Colorado Springs Shooter Robert Dear Admits Guilt, Confirms Motive, In Courtroom Outburst

The man who killed three and wounded several others at a Colorado Planned Parenthood seemingly admitted guilt and motive in a courtroom outburst, but questions about his mental capacity remain.

Robert Dear Colorado Springs Shooter

Robert Dear, the man who killed three and injured several others during a late November standoff at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic seemingly admitted his guilt and a motive during a court hearing yesterday, but also raised questions about his mental state that are likely to become a focus of his case going forward:

COLORADO SPRINGS — “I’m guilty. There’s no trial,” the accused mass killer Robert L. Dear Jr. told a startled courtroom here on Wednesday. “I’m a warrior for the babies.”

It was a bizarre development in a horrific case, with Mr. Dear using his first court appearance since the deadly rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic to disrupt the proceedings. There were angry outbursts, declarations of guilt and expressions of anti-abortion politics.

“Let it all come out,” he said in one of a series of outbursts that seemed to remove any doubt about his motivation. “The truth.”

Mr. Dear — bearded and unkempt, his leg and arms in manacles — was in court to face 179 felony counts, including first-degree murder, in the Nov. 27 shooting that killed three people and wounded nine.

It was a vivid reminder of the horror of the Colorado shooting, which was eclipsed by the massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., five days later

As Judge Gilbert Anthony Martinez of Colorado’s Fourth Judicial District and the lawyers discussed which parties might be affected by a pretrial publicity order, Mr. Dear, 57, shouted: “Could you add the babies that were supposed to be aborted that day? Could you add that to the list?”

Mr. Dear’s declaration of guilt came before his formal arraignment, which has not yet been scheduled. His lawyer, Daniel King, a public defender, said in court Wednesday that he wished to explore issues of Mr. Dear’s mental health, and hinted that he might argue that he was not competent to stand trial.

“We have serious concerns about competency in this case,” Mr. King said, shortly after Mr. Dear had exclaimed, “You’re not my lawyer!”

Mr. Dear has been described by relatives and neighbors as a loner with an antigovernment worldview and has expressed extreme anti-abortion views, say an ex-wife and others. According to one law enforcement official, Mr. Dear said “no more baby parts” after his arrest. But the authorities have not publicly ascribed a motive to the shooting.

The charges against Mr. Dear are so numerous that Mr. King waived the right to have them read aloud in court. The charges of first-degree murder could potentially carry the death penalty, which prosecutors will have the opportunity to seek after an arraignment.

There are eight first-degree murder charges in all, covering the three shooting deaths. In a news conference, Dan May, the district attorney for Colorado’s Fourth Judicial District, explained that the multiple charges stemmed from the fact that there were distinct “theories” undergirding each of those charges.

For example, three counts were filed related to the death of Jennifer Markovsky, a 35-year-old mother of two children. One of the counts alleges that Mr. Deal acted with “deliberation” when he caused her death. A second count alleges that Mr. Dear caused her death in furtherance of a burglary, for which he was also charged (prosecutors allege that he unlawfully entered the Planned Parenthood building).

A third murder charge alleges that he evinced an “attitude of universal malice manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life generally.”

Multiple counts were also filed related to the deaths of K’Arre Stewart, 29, an Iraq war veteran, and Garrett Swasey, 44, a police officer at the local campus of the University of Colorado.

Many of the other charges are counts of attempt to commit first-degree murder and first-degree assault, all of them connected to Mr. Dear’s arrival at the clinic and the subsequent attack and standoff, in which the authorities said Mr. Dear was armed with a semiautomatic rifle.

On Wednesday, Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for the United States attorney for Colorado, said that a federal investigation, headed by the F.B.I. and assisted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, was continuing. Investigators are interviewing Mr. Dear’s friends, associates and relatives to determine whether he had ties to any extremist groups or if anyone helped him plot the attack, according to senior law enforcement officials. The authorities also want to know whether Mr. Dear told anyone about his intentions in recent weeks, the officials said.

