April 19th marks the 16th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing when home grown terrorist, Timothy McVeigh, bombed the Oklahoma federal building killing 168 persons and injuring almost 700 more. Before September 11, 2001, it was the worst act of terrorism on American soil. But, it was not the only act of terrorism by home grown terrorists.
America’s first true homegrown terrorist group, the Klu Klux Klan, was formed as a racist and anti-Semitic movement in 1866. The Klan’s ideology was “Christian” oriented as they often recruited in churches although they practiced hate and violence against blacks and those in support of blacks and other minorities. The KKK sign of the cross is no coincidence as the same sign of the church and Christianity. The KKK burned blacks’ homes and lynched and killed blacks well into the 20th century.
In the 21st century, home grown American terrorists still kill and destroy lives. In 2009, Scott Roeder, a born again Christian, murdered abortion Dr. George Tiller, out of his religious and zealous Christian beliefs. In 2003 Reverend Paul Hill, a former Presbyterian minister, was executed for the 1994 killing of abortion doctor John Britton. A December 25, 1984 bombing of a Pensacola, FL abortion clinic was said to be a “gift to Jesus” by one of the bombers. Recent reports indicate the KKK is seeing a spike in membership since 2006 as a result of a perceived “assault on Christianity” due to gay marriage and immigration issues.
While we look at Islam and September 11 to point to terrorists who commit acts of violence in America, let’s not forget on the anniversary of the Oklahoma bombing that America has its own homegrown terrorists too in the 21st century.
Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer and legal and political commentator. She also contributes to the Huffington Post. She addresses issues on race and women. She holds a juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.