Onward White Christian Terrorists

abortion murderIn yet another act of domestic terror against a family planning facility, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Wisconsin was fire-bombed recently. The attack comes on the heels of the bombing of a Pensacola, Florida, clinic in January.

Although no one was injured in the attack, the fascist demonization of Planned Parenthood by inciters like Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney continues to put women’s lives in the line of fire; in an era of vanishing clinics and mounting violence.

In honor of Abortion Providers’ Day last month I visited a family planning clinic after participating in an abortion rights protest. The head doctor on staff lamented how few of his colleagues had been trained to perform abortions. Volunteer patient escorts helped protect the tucked-away strip mall facility from violent interlopers. The scene was a vivid reminder of the atrocity of the assassination of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in 2009.

Dr. George Tiller

Murdered abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

Tiller was murdered in cold blood in his church by former Montana Freemen and Army of God member Scott Roeder, who said he was just following God’s law. At Tiller’s funeral, anti-abortion protesters wielded signs proclaiming “God sent the shooter.” His murder was the culmination of years of attempted murders, death threats, bombings, and arson attacks waged against abortion providers by white Christian terrorists. While law-abiding Muslim Americans continue to be profiled and surveilled, white Christian terrorists are handled cautiously.

Historically the feds have always reserved their most savage, concerted “counter-terrorist” campaigns for radical activists of color. From 1956 to 1971 J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI launched its notorious Cointelpro “counter-intelligence” operation targeting radical groups in the U.S. The operation systematically co-opted, jailed, and murdered activists of color in organizations like the Black Panther Party, the US Organization, the American Indian Movement, and the liberal Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Hoover relentlessly smeared these groups as domestic terrorists.The fire-bombing of a Wisconsin Planned Parenthood clinic is a potent reminder of how white Christian terrorism gets a pass in the mainstream media. sikivu hutchinson

Yet white militants who invoke Christian fundamentalism to justify their barbaric acts against women and their allies are still dismissed in the mainstream as aberrations. Writing for the Southern Poverty Law Center back in 1998, Frederick Clarkson pinpointed the alignment of anti-abortion terrorism, white supremacist activism, and the far right militia movement.

Like the perennial black male inner city perp, the profiles of anti-abortion terrorists are always the same—“disaffected” white middle aged males, drunk with anti-government militia and/or a fundamentalist ethos steeped in the bloody retribution of the Old Testament. Clearly, black men running around bombing abortion clinics or plotting to kill abortion doctors would get no farther than the nearest county jail cell. And as the lynch mob justice meted out to Trayvon Martin, Kendrick McDade, and scores of other people of color demonstrates the threat of “savage” black criminality—particularly vis-à-vis white lives in the heartland or in gated communities—is the only national scourge that must be contained by any means necessary.

These spasms of Christian fundamentalist violence are largely peculiar to the United States.  Anti-abortion activism in Western European countries such as Britian, France, and Italy doesn’t inspire anywhere near the level of militant resistance seen here.

sikivu hutchinson

This virulent strain of fundamentalism was nourished by three theocratic Republican administrations that dismembered the Constitution and effectively sanctioned criminal campaigns against abortion providers.

So while the U.S. condemns Muslim religious fundamentalism and trumpets itself as a beacon for individual and civil liberties unbridled by theocratic intolerance it has become a breeding ground for the most dangerous Christian fundamentalist terrorist movement in the world.

Sikivu Hutchinson
blackfemlens.org

Published by the LA Progressive on April 3, 2012
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About Sikivu Hutchinson

Sikivu Hutchinson, Ph.D. is the author of "Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles," "Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, the Values Wars and the forthcoming Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels," and the recently released book "Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels."

