Family Research Council Attacked in DC


A gunman attacked the offices of the Family Research Council in Washington, DC this morning. A security guard was shot but he managed to stop the attacker from hurting anyone else. The gunman may have been angry at the FRC’s political positions:

The guard, who was not identified, was shot in the arm and was conscious after the shooting and was in stable condition. The gunman, who also was not identified, was being questioned by the FBI, sources said. Sources said he is in his twenties.

The suspect “made statements regarding their policies, and then opened fire with a gun striking a security guard,” a source told Fox News. WJLA-TV7 reported the suspect was also shot.

Sources told Fox New that after guard took away his gun, the suspect said, “Don’t shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”

Authorities were treating the attack as a case of domestic terrorism, although James McJunkin, the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said authorities do not yet know the gunman’s motive.

“We don’t know enough about him or his circumstances to determine what his connection is to this group [the research council] or his mental state, or what he was doing or thinking of doing,” McJunkin said. “So we’re going to try to sort this all out, pull the evidence together, do all the interviews we can.”

Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out put out this statement about it:

“This is an awful tragedy and our thoughts and hearts go out to the victim, his family, and his colleagues at the Family Research Council,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “In America we settle political differences through robust debate in the public square, not with violence. If the shooting is found to be politically motivated, it is a detestable act of cruelty and cowardice and the perpetrator should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. We stand squarely with the Family Research Council today and offer them our full support and prayers.”

Hear, hear. The FRC is a terrible organization. I’ve spent the last decade — more, actually — working actively against them and I will continue to do so as long as they exist. But violence is not the answer and it is never justified in such situations. If we are going to criticize those on the right who use violence in the service of their political agenda — and we damn well do, and should — we must do the same thing when it’s done against those we disagree with as well. I join Wayne Besen in condemning politically motivated violence no matter who is targeted or who is holding the gun.

Comments

  1. Who Knows? says

    In America we settle political differences through robust debate in the public square, not with violence

    If you don’t believe in Second Amendment solutions, you’re not a real merican.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    “Council”, not “Center”.

    Whoever this is, he just set back progressivism by a decade.

  3. says

    I detest everything FRC stands for… but even more, I detest targeted shootings like this, no matter what. Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

  4. Randomfactor says

    A Christian who shoots up a theater is No True Christian; someone who shoots a guard at FRC is Every Progressive. That’s how this will play in the media.

  5. Dennis N says

    Terrible tragedy, maybe we can crack down on the outrageous amount of guns this country has per person?

    I wonder how this will play out in the national dialogue. Will this is one lone nut that no one could have predicted, like the 100s of right-wing attacks in the past 5 years? Or will this one be treated differently?

  6. Member X says

    In seriousness, that is a sad story, bro. There is absolutely no excuse for someone to use violence to resolve political differences between himself and others.

    That said, is it wrong if I can’t help but wonder if maybe the FRC and other religious right organizations will capitalize on this incident in an attempt to prove that conservative Christians are some kind of persecuted minority?

  7. says

    Randomfactor,

    A Christian who shoots up a theater is No True Christian; someone who shoots a guard at FRC is Every Progressive. That’s how this will play in the media.

    Oh what bullshit. Give me an example where a Christian went violent and the secular media, as a rule rather than an exception, said anything like he was “no true Christian”. And give me an example of the secular media, as a rule rather than an exception, are saying this incident is representative of “Every Progressive.” Some of you atheists just have to whine about everything. Your persecution complex is amazing.

    In truth I believe the majority of the mainstream media will treat this fairly as they treat most of these tragedies fairly. If there is evidence for political motivation they will report it, as they should.

    Some jackasses will take advantage of any tragedy to score a political point–but those are on the fringe.

    Do you really believe that when a Christian bombs an abortion clinic he gets a “no true Christian” pass from the majority of the media– not just a few talking heads with an agenda? You are living a fantasy.

  8. says

    I can imagine the hypocritical accusations of stochastic terrorism already.

    The least I can do is repeat the sane stance about this: You don’t solve political problems with terrorism, and shame on anyone that might have implicitly or explicitly encouraged it. That’s not how we do things.

  9. raven says

    Appalling.

    Nietzche: When you are hunting monsters, be careful that you don’t become one yourself.

  10. raven says

    Here is the actual quote which I just paraphrased.

    Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one. Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher (1844 – 1900) …

  11. busterggi says

    I’ll wait and see.

    Nowadays its always possible he guy attacked them for being too liberal in not calling for the death pentalty for gays.

