In America … life seems to move faster than anywhere else on the globe and each generation is promised more than it will get; which creates, in each generation, a furious, bewildered rage, the rage of people who cannot find solid ground beneath their feet.
James Baldwin, "The Harlem Ghetto," Commentary, February 1948
The enemy within
Here's a look at the very-angry enemy in our midst. First, some background on the modern militia/paramilitary movement and its more sophisticated, polished cousin, the conservative/libertarian movement. From the LA Times, 5/13/01:
The Blast that Finished Off Militia Culture
By J. WILLIAM GIBSON
Modern paramilitary culture emerged in the early and mid-1970s at the same time that a series of social changes shook the foundations of American society. First, we lost the Vietnam War, creating something of an identity crisis for men who had been shaped by our country's long history of victory in warfare. These men felt further besieged by the changing roles of women, increased opportunities for ethnic and racial minorities and the beginnings of deindustrialization, all of which they perceived as decreasing opportunities for white men.
Threatened by these changes, many men began to dream, to fantasize about remaking the world and returning to a time before Vietnam, before women's roles changed, before the races started to become more equal. A new hero emerged, a warrior who fought outside the chain of military or police command, outside the "self-imposed restraints" liberal politicians were thought to have forced on fighting men, and which conservative critics contended led to defeat in Vietnam and rampant crime at home. Freed from bureaucracy, the paramilitary hero fought all of America's enemies—terrorists, drug dealers, mobsters and above all, communists who organized these villains into a vast demonic network.
Paramilitary culture celebrated man as warrior and combat as the only life worth living. Its members embraced film heroes like Dirty Harry and Rambo. They read Soldier of Fortune, a magazine filled with ads for military semiautomatic rifles, shotguns and combat schools for civilians.
The culture thrived and grew stronger through much of the 1980s. Then the world changed. The collapse of communism in the Soviet Union in 1989 eliminated the warrior's primary devil, and in the spring of 1991 the United States and its allies fought what seemed at the time to be a highly successful military campaign against Iraq. It was no secret that one crucial reason for fighting the war was overcoming the traumatic legacy of defeat in Vietnam. Then-President George Bush explicitly said, "By God, we've kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all."
Inevitably, paramilitary culture began to fade. The market for action-adventure pulp novels and movies dropped significantly, Soldier of Fortune's sales plummeted and the few remaining would-be warriors had to frantically search for new evil against which they could struggle. Ironically, they found it in the aftermath of our victory over Iraq. President Bush had explained that the allied coalition had as its objective not just the mission of liberating Kuwait, but also of helping to establish a "new world order." This "order" wasn't well-defined, but referred to a system of international relations that would be less antagonistic than the Cold War bifurcation of the world.
To paramilitarists (and other right-wing extremists), though, the phrase was seen as a confession that Bush favored the establishment of a powerful world government led by the United Nations, which would, by their twisted logic, lead inevitably to a worldwide Jewish cabal.
[Tim] McVeigh found the idea of such a conspiracy intriguing. He had grown up during the heyday of paramilitary culture and embraced it thoroughly....When Congress passed the Brady Bill that fall, which imposed a waiting period on handgun purchases, and a separate ban on some assault rifles, McVeigh took this as a sign that the federal government would soon begin confiscating all guns....He desperately sought to trigger a white revolution by trying to Americans recall both the horror of Waco—the bombing was two years after the Waco conflagration—and the glory of fighting against tyranny: April 19, 1995, was the 220th anniversary of the American minutemen's battles against the British at Lexington and Concord.
Comment: A fine summary of the recent history of the right-wing fanatics among us. See America the Conservative for a few points it omitted and to put it the overall context of US history.
Terrorism at home
The militia men aren't the only terrorists plaguing America. Let's discuss Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, aka the F---ing Fundamentalist Fanatics, who blamed the 9/11 attacks on America's secular liberalism.
One subgroup of fanatics—anti-abortion assassins—seems willing to implement the televangelists' beliefs. In fact, the only difference between Falwell and Robertson and an abortion-clinic bomber—or Osama bin Laden—is that the preachers are afraid to act on their beliefs. Like Bin Laden and McVeigh, the following home-grown terrorist seems primed to pop also.
