Visitors to Mark David Uhl's Myspace page will quickly learn that Uhl is a student at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, that he is a devoted Christian, that his name means "Mighty Warrior" -- and that he likes Will Smith's saccharine tear-up-the-club track, "Switch." Uhl reveals his career ambitions on his page as well: "I will join the Army as an officer after college." Already, Uhl was preparing in Liberty's ROTC program.
Uhl waited until he was offline, however, to reveal his plot to kill the family of itinerant Calvinist provocateur Fred Phelps (famous for their "Fag Troops" rallies outside soldiers' funerals). The Phelpses planned to protest Falwell's funeral, a bizarre stunt designed to highlight Falwell's somehow insufficiently draconian attitude towards homosexuals. Uhl made several bombs and allegedly told a family member he planned to use them to attack the Phelps family.
He was arrested soon after and charged with manufacturing explosives.
But there is a crucial difference between Uhl and Cho: while Cho's motives remain a source of intense debate, Uhl was an a devout evangelical Christian who advocated religious violence in the name of American nationalism. Uhl's blog, featured on his Myspace page, offers a window into the political underpinnings of his bomb plot. In one post, Uhl implores Christians to die on the battlefield for "Uncle Sam." He justifies his call to arms by quoting several Biblical passages and reminding his readers that the "gift of God" is eternal life.There you will find him extolling fellow "Christians" to go kill and die for their country, which this young man seems to have confabulated with serving God. Seeing that Uhl is but one example of dozens of classes of ROTC grads prepared with this most damnable and unchristian teaching, I have to assume that, far from being a tragic exception, he was simply acting according to the things he had learned.
I do wonder where he learned to make such weapons? It's hard to say, but surely as an ROTC student, he'd have access to documents such as "The Flaming Sword: Napalm and its Effects" a riveting discussion of the use of Napalm by the military, it's political and psychological effects - and two rather simple recipes for "Napalm A and Napalm B."
Some have argued that the "fire bomb is primarily an antipersonnel weapon."26 So, what kind of effect does napalm have on human beings? Napalm casualties result from heat related injuries and carbon monoxide poisoning. Napalm's adhesive qualities and high temperature of combustion usually cause third degree-burns, often burning into the muscle tissue or even the bone. Particles from the white phosphorous burster tube may contaminate the wound. The particles will continue to burn within the victim and are very difficult to remove. In addition, napalm burns cause other injuries: dehydration, heat stroke, renal failure, and shock, which may precipitate death. Victims may also succumb to heatstroke from the ambient air without any direct contact with the attack.27 An explosive aerial bomb, on the other hand, causes wounds by way of the percussive force in the blast zone, shrapnel, or debris.
Very few of these injuries precipitate a quick death. Anthony Carthew reporting for the New Republic captured the essence of the weapon when he said "The most horrible thing about napalm and white phosphorous: though the body is virtually drowned in flame, the victim tends to live."28
Most people have a limited understanding of the sensations. It is unlikely that many people have not suffered bullet wounds or shrapnel wounds from explosives, but most people have suffered from burns at some point in their life. Therefore, people can be empathetic to a napalm burn victim. The fear of burning, and consequently napalms, is cross-cultural. As stated earlier, fear of fire caused Japanese troops to break cover in World War II. During the French Indochina War, a Vietminh officer's diary records his experience in a napalm attack:
Immense sheets of flames, extending over hundreds of meters, it seems to strike terror in the ranks of my soldiers...The men are now fleeing in all directions and I cannot hold them back.29
Napalm's terrifying potential made it a potent military weapon, but also a political hazard. "Indeed one of the chief military values of napalm is its terrorizing effect on its victims."30 [emphasis mine]
A perfect weapon, both symbolically and practically speaking for a Christian Terrorist. The literal fires of Hell.
The presumption that "good Christians" can and must judge others and execute judgment upon those they find wanting has been the cornerstone of fanatical evangelical teaching for decades now, and every once in a while, some impressionable person takes the rhetoric a little more seriously than the rhetoricians do. This is the comment I added to his blog entry about going and dying for Christ.
Thank you for clearly personifying and explaining for the world the theology and world-view of "Liberty University," and what sort of brainwashed fanatical killers they are producing for the Military in the name of Christ.
Fortunately, Penetantaries have good libraries and even Internet access. It won't be terribly hard for you to find an intellectual foundation to explain how suddenly the church leadership is suddenly denying any connection to your actions, even though you were following their clear leadership and intent.
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