Given that he was caught at the scene of the shooting after a standoff during which he exchanged gunfire with police, and apparently identified as the gunman by several people who saw him before he entered the building, there has never really been any doubt that Dear was in fact guilty of the crimes in question. In the initial days after the attack, though, it was unclear exactly what may have motivated his actions or whether he had ties to any outside groups, and most importantly the help of any other parties in obtaining weapons and planning for the attack on the day after Thanksgiving. On at least some level, Dear admission in court would seem to answer the motive question, or confirm it for those who had already come to that conclusion on their own, but it doesn’t necessarily tell us very much more about the case itself. As numerous reports have indicated, for example, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that Dear has ever had much contact with formal pro-life organizations, either back in North Carolina where he apparently still maintained a home in the woods or in Colorado. Additionally, it doesn’t seem apparent that he had any assistance in his attacks either in terms of planning or obtaining weapons and ammunition. Instead, it would appear for all the world that, not unlike people like Syed Farook in San Bernardino, Dear was self-radicalizing in that he was consuming news about the abortion issue on his own and digesting it in whatever manner he did.

In that regard, his behavior and appearance in Court also seem to raise questions about whether or not he is competent as well as whether or not his lawyers will be pursuing some kind of mental illness defense if the case does end up going to trial. On the first issue, establishing that someone is not competent to stand trial is not an easy affair since one must essentially prove that someone is so seriously mentally ill that they are not really aware of the world around them, don’t understand the charges against them, and are unable to assist their attorney in their own defense. Because of that, it’s rare that a defendant will be found incompetent to stand trial and, when they are, the usual course of action is for them to be committed for treatment to determine if they can be brought to a state where they are competent. This is what happened, for example, with Jared Lee Loughner, the man who shot former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was initially found incompetent to stand trial and then, after treatment, eventually ended up pleading guilty to the charges against him. As far as the issue of mental illness as a defense goes, this generally requires that it be established that the Defendant was unable to understand that what he was doing was wrong and/or not understanding the nature of the charges against him. This is generally a very hard standard for defense counsel to meet, but Colorado is different from other states in that the law essentially requires the prosecution to establish the Defendant’s legal sanity as part of its case in chief. As the case of James Holmes, the man who killed more than ten people in a Colorado movie theater shows us, though, that isn’t necessarily a difficult task, although the mental health issue did appear to be sufficient for Holmes to avoid the death penalty.  In any case, it’s still early in the proceedings and the defense hasn’t indicated whether they would be raising a competency or mental health defense at trial as of yet, although it seems quite apparent that there is a basis for them to do so.

Photo via The New York Times

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    We need to immediately ban all white christians from this nation. At least inter them while we figure out what is going on with this radical extremist religion. It’s clear that there is anger and hatred for our way of life coming from it. So we need to examine it and figure out what is behind it.
    As Donald Trump put it:

    “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine,” Trump said in a statement. “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad anti-choice, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”

  2. bookdragon says:

    @C. Clavin: The Daily Show has been nailing that angle of satire lately.

  3. Guarneri says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Really? Why?? You are more likely to be struck by lightening or raped by a bear than killed by a crazed anti-abortionist. Here’s your Depends.

  4. Ron Beasley says:

    Mr Deer is obviously bat shit crazy but Colorado rarely ever executes anyone anyway. So save everyone a lot of time and money and give him the opportunity to plead guilty and warehouse him for life.

  5. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Are you wetting yourself again? Is the big bad Christian boogeyman coming to get you while you sleep?

  6. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Upon what evidence are you basing you assumption that he is a Christian? Also, he has been rather clear that it is the killing and chopping up for parts of human babies well after the common law “quickening” that is the part of your way of life that provokes his anger and hatred. And why just ban White Christians? Are Black, Hispanic and Asian Christians known to support baby killing? What of Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, etc. are they known for supporting baby killing? Or atheists? Are they particularly supportive of baby killing?

  7. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    Upon what evidence are you basing you assumption that he is a Christian?

    Will this do?

  8. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    Also, he has been rather clear that it is the killing and chopping up for parts of human babies well after the common law “quickening” that is the part of your way of life that provokes his anger and hatred.