Comments

  1. TYPING CORRECTIONS
    2nd paragraph:
    “This latter statement leads to the obvious problem that laws protecting abortion are illicit because they attempt to protect persons like Tiller who indiscriminately take human life without due process. Laws that protect abortion are not licit because they violate moral absolutes that protect all innocent human life… this being inclusive of where they live. So only the state has the authority to mead out capital punishment and again, this within a system of licit laws based within a fixed and consistent moral ethic.” 4th paragraph:”More importantly in assessing these groups one should make a distinction between what they teach versus what its members do. Two crucial points come from this observation in that one, Muslim teaching has within it the doctrine called jihad, and unfortunately there exists no authority to define it’s precise meaning. This in contrast to Christian teaching that while its old testament books portray the Israelites as being told by God to go into a nation and slaughter the people living there, taking all their possessions… within Christianity there is an official spokeperson called the Pope whose teaching is authoritative and as such, condemns any interpretation of descriptive texts as if they were prescriptions. This is a weakness of all Protestant denominations who insist on the bible as their sole authority. It is why they have split over the years into more than 30,000 factions whereas Catholics have remained essentially united under one head.”Ratjaws@aol.comThis latter statement leads to the obvious problem that laws protecting abortion are illicit because they attempt to protect persons like Tiller who indiscriminately take human life without due process. Laws that protect abortion are not licit because they violate moral absolutes that protect all innocent human life… this being inclusive of where they live. So only the state has the authority to mead out capital punishment and again, this within a system of licit laws based within a fixed and consistent moral ethic.” 
    4th paragraph:
    “More importantly in assessing these groups one should make a distinction between what they teach versus what its members do. Two crucial points come from this observation in that one, Muslim teaching has within it the doctrine called jihad, and unfortunately there exists no authority to define it’s precise meaning. This in contrast to Christian teaching that while its old testament books portray the Israelites as being told by God to go into a nation and slaughter the people living there, taking all their possessions… within Christianity there is an official spokeperson called the Pope whose teaching is authoritative and as such, condemns any interpretation of descriptive texts as if they were prescriptions. This is a weakness of all Protestant denominations who insist on the bible as their sole authority. It is why they have split over the years into more than 30,000 factions whereas Catholics have remained essentially united under one head.”Ratjaws@aol.comMore importantly in assessing these groups one should make a distinction between what they teach versus what its members do. Two crucial points come from this observation in that one, Muslim teaching has within it the doctrine called jihad, and unfortunately there exists no authority to define it’s precise meaning. This in contrast to Christian teaching that while its old testament books portray the Israelites as being told by God to go into a nation and slaughter the people living there, taking all their possessions… within Christianity there is an official spokeperson called the Pope whose teaching is authoritative and as such, condemns any interpretation of descriptive texts as if they were prescriptions. This is a weakness of all Protestant denominations who insist on the bible as their sole authority. It is why they have split over the years into more than 30,000 factions whereas Catholics have remained essentially united under one head.”Ratjaws@aol.com

  2. Miss Hutchinson,
    You do two things that make your assessment of Christian fundamentalist violence erroneous. First you fail to point out that many prolife leaders have spoken up against the violence at abortuaries. Second you mix disparate groups like the Muslim fundamentalists with Christian fundies and white supremacists with militia groups and the Black Panthers with American Indian groups.
     
    In the first case the prolife movement teaches from its core that murder is wrong and it occurs when an innocent person is killed by someone for unjust reasons. It does not teach we cannot respond in self-defense (it’s not pacifist). In fact only in special cases can I fail to defend an innocent life; that is I can give my life up for another for reasons concerned with the next life… and this is not morally wrong. What I cannot do is push someone in front of me and offer their life for someone else’s life (or mine). In fact this latter instance is just another form of murder. In relation to George Tiller incident, Scott Roeder may have been a prolife activist and defined himself and his actions so, but the moment he attempted to take the life of or shot abortionist “Tiller the Killer” he moved across the line. He went from being prolife across the board to being anti-life in this case. Roeder had no authority to judge and sentence Tiller to death, even though if all things were as they should be, in a court of law Tiller himself could be convicted of murdering many innocent human beings. The problem here is that the government has been given the authority and power to deal with the situation of criminals (abortionists in particular) and individuals cannot intervene in the law of their own accord. It must be done within a framework of laws that are justly perceived (drawn out of the nature of each being as they are) and thereby duly enacted (by legitimate authority). This latter statement leads to the obvious problem that laws protecting abortion are illicit because they attempt to protect persons like Roeder who indiscriminately take human life without due process. Laws that protect abortion are not licit because they violate more absolutes that protect all innocent human life… this being inclusive of where they live. So only the state has the authority to mead out capital punishment and again, this within a system of licit laws based within a fixed and consistent moral ethic.
     
