Shootings in 2 Churches – Why?

I just read a piece on Yahoo about the shootings in Colorado at New Life Church and YWAM – by a lone suspect (or maybe a few) – who opened fire on innocent people on both a church and a YWAM dormitory – killing 5 and wounding 5…what the hell is this world coming to?

The case in YWAM involved the person asking to ‘stay the night’ – so who knows how dark his true intention actually was. As for the shooting at the church the person opened fire from the street and was shooting at cars before an ‘armed security guard’ for the church took him down. The law thinks the cases are linked.

What I don’t get it why would someone open fire on the church communities? What was the catalyst to this event which made 2 people (or maybe one) decide killing these Christians was the answer?

In pure speculation – as it is with most blogs – I wonder if it goes back to the polarization of the American country in things like politics and religion? I have heard some of the rhetoric of people that ‘strongly dislike the church’ and some of this rhetoric comes off as close to ‘wishing harm to someone’ – and some of the new atheist speakers (ex: Hitchens or Dawkins) – as for nice as they are – do say things that some might misconstrue for actual ‘hatred of religion’.

As of right now, we don’t know why this happened – we just know it was tragic and wrong what happened to those people attending a church service or YWAM. My heart does go out to them – some people lost their lives at a young age and never could forsee this brutality happening to them. It was a sad thing to read and to ponder upon.

***Couldn’t be a better time for an actual bill for gun control (which we have been discussing on this blog) – my fear is this becomes an actual event that is copied and many more get hurt for no reason whatsoever – just that someone unstable had access to guns.  

10 thoughts on “Shootings in 2 Churches – Why?

  1. You mention some of the new atheist speakers, and how some of the things they say might get misconstrued for actual ‘hatred of religion’.

    Do you not think that christianity, as many people live out in the west, promotes the same type of hatred, only toward those that don’t believe? If you don’t accept Jesus, you will be condemed to hell and tortured for all eternity, and separated from God! Then you look at things like those that have been christians, and in their time of need, hurt or pain, get rejected by the very ones that are supposed to represent Jesus. I guess I could see many ways hurting, dissillusioned people would commit such an act.

  2. You write: “my fear is this becomes an actual event that is copied and many more get hurt for no reason whatsoever – just that someone unstable had access to guns.”

    This is by far, not the first incident of people being gunned down on and in church property. A little googling will bring them up.

    It is interesting that the old Soviet Union and Maoist China didn’t allow the citizens to have guns, but hundreds of thousands of Christians have been gunned down over the years in those countries. Gun control didn’t work for all those Christians. That is a fact you can not dispute.

    We will not agree, I am sure, but the problem is not guns–it is the sin and evil that is behind the gun.

  3. ” I guess I could see many ways hurting, dissillusioned people would commit such an act.” (Paul)

    I am not dis-agreeing with you on this – maybe the people involved in the shootings were disilliusioned people of faith (and had some real hatred to those who they thought loved them and betrayed them – cause that does hurt). I am not putting this away as part of the problem – could very well be. But the definite polarization between right and left in America and the search for tolerance will definitely be at the forefront.

    However, I wouldn’t be so quick to rule out someone of no-faith as doing this altogether. I have been in blogs and chat rooms with atheist communities and some of them get to talking like the destruction of faith is a ‘good thing’ (they do not support murder – but I have heard some say very weird things). I have always pointed out that this kind of talk is dangerous – even like a year ago when I addressed Harris, Dawkins, and Sapient for some of their assertions. It’s when we go down that road we get into someone not so stable hearing it and doing something not so rational. There is an assumption everyone is rational – this is not true.

    “promotes the same type of hatred” (Paul)

    It promotes a type of hatred which is evident in it’s exclusionary tactics – but how often does a Christian person decide to kill people in the faith that did this to them? I haven’t really heard of much cases like this to be honest – but if fishon is right about the amount of church shootings – then maybe we are noticing a real problem that needs to be seriously addressed.

  4. “Gun control didn’t work for all those Christians. That is a fact you can not dispute.” (fishon)

    First off, I would like to do some research on this before I say ‘you’re right – it’s indisputable’ – I do not know that for certain. What I do know is gun control is a serious issue in America because I get your news stations from LA to New York – and I hear about a shooting almost daily within America. If you want me to start searching for all these types of mass gun shootings in the past couple of years I can do that – just to prove their is a serious problem with gun control. I remember watching Columbine on tv – and for me that was like the most horrific thing I have ever seen…imagine they never had access to those guns. This recent scenario at that church could of been really bad also – good thing churches also believe in arming their own.

    “but the problem is not guns” (fishon)

    I agree – the problem isn’t guns – but it sure don’t help in situations of mass shootings for the perp to have access to a handgun or an automatic – that just amps things to a new level of horror. Had they not had access – one could very well ask – would those events have even happened (like VT, Columbine, or this church shooting)?


    Apparently the shootings were as Paul suggested – an ex student of the school of YWAM who was kicked out 3 years ago – from a strictly Christian family – and likely had some connection with the church also. He was sending hate mail to the YWAM campus for some time – and mainly due to his exclusion from the faith he wanted to pursue. Damn Paul, you were eerily accurate on this one.

    But than it reveals a new problem – this divisionary aspect of the faith seems to have driven one person to the brink of hopelessness…and that can not ever be seen as something good. I addressed the idea of division about a month ago – I said it was such a bad factor in our faith I outright reject it as a standard for Christianity…this helps me confirm that just a bit more.

