President Clinton, saying there is no evidence of a national conspiracy in the burning of 30 black churches in the South, vowed today to end the racially motivated attacks as quickly as possible.
"It's hard to think of a more depraved act of violence than the destruction of a place of worship," Clinton said in his weekly radio address.
Whoever is burning Southern black churches is certainly depraved, let there be no doubt about that. However, at this moment, we simply don't know who is doing this or why.
What we do know is that President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno burned down a church--while the congregation was still inside. A headline in the mainstream media such as "Reno Vows Vigorous Hunt for Church Arsonists" is terribly ironic, as well as breathtakingly hypocritical.
That church, of course, was Mount Carmel, located just outside of Waco, Texas. Members of that church were black, white, Asian, and Mexican-American; they were many races, of many nationalities.
Mainstream media reports claimed that the Branch Davidians were religious extremists, gun-running, drug-dealing child abusers. Of course, none of that was true. The guns were legal, there were no drugs, there was no child abuse, nothing. Have we yet heard an apology from the mainstream media for their lies, distortions, or even their craven, cowardly manner of getting all their "news" directly from ATF and FBI handouts? Of course not. It was business as usual.
These same pudits are now pontificating about these despicable new church burnings. This is as smugly hypocritical as Clinton's and Reno's proclamations. The media was complicit in that church burning in Waco, Texas in 1993.
Mount Carmel was a church, a Christian church, although of a minority sect. At Mount Carmel they studied the Bible and listened to sermons. They believed in Jesus Christ, and that He would come again. David Koresh was writing a manuscript concerning the Book of Revelations, a study of the seven seals. He never got to finish his manuscript. He was interrupted by the burning of his church.
After a sustained attack and siege, the ATF and FBI, under orders from Clinton and Reno, finally used tanks against the Mount Carmel church. These tanks lobbed highly flammable CS gas, which is banned from use in war with our enemies, into the church. The CS gas caught fire, burning down the church, and burning most of the congregation of men, women and seventeen children to death.
In a Sunday, June 9 article, Reuters says that "some 200 Justice and Treasury department agents were involved in the investigations" of the new rash of church burnings. These "Justice and Treasury" agents are, of course, FBI and ATF, who have experience with church burning, having performed one themselves back in 1993.
"The Clinton administration will 'devote whatever resources are necessary' to their search for the arsonists of the black churches." And that is as it should be. We would all like to see a quick end to this.
And then Clinton and Reno should resign their offices of honor and trust, since they are also guilty of torching a church. With the congregation inside.
"It's hard to think of a more depraved act of violence than the destruction of a place of worship."
Indeed. And it's hard to think of anything more thoroughly hypocritical Clinton could say than this.
June 11, 1996
© Patricia Neill, 1997
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