Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Tis the Season to Oppress Your Fellow Man Part II

In an earlier post, I expressed my outrage that a gang of "Christian" thugs beat a Kansas professor for having planned, and subsequently cancelled, a course on "Intelligent Design" as myth. This sparked responses from LTG and our new friend Bob that I believe were dangerously close to the old line about rape victims bringing it on themselves by dressing "provocatively." There were also subtle implications that I was exaggerating the extent of Christian fundamentalist violence against intellectuals and other people on God's own shit list (as interpreted by the self-appointed guardians of "faith"). At the time I was just ticked off and not really think enough about it to dig up some support for my assertions. But I've since come across a story on Daily Kos about a recent resurgence of violence against women's health clinics that provide abortion services. Here is a link to a list of acts of violence by Christian Fundamentalist terrorist groups right here in the US. It's a long list. I bring this up because there may be some (particularly outside the United States) who may not realize the extent of political violence by the right wing in this country. Notice, this is only violence against abortion clinics. I'm sure there are equally extensive lists of acts of violence against homosexuals. I doubt there is a complete list of religiously motivated assaults and murders.

These groups have no ties to Green Peace or PETA who are under warrantless "sneak and peak" surveillance and harrassment by the FBI and other government agencies. They do have ties to Operation rescue and the Christian coalition. Yet there has been no news lately of warrantless surveillance of these groups who are closely linked to the White House. One of the problems with executive power unrestrained by the rule of law is that it will be applied selectively and inconsistently. There are clearly two levels of political freedom in this country. One for secular groups who must assiduously avoid even the hint of remote links to violence and one for religious groups who may shelter wanted murderers with impunity. I'm thinking of Eric Rudolph case. Rudolph was later given major accommodation by the Bush/Ashcroft Department of Justice to avoid the death penalty. Compare government prosecution of Rudolph with their attitude towards Padilla. Or this professor in Florida? Is there a double standard here?

When I say there is an organized conspiracy of self-declared Christians willing to abuse the power of the state and engage in violence to oppress secular people in this country, I'm not being paranoid. This is the reality of Bush's America.

Impeach Bush!


US West said...

I can't agree with you more and indeed, I was just thinking about this very thing last week. But as you know, when it comes to women's health issues, or women in general, the neo-cons are a misogynist bunch. And to prove it, they cut funding for catching deadbeat dads in the 2006 budget. So, not only will they turn a blind eye to bombing clinics, they will do nothing to help women raise the children they aren't allowed to abort.

I don't get how Republicans can call themselves a party of "family values" and "national security" with a straight face. There is no national security when women can't seek needed health care. There is no national security when parents can avoid child support payments. There is not national security when I have to worry about sending my child to a public school. Security is not just about fight wars, you know.

Dr. Strangelove said...

RxR makes several good points.

First, there is a particular strain of self-proclaimed "Christian" fundamentalism that embraces violence. Just as there are hateful "Islamist" groups who murder those they hate, and then call those murderers martyrs, so there are "Christianist" groups who do the same thing--like the "Army of God" and certain cells of "Operation Rescue."

Second, the right wing not only fails to condemn this kind of domestic terrorism, but as RxR rightly points out, the FBI (and other agencies) turn a blind eye to such activities. When pressed, they just say it's merely a few bad apples. (Might as well say Al-Qaeda and the entire Islamist movement are merely a few bad apples!) That Alberto Gonzales would not seek the death penalty against Eric Rudolph (something LTG complained bitterly about in an earlier post) while seeking the death penalty against pretty much everyone else is an apalling double standard.

This part of a broader problem I've talked about for years: decent muslims have a hard time decrying the radicals among them, and decent christians have the same difficulty. You can get a mainstream protestant church to condemn violent acts by right-wing Christianist groups, but good luck trying to get one to call such groups un-Christian! (The right-wingers, however, have no reciprocal qualms about saying Episcopalians are in league with Satan, however.)

Third, the Christian religion, which often equates martyrdom with sainthood, all too easily dons the mantle of victimhood. It is stunning to hear right-wing Christians try to spread the myth that somehow they are persecuted in this country! The President, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and darned near every official in every state and local legislature or council is Christian. When moral Christians on the Supreme Court reluctantly restrain some of the more egregious behavior by some Christian groups, those Christians whine and bitch that they are being marginalized. When moral Christians in the legislature relucantly pass laws forbidding other Christians from persecuting other people, like Jews or homosexuals, those Christians decry that there is a "war" against them. And yet even some of the more liberal Christian sects, while deploring the tactics of their right-wing brethren, neverthless still call them brothers and accept the premise of a war against Christians. The mantle of victimhood is just too valuable to throw away, even when you are the 80%+ majority!!

Let's face it: atheism is the political kiss of death. There are far more open gays and lesbians in America's legislature than there are atheists! (And yet, epending on which polls you believe, similar percentages of the population fall into each category.) Avowed atheists have about as much chance of winning public office as avowed pedophiles. Think on that when you try claiming atheists are running the nation.

Anonymous said...

The frightful thing is the parallel universe that fundamentalist christians have invented for themselves, with their own TV, schools, universities, literature, music, festivals, etc. They feel they are "oppressed" in the sense that what we call mainstream culture derides their culture and is often unaware of the parallel universe. The idea of they are oppressed is a lie, but it is a fact that those of us in the maintream culture (you know, real education, real literature, decent music) are very hostile to them. With good reason. 

// posted by LTG

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