  12. Alverant says

    #7
    Yes, actually it DOES happen. When a muslim commits a terrorist act the media has no problem saying the person is a muslim. But when a christian commits a terrorist act, their religion is mostly left out of the story. The media would also interview the friends and family of the christian terrorist but not so for the muslim terrorist.

    That’s even assuming the christian terrorist is picked up by the national media at all. Earlier this week a christian threw a bomb at a mosque in Illinois. It was hardly covered. A few years ago in Ohio a christian piped toxic gas into a mosque during prayers. Again it was hardly covered. Threats and vandalism against Planned Parenthood happen on nearly a daily basis yet this is never mentioned in the media.

    You’re the one living in a fantasy if you think christian privilige doesn’t exist.

  13. Chiroptera says

    Randomfactor, #4: A Christian who shoots up a theater is No True Christian; someone who shoots a guard at FRC is Every Progressive. That’s how this will play in the media.

    Actually, what I predict is a massive outbreak of “false equivalence”: “see: leftwing extremists are just as bad (if not worse) than rightwing extremists.”

    Few will point out that it has been mostly the right who have been poisoning the public well with their nonstop violent rhetoric and imagery. The rightwing pundits who will wring their hands over this without acknowledging and apologizing for their own past hyperbole should be pointed out as hypocrites.

  14. Abby Normal says

    Thank goodness the no one was killed. I hope the injured guard makes a full and speedy recovery. His actions undoubtedly saved lives.

    To say I condemn this apparent terrorist attack would be too mild. But I find I’m at a loss for words. This is a terrible event.

  15. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    You’re the one living in a fantasy if you think christian privilige doesn’t exist.

    Consider the source.

  16. Trebuchet says

    A Christian who shoots up a theater is No True Christian; someone who shoots a guard at FRC is Every Progressive. That’s how this will play in the media on Fox News.

    Fixed that for you.

  17. says

    Heddle, look at what RandomFactor said again. He didn’t say “the secular media,” or “the mainstream media,” or even “the majority of the media.” All those qualifiers are yours.

    He just said “the media,” and without putting words in his mouth, I think it’s fair to say that he was referring specifically not to secular or mainstream media, but to the right wing media outlets that most of the commentators on here are complaining about when they criticise media misreporting.

    And you want examples of that? Just tune into Fox news or listen to any right wing radio host whenever the shooter in a mass shooting is a Christian. It happens with depressing regularity.

    Part of the reason for that is that with depressing regularity the perpetrator is a right wing christian, and is motivated by that political and religious view, and they seem to have a desperate need to dissasociate from the perp, instead of doing the right thing and simply denounce his acts as reprehensible despite his being one of their own.

    We, OTOH, do not have a need to claim that sharing our views necessarily makes you “too good a person” to commit such deeds, so we can admit he appears to have shared our opposition to the FRC, but still denounce him and his actions as unacceptable, vile, and evil.

    That said, may I ask you for when was the last time you can recall a mass shooting or terrorist incident which was motivated by secularism, atheism, or progressive politics? It does happen far less frequently.

  18. says

    Alverant ,

    Yes, actually it DOES happen. When a muslim commits a terrorist act the media has no problem saying the person is a muslim. But when a christian commits a terrorist act, their religion is mostly left out of the story.

    Documentation required. I am fairly certain, going out on a limb here, that Timothy McVeigh’s religion was not kept a secret. Going out on another limb I am pretty sure I read something, somewhere about the religion of Seung-Hui Cho’s childhood. Or maybe I just imagined that.

    That’s even assuming the christian terrorist is picked up by the national media at all. Earlier this week a christian threw a bomb at a mosque in Illinois. It was hardly covered.

    Quantify “hardly covered.” I ready about the incidents (bombing and the earlier shooting) in Illinois and I live in Virginia. I suspect it received comparable or somewhat more coverage than when a church is burned down. I’m guessing that you think when a church is burned down atheists are rounded up and hebeas corpus is suspended?

    The media would also interview the friends and family of the christian terrorist but not so for the muslim terrorist.

    Documentation needed.

    You’re the one living in a fantasy if you think christian privilige doesn’t exist

    Nice strawman. I didn’t say that. In fact I have been scolding Christians for years (sometimes on this blog and its predecessor) for their own unseemly persecution complex. That doesn’t mean that I don’t point it out when it is on display in atheists as in #4. No, I didn’t say Christian privilege does not exist, I said the claim that the media as a rule use a “no true Christian” argument on the one hand and a “this is Every Progressive” argument on another is pure whining, victimhood crap.

