West Word – June 2, 2010:

More than a decade after the attack on Columbine, the high school’s name remains a buzz word — and an infinitely flexible one.

Example: Public Broadcast Service talk-show host Tavis Smiley used the massacre as an example of violence done by Christians — a position that’s earned him criticism from PBS’s own ombudsman.

Tavis: I guess I’m trying to understand where the evidence is that suggests that all of us who happen to be Christians or enlightened in some other way need to take on Muslims here in the West.

Ali: The people who are engaged in terrorist activities look like you and me. They look like everybody else here. Major Nidal Hasan, the military guy who in November shot 13 of his colleagues and injured 32, he’s going to be on trial pretty soon, I think this week, the young man, Faisal Shahzad, in Times Square who tried to blow innocent people that he doesn’t know up, these guys are acting on conviction. Somehow, the idea got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter.

Tavis: But Christians do that every single day in this country.

Ali: Do they blow people up (unintelligible)?

Tavis: Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that’s what Columbine is — I could do this all day long. There are so many more examples of Christians — and I happen to be a Christian. That’s back to this notion of your idealizing Christianity in my mind, to my read. There are so many more examples, Ayaan, of Christians who do that than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country, where you live and work.

  1. sam says:

    Was Klebold’s mama A very special person chosen by her very own g-d? Or as Christ said ye are not Abraham’s seed but of your father the devil?
    Get A king James bible and Listen to pastor Pete Peters!


  2. bobbo, the three ring circus rolls on says:

    Stinkin Thinkin gives us many bad things.

    Mass murders for no reason is one. Religion is another. One for the other would make sense too when Stinkin Thinkin is part of the human experience.

    All things are possible. Thats when you start to make choices. If you be thinkin “x = y” thats just the start of stinkin.

    Why do you think what you think and how do you change your mind?

  3. moondawg says:

    Terrorism by Christians != Christian Terrorism.

  4. scadragon says:

    Um Klebold and Harris were NO Christians. They were godless souless mass murders who are burnin in hell for all eternity.

  5. Richardbt says:

    #1 Sam – Pastor Pete Peters doesn’t promote school shootings. He doesn’t tell his listeners to go out and kill people.

    Where is the proof that the Columbine shootings happen because of religious beliefs?

  6. freddybobs68k says:

    It’s the ‘my religion is better, than your religion’ argument.

    Christians have killed people. Lots of people. Under the direction of the church. Crusades anyone?

    And Christians continue to kill people now via terrorist acts. Such as explosions at abortion clinics.

    Sure, there are Muslims that do. I’m sure you can find some atheists that have too. The idea that Christians and Christianity are somehow ‘better’ because they aren’t involved in such acts really is refutable with so little effort.

    I’m sure God and Jesus are very impressed. Especially by the perverse justifications.

  7. Dallas says:

    There’s no reason to believe Columbine had anything to do with religious beliefs.

    However… there are enough data points on the curve to draw a conclusion.

  8. csdibiase says:

    Tavis Smiley has it backwards, the shooters in colombine targeted christians, among others they thought had offended them in one form or another, they were not themselves christians.

    while people have done horrible things over the course of human history in the name of christianity, I think you’d be hard pressed to find terrorism in the christian faith. I won’t say it’s impossible, as you’ll always be able to find a looney in any faith, but it does appear to me that islam is the only major religion where terrorism and violence against non-believers is espoused by a major portion of it’s theologians.

  9. jman says:

    the columbine kids were atheists.

    connection FAIL

  10. Improbus says:

    Theists are by definition not rational. Nothing unreal exists.

  11. MrMiGu says:

    I take it you’ve never heard of the IRA. Isn’t that whole ordeal a battle between protestants and catholics?

    Other than that it seems that every other christian terrorist group has a government backing.

  12. Mojo Yugen says:

    The Cathars might disagree with you…if they weren’t exterminated and all.

  13. yankinwaoz says:

    Oh yea.. the same logic as:

    “Most rapist have seen pornography. Therefore, porn creates rapist.”

    Or taken to another extreme:

    “All terrorist breath oxygen. Therefore oxygen creates terrorists.”