    On the second issue I first point out that a law called Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) has been used against prolife protestors at the abortuaries. This law was enacted years ago against the MAFIA, a well known syndicate of lawless persons made up primarily of family members from Italian origin. Thus prolife protestors are not handled as “cautiously” as you claim and have not only this inappropiate law to contend with but also laws like Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) and Freedom Of Choice Act (FOCA), etc… In my opinion these laws have been construed not to curtail violence but rather peaceful protest, the type that predominates abortion protest. In addition the fact that laws have historically been enacted against “white” Italians in particular is only one example that you overemphasize your case concerning “people of color.” Your portrayal of Muslim along side Christian fundamentalists also supports this contention because Muslim extremists kill in order to gain a greater place in heaven while the Christian extremists you mention in particular kill because of the absence or nullification of laws that should protecting innocent helpless human beings residing in their mother’s womb. Likewise when you lump together militia groups with the white supremacists, the former of whom are against unjust government powers and the latter who incite inappropiate treatment of persons of color other than their own. A case can be made that while the latter groups teachings are unjust, the former group has a legitimate basis of complaint and also uses illegal means at times to deal with these protests. Likewise I know of no American Indian group that has done the things that Black Panthers have done, the latter of whom are notorious for their call to violence as a group and commission of violent acts among its members.
     
    This said I am not justifying Christian extremist acts rather simply pointing out you compare apples with oranges. I suspect the reason you clump together these disparate groups without proper distinction is to make Christian extremists look worse than they are, and by implication, to demonize Christians in general. If it is wrong for us to stigmatize the general Muslim population for the acts of a few of its members then it is also wrong to do so with Christians. More importantly in accessing these groups one should make a distinction between what they teach versus what its members do. Two crucial points come from this observation in that one, Muslim teaching has within it the doctrine called jihad, and unfortunately there exists no authority to define it’s precise meaning. This in contrast to Christian teaching that while its old testament books portray the Israelites as being told by God to go into a nation and slaughter the people living there, taking all their possessions… within Christianity there is an official spokeperson called the Pope whose teaching is authoritative and as such, condemns any interpretation descriptive texts as if they were prescriptions. This is a weakness of all Protestant denominations who insist on the bible as their sole authority. It is why they have split over the years into more than 30,000 factions whereas Catholics have remained essentially united under one head.
     
    On the contrary the Church has authentic teaching concerning the inviolable dignity of every human person that cannot be changed! While it can be ignored by it’s members and is largely unknown within our secular society that encourages the “Culture of Death” you speak of here, it remains a staple in the doctrinal diet of Christianity at it’s core. Thus not only does the central teaching and motivational authority for the prolife movement condemn violence against children still living in their mother’s womb, it also condemns violence against the abortionist who is the very person committing the violent act against the preborn. At the same time the Church encourages just law must conform to moral absolute and that children living in the womb are to be protected. Therefore if you had an absolute principle to determine your moral ethic, Miss Hutchinson, you’d see that the Church and its prolife teaching are sound. You would also distinguish between those who adhere to this “Culture of Life” teaching (Pope John Paul II’s term) and those who either out of ignorance or willed disobedience go against a consistent life ethic. In that case you would not be so tempted to confuse the prolife movement with other less commendable movements (all to differing degrees) even despite the presence of extremists within it. In a word you be fair as opposed to ideological.
     
