The target of the ultra-right-wing, racist, white nationalist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, pro-NRA, white nationalist and virulent fundamentalist Christian Robert Bowers, was a small congregation of elderly Jews in Pittsburgh whom Bowers must have thought were members of (or just sympathetic with) a 130-year-old humanitarian organization called HIAS that he had railed against on his neo-fascist online social media community.
Just a few hours before the cold-blooded assault rifle massacre, Bowers had tweeted a message to his online mates, saying: “I’m going in.” Just before he began the mass shooting of the unarmed parishioners, he yelled “All Jews must die.”
Of course, just like the many other fundamentalist Christians that are rabid supporters of the amoral, pathological liar Donald Trump and also have anti-Semitic biases, Bowers had quoted one of Christian supremacy’s favorite passages, the infamous John 8:44, as he was trying to justify his particular anti-Semitic action at the Tree of Life Jewish synagogue, Saturday, October 27, 2018.
John 8:44 recorded the heated discussion that the “libtard” Palestinian Jew Jesus had allegedly had with members of the ritualistic, nationalistic, exclusionary, religious Pharisee party. The Pharisees apparently didn’t appreciate Jesus’ open-minded, compassionate and ecumenical approach to dealing with oppressed and suffering non-Jews in Palestine who were among “the least of these my brethren”.
In that passage, the unknown author of the non-synoptic gospel of John has Jesus say to some of the Pharisees:
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
But, of course Bowers, just like the multitude of his pro-violence, fundamentalist Christian brethren, is Very selectively using obscure passages from among the many other, often self-contradictory passages in the Hebrew Old Testament and the Christian New Testament in order to justify his political actions and beliefs.
Bowers had likely been brain-washed by listening to fundamentalist sermons and going to fundamentalist Bible studies that espoused the Christian Supremacist (and therefore anti-Semitic) dogmas of preachers that popularlized such quotes from the Bible.
Fundamentalism in any organized religion means literally believing – word for word – everything that is written in it’s allegedly “sacred” texts. In the case of fundamentalist Christianity, that means the entire Bible, but not necessarily as it was recorded in the original texts or in the original languages of the original authors, but even in the form in which it was later re-written, re-interpreted and re-translated. In the case of the Christian New Testament, that language was Koine Greek, which Jesus did not speak and which is now a dead language.
Of course, what the non-biblical scholar Bowers and his non- scholar preachers and teachers have always misunderstood, there have been a multitude of translations of the New Testament over the 2000 years since the crucifixion of Jesus and since the death of the language in which John 8:44 was written.
And so Bowers, just like his many anti-Semitic, Trump-supporting, racist cohorts, had adopted biblical literalism as legitimate proof of white Christian supremacy without any awareness that he had been deceived by non-scholar propagandists with some ax to grind. Those teachers of the naïve, semi-illiterate Bowers had probably been deceived themselves by some “true believer” in past era. And none of them knew that the author of the gospel of John is unknown.
(It is important to understand that the vast majority of legitimate biblical scholars agree that Jesus never uttered any of the words that are attributed to him in the gospel of John. Everything in that gospel – as well as many the other sayings commonly attributed to Jesus in the three other (synoptic) gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke – were placed on his lips. For much more on that issue, consult the amazing scholarly yet easily understandable 1993 book: “The Five Gospels; What Did Jesus Really Say?: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus”, a compilation of the decade-long deliberations of “The Jesus Seminar” scholars. The book was compiled by one of the biblical scholar that organized the series of meetings, Robert W. Funk. (The “fifth gospel” in the title, incidentally, refers to the recently discovered gospel of Thomas, regarded by biblical scholars as historically authentic – as opposed to the gospel of John.)
But if John 8:44 had even a hint of authenticity, Bowers and others of his ilk conveniently ignore the fact that the accusations in the passage could easily be applied to any number of modern-day, dis-informational, anti-progressive political or financial liars – including Donald Trump, for example – whose speeches have been shown to contain a handful of blatant lies every day!
