I am a conservative. I believe in limited government. I agree with most of the ideas of the Tea Party. I am not, nor am I in danger of becoming, a terrorist. I am a little old lady who remembers when autumn meant the smell of burning leaves, gasoline was $.30 a gallon, and we sang patriotic songs and prayed in school. (I went to elementary school in the south, and we sang Dixie a lot!)
However, the Department of Homeland Security sees people who believe what I believe as a threat.
The Department of Homeland Security publication, LaFree, Gary, and Bianca Bersani. “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008,” Final Report to Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. College Park, MD: START, 2012., includes the following statement about potential terrorists:
Extreme Right-Wing: groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national “way of life” is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent (for some the threat is from a specific ethnic, racial, or religious group), and believe in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism. Groups may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.
…Religious: groups that seek to smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers, impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists), forcibly insert religion into the political sphere (e.g., those who seek to politicize religion, such as Christian Reconstructionists and Islamists), and/or bring about Armageddon (apocalyptic millenarian cults; 2010: 17). For example, Jewish Direct Action, Mormon extremist, Jamaat-al-Fuqra, and Covenant, Sword and the Arm of the Lord (CSA) are included in this category.
I don’t mean to be difficult, but there is only one religion on that list that has been consistently involved in terrorism. My experience with Christian fundamentalists has been that when someone commits violence in the name of Jesus, he is condemned by the Christian community–not lauded. Bible-believing Christians may practice civil disobedience (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s freedom marches), but violence against authority is not Biblical (e.g. Dietrich Bonhoeffer felt that he needed to ask God’s forgiveness for plotting against Hitler).
The report is approximately 37 pages long. It reminds me of the story (previously related in this blog) about the man walking around under a streetlight seemingly looking for something. When someone asks him what he is doing, he explains that he is looking for his car keys, which he dropped on the other side of the street. When asked why he is looking under the streetlight when he dropped the keys on the other side of the street, he replies. “Because the light is better over here.” Obviously, as long as he is looking on the wrong side of the street, he has no hope of finding his keys.
So why would the Department of Homeland Security rather see Christians as a threat than Muslims? Christians in America don’t fight back. Muslim radicals have learned to use the American court system to their advantage. We have seen that particularly in the Midwest with regard to foot washing basins in airports and taxi drivers who refuse to transport blind people because Muslims regard dogs as unclean.
It’s much easier to search for your keys under the streetlight! You may never find them, but the search is easier!