Enough hate speech to stun an ox
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 02:58:52 PM EST
"With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew."--Bailey Smith, a founding father of Robertson's Christian Coalition, once told 15,000 people at a Religious Roundtable briefing in Dallas, June 26, 1994

note : Alaskan Musk-Oxen, depicted in picture, are small, gentle creatures with very soft fur and I am certainly not recommending that they be stunned by large tomes of collected hate-speech. Musk-oxen should be viewed, from a respectful distance, through binoculars and otherwise left alone.

"The people who have come into (our) institutions (today) are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have.... The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation." - Pat Robertson, to New Yorker Magazine, 1986

This morning I woke up to a nice example - of what I would classify as hate-speech - from President George W. Bush : "Marriage cannot be cut off from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening this good influence on society" - George W. Bush, as reported by 365Gay. Bush's statement is hateful not in the abstract, but in context: it codes for a welter of bogus Christian right claims that same sex marriage causes some sort of harm to traditional ( one man, one woman ) marriage, and Christian right hate speech, and eliminationist rhetoric, directed against gays over the course of the last three or more decades has been more ferocious than hateful rhetoric deployed against other societal groups. The intensity of the animus was recently noted in a speech by Rabbie Eric Yoffie, president of the liberal Union for Reform Judaism:

"We cannot forget that when Hitler came to power in 1933 one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations," Yoffie said. "Yes, we can disagree about gay marriage. But there is no excuse for hateful rhetoric that fuels the hellfires of anti-gay bigotry."
Recent research and scholarship suggests that ordinary humans have the capacity to carry out mass violence and that this capacity can be conditioned. Whitworth University professor James Waller, author of Becoming Evil : How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing has been one of the leaders in investigating the factors which seem to precede episodes of mass violence. Waller argues that the capacity for mass violence is a normal one and that it can be conditioned, or brought out, by various environmental factors including societal polarization and also the use of demonizing and dehumanizing language, and other forms of hate speech

One of the best writers on the subject of hate speech - especially hate speech from the American right - is without a doubt Dave Neiwert, who writes Orcinus and does extensive coverage on this. For an extremely extensive database of Christian and religious right hate speech, see HateCrime.org.

( from the Whitworth news release on Waller's book ) "Waller's Becoming Evil refutes many of the standard explanations for antisocial behavior and presents four ingredients that lead ordinary people to commit acts of extraordinary evil. Waller contends that being aware of our own capacity for inhumane cruelty, and knowing how to cultivate the moral sensibilities that curb that capacity, are the best safeguards we can have against future genocide and mass killing. "To offer a psychological explanation for the atrocities committed by perpetrators is not to forgive, justify or condone their behavior," Waller states in his preface. "Instead, the explanation simply allows us to understand the conditions under which many of us could be transformed into killing machines. When we understand the ordinariness of extraordinary evil, we will be less surprised by evil, less likely to be unwitting contributors to evil, and perhaps better equipped to forestall evil."

ABOVE: suitable for 6 year olds ? new Christian "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" video game promotional image shows, piling up on virtual NYC streets, corpses of city residents not succesfully converted to favored brand of Christianity.A discussion in the commentary following  Talk To Action member Jonathan Hutson's second "Purpose Driven" series  ( "Violent Video Game Marketed Through Mega-Churches" ) drew my attention back to the astounding volume of hate speech - against liberals, Jews, gays, Muslims, non-Christians, atheists, women, and probably some groups I'm forgetting - that has issued from the mouths or keyboards of leaders of the Christian right and the GOP over the course of the last few decades.

In the discussion following Hutson's post, one Talk To Action member suggested that publicizing the character of  the "Left Behind : Eternal Forces" video game - which depicts Christian paramilitary forces fighting in  NYC to convert to Christianity or kill all the residents of the city -  might be counterproductive because that could prevent the game from coming to market and - so the argument went - mass sales of the game might actually be a good thing because it would draw public attention to the "true nature " of the American Christian right. The idea was that sales of the game would provoke wider media attention that would bring the character of the game to the nature of the wider American public. ( NOTE: click on pictures below for larger versions )

left behind video game 'Left Behind' video game image 'Left Behind' video game image
ABOVE : frame 1, smoke billows from NYC skyline, from "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" game promotional trailer. Left two frames: bodies pile up on virtual NYC streets. Producers of the video - slated for pre-Christmas release - hope to gain a "suitable for ages 6 and above" rating for the game which - they stress - is far tamer than many. Perhaps it is.

Hutson's series

If I were to characterize the argument - on not working to discourage this show's public release - I would class it as the "A parade of hatred is its own worst enemy" theory, the idea that elements of society, and movements, that hold views consider by society at large to be extreme can discredit themselves by publicly displaying their real views, attitudes, and agenda.

Now, this sort of "gotcha" moment certainly does sometimes happen - especially in the political arena.

