...further dividing an already badly divided country, and....
...fueling attacks against gays, Jews, blacks, immigrants, and most anybody else who "isn't like us."
These talk shows provide daily fodder for the more than 600 recognized hate groups in the U.S.
Can it just be a coincidence that violence and murder based on race, religion, sexual orientation or disability have reached a five-year high in the U-S-of-A?
Ironically, a great many of these groups flourish under the Christian banner.
After spending more than fourscore years observing and chronicling human behavior, I'll offer some suggestions.
First, it's very easy to stir up feelings anger and hatred.
Once these emotions are ignited, further fanning the flames is even easier.
Soon, clear thinking and reason seem far less satisfying than venting this anger and hatred, and even striking out with violence...
...especially for the folks who have trouble with clear thinking and reason...
..and especially for people that are sitting on a lot of anger to start with...
...which, of course, includes a few million of the ever-growing-number of our economically disenfranchised.
Early in our nation's history we had mob violence and lynch mobs.
Today, we have contagious anger and "righteous indignation" from talk show hosts...
...who typically wrap their views in super-patriotism and even some aberrant form of Christianity.
Hate is easy...arousing...appealing...and it generates listeners and ratings.
Love is difficult...hard to explicate.
Despite what the originator of Christianity said...
...the very individual that these people profess to follow...
..far too many of these super-Christian, God, guns, and guts people...
...see love as sissy...
And then there is this.
Consider these quotes that you will never hear openly admitted:
"I can only feel better about my own plight by putting down other people."
(Was it Lincoln who said the only way some people can appear taller is by trying to cut other people off at the knees?)
Or, "The only way I can feel adequate is by aligning myself with a group that...
...crusades against some 'inferior,' 'immoral,' or 'evil' entity....
...thus making 'us' feel superior to 'them'...
...and giving me a noble and motivating purpose."
Right-wing religions try to justify their latent anger and jealousies in the name of....
...good verses evil and...
...some god that bears no resemblance to the loving God of any enlightened scriptures.
It is said that hate is not the opposite of love, but rather fear.
It would seem that we need no better evidence than the fear-based right-wing groups we see emerging.
© 2006, Frederick Horne
All Rights Reserved
Broadcasting Promotes Hate?
I just saw a documentary on TV about skinheads, religious-right extremists, and neo-Nazi people.... Doesn't that [publicity] just help their sick cause?
Possibly; but, then again, these broadcasts make the rest of us aware of the dangers of these views. Many people get sucked into these "causes," without knowing what they really represent.
For example, the "charming and charismatic" Rev. H. in Illinois, is a key figure in America's hate community. His church has 70,000 to 80,000 members in 49 states and 28 countries. (We'll not give his full name or the name of the church, since these people tend to sue and harass the "infidels" who expose them.)
The members of this "Christian" church have reportedly shot, knifed or beaten blacks, Jews and Asian-Americans in several states.
I'm not sure if the Rev. H. was one of the subjects of the documentary you saw, but I feel that getting the word out on what this "charismatic church leader" represents is important.
Personally, I have a greater problem with the right-wing conservative radio talk shows broadcast daily on hundreds of radio stations that fan the flames of hatred.
I have gotten e-mails from these people, full of "facts" that simply weren't true.
I've sometimes responded by pointed to very clear evidence contradicting their "facts," in one case including a denial by the very person they quoted.
This apparently doesn't make any difference. They are "right," and anything to the contrary is simply not relevant.
Probably the kindest response I've gotten from my attempts to set the record straight is that they don't wish to hear from me any more. Of course, the old saying, "I've got my mind made up, don't confuse me with the facts," comes immediately to mind.
We've all been taught that religion should espouse love and forgiveness. Unfortunately, today some "religions" preach just the opposite.
I think of the Christian Reconstructionists, who, quoting Deuteronomy, want to re-establish Old Testament laws, and stone to death adulterers and heretics.
Since "adultery" can be in the mind only, and a "heretic" is by definition anyone who doesn't believe as they do, they could justifiably murder almost every person on earth with this belief — while being convinced they were simply doing God's will.
Of course, if you've been reading the news since the 9/11terrorist attack, you know that this view sounds very familiar.
At least television programs such as the one you saw bring such imprudence to light.
Hate Radio (and TV)
Hate radio, as Fog calls it, may be creating a lot of hate, but have you considered what some of our esteemed religious leaders are doing to promote the cause of hate? (We'll get to hate TV a moment.)
These people would be the last place anyone should look for any kind of example to our young people.
Here are some examples I picked out of today's paper.
We all heard about Falwell's comments [on 60 Minutes] where he said Mohammed was a terrorist.
That set off riots around the world and removed a lot of doubt around the world on whether this country hates Muslims.
Then there's Pat Roberson who called Mohammed "a robber and a brigand."
If that wasn't enough, he went on to say Islam was "a monumental scam."
This is the same guy who went on TV and blamed 9/11 on abortionists, gays, lesbians, feminists, the ACLU, and People For the American Way.
These guys are starting riots and they have the nerve to point the finger at others.
...What's scary is that they have thousands of followers and rake in millions of dollars to promote their warped views.
Islamic fundamentalists are having a field day with such comments, and it only justifies the causes of the terrorist fringe.
This also makes it very hard for the 1.2 billion peace loving Muslims around the world to try to temper the fundamentalist rhetoric of those who have terrorist tendencies.
But, it's not just right-wing nuts that are setting new lows in religious tolerance.
The Rev. David Benkie, a Lutheran, was condemned by fellow ministers for taking part in a prayer service in Yankee Stadium after 9/11 to pray and sing patriotic songs.
Six pastors from the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod are trying to have him bounced out of his church because he "participated in idolatry by participating with non-Christians."
According to a newspaper account, one of the accusing Rev's said the Rev. Benkie was an "idol worshiper."
Why? Because Benkie appeared on stage with non-Christians while trying to bring people together in prayer and patriotic songs.
Since this involved standing alongside "heretics" and standing in silence as others such as Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Christians of other denominations prayed, he "participated in idolatry," and they want him thrown out of the church.
This kind of hat speech is not just confined to radio, of course. Many examples could be cited from TV.
For example, according to a tally by three University of Indiana scholars, the very popular Fox News' host, Bill O'Riley, averages 8.88 instances of name calling per minute and one insult every 6.8 seconds.
© 2007, All Rights Reserved