    Wow, did you just try to rationalize this guy’s position?

  9. KM says:

    @Ron Beasley :

    obviously bat shit crazy

    That’s a social definition, not a psychological one. “Insane” is a legal definition, not a medical one; “crazy” is cultural. Unless he meets the criteria for a specific disorder, he’s just a murdering hot mess. We toss around “mentally ill” and “crazy” the way ancient people tossed around “demoniac” – a catch-all for someone acting oddly instead of as a diagnosis.

    I find it interesting that one of the things the web is citing for him being crazy is his insistence on his guilt. He knows exactly what he did because he did it for his cause – that’s what all the interjections were about. They were’t disjointed ramblings on about nothing but specific interjections to push his point, his agenda. He seems very aware of what’s happening to him even if his context for it is slightly off. He’s made it clear he wants you to know he’s doing it “for the babies” as if that’s justification in and of itself.

    Not all killers have mental problems to explain their deviancy.

  10. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92: From you link.

    “He says that as long as he believes he will be saved, he can do whatever he pleases. He is obsessed with the world coming to an end.”

    “WAKE UP SINNERS U CANT SAVE YOURSELF U WILL DIE AN WORMS SHALL EAT YOUR FLESH, NOW YOUR SOUL IS GOING SOMEWHERE.”

    That is not a Christian anymore than the Westboro Baptist Church folks are Christian.

    The above are the rants of a nut.

  11. al-Ameda says:

    That picture is a perfect poster for the American Taliban.

  12. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    So, in other words, any Christian who is more fervent / fanatical in their religious beliefs than, say, you are is crazy?

    Sounds like a dodge (and one that Christians tend to resort to any time one one of their own does something like this) to me.

    “Well, he’s not a ‘real’ Christian” is bunk. He’s just more fervently Christian than you’re comfortable being associated with.

    This guy isn’t crazy – he’s just a religious fanatic. He knows that what he did was wrong; he just doesn’t care because he’s justified it in his mind as being in the service of a higher purpose.

  13. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:

    killing and chopping up for parts of human babies

    Well that’s just a big ol’ myth…so you comment is, itself, a big ol’ myth.
    As for Robert Dear being a christian…have you read any of the reporting? The big cross on the front of his trailer tipped me off.
    Of bigger concern is the rank bigotry that makes you defend a white radical christian terrorist, while at the same time condemning all 1.6 billion muslims for the acts of a relative few.

  14. C. Clavin says:

    @Guarneri:
    Yes…but you are also more likely to be killed by a radical christian terrorist than a radical muslim terrorist. Once again you have proven that you are numerically illiterate.

  15. KM says:

    @Jack:

    That is not a Christian anymore than the Westboro Baptist Church folks are Christian.

    I just posted on this on the other thread. You don’t get to decide what someone else’s religion is. Considering the definition of Christian can be as simple as someone who accepts Christ into their hearts as Savior, you have a very difficult time proving he isn’t. If he says he is, then he is. Both he and the WBC are more of the old school fire-and-brimstone you’re-gonna-burn there’s-EVIL-about-let’s-burn-us-a-WITCH asshattery that’s not too popular this century but they most assuredly meet criteria to qualify them as Christian

    The No True Scotsman’s Church is very full lately……

  16. James Pearce says:

    In the initial days after the attack, though, it was unclear exactly what may have motivated his actions or whether he had ties to any outside groups, and most importantly the help of any other parties in obtaining weapons and planning for the attack on the day after Thanksgiving.

    It was immediately clear what motivated his attack. This guy took the Republican war on Planned Parenthood into his own hands, and now that the killer has admitted it, it shouldn’t be too difficult for everyone else to admit it, too.

    Being pro-life need not end in homicidal rage, but over the last thirty years, it indisputably has, not once, not twice, but scores of times. Bombings, arson, shootings. This doesn’t mean, of course, that being pro-life makes you’re a murderer. But it does indicate there is an intellectual and moral rot eating the movement from within.

