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Christian Terrorism? By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, June 04, 2003

"IS HE A ‘CHRISTIAN TERRORIST’?" That is the question raised by Washington Post Staff Writer Alan Cooperman this week about just-arrested Eric Robert Rudolph, the alleged bomber of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics and an Alabama abortion clinic.

"If Christians take umbrage at the juxtaposition of the words ‘Christian’ and ‘terrorist,’" Idaho State University sociologist James A. Aho told Cooperman, "that may give them some idea of how Muslims feel" when hearing the term "Islamic terrorism."

"Based on what we know of Rudolph so far, and admittedly it’s fragmentary, there seems to be a fairly high likelihood that he can legitimately be called a Christian terrorist," says Michael Barkun, described by Cooperman as "a professor of political science at Syracuse University who has been a consultant to the FBI on Christian extremist groups."

The FBI that was too busy raiding a New Orleans brothel to put together the telltale clues it possessed that could have prevented the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center? The FBI had time to focus on Christian groups?

President Bill Clinton’s administration devoted vast law enforcement resources to monitoring Christian groups. In August 1994, to cite but one example among many, Attorney General Janet Reno launched VAAPCON, the Violence Against Abortion Providers Conspiracy, that directed the activities of the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Postal Inspectors and U.S. Marshalls.

VAAPCON was justified as a way to stop "terrorist" violence against abortion clinics, and such deadly violence has certainly happened. Rudolph will first be tried in the case of an Alabama abortion clinic bombing that killed one off-duty police officer, and he would not be the first human to justify hatreds in the name of religion. (His opposition to abortion reportedly is linked to Rudolph’s belief that white mothers aborting their babies is genocide against the white race.)

But VAAPCON, like so many Clinton police state operations, also justified government surveillance of any and every group opposed to abortion or other politically-correct Leftist policies supported by the Clintons.

A 1969 Freedom of Information request by Judicial Watch obtained hundreds of pages of Justice Department documents. These revealed that VAAPCON had been invoked to authorize spying on at least 900 groups and individuals. Its targets ranged from the Reverend Jerry Falwell and Feminists for Life to the National Rifle Association and the Christian Coalition.

VAAPCON was also used to spy on the U.S. Bishops’ Conference of the Roman Catholic Church. A large share of its targets were explicitly Christian organizations, groups and individuals.

"What in the world are Janet Reno, Hillary, Bill, and their VAAPCON task force doing using law-enforcement personnel to infiltrate, collect, and assemble database information of this type?" asked Judicial Watch general counsel Larry Klayman. "We were told by one source that some in the FBI objected to the monitoring of these groups on legal and ethical grounds but were overruled by upper levels at Justice."

Why, for example, did the Clintons and Janet Reno use VAAPCON to create a database on the late, beloved Roman Catholic Cardinal John O’Connor of New York?

"It wasn’t the inclusion of suspected criminals or the inclusion of old files on such activities that we objected to," one senior FBI agent told the journal Insight. "It was the collection of political and personal information on people such as the cardinal that many of us found objectionable…. This is obviously political in nature and something we work hard to avoid."

The Clinton Administration, you will recall, collected at least 900 confidential FBI files on its political enemies such as Tony Blankley, once a top member of House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s staff and now an editor at the Washington Times. The Clintons also used private detectives to dig dirt that could be used to blackmail or discredit any who might limit their power.

It is fair to say that for eight years the Clintons waged war against religion in general and Christianity in particular. The Clinton Equal Employment Opportunity Commission set about making "religious harassment" a crime in the workplace comparable to racial or sexual harassment. This could mean that a manager who wore a cross or yarmulke or kept a Bible on her desk could be punished with crushing EEOC fines.

Hillary is rumored to have tried but failed to have the Postal Service stop issuing its traditional Madonna and Child stamps around Christmastime. An FBI agent who served in their White House has written that the Clintons’ upstairs Christmas tree, unseen by the public, was one year decorated with sex and drug paraphernalia such as condoms and heroin syringes. This helps us understand Bill and Hillary’s attitude towards Christianity.

Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart during a December 16, 1999, press briefing described the Southern Baptist Convention – the very Protestant faith to which Bill Clinton has said he belongs – as an organization that perpetuates "ancient religious hatred." Southern Baptists, in other words, were a "hate group," and this justified their being infiltrated and put under government surveillance.

The IRS under Clinton removed the tax-exempt status of one Christian church in New York that had publicly criticized the President’s morals. And while VAAPCON supposedly targeted only those who might threaten abortion providers, in fact every one of its targets was politically opposed to the Clintons and at least some of their Leftist policies.

The political information gathered by VAAPCON laid a basis for future political attacks and persecution against the Religious Right, and in particular against the Christian Right.

(The surveillance of Christians during the Clinton regime was at least as intense as that now directed at potential terrorists by today’s Attorney General John Ashcroft…and for which the Left without ceasing accuses Mr. Ashcroft of being a totalitarian out to destroy American liberty. These same Leftists said not a peep about President Clinton’s police state tactics against Christian groups and individuals.)

History records similar attacks against Christians. In 64 A.D., after a fire burned down three-quarters of the city of Rome, the Emperor Nero to deflect attention from tales that he had started the fire to clear space for a bigger palace and then "fiddled" while it burned, needed a scapegoat. Nero – whose name in Jewish numerology is 666 – blamed the fire on a small Jewish cult in Rome called Christians.

These Christians were weird and secretive, Nero almost certainly told angry crowds and the Roman Senate. They practiced ritual cannibalism, drinking the blood and eating the flesh of their divine leader in the form of wine and bread, a ritual that many Roman pagans found shocking. And they were a doomsday cult that looked forward to the end of the world.

A handful of Christian leaders were rounded up and tortured until they named others, who in turn were tortured. Within days Nero was martyring thousands of Christians as blazing torches or as food for wild beasts or by crucifixion in the Circus Maximus below what the fire had left of his palace.

"An immense multitude was convicted," wrote the Roman historian Tacitus (Annals, 15:44) of these Christians killed by Nero, "not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind."

In other words, Christians under Nero as under Bill Clinton were hunted because, as one Christian journalist noted, they were declared by the ruler to be guilty of the crime of "hate."

The Public Broadcasting Service, PBS, recently made the intriguing argument that the Emperor Nero was right to persecute Christians. (PBS, as Public Broadcasters of Socialism, always agreed with Clinton and did all in their power to undermine the Christian Right and its values.)

In its history series "Secrets of the Dead," PBS cited the research of German scholar Gerhard Baudy of the University of Konstanz showing that many Christians in 64 A.D. Rome were indeed a doomsday cult.

These Christians, says Professor Baudy, were circulating vengeful apocalyptic texts predicting that a raging inferno would reduce Rome to ashes. "In all of these oracles," says Baudy on the PBS show, "the destruction of Rome by fire is prophesied. That is the constant theme: Rome must burn. This was the long-desired objective of all the people who felt subjugated by Rome."

These ancient Roman Christians, speculates Baudy, would also have been familiar with a widely-circulated Egyptian prophecy that the great evil city would fall on the day that the "dog star" Sirius (namesake of summer being known as the "dog days") first rises. In 64 A.D., notes Baudy, Sirius first rose on July 19, the very day the great fire of Rome began. If Christians did not set the original fire, surmises Baudy, some of their number almost certainly set additional fires to expand the conflagration.

Eric Robert Rudolph was no true follower of the teacher Christians revere as the Prince of Peace. How could an anti-Semite and white supremacist accept a Jew like Jesus? Klu Klux Klansmen also claim to uphold the sign of the cross – but their purpose is to burn it to advance their own racist collectivism.

Leftists also want to burn down the cross, or immerse it in urine or splatter the image of Mary with elephant dung, so that Christianity is weakened as a competing faith to their pseudo-religious cult of Marxism. Watch closely and see how the Leftist media raises up the image of Rudolph as a "Christian terrorist" as its latest tactic to damage and discredit Christianity.

Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.

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