The online news site Newsweek, which is considering printing a magazine again after a receiving new funding, is claiming in an editorial that the Las Vegas shooter was a Christian and is trying to rub it in the faces of anyone who has speculated that Stephen Paddock was radicalized by Islamic extremism.
After 64-year-old Paddock killed 59 people and injured more than 500 at a country music concert in Las Vegas on Sunday, one of the many hypotheses out there was that he may have been radicalized by Islamic extremism because of the similarity in the nature of his attack. This speculation arose after ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, although no connection between Paddock and ISIS has been revealed by authorities.
But this week, senior Newsweek writer Alexander Nazaryan launched an editorial attack on anyone who may have ever espoused that idea, and he claimed Paddock’s faith was in Jesus Christ instead. Nazaryan’s piece was entitled “The Far Right Won’t Accept Las Vegas Killer Was a Christian White Male."
“The killer was a white guy, a Christian by birth if not belief. He was not radical, just a crazed man given the means by the gun lobby to terrorize innocent concertgoers in Las Vegas on Sunday night, shooting to death 59 of them. Stephen C. Paddock was, by all accounts so far, an ordinary American. That is what most terrifies the right,” Nazaryan wrote.
The right, however, may have to be informed that they’re supposed to be terrified by that concept. Plus, as more and more details emerge about Paddock’s life, it’s hard to describe it as “ordinary.” He was a multi-millionaire, high-stakes gambler with a penchant for buying up a large arsenal of firearms and a desire to kill as many fellow Americans as possible. Not exactly an average Joe.
Nazaryan went on to suggest that conservatives are itching to blame the attack on Muslims. The “evidence” behind his claim that Paddock is a Christian came out, though, after conservative media analyst Mark Dice got into a Twitter war with him.
In his editorial piece, Nazaryan claimed that “conspiracy theorist Mark Dice” agreed that law enforcement officers are hiding an ISIS connection. Dice demanded a retraction from Nazaryan, claiming he had never suggested that.
After Dice scolded Nazaryan for calling Paddock a Christian, the Newsroom writer replied:
To which Dice replied:
In a YouTube video addressing the matter, Dice explained that Paddock’s father — who was on the FBI’s most-wanted list for years, according to the New York Times — simply used a church as part of a scam.
Dice cited Slate.com, which told the account of Paddock’s father, who “returned to Oregon to open a new bingo parlor, this time under the guise of a non-denominational church, of which he claimed to be the pastor.”
Claiming to be a pastor doesn’t make Paddock’s father a Christian any more than claiming to be a bird would allow him to sprout wings and fly. And his father’s one-time role as a fake pastor wouldn’t make Stephen “a Christian by birth if not belief,” as Nazaryan claimed. Plus it’s more than a little difficult to attach Stephen’s lifestyle and murderous choices to Christianity.
Not surprisingly, the comments section on Nazaryan’s editorial was filled with negative feedback and claims that he’s a purveyor of “fake news” as well.
What do you think of this? In related news, Franklin Graham scolded liberals by pointing out the powerful act of one Las Vegas survivor.