Earlier today, reports began circulating across the globe that I have recently stated that Jews can go to heaven without being converted to Jesus Christ. This is categorically untrue..... ( Jerry Falwell, explaining statement which seemed to say that Jews can't get into heaven ) read more

But there are entire realms of espression that are  currently tolerated in American public discourse that can rightly be classed as hate speech and which would likely draw legal penalties in many European nations and also in Canada but which - in the United are tolerated, ignored, or discounted, or simply not even recognized for their extremity ( see footnote, on a Massachusetts talk radio host who seems to have made a clear exhortation to genocide on his show )

“Barring a miracle, the family as it has been known for more than five millennia will crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself.... For more than 40 years, the homosexual activist movement has sought to implement a master plan that has had as its centerpiece the utter destruction of the family.” - Dr. James Dobson of Focus on The Family, in a July 2004 letter to supporters

Although it might be hyperbolic to claim that the collected statements of hate speech from the US and Christian right, in bound hardcover editions, could fill volumes big and heavy enough to stun herds of elephants I suspect the collected hate speech of these leaders might be enough to fill a volume big enough to stun a decent sized ox.

Stun an ox ? Really ?  

Oops! - Sorry, wrong picture. That's a "stunning ox". But anyway...yes, "stun an ox". Really. Below, at the end of my essay, is a sampling of quotes collected by  the Humanist Society of Gainesville, listed on their website, with a few also from the Southern Poverty Law Center's website.  The Gainesville Humanist Society list is quote extensive but I have run across numerous collections ( or bestiaries )  of such quotes and my personal collection might number in the thousands.

These sorts of statements are quite pervasive - they are routinely made and routinely ignored. This phenomenon brings up a competing theory to the "A parade of hatred is its own worst enemy" theory.

First, a bit of grim background:

New Scientist, Nov. 24, 2004 ) "All humans are capable of committing torture and other "acts of great evil". That is the unhappy conclusion drawn from an analysis of psychological studies.  Over 25,000 psychological studies involving eight million participants support this finding, say Susan Fiske and colleagues at Princeton University in New Jersey, US.  The researchers considered the circumstances surrounding how individuals committed seemingly inexplicable acts of abuse in the midst of the US military's torture of Iraqi inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison in 2003 and 2004. "Could any average 18-year-old have tortured these prisoners? I would have to answer: `Yes, just about anyone could have.'", Fiske says.

"In the years up to 1994, many journalists allied themselves with Hutu extremists who planned and carried out the genocide. A magazine called Kangura, or Wake Him Up!, published screeds denigrating Tutsis as a subhuman race that aimed to destroy Rwanda, and urged Hutus to arm themselves. As the genocide got underway on April 6, 1994, the radio station RTLM filled the airwaves with vitriol, even broadcasting the names of individual Tutsis and their hiding places. Confirming the media's murderous role, the UN war crimes tribunal for Rwanda in December convicted key figures from the magazine and the radio station of incitement to genocide."

"Considering the enormity of the task, it is tempting to play with theories of collective madness, mob mania, a fever of hatred erupted into a mass crime of passion, and to imagine the blind orgy of the mob, with each member killing one or two people. But at Nyarubuye, and at thousands of other sites in this tiny country, on the same days of a few months in 1994, hundreds of thousands of Hutus had worked as killers in regular shifts... What sustained them, beyond the frenzy of the first attack, through the plain physical exhaustion and mess of it?" - from We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories From Rwanda, by Philip Gourevitch

In 2001, the Whitworth University professor James Waller published a groundbreaking book, "Becoming Evil : How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing", that was based in part on extensive interviews with both the victims and perpetrators of mass political violence, from many of the notable outbreaks that have marred the 20th Century :  The Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, the "Killing Fields" of Cambodia, the mass killings by government death squads in Central American during the 1980's, and other such incidents.

In an August 22, 2002 interview for Salon by Suzy Hansen, James Waller describes what he calls "the ordinary nature of extraordinary evil", and

Hansen: "We always hear about the dehumanization of victims, but how does it actually work and what's the process behind it?"

Waller: "It allows us to more easily commit the evil that we want to commit because we're not committing it upon someone who's a moral equal or a fellow human. You see it in wartime: military groups and countries describe the enemy in certain terms -- like Vietnam, with "gooks." We do what we need to strip our enemy, our victims, of their humanity. In many ways for us it's a psychological defense mechanism because if we see their faces, if we know they're human, if we know they have a husband, wife, children, mother, father, those things make it more difficult to kill.

In the book, I refer to Franz Stangl, a commandant at Treblinka, who was asked after the war was over: When all the inmates came to Treblinka, you knew you were going to kill them in 24 hours, so why all the humiliation? Why the beating? Why did they have to run around naked? Why did you spit on them and call them names? Stangl's response was incredible. He said that they did that because it made it easier for their men to do what they had to do."

Hansen: "The us-them mentality seems to work here too. It's unsettling that studies have found that that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a preexisting prejudice."

Waller: "Most people don't understand how easy it is to develop us-them [mindsets]. Experiments have been done where people come in and a coin is flipped to decide if they're going to be in group A or group B. The groups have no interaction whatsoever, but you ask the groups to evaluate each other on attractiveness, intelligence, warmth, honesty and so on. People in the groups, even though they don't know the people in their group or the other group, tend to just favor their own group. They see their group as more attractive, healthier, less likely to be institutionalized at some point.