    As for the Trayvon Martin case… the jury is still out concerning George Zimmerman’s part in it and if this country’s form of government and laws mean anything to you, you should consider Zimmerman innocent until proven guilty rather than using Martin as a proven example of racial hatred.
    Ratjaws@aol.com

  3. The stance of the right wing Christian nutcases is ample reason to trust in science and not believe in any religion.  Christianity basically hates women and if one reads their texts it makes it clear that they do; so it is understandable that a male hierarchical religion would seek to repress women and keep them ignorant in the kitchen, bedroom, or changing diapers.  The brainwashed evangelical women who side with patriarchy are the product of their ignorance and their behavior is as loathsome as that of their male leaders.  Of course even here at LA Progressive we have folks who post comments and who display their hatred of women disguising and hiding it in allusions to the commandments and other scripture.  Probably at one time the teachings of the most of the major religions were of some social value but once they took capitalism into their bosom then any value that they promised for humankind was lost because they embraced a system of the exploitation of the many for the accumulation of capital and the transferal of the accumulated value to the few.  And of course this system demands monogamy for women so that men can continue their domination by being the holder of the purse strings.

    • Dusty,
      If you were to do your science and impartially look at Christian teaching you’d choke on your words precisely because the Church teaches no such thing. Have you ever read Mulieris Dignitatem, an apostolic letter on The Dignity and Vocation of Women written in 1988 by Pope John Paul II? What the Pope wrote here was already expressed in germ form back in the mid-sixties at the Vatican II Council (see Gaudium et Spes). It has it’s roots in early Christian texts and in particular the “woman at the well” scene in the New Testament. Here “the Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) …Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, ‘What do you want?’ or ‘Why are you talking with her?’” (Jn. 4:4-29) She had two strikes against her being both a despised Samaritan and a woman. Yet the founder and model of Christian life treated her with respect and dignity as is still taught by the Christian Church today. And note Jesus did not ignore the sin this woman had committed but brought out that she had not one but five husbands and offered to forgive her, which she accepted and went out and told everyone she knew about. This parallels the teaching concerning the “woman caught in adultery” where Jesus offers her forgiveness that the Pharisees (men) withheld. (Jn. 8:3-12) This centers on the Christian teaching that God who is the cause of women loves them and offers them the same gift of eternal life as he offers men. No distinction! Just the dignity of every person, sinner or not, recognized, and elevated from sin to life with God. I ask you how do such teachings “repress” women? To Christians adultery is a sin while work in a “kitchen, bedroom or changing diapers” is not. Yet you treat the latter as if a sin while considering the teaching against adultery of questionable value? Adultery is a two-way street as a man can be unfaithful to a woman just as a woman unfaithful to a man. I see nothing questionable about this and find our culture that endorses sexual promiscuity as reprehensible. To treat women as sex objects for a man’s selfish pleasure is against the Christian teaching you put down so easily. And why? Because of “Christian nutcases?” So damn them all because of the few… sounds fair to me! It’s like what you say to do about women does not apply to persons in general; a very confused mindset if I don’t say so myself. This same Christianity you condemn so blithly has honored women in a way our secular culture refuses to recognize. “After the Second Vatican Council, my [Pope John Paul II] predecessor Paul VI showed the relevance of this ‘sign of the times’, when he conferred the title ‘Doctor of the Church’ upon Saint Teresa of Jesus and Saint Catherine of Siena.” Even more important is the consideration that there is only one person who is considered next to God. This person is none other than a woman affectionately known as the Blessed Mother Mary whose Son was considered to be God incarnate, effectively making her God’s mother, as conferred in the honorary title Theotokos (Greek for god-bearer used in reference to Mary the Mother of God). Mary as such simply holds the highest honor any human being can hold even above and beyond the title of Pope (papa) within the Catholic Church. In fact the Church teaches this woman was given this honor along with other gifts such as Jesus’ Virgin Birth and her Immaculate Conception, meaning she is different from all of us in a special way… that she was free from all