  19. Brownian says

    In fact I have been scolding Christians for years (sometimes on this blog and its predecessor) for their own unseemly persecution complex. That doesn’t mean that I don’t point it out when it is on display in atheists as in #4. No, I didn’t say Christian privilege does not exist, I said the claim that the media as a rule use a “no true Christian” argument on the one hand and a “this is Every Progressive” argument on another is pure whining, victimhood crap.

    God created humans to be amenable to reason on every issue but the most important one.

  20. says

    danielhenschel

    Yes without qualifiers I took it to mean the media as a whole. If he/she had written “the right wing media” then I would not have commented.

    If an abortion clinic is bombed and I say “the media will claim Christians are violent terrorists” then you should call me to task. If I say “Pharyngula will portray Christians as violent terrorists” then I am on firm ground.

    It is not my fault he/she wasn’t clear–if that is indeed the case. Qualifiers are important.

    That said, may I ask you for when was the last time you can recall a mass shooting or terrorist incident which was motivated by secularism, atheism, or progressive politics? It does happen far less frequently.

    What does that have to do with anything? Are you under the impression that I am claiming atheists/secularists etc are committing violence at the same rate as those with religious motivations? That would be silly. I am claiming only that the mainstream media do not issue “No True Christian” passes on the one hand and on the other indict every progressive when there is an (admittedly rare) incident such as this.

  21. says

    Oh dear, looks like someone hit a nerve with heddle…

    Some jackasses will take advantage of any tragedy to score a political point–but those are on the fringe.

    That statement is true only if “the fringe” includes the entire Republican Party, who used 9/11 to silence and demonize all opposition, and are still using it for their short-term partisan ends.

    Do you really believe that when a Christian bombs an abortion clinic he gets a “no true Christian” pass from the majority of the media– not just a few talking heads with an agenda?

    At the very least, his religion doesn’t get mentioned as a possible cause or motivation, like it does when the perp is a Muslim or a Pagan. Look at the Ft. Hood shooting: if the shooter had been a Christian, instead of a Muslim, his act would have been classed as “workplace violence;” but since he was Muslim, people are calling it “terrorism,” even though it’s perfectly fucking obvious his behavior leading up to the shooting itself was not at all similar to that of a terrorist planning an attack.

    And that’s only one example I can think of offhand. I could also mention the anti-Obama rhetoric, but there’s too many incidents of thet to record here — and we saw a lot more of it today. So quit your desperate whiny denialism and face the obvious: bigotry exists, it’s still a decisive force in our public life, and the majority religion benefits from that bigotry every day. (Do you really think the silly “theology” you’ve expressed here would be taken at all seriously if it came from a Pagan?)

  22. Paul says

    That said, is it wrong if I can’t help but wonder if maybe the FRC and other religious right organizations will capitalize on this incident in an attempt to prove that conservative Christians are some kind of persecuted minority?

    I know of at least one church that will call this a recent development in spiritual warfare against true believers. And it’s even a pretty socially liberal church, as far as these things go.

  23. says

    Also, heddle, have you noticed the media are giving a LOT more attention to rumors and lies about Obama’s beliefs, than to the actual beliefs and actions of the Mormon Church?

  24. Alverant says

    #20
    If you had been paying attention to the media coverage of the Sikh temple and Aurora shootings, you would not be asking for documentation. I don’t think any kind of documentation would convince you. You admit christians have a persecution complex and since the media is still a business it would not want to further feed that complex and alienate its viewers. Hence it will disassociate the terrorist acts of christians from “mainstream” christians, a courtesy it does not do for other beliefs. That is an example of christian privilige.

  25. says

    Is anyone familiar with the law here? If the terrorism charges don’t hold, what will he be looking at for charges and what would be the usual sentence?

  26. says

    Raging Bee,

    Also, heddle, have you noticed the media are giving a LOT more attention to rumors and lies about Obama’s beliefs, than to the actual beliefs and actions of the Mormon Church?

    Since you mention it, I am indeed noticing that they are rightly reporting (and rightly appalled) that so many chowderheads believe Obama is a Muslim (though not much about chowderheads like Jerry Coyne who claim Obama is lying about being a Christian). Are you saying they should not be giving that story that kind of attention? Or are you saying they are endorsing the idea that Obama is a Muslim? If it is the latter, documentation please.

    They are reporting, of course, that Romney is a Mormon. I don’t believe he is getting special treatment. I don’t believe, in general, when they report on the religion of a person–at least if it is a religion shared by millions of people, that they routinely report on the tenets of the religion. When I read “Pelosi is Catholic” I don’t recall a sidebar describing the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception or Transubstantiation, for example.

