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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/7/20

Far-Out Religious Right Comes from a Crazy Mold

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"Think not that I come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." -- Jesus, to his Disciples (Matthew 10:34)

Now that the Cold War is over -- now that Marxist rebels less often take to the hills, and the CIA presumably has quit abetting death squads -- what's the chief murder menace of our day?

Fanaticism. Current times may enter history books as a heyday of deadly zealots. Except in war zones, today's worst threat comes from a hodgepodge of True Believers who kill defenseless strangers to make political or religious statements.

Here's a zealotry scorecard for the past couple of years:

-- Muslim militants bombed New York's World Trade Center in 2003 to smite "the Great Satan," killing six people, injuring 1,000, and causing $500 million damage. (This was written before the second, historic, World Trade Center massacre in 2001.)

-- "Pro-life" fundamentalists assassinated workers at abortion clinics, twice in Florida and once in Massachusetts.

-- Nutty "militias" preached hatred for the American government -- and some fellow travelers are charged with blowing up the Oklahoma City federal building, killing 168, including tots in a day care center.

-- Fundamentalists who want to make Algeria an Islamic theocracy shoot teen-age girls in the face for not wearing veils, and cut professors' throats for teaching male and female students in the same classroom.

-- Japanese cultists loosed poison gas in Tokyo's subway, killing a dozen commuters and sickening 5,000 -- for reasons that defy comprehension.

-- Sikhs seeking to turn Punjab into a theocracy called Khalistan, "Land of the Pure," gun down Hindus at weddings and plant bombs in Indian movie theaters.

-- Islamic terrorists trying to make Egypt a theocracy rained gunfire on the bulletproof limousine of President Hosni Mubarak, but he escaped harm -- unlike former President Anwar Sadat, who was assassinated by such holy warriors.

-- Doomsday cultists holed up with David Koresh at Waco and burned themselves alive with their children.

-- Hindu mobs destroyed a Muslim mosque which they said defiled an Indian hilltop where Lord Rama was born 900,000 years ago -- triggering widespread Hindu-Muslim riots that killed 2,000.

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James A. Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail.  Mr. Haught has won two dozen national news writing awards. He has written 12 books and hundreds of magazine essays and blog posts. Around 450 of his essays are online. He is a senior editor of Free Inquiry magazine, a weekly blogger at Daylight (more...)

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