Radicalized Christian Terrorism

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 2 months ago

The report on Hasan and the Fort Hood shootings has been released, and without rehearsing the pitiful whitewash that it was, one comment by intellectual lightweight Togo West bears a little unpacking.

Mr. West, at a second Pentagon news conference with Admiral Clark, said the problem with “self-radicalization” in the military was not rooted in Islam. “Suppose it were fundamentalist-Christian-inspired,” Mr. West said. “Our concern is not with the religion. It is with the potential effect on our soldiers’ ability to do their job.”

Hmmm.  Not rooted in Islam.  “Fundamentalist-Christian-inspired” terrorism.  So.  Let’s have a test question after we set some boundary conditions.  First, let’s loosely define Christian as anyone who believes in the Trinitarian formula outlined in the Council Of Nicea and the Council of Chalcedon (and perhaps also who holds to basic Christian soteriology as taught in the historical confessions such as the Westminster Confession of Faith, Canons of Dort, Heidelberg Catechism, or for my Roman Catholic readers, the Council of Trent).

Next, let’s define religiously inspired terrorism as the belief that God has commanded that one’s faith must be promulgated by violence.  Now that these basic stipulations have been made our house is in order for the test question.  Can anyone name an instance of “fundamentalist-Christian-inspired” terrorism?  Anyone?  Even a single instance?

For the more stolid readers, leave the Crusades out of this.  They were primarily a defensive operation as a result of Muslim aggression.  Besides, give me something in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries, please.  And please don’t chime in with Timothy McVeigh.  In his last interview the day before his execution, he made sure everyone knew that he was an atheist.

We can begin.  Now that the test question has been posed, are there any takers?  Give me one instance of Christian-inspired terrorism.  Just one.  Maybe intellectual lightweight Togo West can give me his data.  I’m waiting.

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Eric Rudolph: The Centennial Olympic Park bombing, Sandy Springs and Birmingham.


Herschel, I think you are wrong on that one. Eric Rudolph said:
“I’m here today to be sentenced for my actions on January 29, 1998. On that date I detonated a bomb at an abortion mill here in Birmingham, killing the abortion mill’s security guard and injuring one of the abortion mill’s employees. I had nothing personal against either of these individuals, Sanderson and Lyons. I did not target them for who they were – but for what they did. What they did was participate in the murder and dismemberment of upwards of 50 children a week.”
“My actions that day were motivated by my recognition that abortion is murder. Because it is murder, I believe that deadly force is indeed justified in an attempt to stop it. I do not claim this as a right but rather consider it the moral duty to come to the defense of my fellow man when he is under attack. This is an essential concept embedded in Western Civilization – that we are our brother’s keeper.”
Eric Rudolph

I think this makes him a Christian terrorist, not a white supremacist.


Rudolph was associated with the Army of God, which is quite openly Christian. The Army of God has also been suspected of making threats against abortion clinics (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/11/09/national/main317573.shtml, for an example)

Also to be considered:
-Paul Hill, who shot John Britton, an abortion provider
-Actions of the Orange Volunteers in Northern Ireland (and don’t get me started on what Sinn Fein’s tried to justify)
-The Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda

Not in the last two centuries, but worth an honorable mention:
-the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre
-the Spanish Inquisition’s campaign against Jews and Muslims

Racism can also be cited in ANY of these cases, but that’s true in most cases of religious terrorism– including Islamic terrorism (just ask the Malaysians, most of whom aren’t very impressed with the Arab-centric teachings of Wahhabis and al-Qaeda and who have gotten ignored and derided for it).

By the time violence rises to the fore, usually a nasty mix of religion-AND-race-related identity politics is feeding the motivations of whoever’s doing it.

Herschel, Right on! Your background is advanced warp-speed beyond my own in these matters. So I hold your opinions on these matters in high regard as you speak plainly and in understandable terms, a task I personally fail to achieve. I find in this later part of life, as often happens to us, the issues of world peace, just war, good vs. evil, tough love, and personal salvation, and the search for truth, fill my days….. with joy…. amazingly. I will NOT use elements of some of the Native American experiences as an answer to your challenge. In stead, let me share what I have come to believe is the key to building bridges towards world peace. The Ogalala Lakota Sioux harbor an old grievance of a defective treaty (Treaty of 1868) which collapsed through the powerful and unrelenting western migration and eventual occupation of their lands, a treaty overridden by eventually through our ever changing political will and, aka, Manifest Destiny. Black Elk,(1863 – 1950) Ogalala Lakota Sioux, was a spiritual holy man, visionary, and Native American, I hold in very high regard as a “man of knowing,” (as the term of enlightenment is used by the Yaqui Indian… Read more »

The Mountain Meadows Masaccre.