  14. amodedoma says:

    Oh my gawd, No. Christian terrorists! They’re everywhere. Trust no one! Waco, Ruby ridge, Timothy McVeigh, but Columbine?! We’re all about to die, where can I hide?
    Yeah, but most serial killers and mass murdrers are atheists!

  15. jccalhoun says:

    csdibiase said,

    Tavis Smiley has it backwards, the shooters in colombine targeted christians, among others they thought had offended them in one form or another

    That’s not true either. Remember they had built bombs and initially intended to to blow up the school and kill everyone.
    When that failed they started shooting randomly. There’s no evidence they targeted any group.

    “The biggest myths about the tragedy have to do with the question of who Harris and Klebold were really targeting in their rampage. Jocks, African-Americans and Christians have been widely described as their chief targets. Not a scrap of evidence supports that conclusion.”

  16. Ah_Yea says:

    Yup, amodedoma nailed it.

    The problem isn’t Christians, or even Muslims. It’s Atheist. Atheist have murdered on a scale which leaves religion in the dust.

    “[religious murders] are minuscule compared with the death tolls produced by the atheist despotisms of the 20th century. In the name of creating their version of a religion-free utopia, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong produced the kind of mass slaughter that no Inquisitor could possibly match. Collectively these atheist tyrants murdered more than 100 million people.”

    So much for Atheist and the moral high ground.

  17. bobbo, the three ring circus rolls on says:

    hah, hah.

    Ah Yea. so atheist = mass murders huh?

    x = y.

    Pearls before swine.

    Stinkin Thinkin on the main road.

  18. freddybobs68k says:

    @16 Ah_Yeah

    So now we have the “any religion is better than athiest” argument.

    Well there is a risk here. If you believe in nothing then anything is possible. But most people who are ‘atheist’ do have a high moral code and compass. So aren’t atheist by that measure (humanist, agnostic, etc).

    “So much for Atheist and the moral high ground.”

    If you are an ‘anything goes atheist’, and a terrorist, then you do have the moral high ground over a Christian terrorist, because at least you are not a hypocrite.

    Adolf hitler was religious, he was into the occult.

    Its not a race. People with or without religion do terrible things. Just with religion its more obviously hypocritical – so you think that’d have an effect but apparently not. Studies have also shown that having religion makes you no more caring (for example if someone fell over in the street) or generous. It also shows that people who pray have no more or less success or crisis than those who do not. People with or without religion are just people with all the greatness and flaws that implies.

    Anyways one mans ‘terrorist’ is anothers freedom fighter. Generally its a label to demonise, to try and avoid thinking about why.

  19. Jmrouse says:

    #16 I hate to break it to you, but Hitler was not an Atheist.

    You also need to understand that there is a fundamental difference between a Leader such as Mao, who happens to be an Atheist, using his power to have millions slaughtered and people killing because of religious beliefs. I am sure if you flipped it around and looked at the amount of people who have killed in the name of religion, versus the amount of people who have killed in the name of Atheism, you would find that the former dwarfs the the other. Again, killing because your country is ruled by a Tyrant who happens to be an Atheist commands you to do so is not the same thing.

  20. Ah_Yea says:

    So bobbo, you disagree?

    Then counter this statement from the article, “Whatever the motives for atheist bloodthirstiness, the indisputable fact is that all the religions of the world put together have in 2,000 years not managed to kill as many people as have been killed in the name of atheism in the past few decades.”

    So, who has murdured more, Religionist or Atheist?

    freddybobs68k, you’ve created a nonsensical argument.

    You state “most people who are ‘atheist’ do have a high moral code and compass .. because at least [they] are not a hypocrite.”

    So let’s see, it’s ok to be in the company of the world’s worse mass murders if you’re not a hypocrite?

    It’s ok to murder magnitudes more people because you don’t believe in God?

  21. Ah_Yea says:

    Jmrouse, it should be a requirement that before posting on someone’s comment, that you actually READ the link in the person’s comment.

    My link already answered your post. Read next time first, please.

