Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to Breed Terrorists: A Contemporary Guide

If you're searching for a face to identify with America's favorite buzzword "terrorism," you needn't roam far.  It's not in North Korea.  It's not even in the Middle East-- no, the culprit is right under your nose and way off your radar.

When news of Jared Loughner's shooting spree hit the press, journalists and politicians weren't the only ones to react.  Just a few short days after the massacre (which left 6 dead and over a dozen injured) Westboro Baptist Church threw in their two cents.  Shepherded by leader Fred Phelps, the group announced plans to picket victims' funerals, including 9-year-old Christina Green.

Of the attack, Phelps had this to say:
Thank God for the violent shooter, one of your soldier heroes in Tuscon. God appointed the Afghanistan veteran to avenge himself on this evil nation. However many are dead, Westboro Baptist will picket their funerals to remind the living that you can still repent and obey.
WBC isn't exactly green when it comes to controversy, having picketed hundreds of services in an attempt to spread their message ("God Hates Fags," "Thank God for 9/11," etc. catchy little numbers, eh?).  But are these radical religious movements really so different from the so-called 'terror' many frightened American's attribute to Islam or other foreign races?

Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing's 2006 documentary Jesus Camp perfectly illuminates the terrifying, uniquely American machine that churns out intolerant bible-thumpers much like the WBC congregation.  The film follows former Pentecostal children's pastor Becky Fischer and several camp attendees as they take a spiritual journey into a world of loving, charismatic deception.

Like WBC, the Evangelical camp intends to respond to our cruel, violent society with assurance (for themselves, at least) of God's love.  What most people fail to grasp, however, are the echoes in their actions of a potentially terroristic uprising.

You can see why it's easy to be offended by these radical groups' claims of righteousness.  While they busy themselves heaving the blame around for the savage nature of man ("'God' or 'the Devil' made them do it"), they never stop to think about what their biased views have constructed: a real terrorist organization.

Rebecca

1 comment:

  1. I've never witnessed these radical religious groups 'evangelize' before..but what they're doing seems like a growing problem. Nice take on the article btw.

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