Check out these headlines and the lead lines for the stories:
“Atheists Demand City Remove Cross in Tennessee”
The mayor of Whiteville, Tenn. said his community is under attack from a national atheist organization that is threatening to sue unless they remove a cross atop the town’s water tower.
“They are terrorists as far as I’m concerned,” said Mayor James Bellar about the Freedom From Religion Foundation. “They are alleging that some Whiteville resident feels very, very intimidated by this cross.” (From FoxNews.com)
What about this one from the website Goddiscussion.com:
“Mayor of Tennessee town calls atheists “terrorists” for wanting removal of cross on city water tower”
Tennessee hits the news again with religious controversy, this time in Whiteville, TN. The mayor is convinced the town is under attack by atheists, and calls them “terrorists.”
The mayor doesn’t believe that anyone is offended by the cross, and isn’t afraid to say so. The mayor’s not taking the cross down, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation is threatening to sue if he doesn’t. It doesn’t look like either side is willing to back down.
And then there is this one:
“Small-town Tennessee mayor seeks legal help to fight atheist “terrorists””
Calling aggressive out-of-state atheists “terrorists,” a small-town Tennessee mayor is asking for help defending a cross atop his town’s water tower.
“A terrorist is more than a guy that flies the planes into the building,” the mayor told Fox. “It’s anyone who can disrupt your way of living, destroy your lifestyle, cause you anxiety. It’s more than killing people. If they can disrupt your routine in life, that’s what they want to do. They are terrorists as far as I’m concerned.” (From Beliefnet.com)
Okay now. Let’s take a moment to see what definition has been developed for the terms terrorist and terrorism:
1. a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells; often uses religion as a cover for terrorist activities.
Now, having read these definitions, I am wondering who (by definition) would be the real terrorists?
What do you think? Do we Christians sometimes behave (by definition), as terrorists – employing terror or fear as a weapon against others who do not believe as we do, gathering in small cells or groups, and using “religion” as a shield or disguise for our activities?
I want to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please, help me understand you and let’s have an intelligent, ethical dialog. Shalom …