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American Domestic Terrorism

November 28, 2015

Violence against our neighbors, especially using guns and/or fire, goes back a long long ways in American history. Very often these acts have been committed by individuals or small groups within a campaign of intimidation, and almost always by Christians, contrary to the teaching of Jesus to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Of course it’s possible that violent Christians either don’t know what is/isn’t a loving act, or don’t actually love their neighbors, or do love their neighbors as they love themselves.

As usual, in order to understand what’s happening to us we need to think clearly about it; and to be able to think clearly about this violence we have to resist going into denial about our sickness, and name things accurately.

I’m thinking that if it talks like domestic terrorism, shoots like domestic terrorism, picks its targets like domestic terrorism, and wages the kind of campaign of intimidation that domestic terrorists wage….Sure ‘nuff.

And within all such campaigns, some people commit the acts, some incite them to be violent, some justify the violence, and some quietly finance the overall operation.

Combating such terrorism requires honesty about what it is; courage, on the part of individuals and the general population, to refuse to be intimidated; public support of the targets of the terrorists; effective law enforcement; and public exposure of all parties to the violence.

Might we try those remedies in current cases of domestic terrorism that target black Americans, especially young men, and target providers of women’s health services (and now perhaps the patients themselves who are seeking health care)?

And lets not kid ourselves by thinking that this psychopathology is not a characteristic of our democracy, or does not threaten our democracy.

[Update, a couple hours later:

President Obama:  “This is not normal.  We can’t let it become normal. If we truly care about this — if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them.”

So far, Dem candidates Clinton, Sanders, and O’Malley have responded to the violence at the PP clinic; but among Rep candidates, only Cruz (here’s a link to an article that I think will be updated as there are new responses).  The content of the responses also is telling.

Seriously, my obvious biases aside, politicians in major public positions must speak (in politics, not to act is an action), and must speak forcefully against violence, or be colluding with the violent.

11/29:  Trump, Fiorina, Huckabee speak.  Huckabee calls the shooting “domestic terrorism”!

Cruz now blaming the “transgendered leftist activist” and the “vicious rhetoric on the left blaming those who are pro-life”

Bush:  “There is no acceptable explanation for this violence, and I will continue to pray for those who have been impacted.”

Re-enter Fiorina, insisting that those damned spots on her hands are not blood.

12/1  Turns out Dear believes in Apocalyptic Christian fundamentalism, and violence to end abortions.

12/2 Pattern emerging:  immediate responses of presidential candidates to mass shooting in San Bernardino.]

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