Saturday, May 10, 2008

Who Are the Christian Terrorists of Today? Are They All Mark David Uhls?

Or...Where There's Satire, There's FIRE!

"Oh, he's using that ultra pinko liberal erroneous again."

Yes, I am.

While researching the subject of book burnings (don't you just love 'em?) I came across a link I had never seen, nor even imagined before: Christian Terrorism.

Huh? Yes, Christian Terrorism. Not withstanding the Crusades which I thought to be THE act of Christian terrorism, or the Holocaust which I knew to be the biggest passive-aggressive act in history (by not saying anything!) I was surprised to find out how many terrorist groups consider themselves Christian. "Oh, (sigh of relief) you're writing about those people. They're not Christians."

Well, they consider themselves Christians and 5 of the 8 largest groups in the United States have "God" or "Christ" in their names:

Army of God
Christian Identity
Aryan Nations
Christian Patriots
Lambs of Christ
Ku Klux Klan
Sons of Freedom (Canadian)
Christian Patriots

They also grew out of distinctly Christian environments, even in foreign countries. There are similar groups linked to Christianity in India, Burma, Lebanon, (former) Yugoslavia and Russia.

Small (yes) but dangerous byproducts of Evangelical and Fundamentalist ideologies. Many of them, in fact, have their roots in an ideology that has now raised its ugly head with impunity: Reconstructionism. Yes, the same Reconstructionism held to be the base of people like Pat Robertson, James Dobson and Rod Parsley. Reconstructionism also leads to absurd forms of censorship.

Yes, like book burnings.

(From: Religious

Pennsylvania: Members of the Harvest Assembly of God Church in Butler County, PA. had a book burning at their church on 2001-MAR-25: Thirty-five people brought books, CDs and tapes that they felt were not in keeping with their faith. Included were videos such as Pinnochio and Hercules, CDs by Pearl Jam and Black Sabbath CDs, pamphlets from Jehovah's Witnesses, and lots of Harry Potter books. Rev. George Bender said: "There's no such thing as a crusade to deal with other people's things. That's their business. We believe in the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, and the First Commandment and Second Commandment." He objected to the Harry Potter books: "We believe that Harry Potter promotes sorcery, witchcraft-type things, the paranormal, things that are against God...That is really bad."

New Mexico: Pastor and members of the Christ Community Church in Alamagordo NM plan a "holy bonfire" on 2001-DEC-30 to burn Harry Potter books. Pastor Jack Brock, 74, has not actually read the books or viewed the movie. However, he believes that the books teach Wicca, a rapidly growing Neopagan religion. He is certain that: "These books encourage our youth to learn more about witches, warlocks, and sorcerers, and those things are an abomination to God and to me...Harry Potter books are going to destroy the lives of many young people."

An Internet humor/satire site, The Onion®, specializes in writing sensational stories of fiction to amuse their readers. They publish a disclaimer on their website, stating that they use "...invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental." One of their works of fiction involved interviews of children in Lock Haven, PA, who had been reading the Harry Potter books. One Christian, going by the name of Roger Lynn, circulated an E-mail quoting The Onion's article as if it had reported an actual event. He writes that J.K. Rowling's series of books: "...openly blasphemes Jesus and God and promotes sorcery, seeking revenge upon anyone who upsets them by giving you examples (even the sources with authors and titles!) of spells, rituals, and demonic powers. It is the doorway for children to enter the Dark Side of evil." Lynn did not reveal that it was a satirical work of fiction.

A satire of book burning taking place at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University really took a ludicrous bent:

As usual, Rev. Jerry lit the books ablaze. "It may be the most amazing event of the year," said Ig Noramus, a junior, "This is certainly an event that sets us apart from a normal college with boring parties." Many different books were thrown in the fire. This year's most popular books appeared to be Bill Clinton's Autobiography, any of a number of books by Michael Moore, Playboy Magazines, Darwin's Theory of Evolution, and cookbooks.

A special guest to the ceremony was John Ashcroft, former Senator and Attorney General. "Ah! Nothing like a book burning," commented Ashcroft as he threw into the fire a copy of Dante's Inferno.

To prevent mishaps, like what happened in 1987 when the bonfire burned into a three alarm fire that burned down a trailer park, a plan of action was put in place. "We made sure the fire departments were all here to help out, and they even brought books to burn," said Chief Bart Bock, head of campus safety.

All in all, it was estimated that 10,000 books were burned for the bonfire.

Great satire - horrible commentary on our times. The horrible thing about satire is that it's based in reality and, let's be realistic, people, can't you see some Christian militants doing things like burning books? Or having a burning desire to become a killer for Christ?

The Case of Mark David Uhl:

Mark David Uhl, a student at Liberty University, planned to bomb and kill members of the Westboro Baptist Church at the funeral of Jerry Falwell. Max Blumenthal called Uhl a "Christian terrorist", "a devout evangelical Christian who advocated religious violence in the name of American nationalism". On Uhl's MySpace page he called on Christians to die on the battlefield for "Uncle Sam." He quoted Biblical passages to justify his call to arms, and wrote "Christians, we have been given life after death and we should help others receive it and not sit here in our big buildings and sing to ourselves so we can go home and feel good about ourselves... Christians, fear of death, fear of death. The fear of death shows you don't believe. God needs soldiers to fight so his children may live free. Are you afraid??? I'm not. SEND ME!!!"

"Oh, he was just a crazy mixed-up kid." O.K., but where do crazy mixed-up kids come from?:

In the 2006 documentary Jesus Camp, Pastor Becky Fischer called on American Christians to become more radicalised. The Guardian wrote, "Pastor Fischer equates the preparation she is giving children with the training of terrorists in the Middle East. I want to see young people who are as committed to the cause of Jesus Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam, she tells the camera. I want to see them radically laying down their lives for the gospel, as they are over in Pakistan and Israel and Palestine."

O.K.: Militarism leads to Reconstructionist ideologies which lead to censorship which leads to book burning which leads to... It all may be farfetched.

At least I hope it is.