Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Anti-Christian Sentiment in San Francisco Leads to Violence, Liberals Shrug

Fresh on the heels of my SFGate column on San Francisco's Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and their juvenile and disrespectful publicity stunt involving receiving Communion in full drag at Most Holy Redeemer Parish comes word of local anti-Christian sentiment taken to the highest degree.

It seems that San Francisco "performance artist" Paul Addis (formerly known as the arsonist who couldn't wait to torch the Burning Man festival's large wooden icon) decided to set his sights on San Francisco's historic Grace Cathedral. Addis was arrested last Sunday night on the steps of the cathedral wearing an explosives belt and, according to a tip from a caller who overheard him earlier, planning to burn down the Episcopal church.

While one might imagine this to be a story worthy of attention, media coverage of the incident, as well as local reaction, has been muted at best. The Associated Press provides very few details and The Examiner quotes Grace Cathedral spokesperson Brent Andrew describing Addis merely as a "disturbed individual." Similarly, Burning Man spokesperson Josh Camire chalked up Addis' attempted firebombing to a "cry for help."

Imagine for a moment if the situation were altered and Addis had attempted to burn down or blow up a mosque. (I won't say a synagogue or other Jewish structures because that doesn't seem to engender much outrage these days either). Were Islam to be the targeted religion, does anyone think for a moment that the "hate crime" label would not be affixed?

Taking the hypocrisy a step further, the Seattle Post Intelligencer's Dorothy Parvaz, opining on the matter, wonders, apparently in all seriousness, whether Addis should be labeled an "arsonist or a performance artist?" Parvaz then goes on to express sympathy with Addis' presumed view that the church is "an oppressive institution," but disapproves of the possible destruction his "little stunt" might have wrought on surrounding property and those unlucky enough to be in the vicinity. She then concludes with the following helpful advice:
Perhaps he should have settled for painting a picture of a burning church rather than trying to destroy an actual historic landmark. That wouldn't be performance art, I guess (unless he created the painting in public or something), but at least it wouldn't be a felony.
It appears that for Parvaz, the desire to burn down a church is understandable, just as long as one doesn't get caught in the process or inflict too much collateral damage. Such is the mindset on the left these days, whereby Christianity is fair game, but let hatred be expressed towards any other religion and, suddenly, sensitivity training is in order.

In a Newsbusters blog post on the story, Warner Todd Houston adds further context to Parvaz' biases, which he's commented on before. Parvaz, who he notes is a columnist, blogger and member of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial board, once labeled Republican voters "white, male, middle-aged and slightly stupid."

Such condescension tends to go hand-in-hand with hostility towards Christianity among liberal elitists, many of whom I've had the displeasure of encountering here in San Francisco. And it's certainly possible that those inclined towards acts of violence are emboldened by the prejudicial atmosphere in this city.

After all, is it any coincidence that 18-year-old Mathew Hinz was arrested last week for attempting to burn down a convent in San Francisco's Portola District, in which six nuns were sleeping? Was that too an expression of "performance art" or can we call it arson this time?

As I put at SFGate:
...it's the antagonism expressed towards Christians by their critics that often veers dangerously close to hatred. In an earlier column, I noted a T-shirt worn by a salesclerk in a San Francisco gift shop that read, "So many right-wing Christians, so few lions." One can only imagine the reaction had another group been substituted for Christians. It seems that, for some, anti-Christian bigotry has become the last acceptable prejudice.
Indeed.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Paul said...

Cinnamon there is a double standard with regard to hate crimes against Christians. I think Christians in San Francisco need to start to defend themselves and their churches!

Thursday, November 01, 2007 3:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Gary Ruppert said...

The fact is, liberals will defend any attack on Christianity and the USA, as long as it helps there favorite religion, the one Of Peace. Liberals are trying to ban Christianity and the Bible in the country that they made great, USA. Who will stand up to them? Who will understand who the real enemy is? And take action? I would vote for that man.

Thursday, November 01, 2007 4:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tim O said...

Our Sister of Perpetual Outrage, Cinnamon Stillwell, has her wimple in a wrap over San Francisco’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — a bunch of men who dress up as nuns — and other perpetrators of hate crimes against upright Christians like herself. I bet you didn’t know it, but the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence even inspired a crazy man to try to burn down Grace Cathedral in San Francisco!

Anti-Christian Sentiment in San Francisco Leads to Violence, Liberals Shrug

Fresh on the heels of my SFGate column on San Francisco’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and their juvenile and disrespectful publicity stunt involving receiving Communion in full drag at Most Holy Redeemer Parish comes word of local anti-Christian sentiment taken to the highest degree.

It seems that San Francisco "performance artist" Paul Addis (formerly known as the arsonist who couldn’t wait to torch the Burning Man festival’s large wooden icon) decided to set his sights on San Francisco’s historic Grace Cathedral. Addis was arrested last Sunday night on the steps of the cathedral wearing an explosives belt and, according to a tip from a caller who overheard him earlier, planning to burn down the Episcopal church.

Burning down a giant stone cathedral is, of course, easier to accomplish in an overheated wingnut’s imagination than in actual practice, particularly where Mr. Addis had not an explosives belt, but an ammunition belt with small explosives which, according to the police, would not have caused substantial damage, much less burned down the whole gigantic stone edifice.

But let’s not rain on Cinnamon’s parade, because she’s just getting worked up about how no one is paying attention to this because it was a hateful Christian church and not a beloved mosque:

While one might imagine this to be a story worthy of attention, media coverage of the incident, as well as local reaction, has been muted at best.

I could only find a mere 270 news articles. Nothing much at all. Crickets, really.



Now let’s play "Religion Reversal," the game voted most popular among finger-wagging wingnuts!