Us-them thinking doesn't require a lot to become operative. Any simple way we want to divide ourselves as us-them will develop a pattern of thinking that favors my group and disfavors the outgroup. That can start off very innocuous but pretty quickly can become dangerous."

A paper released by Waller - Perpetrators of Genocide: An Explanatory Model of Extraordinary Human Evil ( link to 18 page PDF file of Waller's paper ) - preceding the publication of his book provides a shorter version of  Waller's evolving theory of the psychology of mass violence :

( note : as summarized here, on Metafilter.com )The first ingredient is universal human nature, with its three dangerous tendencies to xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and aggression in pursuit of power. The second ingredient is the personality of the ordinary person who commits the atrocities and how much it's been influenced by three things: cultural ideology or propaganda; willingness to exclude the victim from the protection under a moral code; and ego investment in an organization supporting the atrocities. The third ingredient is defining the victims as the "other." And the fourth is the power of three situational factors to influence thoughts, feelings and behaviors: the escalating process of brutalization in which perpetrators learn to kill (a gradual desensitization or habituation to atrocities); the binding factors of the group that shape our responses to authority (peer pressure and conformity, male ritual and camaraderie, diffusion of responsibility and a distinctive culture of cruelty); and the power differentials that exist between perpetrators and victims.

Waller is far from alone in his thinking :

See, for example, Moral Disengagement In The Perpetration Of Inhumanities, by Albert Bandura ( pdf file ) :

"Rapid radical shifts in destructive behavior through moral justification are most strikingly revealed in military conduct (Kelman, 1973; Skeykill, 1928). The conversion of socialized people into dedicated fighters is achieved not by altering their personality structures, aggressive drives or moral standards. Rather, it is accomplished by cognitively redefining the morality of killing so that it can be done free from self-censure. Through moral justification of violent means, people see themselves as fighting ruthless oppressors, protecting their cherished values, preserving world peace, saving humanity from subjugation or honoring their country's commitments. Just war tenets were devised to specify when the use of violent force is morally justified. However, given people's dexterous facility for justifying violent means all kinds of inhumanities get clothed in moral wrappings."

In 1996, Gregory H. Stanton, writing at the U.S Dept. of State, authored a work - later presented  at the Yale University Center for International and Area Studies in 1998 - entitled Eight Stages of Genocide. Writes Stanton :

Genocide is a process that develops in eight stages that are predictable but not inexorable. At each stage, preventive measures can stop it. The later stages must be preceded by the earlier stages, though earlier stages continue to operate throughout the process. The

eight stages of genocide

are: Classification, Symbolization, Dehumanization, Organization, Polarization, Preparation, Extermination, and Denial
SO

_

"Most of these feminists are radical, frustrated lesbians, many of them, and man-haters, and failures in their relationships with men, and who have declared war on the male gender. The Biblical condemnation of feminism has to do with its radical philosophy and goals. That's the bottom line."

--Jerry Falwell

"There are so many women on the floor of Congress, it looks like a mall."

--Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), repeating a joke he heard

"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." Pat Robertson,  In a 1992 fundraising letter

"Men in the pro-choice movement are either men trapped in women's bodies...or younger guys who are like camp followers looking for easy sex."

--Rep. Bob Dornan (R-CA)

"I want to coin a phrase here, and I don't mind help. What would be the communication version of "ethnic cleansing?" Because that's what in particular the homosexual activists try to do."

--Dr. Laura Schlessinger, August 11, 1999

"Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free."

--Pat Buchanan, speech to the Christian Coalition, Sept. 1993, as reported in ADL Report, 1994

"Brute beasts ... part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven."
-- Jerry Falwell, on homosexuals, as quoted in The Bible Tells Me So, 1996

SPOTLIGHT: US Senator Conrad Burns

"The senator said the rancher asked him, "Conrad, how can you live back there with all those niggers?" Senator Burns said he told the rancher it was "a hell of a challenge." The anecdote was published and Senator Burns apologized. When he was asked why he hadn't expressed to the rancher any disapproval of the use of the word nigger, Senator Burns said, "I don't know. I never give it much thought." You would think that a public official who had already been burned by a racially insensitive comment would have given it some thought. Back in 1991, immediately after a civil rights bill had been passed, Senator Burns invited a group of lobbyists, some of them white and some of them black, to accompany him to an auction. When asked what was being auctioned, he replied, "Slaves." The Washington Post quoted one of the lobbyists as saying, "We were floored. We couldn't believe it." Senator Burns later said he was talking about a charitable auction in which the services of individuals are sold. He was re-elected at the end of his 1994 campaign and in the ensuing years maintained a deservedly low profile. He also maintained his penchant for offending people. In 1999 he gave a speech in Billings in which he referred to Arabs as "ragheads." He had to apologize again. "I regret the use of such an inappropriate term," he said. "I hope I did not overshadow the serious substance of my remarks." - from a December 19, 2002 editorial by Bob Herbert

"I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain: if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died." - The Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, in a September 2004 evangelism television broadcast

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called on by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."

--Randall Terry, The News Sentinel, (Ft. Wayne, IN.), 8/16/93

"This is God's world, not Satan's. Christians are the lawful heirs, not non-Christians."

