Jeanne Assam, Badass Church Lady Of The Week

Illustration for article titled Jeanne Assam, Badass Church Lady Of The Week

Security guard Jeanne Assam is sort of the woman of the moment, after she saved potentially hundreds of lives by shooting the crazy church killer of Colorado Springs when he tried to enter her church, the Ted Haggard-founded New Life megachurch. Assam works for Messengers International, some sort of inspirational Evangelical group, and works part-time as a security guard after a past life wherein she was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department for cursing out a city bus driver and lying about it. Apparently the gunman, Matthew Murray — a 24-year-old misanthrope reared in a deeply-religious family — had a bigger gun, but Assam had God on her side, and you almost have to believe that part because she was on the third day of a religious fast, which is to say, well past the point on a diet at which most people are begging someone to shoot them.

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Anyway, congratulations Jeanne Assam, you spared a lot of carnage and came out looking pretty badass. And also, pretty pretty. If only this world had so many cool heads. Just for your heroism I'm not going to be a dick about your pastor homoritus or anyone else in that theocrazy state of yours or anything else like that today.

'Hero' Hired As Cop Finds God [ABC News]

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DISCUSSION

braak
Chris Braak

@BadenBaden: Uhm. I don't know if you really wanted an answer to that question, but I have a theory.

Most cultural, religious, and ethnic identity is actually strengthened in the face of persecution—Christianity, historically, has thrived on it. Every Christian war that was ever fought, every horrible thing that Christians ever did, it was all characterized as Christendom itself being under threat. And, I think in many ways, there's been a, kind of an agitprop push in which Christianity is recharacterized as being persecuted again. I think a lot of people maybe get caught up in it without realizing it, but I'm sure there's at least a few people responsible for it who know what's going on.

Like, I get this newsletter from some American Family Action committee, because I like to read the crazy things he says. And he's mad because someone wants to take the references to God out of Washington architecture. He describes this as being an attack on Christianity. The problem with that is that it presumes that Christianity is the default (or zero value), and that fewer references to Christianity pushes it into the negative. In reality, God references are pro-Christian, and removing them actually just puts us closer to the default.

The argument, of course, that atheists are trying to destroy Christianity, is kind of ridiculous. In the first place, there is no unifying spiritual identity among atheists—not even a clear definition of what atheists are. And, ironically, attempting to cast them as the enemy of Christianity is forcing them to define themselves as a group. The manufacturing of the enemy is actually creating the enemy.

Also, I resent the implication that because I'm liberal I'm close-minded. It's not close-minded to think you're wrong. It's just close-minded to insist on it in the face of evidence to the contrary.