  27. slc1 says

    Re Heddle @ #31

    When I read “Pelosi is Catholic” I don’t recall a sidebar describing the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception or Transubstantiation, for example.

    Unlike Romney, Congresswoman Pelosi isn’t running for president.

  28. timpayne says

    These guys have never supported a political platform that didn’t include saturating society with semi automatic pistols and assault rifles. Now we’re supposed to be morally outraged that someone walks into their lobby with -OMG- a gun? Cry me a river.

  29. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Ed:

    I join Wayne Besen in condemning politically motivated violence no matter who is targeted or who is holding the gun.

    As do I.
    Though I don’t agree with pretty much everything the FRC stands for, I don’t condone such actions. I want them to become more fair minded, progressive and less bigoted, yes, but through persuasive arguments, not violence.

  30. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    Now we’re supposed to be morally outraged that someone walks into their lobby with -OMG- a gun? Cry me a river.

    YES, you’re supposed to be morally outraged*. I don’t care what your beliefs are, trying to kill people because they don’t believe the same things you do is a reprehensible act. Yes, the FRC is fucked up. Massively.
    That does NOT justify violence against any of them.

    *If you don’t feel moral outrage, I question how much empathy you have for others.

  31. Michael Heath says

    Randomfactor:

    A Christian who shoots up a theater is No True Christian; someone who shoots a guard at FRC is Every Progressive. That’s how this will play in the media.

    I strongly disagree with your first observation. The guy in Aurora was mentally ill, there is no evidence this had anything to do with faith; nor have I see anyone in the media make a claim that because he killed that by default means he’s not a Christian. However I don’t watch Fox News or Pat Robertson.

    I also disagree with your second assertion when it comes to the media except Fox News. Of course they and the demagogues have access to the media will milk this angle.

  32. says

    My guess as to why religion tends to be emphasized in cases where the assailant is a member of a religious minority (which I do think is a fairly uncontroversial assertion and need not exclude Christians) is a combination of media seeking an exotic angle to a story for ratings and a general ignorance about minority religions. I also think there’s some degree to which we think that religious views are so integral to a person’s identity that it must inform their actions in a meaningful way; this clearly isn’t true in all cases, though, since adherents vary significantly in their fervor and zeal.

    I do think that heddle rightly objects to the characterization of what “the media” does (which is such a broad category that it resists generalization), but I don’t think it’s altogether surprising that you see Christian privilege in coverage. A Christian committing an atrocity is really no stranger than a white male committing an atrocity, and we shouldn’t expect any of those traits to get much attention.

  33. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Authorities were treating the attack as a case of domestic terrorism

    Oh BULL SHIT.

  34. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Documentation required. I am fairly certain, going out on a limb here, that Timothy McVeigh’s religion was not kept a secret. Going out on another limb I am pretty sure I read something, somewhere about the religion of Seung-Hui Cho’s childhood. Or maybe I just imagined that.

    That’s odd, I seem to remember headlines about Seung-Hui Cho’s manifesto calling it an “anti-Christian screed” and generally implying that he had anti-theistic motives.

    By odd I of course mean characteristically dishonest.

  35. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    YES, you’re supposed to be morally outraged*. I don’t care what your beliefs are, trying to kill people because they don’t believe the same things you do is a reprehensible act. Yes, the FRC is fucked up. Massively.
    That does NOT justify violence against any of them.

    *If you don’t feel moral outrage, I question how much empathy you have for others.

    If the FRC advocates putting gays to death, then there’s at least a kernel of a logical self-defense argument which will of course be buried in our society’s insistence on treating the forms of violence that only rich, powerful, privileged people can readily bring to bear as more legitimate than those which are available to anyone. I don’t recall that they do.

  36. ema says

    Authorities were treating the attack as a case of domestic terrorism….

    The good news is that, since there’s no history of FRC members being routinely assassinated at work, in their homes, in church, and of FRC offices being bombed, authorities are able to treat this attack as a case of domestic terrorism.

  37. Randomfactor says

    “If the FRC advocates putting gays to death, then there’s at least a kernel of a logical self-defense argument “

    Same argument the Christianists use when they assassinate abortion providers.

    I’d buy a self-defense argument if you’re shooting someone who’s trying to kill a gay person. Not this, not even close.

  38. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Same argument the Christianists use when they assassinate abortion providers.

    I’d buy a self-defense argument if you’re shooting someone who’s trying to kill a gay person. Not this, not even close.

    Except wrong in all the details. If a fetus were ever documented to have assassinated an abortion doctor you might have a point.

