April 20, 2010

Anti-government sentiments a cause for concern

POLITICS - There is a small but growing number of Americans who are unhappy with the direction the United States is going. First the recession, then the bank bailouts by the Bush Administration, then a black president named Barack Obama, then free health care which they consider to be a socialist idea... coupled with America's changing demographics and it has conservative Christian families extremely worried about their future.

Basically its people like the Tea Party movement, the Branch Davidians in Waco Texas, the Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the Hutaree Christian militia, the Klu Klux Klan and anybody else which has a vendetta against America's democracy movment and increasing ethnic diversity.

The kind of people who think Barack Obama is like Stalin, Hitler or is the devil incarnate. The kind of people who think Satan or the anti-Christ is alive and we're all going to hell in 2012. You know, complete religious WACKOS who have lost touch with reality and are living in their own delusional fantasy world and take the Book of Revelations in the bible way too seriously.

9 years ago I recall a discussion with an university colleague from the USA and she mentioned something about how there was a very real threat of a second American Civil War. It was a mindboggling concept at the time and I thought she was exaggerating. To me the idea of Americans fighting amongst themselves was ludicrous because it drew a mental picture of people fighting in the streets. Complete anarchy seemed too far fetched and it still does.

Except that isn't really a practical method. What we should be worried about instead is DOMESTIC TERRORISM. Small groups acting alone but sharing their thoughts and ideas online via the internet in an effort to overthrow the U.S. government and establish some kind of new order where Christians (and to some extent white people) are the sole majority and all other religions or non-belief are banned.

The thing is however is I don't think the average Christian in the United States has any interest in overthrowing the U.S. government and creating a fascist regime in its place. These home-grown Christian terrorist groups are over-estimating their support and haven't clued in to what kind of minority they are.

Let me explain...

1. The percentage of Americans who are in a militia is relatively small compared to the larger number of Americans as a whole. Most of these militias are more casual and there more for fun, "weekend warriors", more than anything else. The danger is the religiously-motivated militias like the Hutaree who form conspiratory groups focused on acts of domestic terrorism. (The Hutaree wanted to wage war against police officers and form their own country located in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. The Hutaree however grossly over estimate their ability to gain followers.)

2. The Klu Klux Klan is a leftover from the first American Civil War and reached its peak during the 1920s with 6 million members, a number which has become dramatically reduced. There is no shortage of racism in America however so its difficult to estimate their popularity. One thing is for certain: The KKK is incompetent. The KKK have been around for 145 years and have been nothing more than a thorn in the side of American politics and have focused their attentions more on denying African-Americans civil liberties, a task they ultimately failed in.

3. 76% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. 16% aren't religious at all and 8% are other religions. However this doesn't mean that 76% of Americans are die-hard Christian extremists. Like any religion the percenatage that fall into that category of extremism is likely less than 1%.

4. There are varied beliefs between the different anti-governmental groups. Some people just hate taxes. Some are worried about free "socialized" health care. Some are upset about bank bailouts. Some are just racist and upset about having a black president. Some are religious wackos who think the Apocalypse is coming. They're all divided on these issues and there is no leadership (which is a good thing!), and no amount of Sarah Palin lovers is going to change that.

Now I'm not saying that its impossible for the USA to become embroiled in an anti-government civil war, what I'm saying is its more likely to take the form of terrorism first because these individuals/groups have no real leadership, they are divided in their beliefs, they over-estimate their own numbers and they're under the delusion they could actually win popular support.

Lets pretend for a moment that the Anti-Christ is real. Not a real person per se, but conceptually... the Anti-Christ represents the perversion of Christianity. Taking Jesus Christ and using him as an excuse for war. No actual person, just a symbolic metaphor for people who are so obsessed with serving Jesus that they've warped Jesus Christ into an upside down version which allows them to commit murder and acts of terrorism.

Nothing about the brotherhood of mankind. Nothing about turning the other cheek. Just murder in the name of Jesus.

I'd argue that REAL Christians (and I've known quite a few, nice people for the most part) believe in forgiveness, acceptance and learning to live together peacefully.

This radicalized version of Christianity where men and women tote guns and have become deluded into thinking the U.S. government is in league with the devil... well, thats just plain wacko and has nothing to do with real Christianity beyond being a perversion of it.

My advice for Americans is that people need to think for themselves.

Jesus may be a good moral compass sometimes, but basing your beliefs on superstitious coincidences from numbers in the Book of Revelations is just silliness. Revelations mentions almost every number anyway so trying to predict the Apocalypse based on circumstantial numbers is a bit like trying to guess which baseball player will get paid the most based on a batting average from 5 years ago. Or guessing which horse will win the Kentucky Derby based on the weight of its jockey to the square root of the horse's best time on a wet track.

Judge people on their actions, not on their religion, race or shoe size.

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