On Thursday, a Joseph Andrew Stack crashed a plane into an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building, killing at least one person. Stack, who has a white, Christian sounding name, posted a suicide note on his website prior to the crash, stating “Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.” He also posted a video, which praised Jesus and cited the Holy Constitution. Okay, that part’s made up, but it speaks to my frustration with the American media’s inability to describe this heinous act as terrorism. If we were comfortable calling Sgt. Nidal Malik Hassan, responsible for the Fort Hood massacre, a terrorist, why isn’t Stack a terrorist?

Let’s follow the logic:

Sgt. Hassan was upset with the United States government and its policies.

He used an established ideology/belief system–Islam–to justify his hatred. (That doesn’t mean that the ideology necessarily led him to kill, but that it informed his thinking.)

He killed innocent civilians based on that ideology.

Ergo, he was an Islamic terrorist.

Joseph Stack was angry with the United States government and its policies.

He was inspired by an ideology (the anti-tax, anti government Tea Party movement.) Again, that doesn’t mean that the Tea Party movement justifies violence or hatred by any means–oh heavens no!

He killed innocent civilians based on that ideology.

Ergo, he was a Tea Party terrorist.

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