Denouncing Terrorism By White Male Baptists

Fred Clark apologizes, as a white male Baptist, for an attempted act of domestic terrorism by a white, male Baptist.

As a white male Baptist, it is my duty today to denounce the violence perpetrated by Patrick Gray Sharp, 29, who yesterday attacked the police headquarters in McKinney, Texas, in a heavily armed but ineffectual assault involving a high-powered rifle, road flares, “gasoline and ammonium nitrate fertilizer.”

I understand that this denunciation must be swift and unambiguous and that, in the absence of such denunciations made by and on behalf of every and all white male Baptists, others are entitled to assume that every white male Baptist is fully in agreement with the actions of Patrick Gray Sharp and to therefore deny white male Baptists the rights others enjoy.

So I denounce this attack and state unequivocally that we white male Baptists do not believe in this kind of violent extremism. I beg you all not to condemn all of us for the actions of this lone member of our community, although of course I will understand if you decide that you must do so and will humbly accept whatever restrictions on our full participation in society that you see fit to impose. That’s only fair.

Read the whole thing, and I hope you accept his act of contrition, as well as the contrition of one of his commenters, who also apologizes:

Also, as a white male Catholic, I am also obliged to apologise for the actions of Mr. Sharp, as, despite being a member of a different denomination I am also Christian and that makes me “close enough”. Despite the fact that many extremist Baptists are as likely to be opposed to Catholics as anything else, I still apologise, as I must, or else I willingly accept whatever limitations on building a Catholic church in the region you might feel reasonable to place.

FILED UNDER: Humor, Islam, Quick Takes, Religion
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Like.

  2. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Funny, I have not heard an apology by the Muslim community for acts of terrorism, both domestic and world wide, commited by the followers of Islam. I wonder if that Baptist was yelling Jesus forever as he was firing his gun? I do not know if that is the equivalent of Allah Akbar reportedly yelled just before they hit the detonator killing anyone standing near them of happen to be on board the hijacked plane as it slams into the fully occupied over 100 story building.

  3. Steve Plunk says:

    Did the attacker justify his actions by citing passages from the Bible or referring to Baptist theology? Did he cry out “God is great” before the attack? Was there any indication this was religiously motivated or just someone with mental health issues?

    This is pathetic. Alex, you and Dr. Taylor need to raise your game.

  4. Steve,

    The point is to illustrate the problems with these false equivalences.

    The point, therefore, is that it is obviously absurd for white male Baptists to have to apologize for this dude in McKinney. Likewise, it is ridiculous for all Muslims to have to apologize for the 9/11 hijackers.

  5. And further, and specifically to your comment if the dude in McKinney had shouted something about Lottie Moon (a little Southern Baptist ref you you all), would it then have been incumbent upon other Baptists to apologize from now until the Rapture?

    If not, why are all Muslims automatically responsible for what others did in the name of their religion?

  6. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Toi quote the writers at Day by Day, “it is not about them, it is about us. Progressives confuse their own cowardice with conviction and syntax with senibility. I know quoting a cartoon will draw criticisim from some here yet Mataconis uses information gleaned from Comedy Central as a source of news.

    Steve, that is all the game they have. I have been reading this post since I got interested in on line opinion and news. I remember one of these two paragons of freedom defended a want to be dictator who was legally removed from office by action of that nations Supreme Court. I do not know what the answer is to what ails these people but I know theydo not have any respect for those who disagree with them. I suspect what passes today for education was in fact indoctrination in to a way of thinking which does not allow freedom in that area.

  7. Vast Variety says:

    So, who gets to apologize for the Crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, and the Spanish Inquisition?

    “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

  8. tom p says:

    that great “whooshing” sound you just heard was a sense of humor leaving the building…

  9. Franklin says:

    Did the attacker justify his actions by citing passages from the Bible or referring to Baptist theology? Did he cry out “God is great” before the attack? Was there any indication this was religiously motivated or just someone with mental health issues?

    Abortion clinic bombers are certainly religiously motivated.

    But just to entertain you some more, you should probably apologize for Timothy McVeigh. Both of you share some disdain for government, no? So all anti-government types should be grouped together, am I correct?

    Alex’s point stands.

  10. Steve Plunk says:

    No, the point is how much religion can be held responsible for terrorism. In the Texas case there is no evidence of religion playing a part so there is no reason for a hate spewing minister to apologize. In the case of the Fort Hood massacre we have clear religious underpinnings and can even trace it back to particular Islamic clerics.