    It accounts for why they’re so manipulated by dishonest videos, so eager to shutdown the government over minutiae, and so unwilling to admit that anti-abortion violence is part of their movement. They can’t discern truth from lie, can’t prioritize on a large scale, and they’re not scandalized by fellow travelers with homicidal tendencies. Intellectual and moral rot.

  17. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:

    That is not a Christian anymore than the Westboro Baptist Church folks are Christian.

    But because you are such an abject racist you are unwilling to accept that any muslim can also be a nut…and you are unable to recognize that the entire religion should not be impugned because of the actions of a few.
    Look…you are a tremendous bigot…grow a pair and admit it like this guy does…
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/iVjMOEf6Gf0/maxresdefault.jpg

  18. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92@C. Clavin: @KM: : You don’t let the fringes decide what or what is not Christianity.

  19. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin:

    But because you are such an abject racist you are unwilling to accept that any muslim can also be a nut…and you are unable to recognize that the entire religion should not be impugned because of the actions of a few.

    The entire religion IS by definition, following the example of Mohammed. A murderous, nutcase with pedophilic tendencies. I get it now, that’s why you are so supportive of Islam. 2 peas in a pod and all.

  20. Jenos Idanian says:

    What the world needs is more Christians who act like Jesus… and a lot fewer Muslims who act like Mohammed.

  21. Jack says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    What the world needs is more Christians who act like Jesus… and a lot fewer Muslims who act like Mohammed.

    There’s a reason for the WWJD bracelets, shirts, meme’s etc. I imagine there are only two answers to the WWMD question. Kill it or Fwck it.

  22. KM says:

    @Jack:

    You don’t let the fringes decide what or what is not Christianity.

    But he’s not fringe and that’s your problem. If I walk into a Catholic church, I will hear a sermon calling abortion murder and that it’s a sin. If I wander into a Baptist Bible study I’m going to hear about how those poor babies are being killed and how immoral the whole thing is. Words like Holocaust and Genocide get tossed around with ease; I’ve seen references to Holy Innocents in an attempt to link it back to the Bible more then you would believe. Christianity as a whole has taken the official theological stance that abortion is intentional manslaughter at best, murder at worst (I can’t think of a denomination that is neutral to pro – someone can else cite??) . Since murder is a major sin, stopping abortion is considered a good thing by the faith. There are organized religious-based groups that do nothing but come up with ways to “save the babies”

    This guy took that position to its logical conclusion: he didn’t stand around and wave horrible signs at terrified school children, he took action to prevent what he saw as genocide. Your contention is he stopped talking and started doing so somehow he’s not one of you anymore. Where you draw the line is strange indeed.

    I’m a Christian. This man does not speak or act for me; he does not represent how I practice my faith. But I can’t say he’s not a Christian because of what he did and neither can you. Like it or not, he’s one of us and that’s something we have to accept.

  23. Jack says:

    @KM:

    Like it or not, he’s one of us and that’s something we have to accept.

    I no more have to accept him as Christian than the Catholic church has to accept Nancy Pelosi. There’s a reason the Vatican denied her communion. Failing to abide by the cannons of a religious faith means, you can call yourself whatever you want, but you are not that faith.

  24. Tony W says:

    @KM:

    I can’t think of a denomination that is neutral to pro – someone can else cite??

    The ELCA Lutheran Church – to their credit – generally does not take positions on political topics. They simply ask what is good and ask people to think deeply about it.

  25. Pch101 says:

    @KM:

    This man does not speak or act for me; he doesn’t not represent how I practice my faith. But I can’t say he’s not a Christian because of what he did and neither can you.

    A Protestant who understands what it is to be a Protestant. Judging from this thread, you’re a rare breed.

    One who accepts Christ as a personal lord and savior is a Christian, which is to say that Protestant beliefs within Christianity comes from faith, not from works.

    The Catholic Church can decide who is or isn’t a Catholic, but there is no central authority that dictates who is or isn’t a Protestant Christian. (Those who can’t figure this out should learn a bit about Martin Luther.)

    Westboro Baptist is undoubtedly Christian. Those who are inclined to make No True Scotsman arguments ought to give them a rest.

  26. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    Failing to abide by the cannons of a religious faith means, you can call yourself whatever you want, but you are not that faith.