  6. societyvs writes,
    But than it reveals a new problem – this divisionary aspect of the faith seems to have driven one person to the brink of hopelessness…and that can not ever be seen as something good.
    —–Wow. That is making a leap way before the horse gets to the edge of the cliff. That statement would be called, reactionary; and reactionary without any facts as of yet.
    Slow down man. If he was kicked out, wait and see why.

  7. “That is making a leap way before the horse gets to the edge of the cliff.” (fishon)

    Not really – I merely mentioned he was kicked out 3 years ago (true) and he was involved in e-mails back n forth (true) – as for the divisionary aspect of it – well he would of been considered someone not welcome in the program (true). As for what happened after his release and the next 3 years we are not given that info – and this is why I wonder what happened in following actions that divided him from this faith community (something he seemed to value)? We don’t know all of it – that’s true – and this is as far as I can go I guess.

  8. Further Update:;_ylt=ArOPYwJ2GmBsPK6TQgTKQnms0NUE

    Here are some of the things that stand out:

    “is believed to have posted the message on a Web site for people who have left evangelical religious groups…”You Christians brought this on yourselves,” Murray wrote, according to the station, which did not identify the site. “All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you … as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.”

    “The language in the post is almost identical to the text of a manifesto written by Eric Harris, one of the teens who carried out the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School”

    “”It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God,” she said, her hands trembling as she recounted the shooting during a news conference”

    “attended a home-based computer school and worked at his computer for three to five hours a day for the past two years…A neighbor, Cody Askeland, 19, said the brothers were home-schooled, describing the whole family as “very, very religious.”

    – What is worth considering is that this disgruntled youth spent time on-line for the last 2 years and was being involved in conversations with people who left Evangelicalism – likely were atheists or simply de-converts. He also was raised in a Fundamentalist home which helped to develop the polarization of his beliefs – so when he left the faith – he likely swung far to the other side of the debate.

    I am not sure what he was hearing/discussing in those rooms he attended but it led him down a path of more hatred – and not reason or balance. Oddly enough, they compare him with one of the kids from Columbine in regard to his views (which to me are only clearly explained in one curent debate I see on-line).

    For me this serves a polemic against both sides in that debate and an achtung sign to warn us about our language we use. I have castigated both sides in the debate at various times for their language being used – one side fuelling the hatred from within and the other fueling it from without – which leaves some people truly torn and unsure of what is meant to happen next…since all the messaging seems so volatile – the next step could very well be violence.

    This incident should have Christians discussing their faith and what in it seems to happen when someone leaves and how that person is treated (is it with acceptance or criticism?). I think for the atheist side of this convo what needs to be considered is the rhetoric being used against people of the faith and ideas used (ex: faith is a disease).

    I feel deeply saddened by the whole thing because I have been on-line 2 years also – and have debated with a lot of people from all aspects of faith and non-faith – and I don’t really need to imagine what that kid was hearing – and that’s the part I hate about this – somehow we were flaming a fire this kid could not control.

  9. societyvs,
    This shooting was such a tragic thing, so I don’t really want to go to far on what I say, at this time.

    We live in such a highly intense, ratched up, emotional world–nothing like our grandparents experienced. And this emotional intensity is in every facet and area of most individuals lives, and in almost all industrial and social communities of which we are a part of. It is evading almost every land, and those it is not a part of, it will be soon. The culprate? Technology. The genie is out of the box, and I don’t believe can be stuffed back in.

    There are soooo many contributing factors in todays society and culture that lead to what happened at “New Life Church” and the Amish [school shooting].

    It would be way to easy to say that the Missionary school that kicked the shooter in Colorado out of school, is somehow a major contributor to what happened. Now they may well be a brick in the building of the young man that was removed from his character, but they well may have been correct in dismissing him. Time and information may shed light on that. But what this young man did is much more complicated than that.

    Sadly, this is not the end of these miseries. There will be more to come. And sadly, CNN–FOX–MSN–CBC, and other will point at the religious aspect, but how many of these things take place all over the world without any religious connect? Oh, so very many.

    My point. We Christians need to take a look at ourselves, that is for sure. But to point the blame at ourselves, as humble martyrs taking the blame for the church shooting is to play the fools hand. The problem is bigger than a Missionary school kicking out a student [happens everyday], or a strict, religious parent, homeschooling their son. If it was easy as that to place blame [not saying you are, just my general observations], then what went wrong with the man who killed the Amish girls? He wasn’t one of us.

    This post is just me thinking outloud. And maybe a little frustation with the printed press [haven’t hear what I have read] at pointing to the Missionary school and the fact that the guy was from a “Very, very, religious family and home schooled.

    Thank you for lending me your space to rant.

  10. I think for me fishon, I look at the picture that is slowly being painted and this kid had grudges against people in the Christian community – and it had to have been fueled from somewhere. I wonder on a few things to be honest:

    (a) Was there acceptance for this kid in the Christian community or was he hitting closed doors with people in this faith?

    (b) Was there interaction between this kid and others who really dislike our faith and call it all kinds of names and insinuate the problems of this world are to blame on faith?

    (c) Where was his community/family in the midst of this? Did this kid get lost in an individualized society in which some people lose a sense of their identity?

    (d) What was the fuel he used to justify this rage? Maybe there is something in his (and the kid from Columbine) story that can help us direct efforts to troubled kids within the faith or even outside of it concerning ‘what we are teaching and portraying’.

    I think it is a multi-faceted thing this incident and should serve as a wake-up to people who think (1) using our faith to genuinely hurt someone has no effect and (2) using our non-faith to hurt someone in a faith has no effect. I see this a call to bridge that gap and make peace with one another.

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