May 2006, Scientific American, Letters
Assessing Deadly Certitude
In “Murdercide” [Skeptic], Michael Shermer is once again dead-on (forgive the pun): it is inapt to think of suicide bombers as typical suicide victims. Rather than succumbing to despair and depression, they are committing what they consider affirmative acts of faith. In short, they are religious fanatics, hardly different from the murderers of abortion doctors, except that the latter zealots don’t kill themselves as well.
Shermer cites Princeton University economist Alan B. Kreuger’s finding that some countries that have spawned many terrorists (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain) are economically well off yet lack civil liberties, whereas poor countries that protect civil liberties are unlikely to spawn terrorists. That might be a good correlation, but a better factor than civil liberties is probably the degree of fundamentalist religious extremism present in a country. The murderers of 9/11 were Islamic jihadists first, citizens of their various nations second.
It appears Kevin hates and fears religious fundamentalists of all stripes and considers them murderous fanatics. Note how he equates suicide bombers with those who kill abortion doctors saying only killing themselves afterward is what separates the two. Kevin Padian is one sick puppy with an irrational hatred of religious fundamentalists.
Suicide bombers kill/wound as many as possible, they don’t know who the victims are, they don’t care whether the victims have done anything wrong (perceived or real), and in their indiscrete targeting even kill people of their own creed.
Conversely, in the United States there have been only two abortion doctors murdered (AFAIK) and in both cases the murderer knew exactly who he was killing, perceived the target as a serial murderer of innocent children, and didn’t kill anyone else.
There is no comparison but Kevin Padian in his mindless rage against fundamentalists sees no difference. If you ask me it’s people like Kevin Padian who are a danger to society not fundamentalist Christians. If Padian can’t tell the difference between a mass murdering suicide bomber indiscriminately blowing up crowds of people and a gunman carefully selecting a single target for murder then Padian simply isn’t playing with a full deck and one has to hope he never decides to murder anyone because he isn’t able to distinguish between killing a crowd of strangers and a single person against whom he holds a grudge.