--Gary North, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), p. 102

"The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit [homosexual] conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle." Judge Roy Moore -- from a 2002 concurrence in a custody case involving a lesbian mother

"The Media is ruled by Satan. But yet I wonder if many Christians fully understand that. Also, will they believe what the Media says, considering that its aim is to steal, kill, and destroy?"

--Jimmy Swaggart, The Evangelist, January 1988

"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."

--Jerry Falwell

"Most politically active Christians don't want equal time with homosexuals, abortionists, animal worshipping pagans, witches, radical feminists and pornographers. We want them silenced and mercifully disciplined according to the word of God."

--Jay Rogers reviewing Ralph Reed's Politically Incorrect in "Chalcedon Report," 2/95

"I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

--President George Bush, August 27, 1988

"It's a hell of a challenge."

--Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) responding to the question "Conrad, how can

you live back there with all those niggers?" AP, 10/20/94

"Now I have learned that the radical, perverted homosexuals and lesbians are already promoting their '2000 Disney Gay Day' -- with Disney's help! And they are timing it to occur in June -- right when children out of school will be flocking to Disney-owned parks! This proves the true intent of these homosexuals: they are after our children!!"

--Bonnie Mawyer, wife of Christian Action Network founder, in a March 2000 letter blasting Disney for allowing gay groups to visit Disney World.

spotlight on anti-gay hate speech w/link to extremely funny "Daily Show" bit

The more canny of the self-apointed "defense of traditional marriage"  crowd on the Chrstian right - who eschew apocalyptic prophecies that same sex marriage will certainly bring about the end of the world, the downfall of Western civilization*, ginguvitis, and so on - hedged their bets on the impact of same-sex marriage on Massachusets : they asserted that the concept of marriage would suffer damage and that, as a consequence, people would take to marrying their pets, farm animals, or animate objects such as cars, rocks, trees, or who knows what. The Christian right has used fearmongering over same sex marriage issue as a potent weapon in the "culture wars" - including attacks on the mainline Protestant Christian denominations - and has been loathe to admit the biological basis of same sex attraction, claiming instead that therapy, re-socialization, and various bizzare methods that have little or no connection to scientific research on human sexuality can get out "the gay" ( Activist Mike Airhart covers bizzare, ridiculous, and appalling aspects of the "Ex-Gay" movement at Ex gay Watch ) .

Last November 2005, The Daily Show sent roving reporter Ed Helms to assess the impact of same sex marriage on Massachusetts ( see video, hosted by Crooks and Liars) : Now, over two years have passed since the legal right of marriage was extended to same sex couples living in the Bay State. How is Massachusetts doing ? And, how are states which have seen fit to pass state constitutional amendments banning same sex marriage doing ? Oddly, few have thought to ask.

"Barring a miracle, the family as it has been known for more than five millennia will crumble, presaging the fall of Western civilization itself.... For more than 40 years, the homosexual activist movement has sought to implement a master plan that has had as its centerpiece the utter destruction of the family." -  Dr. James Dobson of Focus on The Family, in a July 2004 letter to supporters

"They want our preschool children. ... They want our kindergarten children. ... They want our middle school and high school children." Lou Sheldon,  In a recent direct mail appeal

"We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors."

--Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02

"That's treason, not patriotism. They ought to be run out of our country and not allowed back."

- Tennessee State Sen. Tim Burchett (R-Knoxville), commenting about people who publicly opposed the Iraq war

"Homosexuals are dangerous. They proselytize. They come to the door, and if your son answers and there is nobody there to stop it, they grab the son and run off with him. They steal him. They take him away and turn him into a homosexual." Lou Sheldon -  In 1992, as reported by journalist Jimmy

"Who really cares what Hollywood thinks?  All these hacks come out there.  Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.  It`s not a secret, OK?  And I`m not afraid to say it.  That`s why they hate this movie.  It`s about Jesus Christ, and it`s about truth.  It`s about the messiah.

  "Hollywood likes anal sex.  They like to see the public square without nativity scenes.  I like families.  I like children.  They like abortions.  I believe in traditional values and restraint.  They believe in libertinism.  We have nothing in common.  But you know what?  The culture war has been ongoing for a long time.  Their side has lost.

  "You have got secular Jews.  You have got embittered ex-Catholics, including a lot of ex-Catholic priests who hate the Catholic Church, wacko Protestants in the same group, and these people are in the margins.  Frankly, Michael Moore represents a cult movie.  Mel Gibson represents the mainstream of America.

--William Donahue, President of the Catholic League, December 8, 2004 on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, discussing Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" vs. Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ"

"I haven't run into a pagan faith-based group yet, much less a pagan group that cares for the poor! Once you make it clear to any applicant that public money must go to public purposes and can't be used to promote ideology, the fringe groups lose interest. Helping the poor is tough work and only those with loving hearts seem drawn to it." --James Towey, during a Nov. 26 online "Ask the White House" question-and-answer session

"We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

--Ann Coulter, writing about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

"Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives, the last one of which was a 9-year-old girl.  And I will tell you Allah is not Jehovah either.  Jehovah's not going to turn you into a terrorist that'll try to bomb people and take the lives of thousands and thousands of people."

