did I just hear what I think I heard?

So I’m starting to prepare dinner and have All Things Considered on in the background. As I’m mixing the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella I’m listening to a report on the FBI’s case against Bruce Ivins, the government scientist who committed suicide a week ago when he was about to be charged with sending letters containing a deadly strain of anthrax to news media office and two Senators.

Recent speculation has centered on Ivins’s possible motives, and that was the topic of today’s report, which you can read a print version of here. This story suggests that Ivins may have been trying to murder people because of their support for legal abortion. If you read or listen to the story, you’ll see that there are three key pieces of evidence that, according to NPR, support this view. First, Ivins may have read an article critical of pro-abortion Catholic politicians. Second, Ivins’s wife is active in the Frederick, Maryland right-to-life movement. And third, Ivins and his wife sent their children to Catholic schools.

The NPR reporter was careful to note that these facts did not amount to a “slam dunk,” but insisted — or rather, took it for granted — that they amount to “circumstantial evidence.”

So, in the minds of NPR reporters and unnamed “sources close to the [FBI] investigation,” a person who is overtly Catholic, who openly believes his or her church’s teaching on abortion and prefers Catholic education, is on those very grounds suspect. This grossly open Catholicism is, then, evidence of murderous intent — not “slam dunk” evidence, but evidence all the same. Wow.