From the LA Times, 9/26/01:
Righteous Terrorism, American-Style
He prayed, and his lord answered. With a plastic comb, as the man tells it, he finally jimmied open the lock on the jail door. He made his way into a crawl space and unbolted a ceiling drain. Clayton Lee Waagner was free. He fled into the cold of an Illinois night seven months ago.
For a while he was quiet. Some of his followers wondered whether he had made for a foreign country. Then Waagner surfaced on the Internet. He hadn't fled. He was here among us. He was getting ready. "I have been preparing and equipping myself for battle," he explained.
"God did not rescue me from life in prison for my pleasure. He freed me that I might lay down my life for His will. He freed me to make war on His enemy ... And a war it shall be." Waagner isanother righteous soldier in the terrorism business. He says he is about to attack.
Here is how he puts it:
"The government of the most powerful country in the world considered me a terrorist. The label set me aback at first. Then it struck me: They're right. I am a terrorist. ... A storm is gathering. You can hear its distant rumbling, but no one knows whom it will strike. But be sure, it will strike. ... It doesn't matter to me if you're a nurse, receptionist, bookkeeper or janitor, if you work for the murderous abortionist, I'm going to kill you."
To his followers, he asked for prayers. "God has done a mighty thing, but it has only just begun. Great things are to follow."
That was in June.
I recognize I am doing Clayton Waagner a service by publicizing his threats. What do terrorists want, anyway? To spread terror. But an old colleague of mine who is in the family planning business has encouraged me. Waagner's mug shot is already posted throughout the country in clinics and family planning centers. Maybe other Americans should be reminded that not all those out to terrorize this country are strangers from abroad. We grow them at home too.
Waagner is a particularly scary character, chiefly because authorities are unable to catch or contain him. He has slipped through their hands time and again. After a robbery, he eluded capture by climbing a tree. Dogs found him after his jail breakout, but he says he talked softly to them and they moved on. Earlier this month, he was involved in a traffic accident in Tennessee. Again he vanished, leaving a trail of crime.
He has been convicted of burglary and robbery and car theft and for being a criminal in possession of firearms. Police have found a bomb in his car. He is sought for a long string of offenses, including bank robbery. Just last week, a Memphis grand jury added still more charges. On Friday, the FBI put him on its 10 Most Wanted list.
So far, Waagner is not known to have followed through on his threats against abortion clinics. One of his children has been quoted as saying she thinks her father is just a hoodlum, not a killer.
Clinic workers are not reassured. He's got too many guns and his threats are growing more strident. His open letter posted on a Christian extremist Web site says he has decided against targeting doctors because they can afford protection. So he's menacing office workers: "These are the people who should worry about me. These are the people who need to get their heart right with their maker, whom they are about to meet."
The authenticity of this letter has not been determined, although family planning workers believe it's the work of Waagner. It is also not known whether statements posted on the site in support of Waagner represent the thinking of more than just a few people. In fact, Waagner himself is a big question mark. Is he truly a folk hero to fanatical anti-abortionists? Or a garden variety thug riding a streak of luck?
Two things are certain. First, Waagner is making good on his goal: "What I need to do is evoke terror." He has. Ask a secretary at a Planned Parenthood clinic what it's like to step out of the car and feel the hair rise on the back of her neck, wondering if Clayton Waagner isn't at that very instant squeezing back on the trigger of a hunting rifle pointed her way.
The second thing that we know? The federal government cannot be sure of stopping him.
Comment: It goes without saying that this terrorist, like Bin Laden and so many others, is doing God's work. "President" Bush also thinks he's doing God's work, and is also terrorizing a nation. Coincidence?
From an e-mail sent 10/16/01 (author unknown):
Let's all be reminded of the facts: 170 threatening envelopes were delivered to Planned Parenthood and other choice clinics across America, each containing threatening letters and white powder.
Thats ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY, by far the biggest threat to date in this war. Preliminary reports lay it at the feet of the nauseatingly insane Army of God (American-style).
The media is saying nothing about this. Nada. Zip. The Big Silence.
This was an attack on American women. Even if the envelopes contained baby powder, it is still terrorism and should be reported. Women use those places for prenatal and gynocological care ALL THE TIME. Women run those places. Multiply those people x 170.