Imagine for a moment if the situation were altered and Addis had attempted to burn down or blow up a mosque. … Were Islam to be the targeted religion, does anyone think for a moment that the "hate crime" label would not be affixed?

Perhaps not if it were done by a half-naked deranged man covered with paint who had an established penchant for burning down anything he could put a match to. But, hey, since we are in wild speculation mode, let’s give this one to Cinnamon.

But wait, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence aren’t finished inspiring people to commit acts of vandalism against Christian buildings:

It’s certainly possible that those inclined towards acts of violence are emboldened by the prejudicial atmosphere in this city. After all, is it any coincidence that 18-year-old Mathew Hinz was arrested last week for attempting to burn down a convent in San Francisco’s Portola District, in which six nuns were sleeping?

I don’t know, Cinnamon, let’s ask the police who arrested Matthew Hinz, since they might know just a tad bit more than you do about the circumstances.

Police Deputy Chief of Investigations Morris Tabak said evidence was left at the scene of the fire that led police to search Hinz’s home, at which point he was arrested. “He just likes setting fires,” Tabak said. “This is probably not the first time he’s done something like this.”

Notice that what the police said was that Hinz just liked setting fires, not that he just liked setting nuns on fire. It’s not even clear that Hinz even knew there were nuns involved. But. of course, to The Flying CinnaNun, that’s just further proof that the San Francisco police hate nuns as well and are, in fact, secret agents of the Islamofascists in their scheme to establish the caliphate, to burn nuns to death, and to force Cinnamon to wear a burqa when she leaves the house.

Thursday, November 01, 2007 4:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I understand you correctly, you seem to be of the opinion that certain actions should be treated as hate crimes. I hope you realize that this is not a position that a conservative would endorse.

In addition, your argument needs to be founded on evidence rather than outrage, as tim o mentioned above. The fact that media certainly didn't ignore the burning of a number of southern churches a year or two ago undermines your argument.

It might also be helpful to consider what constitutes a hate crime. I would consider it to be an action against a individual or group with little or no power, with the intent to intimidate that group. Minority groups, particularly blacks and Jews, are justifiably sensitive about this. That's the reason that the burning of a synagogue generates so much outrage. Jesus says that we need to protect the weak from the powerful. Generally, the majority won't be intimidated by the actions of a single individual.

Your story also mentions that the criminal also torched the Burning Man festival's large wooden icon. Clearly he has a problem with religious symbols. But, based on your argument, he committed a hate crime against the festival. I notice that they seem to be taking it less personally than you are.

Thursday, November 01, 2007 6:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Saffron Summerhill said...

Great post!

Thursday, November 01, 2007 8:17:00 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

So what's the problem here? After all, Stillwell found little to complain about when a right-wing extremist tried to blow up a California mosque and the office of a congressman. Read more here.

Friday, November 02, 2007 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous John Weidner said...

Of course it is possible that we just have a couple of distrubed individuals here, and no significant pattern.

But this has a flavor similar to what Srdja Trifkovic described as the reaction to "Sudden Jihad Syndrome."

"That reaction has four key elements:

1. Denial that the attack is motivated by Islam;
2. Strong hint that the attacker is insane;
3. Assurance that the attacker(s) acted alone, and that there is no al-Qaeda link;
4. Prominent publicity to the Muslim “community’s” expressions of shock & horror....."


I blogged a little about it here

Saturday, November 03, 2007 8:09:00 AM  
Blogger Mark Baird said...

"The fact is, liberals will defend any attack on Christianity and the USA, as long as it helps there favorite religion, the one Of Peace. Liberals are trying to ban Christianity and the Bible in the country that they made great, USA"

I do not know what sacres me more, terrorist or people that make stupid remarks such as this. I think I heard a radical Muslim make this very same statement about the US and Christians at one time. Guess what, there are liberal Chrisitans in this country.

Ideologist believe that the world is in a parlous state, find reasons for the current crisis, and promise to find a way out. They direct the attention of the people to a group that is to blame for the world’s ruin, and to another group that will put things right. Crucial is the conviction that some groups will never be able to understand the ideology, because that have been infected by a “false consciousness”. The ideology is often a closed system that cannot afford to take alternative views seriously. Marxist who see capitalism as the source of the world’s ills, cannot understand the values of capitalism, and vice versa. Colonist are impervious to the truths of emerging nationalisms.. Zionist and Arabs are unable to appreciate one another’s pint of view. All ideologies imagine an unrealistic and, some would say, unrealizable utopia. They are by their very nature highly selective.

Sunday, November 04, 2007 8:11:00 PM  
Anonymous jeremayakovka said...

During the 20th Century, among persecuted adherents of the 3 monotheistic religions, I dare say that none were persecuted by those outside their faith, and strictly because of their faith, than were Christians.

The Nazi ideology was racial, intent upon annihilating Jews regardless of whether they held religious convictions or observed their practices.

In the USSR, Jews were persecuted as an ethnic category as well as a religious group. I.e., the "doctors' plot" which Stalin alleged in the 50s; and in the 60s and 70s the human rights struggle to permit emigration to Israel (many of whom were not particularly observant).

But Communist powers persecuted Christians overwhelmingly for being Christians as Christians. There's a scene in Solzhenitsyn's novel The First Circle where a Communist Party member stands on the site of a destroyed church. And you can read in Vol. 1 of The Gulag Archipelago about one of the earliest gulag concentration camps which was set up, if I recall correctly, in what had been a monastery....

Monday, November 05, 2007 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger Jeremayakovka said...

I left out: More Muslims are killed by more Muslims, whether out of religious or ethnic or national conflict than by Christians or Jews.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007 2:16:00 AM  

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