Christian Jihad? Why We Should Worry About Right-Wing Terror Attacks Like Norway's in the US
Continued from previous page
It's a question of legitimacy and illegitimacy.
What the Religious Right, including the Religious Right's Roman Catholic and Protestant enablers, did was contribute to a climate in which the very legitimacy of our government--is questioned as part of religious faith itself.
The "Manhattan Declaration" called laws with which its signers disagreed "edicts," thereby conjuring up images of dictators handing down oppressive rules, rather than legitimately elected democratic bodies passing legislation. In other words, when the Right lost in the democratic process, "other means" to undermine the law were encouraged. This is the language of revolution, not democracy.
The Far Right intellectual enablers began by questioning abortion rights, gay rights, school prayer rulings, and so forth. What they ended up doing was to help foster a climate in which--in the eyes of a dangerous and growing (mostly white lower class undereducated gun-toting) minority--the very legitimacy of the U.S. government was called into question, sometimes in paranoid generalities, but often with ridiculous specificity: for instance, in the persistent lie that President Obama was not a citizen or was a Muslim or that the Federal Reserve and/or United Nations were somehow involved in a plot to "take away our freedoms" or that sensible gun control equaled "tyranny."
TERROR FOR CHRIST
It was in the context of delegitimizing our government that actions by domestic terrorists like Timothy McVeigh became thinkable. In 1993 McVeigh told a reporter, "The government is continually growing bigger and more powerful and the people need to prepare to defend themselves against government control."
Change a word or two and his words could have been lifted from my father's 1981 book A Christian Manifesto, or for that matter a few decades later, from statements by the so-called Tea Party or those by Michele Bachmann, or Robert George or his follower Glenn Beck.
In my father's book he called for the overthrow of the US government unless non-violent ways were found to overturn Roe v Wade. He compared America to Nazi Germany.
Note the ominous rhetorical shadow Dad's book cast over a benighted and divided American future, a future that produced the climate of hate that eventually spawned the murder of abortion providers such as Dr. George Tiller in Wichita in 2009 and the threat of destroying America's credit in an effort to literally defund the USA.
Here's a bit from Manifesto on how the government was "taking away" our country and turning it over to Liberals, codenamed by Dad as "this total humanistic way of thinking":
"The law, and especially the courts, is the vehicle to force this total humanistic way of thinking upon the entire population..."
"Simply put, the Declaration of Independence states that the people, if they find that their basic rights are being systematically attacked by the state, have a duty to try and change that government, and if they cannot do so, to abolish it."
"There does come a time when force, even physical force, is appropriate. . . . A true Christian in Hitler's Germany and in the occupied countries should have defied the false and counterfeit state. This brings us to a current issue that is crucial for the future of the church in the United States, the issue of abortion. . . . It is time we consciously realize that when any office commands what is contrary to God's law it abrogates its authority. And our loyalty to the God who gave this law then requires that we make the appropriate response in that situation."