Tough times can bring out the worst

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tough times and major changes seem to bring out the worst in society, and the arrest of nine alleged radical "Christian" militia members seems to be a symptom of the conflicts raging in America today.

High unemployment coupled with a feeling by many that government is intruding into the average citizen's life through health care reform feeds into the mistrust and paranoia felt by groups like the militia members arrested Monday.

It was an especially vicious plot, if authorities are to be believed, with plans to kill a member of law enforcement, then ambush the funeral procession with IEDs like those used against American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What the group was trying to accomplish is hard to understand. Had they been successful, they might have found themselves on the receiving end of a Waco-like seige after having murdered innocent law enforcement officers, giving moral ammunition to those at the opposite end of the political spectrum.

It's a fact that, thanks to modern communication technology, it is easier than ever to get one's message out, persuading others of similar persuasion to join in an effort to change things. That's true both for radical elements and the moderate middle.

For all its faults, the American system is the best ever devised for responding to the will of the people. If we're unhappy with the way things are going, we have a better chance than ever to help change them in a productive, peaceful way.

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  • This is, unfortunately, what will continue to happen as we drag superstitions and bronze-age mythologies into the technological age. Convince people that an all-powerful deity is on their side and speaks directly to them to do "his" bidding, and you have the recipe for righteous murder. Regardless, it is dumbfounding to hear that these folks consider themselves remotely Christian. Like the Phelps family from Westboro KS, any whack job feeling the lure of power and control, perhaps for the first time, can justify any atrocity when he can pass the buck to God.

    -- Posted by LC on Wed, Mar 31, 2010, at 10:07 AM
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