More on anti-abortion terrorists
From the LA Times, 11/30/01:
THE ANTHRAX THREAT
Fugitive on FBI Wanted List Suspected in Hoax Letters
Crime: Justice officials say a self-described antiabortion extremist is responsible for threats sent to clinics.
By MEGAN GARVEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
WASHINGTON — A fugitive who is already on the FBI's most-wanted list is believed responsible for hundreds of anthrax hoax letters sent since Sept. 11 to abortion clinics, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft said Thursday.
The announcement that Clayton Lee Waagner is the chief suspect was a break in the case, which has affected abortion providers across the country.
"The Department of Justice considers Waagner's threats and all anthrax hoaxes to be serious violations of federal law," Ashcroft said. "Perpetrators of anthrax hoaxes and those who threaten abortion providers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." However, investigators seem no closer to tracking down the sender of deadly anthrax spores through the postal system. Since the bioterrorist attack began with letters mailed in September, five people have died of anthrax and at least 13 others have been sickened.
An anthrax-laced letter to Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), discovered in quarantined Capitol Hill mail two weeks ago, may be opened as early as today, officials said. Investigators have gone to great lengths to devise a strategy to retain as many spores as possible in the hope that research on them might provide much-needed clues.
The attacks have also bred hundreds of anthrax hoaxes. Letters containing a white powder were opened Wednesday at the Los Angeles consulates of Turkey, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, the FBI said Thursday.
Tests conducted on site were negative, FBI spokesman Matt McLaughlin said. Further tests will be conducted at a laboratory. The consulates were briefly evacuated.
Most notable of all the hoaxes, though, were two rounds of mailings to abortion clinics that contained a powder determined not to contain the deadly bacteria. The letters were signed "Army of God," the name of an antiabortion extremist group that has claimed responsibility for several clinic bombings and slayings of abortion doctors.
Waagner escaped Feb. 22 from federal custody in Illinois, where he had been convicted on federal weapons and stolen-car charges. He is a self-proclaimed antiabortion extremist who has vowed to kill abortion providers and claims to have a list of several dozen clinic employees he has targeted for murder.
In an interview published this week on an antiabortion Web site, Waagner said he was responsible for more than 400 anthrax threats mailed to clinics.
According to Neal Horsley, an antiabortion activist, Waagner showed up over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at Horsley's Georgia home and said he was behind the anthrax hoaxes. Horsley has sparked controversy before for his so-called Nuremberg files, a list of names, addresses and other personal information about abortion providers and supporters.
The first round of threatening letters was mailed through the U.S. postal system in October. The second round was sent overnight on Nov. 8 to targets using the corporate FedEx account numbers of Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation, a fact that Waagner bragged to Horsley showed his "resourcefulness," according to Horsley's Web site.
In light of Waagner's claims, Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt said Ashcroft's announcement was "hardly news." Her organization, along with the NAF and the Feminist Majority, have expressed anger and frustration that Waagner—said to be armed, dangerous and trained in survivalist skills—has been on the run for more than eight months.
Feldt said she was glad to hear Ashcroft label Waagner's alleged actions "domestic terrorism."
"The question is, what are they going to do now?" she said. "He's been on the loose for so long and he's been spotted all over the East Coast. I think the next press conference needs to be to announce his capture."
Underlying the complaints of abortion rights supporters is their concern that Ashcroft, who is personally opposed to abortion, has not been outspoken enough on threats made against their clinics and organizations.
"We thought it was very important that Ashcroft make a public statement so people understood he was serious," said Vicki Saporta, NAF's executive director. 'This is the single largest anthrax threat attempt and his silence up to this point was deafening."
Saporta said she believed investigators are vigorously searching for Waagner. Since his escape, Waagner, 45, has allegedly robbed banks in Pennsylvania and carjacked an elderly man in Mississippi after abandoning a car full of weapons, law enforcement equipment and antiabortion literature.
Meanwhile, the inhalation anthrax death of 94-year-old Ottilie Lundgren on Nov. 21 in Connecticut remained a mystery, as additional tests at Lundgren's home, nearby mail facilities and places she frequented for traces of anthrax were negative. Lundgren's case and the death last month of 61-year-old Kathy Nguyen, a New York hospital stockroom employee, have baffled authorities, who have been unable to connect the cases to any of the known anthrax-tainted letters. Tests on the anthrax that infected both women, however, indicate a link to the other illnesses, officials have said.