  39. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    (Correct: if a fetus were ever documented to have assassinated an abortion doctor, and if letting gay people live in peace required violating someone else’s bodily autonomy.)

  40. morgandourif says

    As much as I detect the FRC and their odious agenda, senseless violence is not the answer. This attack has accomplished nothing; it has not helped any progressive cause. If we are to prevail over hate, we must continue fighting the battle as we have fought it: helping legislation pass that represents the LGBT community and building a network of activists to lay a foundation for future successes.

  41. says

    Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    That’s odd, I seem to remember headlines about Seung-Hui Cho’s manifesto

    in an odd response to my comment concerning the situation some, oh, ten years earlier:

    the religion of Seung-Hui Cho’s childhood

    By odd I of course mean with a characteristic lack of reading comprehension.

  42. says

    Heddle:

    Yes without qualifiers I took it to mean the media as a whole. If he/she had written “the right wing media” then I would not have commented.

    Or, alternatively, you could have recognized that he failed to qualify his statement and asked for clarification rather than inserting your own assumptions about what he meant and coming in guns blazing based on that assumption.

    What does that have to do with anything? Are you under the impression that I am claiming atheists/secularists etc are committing violence at the same rate as those with religious motivations?

    No, it was a meta-point. The reason we don’t need to dissasociate ourselves from this murderer is because these incidents tend to not happen with any regularity among progressives, secularists or atheists. They do happen with high frequency with followers of right wing religious, political, or philosophical views. There is a strong correlation, which gives the lie to the argument that the perps are “just” isolated fringe whackjobs. They are the natural by-product of the extreme rhetoric of the far right. The natural by-product of far left rhetoric are occasionally whackjobs, but more generally you get hippies and pacifists. ;)

    That would be silly. I am claiming only that the mainstream media do not issue “No True Christian” passes on the one hand and on the other indict every progressive when there is an (admittedly rare) incident such as this.

    Which is an equally silly point. For one, you are ignoring the specific examples given above by demanding “documentation,” and “quantification,” by which I take it you mean a systematic review of all media coverage of such events. That’s called hyper-skepticism. An ordinary claim does not require extraordinary evidence. Simply observing the difference in coverage between events with a white, right wing, christian perp as opposed to those incidents with a muslim or any other group, is sufficient, and that comparison has been pointed out to you already.

    Furthermore, it is a silly point because you are buying into an artificial distinction between “mainstream” media and the right wing media, which they promote simply to feed into the right wing persecution complex. What definition are you using to do so? How is Fox news, the most highly watched news network, not mainstream? How are Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and so on not mainstream, given their viewerships or listenerships, and the very real influence they have? THEY ARE MAINSTREAM, just as much as the NYT or CNN. Their views would have been “fringe” thirty years ago, but can’t credibly be claimed to be outside the mainstream when the entire field of GOP nominee candidates, the eventual nominee and his VP pick share them.

    And that’s the difference between the left and the right. We both have our radicals, but our radicals never controlled the party.

    In fact I have been scolding Christians for years (sometimes on this blog and its predecessor) for their own unseemly persecution complex. That doesn’t mean that I don’t point it out when it is on display in atheists as in #4. No, I didn’t say Christian privilege does not exist, I said the claim that the media as a rule use a “no true Christian” argument on the one hand and a “this is Every Progressive” argument on another is pure whining, victimhood crap.

    Pure projection. Christians are the commanding majority in this country and dominate politics. They actually do have an unjustified persecution complex. Athiests, secularists and progressives actually ARE being demonized by the right, and because it is elected officials and party representativews, and political leaders who do it as well as “talking head” commentators, they get nearly as much airtime to do so in your so-called mainstream media as in the right wing media, in the name of “balance”.

    It is constant, from the “war on religion/christmas” malarky, to even liberal theists viewing every criticism of religions’ encroachment into the public square as an attack on religious freedom, and I could give a thousand other data points. Hell, Pat Robertson just blamed the Sikh temple shooting on atheism! It happens ALL THE TIME. RF was in no way “playing” the victim. He was making a reasonable prediction based on past experience, and one I think has a high probability of being proven correct.

  43. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    in an odd response to my comment concerning the situation some, oh, ten years earlier:

    the religion of Seung-Hui Cho’s childhood

    By odd I of course mean with a characteristic lack of reading comprehension.