sin (not that she could not sin). As Father Maximillian Kolbe taught concerning the biblical text in Luke chapter one, “Ave Maria gratia plena…” meant not only that Mary was free from Original Sin but that this grace was infused in her nature. She was a very special woman whom Catholics highly honor (venerate) yet she was fully woman and as such is a model for all woman and the greatest model they can have. She was completely faithful to God as scripture shows and considered to have never committed an actual sin. “Hence Mary attains a union with God that exceeds all the expectations of the human spirit.” (Mulieris Dignitatem paragraph 4:5) Now can you show me any other female model in our secular society that comes up to this standard? Can you show me one even close? I’m certain you won’t find her in hollywood although you may find her in some obscure place like a home where she silently and patiently takes care of her husband and children. She does not run around on her husband acting as if he’s second choice while holding herself up as impeccable. She does not condemn her children to death just because they are inconvenient. She even considers children outside her family wanted! This woman if you find her will more likely than not be a Christian woman. Her concern is for persons above and beyond all other material things and pleasures in this life… including sexual pleasure that makes abortion (and therefore contraception) “sacred” and to be conserved at all costs.I conclude with a loose quote from St. Augustine “Eve was not pulled from Adam’s feet so he could step on her; nor from his head so that she would dominate him; but from his ribs so that she would be his heart!” Men and women in Christian teaching are not at war with each other as our secular culture forcefully teaches… rather they are compliments to each other and necessary for each other’s greatest good!Ratjaws@aol.comMulieris Dignitatem, an apostolic letter on The Dignity and Vocation of Women written in 1988 by Pope John Paul II? What the Pope wrote here was already expressed in germ form back in the mid-sixties at the Vatican II Council (see Gaudium et Spes). It has it’s roots in early Christian texts and in particular the “woman at the well” scene in the New Testament. Here “the Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) …Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, ‘What do you want?’ or ‘Why are you talking with her?’” (Jn. 4:4-29) She had two strikes against her being both a despised Samaritan and a woman. Yet the founder and model of Christian life treated her with respect and dignity as is still taught by the Christian Church today. And note Jesus did not ignore the sin this woman had committed but brought out that she had not one but five husbands and offered to forgive her, which she accepted and went out and told everyone she knew about. This parallels the teaching concerning the “woman caught in adultery” where Jesus offers her forgiveness that the Pharisees (men) withheld. (Jn. 8:3-12) This centers on the Christian teaching that God who is the cause of women loves them and offers them the same gift of eternal life as he offers men. No distinction! Just the dignity of every person, sinner or not, recognized, and elevated from sin to life with God. 
      I ask you how do such teachings “repress” women? To Christians adultery is a sin while work in a “kitchen, bedroom or changing diapers” is not. Yet you treat the latter as if a sin while considering the teaching against adultery of questionable value? Adultery is a two-way street as a man can be unfaithful to a woman just as a woman unfaithful to a man. I see nothing questionable about this and find our culture that endorses sexual promiscuity as reprehensible. To treat women as sex objects for a man’s selfish pleasure is against the Christian teaching you put down so easily. And why? Because of “Christian nutcases?” So damn them all because of the few… sounds fair to me! It’s like what you say to do about women does not apply to persons in general; a very confused mindset if I don’t say so myself.
       
      This same Christianity you condemn so blithly has honored women in a way our secular culture refuses to recognize. “After the Second Vatican Council, my [Pope John Paul II] predecessor Paul VI showed the relevance of this ‘sign of the times’, when he conferred the title ‘Doctor of the Church’ upon Saint Teresa of Jesus and Saint Catherine of Siena.” Even more important is the consideration that there is only one person who is considered next to God. This person is none other than a woman affectionately known as the Blessed Mother Mary whose Son was considered to be God incarnate, effectively making her God’s mother, as conferred in the honorary title Theotokos (Greek for god-bearer used in reference to Mary the Mother of God). Mary as such simply holds the highest honor any human being can hold even above and beyond the title of Pope (papa) within the Catholic Church.
       
