By Justin Watson (auth.)
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed twelve fellow scholars and one instructor at Columbine highschool in Littleton, Colorado. of the sufferers of the Columbine bloodbath, Cassie Bernall and Rachel Scott, reportedly have been requested via the gunmen in the event that they believed in God. either supposedly spoke back 'Yes' and have been killed. inside of days in their dying, Cassie and Rachel have been being hailed as modern day martyrs and are noticeable by way of many American evangelicals because the sparks of a spiritual revival between young ones. Cassie and Rachel, as innocents martyred for religion, additionally grew to become necessary symbols for these looking to enhance a conservative political schedule and to put the blame for Columbine on the ft in their liberal rivals. in keeping with police investigators, although, Cassie and Rachel may perhaps by no means were requested by means of their killers approximately God. they might were easily sufferers of a mindless crime instead of martyrs to a reason. The Martyrs of Columbine offers a cautious exam of the to be had proof and makes an attempt to find what relatively happened. regardless of those questions the martyr-stories endured to be informed and the non secular and political use of Cassie and Rachel maintains. the preferred value of the martyrs of Columbine persists, and should also be growing to be. How and why is that this taking place? The Martyrs of Columbine is a groundbreaking research of what this tragedy has come and may come to intend in American faith, politics, and culture.
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Extra resources for The Martyrs of Columbine: Faith and The Politics of Tragedy
65 Harris’s reported desire to “kick-start a revolution”66 through terroristic violence has led to the attempt to see the Columbine killers in the context of the American tradition of youth radicalism. S. ” Their particular community of alienated adolescents was only a nation of two, and it died with them. Given the lack of group and ideological conﬂict behind these killings, it might be more accurate to regard Cassie and Rachel as victims of a crime rather than as martyrs for a cause. Like the others MARTYRDOM | 25 who died on April 20, 1999, at Columbine, and like so many others who have been killed for no reason other than the perversity of a killer, Cassie and Rachel were merely murdered not martyred.
Much has been, and continues to be, written about the killers’ possible motives, which may have been as suicidal as homicidal. And as writer A. ”63 Perhaps a more complete and less speculative picture will emerge if the videotapes the two made explaining their crime are released to the public. ” Harris and Klebold seem more like Leopold and Loeb, who killed for twisted personal reasons, than Sacco and Vanzetti, who killed to advance a political cause. 64 This is used to assert that this hatred was the reason they killed Cassie 24 | THE MARTYRS OF COLUMBINE and Rachel.
Although the confrontations and deaths took place in obscurity, the whole world soon learned the stories on television, through the Internet, or simply by word-of-mouth. And those who continue to tell their story stress the immediate heavenly reward enjoyed by the two girls, as well as their beneﬁcial impact on the world. And as we will see in the chapters that follow, the families of both point to the divine calling and preparation of each for sacriﬁce. In some respects, however, the martyr stories of Cassie and Rachel differ sharply from the elaborate patterns of the classic martyrologies.