--Rev. Jerry Vines, former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, speaking at the June 2002 SBC convention

"They were an endangered species. For many of these Japanese Americans, it wasn't safe for them to be on the street... Some (Japanese Americans) probably were intent on doing harm to us, just as some of these Arab Americans are probably intent on doing harm to us."

- U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), who according to the AP "agreed with the World War II policy of confining Japanese -Americans to internment camps." AP, 2/5/03

"Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you."

--Attorney General John Ashcroft, during an interview with syndicated columnist and radio personality Cal Thomas

"Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God's Law and the disenfranchisement of White men."

--State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01

"Patrick Leahy is a 'God's people-hater.' I don't know if he hates God, but he hates God's people."

--Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family

"The Christian God encourages freedom, love, forgiveness, prosperity and health. The Muslim god appears to value the opposite. The personalities of each god are evident in the cultures, civilizations and dispositions of the peoples that serve them. Muhammad's central message was submission; Jesus' central message was love. They seem to be very different personalities."

--Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, commenting on George W. Bush's statement that Christians and Muslims "worship the same god."

"You know, and this can be misconstrued, but honest to goodness (husband) Ed and I for years, for 20 years, have been saying, 'You know, look at who runs all the convenience stores across the country.' Every little town you go into, you know?"

- U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), who as the Charlotte News and Observer reported, "confided in a speech that she had been driving, worried, around the country for decades fueled by suspicions about Arab and Arab-looking convenience store owners." 2/7/03

"George, do you think you ought to lecture me on what a Christian is all about?"

--Dr. Dobson's reply to George Stephanopoulos when asked about the quote above

"In your re-election, God has graciously granted America - though she doesn't deserve it - a reprieve from the agenda of paganism. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ."

--Bob Jones III, president of Bob Jones University in a letter to George W. Bush after Nov. 2nd

"I think Mohammed was a terrorist.  He - I read enough of the history of his life written by both Muslims and - and - non-Muslims, that he was a - a violent man, a man of war.  And I do believe that - Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses.  And I think that Mohammed set an opposite example."

--Jerry Falwell, 60 Minutes, October 6, 2002

"I have never said in a sermon or a speech that Muhammad is a terrorist."

--Jerry Falwell, interview with Religion News Service

"With all due respect to those dear people, my friend, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew."

--Bailey Smith, a founding father of Robertson's Christian Coalition, once told 15,000 people at a Religious Roundtable briefing in Dallas, June 26, 1994

"The Jews are returning to their land of unbelief. They are spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior."

--Jerry Falwell, Listen, America!

"If he's going to be the counterfeit of Christ, he has to be Jewish.  The only thing we know is he must be male and Jewish."

--Jerry Falwell commenting on the anti-Christ, January 1999

"Well, you know what I knew, that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol."

--Lt. General William G. Boykin, in a January 2003 speech in Daytona, FL, recalling his efforts to capture an Islamic militant in Somalia who had said he would be protected by Allah.  After the militant was captured, Boykin told him, "Mr. Atto, you underestimated our God."

"The god of Judaism is the devil. The Jew will not be recognized by God as one of His chosen people until he abandons his demonic religion and returns to the faith of his fathers--the faith which embraces Jesus Christ and His Gospel. "

--David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1984), p. 127

Note :

The Boston Globe reported, April 7, 2004,  on a controversial statement by WTKK-FM talk radio show host Jay Severin, which seemed to be a recommendation of genocide.

Severin's employer, WTKK-FM, declined to offer a tape or transcript of last Thursday's show, but the Globe obtained a copy from a radio monitoring service yesterday. Severin's comment, "You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them," came at the end of a conversation with a caller named Chris from Rhode Island who suggested that the United States befriend Muslims in this country "to help us root out their leaders who aren't really Muslims."

As part of his response, Severin said, "I believe that Muslims in this country are a fifth column. . . . The vast majority of Muslims in this country are very obviously loyal, not to the United States, but to their religion. And I'm worried that when the time comes for them to stand up and be counted, the reason they are here is to take over our culture and eventually take over our country."

He said: "My suspicion is that the majority of Muslims in the United States, who regard themselves as Muslims first and not as Americans really at all, see an American map one day where this is the United States of Islam, not the United States of America. I think it pays to harbor those suspicions."

Toward the end of the conversation, Severin asked, "Do you think we should befriend them?"

The caller said, "Well, I see Muslims in this country, they seem to like freedom."

"Would you answer my question?" Severin said. "Do you think we should befriend them?"

"I think we should . . ." the caller said before being interrupted.

"I'm going to try one more time," Severin said. "The host takes pains to phrase questions sometimes and in a fashion such, the appropriate reply is a yes or a no. This is a three-strike state; you're about to get your third strike. Do you believe we should befriend them?"

"Yes," the caller said.

"I've got good news for you: We have," Severin replied. "Thanks for the call and that's what I'm worried about."

Then, introducing another caller, Severin said: "I have an alternative viewpoint. It's slightly different than yours. You think we should befriend them; I think we should kill them."

