19 November 2009

The terrorist specter (2)

A couple of months ago I linked to Frank Schaeffer, former spokes- man of the Christian Right and son of one of the founders of the movement, warning about the rising threat of religious-extremist terrorism from that very quarter.

A new slogan is now making the rounds, merchandised on bumper stickers, T-shirts, and so forth: Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8. To the secularist who doesn't know the Bible and wouldn't be inclined to look up the reference, it looks innocuous enough.

Here is the verse:

Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

The immediately-following verse (109:9) is:

Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

In case you feel inclined to protect your sanity by telling yourself that this somehow isn't as bad as it seems, here's Frank Schaeffer again (long video -- the relevant part starts at 3:30), who, recall, probably understands the Christian-fundamentalist subculture better than anyone else who isn't still an active part of it.

The real issue here is not incitement to violence. The real issue is the existence of a subculture so engulfed in religious fanaticism and hatred that a slogan like this finds a ready market, and the Obama-as-Muslim/Hitler/Marxist rhetoric of teabaggerdom finds a ready voice. This problem would still exist, and would be just as dangerous, even if there were no such rhetoric being aired.

I've argued before that the fundamentalist subculture in the US is in many ways equivalent to the Muslim minority in Europe. Furthering the parallel, it harbors an inner core of violent "jihadist" elements whose thinking is becoming more and more apocalyptic and dangerous as they see their hopes of eventually dominating and transforming the secular mainstream society slipping away.

The mostly-secular American left has always had trouble taking religion seriously, and constantly struggles to re-interpret the far right in economic or racist terms -- thus missing the point of what remains an essentially religious phenomenon.

We seem to have beaten down the threat of Islamic terrorism, at least for now. The threat of Christian terrorism may be just getting started.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree that this "slogan" is being used for nefarious reasons, as a Christian, I would like to state unequivocally that true Christian people aren't doing this. Anyone can call themselves a "Christian" but the Bible is true in that you will know them by their fruits. The "fruit" of this movement is so far off the mark of Christianity that it shouldn't even be compared.

Thank you for letting me have my say.


19 November, 2009 06:22  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Lonni -- your point is addressed by my response to your earlier comment here.

19 November, 2009 07:14  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

I went to parochial school all my school life and even as a kid I noticed the difference between the Old and New Testaments. The cruel, scary, vindictive God of the Old Testament, became kind, loving and forgiving in the New.

The Christian Right appear to be more interested in the Old and not the New Testament. They find the vengeful nature of a God more appealing than a Prince of Peace.

Frank Schaeffer says we should just blow past these people and marginalize them, which would probably make them even more angry because they do so like attention. But blow past them we must and live with the consequences. We cannot live in fear of making them mad.

19 November, 2009 08:13  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Indeed, the point of terrorism is terror. If we allow ourselves to be intimidated, we lose.

19 November, 2009 08:44  
Blogger TomCat said...

I'm with Lonni on this one. I think it important to remember that the only people to whom Jesus ever showed intolerance were the religious right of his day. Our religious right echo the practices and attitudes of the religious hypocrites that had Jesus killed.

It seems like these followers of their own invented Supply Side Jesus are trolling for an assassin.

19 November, 2009 10:56  
Blogger mendip said...

Speaking of christers and their resemblance to mohammedans... http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/crazed-michele-bachmann-fan-threatens-f

19 November, 2009 12:10  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

the only people to whom Jesus ever showed intolerance were the religious right of his day.

Well, them and the money-changers.....

Mendip -- A ways back some blogger (can't recall who) said that accusing Michele Bachmann of being "crazy" is like accusing the Pope of being Catholic. I guess the same applies to her zealots.

19 November, 2009 13:02  
Blogger Sue said...

great post Infidel and thanks for linking it to my video posting. The religious right is hell bent on removing Obama from office, even by death in my humble opinion. It's a force that scares me and I don't know how we'll control it. They do claim to be Gods army and their message is from God.

19 November, 2009 16:19  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Thanks for posting the video. We need to get the word out about what Schaeffer has to say.

19 November, 2009 16:22  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

As for the video ...I dont think there is a God fearing American out there who sum's up the reality better than Mr.Schaeffer does.

Thanx Guy .....

20 November, 2009 11:35  
Blogger TRUTH 101 said...

Christian terror is here with abortion clinic bombers. And these nuts are encouraged and cheered on by many who hold themselves up as righteous people.

I fear it's only going to get worse.

20 November, 2009 14:05  
Anonymous Kvatch said...

We seem to have beaten down the threat of Islamic terrorism, at least for now. The threat of Christian terrorism may be just getting started.

...or never subsided, in the first place.

22 November, 2009 06:29  
Blogger Mike McShea said...

there is perhaps some new mutant strain of thought for seeing the fundies in a new light. the extremes on both the religious right and secular left are not unlike the fungus you find consuming a dead fallen tree in the forest. The dead tree of course is our civilisation dying and or into transition to the next civilisation. (recycling)

as for the fundie fungus on the right - I quote a homeless man in one of my blog entries who is forced to listen to them when his pantry is empty and he needs a meal - the funamentalists have a relationship with the book alone and no real relationship with God. (is this religion or merely ego?) The muslim jhadists would seem to be of a similar bent.

22 November, 2009 21:48  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I wouldn't be too concerned about exactly what entity of their own devising they think they have a relationship with, were it not for their penchant for shooting people they disagree with and trying to enact their taboos into secular legislation. As it is, they are indeed getting harder to distinguish from their jihadist counterparts.

Not sure what an "extreme on the secular left" would consist of -- is there such a thing as an excessive lack of superstition?

23 November, 2009 05:23  

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