In addition to searching for spores in Lundgren's home, church and other places she visited, federal and state investigators have reviewed the medical records of 37 people with illnesses possibly suggestive of anthrax.
Connecticut health officials said Thursday that no evidence of anthrax was found in 19 of the cases and results were pending for the other 18.
Despite the lack of progress, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is "quite premature to suggest that the trail here is growing cold."
Officials speculate that Lundgren may have been exposed outdoors and that the spores were dispersed in the air, eliminating any trail of evidence.
Times staff writers John J. Goldman in New York and Miles Corwin in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
Copyright 2001 Los Angeles Times
Hatemongers still out there
A state-of-the-art summary from the LA Times, 8/5/02:
Tentacles of Hate From a Racist's Legacy
A new generation of bigots is heeding 'Turner Diaries' writer.
By LEONARD ZESKIND
Leonard Zeskind, a 1998 MacArthur Foundation fellow, is completing a book on white nationalism for Farrar Straus Giroux.
William Pierce's life as a neo-Nazi leader stymied the imagination. Now cyberspace is flying with conjecture that his death in July from cancer will end the threat from the National Alliance, the organization he built.
If only it were so.
Pierce's 1978 race war novel, "The Turner Diaries," was wildly successful. But despite that success, Pierce would be forgotten for years at a time, until some new killer steeped in "Turner Diaries" mythology pushed him back into the headlines.
Robert Mathews, leader of a band of bank bandits who killed Denver talk-radio host Alan Berg in 1984, modeled his cruelly real guerrilla group, the Order, on the fictional one that Pierce had created in print.
Timothy McVeigh, of Oklahoma City bombing infamy, sold Pierce's novel on the gun-show circuit and built his truck-bomb almost to "Turner Diaries" specifications.
In the public's mind, Pierce's personal influence over Aryan warriors loomed so large that his National Alliance apparatus seemed inconsequential. How could it stand and stay together after the professor's death?
Yet in the months and years ahead, we will ignore it at our collective peril.
Over the last 25 years, white supremacists have changed uniforms but have not altered their core ideas.
The white majority, they believe, is biologically endowed with a superior set of abilities and the rights to unquestioned ownership and control in the land of their fathers. They believe they were dispossessed, however, by an international Jewish conspiracy that worked like Satan on God's people.
Klansmen, neo-Nazis, so-called Christian patriots and white-power skinheads became a single movement with interlocking directorates and overlapping memberships. In this milieu, Pierce was a unique figure. He jealously guarded the National Alliance from contamination by other groups and at the same time created a movement-wide literature and leadership. And while others foolishly marched in armed formation before television cameras in the 1990s, Pierce's followers quietly buried their weapons in containers he personally designed.
In the years since the Oklahoma City bombing, the National Alliance has placed its more seasoned apparatchiks in organizations with larger, less politically defined constituencies and cherry-picked the most disciplined skinheads out of the white-power youth scene.
The National Alliance's importance has been defined by its influence over other like-minded organizations and not by the size of its own apparatus. Its cadres have participated in the fight against immigration, marched alongside others for the Confederate flag and staged white-power music concerts and skinhead rallies.
One former National Alliance cadre member is today a serious contender for leadership of a unit of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Another heads up a Holocaust revisionist outfit headquartered in Orange County.
The National Alliance's future can be seen in the selection of 38-year-old Erich Gliebe as its next chairman. By keeping the existing headquarters staff in place and elevating Gliebe from his position as editor of a white-power music magazine, the National Alliance maintains organizational stability and makes a bow toward the source of many of its new recruits: the racist youth scene.
Unlike his predecessor, Gliebe is not a rocket scientist. In fact, much of his stature among skinheads devolves from his past as a professional boxer. But just as it was a mistake to let Pierce's biography captivate our attention while we ignored the organization he represented, we should not let Gliebe's personal history blind us to the generation of new leaders now emerging.
They are techno-savvy and well-educated. They will eschew Klan robes, swastika armbands and camouflage fatigues. Having never lived through World War II, they will not be chastened by the horrors of Hitlerism. Having never experienced Jim Crow and the struggles against it, they will be unburdened of its memory.