    It like you don’t know what the word “heresy” means, Jack.

    And not to get all minor and petty here, but “the cannons of a religious faith?” You mean canon. Cannons, in this context, is just poor word choice.

  27. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    You don’t let the fringes decide what or what is not Christianity.

    But you guys fall over yourselves using the fringes to decide what is and is not Islam. Good for the goose, good for the gander.

  28. Mikey says:

    @KM: The official position of the Seventh-day Adventist church is basically pro-choice. The denomination runs a fairly large network of hospitals and they will perform elective abortions, which Catholic hospitals won’t.

  29. Pch101 says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    But you guys fall over yourselves using the fringes to decide what is and is not Islam.

    Judging from the comments, the usual suspects don’t know much about Christianity, let alone Islam.

    Some of these folks need to go look up Martin Luther and the 95 Theses. One of the primary distinctions between Protestantism and Catholicism is that the former does not have a human third-party who gets to decide whether or not a believer belongs to the faith.

  30. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    But you guys fall over yourselves using the fringes to decide what is and is not Islam. Good for the goose, good for the gander.

    The basic tenets of Christianity is be like Christ, believe in Christ, Christ died for our sins.
    The basic tenets of Islam Allah is your god, Mohammed is his messenger, be like him, Kill for your god.

    ISIS is Islam practiced in the manner Mohammed dictates.

  31. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:

    You don’t let the fringes decide what or what is not Christianity.

    But you are more than happy to let the fringes decide what is or is not Islam.
    Look…in my mind all religion is fwcked up. They are all superstitions and delusions based on the longings and fears and insecurities and ignorance humans. But I’m consistent in that view.
    You want to pick and choose who you apply your standard to based on their skin color.

  32. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    You are clearly, based on your comments, not following the word of Christ.
    And your understanding of Islam is beyond childish.

  33. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Your faith is Global Warming/Climate change…you have less than a speck to add to this discussion.

  34. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    Your faith is Global Warming/Climate change…you have less than a speck to add to this discussion.

    Climate change now? No great debater, our beloved Jack.

  35. appleannie says:

    @Jack:

    There’s a reason the Vatican denied her communion. Failing to abide by the cannons of a religious faith means, you can call yourself whatever you want, but you are not that faith.

    Yes, there’s a reason she was denied communion but she was not excommunicated and is still a Catholic.

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/has-the-vatican-excommunicated-nancy-pelosi-8-things-to-know-and-share

  36. Pch101 says:

    @James Pearce:

    No great debater, our beloved Jack.

    But he does demonstrate that one can profess to have a religious faith while knowing little about it and skipping over the inconvenient parts.

  37. gVOR08 says:

    @Tony W: Yes. Some years ago I asked my brother, the Reverend, what the ELCA position on abortion was. He replied that Lutherans weren’t big on having official positions, that it was a matter of individual conscience.

  38. bookdragon says:

    @Tony W: Actually several other major Protestant churches also have what the RC and evangelicals would consider permissive stances on abortion. UCC is fully pro-choice. UMC, ECUSA and PBUSA all recognize terminating a pregnancy to be a personal decision and support keeping it legal option, but reject the use of abortion for gender selection or as a method of convenience.

  39. Tillman says:

    @KM:

    Christianity as a whole has taken the official theological stance that abortion is intentional manslaughter at best, murder at worst (I can’t think of a denomination that is neutral to pro – someone can else cite??) .

    Just to name a few that are pro-abortion rights, you have Presbyterians (Presbyterian Church U.S.A. specifically), Episcopalians, Lutherans (ELCA; others note above it’s not a doctrinal position per se), United Methodists, Disciples of Christ, United Church of Christ, and Unitarians (if they can even be counted). So no, Christianity “as a whole” isn’t pro-life, though it’s worth noting that third trimester abortion/anything that endangers a viable fetus flips the scale.