      In fact the Church teaches this woman was given this honor along with other gifts such as Jesus’ Virgin Birth and her Immaculate Conception, meaning she is different from all of us in a special way… that she was free from all sin (not that she could not sin). As Father Maximillian Kolbe taught concerning the biblical text in Luke chapter one, “Ave Maria gratia plena…” meant not only that Mary was free from Original Sin but that this grace was infused in her nature. She was a very special woman whom Catholics highly honor (venerate) yet she was fully woman and as such is a model for all woman and the greatest model they can have. She was completely faithful to God as scripture shows and considered to have never committed an actual sin. “Hence Mary attains a union with God that exceeds all the expectations of the human spirit.” (Mulieris Dignitatem paragraph 4:5) Now can you show me any other female model in our secular society that comes up to this standard? Can you show me one even close? I’m certain you won’t find her in hollywood although you may find her in some obscure place like a home where she silently and patiently takes care of her husband and children. She does not run around on her husband acting as if he’s second choice while holding herself up as impeccable. She does not condemn her children to death just because they are inconvenient. She even considers children outside her family wanted! This woman if you find her will more likely than not be a Christian woman. Her concern is for persons above and beyond all other material things and pleasures in this life… including sexual pleasure that makes abortion (and therefore contraception) “sacred” and to be conserved at all costs.I conclude with a loose quote from St. Augustine “Eve was not pulled from Adam’s feet so he could step on her; nor from his head so that she would dominate him; but from his ribs so that she would be his heart!” Men and women in Christian teaching are not at war with each other as our secular culture forcefully teaches… rather they are compliments to each other and necessary for each other’s greatest good!Ratjaws@aol.comHence Mary attains a union with God that exceeds all the expectations of the human spirit.” (Mulieris Dignitatem paragraph 4:5) Now can you show me any other female model in our secular society that comes up to this standard? Can you show me one even close? I’m certain you won’t find her in hollywood although you may find her in some obscure place like a home where she silently and patiently takes care of her husband and children. She does not run around on her husband acting as if he’s second choice while holding herself up as impeccable. She does not condemn her children to death just because they are inconvenient. She even considers children outside her family wanted! This woman if you find her will more likely than not be a Christian woman. Her concern is for persons above and beyond all other material things and pleasures in this life… including sexual pleasure that makes abortion (and therefore contraception) “sacred” and to be conserved at all costs.I conclude with a loose quote from St. Augustine “Eve was not pulled from Adam’s feet so he could step on her; nor from his head so that she would dominate him; but from his ribs so that she would be his heart!” Men and women in Christian teaching are not at war with each other as our secular culture forcefully teaches… rather they are compliments to each other and necessary for each other’s greatest good!Ratjaws@aol.com

  4. Anyone that violates the 10th Commandments already know where they’re headed and you don’t have to have a Ph.D to understand…

    Many people believe that life is based on a commercial ” Have it Your Way ” 
    But i’m here to tell you everything has a price and you will pay for what you buy… 

    Farmers plant seeds too harvest food for us to eat and live !  

    Why don’t he waste his time planting and just set the field on fire after the crop is ready for harvesting… 
    Having sex getting pregnant is planting a human seed that may not take as long as planting corn or beans but the end result is the same ” Harvest Time ”

    The good thing about life is we have freedom to make our own decisions !   
    And if you choose to kill that baby you will pay whether here or afterwards…

    That’s the Law ….. ” Believe It Or Not “

  5. Hwood007 says:

    Had you written about the preacher who attends military funerals and speaks of hate from God, I might have had some interest in your writings, alas, you are of lessor value than he.

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