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Vicious Vindictive Vitriol PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Johnston   
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 02:22

Giffords starting her third term as Congresswoman

I seem to remember reading a few months ago (though I can't remember the details) about a case going on here in the UK over election flyers from a candidate that misled us, the electorate, about the policies of his/her opponent. As I say, I can't remember the exact details, but I do remember being mildly amused that we were talking about introducing rules that ensured any publicity about a political opponent could not tell any untruths (which is surely a good thing). What made me smile was how tame it all was in comparison to the horror that is politics in the USA where the debate has so moved beyond matters of policy and truth that it has descended to the lowest level possible of playground rhetoric.

On Sunday I reflected on the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona, that took place on Saturday with the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and on the language of violence that is rife in the USA political arena, and the tragic way some misguided souls can see in that overheated rhetoric a sanction for their abhorrent actions. [There's more...]

I just read an article that is worth a look from The Guardian's Max Blumenthal on politics in Arizona. He writes:

When President Obama took office, Arizona's anti-immigrant right fused with extreme elements of the religious right under the Tea Party banner. In August 2009, a young man called Chris Broughton openly carried an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun to an Obama rally in Phoenix. The night before, Broughton had attended a sermon called "Why I hate Barack Obama" given by the Rev Steven Anderson, a local Tea Party activist. Anderson declared that that night he was going to "pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell".

I was shocked when I read this, though not altogether surprised. Indeed, the pastor that Blumenthal mentions I have heard of before a couple of years ago when I saw quite possibly the worst illustration in a sermon I have ever heard or seen - though I found it very funny. What Blumenthal describes, however, is not so funny.

One of the most pernicious of myths is the myth of redemptive violence: that out of violence good will come. I just don't believe it. Never have, never will. It is a myth that many read into the Bible and try to proclaim that God's Word endorses. Just remember that story of the Ark and Noah and a tale of devastating violence applied to creation. What happens at the end? God promises never to do that again.

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