Article

“Christian-Hating” Gunman was Raised ‘Deeply Religious’

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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.

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Comments (4 comments)

The Atheist Jew / December 11th, 2007, 6:49 am / #1

The is speculation on the Liberty Forum (a place full of paranoid Jew haters) that Murray was a Jew LOL

Roger / December 11th, 2007, 11:30 am / #2

Despite the media questions after any senseless shooting the reason why he did it is irrelevant because a reason breathes justification and there is no justifying any senseless shooting. It is obvious the poor boy had some serious problems that sadly could not be fixed in time.

I have been a christian for many years and come across ALL different types of christians, some conservative, some liberal, some highly religious and some just plain whacko! I don’t know who you have been talking to or listening to but I have never heard anyone say that religion has a lock on morality because that is so far from the truth.

Some of the worst people I have met were in the church. The irony is I have seen atheist families bring up their children with high morals unintentionally following the Ten Commandments, the standard by which all christians are to live by to be seen as righteous in God’s eyes whereas some christian families don’t.

Remember even among christians we come from different backgrounds from all walks of life some good, some bad and some downright horrendous that can affect one’s thinking christian or not. There are so many variables that figure into a “christian home” that it not fair nor logical to put us all in a box and just think happy thoughts and instant transformation into some sort of a “Super Christian” because that is definitely not the case.
I have seen many, many, many christian parents ruin their homes.

BlackSun / December 11th, 2007, 10:01 pm / #3

I have seen many, many, many christian parents ruin their homes.

Roger, it looks like this is precisely the case here. His mother was ridiculously strict and didn’t let him partake of normal media. Still no excuse for a murderous rampage. But that type of shadow repression of teenagers and young adults achieves nothing except instilling hatred and contempt for the religion. It also breaks the bond of trust and openness between the parent and child:

From CNN:

In a post from March, Murray complained that because of his mother’s concerns about video games and popular music, “I remember having to listen to everything in secret, at very low volume levels or with headphones, whether it was video games, TV, DVDs, or music/radio.”

“My mother would search EVERYWHERE on a regular basis. You’d have thought I was hiding methamphetamines (which her favorite pastor, Ted Haggard was found guilty of) or something serious, but it was all over DVDs, CDs, and video games,” Murray wrote.

valhar2000 / December 12th, 2007, 6:21 am / #4

Roger, the idea that religion, even Christianity specifically, has a monopoly on morality is trumpeted everywhere across America, every single day. You cannot possibly have failed to hear it.

Just search for any article or blog post on “atheist morality” and you’ll see trolls in the comments typing random bible verses and saying that very thing.

They are not all of Christianity, and they may not even be representative of it, but there are lots of them, and they show up everywhere.

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