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.

The Military Knows: Tattoos That Love To Kill

The fuzzy schematic to the right (sorry - my graphic skills are terrible at 3AM!) shows the procedure the military must take if the enlistee has a tattoo.

Asking about one's tattoos must be awkward to say the least: "And what the f*ck is THAT one?" An officer might have to flip through hundreds of pages of tattoo design to determine if it's considered "extremist."

From Crooks and Liars:

Army regulations prohibit soldiers from participating in racist groups, and recruiters are instructed to keep an eye out for suspicious tattoos. Before signing on the dotted line, enlistees are required to explain any tattoos. At a Tampa recruitment office, though, Fogarty sailed right through the signup process. "They just told me to write an explanation of each tattoo, and I made up some stuff, and that was that," he says. Soon he was posted to Fort Stewart in Georgia, where he became part of the 3rd Infantry Division.

In 2003, Fogarty was sent to Iraq. For two years he served in the military police, escorting officers, including generals, around the hostile country. He says he was granted top-secret clearance and access to battle plans. Fogarty speaks with regret that he "never had any kill counts." But he says his time in Iraq increased his racist resolve.

For a reference on hate group tattoos, click HERE.

Of course, some recruiters or boot camp officers "overlook" the ink. After all, they have a quota to reach.

Below is a small sampling of racist/Neo Nazi and gang tattoos. There are literally hundred of designs worn by thousands of guy seeking to identify with a particular hate group.

If you thought tattoos were really pretty markings with little or no meaning, then you'd better rethink your tattoo philosophy.