April 4, 2013

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Fear. It’s really, traced back to its roots, all about fear. When Dr. Heidi Beirich, head of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, stood in front of a packed UTC auditorium on March 27 and talked about the explosion of hate and “patriot” groups across the country, it wasn’t hard to see that what links people in these groups is fear: Fear of a changing America, which, as Beirich noted, by sometime in the 2040s will see whites as a minority; fear of a black president so intense and paranoid that in the face of overwhelming documentation it still sees him as a “Muslim socialist;” irrational fear of a big, bad UN that is going to take your guns and force you to drive Smart Cars; fear of people who speak other languages; fear of gay people who want to marry.

People this fearful are dangerous and, as the SPLC points out in a March 5 letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the threat of domestic terrorism from a “patriot” group or “sovereign citizen” acting alone is the highest it has been since the 1990s, when the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act and the assault rifle ban helped fuel Timothy McVeigh’s bombing  of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Beirich also pointed out the links between hate groups and militias, and noted that although only one Tea Party group is on the SPLC list, many overtly racist and homophobic signs have been spotted at Tea Party rallies. And what are we supposed to think about state legislators so fearful and uninformed that they mistake a mop sink for a Muslim foot-washing station?

Don’t think we’re immune here in Chattanooga. The most recent SPLC map shows neo-Nazi, white nationalist and “other” hate or militia groups in or very close to the city. In her speech, Beirich made mention of recent remarks by Sheriff Jim Hammond, who noted that he routinely heard from citizens terrified of what “the government” was going to do, their fear likely fueled by poisonous outlets such as the radio program “The Political Cesspool.”

The antidote to fear is both courage and knowledge. So when a young woman asked Beirich if she felt the college students in the room could counter this fear, she said yes—if you speak up, if you will become informed and active. “That’s our job,” murmured the young woman as she turned away from the microphone. Yes, it is, and it’s one that lasts a lifetime.


April 4, 2013

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Making a Hashe of fear

Psychoanalyzing without asking whether your targets, however wrong in some ways, have any legitimate concerns? Does this show (the wrong kind of) fear in Dr Beirich and the Pulse? Just askin'--think about it.

Perfect love throws out fear, says the Bible, and the man who let himself be crucified to express God's love for sinners has earned the right to claim he has achieved victory over fear. (Let himself be crucified? Staying alive as long as he could was not Jesus Christ's top priority, as even theological liberals would admit.)

Among His followers, Wycliffe Bible Translators is driven not by fear of people who speak other languages, but by love for them.

Most of the Tea Party would probably have voted for Herman Cain had he been nominated, and I didn't see the party of Bill Clinton and Teddy Kennedy rushing to Mr Cain's defense when he was charged with adultery, nor saying "We're for gay marriage, what's the problem with what Mr Cain is alleged to have done?" I suspect the left is scared stiff lest a black Ronald Reagan emerge. Are the enemies of Ben Carson, Allen West, and Clarence Thomas racist? Does the SPLC defend those men?

The problem with our current President is not his skin color--I've voted for darker--but the fact that under him, the rich have gotten richer and the poor actually poorer. (Under Bush, the poor got richer but the rich got richer faster, increasing the gap but not hurting the poor.) The fact that Romneycare in Massachusetts has increased the wait time for seeing doctors, and is fixing to increase taxes, and that Obamacare copied Romney. The fact that $5 will only buy 20 washcloths at Family Dollar these days, instead of 30: inflation at 10% a year. (See also gasoline prices, and he's been blocking the Keystone pipeline.) (Those are anecdotes, but a statistic is a collection of anecdotes, and I've seen serious economists argue the official inflation statistics are too low.) He's been a lousy President, as Jimmy Carter was. I don't think it's worth calling him "socialist," but he does want to redistribute power from the people to himself. I don't think he's a Muslim, but his sympathy for Muslims has backfired, replacing a tamed regime in Libya with one that let our ambassador be murdered.

They have sandpapered the Homeric laughter off Aphrodite's face, complained a "common chastitute" known as C. S. Lewis. So these "gays" are causing legal trouble for someone who didn't want to do a job photographing one of their "wedddings" (3rd d for the devil; two can play at word games), and someone who didn't want to make a wedding cake for one. Is there freedom for "chastitutes"? In business, I've worked for a lesbian and been sent out front to serve a "gay" couple while a couple urban rednecks laughed in back. Don't worry, wrote Saint Paul, about how nonChristians fornicate; keep the Church clean, and grow the Church as you can.

Wendy Dibble-Lohr more than 1 years ago

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