Archive for the ‘Violence’ Category

Republican “Political Discourse,” Hate, & Violence

Written by Robert Justin Lipkin on June 12th, 2009

Check out Paul Krugman’s insightful column–“The Big Hate”–in today the NY Times here. Absurd Right Wing claims, lies, and distortions–uncontradicted by mainstream Republicans–have a way of translating into to violence.

Domestic Terrorism

Written by Rebecca Zietlow on June 11th, 2009

The attacks on our country on September 11, 2001 dramatically alerted our nation to the threat of international terrorism.  Our lawmakers responded by authorizing attacks on the country that had harbored the 9/11 terrorists, and anti-immigration measures to keep the terrorists out.  The threat of internatimages.jpgional terrorism is real, but recent events remind us that Muslim extremists from across the globe are not the only terrorist threat facing us.  Before there was 9/11, there was Oklahoma City and Timothy McVeigh, and we still are plagued by right wing extremists in this country.  Yesterday, a vocal anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, James Von Brunn, killed a security guard at the Holocaust Memorial.  As bad as the incident was, it could have been much worse.  Crowds of people were inside the museum, some waiting to attend the premier of a new play about anti-Semitism and racism, Anna and Emmett.  NPR reports that among those expected to attend was Attorney General Eric Holder.  Two weeks ago, anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder murdered George Tiller, a Wichita doctor who provided late abortions.  Now Roeder is warning of more violence, claiming that there are “many other similar events planned around the country.”  Other anti-abortion activists say this is wrong, but do they really know?

Both Von Brunn and Roeder are well known for their outspoken extermist views.  Moreover, these events are particularly disturbing given that gun sales have surged since Barack Obama was elected president.  What are our lawmakers doing about it?  Nothing.  Instead of acting to protect us, Congress recently authorized the possession of concealed weapons in national parks.  It’s about time that we started taking the treat of domestic terrorism seriously, before more innocent people are hurt.

Taking Responisbility for Domestic Terrorism

Written by Robert Justin Lipkin on June 2nd, 2009

Rachel Maddow’s interview with Frank Schaeffer deserves wide spread dissemination and consideration.  Both Maddow and Schaeffer should be commended for their courage and insight.

“Rachel Maddow Show: Frank Schaeffer on How Hate Speech Leads to Violent Acts

By Heather Tuesday Jun 02, 2009 10:00am

DOWNLOADS: (467)
Download WMV Download Quicktime

PLAYS: (1575)
Play WMV Play Quicktime

Rachel Maddow talks to author of Crazy for God Frank Schaeffer about the murder of Dr. George Tiller. Schaeffer apologized for his and his father’s role in contributing to the death of Dr. George Tiller in his article at The Huffington Post How I (and Other “Pro-Life” Leaders) Contributed to Dr. Tiller’s Murder. From the article:

In the late 1970s my evangelical pro-life leader father Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop (who soon become Surgeon General in the Reagan administration) went on the road with me taking the documentary antiabortion film series I produced and directed ( Whatever Happened to the Human Race?) to the evangelical public. The series and companion book eventually brought millions of heretofore non-political evangelical Americans into the antiabortion crusade. We personally also got people like Jerry Falwell, Ronald Reagan and countless Republican leaders involved in the “issue.”

In the early 80s my father followed up with a book that sold over a million copies called A Christian Manifesto. In certain passages he advocated force if all other methods for rolling back the abortion ruling of Roe v. Wade failed. He compared America and its legalized abortion to Hitler’s Germany and said that whatever tactics would have been morally justified in removing Hitler would be justified in trying to stop abortion. I said the same thing in a book I wrote (A Time For Anger) that right wing evangelicals made into a best seller. For instance Dr. James Dobson (of the Focus On the Family radio show) gave away over 100,000 copies.

Like many writers of moral/political/religious theories my father and I would have been shocked that someone took us at our word, walked into a Lutheran Church and pulled the trigger on an abortionist. But even if the murderer never read Dad’s or my words we helped create the climate that made this murder likely to happen.

[….]

Angry speech has become the norm in American religion from both the right and the left. Words are spoken which — when taken seriously — lead directly to violence by the unhinged and/or the truly committed.

Schaeffer addressed the hateful rhetoric from those like Bill O’Reilly during the interview and O’Reilly’s unwillingness, unlike Schaeffer, to take responsibility for his words.

Schaeffer: And when you look at what happened to Dr. Tiller, there’s a direct line connecting the rhetoric that I was part of as a young man and this murder. And so people like me are responsible for what we said and what we did and the way we raised the temperature on this debate out of all bounds. And so when O’Reilly talks about the fact that these people of the far left are against Fox or against him or trying to muzzle debate, he’s telling a lie.

I am not a member of the far right. Until I voted for Barack Obama in the last election I was a lifelong Republican and I am still pro-life. I also believe abortion should be legal, but I agree with Barack Obama when he says we ought to find ways to help women, help children, give contraceptives, sex education to lessen the number of abortions. I think abortion is a tragedy. But I also think that pretending that you can call abortion murder and Tiller the baby killer, etc., etc., etc. and that these words don’t have an impact is crazy. So this is what helps unhinge a society, talking like that. And I apologize and I will apologize again. I am sorry for what I did.

I commend Frank Schaeffer for speaking out and bringing some sanity to the conversation and acknowledging how the right has hijacked the religious community for political gain, and just what the consequences of that political decision have been.”