Is religion responsible for the Planned Parenthood attack?

There is no shortage of terms to describe the recent horror of the attack on the Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs, CO.

My RNS colleague Tobin Grant wonders aloud whether the Colorado Springs killings constituted an act of terrorism or a hate crime.

Call it what you will. The attack on Planned Parenthood was an attack on women’s health, on women, on medicine — in a sense, on civilized society itself.

But, were the Planned Parenthood murders religiously-motivated?

Based on what I have been reading on Facebook and Twitter, many people think precisely that.

In my mind, those of us inclined to go online and begin talking about such things, automatically turn to figuring out who to blame, so we know where to focus our resources to make sure such things happen less. I have had countless discussions, spanning two decades, on and offline), on the subject of mass killings and guns and evildoers. I’ve always been interested (sometimes startled) at how people assign blame.

Yes indeed, there are some humans out there who commit horrible acts, who are not guilty of those acts, due to mental illness. I also try to understand the scriptural reality of spiritual possession, although I’m less likely to give an earthly justice pass for people who claim “The devil made me do it”.

Regarding this weekend’s mass-killing at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, for example. Already I’ve seen people blame the following:

  • Republicans, for working people up with rhetoric springing from the “selling baby parts for money” controversy.
  • Right wingers/gun nuts, for filling our country with guns and opposing gun laws.
  • Brain meds/the pharmaceutical industry/capitalism for poisoning our minds with drugs for profit.
  • The firearm industry/guns in general, because guns kill people.
  • Planned Parenthood - for being who they are and ‘deserving’ to get all shot up.

Almost nowhere have I seen people blame Robert Lewis Dear, Jr. for what he allegedly did.

I think, without dismissing the realities of mental illness and spiritual forces, we should at least consider that he was a bad guy who did bad things, and that bringing swift justice to him may be the best thing we can do with our justice system.

Well considering the collective is blaming all Muslims for the actions of a few in Paris it shouldn’t shock anyone that the collective is looking for a bigger someone to blame for the attack on Planned Parenthood as well. Everyone seems to always be looking for the big boogeyman.

The shooter lived 15 years alone in a trailer without running water or electricity. Those who’d suggest a more coherent motive than mental illness probably need to get themselves checked out.

yes,the real issue re these perps,is their mental state.Yet all the usual suspects opposed to gun rights always want to blame “the gun”,rather than getting to the root cause ,which is mental illness.

Unfortunately liberals are using this to bash pro-lifers, calling it ‘domestic terrorism’.
When the focus should be on our poor track record in this country for treating mental illness.

yes,agree and isn’t it interesting how the liberals selectively use the word terrorism? So predictable is their behavior::rolleyes:

Is it not plausible that the man was both mentally ill and a domestic terrorist? Why are these mutually exclusive?

Damn those Shintoists.


One is certainly not exclusive of the other. Or vice versa.

But the intent of the Left in labeling it ‘terrorism’ is to highlight the connotation that reasonable people attach to terrorism; that it is organized on a large scale. To apply that label to lone killers acting on their own delusions is dishonest opportunism, and meant only to harm the ‘other’ side.

Exactly. What is happening is the word has come to mean virtually whatever people want it mean at the time.
A terrorist is not necessarily mentally ill. They might be immoral in terms of how they look at human life. But immorality is not madness.
If it were, DC is the worlds biggest mental institution. :wink:

This disturbed man was not from a poor family.If you check public records sites you can see he is related to a deceased senator. I am willing to bet the man is very intelligent.

Intelligent and mentally ill are not mutually exclusive either.

I never said he was poor; I said he chose to live as a recluse in a trailer that lacked basic sanitation. SMOM is correct. Intelligence and mental illness are not exclusive. In fact, there is often a correlation between the two.

Actually Terrorism means “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.” Even the mentally unwell lone shooter is capable of being a terrorist, and to call them such is not incorrect or dishonest. This shooter was every bit the domestic terrorist as the OKC bombers or the Unibomber. His goal appears to have been politically based on an anti-abortion stance even if his articulation of that fact. Now because some people have of late confused a specific type of terrorism, namely Muslim Extremist Terrorism, with Terrorism is general does not make their confusion fact. :thumbsup:

Or maybe it’s our primitive need to classify everything to make it easier to discern a threat.

Someone commits a heinous crime. We then look for some identifying factors like race, religion, sex, politics, whatever, so that we can make ourselves (feel) safe by being wary of people of that particular race/religion/sex/politics/whatever, rather than trying to find the actual cause for that person’s evil deed.

Generalizing is always so much easier than looking for an individual reason for behaviour.

It’s much easier for me to, say, shun all Muslims, than to actually try to see if an individual person is a threat.

This question causes me to speculate:
If it can be said the these murders took place because of religion, can it not also be said that the tens of thousands of killings that take place inside these abortion centers every year are because of atheism and atheists?


Sure, that’s a good definition.

Sadly, from what I’ve seen, the people who are using this particular definition in this case also withhold using the same definition to Planned Parenthood itself - it being a deadly, violent, and intimidating political entity.

It seems to me that, while not minimizing the heinous nature of this attack, what goes on inside a Planned Parenthood clinic is a daily “attack on women’s health, on women, on medicine — in a sense, on civilized society itself.”

At least half of the soon-to-be-born human beings that are killed inside those clinics are female. Those females’ health is completely ignored. They are denied the opportunity to receive health care, and all of the killed are denied medical care of any kind. Indeed, a horrendous mass attack over four decades against civilized society itself.


True. And those same forces also lobby against adequate and widespread communication of what an abortion actually is, and oppose waiting periods, in which some women (a/k/a customers) might change their minds before making an irrevocable decision.

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