Tennessee Church Shooter Motivated by Revenge for Dylann Roof’s Massacre at Black Church

In discussing Samson’s attack, political and law enforcement officials told The New York Times on Friday that they had been worried about possible retaliation for Roof’s crimes. A former federal prosecutor said he was concerned about imitators but he never envisioned the imitator to be black.

(PHOTO: REUTERS;FACEBOOK)Dylann Roof (L) 23, Emanuel Kidega Samson (R), 25.

Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, the ex-member of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, who shot eight people including one fatally at his old church, was motivated by revenge for the nine churchgoers who were killed by Dylann Roof in 2015.

Roof, a 23-year-old white supremacist, was convicted in 2016 of killing nine black worshipers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, as they prayed at a Bible Study.

Police say Samson, an amateur bodybuilder who worked as a security guard, arrived at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ at 10:55 a.m. Sunday in a blue SUV wearing a neoprene half face mask, according to News Channel 5.

Armed with a handgun, he then “fired upon the church building” with his vehicle still running in the parking lot where he shot church member Melanie Crow Smith, 39, and left her for dead. He then went on to shoot several other people inside the church building.

The Associated Press said law enforcement officials had retrieved a note from Samson’s car that references revenge for Roof’s attack. A law enforcement report said that “in sum and in no way verbatim,” the note made reference to retaliation for the actions of Dylann S. Roof.

Roof had already received nine life sentences for his crime. He is currently on death row trying to appeal his sentence. About a week before Samson’s attack, The Washington Post said a federal judge recently dismissed Roof’s bid to fire his Jewish and Indian lawyers.

Roof, according to that report, had told investigators that he was trying to start a race war when he decided to gun down six women and three men at the church.

“Well yeah, I mean, I just went to that church in Charleston and, uh, I did it,” Roof told agents who asked him to explain what happened.

He further tried to justify the murders by saying what he did was “so minuscule” compared to what black people are “doing to white people every day all the time.”

“I had to do it because somebody had to do something,” he told FBI agents. “Black people are killing white people every day on the street, and they are raping white women.”

He remains unrepentant in jail for the church attack, declaring in a jailhouse journal entry presented by prosecutors: “I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed.”

In discussing Samson’s attack, political and law enforcement officials told The New York Times on Friday that they had been worried about possible retaliation for Roof’s crimes. A former federal prosecutor said he was concerned about imitators but he never envisioned the imitator to be black.

“I was worried about a lot of things, and that event was so horrific that I really didn’t know what effect it was going to have on the community,” William N. Nettles, who was the United States attorney for the District of South Carolina when the attack happened, said. “But at the time, my hunch was that I needed to be worried about a white nationalist’s copycat crime.”

Nettles said he was less worried a black person would seek race-based revenge “because of the enormous grace that was shown by the congregation and the community as a whole” after the Charleston massacre.

[written by By Leonardo Blair ]

Muslim Man Who Beheaded Coworker Told Investigators: Allah ‘Wants Us to Get the Oppressors Out’

“You know the Muslim is somebody who submits their will to Allah … Whatever he wants done, that’s what we do,” Alton Nolen, now 33, told police in 2014. “And you know he wants us to get the oppressors out of this place.”

NORMAN, Okla. — A Muslim man from Oklahoma who beheaded his coworker three years ago after being suspended from the job told investigators that Allah “wants us to get the oppressors out,” as per recorded audio played during his trial on Wednesday.

He said that he acted out because he felt he was being treated differently by his coworkers because he is a follower of Islam. “I don’t feel regret, because you know what I’ve done,” Nolen stated. “That’s probably going to make Vaughan Foods a better place to work for a Muslim.”  

In Sept. 2014, days following his suspension from Vaughan Foods over alleged comments about Caucasians, Nolen entered the front office, where he encountered Colleen Huffort and began attacking her with a knife.

“He did kill Colleen and did sever her head,” police spokesperson Jeremy Lewis stated in a press release following the incident.

Nolen then began attacking coworker Traci Johnson who caught the attention of others in the building with her screaming. One of those who heard Johnson’s cries for help was Chief Operating Officer Mark Vaughn, who also served as an Oklahoma county reserve deputy. Being armed at the time, he shot Nolen, saving Johnson’s life.  

“This was not going to stop if he didn’t stop it,” Lewis remarked. “It could have gotten a lot worse.”

Others in the building locked themselves in their offices and called 911. Police arrived on the scene minutes later.

Nolen was hospitalized and was interviewed by police while in the hospital.

On Wednesday, Johnson was one of those who testified in court for the prosecution. She explained that she heard Huffort screaming like bloody murder and hurried to see what was wrong.