    I didn’t fail to comprehend anything. Either you are disputing that the media actively attempted to portray Seung-Hui’s crimes as motivated at least in part by an opposition to Christianity, or you are attempting a red herring argument based on technicalities and Exact Words (why would the religion, specifically OF HIS CHILDHOOD, as distinct from their “anti-Christian” claims, be of any fucking relevance to this discussion?), and in either case my charge of dishonesty is substantiated.

  44. dingojack says

    In America we settle political differences through robust debate in the public square, not with violence“. – Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen.

    Ah yes Wayne – the debate at the OK Corral.
    Then there was that unfortunate misunderstanding of debating rules at Fort Sumter, Custer’s rather rash rhetorical dash at the Greasy Grass River and the rather provocative curatorial technique of sending the USS Maine into Havana Harbour…

    American history U R Doin it Rong.

    Dingo

  45. dingojack says

    ‘curatorial’? I meant, of course, oratorial*.
    Dingo
    —–
    * or to be less Swiftian: oratorical

  46. laurentweppe says

    the media are giving a LOT more attention to rumors and lies about Obama’s beliefs, than to the actual beliefs and actions of the Mormon Church?

    Sure: but this is not a christian/non-christian thing: it’s a black-guy/bunch-of-white-guys thing.

  47. says

    Ing (insert tag du jour):

    What a tragedy! Someone said something mean about Christians! I mean that’s what heddle is so upset about so that must be the most awful part of this story!

    If you can be so clueless, so wrong… well you might consider refraining from giving yourself those narcissistic little testimonies-to-your-own-cleverness taglines.

    1) My comment had nothing to anyone saying something mean about Christianity. It had to do with calling-out an unsupportable staple of atheist persecution-complex related to the media. You could argue my comment was dead wrong, but that is what it was about. It was not about being “mean to Christians.” That’s not even a nuanced difference which, given your history, would have been unsurprising that you failed to grasp. It is a difference in type.

    2) Your implication is demonstrably false, since anyone cataloging comments on Dispatches that might be deemed by Christians as being “mean about Christians” would find that my response rate to such comments is, to one significant figure, 0.

    3) Coming from you a charge of reflexive responding is an unbelievable example of pot-kettle-black. If you go to your internet home-away-from-home and say anything that deviates slightly from dogma you will be branded a MRA, an enabler of the rape culture, a gender traitor, etc.

    Sam Harris sure nailed it when we dubbed PZ as the shepherd of internet trolls. (And, for completeness, when he described Pharyngula as an “odious blog.”)

  48. StevoR says

    @3. Brett McCoy : “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

    Quoted from Salvor Hardin, Mayor of (planet) Terminus, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series book one – if I recall right.

  49. StevoR says

    If we are going to criticize those on the right who use violence in the service of their political agenda — and we damn well do, and should — we must do the same thing when it’s done against those we disagree with as well. I join Wayne Besen in condemning politically motivated violence no matter who is targeted or who is holding the gun.

    ^ This. Agreed. Yes.

  50. says

    I could do one of my routine routines of silliness, laced with suspect sagacity re: The FRC Massakree. But I won’t be doing that.

    Instead, I will be cut’n’n’pastin’ this:

    “LGBT ORGANIZATIONS RELEASE JOINT STATEMENT REGARDING THE SHOOTING AT FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL (FRC)

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012 – 3:30pm by GLAAD

    Joint statement regarding shooting at Family Research Council (FRC) from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations

    We were saddened to hear news of the shooting this morning at the offices of the Family Research Council. Our hearts go out to the shooting victim, his family, and his co-workers.

    The motivation and circumstances behind today’s tragedy are still unknown, but regardless of what emerges as the reason for this shooting, we utterly reject and condemn such violence. We wish for a swift and complete recovery for the victim of this terrible incident.
    list of signatories:

    Michael Adams
    Executive Director, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)

    Tico Almeida
    President, Freedom to Work

    Katie Belanger
    Executive Director, Fair Wisconsin

    Wayne Besen
    Founding Executive Director, Truth Wins Out

    A.J. Bockelman
    Executive Director, PROMO

    Sharon Brackett
    Board Chair, Gender Rights Maryland

    Carly Burton
    Deputy Director, MassEquality

    Dr. Eliza Byard
    Executive Director, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

    Jennifer Chrisler
    Executive Director, Family Equality Council

    Brad Clark
    Executive Director, One Colorado

    R. Clarke Cooper
    Executive Director, Log Cabin Republicans

    Dwayne Crenshaw
    Executive Director, San Diego LGBT Pride

    Heather Cronk
    Managing Director, GetEQUAL

    Jerame Davis
    Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats

    Emily Dievendorf
    Director of Policy, Equality Michigan

    James Esseks
    Director, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project

