The Greater Threat: Christian Extremism From Timothy McVeigh to Anders Breivik
By Pierre Tristam
It’s convenient duplicity. The parties don’t explicitly condone violence. But they would have no appeal without explicitly endorsing beliefs of supremacy and projecting the sort of scorn and hatred for those who fall outside the tribe that cannot but lead to violence or the sort of fractured society we’ve become so familiar with. Those “Take Back America” bumper stickers share most of their DNA with the same strain of rejectionist white Europeans who think their culture is being bankrupted by Socialism and immigrants. Those idiotic anti-Sharia laws creeping up in Oklahoma, Arizona and Florida take their cues from the likes of Geert Wilder, the Dutch People’s Party leader who compares the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Florida’s own Koran-burning Terry Jones or the Rev. Franklin Graham’s velvety crusade against Islam are Wilder’s American clones.
Timothy McVeigh’s rhetoric may have been more extreme, but it was indistinguishable from the more college-polished and aged rhetoric of anti-government reactionaries now pretending to speak for American ideals under the banner of patriots, tea parties, Fox News’s hacking of the “fair and balanced” parody, or more establishment oriented zealots in Congress. The common denominator is exclusion and heresy: those who supposedly belong to “true” American values, and those who don’t. Al-Qaeda’s loyalty oath is identical: those who belong to “true” Islamic values and those who don’t. Either way, the inclusive, tolerant, broad-minded, and yes, multicultural outlook is under siege by fundamentalism in virtually every part of society as we know it: cultural, political, economic, religious. Timothy McVeigh and Anders Breivik used bombs and rifles. More seasoned zealots use rhetoric and policies. The ongoing march of folly over the national debt is merely one example among many.
There is a growing movement in America that equates godliness with hatred of our government--in fact, hatred of our country.
By Frank Schaeffer
Foreigners, visitors from another planet and Americans living in a bubble of reasonable or educated people might not know this but the reality is that the debt ceiling confrontation is by, for and the result of America's evangelical Christian control of the Republican Party.
It is the ultimate expression of an alternate reality, one that has the mistrust of the US government as its bedrock "faith," second only to faith in Jesus.
To understand why an irrational self-defeating action like destroying the credit of the USA might seem like the right thing to do you have to understand two things: that the Republican Party is now the party of religious fanatics and that these fanatics--people like Michele Bachmann--don't want to work within our system, they want to bring it down along the lines of so-called Christian "Reconstruction." (See my book for a full account of what this is.)
In the scorched-earth era of the "health care reform debates" of 2009 and beyond, Evangelicals seemed to believe that Jesus commanded that all hospitals (and everything else) should be run by corporations for profit, just because corporations weren't the evil government. The right even decided that it was "normal" for the state to hand over its age-old public and patriotic duties to private companies--even for military operations ("contractors"), prisons, health care, public transport, and all the rest.
It doesn't seem like much of a stretch to foresee a day when a "secessionist" group and/or members of some "militia"--let alone one lone individual--will use their U.S. passports, white skins, and solid- citizen standing as a cover for importing a weapon of mass destruction to "liberate" the rest of us from our federal government's "tyranny" and/or to "punish" some city like New York, known as the U.S. "abortion capital" or San Francisco as the place that "those gays have taken over." And the possibility of an assassination in the same vein is a never-ending threat.
What we fear most from Islamist terrorists will be unleashed here as it was in Norway.
Terror is on the way on the way from our very own Christian and/or Libertarian "Tea Party" type activists inspired by right wing "Christian" intellectuals and political leaders like Bachmann who--after the killing starts--will then disown them and express horror at their actions, actions that are in fact the logical extension of the anti-government rhetoric spewing from Congress and the religious right.
Norwegian killer hates women
White supremacists outnumber Muslim extremists
Christians reject Christ's message
Pro-tribal legislation spurs conservative threats
Conservative hatemongers deny responsibility
Political vitriol in the Giffords shooting
Loughner echoes right-wing extremists
Below: "Christian jihadists: Timothy McVeigh and Anders Behring Breivik."