The Attacker, a young white male – yep – drove up to a church of the parish adjoining my parish (just the other side of some mountain ridges) armed with a 10 lb sledge hammer. He proceeded to destroy the life-size crucifix out front of that church, situated on one of the busiest streets of that town. I don’t know, but I imagine that the items below the crucifix were from the funeral of a child, items belonging to that child, the stuffed animals perhaps won at a County Fair, the Faith sign about nothing being impossible, a craft window (the diamond) perhaps created by that child. Perhaps it was from a funeral that The Attacker had attended a month or so previously. I don’t know.
He had to reach high to knock the INRI sign off the top of the cross. I gotta wonder if the hammer came down to hit him a couple of times. I’m guessing this is the case, since, as can be seen in the hellish, shrieking surveillance videos from inside the church, he is filled with adrenaline. The Attacker had a woman in his car with a toddler. They were watching his violence.
Having finished outside, The Attacker Guy then climbed the steps and went into the church, but not with the sledge hammer. When in church, he went up to the altar and grabbed the heavy brass crucifix like a weapon, and sang out the chorus of a popular revivalist song that I imagine is also sung frequently at non-Catholic funerals. You know the one: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?
Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, Lord, by and by
There’s a better home a-waiting
In the sky, Lord, in the sky
He sang that chorus twice. Of the two surveillance videos we have, he then starts to yell out as he walks over to the Gospel side of the Sanctuary:
“Lord God, I love you. It’s good to be home. I’m huntin’ my priest.”
Yep. He said that: “I’m huntin’ my priest.”
I can only guess where he was back from, not having been at home for some time, as he says, but it sounds from what he will say himself that it was a place where people were offering to help him, but only according to the conditions he himself sets up, like the “fact” that he himself is Jesus.
Unfortunately, there is a break between the two short videos we have. In the next video, The Attacker guy knocks down the large wall-crucifix behind the main altar. He’s shouting, a lot:
“And Bull Squat! It’s [-garbled-]. And I don’t want it! You [Jesus] will never hang again. Take this down! [He’s pointing at the crucifix, high up, but he’s commanding himself to take down the crucifix.] Festina [-garbled sounds like Latin-]. King [-garbled sounds like Swahili-]. Thank you, God. He’s not hangin’ on a tree.”
With that, he throws the large crucifix to the floor. Here’s the damage, with the head and arms broken up. For the picture afterward, the crucifix has been leaned up in front of the main altar:
At this point, Lady #1 comes in the front entrance of the church and asks in a very frightened voice: “What are you doing in here?”
He answers, quickly walking toward her with the brass altar crucifix still in his hand like a weapon. He had used that brass crucifix to smash down the wall crucifix. While he answers, advancing on her, he is pointing back over his shoulder toward the downed wall crucifix, and shouts at her: “I’m taken down Him” [sic].
Lady #1 bravely answers: “No, you’re not.”
The Attacker guy, very quickly advancing on her, and coming up to her [now out of the picture but with audio still quite clear], says, “Yes, I am. You’z can’t… You’z can’t ever approach [as in an altar-call] and you know it: your children talk in two different languages and [-garbled-].”
Lady #1, speaking now to Lady #2 who has just come in the side entrance of the church, says, scared to death, “Call the Police. Call 9-1-1.”
It sounds like The Attacker guy is throwing the brass crucifix to the floor [thank God!] in the front entrance of the church. The Attacker guy then says immediately about the 9-1-1 comment: “I would do the same [which is a threat for them to relay to the Police.] Hey! I am Jesus! You admit that of course you can help me. Our kids iz in hell because of THAT!” [meaning the crucifix.]
Lady #1 says: “No, they’re not!” [There’s a young girl on campus with others in the ladies group.]
The Attacker guy responds: “Yes, they are!” Then he says something that I’m not sure I’m hearing right, but it sure does sound like “Jesus is gnawing at you.”
Lady #1 is then on the phone with someone else asking for help.
A few things:
- He can “approach” the altar but no one else in the Catholic Church can be saved. What this means is that, for him, all Catholics are locked out of heaven forever, meaning that all Catholics are going to hell. There are consequences to that in the mind of The Attacker guy. Right?
- The reason for all this being from hell is given, that the children of the parishioners at the church speak two different languages. [English and Spanish languages, do you think?] And now we’ve moving to racism and strict segregationalism. Yep.
- The Attacker guy then speaks of “our kids,” saying that they are already in hell because of THAT!, meaning the crucifix to which he had been pointing. What this means is that it’s personal for him. Everyone who belongs to Catholic Church with all of the crucifixes is going to hell, but also everyone else who tolerates crucifixes to remain in view anywhere. Too much John 3:16, I guess. The crucifix corrupts kids. John 3:16 corrupts kids. Just. Wow.
Church shootings have been staged for much less than that. Whatever about the appropriateness of any actual red-flag laws, what this guy says and does constitute a red flag.
About some ministers: I have sometimes heard in different states around these USA from some non-Catholic ministers that the image of Jesus on the cross is a glorification of satanism. No. It’s praise to God the Father for having sent His only Son into the world to lay down His life for us. It’s a thanksgiving for the moment of the greatest act of love the universe has ever known. We evangelize the love of Jesus who has risen from the dead, yes. But remember, Jesus appeared after the Resurrection with the wounds still in His hands and feet and side, His Heart, and appears in heaven in the Book of Revelation with the wounds of slaughter upon Him, showing us how much He has loved us, to the end, and unto life, eternal life. Non-Catholic ministers who ever so violently reject John 3:16 should be careful with such violent lies, for they are creating mass-shooters and terrorists.
A note about Satan: The last thing Satan wanted is for Jesus to stay on the cross to die for us, because it is from that standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, taking on our punishment for sin, including original sin, that we are redeemed and can be saved. Satan wanted Jesus to “Come down from that cross!” Satan doesn’t want any one to be reminded of Jesus’ self-sacrificing love, like the Master, so the disciple. Smash the crucifixes shrieks Satan. Yep.
Thanks go to the police for their immediate response and their ability to arrest the guy without hurting him or getting hurt themselves. Awesome. Makes one proud to be an American. We have the best police in the world.