Media ignore Christian terrorism

Jennifer L. Pozner writes for Newsday, Oct. 8:

The terrorists who aren’t in the news
Anti-abortion fanatics spread fear by bombings, murders and assaults, but the media take little notice

On Sept. 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks that devastated our nation, a man crashed his car into a building in Davenport, Iowa, hoping to blow it up and kill himself in the fire.

No national newspaper, magazine or network newscast reported this attempted suicide bombing, though an AP wire story was available. Cable news (save for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann) was silent about this latest act of terrorism in America.

Had the criminal, David McMenemy, been Arab or Muslim, this would have been headline news for weeks. But since his target was the Edgerton Women’s Health Center, rather than, say, a bank or a police station, media have not called this terrorism – even after three decades of extreme violence by anti-abortion fanatics, mostly fundamentalist Christians who believe they’re fighting a holy war.

Since 1977, casualties from this war include seven murders, 17 attempted murders, three kidnappings, 152 assaults, 305 completed or attempted bombings and arsons, 375 invasions, 482 stalking incidents, 380 death threats, 618 bomb threats, 100 acid attacks, and 1,254 acts of vandalism, according to the National Abortion Federation.

Abortion providers and activists received 77 letters threatening anthrax attacks before 9/11, yet the media never considered anthrax threats as terrorism until after 9/11, when such letters were delivered to journalists’ offices and members of Congress.

After 9/11, Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights groups received 554 envelopes containing white powder and messages like, “You have been exposed to anthrax. … We are going to kill all of you.” They were signed by the Army of God, a group that hosts Scripture-filled Web pages for “Anti-Abortion Heroes of the Faith” including minister Paul Hill, Michael Griffin and James Kopp, all convicted of murdering abortion providers, and a convicted clinic bomber, the Rev. Michael Bray. Another of their “martyrs,” Clayton Waagner, mailed anthrax letters while a fugitive on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list for anti-abortion related crimes.

“I am a terrorist,” Waagner declared on the Army of God’s Web site. Boasting that God “freed me to make war on his enemy,” he claimed he knew where 42 Planned Parenthood workers lived. “It doesn’t matter to me if you’re a nurse, receptionist, bookkeeper, or janitor, if you work for the murderous abortionist I’m going to kill you.”

That’s textbook terrorism, defined by the USA Patriot Act as dangerous criminal acts that “appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population” or “to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.”

Which brings us back to car bomber McMenemy. According to the Detroit Free Press (the only newspaper in the Nexis news database that reported his crime), he targeted the women’s health center because he thought it provided abortions. It doesn’t. (Oops!) It provides mostly low-income patients with pap smears, ob-gyn care, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, and nutrition and immunization programs for women and children.

The attack caused $170,000 in property damage and left poor families without health care for a week. But long after Edgerton’s water-logged carpets are removed, scorched medical equipment replaced and new doors reopened to the public, a culture of fear will linger among doctors, nurses, advocates and patients across the country, who will worry that they’re next. Some frightened workers will quit their jobs; some women will be too scared to get the health care they need.

Every fresh incident of anti-abortion terrorism is a reminder that women’s health supporters are not safe in a country where abortion is legal but mobilized zealots believe Jesus has empowered them to kill to prevent women from choosing it.

Is McMenemy a lone nutcase, or a member of that network of violent extremists? We don’t know, because journalists haven’t investigated.

Nor have they reported that just last year, nearly one in five abortion clinics experienced gunfire, arson, bombings, chemical attacks, assaults, stalking, death threats and blockades, according to the 2005 National Clinic Violence Survey. Additionally, 59 percent suffered intimidation tactics such as photo/video surveillance.

Federal efforts to hunt down these terrorists improved with the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act in 1994 and the National Task Force on Violence Against Health Care Providers, established by the Department of Justice in 1998. The feds have taken over McMenemy’s case, charging him with arson against a business affecting interstate commerce. Yet as of Oct. 5, no news outlet on Nexis reported this, despite a second AP story.

As we continue national debates on how to keep America safe from terrorism, journalists do us – and especially women – no good pretending that the threats come only from radical Muslims outside our borders.

See our last posts on the anti-abortion underground and other Christian terrorists.

  1. Christian Terror Ignored?
    Nothing says “We’re ignoring Christian terror” like a Newsday article that reports no new bodies since 9/11 (while Islamists rack up more than a thousand deadly attacks each year).

    1. It never stops, does it?
      It is obvious from your disgusting website that all of your outrage is for one side, and therefore you are part of the problem.

        1. A plague on all your houses
          Another Smelly Little Orthodoxy (TM Orwell) heard from.

          Well, I’m sure you guys can both agree on your hatred of Islam, anyway. No?

