Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
Are you a Christian?
That's the question Chris Mercer reportedly asked his victims at the Oregon college yesterday. Reportedly, he shot Christians in the head and those who said they weren't Christian were shot in the leg. In all, ten are reported to have died.
A gunman singled out Christians, telling them they would see God in “one second,” during a rampage at an Oregon college Thursday that left at least nine innocent people dead and several more wounded, survivors and authorities said. “[He started] asking people one by one what their religion was. ‘Are you a Christian?’ he would ask them, and if you’re a Christian stand up. And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you are going to see God in just about one second.’ And then he shot and killed them,” Stacy Boylen, whose daughter was wounded at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., told CNN.
A twitter user named @bodhilooney,” who said her grandmother was at the scene of the carnage, tweeted that if victims said they were Christian “then they were shot in the head. If they said no, or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs.”
Gunman Chris Harper-Mercer’s disdain for religion was evident in an online profile, in which he became a member of a “doesn’t like organized religion” group on an Internet dating site. Kortney Moore, 18, said she saw the teacher of her Writing 115 class get shot in the head at the college’s Snyder Hall before the gunman started asking people to state their religion and opening fire, the city’s News-Review newspaper reported.
Prayers for all involved here. My heart is sick over this. I am horrified. But I am also bowled over by those who looked back at the gunman and admitted to being a Christian. I wonder and pray that I would have the courage to stand up against the face of hatred and say, "Yes, I am a Christian."
I think back on how, after the racist shooting at that Charleston Church, many in the media linked the racism of the gunman to the state of the country today. I doubt many will be looking towards a link between this violence and the anti-Christian sentiments and actions from this administration, the clichéd and twisted portrayals of Christians on television, and the writings of many vitriolic writers at well known publications. That aspect will likely be ignored or downplayed in coming days but few can honestly deny the dark tide of anti-Christianity which is rising in this country.
Pray for this country.