    Lynn A. Faria
    Interim Executive Director, Empire State Pride Agenda

    Jenna Frazzini
    Executive Director, Basic Rights Oregon

    Joshua A. Friedes
    Spokesperson, Equal Rights Washington

    Herndon Graddick
    President, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

    Chad Griffin
    President, Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

    Jody M. Huckaby
    Executive Director, PFLAG National (Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays)

    Mara Keisling
    Executive Director, National Center of Transgender Equality

    Kate Kendell
    Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

    Abbe Land
    Executive Director & CEO, The Trevor Project

    Gregory Lewis
    Executive Director, True Colors Fund

    Eileen Ma
    Executive Director, API Equality-LA

    David Mariner
    Executive Director, The DC Center for the LGBT Community

    Ineke Mushovic
    Executive Director, Movement Advancement Project

    National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs

    Darlene Nipper
    Deputy Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

    Donna Red Wing
    Executive Director, One Iowa

    Marisa Richmond, Ph.D.
    President, Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)

    Aubrey Sarvis
    Executive Director, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

    Josh Seefried
    Co-Director, OutServe

    Peggy Shorey
    Executive Director, Pride at Work

    Brian Silva
    Executive Director, Marriage Equality USA

    Lee Swislow
    Executive Director, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

    Rachel B. Tiven, Esq.
    Executive Director, Immigration Equality

    Shane Windmeyer
    Executive Director, Campus Pride

    Chuck Wolfe
    President & CEO, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute

    Evan Wolfson
    President, Freedom to Marry”

    from here (http://themoderatevoice.com/156246/security-guard-shot-at-conservative-family-research-council-in-washington-d-c/)

    I note that it took these 40+ individuals something like 6 hours to agree on the need to make a statement, draft said statement and deliver it to the FRC.

    I’m going way out on the twiggy, twiggy end of the same tree that “Woodstock” of the “Peanut’s” comic strip* had his nest in, to say that if one searches for a long, long time they will be hard put to find such a letter from the SBC, the RCC or any other large religious umbrella organization to the family of Dr. George Tiller within SIX hours of his being shot to death.

    There were plenty of letters sent, per this:

    http://rcrc.org/news/Dr%20Tiller_Statements.cfm

    none of them seem to have come from churches/groups of churches who identify with the FRC’s homophobia and anti-woman rhetoric.

    * So, okay, ONE instance of inadvertent snark; sue me.

  51. says

    Damn, I forgot to add that the 40+ signatories to the letter I inserted into my last comment will now be receiving some “KKKristian love letters” from the small %age (and pretty fucking huge actual number) of mouthbreathing social KKKonservatives who spend nearly as much time in church as I do (never/ever) but who self-identify as christians.

  52. harold says

    Heddle –

    It’s happening again – one of those rare times when I actually agree with you. Although not necessarily for the reason you think.

    Before I go on, let me say that I condemn this evil attack, whether it was committed by misguided and unethical enemy of the FRC, or whether it was committed by a deranged conservative seeking to create a “false equivalence” scenario for propaganda reasons. I don’t think the latter is likely. I would say most likely is someone who supports gay rights but is otherwise unethical and mentally ill, inspired by recent shootings. Second most likely is clearly a fundamentalist who thinks that FRC is “not conservative enough”, as has been mentioned. The chances that it is a college Republican James O’Keefe type scheme to create a fake “left wing terrorist incident” are smaller, but I’ll rule that out only when I get more data.

    Oh what bullshit. Give me an example where a Christian went violent and the secular media, as a rule rather than an exception, said anything like he was “no true Christian”.

    You are correct. It is not Christians the media covers up for. If a liberal Christian ever commits such a crime, it will be trumpeted.

    It is right wing conservatives.

    The confusion arises because, while not all Christians are right wing, virtually all American right wingers must claim to be science-denying fundamentalist Christians. However, it is the right wing conservative ideological movement that the media plays defense for, not Christianity per se.

    The recent gunning down of two law enforcement officers by a violent gun nut in Texas didn’t even make the national news to any extent. Why not? In my subjective opinion, because he was, of course, addicted to Limbaugh/Beck/Malkin/Fox News. Ronald Reagan was one of his influences, so they have to shut down the story. http://www.theeagle.com/article/20120816/BC0101/120819724/1103/bc20/&slId=2

    One would expect that a crime like that of mass murderer Wade Michael Page would be followed by a lot of analysis about what influenced him in the media. To some extent it was – in the British media. Here, in my subjective opinion, the media again shut things down when it began to look ugly for the US right wing. From what I hear, WMP was, unsurprisingly, not only a Nazi but also a fan of Fox News and right wing radio. I don’t have a strong link and will retract this if someone has evidence to the contrary, but I saw it in a comment posted by a local who was familiar with him, and it is intuitively credible. The media, in my subjective opinion, suddenly went from full bore constant reporting to wrapping up the story in a hurry. My subjective opinion is that they didn’t want to report on the link between “mainstream” right wing hate propaganda and less coded white supremecist activity.