(1) The "to fill a book big enough to stun an ox" quip originated with musician and performance artist Lori Anderson and appeared in Anderson's seminal early 1980's album "Big Science".




Display:
excellent diary. very well researched. and very chilling.

i think educating people about the 8 stages of genocide that Stanton identified is very important.

by IseFire on Sun Jun 04, 2006 at 04:10:15 PM EST


Thanks for taking the time to lay this out so clearly.  Demonization paves the road to genocide.

Objectification and scapegoating (often with allegations about conspiracies against the common good) play an important role in the Christian Right, and are used to justify Dominionism.

_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 08:54:51 AM EST
I'd love to get you and somebody such as Waller on a radio show together.

Hmmm......

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 01:52:36 PM EST
Parent



Bruce,

Thank you so much for posting this separated from your thread underneath the "game discussion"...

It is such a necessary discussion...

Lately I have found myself embroiled in discussions with others who don't understand my concern about hate and hate speech...

This is the perfect illustration of why it is so important to oppose hate...

And for those folks who would say "but these quotes are all from wackos who no one listens to"... you personally may not listen, but others do...

-Emily
emilywynn.blogspot.com


by EmilyWynn8 on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 10:37:58 AM EST

It's important, I think, to teach people about what sort of scale some of this hate speech gets broadcast on : sometimes to tens or even hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Also - you're very welcome.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 01:51:14 PM EST
Parent



This is something I've been harping on for years--that these groups are promoting literal hate speech in many cases.  I've also often described sermons in many dominionist churches as a "two-minute hate" because in many ways that is the purpose they serve--get the people riled up against the Great Enemy.  (Are we fighting Eurasia (Gawdless Atheist People Who Insist On That Separation Of Powers Thing) or Eastasia (OMG THE GAYS) this week?  I can never remember)

Anyways, another excellent site that has in fact focused on this is HateCrime.org, which was originally founded to expose hate speech of dominionists after the murder of Matthew Shephard.

The section regarding the American Family Association is particularly telling:

Gays recruit children

A direct mail letter from Don Wildmon of the American Family Association included this emotional appeal. "For the sake of our children and society, we must OPPOSE the spread of homosexual activity! Just as we must oppose murder, stealing, and adultery! Since homosexuals cannot reproduce, the only way for them to 'breed' is to RECRUIT! And who are their targets for recruitment? Children!"- People for the American Way Web site, collection of quotes

Gays give children AIDS

American Family Association of Kentucky's Dr. Frank Simon: "There are hundreds of children in America who are dying of AIDS because they were sexually abused by homosexuals." - People for the American Way Web site press release

Gays support pedophilia, incest, and bestiality

"Prominent homosexual leaders and publications have voiced support for pedophilia, incest, sadomasochism, and even bestiality." - AFA website, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

Moral fall of the human race

"homosexuality is the result of the moral fall of the human race." - AFA website, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

Gays have sex with boys, eat feces, have sex with animals

Among homosexual lifestyle and sexual practices are included: "sex with boys...eating and/or rubbing themselves with the feces of their partners...urinating on or in their partners...sadomasochism...bondage...sex with animals."- AFA website, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

Bigoted gays blame Shepard's murder on "Christianity"

"American Family Association today expressed its outrage at the ongoing campaign by homosexual activist groups and the secular media to link the murder of a Wyoming college student with Christianity." AFA went on to accuse gays of "religious bigotry." - AFA ACTION ALERT via email, 10/16/98

Compare gays to polygamy, incest

"Allen Wildmon, Associate Director of AFA, said the decision was deplorable. 'The purpose of domestic partner benefits is to equate a homosexual relationship with marriage between a man and a woman,' he said. 'At what point should the line be drawn? Should companies, in the name of 'diversity,' approve benefits for two men and one woman who live together as domestic partners? Adult siblings living in an incestuous relationship?' " AFA Press Release, May 8, 1997

Homosexuality kills young people, destroys families

Homosexuality is "a sexual behavior that is killing our young people and destroying families". - AFA ACTION ALERT via email, 4/25/97

Gays and criminals

"Homosexuals aren't born that way, and they don't have to stay that way," says Dr. Kennedy. "They can know the truth and the truth will set them free. But many will never hear the truth if we as a nation continue to condone, promote, and even subsidize homosexuality, a lifestyle that just a few years ago was criminal in our country." - - AFA ACTION ALERT via email, 4/25/97

Gays want to silence Christians, and blame them for all crimes against gays

"the real motivation behind such hate crime laws is to silence Christians. Gays will now feel free to blame any crime against a homosexual on Christians" - AFA ACTION ALERT via email, 10/16/98

Not natural

"homosexuality cannot be natural" - AFA website, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

Gays are pro pedophilia

"homosexuals seem to favor leniency regarding pedophilia" - AFA website, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

Gays are against the church

"homosexuals seek to undercut the social authority of churches" - AFA website, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

Gays help decay society

"to the degree that the homosexual movement changes society in its favor...it will contribute to the overall decay of society" - AFA website, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

More societal decay

"the institutionalizing of homosexuality will cause societal decay" - AFA website, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

Gays compared to serial killers

"If we discovered that being a serial killer or a sociopath was genetic, though we might not blame the serial killer or sociopath for being so, we certainly would not allow him to act up his serial killing or sociopathological disposition." - AFA website, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

Gays are decadent

"There can be no doubt that most Americans would be repulsed if they could see the decadence within the homosexual community." - AFA website, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.

