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Religious Extremism, Guns and Public Safety: Pick 2

You can’t have all three.

Discuss.

BTW, when I say “Religious Extremism”, I am referring to any religion. There are many more Christian extremists in this country than there are Muslims. A lot of them have guns.

Mountain Meadows Massacre? 120 people killed

David Koresh? 76 people killed

 

They All Laughed

meadows_0701117

Mountain Meadows Massacre Monument*

When I said that we need to watch out for Christian religious extremists and anti-guvmit types with guns, I’m pretty sure I lost readers. Oh, ho-ho, there goes RD again, gettin’ all paranoid. She’s been eating too much tin-foil.

Turns out, not so much. The DHS was concerned about that possibility too but decided to defund the office that was looking into it anyway:

Daryl Johnson once worked in the branch of the Department of Homeland Security that studied the threats posed by antigovernment groups. His former office was shut down more than five years ago.

But when members of an armed group took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon last week, Mr. Johnson was not surprised.

In 2009, the former analyst wrote a report that warned of a growing antigovernment movement and the possible recruitment of returning military veterans that could “lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone-wolf extremists.”

His words drew fierce criticism from Republican lawmakers and conservative news media, labeling the report an unfair assessment of legitimate criticisms of the government. The document was retracted after Janet Napolitano, who was then the Homeland Security secretary, apologized to veterans, and the Extremism and Radicalization Branch was quietly dismantled.

Ah-fa-la-la! Isn’t that funny?

Know what’s even funnier? It was the openly Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison, who thought that shutting down this office was a bad idea.

Oh wait, totally forgot to remind everyone that the first act of religious extremist terrorism on September 11 was by a bunch of Mormons who thought the government was going to come to Utah to…

…wait for it…

… take away their guns.

Or some such nonsense. Yep, turns out they were waiting for the US of A to send soldiers into Utah and make them start behaving or not polygamating or something. If you want a complete breakdown of how the whole ugly religious extremism-anti-government Mountain Meadows Massacre happened, check out this collaborative podcast effort between Lindsay Hanson Park and Mormon Expressions. You won’t be sorry. It’s an amazing story and cautionary tale for all of us.

  Granted, the Mormons had had a checkered past with the authorities in several states with massacre-ing happening on both sides. But with the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Mormons took it to a new level and butchered over 100 men, women and children who were just passing through. Maybe they wanted the cattle. Maybe they suspected them of collaborating with the people who killed one of their apostles. Maybe they just wanted to set an example for anyone else who thought they could traipse through the west without even a “by your leave”.

Who knows?

One thing for sure though. Those crazy Mormons had been fed a steady diet of anti-government propaganda, were chased from place to place because they were trying to rig the voting system in their favor and followed some new messianic religion, and they were waiting for the end of days.

So, you know, we have all been here before.

The violent, anti-government rhetoric in the west has been around for more than a century. We probably shouldn’t be surprised that Glenn Beck has been using the survivalist shtick to sell everything from gold to desert bunkers.

There is a cost to all of this. The religious extremism and anti-government paranoia has gone mainstream now. These people have their own “political correctness”. That is, in order to be a good American, you’ve got to believe in the most reactionary forms of patriarchal Christianity and the second amendment is THE most important amendment in the Constitution. It trumps the first, fourth and fifth amendment. Oh and the 14th amendment is optional.

Challenge them on any of this and see what happens.

*You may wonder why there’s a wall and fencing around the massacre monument. Turns out that the monument kept getting torn down. If I’m not mistaken, it was Brigham Young himself who ordered it torn down the first time. Then the relatives of the slain would rebuild it annnnnd the Mormons would tear it down again. So, who knows how long this one will be around. I think it’s a government historic landmark now.

Even more reason to tear it down.

For more on the most recent Malheur occupation by the YeeHawdist, Ammon Bundy and pals, see these background articles from The Conversation.