Their only uniform will be their white skins. They will seek to establish a white nation-state, with definable economic, political and racial borders, out of the wreckage they hope to create of the United States. And from Pierce they will have learned the arts and sciences of Aryan revolution.
Copyright 2002 Los Angeles Times
What do they want?
The militia men, Minutemen, and other fundamentalist fanatics want nothing less than to remake America as a Christian theocracy with themselves in charge.
The Great Debate of Our Season
News: Introducing a Mother Jones special issue on the interplay of conservative Christianity and the U.S. government.
By the Editors
December/January 2006 Issue
"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion."
THOSE WORDS, PENNED IN ARTICLE 11 of the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, are as succinct a statement as we have from the Founding Fathers on the role of religion in our government. Their authorship is ascribed variously to George Washington, under whom the treaty was negotiated, or to John Adams, under whom it took effect, or sometimes to Joel Barlow, U.S. consul to Algiers, friend of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, and himself no stranger to the religious ferment of the era, having served as a chaplain in the Revolutionary Army. But the validity of the document transcends its authorship for a simple reason: it was ratified. It was debated in the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Adams without a breath of controversy or complaint concerning its secular language, and so stands today as an official description of the founders' intent.
And it wouldn't stand a chance in the government of the country we've become.
The idea of America was always informed by the ideals of its religious citizens, expressed, often, in religious terms. But the genius of America was the establishment, by those same individuals, of the world's first secular government. That government wasn't at odds with religion—even the separation of church and state might be construed as a policy extension of Jesus' admonition not to pray as the hypocrites do, in public. And many religious factions (among them the 19th-century evangelicals) lobbied for secular governance, to protect themselves from the tyranny of mainstream denominations. Yet some among the faithful, uncomfortable with America from the start, saw secularism as the nation's fatal flaw, instead of its core strength, and have fought to transform the United States into an expressly Judeo-Christian nation.
Recently, the inheritors of this viewpoint are prevailing. The measure of religion's intrusion into our government and politics can be found whenever the White House markets a Supreme Court candidate by flaunting her religious convictions and church affiliation, whenever liberal Democrat politicians ostentatiously genuflect to show they can be prayerful, too, whenever a FEMA website directs the public to contribute its hurricane-relief funds to a right-wing ministry. Kansas senator Sam Brownback, gearing up to run for president on a faith-based, antiabortion platform, calls the role of religion in government "the great debate of our season."
The religious right didn't come by this prominence by accident, by casually capturing (and capitalizing on) the desire of many Americans for a more meaningful and spiritual life, nor even by the simple tactic of wrapping itself in the purloined flag of the founders and in a misconstrued Constitution. They organized, crafting a far-flung and intricate network of political pulpits, media outlets, funding organs and think tanks, and integrating it into the political machinery of the Republican right. The religious right shares the conservatives' will to power and also, more than previously, a conviction that it is obligated by destiny to remake the country in its image.
More on the subject
A Nation Under God: Let others worry about the rapture
Winning is everything
Not only do they want everything, but they'll do anything to achieve it. From blowing up buildings to cutting essential programs to lying about weapons of mass destruction, their tactics are shameless. It's clear they have no convictions except that they should be in charge.
How do we know this? On issue after issue—abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, global warming, evolution, stem-cell research, flag-burning, the Pledge of Allegiance, gun control, pornography, obscenity, Janet Jackson's breast, Terri Schiavo, the "war" on terrorism, "activist" judges—Christian fundamentalists really don't care about the outcome. Their positions on these issues are inconsistent, illogical, and hypocritical. If their leaders—George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Trent Lott, Newt Gingrich, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, et al.—told them to reverse positions, you can bet they would.
The controversy over the Ten Commandments is yet another example of this, as the following commentary explains. From the LA Times, 3/8/05:
The Christian right is our own brand of extremism.
By William Thatcher Dowell
William Thatcher Dowell edits Global Beat for New York University's Center for War, Peace and the News Media. He was a Middle East correspondent for Time magazine from 1989 through 1993.
There is a certain irony in the debate over installing the Ten Commandments in public buildings. The Second Commandment in the King James edition of the Bible states quite clearly: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the Earth below, or that is in the water under the Earth." Few people take this as a prohibition against images of stars and fishes. Rather it cautions against endowing a physical object, be it a golden calf or a two-ton slab of granite, with spiritual power.