Gays should be photographed and outed

"David Caton, head of the Florida chapter of the American Family Association, has suggested that homosexuality be discouraged by photographing patrons entering Gay bars and posting these photos in public places such as the post office." -  Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph,  March 10, 1995.

Gays are disgusting and diseased

"The disgusting details of the homosexual lifestyle explain why so many diseases are present in the homosexual community." - AFA website, Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths.


(Full disclosure time here--I'm especially familiar with one of the scumbags quoted (Frank Simon)--he's a deacon at the very dominionist group I am a walkaway from, and I've written up on his activities in relation to abuse of charity affinity programs by dominionists.)

In fact, as an explicitly educational tool, they have a script to automatically replace all occurences of "gay" with "jew" or "black to drive the point home explicitly that this is in fact hate speech.  (The "replace 'gay' with 'Jew' filter is especially revealing in this light--many of the same statements were made against both gay and Jewish people by Nazis and other antisemitic groups.)

The site also has an explicit comparison of statements by Adolf Hitler and various quotes by dominionists--and the similarities are disturbing, to say the least.

(This is, of course, completely aside from the fact that many well known dominionists have close links indeed with racist groups, that the "dominion theology" movement had early links to racists, that "proto-dominionist" groups in the 1910s-1930's actively partnered with Nazi "American Bund" movements under the pretense that the Nazi groups were "pro-Christian" and anticommunist, and the fact that Christian Identity is a descendent of early dominion theology (both being descended from groups into "serpent seed" theology).  Needless to say, the roots of hate go very deep indeed and the fruit falls not too far from the vine in this case.)

by dogemperor on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 11:16:02 AM EST

I've been to the HateCrime.org site many times and forget to add it to my piece as a resource.

I fixed the oversight. I think it's a key resource.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 04:09:16 PM EST
Parent



Bruce:
    While your article is well-researched, I think you've failed to clearly establish a link between Dr. Jerry Falwell, for example, asserting that Jews (and others) who don't accept Jesus Christ won't be accepted by God and the acts of violence that those statements supposedly encourage. There really is no evidence that there are organized groups of evangelicals running around attacking Jews at the behest of Jerry Falwell.
    On the other hand there are real radical islamists who did much more than theolog-ically disagree with others, they carried out an assault on our civilization - the most pluralistic society there has ever been - and massacred 3000 people, including a number of muslims. I'd say that's a heck of a lot worse than what-ever Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are doing.
    I also have to take umbrage at your characterization of "Dominionists" - which seems to refer loosely to evangelicals - as having racist proclivities. Historically evangelicals were prominently involved in the abolition movement and one British evangelical named William Wilberforce fought against slavery his entire public life.          
    Furthermore, most evangelicals believe in  Creation according to scripture, which does not specify in any way that certain "races" are superior to others. In fact, skin color is not even specifically mentioned in the bible.
    It is the theory of evolution which promulgates, or at least suggests, the notion that some races are more advanced than others, having reached a higher evolutionary level. In fact, that is what Hitler, believed. He truly thought that Darwin had provided him with scientific justification for his cruelty and barbarism in his pursuit of the purification of the "master race".
    Furthermore, the Third Reich practiced occultism, not Christianity. Hitler hated the church and Christians, frequently mocking them, while imprisoning and murdering many pastors, including conscientious objector Dietrich Boenhoeffer.
    While I'm sure you can probably find selected instances of "Dominionists" who may be racist, that's a far cry from saying there is some sort of culture of racism in evangelical circles. And I think your hate speech thesis, while somewhat overstated, has some validity. It seems that all Americans, regardless of political persuasion, need to be more cognizant of the dangers of hate speech.
    You've referenced Henry Hyde in your piece, Bruce. Former Congressman Hyde knows something about hate speech, but not for the reasons you think. While appearing on Letterman during the days of the Clinton Administration, Alec Baldwin, in a shocking display, shrieked loudly that Hyde should be stoned to death (by Americans who object to his politics.) This would seem to be a classic example of hate speech. Thanks for your time and God Bless.      
Dave      

by Dave W on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 11:44:46 PM EST
Again, as I noted in previous replies, please make sure you have in fact read the guidelines for this site.  If you find you are in disagreement, you may leave and nobody will hold it against you; if so, kindly refrain from flaming the posters.  Thanks.

Anyways, a few points of rebuttal:

1) Regarding Falwell--Falwell has in fact claimed Jews are damned if they don't "accept Jesus", and this has led to extremely aggressive targeting of Jews for conversion to "Messianic Jews" (essentially pentecostals who keep kashrut law); this same line has also been used for justification of hate crimes.

If you cannot understand why this would be extremely offensive to the Jewish population (not just the statement from Falwell, but the extremely aggressive move to convert Jews to what are essentially kosher pentecostals), please visit Jews for Judaism which explains the matter from a conservative Jewish viewpoint.

