Timothy McVeigh: A CHRISTIAN TERRORIST?

 

INTRODUCTION

It appears that there are some out there who have asserted the claim that the Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh was a Christian or at the least, a self-professed Christian.  This claim sadly enough, had been used in different arguments for varying ranges of issues.

 For instance, Minister Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam (NOI) in a speech at a Chicago mosque referred to how the mass media did not state that terrorist Timothy McVeigh was a Christian.

Farrakhan is quoted by Cybercast News Service (CNS) as saying:

 

"Even though his crime was the most horrific committed up until that time, no one said Christian Timothy McVeigh, they just said Timothy McVeigh.”(SEE NOTE 1)

 

The writer of this article also recalls that right after September 11th, other Islamic leaders besides Farrakhan have made the same claim about McVeigh being a “Christian”.  Mike Tyson was an example of a prominent Muslim who also referred to McVeigh as a Christian after the 9/11 incident.

 

DAN BARKER ASSERTION IN PARTICULAR

Interestingly enough, Muslims were not the only one who has been saying this.  The atheist Dan Barker has been as well.  In a particular editorial in “Freethought Today”, that serves as the regular newspaper publication of Freedom From Religion Foundation (the organization Dan Barker belongs to), they had a piece titled “Christian Terrorism In Oklahoma City”. (See NOTE 2)

Dan Barker asks rhetorically:

 

Why is no one calling the Oklahoma City bombing suspects ‘Christian terrorists’?”(SEE NOTE 3)

 

The heart of the matter to Barker’s essay was the claim that McVeigh was in his understanding, a Christian. (SEE NOTE 4) It was to him, something that was obvious yet people tried to “see” God into the tragedy in a positive light instead:

 

Ignoring the obvious religious connections here, everyone seems eager to turn this tragedy into an opportunity to acknowledge a deity.”

 

He then takes the moment to attack Christianity and the concept of belief in God from the fulcrum that the Oklahoma City Bomber was a “Christian” even having the audacity to go on and blame Christianity for the bombing:

 

“Since Christianity has a history of bloody persecution, wouldn't it make more sense for Freeh to identify religion as the culprit here?

 

Though Barker went tangent into other unrelated areas in his essay, we would be focusing this article more narrowly to the issue that is the fulcrum, the crux of his essay: Was Timothy Mc McVeigh a Christian?

 

NO WAY, MCVEIGH

How anyone could say McVeigh was a Christian is beyond this writer’s mind.  His action and deeds definitely does not reflect that of a virtuous believer.  Even more, there has not been any quotation of the Oklahoma City Bomber professing any Christian faith.  Barker does not quote a single reference to back his allegation.  On the contrary we see that there is documentation that he did not accept the Christian faith.

In an article by United Kingdom’s “The Guardian” about McVeigh’s execution, we find this reference:

 

In his letter, McVeigh said he was an agnostic but that he would "improvise, adapt and overcome", if it turned out there was an afterlife. "If I'm going to hell," he wrote, "I'm gonna have a lot of company." His body is to be cremated and his ashes scattered in a secret location.”(SEE NOTE 5)

 

 Note the above that McVeigh “said he was an agnostic” but not only that, but that he was defiant about hell itself and remain unrepentant.  Then we also find the same statement that he was an agnostic admitted by Lou Michel during a cyber interview with CNN.  Lou Michel spent hours interviewing McVeigh in writing a book titled, “American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing”.  Michel’s words are enlightening:

 

Lou Michel: McVeigh is agnostic. He doesn't believe in God, but he won't rule out the possibility. I asked him, ‘What if there is a heaven and hell?’

He said that once he crosses over the line from life to death, if there is something on the other side, he will -- and this is using his military jargon – ‘adapt, improvise, and overcome.’ Death to him is all part of the adventure.”(SEE NOTE 6)

 

 CONCLUSION

If McVeigh never admitted to being a Christian but rather stated that he was an agnostic, how did Dan Barker and others come to this false conclusion?  It appears that at least in Barker’s case, he desires to hijack this false assertion to take the opportunity to slander Christianity.  Whatever is the case, God would be the ultimate Judge and its this author’s prayer that Barker and others like him repent to knowing knowledge of Jesus as Lord and Savior.

 

--Jimmy Li

 

NOTE 1

Morano, Marc. “Farrakhan Warns of Armageddon if US Retaliates.” Cybercast News Service 17 September 2001:

 

NOTE 2

The date of this opinion piece was May, 1995.  Though it is a bit of an older writing of Barker, it must still be dealt with as the organization Freedom From Religion Foundation still has this accessible on their website online without any retraction.  The link to it can be accessed at http://ffrf.org/fttoday/1995/may95/oklahoma.html

 

NOTE 3

Barker, Dan. “Christian Terrorism In Oklahoma City.” Freethought Today May 1995

 

NOTE 4

From the context of this particular essay Barker uses the term Christian and Catholic loosely and even interchangeable.  This seems to be his belief as can be seen in even his other writings such as his book, “Losing Faith in Faith”.

 

NOTE 5

Borger, Julian. “McVeigh faces day of reckoning.The Guardian June 11th 2001.

 

NOTE 6

Entire transcript at http://www.cnn.com/COMMUNITY/transcripts/2001/04/04/michelherbeck/