July 26, 2011

What Christian jihadists want

What the crimes of Norway's conservative Christian killer tell us:

The Greater Threat:  Christian Extremism From Timothy McVeigh to Anders Breivik

By Pierre TristamMcVeigh and Breivik are bloody reminders that Western culture’s original sin—the presumption of supremacy—is alive and well and clenching many a trigger. It’ll be easy in coming days, as it was in 1995, to categorize the demons as exceptions unrepresentative of their societies. Easy, but false. Norway, like much of Europe, like the United States, is in the grips of a disturbing resurgence of right-wing fanaticism. “The success of populist parties appealing to a sense of lost national identity,” The Times reports, “has brought criticism of minorities, immigrants and in particular Muslims out of the beer halls and Internet chat rooms and into mainstream politics. While the parties themselves generally do not condone violence, some experts say a climate of hatred in the political discourse has encouraged violent individuals.”

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.
Christian Jihad?  Why We Should Worry About Right-Wing Terror Attacks Like Norway's in the US

There is a growing movement in America that equates godliness with hatred of our government--in fact, hatred of our country.

By Frank SchaefferCall this the ultimate "Tea Party" type "answer" to secularism, modernity, and above all our hated government. Call this the Christian Brotherhood. From far right congress people, to far right gun-toting terror in Norway and here at home, our own Western version of the Taliban is on the rise.

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.
Schaeffer's conclusion:In a country awash in weapons and wallowing in the rhetoric of rebellion against an "evil" government, sporadic outbursts of murder tinged with political overtones seem as inevitable as they seem horribly "normal."

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.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see:

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."


dmarks said...

I'd always read that McVeigh was not Christian. In the past, I'd read direct quotations from him attacking the very fundamentals of Christianity.

Check this article out

Shadow Wolf said...

While a few may use violence to spread their rabid idealogical messages, using bombs and rifles. The more civil and educated will use their positions of power(e.g. Politicians, Law Makers, Judicial, CEOs etc) to further spread the same radical propagendas. Like the ones taking place in Arizona.

Anonymous said...

Does one need Christianity to be a violent extremist? Muslims say the same thing in that Muslim extremists are NOT real Muslims?

Violence is violence no matter what your religion is. It just seems religious people are more prone to violence than athiests?

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dmarks said...

"Muslims say the same thing in that Muslim extremists are NOT real Muslims?"

Well, of course many/most Christians might use logic like "he did something so horrible and un-Christlike, so he can't be Christian".

However, this has nothing to do with it. I was referring to McVeigh's own views and condemnation of the Christian faith.

"It just seems religious people are more prone to violence than athiests?"

Remember, for the strong atheist, there is no division between atheism and religion. Because that sort of atheism is a religious faith.

Also, if you look at 20th century, the Atheists perpetrated far more horrific violence than theists. Many times more. Pretty much the opposite of what you claim. Strong atheism has far and away the worst record in causing death, persecution, atrocity, as compared to other religions.

Jaine said...

dmarks, can you provide some examples of "Strong atheism has far and away the worst record in causing death, persecution, atrocity, as compared to other religions."

dmarks said...

Mao, the worst of all. Stalin, not far behind him. And you have Pol Pot, the butchers of Ethiopia in the 1970s, and others. Death totals of many tens of millions, all by leaders who were strongly Atheist in faith.