In trying to promote the commandments, the Christian right seems to have forgotten what they are really about. It has also overlooked the fact that there are several versions: Exodus 20:2-17, Exodus 34:12-26, and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Different language in Catholic Bibles and the Jewish Torah offer more variants.
Which should be enshrined? That is just the kind of debate that has been responsible for religious massacres through the ages. It was, in fact, the mindless slaughter resulting from King Charles' efforts to impose the Church of England's prayer book on Calvinist Scots in the 17th century that played an important role in convincing the founding fathers to separate church and state.
The current debate, of course, has little to do with genuine religion. What it is really about is an effort to assert a cultural point of view. It is part of a reaction against social change, an American counter-reformation of sorts against the way our society has been evolving. Those pushing to blur the boundaries between church and state feel that they are losing out — much as, in the Middle East, Islamic fundamentalists fear they are losing out to "Western values."
The reactions are remarkably similar. In the Arab Middle East and Iran, the response is an insistence on the establishment of Islamic law as the basis for political life; in the United States, school districts assert religious over scientific theory in biology class, tax dollars are going to the faith-based, and the Ten Commandments are a putative founding document.
In fact, George W. Bush may now find himself in the same kind of trap that ensnared Saudi Arabia's founder, King Abdulaziz ibn Saud. To gain political support, Saud mobilized the fanatical, ultrareligious Wahhabi movement — the movement that is spiritually at the core of Al Qaeda. Once the bargain was done, the Saudi royal family repeatedly found itself held political hostage to an extremist, barely controllable movement populated by radical ideologues. The evangelical movement in the U.S. nudged the president back into the White House, and Bush must now try to pay off the political bill for its support.
In Saudi Arabia, what drives the Wahhabis is a deep sense of grievance and an underlying conviction that a return to spiritual purity will restore the lost power they believe once belonged to their forefathers. A belief system that calls for stoning a woman for adultery or severing the hand of a vagrant accused of stealing depends on extreme interpretations of texts that are at best ambiguous. What is at stake is not so much service to God as the conviction that it is still possible to enforce discipline in a world that seems increasingly chaotic.
The Christian right is equally prone to selective interpretations of Scripture. In its concern for a fetus, for example, the fate of the child who emerges from an unwanted pregnancy gets lost. Some fundamentalists are even ready to kill those who do not agree with them, or at least destroy their careers. They seem to delight in the death penalty, despite the fact that the Bible prohibits killing and Christ advised his followers to leave vengeance to God.
Just as in the Middle East, the core of U.S. puritanism stems from a nostalgia for an imaginary past — in our case, a made-up United States peopled mostly by Northern Europeans alike in the God they worshiped and in their understanding of what he stood for. The founding fathers, of course, preferred the ideas of the secular Enlightenment, which, instead of anointing one religious interpretation, provided the space and security for each person to seek God in his or her own way.
Perhaps the strongest rationale for separating religious values from politics is that politics inevitably involves compromise, while religion involves a spiritual ideal that can be harmed by compromise. No less a fundamentalist than Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini once stated that if forced to choose between Islamic law and Islamic rule, he would choose Islamic rule. Yet the effect of that decision has been to betray Islam, as genuine Islamic scholars in Iran have found themselves under continual pressure to change their interpretation of God and God's will in order to conform to political realities.
Religion, when incorporated into a political structure, is almost invariably diluted and deformed and ultimately loses its most essential power. Worse, as we have seen recently in the Islamic world (as in the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem witch trials in the Christian world), a fanatical passion for one's own interpretation of justice under God often leads to horror.
The fact is that, as St. Paul so eloquently put it, "now we see through a glass darkly." Men and women interpret the deity, but they are only human and, by their nature, they are flawed. In that context, isn't it best to keep our minds open, the Ten Commandments out of our public buildings or off our governmental lawns and to lead by example rather than pressuring others to see life the way we do?
As Christ once put it, "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"
More on America's home-grown terrorists
Ads Amplify the Voices of Race Hatred
America the conservative
Right-wing extremists: the enemy within
America's cultural mindset
. . .
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