      1. You’re bloody mistaken…
        You’re bloody mistaken…the author of this text objectively exposes muslim terrorism AS WELL as Christian one…while you want to put christian terrorism under the carpet,fighting for a ”just,holly’ cause and demonizing only the muslim one,right?…you know,bigots of any religion are always fascinating me…you take your belief in a ”holy book” which can be true or false as a guideline for you actions…you become perverted to a degree that you advocate,sympathize or even take concrete violent actions in your own hands,indentifying yourself with God itself or ”His Army”to be able to find excuse for your deeds…if god exists,l shall be judged on a judgement day by him not by some perverted bigots takig his law into their own hands…muslims kill in the name of Quran,christians in the name of Bible,hindus in the name of Veddas…it’s all the same bigoted shit with just differrent names and places.

          1. Too many squares…
            Hey,Bill,sorry,my comment went to the guy above you…and…l just can’t get rid of my habbit…it’s just too powerful…l’m enslaved by it in some way,l guess…:)

    2. Terror
      You have to understand that there is also a thing called state Terrorism. The war in vietnam and Iraq is an example of this terror. Many innocent men, women, and children have died based on lies by our government. The taking of any innocent life, any where in the world, we should all look at as a crime against humanity! History shows there have been acts of terror by Christian, Muslim, and Secular Empires. No one group should be focused on when it comes to killing of the innocent. More people die from second hand smoke, murder, alcoholism, drunk driving, doctor malpractice, and domestic abuse each year than acts of terrorism. We have to get to the root of the problem wich is lack of edjucation, poverty, corrupt governments, racism, and injustice.

  2. Selective Support
    One Man’s Terrorist is another Man’s Freedom Fighter.

    BTW: It was only until very recently in Iraq that the insurgents there trumped the DISGUSTING, SUB-HUMAN, SATAN WORSHIPING tactic employed by the ‘Christian Right’ in the Atlanta abortion clinic bombing 1997.

    This being the employment of a ‘Secondary Device’ whose only purpose was to kill or harm Emergency Responders. The same Emergency Responders I imagine held in high regard for their Heroism in 9/11 were targeted by the Flag Waving Fascists and their murder attempt was applauded by the Christian Right. Nice.

    And just so you can recognize me in the afterlife, I will be the one that urinates on you in HELL twice daily from above; God told me it was cool by Him.


  3. I disagree
    I agree with the author.
    Christian terrorism is never publicised, rather it is supressed from the media, because the perception of “Islam being evil, inhuman terrorist” is a concept that popular culture thrives on.
    I believe that the reason for this is that media is wholly controlled by the Anglo’s who are of Christian background – media manipulates every story that is ever screen or read – this is why the aim of media is to brainwash the public, so they can believe the media and see Muslims as perpetrators.

    1. Christian right’s “Right to Choose”
      Isn’t it amazing how the Christian family reserves the right to chose which parts of the Bible to use? I seem to remember the teachings when I was taken to church in my no so long ago youth, what would Jesus do? Now, in the stories taught from the Bible, Jesus was always condeming violence and defending the sinful and showing in return, love. I assume, it is still taught in their Sunday Schools. Funny how they reserve the right to chose to be racists, radical, and violent in their Christ’s name! It makes me want to be able to ask them at the moment of their violence, hate comments and actions, “now wait, just a second. What would Jesus do?”

      I do remember singing, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red, and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.”. I guess maybe once we aren’t children anymore, we’re screwed!

      1. I’m a practicing Catholic
        I’m a practicing Catholic and a similar thought occurs to me:

        Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

        And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

        46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.

        From Matthew 25

  4. There can be no such thing as a CHRISTIAN Terrorists
    I don’t know who came up with the term “Christian” Terrorists, but I must say as a TRUE christian, this is extremely offensive towards our beliefs and is a complete mockery of God. If you are a christian, then you believe in living for God and you believe the bible is true. Therefore, in the bible God says in Exodus 20:13: “Thou shalt not kill.” And Romans 13:1&2 says: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” So even if a christian felt the strongest against abortion, someone who was a true christian and did not just claim to be one would never ever commit such acts of violence or terror. These are Anti-Abortion terrorists not Christian Terrorists.

    1. And what about “Islamic terrorists”?
      The Koran says “Take not life, which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law.” (6:151) And: “If anyone slew a person…it would be as if he slew the whole people; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” (5:32) And: “Do not transgress limits [in war]; for Allah loves not transgressors.” (2:190)

      Do you also insist that there is no such thing as “Islamic terrorism”?

      1. terrorists
        “Take not life, which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law.”

        the quran thus gives muslims permission to be violent under certain circumstances. that is what this passage implies. muslims might think they are fighting “enemies”, but “enemy” is subject to interpretation.

        1. propagandists
          Yes, march against Babylon, the land of rebels, a land that I will judge! Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them, as I have commanded you… (Jeremiah 50:21-22)

          There are many more such quotes at Enjoy.