  22. amodedoma says:

    #16 Ah_Yea

    I suppose if we could count all the deaths in religously motivated wars and the religous practices of our most primative ancestors, we’d find that religion or not, isn’t necessarily the decisive factor. Man’s a murderous beast. In today’s society, to be truly murderous, you need to have no compunction, no guilt, and be rational enough to not allow yourself to get caught. Basically atheism in it’s purest form, rationality distorted to it’s extreme, serving directly the dictates of the ego. Emotions aren’t just perceived hormonal imbalances, they constitute our most higly evolved instrument of perception. Life is more than just an equation, every decision has it’s emotional counterpart and effects how we se ourselves and our world. We are here to discover and defend our personal values. Religion can, but doesn’t necessarily have to be of help.

  23. Ah_Yea says:

    GetSmart. Wrong. Simply wrong. Show me where these Atheist killers were “incidental atheists”. Where did you get that from?

    Your imagination doesn’t count.

    How about this instead?
    “The problem with Atheism is that when you truly believe you are the only law, you’re well on the way of being convinced that you should DO silly things because you are only accountable to yourself. Silly, heinous, inhuman, unspeakable things.”

  24. Benjamin says:

    The Columbine killers were Atheists. Atheist were responsible for more death: Stalin, Mao, and Khmer Rouge is just a small sample of the deaths caused by Atheism. We are talking eight figures here.

    #14 “Waco, Ruby ridge, Timothy McVeigh”

    Waco, really? When Christians start believing that David Koresh is the Messiah you can call the Branch Davidians at Waco Christians. We in the real world think that idea is ridicules.

    Ruby Ridge? The FBI kills a man’s family and the guy involved gets acquitted of all charges except missing a court date. Religion had nothing to do with the case. It was more to do with blotched SWAT team tactics that we discussed earlier in another thread.

    Tim McVeigh wrote a letter to claiming to be an agnostic and that he did not believe in a hell. Now that he is dead, I bet he believes in hell now.

  25. Ah_Yea says:

    amodedoma, Ok. That’s a good response.

    It’s not religion, it’s not Atheism, it’s the character of the individual.

    Excellent summary!

  26. Anon says:

    Wow! Lib bloggers getting desperate. Akin to a fish thrashing on the deck, gasping for oxygen.

  27. TheMAXX says:

    Atheism cannot be the cause or even a contributing factor to anything because it is not an organization or belief. It is the lack of belief in the supernatural. So if I don’t believe in the tooth fairy I am in the company of dictators who kill people? You might as well say that breathing air causes all murder because all murderers breathe air… Religion doesn’t cause murders either but it does help to organize people who don’t want to think for themselves to follow an appointed leader who can wield their power as they see fit. Atheism cannot be used in this way since it doesn’t help to organize anyone and it doesn’t encourage people to give up their own thinking and power to some despot. All those examples of supposed atheists causing death are actually a good example of religious thinking. The dictators lead by being like a god on earth being the head of their own religion so yeah they might try to stomp out other religions because they want to be the only organizing factor themselves. Again atheism provides no organizing power since it is merely the lack of supernatural belief… I have heard and read plenty of historians and sociologists who talk about dictatorships and how they are like a religious movement so I know I am not saying anything new but some people here seem to have things quite backwards by ascribing attributes to atheism that really should apply to religions and religious thinking.

  28. bobbo, the three ring circus rolls on says:

    #20–Ah Yea==yes, I do disagree but the who killed more people argument has been blogged several times. Rational analysis devolves to rhetoric. What does “Killing in the name of xxxx” even mean? I would say that “by definition” atheists don’t kill to establish atheism==maybe to exterminate formal religions but once your universal view is non-religious that “killing in the name of” really goes away===its simply not part of the dogma.

    “My point” evidently of no purchase today was that killing in the name of is a type of x = y type dogmatic thinking. It is ironic that you criticize Hitler for this faulty equation by using it yourself.

    Life, and the thinking that it allows, should be more layered, complex, interactive than thinking x = y. I’d even think inherent curiosity would compel one to look deeper. Evidently, that gets lost in too many.

    Keeping it THAT simple looses so much. Music is a symphony, not a kazoo.

  29. GF says:

    Klebold and Harris were closer to occultist and satanist. They were Doom fanatics that lost all sense of reality just like Tavis has.

  30. Angus says:

    Can we all at least agree that Tavis Smiley is an idiot?


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