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I understand that the American pro-life movement is quite complex. I have met "pro-lifers" in the US in the 90s, and they were very charming and peaceful people.

I assume that these people are still around. Nonetheless violent extremism is apparently growing.

I hadn't heard of "Christian Reconstructionism". Now, where's that even "Christian" since they aim at an Old Testament theocracy, including capital punishment, no gun control? I'd classify them as sectarian at best. That goes of course also for the "If you think abortion is murder, act like it." - I would only interpret it as another way to say, "Don't have one," but you think of other consequences.

These groups, unfortunately, have gone astray from Christian faith. Quite dramatic.

But then, there's this other question, should all Christians take the blame when there are some who cause trouble?
And also this: Do you believe the violence of one or that of a group justifies an equally violent or even more violent response?

Jerome's quote suggests it does... when the Christian religion as a whole is held accountable. - It's simple to blame the Christian religion but not justified.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 11:23:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand that the American pro-life movement is quite complex. I have met "pro-lifers" in the US in the 90s, and they were very charming and peaceful people.

I have also met quite pleasant anti-choice people. Europeans, not Americans, but I doubt that there is any ethnic difference in the capacity to be a nice person...

But that's beside the point. There are also nice orthodox Israelis. I'm sure you can even find a more or less civilised "settler" if you look hard enough. That does not detract from the fact that Israel has a fascist problem, and that their fascist problem is centred around their orthodox communities, in particular the "settler" communities.

I hadn't heard of "Christian Reconstructionism". Now, where's that even "Christian"

Who are you to say that they're not? They self-identify as Christian. They believe in the divinity of Jesus. Last time I checked, those are the two most common definitions of Christianity.

But then, there's this other question, should all Christians take the blame when there are some who cause trouble?

I am not quite sure where you got the idea that anybody is saying that.

What several of us are saying is that the US has a fascist problem. And that it's specifically centred around the fundagelical communities. Saying that their fascists are not "true Scotsmen Christians" is unhelpful.

And also this: Do you believe the violence of one or that of a group justifies an equally violent or even more violent response?

Not necessarily. But that's an academic point, because nobody is perpetrating violence on the American fascist movement to any significant extent.

Jerome's quote suggests it does... when the Christian religion as a whole is held accountable.

Only if you believe that terrorism justifies suspending common civility. Few people around these parts do.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 01:55:55 PM EST
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First, comparing the American Pro Life Movement with Jewish settlements is comparing apples and oranges. You can sure try to mix categories to make your point.

I AGREE with you that the US has a problem. I don't fully agree on where it lies or that Christian evangelicals (alone?) are responsible for what you call American fascism. They, i.e. certain fundamentalists may have their share in this general sense of loss of freedom.

When I ask whether all Christians should take the blame (for the assassination/its causes), I can call it only pedantry when you ask me where I got that from. In Jerome's dkos link, one of the issues was the Christian religion's accountability. What is the Christian religion? The author didn't talk of bible burning. The Christian religion = its members = Christians. I hope you can follow the reasoning.

Enfin, Christian reconstructionism is NOT Christian. Sorry to disappoint. To call Jesus a divinity isn't quite sufficient to claim Christianity for oneself. Jesus made a new covenant that didn't exactly cancel out the old one but fulfilled it. A society based on Old Testament Law is under the old covenant. These people don't walk their talk, or rather don't walk their name. But then, I should at least quickly check them out on wikipedia before I'm going pass any final verdict on them/their ideology.    

I wonder whether you really want to find out what's going on in the US or whether you already know everything, and your opinion isn't subject to change anyway. Maybe it would be the easiest if you could outline your philosophy in a diary. It would safe valuable energy.

I'd like to end the Tiller debate here (at least my part in it).

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 03:39:36 PM EST
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First, comparing the American Pro Life Movement with Jewish settlements is comparing apples and oranges.

But I didn't.

Upon re-reading the relevant paragraph, you will see that I was simply dispelling your argument from anecdote: That some member(s) of a group are nice and civil does not mean that the group is a constructive addition to society or that its agenda has any place in a civilised democracy.

They, i.e. certain fundamentalists may have their share in this general sense of loss of freedom.

"Certain fundamentalists" who "may have" a "share" in the "general sense" of loss of freedoms? In the same way that "certain factions" of the BNP "may have" a "share" in the "general sense" of increasing racism in Britain?

Of course the evangelicals are not alone in promoting authoritarian policies. But they are a major player on the American right-wing-extremist scene. Possibly the major player.

When I ask whether all Christians should take the blame (for the assassination/its causes),

No. But they must acknowledge this as an act of Christian terrorism (at least inasmuch as they acknowledge that "terrorism" is a meaningful term - I for one don't, but that's a different discussion). Claiming that "he isn't a (true) Christian" or that he is "an individual lunatic" obfuscates the fact that there exists a far-right Christian community that supports, encourages and breeds these kinds of terrorists.

You would never accept mealy-mouthed "but they weren't (real) communists" bullshit if the discussion was of the Baader-Meinhof gang. Or of Stalin's purges. Or of Castro's imprisonment of Cuban dissidents. Why does Christianity get to use a "get out of embarrassing terrorist groups free" card when communism doesn't?

Enfin, Christian reconstructionism is NOT Christian. Sorry to disappoint.

Again, who are you to say? Rushdoony, Schaeffer and Ahmanson (Schaeffer is also a leading light of the American anti-choice movement, by the way - very nice company they keep...) would in all probability say that you are not a Christian.

I wonder whether you really want to find out what's going on in the US or whether you already know everything, and your opinion isn't subject to change anyway.

I don't claim to know "everything" that's going on in the American far-right. But if you don't even know Rushdoony, Ahmanson, Scaife and Schaeffer (or Alcoa, Chiquita and ClearChannel, for that matter), then I do think that I know more than you do.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 08:19:49 PM EST
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