    The media doesn’t cover up for Christians. It covers up for right wingers. All current right wingers claim to be Christians (or in a few cases, religious Jews), but it’s the right wing part that gives you a free pass in the TV/major print media, not the Christian part.

  53. says

    Calling this shooter a “terrorist” is an insult to terrorists. He clearly didn’t have any sort of plan, didn’t bring a significant amount of firepower, and was overpowered by a rent-a-cop who had already been injured. This is clearly just a guy who got frustrated by what he saw as a volunteer worker, and who mindlessly, and halfheartedly, lashed out without even thinking of what he was about to do, let alone how to do it.

    This guy is not a killer, or even much predisposed to violence at all. It looks like he simply ran out of steam as soon as he fired his first shot and the consequences of what he was trying to do suddenly hit home. Comparing this guy to the people — many of them veterans with military training — who have done worse violence with competence, premeditation and firmness of will, is so inappropriate it’s laughable.

  54. dingojack says

    heddle – ” Your implication is demonstrably false, since anyone cataloging comments on Dispatches that might be deemed by Christians as being “mean about Christians” would find that my response rate to such comments is, to one significant figure, 0″.

    Can you spell i-r-o-n-y?

    :) Dingo

  55. says

    “Heddle –

    It’s happening again – one of those rare times when I actually agree with you. Although not necessarily for the reason you think.”

    Heddle, Harold; both six letters, both have “h”,”d”,”l” in them; both are two syllables, both are very smart guys. Coincidence? I think not! Oh,wait, that last phrase seems wrong.

    ” From what I hear, WMP was, unsurprisingly, not only a Nazi but also a fan of Fox News and right wing radio. I don’t have a strong link and will retract this if someone has evidence to the contrary…”

    try this one (http://patriotboy.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-08-10T00:46:00-04:00).

  56. immunologist says

    Heddle:
    I believe that the question about whether this atrocity will be attributed to “Every Progressive” is not about the media, but about spokesmen for the FRC specifically and the radical right generally. They are the one who use the “No True Christian” maneuver to distance themselves from religiously-motivated violence (against abortion providers, say).

  57. a miasma of incandescent plasma says

    Absolutely terrible act.

    About how this will be covered in the media vs coverage of Christian terrorists – (anecdote alert) What I’ve seen is not so much the talking heads themselves that roll out the no true Christian trope, but they host an opinion piece where they’ll bring on some Christian representative to say how the terrorist couldn’t have been a real Christian because they didn’t act in a way that fits with his (and it’s always a man they bring on) particular view of how a real Christian should act.

    And this “guest” is never challenged and the fallacy is never called out.

  58. harold says

    democommie –

    I’m not paranoid.

    Ridiculously cynical and biased by a desire to see right wing conservative ideologues lambasted in every media outlet, yes, paranoid, no. It’s a no brainer to think that Wade Michael Page liked right wing stuff on TV, and not unreasonable to think that if this came up, it made a lot of “socially liberal fiscally conservative” US journalist types very uncomfortable.

    For more on some of the issues I raised, here’s a profoundly intellectual panel discussion

  59. a miasma of incandescent plasma says

    @Raging Bee
    I figure that a terrorist act is “the use of violence and/or threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political
    purposes.”

    We don’t know what the motivation was. The statement of

    “Don’t shoot me, it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”

    screams that it was politically motivated, but we don’t know that for sure yet.

    If it is proven that the above statement means what we all think it means, I don’t know how you could say it isn’t terrorism. He might be the worst terrorist I’ve heard of, but that doesn’t make it not terrorism.

    So it’s not right to say it was terrorism. But I think it’s right to say it’s suspected terrorism.

  60. says

    Harold:

    I read your reply, wrote a comment and then watched the FolCatz video.

    I’m sooooooooooooooooo happy I did that before hitting, “submit” {:>)

  61. Brownian says

    Sam Harris sure nailed it when we dubbed PZ as the shepherd of internet trolls. (And, for completeness, when he described Pharyngula as an “odious blog.”)

    What does he think about yours?

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