    I never asked for all Muslims to apologize for 9/11. I do expect all Muslims to be sensitive about 9/11. That a reasonable expectation. Muslims are not automatically responsible for 9/11 either and no one ever said so. You’re both building straw men. Once again I ask for better.

  11. @Steve,

    No one said that the original post was aimed at you (although you did jump in to criticize)..

    Again: the point is that there are a lot of people who do expect Muslims to be constantly apologizing for the 9/11 terrorists (to wit: there is a constant cry for moderate Muslims to decry jihadists. Many people act, in fact, like this never happens, hence the post that Alex is quoting).. And, further, this issue is at the heart of the whole Cordoba House business–the notion that simply being Muslim is enough to cause offense (a position you seem to be endorsing here, btw).

    You may expect better, but honestly, it doesn’t strike me as all that complicated.

  12. An Interested Party says:

    “This is pathetic.”

    Yes, the fact that you don’t get the point is quite pathetic…

    “Progressives confuse their own cowardice with conviction and syntax with senibility.”

    Some conservatives confuse their own bigotry with patriotism and fear with rationality…

    “I do expect all Muslims to be sensitive about 9/11.”

    And what exactly does that entail? Meanwhile, I do expect all white Southerners to be sensitive about black people, all Catholics to be sensitive about child molestation by priests, all white people to be sensitive about the conquest of Native Americans and their lands, etc. etc. etc…..

  13. Steve Plunk says:

    Dr Taylor,

    Alex’s post following said it was ridiculous to have all Muslims apologize for 9/11. That’s why I mentioned it.

    AIP,

    You should expect all people to be sensitive to the injustices others have endured. 9/11 was a mere 9 years ago so I would expect more sensitivity in this case.

  14. Juneau: says:

    If this is a serious article it is stupid in the extreme, as it has no bearing on the debate over the mosque. The Baptist denomination doesn’t have a platform or doctrine that supports the use of violence to promote its beliefs. There is no equivalency in Christianity to the notion of jihad. This is why opponents always have to resort to the “Crusades” of the middle-ages to find a comparison to modern day Islam.

  15. anjin-san says:

    > I have not heard an apology by the Muslim community

    “The Muslim community” is about a billion people. Do you think they should be passing a note from hand to hand or something?

    Apparently you have forgotten about the condemnation of 9.11 from across the Muslim world immediatly after the attack. This included a candlelight vigil in Tehran for the victims

  16. anjin-san says:

    > The Baptist denomination doesn’t have a platform or doctrine that supports the use of violence to promote its beliefs

    Course a lot of Klan members were/are Baptists, but lets just sweep that under the rug…

  17. Alex Knapp says:

    @Juneau,

    The Baptist denomination doesn’t have a platform or doctrine that supports the use of violence to promote its beliefs.

    Not all Baptists, no. But what about Baptist members of the Army of God and the American Coalition of Life Activists, which advocate and commit acts of violence against abortion providers. Do all Christians have a responsibility to denounce them? Should we forbid the building of Christian churches in Wichita near where George Tiller was killed?

    That vast majority of Muslim sects and Imams repudiate the use of terrorism and violence. Why should 1.5 billion people be held accountable for the acts of a few nutjobs who commit crimes in the name of Islam?

  18. Juneau: says:

    @ anjin

    “Course a lot of Klan members were/are Baptists, but lets just sweep that under the rug…”

    What part about the difference between church doctrine and the actions of individuals don’t you understand? Once more, slowly; Islam has an official recognition and encouragement of involuntary enforcement of sharia law and theocracy. Christianity does not. Simple enough?

    The clearest example of the vast and inescapable difference is the idea of martyrdom. A Christian martyr is one who is killed by others as a result of their beliefs. A Muslim martyr is one who does the killing, eliminating “the infidel”. A term which indiscriminately includes women and children.

    Hard to get any clearer.

  19. Islam has an official recognition…

    You can stop right there, as there is a fundamental problem with your reasoning. There is no central command of Islam that officially recognizing anything. This is part of the point and I am unclear on why it is so hard to grasp.

  20. Alex Knapp says:

    What part about the difference between church doctrine and the actions of individuals don’t you understand? Once more, slowly; Islam has an official recognition and encouragement of involuntary enforcement of sharia law and theocracy. Christianity does not. Simple enough?

