Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Does Terrorism have a Religion of Choice?

Photo is from Reuters. "Am I the only one who sees the irony in this picture of American presidents honoring the legacy of the King family?"

I guess some folk aren’t too happy that the Coretta Scott King funeral turned slightly political.  While the president went there to get some photo ops as a kinder gentler kind of guy who would never purposely leave a Superdome full of black people without food, water, bathrooms, or competent FEMA director, he also caught some not so oblique criticism in the other speeches made there.  It’s interesting that this happened in the week of widespread rioting over the Danish cartoons that depicted Mahomet.  There’s been a lot of talk that the anti-Danish riots in various Moslem countries are further proof that Islam is a religion of violence which segues into all Moslems are really terrorists.  While we seem so obsessed with Moslems being terrorists who “can’t take a joke”, the death of Mrs. King should remind people of a couple not so long ago incidents of American arguably Christian terrorism.  Coretta Scott King and her children were almost killed when someone planted a bomb in her house.  You can tell me that Malcolm X was killed by other Moslems, but somehow I don’t think it was Moslems who tried to kill the King family.  I also point out, that instead of being provoked by a cartoon these particular American terrorists tried to blow up children because their father opposed racial segregation. I also don’t need to remind you how MLK died at age 39.  

One other somewhat haunting fact is that someone in Alabama has been burning down Baptist churches lately.  link to Alabama church burning stories  Unlike the 1960’s run of church bombings, the modern version includes a mix of black and white Baptist churches.  Somehow though, I have the feeling that it’s not Moslems burning down churches in Alabama or shooting up gay bars in Massachussetts.  What a way to honor the memory of both Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King though.  I just point out that America has its own share of home grown non-Moslem terrorists who run from Columbine, through Oklahoma City , to planned parenthood clinics across the country, to Alabama Baptist churches.  When we had our own very political terrorists in the Civil Rights era, I swear that the people hacking up Emmitt Till, killing Civil Rights workers, and blowing up little girls in churches would all have insisted that they were very sincere Christians.  The problem isn’t a particular religion, the problem is “hate” and the way we slyly send messages encouraging people to hate one another over things like religion, race, etc.

In the meantime, other right wing commentators seem to be using the death of Corretta Scott King to remind people that Bobby Kennedy once authorized a wiretap of Martin Luther King himself.  This is remarkable in a couple ways.  One, it’s the first time in my life that I remember conservatives trying to cite anything Bobby Kennedy did as precedent.  Two it reminds you how right wing talking points will say just about anything.  Think about it, so RFK was wrong to wiretap MLK as a possible communist.  I’m a huge RFK fan yet I have no trouble saying that the guy was mortal and thus made some significant mistakes in his public and private life.  If the RFK wiretapping of MLK was wrong, then how does that make warrantless wiretapping  sans FISA (don’t leave your homeland without it) okay.?  Their logic seems to flow like this: RFK was a liberal and RFK wiretapped an American saint so therefore you darned liberals can’t say anything bad about W reading all our e-mails without any restraining authority.  You notice how they never distinguish between wiretapping in general and failing to follow FISA in any significant way wiretapping and having no authority to answer to wiretapping?

I do find this whole Republican listening thing fascinating.  J.Edgar Hoover, who may well have been a southern Democrat back when it was democrats who wouldn’t say much about segregation until LBJ broke ranks and converted all those southern democrats like Strom , Stennis, and Jesse Helms into Republicans, loved to profile people with dossiers and wiretaps in the name of hunting down communists.  Nixon got caught because he recorded all those Oval Office meetings without letting people know they were being taped.  Now W wants to read all our e-mails and listen to our phones to hunt down terrorists.  For a party embraced by so many libertarians, what’s this obsession with invasion of privacy thing?  

Coretta Scott King spent her adult life working for racial equality, the rights of the poor, and human rights in general.  She attended the 2001 inauguration but later appeared to have second thoughts particularly around the War in Iraq which she opposed.  She endorsed the idea of gay marriage.  You honestly think that the bulk of the people who came to honor this woman’s actual life and beliefs are going to have a lot of nice things to say about this administration’s policies.  

One last stray thought, did you see that photo of all the living presidents at the funeral along with their wives.  You notice that since we ended invidious segregation some forty years ago, the White House remains the most segregated public housing in America.  Am I the only one who found the photo a bit ironic?


At 2/11/2006 02:42:00 PM, Blogger benny06 said...

If that weren't all enough, Fred Phelps and his ilk from the Topeka, KS Westboro Baptist Church protested outside while Mrs. King's funeral was going on.

At 2/12/2006 03:41:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Thanks Benny,
I'd never actually seen a Phelps flyer.

At 3/14/2006 12:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A christian is a follower of Jesus Christ. In order to isolate who is and who is not a christian all one would have to do is study the life of christ and compare His message and example to the proclaimers. Telling people God hates them (Westboro) are perfect examples that are opposite of Christ's message. The leader of Westboro and his followers are not christians. They have totally missed Christ's message and will be held accoutable during the judgement for turning people off to God.


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