Post 1,034

Violence – Part 1

From David French’s piece Political Christianity Has Claws:

” .  .  .  when you combine theology and ideology but subtract virtue, you’ve created a formula for viciousness and strife. Raise the stakes to an existential or eternal level, remove the restraints of kindness and self-control, and watch the worst of humanity emerge.”

We are possibly facing a worst-of-humanity episode, a Ruby Ridge style catastrophe, fomented by the ideological, falsely theological, angry ones.

They are creating a trucker convoy to descend on points of entry at our southern border, specifically including Eagle Pass, TX, where there has been so much confrontation already. They are calling themselves the Army of God, which should send chills down your spine, because you know what has happened throughout history when people bathe themselves in the religious justification of representing God. They see themselves as holy and they justify all their violations of law, of religion, of morality and of good sense by declaring that they are doing God’s work. That often becomes lethal.

Here’s how one FB post reported this:

“This is a biblical, monumental moment that’s been put together by God,” one convoy organizer said on a recent planning call. “We are besieged on all sides by dark forces of evil,” said another. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. It is time for the remnant to rise.”

Clearly, these guys aren’t just itching for a fight; they are trying to provoke one with the imagined self-justification of doing so in the name of God. They’re puffed-up truckers, so call it a diesel crusade.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) has clashed with the federal government over policing the border. He was shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court but vows to defy its ruling. That has been the spark for far right, hard-headed indignation and likely ignited the, “You can’t tell us what to do – we’ll show you!” trucker convoy. It smacks of the Cliven Bundy confrontation during the Obama administration. And it smacks of a far right test drive and even a flash to ignite a civil war.

President Biden is going to have to deal with these provocateurs. An armed confrontation will have disastrous consequences, yet he can’t let the armed mob rule or wantonly break the law. This is going to be a rule-of-law showdown and a really difficult situation to defuse. It has the potential for national disaster.

Violence – Part 2

The angry guys with guns (you know who they are) regularly eliminate peace makers, people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bobby Kennedy, Rabin, Sadat and Gandhi. The thugs consistently live in their rationalized, religious zealotry belief that might-makes-right and that they have the black-and-white, universal ownership of truth and righteousness, like the extremists heading to the border in trucks right now.

Re-read the quote above from David French. With Trump leading his mob of millions and specifically calling for violence, we have let the anger and hatred genie out of the bottle and have truly removed the restraints of kindness and self-control.

On a different scale, read this from Everytown For Gun Safety:

“[the week of January 28] marks a devastating milestone: By early February, more people are killed with guns in the U.S. than during an entire calendar year in ANY OTHER high-income country.”

Please don’t say or tolerate anyone else saying that we are a peaceful country. Violence and murder are woven into the fabric of what it means to be Americans. Reference: our daily mass murders and the Army of God truckers swaggering with their AR-15s – you’ll see that soon.

The behavior we tolerate is the behavior we get (see: Trump, Nixon, Reagan and both Bushes). The longer it takes for us to take a stand, the harder it will be to end the craziness.

Have we become so distracted (see this) or so “nice” that we won’t stand up for ourselves and what we know to be right? There are lawsuits against Trump now, so we’re attempting to enforce accountability, but most Americans are silent and too many think he’s a hapless victim. Only the angry mob is speaking up.

Each of us has full freedom of choice about this. Violence and cruelty in the name of freedom of speech or worse, with the excuse of religion, is never okay. Nevertheless, it happens regularly and it’s happening right now. So, we better exercise our freedom of speech to stand against the haters and the violent ones.*

Reading Assignment

In Professor Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters From an American on January 27 she writes about what became known as the Lyceum Address, delivered in 1838:

“[Abraham Lincoln} called for Americans to exercise ‘general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws.’

We are in every bit as existential a crisis today as was our nation when Lincoln warned us. I urge you to read her post.


* Watch this space next Wednesday, February 7 for The Moronica Awards, which will include directions for what to do about our national craziness.

  • Today is a good day to be the light
  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

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One Response to Violence
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    “Today is a good day to be the light.” This should be the clarion call for all Americans who don’t think that violence and insurrection are appropriate means to settle political and/or legal disputes.

    I believe that Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King had the right idea. John Lennon said “give piece a chance.” In my opinion it’s the only path that makes any sense, although I’m certain that many of the peaceniks will be injured in the process. As demonstrated repeatedly throughout history, those who refuse to fight back will be overrun by those who choose violence. I am prepared to deal with that consequence. I think this situation is that important. I hope many others will think the same way.