    Catholics, Orthodox, and fundamentalist/evangelical Protestants are against abortion rights. (good rule of thumb: if it has the word “Baptist” in its name it’s against abortion)

  40. Tillman says:

    In the initial days after the attack, though, it was unclear exactly what may have motivated his actions or whether he had ties to any outside groups, and most importantly the help of any other parties in obtaining weapons and planning for the attack on the day after Thanksgiving. On at least some level, Dear admission in court would seem to answer the motive question, or confirm it for those who had already come to that conclusion on their own, but it doesn’t necessarily tell us very much more about the case itself.

    They didn’t come to the conclusion on their own. As the thread beneath your link repeated, he all but blurted it out as he was being arrested. We can only be thankful that your equivocation here has been dismantled by his, ah, forthright nature yet again.

  41. gVOR08 says:

    @appleannie: Has Pelosi even been denied communion? At a quick skim your link reports that Cardinal Burke, since famously demoted from “Vatican court head”, said Pelosi SHOULD be barred. A quick Google shows a list of conservative sources reporting the same story with headlines saying she was barred from communion, but unsupported by the story. I failed to find anything saying she had actually been denied communion.

    @Jack: You actually have a source? Or just a misleading headline on a RW website?

  42. Monala says:

    @Jack:

    The basic tenets of Islam Allah is your god, Mohammed is his messenger, be like him, Kill for your god.

    The first two, yes; the next two, no. The other basic tenets of Islam are: prayer, fasting, give to the poor, and go on a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca.

    There are more similarities between Christianity and Islam than you’re willing to admit (and I say this as a Christian). I posted this on the Palin-Trump thread:

    As this video from the Netherlands shows. For those who can’t watch it, two Dutch guys put a Qu’ran cover over a Bible, then walked around the street and read some of the more violent or misogynistic passages to various people. The people’s reactions were, of course, to condemn Islam and Muslims for believing such things. The two guys then pulled the Qu’ran cover off and showed people that they were reading from the Bible.

    One interesting thing is that pretty much everyone, upon the reveal, admitted that their earlier responses had been based on ignorance and prejudice. I wonder if Americans would have this much humility and self-awareness if such an experiment were conducted in this country?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEnWw_lH4tQ

  43. JKB says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Wow, did you just try to rationalize this guy’s position?

    Nope, just pointing out the guy has been rather clear as to what drove is fevered mind to his actions.

    However, the killing of babies and the parting out of their corpses is legal in American society. The attacking and killing of those who perform abortions is no more acceptable than the attacking and killing of slave holders in the pre-Civil War era was.

    If one opposes the lawful act, then revealing the institution in all its actual reality is the way to change people’s minds. Refusal to hide behind medical terminology such as “abortion” or even further obfuscations such as “pro choice”.

  44. Pch101 says:

    the killing of babies and the parting out of their corpses is legal in American society

    Last I checked, infanticide is illegal in every state. Unless something changed within the last 20 minutes or so, we can rest assured that you’re wrong.

  45. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @JKB: He doesn’t need to be a Christian, if his actions were formulated from the statements and positions that Christians that he knows believe and support, it seems to me that formulation meets the standard we want for other situations.

  46. Pch101 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    Robert Dear was raised a Baptist and claims to be a Christian. As long as he believes that Jesus Christ is lord and savior, that’s all that is required for him to be a Christian.

    The moral of the story is that not all Christians, or Jews, or Muslims agree with each other about everything. They share some basics, but can otherwise diverge quite a bit from each other.

    Those disagreements can be so extensive that it can be tempting for some believers to accuse others of not being genuine. And since all of them have fairly lengthy texts with broad inconsistencies, there is plenty of room for divergence.

  47. Anjin-San says:

    @Jenos Idanian

    Probably best you don’t invoke Jesus. I imagine if he spent some time reading your comments he would be violently ill.

  48. Andre Kenji says:

    Religion is a matter of sharing a culture and a identity, not of belief. That´s why you can be a Muslim or a Christian even when you do unmuslim and unchristian things.

  49. C. Clavin says:

    @JKB:

    Refusal to hide behind medical terminology such as “abortion” or even further obfuscations such as “pro choice”.

    The real obfusacation is “pro-life”. Most everyone is pro-life. What you are is anti-choice. Actually that’s not correct…you do want choice…you want old white guys to make choices for women.