Before the Oklahoma City bombing it was the single largest terrorist attack in US history.

September 1858 the Mormons killed between 130 and 150 people in the Fancher/Baker wagon train traveling through southern Utah on their way to California.

Some might argue that the Mormons are not christian but having been raised Mormon I would beg to differ. The Mormons were a very violent christian sect that could not get along with their neighbors and had violent conflicts in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and here in Utah.

It is rare but it did happen. There is a reason I left that church.



“There are no Christian terrorists because there is nothing like that to be found in the Bible.”

The people of Amalek might have a problem with that statement, but since there aren’t any left, I’ll let it go. If you want to get into a contest of “Well, they started it,” most Muslim terrorists also like to say they’re compensating for the fall of the Caliphate/blowback from the Suez Canal/their own personal shortcomings which are somehow the fault of the heathen West.

Also: Omarska and Kosovo during the last Yugoslavian civil conflict, as well as isolated events of Protestant and Catholic clergy in the Rwandan genocid.

Why didn’t I think of either of those before? Because like most episodes of people killing each other for religious reasons, racism got mashed in there too.


“I know a Christian when I see one.”
“….self-proclaimed believers….”


As a Christian and a veteran of Kuwait and Afghanistan, I have always found value in your site. Even when I have disagreed with you I appreciated what I had perceived to be your intellectual integrity. The arrogant disregard and slick sophistry that you have shown those of us who responded to your challenge is too much. Please unsubscribe me from the news letter.


E-mail: John316

“I didn’t ask for examples of self-proclaimed believers who were involved in violence of some sort in some part of the world for sundry possible reasons according to something that someone believes really occurred.” That’s what terrorism is, though, at least where Nidal Malik Hasan was concerned. He wasn’t fresh out of some al-Qaeda or Hizbollah training camp. He was a religious and racist loony who was sympathetic to al-Qaeda and had his delusions of grandeur and entitlement stroked by like-minded types like Anwar al-Awlaki. People like Richard Reid, Abdul Abdulmutalallab (the “underwear bomber”), and Hasan were all acting independently to “avenge” outrages against Muslims everywhere. Maybe the Army of God doesn’t want to blow up airplanes, but I’ll bet they sure make women going to Planned Parenthood for the morning-after pill or cheap contraception nervous. And if I were a Russian Jew around the turn of the 20th century (when local clergy and officials were more than happy to stir up anti-Semetic resentment to pump up their own popularity), I’d be jumpy everywhere I went. I’m not going to deny the fact that the Fort Hood massacre happened because political correctness made idiots out of everyone who could have… Read more »
Links of interest 22 Jan 2010 « ELP Defens(c)e Blog

[…] Radicalized Christian Terrorism […]

I didn’t even mention Rudolph in my last post, but I’ll concede that he’s a Johnny-come-lately, not unlike Hasan himself, or Saddam Hussein. None of that changes the fact that Rudolph did throw his lot in with a group committed to carrying out attacks on abortion providers. Hasan was no different in his liasons (or lack thereof) with al-Qaeda. He thought he was justified in killing American soldiers; he would have like al-Qaeda’s blessing, but it apparently wasn’t necessary for him. I found it interesting that my mentions of Omarska, Paul Hill, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and the Orange Volunteers received no mention. I forgot to mention the Sandanista National Liberation Front, and operations by the IRA during Ireland’s War of Independence– apologies. Also, in your original challenge, you wanted us to limit our responses to the 19th and 20th centuries. This leaves out, among other things, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, the Albigensian Crusade, the Spanish Inquisition during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, persecution of Dissenters under the reign of Mary Tudor, the Hussite Wars, or the English Peasants’ Revolt of the 14th century. I believe those all fit the description of “doctrinally-legitimate Christians who perpetrated violence in… Read more »

Nearly 15,000 documented and deadly terror attacks world-wide since 911…and counting. That is the Religion of Peace for you. Is there a similar daily accounting of Christian terrorism? Of course we often read about those evil terrorists (Southern Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists, Lutherans, et. al.) and live in great fear of them boarding our airplanes or blowing up innocents.



