An American in Fort Hood killed 13 people in a shooting rampage. He happened to be a Muslim. An American had brought down a federal building in Oklahoma City. He happened to be a Christian.
They both worked off of a narrative. Perhaps the Fort Hood killer, Major Nidal Malik Hassan, was influenced by jihadi web sites. Timothy McVeigh had belonged to anti-government militias that believed in the Second Amendment over the power of the rest of the Constitution. Both of these are marginal narratives.
There is another narrative in America which is the mainstream. That the United States of America is a Christian nation. That it is a uniquely Christian nation, even different from Great Britain and Europe since not from 1776, but from 11/9/1620 or 9/11/1620 written how the rest of the world writes dates. This pervasive, subterranean and subliminal narrative resulted in 9/11/2001, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. And this is the narrative that took Bush 43 to Iraq.
This mainstream American narrative has no basis in the law. Yet, it has formed the psyche of a nation. American Puritanism is closer to Judaism than any other flavor of Christianity is. The Mayflower separatists had rejected the United Kingdom and the Anglican Church whose head is the British monarch who had replaced the Pope since Henry VIII. They had sought direct communion with God. This is as close as any brand of Protestantism in its day and age could get to Judaism.
Puritanism not only rejected Rome as its basis but had rejected the king who had produced the King James Bible. It was not Orthodox Christianity either which had come first in the first century after Christ. The Puritans wanted to be Jewish but with the message of the Christ. Perhaps, this is what Christianity would have looked like had the Jews not crucified Jesus and kept it around as a marginal Jewish sect, much as Buddhism is to Hinduism in India. They were intolerant of other Protestant denominations and branches of Christianity. The rejects from the English court of King James I had founded a new class system in America.
Osama bin Laden wants to found his own country. The radical Wahabbi puritan from Yemen and Saudi Arabia wants to do for Islam what the Mayflower had done for American Christianity. He wants Islam to return to Mohammed as the last prophet of the Abrahamic faiths. The Mayflower Puritans say it is The Christ. Therein lay the conflict. Both want to convert each other to stake their claim over Jerusalem.
The jihadist narrative may after all be correct: American Christianity is Greco-Roman-Christian-Puritan (Jewish). As many politicians, from Gingrich to McCain, like to say: Judeo-Christian. And it wants to take back Jerusalem from the Muslims, which makes it crusading, long after the Europeans have forgotten about it, wanting to co-exist with the Turks in separate spaces if they can, which makes the modern problem of Israel a conflict between the Zionists in Israel and the Muslims dating back to Saladin. The Holocaust was an unnecessary distraction, triggered by the humiliating German defeat in World War I followed by the hyperinflation before World War II, for a vibrant European Zionist movement that predates it by at least half a century was already working toward an Israeli state in the Near East.
Still, it is doubtful if European Christianity and Christianity in general is Abrahamic to begin with. After all, Puritan men keep their foreskins, rejecting the Old Testament formally as a matter of theology in culture. The Greco-Roman pagan compromise with the message of the Christ in a Europe which was in spiritual disarray as Rome declined is the Christianity that is 2000 years old. It is not Abrahamic. It is Greco-Roman-Christian. The Greco-Roman-Christian-Puritan (Jewish) American narrative, however, has stuck, albeit the law, like a deep-seated social malady, no different from Malik’s jihadist narrative. It will not go away until we learn to begin our history in 1763, when the Revolutionary War began because that is the United States of the Constitution which makes faith a personal matter.
The day following the Constitution, both in its letter and spirit, is not socially troublesome for the most influential interest groups in our society we will have resolved the problems with narratives that are discordant with the Constitution.
Adhering to the Constitution is the surest way to prevent the next terrorist attack.