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Christianist bombings and shootings are never, ever "terror"

Why is it that when the paramilitary wing of the Christianist movement bombs a clinic or shoots a doctor, it's never covered as an act of terror? Check out this Times story and note the curious lack of agency:

A rash [how spontaneous!] of attacks on abortion and family planning clinics has struck [passive voice!] Albuquerque this month, the first such violence there in nearly a decade.

Two attacks occurred [just happened?] early Tuesday at two buildings belonging to Planned Parenthood of New Mexico, according to Albuquerque police and fire officials. An arson fire [not arsonists?] damaged a surgery center the organization uses for abortions, and the windows of a Planned Parenthood family planning clinic 12 blocks away were [passive voice!] smashed, the officials said.

See, if there's no subject for the sentence, then there are no terrorists, and if there are no terrorists, there can be no terror. Right?

The attacks came just weeks after the Albuquerque clinic run by a nationally known abortion provider, Dr. Curtis Boyd, was destroyed by arsonists [What kind of arsonist?] on Dec. 6.

I mean, sure, forcing women to start using coathangers in back alleys again is a deeply, deeply moral act, so there's absolutely no question that Christianist paramilitaries behind it all are truly heroic figures in the kulturkampf, but can't we get just a smidgeon of balance in the coverage from The World's Greatest Newspaper (not)?

Oh, here's the euphemism du jour:

A study issued last year by the Feminist Majority Foundation, which monitors attacks on abortion clinics, concluded that the most serious anti-abortion violence had declined since 1994, when federal legislation gave greater protection to providers and patients. According to the report, 18 percent of clinics experienced severe violence in 2005, compared with 52 percent in 1994.

Still, the report said, many clinics are still targets of extreme violence.

Oh, OK. "Extreme violence" by Christianist paramilitaries isn't "terror."

Except that by statute, it is.

Hey Bill! Can you take this up with the copy desk? Thanks.

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vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

What I don't get about Christianists

The Bible clearly and repeatedly states that people who work on the Sabbath must be put to death.

Why aren't these champions of Biblical purity wreaking God's will upon 7-11 workers? Why aren't they going all "Black Sunday" every week (or Black Friday night / Black Saturday day, if that's how their Sabbath rolls)?

Why won't God's avengers stand up and stop the blasphemy?

I haven't yet found any Bible verses about killing abortion doctors, but there is no doubt that stoning weekend workers is the Lord's will.

How can we proudly call ourselves a Christian nation with this blessed mission going undone?

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Don't the perps need to have dark skin to be considered terrorists?

Perhaps Dr. Laura could weigh in with your enforcement proposition, i know she's a real expert on those old testament issues.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Sorry, you're right. I forgot the DFH's and their new brethren, the modern non-conformists.

Of course today's progressives may have short hair, they rarely wear tie dyes and VW buses are just too difficult to get parts for reliably so picking us out of a crowd can be more difficult. This is good.

Thanks for saying what our media won't.

Cheers to the Corrente Crew and may you kick some serious ass in 2008!

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

that is, it's always absorbed by our discourse as something that 'just happens,' and that is 'natural.' you know, we can't just expect all men to be cool with that crazy notion that wimmin should control their own bodies. that's just silly. so a couple of em let off a little steam now and again, they're just like frat pranks, not dangerous or anything.

"terrorism" is too manly, too virile. it's used correctly only by those who are part of the great modern conflict that defines our lives. as traitorous subhumans, liberals and wimmin can't be expected to understand why it's only applied to swarthy people, environmentalists, and those who oppose an economic oligarchy of the few.

...a grinch here because I'm going to nitpick at a couple of details even as I agree with the argument about the foul refusal to label bombings and shootings for what they are when the target is the right to choose.

The first is that, of course, "terrorist" is a description reserved for officially-approved targets and the effects do show up elsewhere: Consider, for example, how often it's "the Oklahoma City bombing" but "the terrorist attack of 9/11."

Another - and yes, this really is nitpicking - your first reference to passive voice is incorrect. The form of the sentence is "a rash of attacks has struck clinics." That is active voice. Passive voice would be "clinics have been struck by a rash of attacks." Compare that with your second reference to passive voice, which is correct.

You're absolutely right that there is a lack of agency, a lack of a force that would drive events (here, a human attacker). That sort of semantic dodge in the article is exactly the kind of thing you're denouncing - but grammatically, lack of agency does not necessarily mean passive voice.

Next, speaking of picking nits, personally I think it's a bit nit-picky of you to cite the use of "arson fire" rather than "arsonist" when almost immediately after, the article does use the latter term.

Finally, as for the "euphemism du jour," the term "severe violence" was that used in the report from Feminist Majority, which defined it as including "blockades, invasions, arsons, bombings, chemical attacks, stalking, gunfire, physical assaults, and threats of death, bomb, or arson."

Submitted by lambert on

Sometimes we write in haste, where sometimes means always.

If you check the link to the law, though, I think you will find that this act is indeed terrrorism, within the meaning of the act.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

It would have been great if those babykilling abortion mills had burnt to the ground. Then there wouldn't be any more innocent babies murdered in them.
SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

to the ground with the "babykillers" still inside, eh?

you better watch that sort of talk, ac. seriously- myself and the rest of the women here love jesus. specifically, his message of peace. so if you get too close to that line of advocating this kind of violence, we will report you. and be amused to know the apparatus of tryanny is applied to one of its own, for a change.

consider yourself warned.

Submitted by lambert on

... that shows the raw evil of the Christianist movement better than Anonymous Coward's post.

Death in one sentence, prayer in the next.

C'mon, CD, what's wrong with you? Don't you understand you're a vessel?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.