I love this time of year. It brings out the best in everyone. It’s our chance to remember the kindred spirit of all humankind, to reflect upon the virtures of kindness and generosity of both spirit and of material goods. It is also once again time to be instructed in the duties of Christian charity and virtue by our favorite conservative bloggers.
This time, it’s John Hinderaker from Powerline, who shows us that, just as Jesus would have done, he’s not above scoring cheap points against his political enemies off of a genuine human tragedy.
The man who shot up a training center for missionaries and a church in suburban Denver, killing four people and wounding a number of others, has been identified:
A law enforcement official says the deadly rampages at a megachurch and a missionary training school were believed to have been carried out by the same person—Matthew Murray, a 24-year-old suburban Denver man who “hated Christians.”
It is perhaps worth noting that the toll in Sunday’s shootings exceeded the combined total in all “hate crimes” against Muslims in the six years since September 11
Now, let’s just set aside what a poorly written sentence that is, shall we? Because after reading it, I’m not sure if Hindy means to compare the number of murders over the weekend with the number of Muslims who have been murdered in hate crime incidents, or if he means to compare the murders over the weekend with the number of hate crimes in general against Muslims. Either way, aside from being a pompous, callous jackass, he’s just wrong.
A quick perusal of the FBI hate crimes database shows that in the years 2001-2006, exactly one person was murdered out of religious bias. In 2002, one person whose religion is listed as “other” was murdered in a hate crime. The real kicker here is that this attack in Colorado shows absolutely no signs of being a hate crime in the first place.* Hinderaker, like most of his ilk, has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to hate crime legislation. But then again, why should he? After all, he’s just a lawyer. But trying to imply that Muslims don’t have it as bad as Christians do when it comes to bias murders is pretty damn stupid when nobody in this country gets murdered over religious bias — not, at least, as far as the statistics kept by the FBI are concerned.
If, however, he meant to compare the deaths in Colorado this weekend to the “combined total in all ‘hate crimes’ (love the scare quotes, by the way) against Muslims in the six years since September 11″…..um, I’m not quite sure how to put this delicately…..
Almost a thousand Muslims have experienced either aggravated assault, simple assault, or intimidation qualified by the FBI as “hate crimes” since 2001. And yeah, I actually sat and compiled the data off the bases for five years, just to make a point about how completely ignorant and petty John Hinderaker is. I’m not sure why I did it, either — consider it my Christmas gift to the Powerline boys (the grand total, barring any addition errors on my part, was actually 912, in case anyone’s interested).
But being John Hinderaker means never having to say you’re sorry, even when you are wrong by several orders of magnitude.
Merry Christmas, John! Maybe if you’re lucky, someone will burn down a megachurch sometime this week, just so you can have more excuses to make catty comments about how good those nasty Muslims have it here in America, where they don’t even deserve to be, after all.
* Hindy provides the following in an update:
UPDATE: Murray was apparently a former Christian who was kicked out of Youth With a Mission, the missionary training program, some years ago.
This should be unsurprising to all but Hindy, because the article he was quoting in the first place continues thusly:
Authorities searched the Murray home Monday on a quiet street in Englewood. No one was home when a reporter visited the split-level brick home early Monday. Murray’s father, Ronald S. Murray, is a neurologist who is chief executive of the Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center in Englewood.
Matthew Murray lived there along with a brother, Christopher, 21, a student at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.
A neighbor, Cody Askeland, 19, said the brothers were home-schooled, describing the whole family as “very, very religious.”