(Incidentially, my own knowledge of "Messianic Jews" stems from the abusive group I left having had a small Messianic "subchurch" and having actually known several "Messianic Jews" growing up.  Pretty much it's an Assemblies of God tent meeting where the practitioners tend to hold services in Hebrew and celebrate Rosh Hashanah.  Most non-Messianic Jews actually consider it extremely insulting if not frankly blasphemous; imagine how you'd feel about "Christian Moslems" who attended mosque on Sunday, held services in English, but claimed they accepted both Jesus and Mohammed.)

2) Re religiously motivated terrorism: Army of God (of which Eric Rudolph was one of the most infamous members).  Much of the "militia" movement.  Christian Identity (which is a split off the same religious movement that led to dominionism).  Multiple chemical attacks and bombings of abortion clinics.  Chemical attacks now expanding to adult bookstores.  (Shall I continue?)

In all seriousness, though, any extremist religious group--especially coercive religious groups--tend towards Bad Behaviour, including justifying things like terrorism.  Coercive Islamist movements (like Al Quaida) are not alone in this.

3) Regarding links between some dominionists and racism--sorry, but there are documented links between dominionists and racists.  (I've actually documented quite a few of them myself.)

Also, the evangelicals you mention (and, as we've noted, not all evangelicals are dominionists) were not part of the dominionist movement--the dominionist movement didn't even exist at that time.  (The earliest roots lie with premillenial dispensationalism in regards to the particular types of dominionism popular in the Pentecostal community, and in particular with the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible; dominionism in its earliest identifiable form (and probably better termed "proto-dominionism" had its roots in the Holiness movement post-abolition (around 1880s on).  Of note, the Holiness movement was largely linked with Prohibition, which is the only time a constitutional amendment was ever passed to restrict freedom of the people (rather than the state)--and which was such an abysmal failure socially that it was eventually repealed despite opposition by the proto-dominionists of the time.)

4) In regards to compatibility of Evangelical Christianity and evolution--one person who would disagree with you, vehemently, and even quote Scripture in regards to this is Robert Bakker.

Bakker, if you're unfamiliar with him, is a world-renowned paleontologist--and an ardent evolutionist (in fact, he was one of the first paleontologists in the modern era to suggest that birds are in fact descendants of dinosaurs--a matter now proven to such an extent paleontologists now essentially consider birds a surviving outgroup of dinosaurs).  Bakker also happens to be an ordained minister of an Evangelical church, and regularly incorporates Scripture in his lectures.

In fact, he has stated publically in lectures that his work as a paleontologist has actually strenghened his faith in God.

I've done a writeup of him and his work as a "spiritual scientist" and unashamed Evangelical.

This is a case of "don't assume, because it makes an ass out of U and me".  Some Evangelicals are young-earth creationists, some are old-earth creationists, some are evolutionists who believe God directed the evolution of man.

5) The canard that evolutionary theory promoted racism (rather than having in some instances been misused to promote racism) is such an old one as to have its own special FAQ on it refuting this particular claim.

Also, in regards to the Nazis, much of their justification for racism was not bound in evolutionary theory but on theories derived from (among other things) misuse of both Christian and non-Christian texts and the works of philosophers.  Much like how evolutionary theory was misused, these, too, were misused.

While we're on the subject, most modern racist groups don't use evolution as a method of determining "inferiority" of races; they use classic Scripture-twisting.  A primary example of this is William Branham's "serpent seed" theory, which is used by dominionists to justify "spiritual warfare" theology and by Christian Identity to justify their claims that all non-white races are the "serpent seed".  (Both, ironically, are based on an extremely odd interpretation of Genesis by Branham that claims that Cain was born of a sexual union between Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden.)

6) Hate to break it to you, but the Nazi party bastardised Christianity just as much as it bastardised beliefs in Asatru (ancient Norse mythology), Hinduism, and the works of Nietzche.    There is an extremely good book on the subject, The Holy Reich, which details how Christianity was explicitly misused by the Nazi party and how large segments of the Christian population in Nazi Germany actively supported Hitler while he was in power.

Whilst from an atheist site, there is also a very good collection of quotes which note that Hitler considered himself a good Catholic when writing "Mein Kampf" and also notes support of other leading Nazis towards Christianity (at least versions that supported Nazi ideology, that is).

As for modern religions, one of the movements most closely associated with even modern neo-Nazi movements is that of Christian Identity--as noted, based off the "Serpent Seed" theory by William Branham.  (In fact, Christian Identity is essentially a racist split from the International Foursquare Church, which in turn is a split from the Assemblies of God--the latter split over the matter of whether early radio-preacher and protodominionist Aimee Semple McPherson could continue to minister after her husband divorced her for abandonment of marriage.)  Other than the virulent racism, much of the ideology of Christian Identity is rather similar to dominionist movements in general.

Again, I do hope you've read and do agree to the site guidelines, and aren't merely trying to start an argument.  We do welcome civil debate, but we do draw the line at attacking the messengers.

by dogemperor on Sun Jun 11, 2006 at 02:55:42 PM EST
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