  50. WR says:

    @Jack: “I no more have to accept him as Christian than the Catholic church has to accept Nancy Pelosi.”

    It doesn’t matter whether or not some loser on the internet “accepts” him as Christian, because you have no power to define who is or is not a Christian.

    The Catholic church does actually have the power to decide who is a member, although not to determine who considers themselves Catholics.

    But you’re a zero whose opinion means exactly nothing to anyone.

  51. WR says:

    @Anjin-San: Who would Jesus troll?

  52. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @JKB:

    LOL

    “No, I’m not rationalizing.”

    “Yes, I am indeed rationalizing.”

    The cognitive dissonance inherent in that comment indicates to me that you may not approve of his actions (although I can’t honestly be sure about that one), but you evidently approve of / share the beliefs underlying them.

    In other words, you and Dear are two of a kind, except he’s just (somewhat) more violent about his beliefs (hopefully anyway …) than you are.

  53. bookdragon says:

    @Tillman: Actually the American Baptist Church falls pretty much along the same lines as the ECUSA and UMC.

  54. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:

    Your faith is Global Warming/Climate change

    See…you are so very easily confused.
    Global warming is scientific consensus…not faith. Pretty much the only deniers of the science on this entire planet are Republicans….and the “scientists” that the fossil fuel industry pays to con Republicans…although they probably don’t believe the propaganda they sell to Republicans.

  55. appleannie says:

    @gVOR08:

    Has Pelosi even been denied communion? At a quick skim your link reports that Cardinal Burke, since famously demoted from “Vatican court head”, said Pelosi SHOULD be barred. A quick Google shows a list of conservative sources reporting the same story with headlines saying she was barred from communion, but unsupported by the story. I failed to find anything saying she had actually been denied communion.

    Honestly, I don’t know, being a non-practicing Catholic myself. I just don’t follow it that closely anymore. Really, I’m inclined to say it depends on the priest. My uncle (a Catholic monsignor) told me I needed to find a priest who agreed with me about the things that were causing me to walk away. There are a lot of them out there, who are deeply disturbed by abortion but also understand that things aren’t always as cut and dried as we might like.

  56. ernieyeball says:

    @Pch101:..(Those who can’t figure this out should learn a bit about Martin Luther.)
    Here’s a bit from Martin Luther:

    “What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews”
    “First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools … This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians …”
    “Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed.”
    “Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.”
    “Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb …”
    “Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside …”
    “Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them …”
    “Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow … But if we are afraid that they might harm us or our wives, children, servants, cattle, etc., … then let us emulate the common sense of other nations such as France, Spain, Bohemia, etc., … then eject them forever from the country …”
    On the Jews and Their Lies 1543

  57. Tom says:

    I wish they’d stop saying motive is “unclear.” There is no question about motive and intent.

  58. JohnMcC says:

    @ernieyeball: My siblings are deeply involved in the ‘New Reformed’ movement. Here’s a hint: Erick Erickson is getting a Rev – diploma in this church.

    Believe me, my friend, we do NOT want to get involved in that sort of debate here. There are plenty of those people who will refight the Reformation from that Church door in Wittenberg to the flaming Churches in Ireland (‘You know Cromwell himself was never in Ireland, right?’) and all the degrees of guilt and innocence between.

    Better we stay in the most recent century at least, OK?

  59. ernieyeball says:

    @JohnMcC:..Better we stay in the most recent century at least, OK?

    Sure. Why not?
    Nothing like a 21st Century Witch Hunt!

    Outspoken theologian ousted from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
    The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod recently carried out what various members consider the equivalent of a modern-day heresy conviction.
    The case pitted two-term denomination President Matthew Harrison — who is known for his bushy mustache and conservative views — against Matthew Becker, an outspoken pastor and professor of theology.
    Becker had raised questions about the denomination’s stance against the ordination of women, as well as its teaching of creationism, or the literal reading of the story of creation in the book of Genesis.
    http://www.religionnews.com/2015/07/21/outspoken-theologian-ousted-from-the-lutheran-church-missouri-synod/