“Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.” Yoda
Any good science fiction fan knows the exact moment Anakin Skywalker crossed the line that led to his becoming Darth Vadar. It was in the “2nd” “episode” when he violently avenged his mother’s death, by taking out an entire village of Sandpeople.
Bad things happen. Bigotry and hatred have a way of pushing people to do things they would never even consider if they had not been pushed into it. It is irrational and rather pathetic to think that decent people can do very bad things.
Hatred and bigotry cause seemingly normal people to do things that appear to be abjectly insane. Sally Vee sent a link to the tragic story of Father James E. Coyle. It comes from Sharon Davies’ book, Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race,, and Religion in America.
“...Then, on Aug. 11, 1921, Rev. Edwin R. Stephenson, a Methodist minister and Klansman, stepped onto the porch of St. Paul’s rectory with a loaded handgun. About an hour earlier, Father Coyle had officiated the wedding of Rev. Stephenson’s 18-year-old daughter, Ruth, to Pedro Gussman, a Catholic migrant from Puerto Rico. Like many other Klansmen, Rev. Stephenson despised Catholics. When he learned that Father Coyle had married his daughter to Gussman, he was livid. He shot the priest in cold blood, and Father Coyle died within minutes.
The climate for bringing Rev. Stephenson to justice could not have been worse. A veteran prosecutor spent weeks trying to convince a grand jury to return an indictment, and when it finally did, the Klan ran a statewide drive to raise funds to hire a young lawyer named Hugo Black to lead Rev. Stephenson’s defense. Black would later be elected to the U.S. Senate and appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Klan’s presence at Rev. Stephenson’s October 1921 trial was manifest. Historians would later report that the jury foreman and the presiding judge were both Klansmen. Hugo Black himself would join the ranks of the KKK less than two years later to forward his own political aspirations.
On the eve of trial, Rev. Stephenson’s lawyers announced they would amend his plea to “not guilty by reason of insanity” to permit the argument that Rev. Stephenson was not responsible for his actions after he learned Father Coyle had married Ruth to Pedro. The minister and his wife both claimed that “the Catholics” had tried to seduce Ruth away from her Protestant faith; news of their daughter’s marriage was the last straw….”
We have two problems here. First, we are at war with Islamic Terror. We are NOT at war with Islam. We are NOT at war with someone just because they are a Muslim. Secondly, we are facing an ongoing and abjectly irrational hatred of illegal immigrants here in the US.
Unfortunately, one of these days, something horrid, like what happened in Norway, is going to happen here.
We are currently being inundated with the war between Charles Johnson and Pam Geller. I would make a comment here, but I’m not going to do so. Let’s just say, it’s becoming rather humorous. Liberals all jump to defend Johnson, and the right defends Geller, no matter how weirdly extreme she can be.
I suspect she has a point, exposing the growing world of sharia, which is taking over this nation at a breath-taking rate. Geller is a master at self promotion. I envy her ability to wriggle her way into every photo op, not matter where, shake hands, and promote herself along with her agenda. This one, though, is a little over the top. On her own blog – well… “A veteran freedom fighter….?”
It’s like this. Anyone who has a book published by World Nut Daily…. well, I think that should be a fitting epitaph to their career.
Johnson is also a little over the top:
This country has a serious problem with the “Radical Right”. We also have a serious problem because the idiot left refuses to acknowledge there is a major problem with Islamic terror aimed at this country. The conservative world has a problem because they won’t acknowledge that there is an extreme and radical right.
Mark Potok of the SPLC has been doing very valid research into the radical right. Conservatives get a little upset when the “radical” right is mentioned, but it is out there.
We have a tendency to think that men and women who do horrible things like Breivik are almost insane. I don’t. Unfortunately, due to degradation of society due, I think, because of violence in video games, in the movies, and in what teens are reading, we are going to see more of this. Add to this the fact that children (good kids in good homes), today, are not being taught the difference between right and wrong. When one considers the number of broken and dysfunctional homes out there, we have a problem.
There is another problem.
The other day a friend and I were discussing the problems she has as teacher. I suspect if liberals and libertarians would listen to her experiences, we might be able to truly improve education. Unfortunately, the situation is going to be forced to get much worse before it gets better. One of the problems she faces, on a daily basis, is the fact that at least half the kids in her class suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome. The worst part of it is the fact that schools are now getting second generation kids with the FAS.
An entire generation is being/has been raised were there are no real barriers against the kind of thing that happened in Norway. They live in a world where everything is shielded from them. You shoot at Zombies in a game. They live to fight another day. Is that how Breivik saw the world.
Our society appears to be falling apart because there are no longer standards or morals. Metal scavengers think nothing of stealing a beloved plaque from a soldier’s grave. They get a few bucks for it. The scrap metal dealer is getting even richer. Our society degrades. Communities are laying off cops, so crime gets worse. A decent man is murdered in New Mexico, sixty miles from the border, and every anti-immigration idiot in the country is advocating hard-line anti-immigration bigotry. Never mind that he probably was not killed by an illegal.
Add to it the fact that people are being manipulated by the media, something fierce. Individuals they think they should trust are advocating an increasingly hard line. No one has the intellectual courage or honesty to admit that issues they have embraced and promoted are going sour. No one wants to admit that white supremacists are actively recruiting in the tea parties and hard line Islamists are recruiting in our prisons.
I think Yoda was right.
“Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.”
We live in a world where MODERATION is now akin to the most obscene profanity that can be uttered. In kinder, gentler times, “moderation” was a virtue. You cannot have a world where extremes rule. There is no middle, no one seeking rational discourse.
Nothing in excess.
Maybe that it the key to our national survival.