John 8:44 could apply to any silver-tongued cult-leader, whether of a congregation or a political movement who is a master of lies and deception when the speaker says: “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
After the massacre, one of the chatroom commenters that Bowers had participated in called him a hero. (See below for portions of some of the many comments that I retrieved from a couple of the sites that Bowers was a part of.) The many members of those sites agreed totally with the worst of the Trump agenda and some actually felt that Trump wasn’t as radical as they thought he should be on racial issues, especially immigration. Bowers was said to have claimed that he didn’t vote for Trump and yet his politics is identical to Trump’s. So he likely didn’t vote at all and chose to make the claim for mis-direction purposes. And, given that mass killers are sociopaths and usually both devious and serial liars, that comment, if he said it at all, is likely to be inaccurate. Other that wanting Trump to be more radical than he already is, Bowers and his fellow bloggers were promoting the same agendas as Trump espoused at his political rallies.
Bowers’ unarmed targets on the morning of Oct 27, 2018 were innocent members of a small Pittsburgh synagogue that Bowers must have suspected were associated with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, better known as HIAS.
According to HIAS’s American website, it:
is an American nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian aid and assistance to refugees anywhere in the world. HIAS works with people whose lives and freedom are believed to be at risk due to war, persecution or violence. As we expanded our mission to protect and assist refugees of all faiths and ethnicities, we realized our name no longer represented the organization. We are now known as HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees.
HIAS recently celebrated 130 years of helping refugees escape persecution and resettle in safety; reuniting families who have been separated, helping them to build new lives in safety and freedom.
In the aftermath of the massacre, as might be expected from any irrational, insensitive politician who has received sizable National Rifle Association financial contributions (as has been the case of many GOP candidates running for office at this time), President Trump tastelessly proclaimed: “If the Pittsburgh synagogue had had armed guards, results would have been far better.”
Below is a series of extremely disturbing (for anybody with a conscience, that is) social media comments that I copied directly from some of the neofascist chatrooms that Bowers apparently frequented. Except for the first one, they were all were x-number of hours of days prior to Bower’s mass murder. I recorded them approximately 6 hours prior to the atrocity (10-27-2018). I erased the code names of the various bloggers.
2 hours ago
So a man who’s finally had enough, snuffed out a bunch of parasitic vermin who want every White man, woman and child tortured, raped and exterminated.
You know, the very least you could do is be quiet and not attack him.
Robert Bowers @onedingo
2 hours ago
HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people.
I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered.
Screw your optics, I’m going in.
Robert Bowers @onedingo
17 days ago
Why hello there HIAS! You like to bring in hostile invaders to dwell among us?
We appreciate the list of friends you have provided:
Pat Buchanan said that the mass migration of unassimilable peoples and cultures from the global South represents an existential threat to Europe. White countries (should be) for white people. Returning independence to whites is the greatest achievement our generation can hope to accomplish.
8 days ago
Agreed, and there should be White Christianity for White Christian Nationalists.
4 days ago
There is the creation of Adam and Eve and there is the new creation which was accomplished when Our Lord Jesus Christ died on Golgotha.
Because through Christ every human being becomes a new man, a new woman.
Now, in Eastern Orthodoxy in general, there is less emphasis placed on dogmas than in the Roman Catholic Church except for the dogmas defined in the Seven Ecumenical Councils which are non-negotiable.
Phyletism, the position that certain autocephalous churches could be exclusive to a particular nation or tribe is a heresy that was condemned at the Synod of Constaninople in 1873. The national autocephalous churches of Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia were given autocephalous status well after these countries had struggled for independence from the Ottoman Caliphate. But the position of the Synod was that the churches in question may not exclude people of other ethnic origins.
Different ethnic groups, nations and races are a reality in the human condition as much as the often terribly violent internecine strife that occurs between them but these should never overshadow the Pantocrator’s design of the Human Race. The divine vocation of mankind is as partner with God in the process of Creation. Yes, indeed the Redeemer, second person of the Holy Trinity, became man so that man could become God.
Though, different Russian historians and Russian Orthodox theologians may have their own individual views on the subject, there is no and will never be any Russian Orthodox dogma on the creation of the races. This was not a concern of the Seven Ecumenical Councils.
