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NPR: What Do You Say to Those Who Suggest PP Shooter Should be Called 'Christian Terrorist'

By Penny Starr | December 8, 2015 | 4:35pm EST
Nurse Bethany Winder plants a sign in support of Planned Parenthood near its clinic in Colorado Springs, where three people were shot to death. (AP Photo)

In an interview with a Christian leader, National Public Radio Host Linda Wertheimer asked if the man who killed three people at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado last month should be called a “Christian terrorist.”

“This has obviously been a terrible week for mass shootings,” Wertheimer said to Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a Dec. 4 interview. “Just one week ago there was a mass shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic, and three people were killed.

“Again, we don't know how much the shooter was motivated by Christian beliefs,” Wertheimer said. “What do you say to those that have been suggesting that people like this shooter ought to be called a Christian terrorist?”

“Well, I would say the same thing to people who say that that I would say to people who suggest that because radical Muslims are terrorists that that means Islam is itself necessarily dangerous and violent,” Moore said. “Because there is no mainstream pro-life leader who has called for violence.

“As matter of fact, every mainstream pro-life leader has condemned any act of violence,” Moore said. “It's antithetical to what it means to be pro-life, and I really think the pro-life movement has been a model for civility of rhetoric.

The New York Times reported on Dec. 1 that the Planned Parenthood shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, Jr., thought of himself as a Christian, according to his ex-wife.

“He claims to be a Christian and is extremely evangelistic, but does not follow the Bible in his actions,” Barbara Micheau said in a divorce court document, according to the Times. “He says that as long as he believes he will be saved, he can do whatever he pleases.”

In the NPR story, Wertheimer said there was “a great deal of speculation” about whether religion played a role in the attack on Dec. 2 in San Bernardino where a couple killed 14 and wounded 21 other people.

The FBI has since said that Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple, were Muslims who had been “radicalized” and planned what is being investigated as a terrorist attack.

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