocent people in a house of worship, defiling a sacred place with hate and murder.
So the next time one of your conservative friends tries to “school” you on the “evils of Islam,” just name a couple items from this list. The rampant xenophobia that has taken hold of the Republican Party is an affront to everything this nation stands for. Terrorism spawns from the desperation of humankind, and for that, we are all guilty.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.