Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On true Scotsmen

Or, Won't Someone Rid Me of This Meddlesome President?

Okay, so I realize that we're riding on a truly rough economy and that the elections and subsequent reactions in Iran have given the media a lot of other things to focus on right now. But I do find it curious that so little attention has been paid to the fact that former Southern Baptist Convention officer Wiley Drake told Alan Colmes - on video - that he prays for President Obama to die.
"Imprecatory prayer is agreeing with God, and if people don’t like that, they need to talk to God," Drake told syndicated talk-show host Alan Colmes. "God said it, I didn’t. I was just agreeing with God."

Asked if there are others for whom Drake is praying "imprecatory prayer," Drake hesitated before answering that there are several.

"The usurper that is in the White House is one, B. Hussein Obama," he said.

Later in the interview, Colmes returned to Drake’s answer to make sure he heard him right.

"Are you praying for his death?" Colmes asked.

"Yes," Drake replied.

"So you’re praying for the death of the president of the United States?"


..."You would like for the president of the United States to die?" Colmes asked once more.

"If he does not turn to God and does not turn his life around, I am asking God to enforce imprecatory prayers that are throughout the Scripture that would cause him death, that’s correct."
(emphasis mine)

As Pam points out, if it had been a Muslim cleric saying it, the entire country would be outraged and right-wing bloggers would be lighting up the Internet - and that's a best-case scenario, where a worst-case scenario would involve waterboarding and a handcuffed, blindfolded trip overseas.

And now I want you to look me in the eye and tell me sincerely that the Department of Homeland Security was entirely off base in warning of a rise in "rightwing extremist activity."

All 'wingers? Not at all. There are plenty of conservatives who are very passionate about their causes and yet remain unthreatening to the security of those around them. The word extremist in the report indicates that these are people with extreme views on the extreme edge of the spectrum, for whom the "current economic and political climate" might fuel a "resurgence in radicalization and recruitment."

Well, yeah.

I asserted a few weeks ago that the radical anti-choice movement had a lot to answer for in the murder of Dr. George Tiller. While the blame lies purely on and on no one but Scott Roeder for pulling the trigger, he did so as part of a culture that whips followers into a fervor beyond reason, unwittingly - or even fully wittingly - creating a zealous environment where even the most reprehensible of actions begin to look reasonable. As people are starting to realize, that environment is the same that, when it's overseas and the faithful are a little more tan, we call fundamentalist terrorism.

And now, in the wake of Dr. Tiller's murder - which, the alleged murderer says, is just a portent of more such violence to come - and the murder of a security guard at the Holocaust Museum by white supremacist James von Brunn (not to mention last year's shooting up of a Unitarian church because of the "liberals in general as well as gays"), we have a minister with strong ties to the Southern Baptist Convention praying for the death of the president. And that's okay. For some reason.

It's okay, of course, because none of those acts are connected. None of them are true Christians/anti-choicers/conservatives/what-have-you, and we know they aren't, because a true Christian/anti/conservative/whatever wouldn't act that way.

Drake himself said, in the aforementioned interview, that he didn't think Roeder's killer was really an anti-choice Christian.
Drake said he did not believe Tiller's accused killer is a pro-life Christian.

"I'm of the opinion -- and now everybody's going to say 'There goes Wiley down the conspiracy-theory road,' I'm of the opinion that somebody in the Obama camp had this guy killed."

I mean, no real anti would do something like that, right? (For a laugh, read down that article until you find the commenters claiming that Drake isn't a real Christian. It just keeps going.) And James von Brunn wasn't really a 'winger nutball, but wouldn't the liberals love it if that were the case.

I'll bring it back: If the U.S. experienced a similar string of violence from fundamentalist Muslims, the right would be the first people to raise a cry to deport Muslims and wiretap mosques and pull women in hijabs off the street for waterboarding. And Muslim communities would say no, no, we're not all like that, those are extremists, fundamentalists, and we condemn their horrendous actions. And the righties would say well, if you're not a terrorist, you probably shouldn't keep hanging around with all those Muslims.

Know what?

All Muslims aren't terrorists. Islam is not the religion of terror.

Know what else?

All conservatives aren't terrorists. Conservatism is not the political affiliation of terror.

But sweet Jesus in a speedboat, there is a growing trend toward extremism in the right wing, and it has resulted in what can only be described as domestic terrorism. Gawker reminds us that we've got a new president - a liberal president - a black president - a secretly Muslim president, and that not only the right-wing media but quasi-respected personalities like Dick Cheney are saying that a terrorist has stolen the White House. If you are predisposed to violent extremism already, as most of these terrorists are, that constant drumming of danger danger danger is enough to turn anyone into a hero, saving unborn babies and following the will of Jesus.

So I'm sorry, 'wingers, but they're yours. As much as any terrorist organization belongs to the group on which they fringe, they're yours. That doesn't mean that you as individuals or even a movement are responsible for their actions, but it does mean that when you're throwing around words like "murderer" and "baby-killer" and "usurper" and "terrorist," you may want to give a thought to who might be listening. There are ways to make your point and support your movement without the kind of inflammatory language that can whip people into a frenzy, because whether you want it or not, whether it's fair or not, there are terrorists among you, and they are doing it in your name.

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