Mary Tudor… wasn’t… a Christian? Riiightt…

Herschel, I’m sorry but you’re now officially trolling your own site.

New contributor to TCJ and plan on sticking around for a while. While searching for an answer to a tactics related question I found this site and could not help but continue researching more of TCJ. So far I have found this site to be informative, well-constructed and organized, and most resourceful. I commend Mr. Walker and both respect and appreciate his patriotism. So with that I would like to begin my first post on TCJ. In keeping with one of my life long goals – always utilizing research and basing my opinion off of fact – I would like to respond to the message from user “kartch” which was meant to be a response to Mr. Walker’s challenge of finding an example of radicalized christian based terrorism. First of all, I agree with Mr. Walker’s original post on this subject and find it disturbing that others in reply to his challenge would attempt to disprove his point with the examples given. Before I get off track, back to my response to kartch, I am a christian and more specifcally LDS, Latter-Day Saint, Mormon, or however others would like to refer. User kartch attempted to use the Mountain Meadow Massacre… Read more »

My utmost apologies, lol… I was thinking of an entirely different Herschel when I kept referring to Mr. SMITH as Mr. Walker. Football fans may understand the confusion. Anyways, once again sorry for my lack of proof reading, that won’t happen again!


Wow… Apologies for not sourcing the correct author in my previous post on this topic. Football fans may understand the confusion. I will never again make the mistake of referring to Mr. Herschel Smith as Mr. Herschel Walker, very poor proof reading on my part, won’t happen again…

I think it would certainly be fair to name any abortion bombing or killing as Christian terrorism. Admittedly, that is not near the problem that exists in Islam, but I disagree that is because Christianity is inherently peaceful and Islam is violent. At one time Christianity was not at all peaceful; surprisingly no one has mentioned the reformation and the wars of religion that lasted an extraordinarily long time, tore Europe apart, and were monstrously violent. That violence ultimately exhausted Europe and led to the Peace of Westphalia, the first harbinger of secularism. As secularism (and nationalism) ascended so religious violence in Europe dropped. Are you comfortable with the idea that the greater prevalence of religious violence in Islam might not be due to Islam being a more violent religion but because western civilization has embraced the (now) leftist doctrine of secularism and Islamic countries have not? Further, it should be noted that the following argument is very similar to what contemporary muslims say about those who do reprehensible things in their religion’s name: “As for Mary, the premise of her whole campaign of killing was power. Again for people who are too slow to catch on to this. Many… Read more »
Herschel, if you’re going to exclude not only all those who do not assiduously follow the tenets of their own faith (including prohibitions against murder and suicide), but also all those who may have met their own days’ standards for religiosity but fail your own standards today, well, you rule out just about everybody, in any religion or philosophy. Which yes, means that you’d be right, that there has never been a Christian terrorist. Or a Muslim one. In the case you cite, which is well outside your timeframe, I grant, you exclude Bloody Mary because the 284 people she had executed specifically to preserve what she saw as the Christian faith in England and save all the other English from hellfire, cannot be counted as a Christian precisely because in your eyes, today, executing those condemned heretics seems sinful. I do not shrink from condemning her acts here, either. But surely you can see there can be no act in the name of God, any God, which could meet as high a standard as you’ve set here. I could as easily say, “find me the Muslim as moderate about his faith as you are about yours who will not… Read more »
The current spiritual evolutionary change underway globally does not seem to change the definition of at least two core values of a Christian. i.e. “to love your brother” and “to do unto others.” But the rest of our baggage appears to all be up for discussion: Are you and I gods under construction that are in various stages of perfection? Is God everywhere, are we of that essence too? Can the divinity of Christ be attained by each of us? What is reality? What appears to be happening is a true scholarship of understanding emerging among Christian churches in general as to the shared essentials of their respective Christian faith. Essentials apparently need to have some important criteria: can we freely accept them without violating our believing systems? Does accepting them serve an important recognized function among us? In large part this “emergence” is being facilitated by the internet. In addition, there exist efforts to recognize essential common beliefs bridging perceived religious differences among Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The process can only be described as a perceivable trend but still lost in the fog of wars among us. There are Islamic scholars that curse (admonish) Islamic youth to go back… Read more »

You are currently reading "Radicalized Christian Terrorism", entry #4415 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Religion,Religion and Insurgency and was published January 20th, 2010 by Herschel Smith.

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