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Of Barracks and Bigots
In Defense of the Faith
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Wendy Wippel

The Southern Poverty Law Center (according to its website) fights hate and bigotry by tracking and exposing hate groups.  It's a big job, since (by their numbers) hate groups have grown more than 1000% percent since 2008.  And that was before yesterday, when they decided that more than half the country qualified.

The SPLC, located in Montgomery, Alabama, was founded during the civil rights era to ensure voting rights for African- Americans.  Hats off to the SPLC for that.

Now their main focus is toward anti-government hate groups, which they say, have reproduced all over the country at a dizzying pace over the last six years.  Groups that they call "Patriot" groups, and define as groups sharing a belief that the federal government intends to prohibit gun ownership and repeal other liberties.  Groups that believe the United States might be headed toward domination by a one-world government.

Maybe all that tracking down hate groups keeps them out of range of all TV broadcasts, radio communication, internet access, or accessibility of print media.  Maybe they're hunting on the moon.  Maybe they've been in a coma.  As Elijah once said, maybe they're taking a really long leak.

(OK. I paraphrased that a little.)

Because I really don't think the current administration has been subtle about their full intention to enact stringent gun control legislation and otherwise legislate and regulate every aspect of American life.  Call me a Patriot.

And lots of prominent American figures from John (Imagine no countries) Lennon to Ted (CNN) Turner to Walter  (World Federalist Association) Cronkite have openly advocated for a one world government.  (Oops, I did it again. I'm a Patriot.)

Hillary, in fact, introduced Cronkite's famous plea for world government at the UN.

Their official, traditional definition of hate groups, however, (the one on their front page), actually doesn't mention guns or one-world government.  Hate groups are officially defined as,

"groups that have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics."

Hate group activities, they say, don't have to be marches or rallies, but can be innocuous as speaking or publishing.

Enter the American Family Association.  The AFA.

The AFA is headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi , about 50 miles as the crow flies from where I lay my head at night.  (They do a lot of publishing.) Their philosophical statement reads like this:

"The American Family Association believes that God has communicated absolute truth to mankind, and that all people are subject to the authority of God’s Word at all times. Therefore AFA believes that a culture based on biblical truth best serves the well-being of our nation and our families, in accordance with the vision of our founding documents; and that personal transformation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest agent of biblical change in any culture."

Not exactly incendiary.

I recorded a video for them on the property on the genetic foundation of the book of Genesis.  I've met these men and women.  They love the Lord, love their families, love their country.  They're as milquetoast as you can get.  I just went to their site to get their mission statement and inadvertently activated their audio feed.  Right now they are broadcasting a program on financial planning.

Not exactly revolutionary.

The SPLC, nonetheless, views them as dangerous.

Why?  Because they love the scriptures.  They believe that they are the inspired word of God.

And we've reached a stage as a nation apparently, wherein that is entirely unacceptable. 

At an army base in Mississippi last week, soldiers reported to a briefing on domestic hate groups only to be told that the American Family Association was high on the list.  Why?  Basically because of the AFA definition of marriage as being a union between a man and woman.

Funny.  Not for condoning aggression or violence or hostility towards gays.  They don't do that.  Their Bible says that the goal of our instruction is love.  That kindness leads people to repentance.  That without love, our message is a clanging gong.  That God is love.  They weren't on the hate group list for exhibiting any outward expression of hate.

Nope.  Just for embracing marriage as a male and female thing.

A definition, obviously, that comes from the very first chapter of the Bible.  A book that a whole lot of Americans--and a whole lot of soldiers-- still believe is the inspired word of God.  Most Americans, actually.

The soldiers were told that participating in hate groups could bring military discipline. They were told that the values of the AFA were not "Army Values".  Their officers were told to be on the lookout for deviations from "Army Values", and that if they saw anyone exhibiting behaviors not consistent with "Army Values" that they should not  "just walk by".

Funny.  I remember very clearly a certain President saying, on September 12 of 2012, as he delivered the eulogy for those killed in Bengazi, that;

"Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others."

(" But he was tongue-in cheek about a lot of things that day, wasn't he?  And that tongue was forked.)

In September of 2012, at least on the record, all religious beliefs were respected in these United States.

Apparently we missed the amendment.  Because now only religions that are inclusive are respected.  All those who don't believe in absolute truth.

If you're part of a church however, that believes (on the basis of Scripture, lots of it.)  that some will, in fact, be excluded from the eternal presence of a righteous God (a God about whom the angels around the throne can only say "Holy, Holy, Holy" ) if your understanding of revealed truth prohibits the assertion that blanket inclusion will be offered to all at the pearly gates…

Well, then, you're excluded.  And (no surprise) your exclusion is perfectly justified.

The SPLC prides themselves on distributing Teaching Tolerance materials (films, books, lesson plans) to our public schools.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge once observed, sometimes an awful lot of intolerance appears in the guise of tolerance.  And it is often those who applaud their own tolerance the most that are the most intolerant of all.

Ultimately, tolerance is the rejection of the concept of truth.  And only truth can set man free.

Winston Churchill once said,

"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is."

In the end, there Truth is.

We know that The Way, The Truth, and The Life (who gave His life so that whosoever would believe in Him could have himself have life everlasting), was the most tolerant and inclusive man that ever lived.  And we know that The Way, The Truth, and The Life will, in the end, walk this earth again.  (O Glorious Day!)

But in the meantime?  When the army has Christian groups on its enemies list, I'm thinking it might get rough.

Rapture's coming, but no man knows the hour.  And that hour might be well after outright physical assault on American Christians ensues.  The good news?

We have Christ in us (an immutable characteristic).  We have a certain hope of glory.

And thus, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

What is it the Psalm says?

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."

Amen.

"Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.  I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore."

About Wendy Wippel

Last week: Alas, Babylon.



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