Cmdr. Chris Havens, the Police Department spokesman, said the suspects boasted about belonging to a leaderless group of 10 or 15 who share a belief that society has become too focused on self-improvement and self-gratification and has lost focus on the glorification of God.
"They admit to being Christian and being brought up Christian, but they believe there should be one denomination and one church, not multiple denominations," Havens said. "They did not say they had a name for their group, other than they were a radical Christian activist group. That was the way they explained their group," he said. ...
The three admitted to being in a core group of seven that created the explosive weapon as a test to draw attention to the demise of society and to see whether the device would work, Havens said. "They believe that the past generations have accumulated trash and are responsible for making younger generations clean up their mess," he said. "They're trying to make a statement and get society's attention regarding that."
Christianity is supposed to be a religion of peace, yet Christians are quite capable of becoming violent terrorists in the right conditions — rather like adherents of another popular "religion of peace." Christians often like to think of themselves and their religion as too exceptional to fall victim to acts of barbaric cruelty, but the inescapable fact is that the past and texts of their religion are already full of barbaric cruelty. It would be remarkable if contemporary Christians were completely free of it all.
A consistent message from the Christian Right in recent years has been the two-pronged promotion of Christian Supremacy and attacks on religious pluralism. Christian Supremacism is the ideology that Christianity alone should define public institutions, cultural institutions, laws, politics, and government. The attacks on religious pluralism is an attempt to reduce any influence and power of both religions other than Christianity and Christian denominations which do not adhere closely to the extremist line set by far-right Christian leaders.
Both the promotion of Christian Supremacy and the attacks on religious pluralism are fundamental to what is broadly known as the Culture Wars. For the Christian Right, the label "Culture Wars" is not entirely metaphorical. Most terrorist attacks occurred against abortion providers and gay rights organizations. Even earlier attacks were made against members of the Civil Rights movements. Now, some Christians are even turning on each other.
This isn't the least bit surprising for an extremist movement which defines itself, at least in large part, by it's "purity" and strict adherence to an unquestionable dogma. Every such movement inevitably turns inwards against its own members because there are always plenty who are not "pure" enough and "holy" enough to be acceptable in the New Order. Of course, this usually only happens in earnest after most of the other enemies have been decisively eliminated (except for those who exist purely for propaganda purposes) and new enemies (or scapegoats) are needed. If there is anything surprising, then, it's that Christian terrorism against other Christians — and very conservative Christians in particular — is occurring now.
The Victory Family Church, ironically enough, was in the news just a few days earlier for their own aggressive tactics (correction: this was a different Victory Family Church - this appears to be a popular name in Texas).
I do not know whether they have ever supported violent Christian extremism, such as that on display in Milwaukee on July 29 when extremist Christian groups will honor Paul Hill as a hero:
On July 29th, 1994, Paul Hill boldly defended 31 babies from unspeakable violence by killing a paid assassin and his bodyguard. He was arrested, given a sham trial, and executed as a martyr. On the 13th anniversary of Paul Hill’s act of love and mercy, memorial events will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to honor him as God’s man and our hero.
George L. Wilson of Children Needs Heroes, one of the sponsors of Paul Hill days, recognizes a grand total of three heroes. In addition to terrorist Paul Hill, there is James Kopp, convicted of assassinating Dr. Barnett Slepian, and Shelly Shannon, convicted of the attempted assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kansas. Memorializing convicted Christian terrorists like this is strikingly similar to how suicide bombers are memorialized as martyrs in some Muslim communities.
All these terrorists have assumed the right to kill people they cannot convince to accept their beliefs, and they do it in the name of an unreasoning God that only they hear telling them to kill. All involve a few active terrorists supported by a much larger group of active supporters of terrorism, and the larger groups recruit and encourage other killers to do their bidding by calling them "heroes." ...
The unbelievers the Christian terrorists want to kill in America are the majority of us who support a woman's right to choose what to do with her body. The Islamic terrorists consider the western attitude of allowing our women to let others see her face or her body. In both religions it is terrorists who demand that women be controlled by them. Since the terrorists represent minority extremist cults but demand that everyone obey them, they are frustrated beyong belief. So they send their evil terrorists out to kill unbelievers.
In both cases they consider the beliefs of the unbelievers to be a violation of what they interpret to be God's (or Allah's) Law, and they use this as justification to kill the unbelievers without warning or mercy. Then the congregation members of these dangerous cults present the terrorists as 'heroes' to get their own children to emulate them.
In the past, I've seen Hill compared to John Brown and other religious or political martyrs. Sometimes these extremists seem almost gleeful that Hill was a martyr, though I notice that none of those authors were rushing forward to volunteer their services in this regard. I wonder if the valorization of Hill's actions and execution qualify as any sort of incitement to violence? Probably, not, given how little attention the government pays to violence and terrorism committed by abortion opponents.
It will be very important to keep a close eye on these events to see what is learned in the investigation and if any further attacks occur. We need to know if this is just a temporary aberration or an early warning signal of worse to come.
Isn't it curious, though, atheists are the ones who keep getting accused of intolerance, extremism, and militancy? Atheists aren't the ones who are burning down churches or planting bombs outside abortion clinics — we're just the ones pointing out how much of a problem religion is for creating the conditions which make such behavior easier. Religious believers should spend more time working to prevent such actions than lashing out at atheist critics.