“When I saw the defendant, I was frozen,” she said. “I couldn’t move. And I saw the knife with the blood, … and he made a mad dash toward me and pushed me up against the wall and held me up with his forearm against the wall and just started splicing my neck.”

“He wouldn’t stop,” Johnson recalled. “He was just going back and forth like he was cutting a piece of meat.”  The trial is scheduled to resume on Monday, when the defense will be provided the opportunity to make their case. They believe Nolen should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

“It’s all in the context of what legally insane means. And that is [if Nolen] didn’t know the difference between right and wrong, and didn’t know the consequences of his actions,” Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn told News9. “And clearly he knew what he did was wrong.”

Reports state that Nolen has a criminal past as he was convicted in 2011 on drug charges and for assaulting a police officer. He spent two years behind bars for his crimes before being released on probation. His Facebook page also was stated to contain “provocative” content that is Islamic in nature and critical of the United States.

[written by Heather Clark]

Confronting White Supremacy In Christianity As A Christian South Asian

If white people (Christian or not) can practice “yoga” with goats and beer, there’s no way I’m giving up the rest of my culture for their vision of my faith.

“Oh, really? I didn’t expect that…” a puzzled reaction plenty of people have had after realizing that I’m a Christian. I can’t say that I blame them, given that even today I don’t necessarily fit the standard ideal of what a Christian looks like on the outside.

 

Christianity as a practice has long been a whitewashed glorification of fabricated superiority, its history of white supremacy manifested through colonialism and genocide across the globe. Yet, it is in part because of such monstrosities that people like me have been pushed into the Christian circle and remained there fueled by confusion, frustration, sometimes anger, and most importantly, faith.

 

I was born into a Christian home long after my parents and grandparents had converted from Hinduism. I had a christening, volunteered at my church, and attended Sunday School regularly as a child followed by Youth Group throughout my adolescence. I spent just as much time doing Sunday School projects and assignments as I did my regular homework, memorized Bible verses to win church competitions, participated in holiday plays, sang in the choir, and soaked up as many of Jesus’ teachings as I could. Most importantly, I did so eagerly, not only because it pleased my parents and pastors but because I wholeheartedly wanted to.

 

As I got older and transitioned between junior church and the congregation, I noticed a distinct shift. Instead of learning how to more accurately follow Jesus I was now required to obey Paul, the Apostle. Depending on the church and pastor, instead of hearing more about the Gospel or understanding the contextual teachings of the Old Testament, I was being instructed on how to convert my non-Christian friends and taught that homosexuality for some, was the reason why the world would end in 2012 (Spoiler Alert: it didn’t). I easily dismissed much of what I’d heard within my own interpretation of the Bible.

 

I was never convinced that spreading the Gospel meant actively trying to convert others at each and every turn, nor could I ever fathom that Jesus would reject someone simply because of who they loved while on Earth, it fundamentally wouldn’t make sense based on what I knew about Him, and I’ve never wavered from my stance. The issue that I felt most conflicted with personally, was the notion that any reference or adherence to my Hindu background and Indian culture was viewed as both religious and blasphemous.

Christianity in India highlights a violent history of white supremacy through colonization and mass conversion by Europeans including, the Portuguese, Irish, Dutch, Italian, French, and English many of whom hold cultural influence that has remained to this day in places like Kerala, Pondicherry, and Goa. Similarly, there doesn’t appear to be much of a difference in the diaspora. For instance, my family converted to Christianity while living under the Apartheid regime in South Africa, an entire system of white supremacy supported by ‘Christian’ values.

This idea that maintaining a connection to my ethnic background meant that I was committing a sin has consistently challenged me to this day. Why could I not sing songs of praise to Jesus and also find a different sort of comfort in hearing the Gayatri Mantra play in the background of some random Indian film? Was it really such a big deal that some people had both Hindu and Christian wedding ceremonies? How does one just ignore their entire culture based on the Western classification of what ‘religion’ is? Further, it perplexed me that people who were not Indian decided that I essentially needed to be whitewashed and dismiss the very things that God bestowed upon me Himself. Even now, whenever I meet white Christians – regardless of denomination – there is a never-ending attempt to convert because to them my brown skin screams Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh. If I walk into a new church they always assume I’ve never even heard of Jesus before instead of treating me like they would any normal visitor whereas, Christians of color have never confronted me with such racist assumptions.

