By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher
The tragic church shooting and death of Reverend Fred Winters, pastor of First Baptist Church, Maryville Illinois, has once again raised one of the most under-reported issues within the media today: violence directed at Christians and churches.
While the recent church shooting in Illinois this March did receive some coverage, the full extent of church violence has not been adequately discussed. If this kind of event had happened at a Mosque or Synagogue there would have been non-stop media coverage and a cry for “hate crime” prosecution. Because it only happened to a Christian there is little outcry.
The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has compiled a partial list of recent church shootings:
February 18, 2009: A man committed suicide in front of a cross at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California.
November 23, 2008: A gunman killed his estranged wife in a New Jersey church as Sunday services let out.
November 1, 2008: A Cincinnati minister, Rev. Donald Fairbanks Sr., was killed while he was attending a funeral in Kentucky.
July 27, 2008: Two people were killed and six wounded in a shooting rampage at the church in Knoxville, Tenn.
December 9, 2007: A man kills two young adults at the Youth with a Mission (YWAM) base before driving to a Colorado Springs church and opening fire on the congregation just after church was let out. A total of 5 people were killed, including the gunmen.
August 12, 2007: A lone gunman opened fire in a Missouri Micronesian church, killing a pastor and two other churchgoers.
May 20, 2007: A standoff between police and a suspect at a Moscow, Idaho church ended with three dead, including one police officer.
Oct. 2, 2006, A man in Lancaster County, PA., killed five girls and then himself at an Amish school.
May 20, 2006: Four were killed by a man at Jesus Christ Church in Louisiana.
Feb. 26, 2006: Two people were killed at Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Michigan by a man who later killed himself.
April 9, 2005: A 27-year-old died after being shot at a church in College Park, GA..
March 12, 2005: A man walked into the services of the Living Church of God in Milwaukee and open fired immediately, killing seven people.
Oct. 5, 2003: A woman opened fire in Turner Monumental AME church in Kirkwood, GA., killing the pastor, her mother, and herself.
March 12, 2002: During Sunday Mass, Peter J. Troy fatally shot Rev. Lawrence M. Penzes and parishioner Eileen Tosner.
Sept. 16, 1999: Seven young people were killed when a man opened fire during a prayer service for teen-agers at the Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.
Anti-Christian hostility is reaching a new, more violent level. Christians are mocked and our faith and values are increasingly maligned. Anti-Christian bias within the media has played a large part in stirring anti-Christian sentiments.
This is not surprising when you know that 75% of major media journalists either seldom or never attend religious services. This is in stark contrast to the rest of America, with 50% saying that they attend religious services more than once a month.
IT’S TIME TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE
Christian bashing is alive and well in America and is becoming ever more frequent and intense. The late Rev. Dr. D. James Kennedy said, “The time for letting the Christian bashing go on essentially unchallenged has come to an end. . . There is a great need for a Christian Anti-Defamation league.” He wrote this in 1996!
Because of the attacks on Christians, Newt Gingrich, Ralph Reed and Bill O’Reilly have all gone on record saying there is a great need for a Christian organization that will respond.
The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC) has taken up the challenge to be the front line of defense in response to Christian basing in America. The goal of CADC is create a national organization that will aggressively respond to anti-Christian bigotry.
Whenever Christ, the Christian faith and it values, or Christians are unjustly attacked, CADC will be there to speak out and expose those who do it. Won’t you join the team?
As a CADC Advisory Board Member I want you to know that this is an organization that I fully support. I appreciate their courage, leadership and willingness to address the last acceptable form of bigotry in America, anti-Christian bigotry. I encourage all freedom loving Christians to support the vital work of CADC.
Learn more about anti-Christian bigotry and hostility and join the CADC team.
Go to www.christianadc.org.