Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some Of Our Soldiers May Be Goose-Stepping to Different Drummers: The Christian Right and Hate Groups

Are The Likes Of Rod Parsley Making Future Neo-Nazis?
I came to incite a riot. I came to affect a divine disturbance in the heart and soul of the church. Man your battle stations, ready your weapons, lock and load!
From: The Carpetbagger Report:

And lest there be any confusion, Parsley isn’t a one-trick pony — sure, he hates Muslims, but his bread and butter includes attacks on gays, abortion, the federal judiciary, and civil libertarians. Best of all, his rhetoric frequently includes what sounds like appeals to violence, telling his followers, “I came to incite a riot! Man your battle stations. Ready your weapons.” (One wants to assume he’s speaking metaphorically, but it’s not entirely clear.)
We've written about the "Onward Christian Soldier" bit and the take on it from some of the most militant pulpits (pun intended). But when we first heard about the Department of Homeland Security's report on "home-grown" terrorists, we sensed that Christofascists had a hand in that story.

I think we were right. A separate report from DHS comfirmed that right-wing extremists have been, in fact, in the military for years. And with groups like Christian Identity, the roots of their militancy become clear in the light of some of our own far right religious extremists and their rhetoric.

From Crooks and Liars:

A recent Department of Homeland Security report, "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," stated: "The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today." Many white supremacists join the Army to secure training for, as they see it, a future domestic race war. Others claim to be shooting Iraqis not to pursue the military's strategic goals but because killing "hajjis" is their duty as white militants.

Tom Metzger is the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and current leader of the White Aryan Resistance. He tells me the military has never been more tolerant of racial extremists. "Now they are letting everybody in," he says.

But is the rhetoric of preachers like Parsley to blame for the upsurge in hate group and gang member enlistment? It may surprise people to know that some churches in the U.S. are actually listed as hate groups! Lou Sheldon's Christian Coalition is certainly named as one because of its rabid homophobia. And youth groups like Rod Parsley's "Battle Cry" fulminate hatred for Muslims and all other "sinners."

Randall Terry:

I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called on by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism.

The result of militarism and hatred taught by some "churches" is that the teachings stick to people, following them through the military and, especially significant, afterwards:

From Crooks and Liars:

The initial concern that this raises is the possibility of a new wave of citizen militias, particularly when you have mainstream pundits like Glenn Beck out there helping to promote the concept. As Glenn Greenwald observed, the "Patriots" are back with a vengeance.

However, we are starting to see a trend that's even more disturbing: Military veterans voicing Patriot-movement beliefs, including threats of violent resistance to the Obama administration.

Gary DeMar:

The long term goal [is] the execution of abortionists and parents who hire them. If we argue that abortion is murder, then we must call for the death penalty.

No wonder Pat Robertson thinks that the possibility of home-grown terrorists coming from veterans is "outrageous."

Methinks he's covering his ass.

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