    You do realize the Islam is not a monolith, right? That there are dozens of sects and many schools of sharia? You do realize that there is no single Muslim organization, right? And that while there are schools of Muslim thought that advocate theocracy and violence, there are also many that do not, right?

    You do realize that there are lots of Christian sects who advocate theocracy, right? Like Christian Reconstructionists? And the nutjobs in Uganda who want to make it legal to stone gays? And the nutjobs in Texas who want to ban porn, homosexuality, and publish the Ten Commandments in public buildings, right?

    A Muslim martyr is one who does the killing, eliminating “the infidel”. A term which indiscriminately includes women and children.

    Actually, all schools of Sharia repudiate the killing of civilians in time of war, and only permit killing in self-defense. The exceptions are the small minority of terrorist organizations, which are largely repudiated among most Muslim populations.

  21. Juneau: says:

    @ Knapp

    “The exceptions are the small minority of terrorist organizations, which are largely repudiated among most Muslim populations.”

    Really. I guess “most Muslim populations” does not include the countries of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Afghanistan, and Oman? Your pool of “moderate” Islamic populations consists of – where, exactly? Other than Dubai and the other Emirates in the U.A.E. , there are radical Islamic sects (primarily wahabi) which are considered part of the mainstream society.

    Evven without the above, you are being disingenuous; the public scholos in the middle east teach hatred of the jews and the superiority of sharia law. The goal of sharia law is a theocracy, based upon the implementation of Islamic precepts throughout all aspects of society. These precepts include the inferiority of women (viewed as property), arranged marriage for girls as young as 13, capital punishment for a great number of crimes – including blasphemy , and the ultimate authority of religious edicts, or fatwas, to guide citizens lives.

    Your idea of “moderate” is grossly misleading to the discussion about comparisons between Islam and Christianity.

  22. Juneau: says:

    @ Taylor

    “There is no central command of Islam that officially recognizing anything.”

    Yes, actually there is. There are the writings of Muhammed, the oral teachings of the imams based upon those writings, and the standing condition of any religious edicts, or fatwas, which may be in effect at any given time. To say that there is nothing “official” is not accurate, nor even credible. To state this as a fact is to state that Islam is this vast, inchoate religion without doctrine or official guidance. That, clearly, is not the case. This is why the vast majority of voices stating that Islam doesn’t support violence come from Islamic scholars, not the preachers, or imams.

    I have seen the citations offered by others which list all of the quotes condemning 9/11. Almost all come from scholars, and not preachers. None of them turn their backs on the idea of theocratic rule through sharia law.

  23. @Juneau:

    If your position was accurate we would be at literal war with Turkey and Indonesia, to name two Muslim countries with whom we are, in fact, not at war with (we aren’t at war with those you listed, for that matter).

    Your logic does not hold up. If Islam was the violent monolith you claim, we have 1.57 billion enemies out there, all of whom would be trying to kill infidels on a daily basis.

    This is simply not the case and your assertions will not make it so.

  24. anjin-san says:

    Steven has already shown Juneau’s “argument” to be nonsense, giving me a little extra time to enjoy a cup of coffee….

  25. Juneau says:

    @ Steven

    “Your logic does not hold up. If Islam was the violent monolith you claim, we have 1.57 billion enemies out there, all of whom would be trying to kill infidels on a daily basis.”

    You are being facetious, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with my so-called “logic.” Logic infers having to hypothesise from facts partially known. My statements do not have to rely on an uncertain empirical conclusion, rather they rely on the observable and documented facts which are freely available regarding the forcible implementation of sharia law in most of the Muslim countries.

    Your argument is faulty in it’s basic premise as well. You are crediting me with, and consequently refuting, a distinction that I did not make – that official sanction of the killing of infidels automatically translates into the United States being at war with a Muslim country. Muslim countries are killing infidels within their borders on a regular basis, under the capital punishment rules in sharia law regarding forbidden conversion to another religion, blasphemy, and adultery. The fact that this violence is used and sanctioned does not automatically translate into being at war with the U.S.

    You are confusing two issues in your attempt to divert my point. The propensity for violent enforcement of sharia law – which is sanctioned in almost all muslim countries – combined with the express goal of theocratic rule over societal behavior, is what makes Islam drastically different from other major religions. It is not what made us go to war.

  26. @Juneau:

    No, I am not being facetious and I would submit that you either don’t understand or are avoiding the implications of your own assertions.