Posted by: Harold Knight | 11/12/2009

I will certainly regret this post. The devil made me do it (obviously).

Complications abound.
Complication is all around.
Life is complicated in every way.
How many versions of complication (or is it insanity?) can you write?

I want to take President Obama to task.

The more I think about it, the more disappointed I am in him. It’s difficult to imagine why he chose to say at Ft. Hood, “It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know – no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. And for what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice – in this world, and the next.”  (We know?)

Actually, his rhetoric is not difficult to understand. He listens to the likes of Bruce Hoffman (his administration, like those before him, pays such people to make up what we all know).

Complications abound.
There is not one shred of evidence that Nidal M. Hasan went on a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood for religious reasons.

I am in fairly regular email contact with “Christian” clerics. Let’s see, which one is the most famous?—oh, Martin Marty (Lutheran pastor, theologian, Emeritus Professor at The University of Chicago Divinity School, and frequent contributor to The Christian Century). A couple of exchanges a year or so ago in which I sent him what most people would have thought was an incendiary piece I wrote about the fixation of our government on “terrorists” and the impossibility that a Muslim charged with terrorism can get a fair trial in the United States—especially if the charges have anything to do with Israel. Dr. Marty replied.

I also keep in regular contact by email with several other local pastors in the Lutheran Church, and with the Bishop of the North Texas Northern Louisiana Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I am in frequent contact with several Palestinian Lutherans in the Palestinian Territories, especially in Bethlehem, and several Episcopalian Palestinians in Jerusalem. I am obviously a radical Christian.

So, by President Obama’s logic, adopted wholesale from Bruce Hoffman (remember: “I don’t see a nervous breakdown as being mutually exclusive of terrorism”), when I have my psychotic snap (which, believe me, I have earned!), it will be because I am a Christian—not just a Christian, but one of the most dreaded and to-be-feared variety, a LUTHERAN! Remember what the Lutherans did to the entire fabric of Western society in the 16th century.

Complication is all around.
NPR, “All Things Considered,” November 11, 2009: “When a group of key officials gathered in the spring of 2008 for their monthly meeting in a Bethesda, Md., office, one of the leading — and most perplexing — items on their agenda was: What should we do about [Maj. Nidal Malik]  Hasan? Hasan had been a trouble spot on officials’ radar since he started training at Walter Reed, six years earlier. Several officials confirm that supervisors had repeatedly given him poor evaluations and warned him that he was doing substandard work. Both fellow students and faculty were deeply troubled by Hasan’s behavior — which they variously called disconnected, aloof, paranoid, belligerent, and schizoid…” 

One of their concerns, of course, was that he had “extreme” Islamist [sic] beliefs. Well, at any rate, he talked about his faith and even, apparently, at least once told a patient that converting to Islam would help solve the patient’s emotional problems. Some of these same officers say that they may have given Hasan a “pass” on his outspoken (and perhaps inappropriate) presentation of his Muslim beliefs. http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20091110/us_time/08599193733400 

Life is complicated in every way.
And now we find out that Hasan was at some point in email contact with a “radical” Islamic cleric (who is no longer in this country). Never mind that the Army investigated this connection of Hasan’s awhile back and concluded it was not dangerous.

No one knows what drove Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan to his insanity last week. Nothing can excuse it. Even if he was in a psychotic delusion, there is no justification for it. However, the assumption that his religious beliefs are responsible for his psychotic snap is reprehensible.

President Obama should be ashamed of himself for helping fan the (already out of control) flames of anti-Muslim xenophobia rampant in the United States. “…no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor.” He is absolutely correct that “no faith justifies” these acts. But no faith (his or any other American’s) justifies the background text of what he said: “Muslims can’t get away with murderous and craven acts.”

Why did the President mention religion at all when there is no evidence that it was Hasan’s “faith” that caused his “murderous and craven acts?” The President did it to fall into lock-step with the xenophobia in this country that every politician must embrace—because the likes of Bruce Hoffman have been decreeing it since before September of 2001. Every politician must embrace anti-Muslim xenophobia (the more subtly the better) because Americans have been propagandized for two decades to believe it. The President’s sub-text must be, for his political survival, “I will protect you all [and invoke a punishing God as my ally] from these religious fanatics.”

Never mind that Christian fanatics are running loose and terrorizing non-Christians (yes, even in our military). That doesn’t count. As long as one is a “Christian,” terrorizing is OK. Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. Scott P. Roeder is a Christian (of course, he murdered one of those radical Lutherans, so his case hardly counts). Michael F. Griffin was a Christian. John Salvi was a Christian. James Kopp was a Christian. Shall I continue? All murdered because of their religious beliefs.  Christians are obviously “murderous and craven.”

from Online Journal
Evangelicals exploit Air Force Academy; military officials interlocked with local activists”
By Devlin Buckley
Dec 23, 2005, 00:50
Four Air Force officers—all graduates of the Air Force Academy’s class of 2004—have recently joined a lawsuit that accuses leaders at the academy of overtly pressuring cadets to undertake evangelical religious instruction. The original lawsuit was filed in October by Mikey Weinstein, a former Air Force officer and graduate of the academy, whose son experienced religious discrimination while attending the school. 
            Controversy over the influence of Christian fundamentalism at the academy is nothing new, and the lawsuit is only the latest development in an ongoing struggle—the source and extent of which have been largely underreported by the corporate media—among evangelical organizations, academy leaders, congressional lawmakers, and First Amendment advocates. 
            The Air Force Academy, located in Colorado Springs, is surrounded by right-wing evangelical groups, several of which maintain close relationships with the academy’s faculty, staff, and cadets. These groups and the military officials who follow them have been integrating evangelical Christianity into official academy activities for at least 12 years. Over this time, they have promoted evangelical beliefs to cadets, used their religion as a tool for military training, and encouraged religious conformity on campus.
http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_363.shtml

“Navy chaplain convicted for wearing uniform at news conference”
By The Associated Press
09.14.06
NORFOLK, Va. — A Navy chaplain convicted yesterday of disobeying an order by appearing in uniform at a political news conference at the White House said he had not been “broken” and that he would appeal — and fight to remain a chaplain. “Today, praying in Jesus’ name became a crime in the United States Navy,” Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt said during a news conference after court adjourned for the day and he changed into his civilian minister’s garb. A jury of five officers had deliberated for one hour and 20 minutes during the special court-martial before deciding that the Evangelical Episcopal priest disobeyed a superior officer’s order prohibiting him from wearing his uniform during media appearances without prior permission.
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/%5Cnews.aspx?id=17393

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Responses

  1. The ex-Muslim Ibn Warraq has a very different take on this topic, in “Denying Reality, or the Heavy Cost of Political Correctness”:

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  2. Of course he does.
    You may take the word of someone who is afraid to give his real name. You may take the word of a leader of an organization whose main purpose is the study of fringe science and the paranormal. You may take the word of an “ex-Muslim” (of course, someone who has renounced his faith will have an unbiased view of it). When Ibn Warraq is willing to show his face and allow his work to be peer-reviewed as either science or politics or religion, then his writings MIGHT be used as evidence for something. Until then, he belongs in the same category as other “scientists” and political scientists such as Michael Persinger. Your comment proves my point.

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