With the stand off at the Bundy ranch and the killing of two police officers in Las Vegas, are these isolated instances, or a reflection of a greater propensity for violence amongst these groups?
I believe it's on the rise, Joe. Everyone is scared now. No one can predict tomorrow and the fear of extremists with nuclear threats provokes theists and others to become nothing more than another group of extremist. You see more and more concealed carry, and calls in print, TV, and Internet for "someone to do something." What do they think they are going to do? Shoot more innocent people like Giffords. The move to pacify the right by bringing religion into government is only making it worse. No one can see that it's illegal in the first place, but the fundies just keep on going, thinking they are actually "ushering in the end times." The problem here is that if this continues unchecked there will be no Jesus there at the end to help anybody.
We simply cannot catter to or pacify the nutjobs, and they seem to be rapidly taking over the Republican party. I hope there is a watchdog somewhere.
Honestly, I can't say that I'm surprised. I've expected this kind of action by the christian right and the NAR for some time. Indeed, it's one of the first things I wrote about when I arrived at Atheist Nexus. The operant question becomes: how violent are they willing to become in order to achieve their ends and do they have the numbers to achieve them? I have little doubt that they are willing to entertain any level of violence they deem necessary to gain their Regional States of America. As to the second question, no, I don't think they have the numbers, and were they to attempt to foment some form of secession, even as divided as this country is right now, I think such an effort would be met with vocal opposition and strong physical resistance. Sadly, such a failure might give rise to even more extreme radicalism.
What remains frightening to me is that this is the delusion of christian religiosity, taken very near its logical conclusion, realized in the people mentioned in the Salon article. Whether these people are true believers or seekers after power and using christian ideology as a vehicle may not matter. They want power and influence and control and we can't afford to let them anywhere near their desires.
What is even more disturbing is what would become of the "Christian States of America," should it ever be formed. I would predict a devolution into an ignorant, third-world state, with extremes of privilege and poverty which would make the current monetary inequity of the US look mild by comparison.
It is said that the first step in avoiding a trap is knowing that it's there. So what's the second step?
one silver lining - many of the most backwards states are run 100% by these fundies. fortunately they are as bad at monetary policy as they are social policy. states like Kansas are blowing their budgets by magical tax cuts that were supposed to pay for themselves. perhaps if people feel enough economic pain they will vote out the crazies currently in charge.
on a more dour note, while reading the article i couldn't help but wonder what the reaction will be if the tea people nominate a Ted Cruz in '16 and Hillary wins in a landslide. the ensuing blowout would either quell the fire, or more likely, ram home the idea that they are in a perpetual minority whose time in power has come to an end. that's when the real threat of violence comes in.
very worthwhile read.
didn't notice you had already linked the article. the topic made me think of it automatically.
With the country’s changing demographics and a more progressive attitude, the right wing may feel it’s on the vestiges of it’s power and influence. Self fueled by their own propaganda machine. Bill O’Reilly labeled Dr. George Tiller “Tiller the Baby Killer” and railed against him in 30 episodes prior to his murder. Sean Hannity was Clivan Bundy’s biggest cheerleader.
If they lose the next two elections their paranoia will only be amplified. If they win the next two elections, the violence decreases, but as a society we are screwed.
It's a concern, but I really don't see it as a huge emerging threat, though pockets may get active for short times (all cases in recent years have blown over). Preachers get their names in the news for mouthy predictions, get a little too much air time, but eventually fade back into impotence.
While shocking, religious violence in the US is virtually invisible compared to criminal violence. All the theocratic violence of the last couple of decades probably doesn't match one day in Chicago.