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The Frightened and the Insane: Looking at the Latest In Right-Wing Intolerance

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rev. Dan Vojir       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink

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If for reasons of indolence or cowardice this fight is not fought to a finish we may imagine what conditions will be like 500 years hence. Little of God's image will be left in human nature, except to mock the Creator.

- Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

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These last several weeks have brought out the worst and most unreasonable attitudes in people. It must have been the eclipse. Or the full moon. Or Gay Pride parades.

Let's see, there was: Lou Engle spewing as much hatred as possible behind closed doors; not one, but TWO strikes against DOMA that inflames Tony Perkins' sense of the melodramatic; a HuffPost columnist trying to link Darwin to Hitler; the Call 2 Fall movement on 4th of July causing a lot of bruised knees and egos; the Texas GOP going completely draconian; Sharron Angle hoisting herself by her own petard; and the Phelps clan going to the Supreme Court armed with self-righteous stupidity.

We've covered Lou Engle's attempts to eradicate homosexuality (by eradicating homosexuals) and, quite frankly, if people haven't gotten the message that this is a very, very dangerous man, then no amount of additional, honest but unrestrained rhetoric will seep in.

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"Your honor, we believe the protesters were within their rights because they were nuts."

Before arguing a case before the Supreme Court, it is wise to submit a brief stating your client's case. It is not wise, however, to state that your client (also being your own family) was "hysterical" while exercising their right of free speech. The brief for the defendant in the case of Snyder v. Westboro Baptist Church is a case in point:

Phelps also argued that the church was engaging in public speech on a matter of public concern; that the funeral was a public event; and that the church did not assert provable facts but instead expressed "hyperbolic, figurative, loose, hysterical opinion."

This is a case that will receive national attention simply because it is so emotional: do dimwitted right wingnuts have any right to spew insanely vile hatred anywhere near something as emotionally charged as a funeral? Remember, these were the same people (stretch of the imagination here) about whom The Laramie Project was based and who have a website featuring Matthew Shepherd engulfed in the flames of hell. The basic rule of humanity - that you NEVER insult widows or orphans or anyone connected to someone who has just died - is breached by people screaming how glad they are that the deceased are dead and rotting in hell!

If the Phelps clan wins, then every hate-filled group on the planet will be marching with misspelled signs (oops, the Teabaggers already do that). At the very least, their victory will encourage some people to be more uncouth and vile in their protests. But if they lose, the Christian Right will have a very real conundrum on their hands: someone they hate (Phelps is bad PR) will have gotten the heave-ho using their only real defense - free speech. Tony Perkins will have a hard time choosing puns for that article.

It may also be the first time "hate speech" has ever gone to trial on a national scale. Will the "man addicted to hate," the man banned from entering other countries, the man who bred a family of haters, the man who invented passages of the Bible for his own purposes of argument, will that man win?

I shudder at the thought.

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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books " Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)

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