“Christian-Hating” Gunman was Raised ‘Deeply Religious’
Yahoo top stories listed the headline: Colo. church gunman ‘hated Christians’ (AP) but here is the actual story, and nowhere does it say anything about him hating Christians (other than that he sent hate mail to the Youth With a Mission program). It does, however, mention that the shooter was home-schooled and raised in a strict religious home. But no doubt some people will read “Christian hating,” and immediately conclude the man was a militant atheist.
[UPDATE: The AP story has now been updated and includes a quote from an "unidentified law enforcement official" that "it appeared the man hated Christians."]
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The gunman believed to have killed four people at a megachurch and a missionary training school had been thrown out of the school about three years ago and had been sending hate mail to the program, police said in court papers Monday.
The gunman was identified as Matthew Murray, 24, who was home-schooled by his family and raised in what a friend said was a deeply religious Christian household. Murray’s father is a neurologist and a prominent multiple-sclerosis researcher.
Five people — including a gunman — were killed, and five others wounded Sunday in the two eruptions of violence 12 hours and 65 miles apart.
The first attack took place at Youth With a Mission, a training center for missionaries in the Denver suburb of Arvada; the other occurred at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, where the gunman was shot and killed by a security guard. The missionary training center had an office at the 10,000-member church.
“Through both investigations it has been determined that most likely the suspect in both shootings are one in the same,” police said in court papers, confirming what investigators suspected early on.
Colorado Springs police said the “common denominator in both locations” was Youth With a Mission.
“It appears that the suspect had been kicked out of the program three years prior and during the past few weeks had sent different forms of hate mail to the program and/or its director,” Detective Bradley Pratt wrote.
This tragic incident bears more resemblance to a typical workplace shooting than a religion inspired murder. The young man had been kicked out and returned to wreak vengeance (loosely) on former colleagues. But still, after all the culture war propaganda about violent media being responsible for school-shootings, it’s ironic that a young man who was literally breastfed on religion was the culprit.
This proves once again that religions have no lock on morality, nor does a Christian upbringing forestall violence.