This is what a hate-filled religious terrorist looks like:
Barry West is a County Commissioner in Tennessee. He posted this image on Facebook, which then went viral. He was embarrassed enough to take it down, but not to take it back. He says he is “prejudiced against anyone who’s trying to tear down this country, Muslims, Mexicans, anybody.”
Objectively, he is threatening violence against people he defines as enemies of his way of life because they are of a different religion. That is what "hate-filled religious terrorist" means.
What he thinks he is doing is defending the good against people who are objectively evil. Which is exactly what the terrorists who attack our country think they are doing, too.
Worse, Mr. West is a government official threatening fellow Americans because of their religion. But he doesn't see that that is what he is doing, because he doesn't see Muslims as fellow Americans. Worse, he doesn't see armed threats by government officials as the worst kind of terrorism.
We will not understand what the terrorists who attack us are until we see that they think they are the good guys defending their way of life, just as we do.
I am not arguing that the 9/11 attackers or the Boston Marathon bombers were actually good guys. They were actually hate-filled religious terrorists who did very evil things. I am arguing, though, that when Americans make the same kinds of threats, they are becoming the thing they hate, while imagining they are doing the opposite.