 

It wasn’t until I went to university and devoted part of my degree to studying Christianity in the global context while within a supposedly less biased environment that I truly realized the extent to which white supremacy in Christianity transcends church, denomination, and geography. Rather, it is engrained into the Western manifestation of the tradition at its very core. As a student, I was finally able to objectively critique and understand the problematic nature of evangelism in South Asia and could examine how traditional Indian customs were being stripped away in favor of Eurocentric-Christian traditions. However, I also found that I was usually the only non-white person in my classes and at the very least, the only one who would willingly argue against the narrative that, the result of witnessing Indians come to Christ justifies the horrors of colonialism. A position that to my predominantly religious classmates, implied I was certainly not a believer.

 

To list every single issue with white supremacy in modern Christianity would take far too long and differ greatly, from the lack of diversity within church leadership to problematic mission trips in developing countries. All the while there are a plethora of Christians of color who have to endure it, often in silence. How to navigate this rhetoric openly is another challenge altogether, one that I’m not sure I know how to combat other than by calling it out. If no one admits that there remains a problem then how can we possibly resolve it? In 2016, 81% of white, evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump in the American election which in my opinion, pretty much sums up the existence of white supremacy within the North American context.

 

My father used to say, “I go to church for God, not for other people” and perhaps he was right. How else can one stomach walking into a space we were brought into based on a racist interpretation of the Bible? Personally, I know there’s more to my life than what’s on this Earth and I’ll continue to uphold my faith while equitably critiquing its downfalls. If white people (Christian or not) can practice “yoga” with goats and beer, there’s no way I’m giving up the rest of my culture for their vision of my faith.

 

‘Satanist Group’ Fizzles in Tacoma School

Atheists masquerading as a so-called Satanist Temple group recently ended its after-school program at Point Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma.

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 18, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Atheists masquerading as a so-called Satanist Temple group recently ended its after-school program at Point Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma. The After-School Satan Club ceased meeting soon after teachers from the Seattle Satanic Temple offered their first meeting in December 2016. Apparently, only one child joined the club.

The group states that its purpose is to target the districts where Good News Clubs meet after school. The Good News Clubs are sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship.

Tacoma School Board’s decision last year to allow the Satanist club drew protests from parents who asked school officials to ban it. The Satanic Temple is an atheist organization known for controversial publicity stunts proclaiming it is a Satanic group in order to scare school boards into blocking access to the Good News Clubs. The After-School Satan Club promotes evolution, gender confusion, and abortion to club attendees.

Good News Clubs are for children ages 5-12 and teach morals and character development from a Christian viewpoint. In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Good News Clubs have a First Amendment right to meet on campus after school. Liberty Counsel represents CEF nationwide and has never lost a CEF case.

Contact: Liberty Counsel, 407-875-1776, Media@LC.org; Press Kit

 

Black Christian University Professor Suspended After Saying Some BLM Members ‘Should Be Hung’

A Black professor at a Christian university in Phoenix has been suspended after a video clip revealed him making troubling remarks about activists in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Prof. Toby Jennings, of Grand Canyon University, was recorded in September 2016 speaking during a panel discussion called “God’s concern for the poor: What’s missing in social justice” when he was asked about Black Lives Matter. During his answer, Jennings openly stated he believed some members of the group “should be hung.”

After Jennings made the comment, several people in the room gasped, and Jennings said he was alright with his opinion even though he knew he was on camera.

Jennings said activists in the Black Lives Matter movement are different; some work for good, and some do not.

After the video was recently posted to GCU’s website and received tremendous backlash, the university’s College of Theology told professor Jennings his statements were offensive. Although Jennings apologized for his remarks, BLM was not satisfied and took matters into their own hands.

As a result, GCU suspended Jennings for the rest of the semester, yet members of BLM in Phoenix want more action to be taken.

“My heart is broken, not because GCU is our enemy, but they claim to be our brothers and sisters. Brothers and sisters please stop avoiding talking about ways racism… makes us uncomfortable,” Pastor Warren Stewart Jr. told Fox 10.

The president of Grand Canyon University said Jennings’s comments should be looked at as a reflection of the entire institution.

“Yes, it was wrong, but it is an isolated incident and it does not represent who our faculty is and it does not represent who our students are,” Brian Mueller, GCU’s president, told Fox 10.

“You have folks that participate in it on one side that are very thoughtful about the matter and then on the other side, you have people on the opposite side of that who frankly should be hung and I did say that on video… they are saying things that are not helpful in any shape or form or human dignity or flourishing,” Jennings said.

[Photo, story and video by Fox 10 News]

  • Be honest staff members of GCU, didn’t this man say openly what many of you said in private with your friends and family? I’m sure at some time in your [recent] life you have said even worse than this in private! You without sin CAST THE FIRST STONE! It’s all about being politically correct, this man was not fired/suspended because the staff members of GCU are so pure and holy, his job is in jeopardy because the school doesn’t want to lose donors and students!  You’re not fooling God you Philistines!