On this week’s Haven Commentary, Charles Morris looks at some of the connections between last weekend’s mass shootings and 8chan, the unrestricted website that Fredrick Brennan created—and now regrets—before he became a Christian.
“I converted to Christianity and I know that before I got saved I tweeted a lot of wicked and blasphemous things from this account so I deleted them all.” – Fredrick Brennan
Born in upstate New York, Brennan now lives in the Philippines with brittle bone disease, which means the computer programer is confined to a wheel chair.
When he heard the news of the El Paso mass shooting at a Walmart when getting ready for church, a lot of thoughts went through the mind of this new Christian. Chief among them was, “How did I help this happen?”
Then came the second mass shooting Saturday night in Dayton, OH. Brennan is not proud of his past. His most famous effort is called 8chan, which came to him as an idea as he was hallucinating on psychedelic mushrooms as a pre-Christian. The reason he’s still feeling shame from his former life is that 8chan is the megaphone for ultra extreme mass shooters—young men consumed with hatred for others.
Three of this year’s mass shooters—like in Christchurch, New Zealand and the synagogue in Poway, California—announced their plans beforehand. It is a site where venomous extremism reigns and Brennan wishes now as a Christian he could just shut it down.
Meanwhile, all week, the left and the right of the political spectrum is casting blame and spinning ideas for what will prevent the next ugly shooting by angry young men. It’s all too easy to offer banning video games or more gun control to solve the violent problems we face in a troubled, godless world.
Hatred, it seems, will never go away. Hate crimes and domestic terrorism are here to stay.
Moving from Brooklyn, New York, Brennan has found life easier in the Philippines with his small arms and shortened legs. He can do little for himself as even small tasks can break more bones. He finally reached the point where he found community in a Baptist church, which showed him the way to new life in Christ.
Brennan may be forgiven for his past, but he still lives with the unregulated site that he created as it increasingly becomes seen as a Petri dish for those who seek to take lives. Even now, the current owner of 8chan is fighting to keep the site online. As for Brennan, he now finds his life fulfilled in Jesus Christ … and that’s much better place to be.
About the Author
As the leader of the Haven Ministries, Charles Morris is always thinking of ways to lead Christians and non-Christians to Christ—hence the familiar slogan, “Telling the great story … it’s all about Jesus.” A former secular journalist, Charles has worked for United Press International, and as a press secretary for two former U.S. senators. He and his wife, Janet, have authored several books, including Missing Jesus. Charles’ latest book is Fleeing ISIS, Finding Jesus: The Real Story of God At Work.