8 days ago
You cannot bring third world people into a first world society and expect things to work! Europeans trying to fruitlessly cope with the Muslim invasion. . . America with the invaders from Mexico and other Latin American countries. . . Haven’t we seen the failure to integrate with our own eyes? How many more dismal examples do we need? Primitive people groping and raping women and even children. Thievery rampant. Their “you owe us” mentality thrust into our faces on a daily basis.
5 days ago
The leftist media must be castrated.
8 days ago
In the circumstances you described, just how long can the DWLs (Degenerate White Liberals) maintain and thrive in their 100% isolated White neighborhoods??
I would estimate until the first hot day, water demand goes up, and water ingress is cut off!!! Three days later mass raping of ALL White liberal women, of whatever age, and the mass “sterilization” of all White males in these same neighborhoods!!!
8 days ago
Trump’s heart is in the right place, but he is sometimes weak on this issue. For the Left, like Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and most of the mainstream media, immigration is THE number one issue and one they will fight for tooth and nail. (This is the real reason they opposed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, not abortion, btw.) on every single issue one can predict the Left’s position by asking if that position would reduce the power, number, or influence of the White population in any given country. Trump needs to think about this.
What is good for White Americans is good for America, and vice versa. It is a zero sum game. Trump’s problem is he wants to be thought of as a nice guy by the elites he used to party with. He has to make a choice whether he wants to do what needs to be done for this country and for future posterity, or does he want to be seen as a “nice guy” by his wealthy friends. (Even CBS admitted that these illegal border crossings quadrupled after Trump ended the family separation policy.)
7 days ago
Minefields would be nice. Bouncing Betties for maximum impact. The prospect of seeing your ‘fellow travellers’ sliced into pieces / parts right in front of you might have a suitably chilling effect. I’m still for an additional ‘layer’ between the razor concertina wire and the fortification wall: what about a moat ? That would complete the look of Medieval castle fortifications. We should dump our sewage into it, if Mexico doesn’t take the lead doing that. Tijuana probably produces enough to ‘stock’ the entire length of the wall, but we should discourage that, since it might unduly impact the piranha populations and the health of the alligators and crocodiles and water moccasin snakes.
8 days ago
How does any self-sovereign nation stop an invasion by “outlanders”/outsiders who are not citizens of that nation!! Such a nation mobilizes its entire manpower and declares W-A-R against the invaders. And the act of declaring WAR demands that the invaders be physically killed in order to stop said invasion!!
It is actually very simple what needs to be done!!!
8 days ago
One could be forgiven for suspecting that the Dems are behind the latest “refugee caravan”. It’s no accident that they will arrive just before Election Day. If the President allows them in, he is a wimp in the eyes of supporters. If he stops them, he is a Nazi in the eyes of his opponents. Any who do get in will eventually become loyal Demographic Party voters.
What’s not to like?
8 days ago
Mexico doesn’t give a rat’s pitoot about these people. They know that their destination is the US and they will see to it that they get to our border.
We will never solve this problem by temporizing with it. When this invading horde reaches our border, it should be met with lethal force. Once that happens, there will be no more caravans.
7 days ago
Definitely met with lethal force. Israel knows how to do it effectively!
5 days ago
Indeed. When they can kill all those civilians including babies with impunity, why can we not do the same thing? The people that they kill are not even invaders, but the native born rightful inhabitants of the land that the “Israelies” claim is now theirs. I am all for equal rights.
7 days ago
Even mothers with babies? You gotta be kidding, Right? Have you ever bothered to learn about the USA Constitution and international law?
7 days ago
Yes, I have read the US Constitution in its entirety. International law (so-called) is a bad joke. Mothers with babies are a large part of the problem. I don’t want them here. I would stop them by any means necessary.
Is that sufficiently explicit for you?
6 days ago
I agree! Alien women and children within our borders are a long term threat. We need to protect our women and children from the invading hordes. How many of our women, children and men have been killed by illegals?
➽Dr. Kohls is a retired family physician from Duluth, MN, USA. Since his retirement from his holistic mental health practice he has been writing his weekly Duty to Warn column for the Duluth Reader, northeast Minnesota’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns, which are re-published around the world, deal with the dangers of American fascism.