Aug 242010

It has come to my attention that there are several churches within just a few blocks of the sacred ground formerly occupied by the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.


Here’s the background:

On April 19, 1995, at 9:02 a.m. local time, a massive truck bomb exploded in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 people (including 19 children) and injuring over 800.

The explosion destroyed about half of the Federal Building, damaged or destroyed an additional 300 buildings, and was felt as far as 30 miles away.

The truck bomb was a rented Ryder truck filled with about 5,000 pounds of explosives, including ammonium nitrate, nitromethane, and agricultural fertilizer, and was driven by Timothy McVeigh, who was pulled over 90 minutes after the bombing for driving without a license plate. McVeigh was arrested on a firearms charge, spent two days in jail, and was then charged with the bombing.

Terry Nichols, McVeigh’s accomplice, was arrested at a later date in Kansas, and was charged in the bombing on May 10.

Over 12,000 individuals assisted in the relief and rescue operations after the bombing, and many of them have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression, anxiety, and additional problems because of the deeply traumatic nature of the bombing and its aftermath… [emphasis added]

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McVeigh and Nichols were Christian terrorists, who carried their act in protest over the destruction of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.

Now, I recognize the Constitution gives Christians the right to have churches where they want, but really?!  Out of respect for the families of the victims of this Cristofascist  attack, shouldn’t these Christians worship somewhere else?  Isn’t having churches so near the hallowed ground of the memorial to these victims like putting an SS memorial at Auschwitz?  They may have the right, but is it the right thing to do?  To be so insensitive to the needs of suffering families, the pastors of these churches must be truly evil.  The only decent thing to do is to tear down the churches without delay.

OK, time to get real.

One of the cognitive techniques I use in volunteer work with prisoners and former prisoners is called “wearing the hat backward”.  If I encounter a thinking pattern or attitude toward others  that will interfere with someone becoming a productive citizen, I suggest that they take that thinking pattern or attitude (the hat) and apply it in the opposite direction (wear it backwards).  More often than not they see it in a new light, and develop empathy for the former targets.  This is what I have done here.

The notion that churches, who had absolutely nothing to do with the Oklahoma City Bombing, should give up their places of worship is absurd.  Their congregants must have been just as appalled by what transpired as the rest of us, if not more so.  The perpetrators were extremists, and not even authentic Christians.  To blame these churches is despicable.

Everything I said in the last paragraph applies equally to the Muslim place of worship two near the WTC site.  So I appeal to the right, please try to wear the hat backwards.


  28 Responses to “Please Tear Down Those Churches”

  1. Puts President Obama in a tight spot.

    New York officialdom and more than half of New Yorkers agree that the mosque should be put there, for very good reasons, as you indicate.

    I think most Americans agree that 911 was an inside job.

    But the optics!

    The less informed might see it as a wooden horse.

    • Ivan, while I substantial number of Americans believe that Bush and the GOP ignored the warnings intentionally, because a “Pearl Harbor” suited their intent to wage war and curtail rights, only a small minority consider it an inside job.

      • Facts are either are true or they are not. It makes no difference whether people chose to believe them or not

        There is overwhelming evidence to prove that 9/11 was indeed an inside job.

        Whether or not that fact is popular or unpopular is irrelevant.

        What is relevant, is that as long as enough people deny the truth of 9/11 being an inside job, those insiders will continue to get away with murder and treason.

        Eventually, enough people will believe the truth, then the real investigations will begin. Good thing there is no statue of limitations for treason!

        • “There is overwhelming evidence to prove that 9/11 was indeed an inside job.”

          Substantiation? Proof? Evidence? This is the kind of thing I expect from conservatives.

          • Leslie, the “9/11 Truth Movement” actually began in the wing-nut fringe on the left. They got no traction on the issue. The difference is that, in the Republican Party, the wing-nut fringe is the base.

        • Kevin, I followed this issue for years and personally discussed it with several structural engineers that had nothing to do with either side of the controversy. I can’t say I fully understood their explanations, but without exception, they agreed that the collapse could have happened from the natural stresses that occurred.

  2. That reversing the hat technique could often work for *rational* people. But when you’re dealing with a wingnut … not so much. Just sayin.
    Another excellent point and post, TC.

  3. What a great idea! I’m so sick of the entire mass of Christians supporting terrorism. Have I heard a single one speak out! NO! (Of course, you don’t hear what you don’t want to hear).

    Good one, Tom.

  4. TC – your editorial is very thought provoking. Fox News started this controversy and it has gotten way out of hand. The Christofacists have taken to this like flies to s***. The best thing that the people who want to build the mosque (and their supporters) should do is ignore them. The rest of us can just shake our heads, once more, at a farce created by Fox.

  5. Great point, Tom. Unfortunately it will be lost on those that need it the most. It is difficult for logic to get through the barrier of hate, fear, and prejudice. The republicans learned that long ago. That’s why they use fear, hate, and prejudge as political tools, rather than logic.

  6. Tom after reading your story and the comments a couple of times I have to say “logic” no wonder I like you!

    • Thanks, Jim. We’ve been too good friends for too many years for me not to know I like you without giving it a second thought. 🙂

  7. Good one!

    Just the other day I left this comment for Righties at another blog: “It’s good to know all you anti-terror folks have an understanding of terrorists and their religion. I can just imagine how much you guys would howl if someone wanted to build a church representing Tim McVeigh’s religion near the federal building in Oklahoma City.”

    The response was typically delusional: “If a church were being built as a tribute to McVeigh, as this mosque is being built as a tribute to the 9/11 hijackers, there certainly would be just as much, if not even more, opposition to it. Your problem here, Dubya, is that you cannot admit when an anti-American group is wrong.”

    “Tribute to the 9/11 hijackers…” Well, I guess he told me what’s what. Tin foil hats can’t be turned around.

    • Great minds fall in the same ditch, Dave. 😉

      My appeal to the tin foil hast was mostly rhetorical. But it could be effective on those who have agreed without giving the matter serious thought.

  8. Jim Burke made this proposal almost immediately when this controversy started. I have roamed the right wing (that still allow me to do so) blogosphere, making this suggestion. to date, all I’ve been able to accomplish is to get myself banned from a few more sites.

    They aren’t interested in wearing the hat backwards, because they don’t care whether or not THEY are wrong.

  9. McVeigh and Nichols were Christian terrorists but as millions of indigenous people around the world would testify under oath being a member of that club means you have a free pass on any transgression and never, ever, have to say you’re sorry.

  10. ((((((((((cyberhugs)))))))))) Great post. I’m going to send it to my FB.

  11. I love it. I had to read the post a couple times because of how great it was! You had raised an excellent logical argument.

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