Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Antiabortion Violence: A Return to the Silence?

Violence had been widespread for 25 years until after 9/11, the "domestic terrorism" that the Army of God used to brag about, became something to which society was no longer willing to turn a blind eye.  Federal law enforcement agencies have done an excellent job of investigating and even preventing acts of violence in recent years. In 2001, three men wanted for acts related to antiabortion violence were on the FBI's Most Wanted list:  James Kopp for the assassination of a doctor; Eric Rudolph for the bombing of two clinics and the death of a police officer and wounding of a nurse; and Clayton Waagner, for among other things, sending fake anthrax threats to over 700 clinics and abortion rights organizations in the wake of 9/11. They have all been captured and prosecuted.

But the lull in the violence, in the face of public opprobrium and police crack downs, does not change the long range views of the proponents of violence.  Indeed, as I wrote in Eternal Hostility:  The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy, convicted clinic bomber and arsonist Michael Bray (among others) explicitly supports "the principle of revolution and the goal of establishing or preserving a Christian government... What are patriots to do? he asks.  "Revolution may well be justified in our time of legalized sodomy, and national apostasy ('in the name of separation of church and state)' and taxation to support child slaughter."  He does not believe that revolution is currently possible because "American Christians are too morally apathetic to carry out such an enterprise at this time."

While Bray and others may have sought to spark Christian theocratic revolution in their time, others, such as Christian Reconstructionist author Gary North (a theorist of theocratic revolution in the U.S.) sees a longer term effort in which any "mature" Christian ultimately must become "a revolutionary against Satan's kingdom;" and that the battle over abortion is really about "extending the revolution" and that "the abortion question" will never be settled "until Satan's kingdom is obliterated." North sees the confrontation deepening and expanding to the point of "armed revolution" and notes that revolution became necessary in 1776.  (See Eternal Hostility, page 149.)

In my view, there are two contexts of this possible act of domestic terrorism in Louisiana to keep in mind -- the quarter century of a more- or-less underground war of attrition against abortion providers; and a period of similar length of the development of an above-ground theocratic political movement that keeps it's distance from the underground revolutionary violence, even as it politically benefits.

But antiabortion violence has become a public relations inconvenience for the broad theocratic movement in its several parts -- which would prefer not to have terrorism associated with it's cause. It is also political inconvenience for the Bush administration, which has built so much of it's identity based on the fight against terrorism. Even as it has done a good job on the antiabortion violence front, it has downplayed it as much as possible. After all, militant opposition to abortion is integral to the the GOP electoral base these days. Where the media was on this, I don't know.

One can only imagine what would have happened if say, a seeming Islamic person had tossed a firebomb at say, an airliner. There has always been a deep double standard in how antiabortion violence is treated by society at all levels.

Sometimes, even abortion providers have played down such situations for reasons of their own.

I don't know why there is such a remarkable silence in this instance. But I do believe that as a society we cannot return to the silence in the face of violence and threats of violence against abortion providers.

 [Cross-posted from Talk to Action]

 Satan's Kingdom?
Armed Revolution?
Christian Government?
My God, this is terrifying stuff. Sounds like something an Ayatollah might say, except the part about a Christian government, of course.
Is the NSA getting all of this?
Think I will send a copy along to the White House. Why bother the NSA. They are probably snowed under with information on Mosque goers, dissenters, protesters and Democrats.


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