Sunday, November 3, 2013

The LAX Shooter, the New World Order, and the 'Religious Right', part 1

The LAX mass shooter, who used an assault weapon like the one below, is alleged to have carried a pamphlet or note referencing the New World Order.

The New World Order is just one of the many conspiracy theories that are so abundant on the right, from birthers, to truthers, to those who have wacko ideas about what is in the tenth amendment known as tenthers, along with neo-secessionists, preppers, survivalists, and some patriot militia groups. Some of those support the Tea Party, some are too far right even for them.  They form a radical right spectrum of overlapping obsessives and fanatics.

Wikipedia sums it up quite well (emphasis at the end added - DG):
Prior to the early 1990s, New World Order conspiracism was limited to two American countercultures, primarily the militantly anti-government right, and secondarily fundamentalist Christians concerned with end-time emergence of the Antichrist.  Skeptics, such as Michael Barkun and Chip Berlet, have observed that right-wing populist conspiracy theories about a New World Order have now not only been embraced by many seekers of stigmatized knowledge but have seeped into popular culture, thereby inaugurating an unrivaled period of people actively preparing for apocalyptic millenarian scenarios in the United States of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.   These political scientists are concerned that this mass hysteria could have what they judge to be devastating effects on American political life, ranging from widespread political alienation to escalating lone-wolf terrorism.
These are people who go off the deep end, from political extremism like the Tea Party, to the religious fundamentalism of crazy cults like the beliefs we see expressed about the end times by Michele Bachmann, to the Christian pretexts and claims of neo-nazis or the religious teachings of the KKK.

As a classic example, Wade Michael Page, the shooter of six people at the Sikh Temple in Wisconsln, was a neo-nazi who first encountered the white supremacists / neo-nazis in the U.S. military.  As noted by Reuters, via the Huff Po back in 2012:
U.S. Military Battling White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis In Its Own Ranks
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., Aug 21 (Reuters) - They call it "rahowa" - short for racial holy war - and they are preparing for it by joining the ranks of the world's fiercest fighting machine, the U.S. military.

White supremacists, neo-Nazis and skinhead groups encourage followers to enlist in the Army and Marine Corps to acquire the skills to overthrow what some call the ZOG - the Zionist Occupation Government. Get in, get trained and get out to brace for the coming race war.

If this scenario seems like fantasy or bluster, civil rights organizations take it as deadly serious, especially given recent events. Former U.S. Army soldier Wade Page opened fire with a 9mm handgun at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Aug. 5, murdering six people and critically wounding three before killing himself during a shootout with police.

The U.S. Defense Department as well has stepped up efforts to purge violent racists from its ranks, earning praise from organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has tracked and exposed hate groups since the 1970s.
Page, who was 40, was well known in the white supremacist music scene. In the early 2000s he told academic researcher Pete Simi that he became a neo-Nazi after joining the military in 1992. Fred Lucas, who served with him, said Page openly espoused his racist views until 1998, when he was demoted from sergeant to specialist, dis ch arged and barred from re-enlistment.

While at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, Page told Simi , he made the acquaintance of James Burmeister, a skinhead paratrooper who in 1995 killed a black Fayetteville couple in a racially motivated shooting. Burmeister was sentenced to life in prison and died in 2007.

No one knows how many white supremacists have served since then. A 2008 report commissioned by the Justice Department found half of all right-wing extremists in the United States had military experience.
You could fairly claim this preoccupation with Satan and conspiracy theories was part of the Dana Carvey SNL parody back in the late 80s into the 90s.  The church lady arguably became the tea party lady.

I would add in as a perfect example some of the fact-averse, factually deficient claims made about attacks on Christianity.  Crazy  right wing extremist televangelist Pat Robertson wrote a book by the same title, New World Order, back in 1991.  He makes crazy claims about central banks, Jews, Free Masons, the fictional Illuminati, anything and everything 'New Age', the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission.  Directing and controlling it all, is Satan, as part of those end times, along with the anti-Christ.

We have the same thing, the same wah-wah-wah self-styled martyred victims which seems to be a defining right wing characteristic in the recent mass-email from the Minnesota Family Council, ginning up their share of the radical right spectrum with more misinformation and disinformation that they have to be afraid of the DoD and the U.S. Military  ("whaaa  whaaaaaaa" lie lie):
Why Is Military Leadership Accusing Christians of Being a Domestic Threat AND Attempting to Take Away the Religious Liberty Rights of the Soldiers Who Fight for Our Freedoms?
The reality of course is that there is no problem with the DOD and religion, the overwhelming majority of military chaplains are Christians.  The military is very Christian-leaning and very conservative leaning too.

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