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Today in My History

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MacBeth (review)

Books Read in 2009
Updated: 11/16
"Dragonfly in Amber"

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19 November 2009

I saw this on the net today:

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A lot of funny things float around the internet and some of them are actually funny.  This one is terrifying.

You may or may not have heard that there is a movement to "pray for Obama" floating around some of the fundamentalist extremists.

Now on the surface you'd wonder what could be wrong with praying for the president, or what might even be funny about it. 

This is the t-shirt that goes along with the "funny" forward above.

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Looks harmless above, unless you know that Psalm 109:8 reads "Let his days be few; and let another take his office," a verse which is followed by this one: "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow," and then "Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places."

This shirt is available at Cafe Press, a mainstream web site where thousands of people sell their creations.  There was a rush of people on Twitter who all began posting the psalm reference in their tweets, almost a signal to those "in the know."

This makes me so angry I can barely speak.  Just IMAGINE the hue and cry that would go up from the people who created this whole movement if it were some left wingnuts who were circulating such a thing about President Bush.  But have we heard any mainstream religious group mention it in the news? 

Heck, even O'Reilly is talking about a revolution that will find Nancy Pelosi "bobbing in Boston Harbor." Apparently nobody is finding any problem at all publically envisioning physical harm -- or murder -- to people they don't like.

It just seems that though the threats against this president have escalated 400 times more than anything that the White House has seen before, yet all those pious religious leaders who speak out about traditional marriage and abortion doctors and "death panels," sit quietly and let the nutcases spout this sort of dangerous rhetoric.  They are giving placid approval by their silence.

Now I don't think that any normal fundamentalist Christian is going to go out and start gunning for the president, but we know all too well what happens when fundamentalism gets taken over the top, and you know that there is another Timothy McVeigh or Sirhan Sirhan or Squeaky Fromme out there who are feeding on the messages of hate and lack of any public church denouncement of them.  Sooner or later those people are going to be whipped up into a frenzy and we are going to see an actual assassination attempt (or worse) made on the president.

There was a classified ad placed in a Pennsylvania newspaper which prayed that Obama would follow in the footsteps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinkey and Kennedy, all presidents who were assassinated.

There was the guy who attended the tea-bag rally carrying the sign about watering the tree of liberty, a reference to Thomas Jefferson's  reminder that "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants."

Frank Schaeffer, who, with his father helped shape the evangelical movement in the United States is mad as hell and he's not taking it silently.  He was a guest on the Rachel Maddow show last night.  His comments, which Maddow let go uninterrupted, are worth reading:

the situation that I find genuinely frightening right now is that you have a ramping up of biblical language—language from the antiabortion movement, for instance, death panels and this sort of thing.  And what it‘s coalescing into is branding Obama as Hitler, as they‘ve already called him, as something foreign to our shores.  We‘re reminded of that.  He‘s born in Kenya—as brown, as black, above all, as not us.  He is Sarah Palin‘s not a real American.

But now, it turns out, that he joins the ranks of the unjust kings of ancient Israel, unjust rulers, to which all these biblical illusions are directed who should be slaughtered, if not by God, then by just men.

So, there‘s a direct parallel here with Timothy McVeigh‘s t-shirt on the day of the Oklahoma City bombing in which he said that the tree of liberty had to be watered occasionally by the blood of tyrants.  And that quote, we saw again at a meeting at which Obama was present being carried on a placard by someone carrying a loaded weapon.

What we‘re looking at right now is two things going on.  We see the evangelical groups enthralled by an apocalyptic vision.  They represent the millions of people who have turned the “Left Behind” series into best sellers.  Most of them are not crazy, they‘re just deluded.

But there is a crazy fringe to whom all these little messages that have been pouring out of FOX News, now on a bumper sticker, talking about doing away with Obama, asking God to kill him.

Really, this is trolling for assassins.  And this is serious business. 

It‘s un-American.   It‘s unpatriotic.

And it goes to show that the religious right, the Republican far right, have coalesced into a group that truly want American revolution.  And if it turns out to be blood in the streets and death, so be it.  This is not funny stuff anymore.  They cannot be dismissed as just crazies on the fringe.  It only takes one.

You know, look at “The Boston Globe” article a few weeks ago saying that the threat level faced by the Secret Service has gone up 400 percent, higher than any other time in 52 years for any president, Democrat or Republican.  These are no jokes.

If you trace these origins back to this paranoid, evangelical group, of which me and my father, sadly, were not only leaders, but leaders in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the foot soldiers that people like Dick Armey and others are using now to push their political agenda onto health care, are also people that have within their ranks, people, such as the person who murdered Dr. Tiller and killed three police officers in Pittsburgh because they thought Obama would take away their guns.

This bumper sticker simply says to them: “It‘s open season.”

Schaeffer compares this to a Taliban call for jihad. 

You know, they‘re always asking, “Where is the Islamic leadership denouncing terrorism?  Why aren‘t the moderates speaking out?”  Well, I challenge the folks who I used to work with, and I would just say to them, “Where the hell are you?  This is not funny anymore.   And be it on your head if something happens to our president, if you are going to go around supporting and not speaking out against this stuff.

It‘s just not a question of who‘s doing it.  The bigger question is: where are the people speaking out against these things?  I don‘t hear those voices raised in the evangelical fundamentalist community.  And until I do, I—and my opinion is, they are culpable.

I don't know what I can do as one person, but I can shine a light on what is happening and register my voice not only in opposition to what is going on, but in disgust with the people who refuse to speak out.

While you're at it, check out this page on Amazon and register your outrage!  (With any luck, when you click on the link, it will tell you that the page no longer exists!)



BriTennis.jpg (47991 bytes)

I figure this will be worth lots of money when she wins Winbledon!



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