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Wednesday, June 03, 2009 

"We live in a country where people get killed for their views, sometimes"

Well, I don't live in that particular one, but Frank Schaeffer does. And it's kind of chilling to think of the US that way, but maybe we need to be a little chilled right now.

WELL! People get killed for their views, and their looks, and for a lot of other shitty reasons in MOST countries in the world constantly, remember. We lucky ones are just isolated from that most of the time. But I have to say, in America's defense, that that's a ridiculous way to put it. Some individual PSYCHO went and did this- that's not representative of America at ALL- not even of the right wing crazies. REALLY. That said, this was sickening beyond words, the man was killed WHILE USHERING AT CHURCH, for God's sakes.

I think you've got the emphasis slightly backwards in this case. While neither I nor (I presume) Schaeffer would say that we don't have it far better in North America than in, say, China or Cuba or where have you as far as freedom of speech and conscience goes. The whole point is that we tend to think of ourselves as above this kind of thing, and we're really, really not.

As for whether or not this guy was 'representative'... did you read the link? Nobody's saying he was, they're saying that the extreme right wing doesn't just get to wash their hands of this guy and hold on to positions and language that tend to incite people like him.

No, I didn't read the link- frankly the whole story makes me nauseous. You're right, the right-wingers shouldn't get to wash its hands- except I suspect they're not doing that (as in "well, he went too far in our views.") I mean, there are three ways to go about it. 1) you're the kind of normal person that agrees that it's fucked up and terribly counterintuitive to murder an abortion doctor for the sake of the "sanctitity of life". 2) If you're a right wing type, you're either thinking that this story wasn't about you: "I have noting to wash my hands off. I don't condone abortions. But murder of adults is not the solution." OR 3) you're a crazy that thinks this dude was right on and gunnin' for Jesus or something.
In other words, there is no right wing group feeling guilty about this situation, and no way rethoric will make them feel accountable. SHOULD they feel guilty? Hell, yeah. But they're not. They're not listening. They don't think nthe story is about them.

This is my favorite comment on the whole subject (from Brendan Kelly's blog - lead singer of the Lawrence Arms - badsandwhichchronicles):

First, let’s see what’s in the news:
Oh look. That evil man who helped young people who weren’t ready to die in childbirth or deal with having horrendously deformed children was heroically gunned down by some jesus toting mongaloid hero. Okay, okay, okay. Look. Yesterday I listened to interviews with a bunch of that doctor Tiller’s patients, who all, to the last, described him as a compassionate and kind man and each of them emphasized how important and valuable his services were in terms of them keeping their lives together. I don’t know, man. That shouldn’t even matter, honestly. The guy was doing his job, his legal job and he was doing it ethically, and you can’t just go fucking shooting people, man. I mean, even if you ignore the ‘turn the other cheek’ advice from your big, dumb old book, even if you are a fundamentalist Christian asshole who hates abortions and all that, isn’t this murder the EXACT same behavior that all the conservative keep-jesus-in-america types are absolutely going apeshit about when muslims do it? Just killing infidels just for the pure sport of satisfying god? I mean, COULD YOU FUCKING PEOPLE BE ANY MORE TRANSPARENTLY MORONIC? I guess that’s the thing though, if you abort the fetuses with all the horrible mental defects, well, who’s gonna pick up jesus’s (or Mohammed’s, for that matter) torch and continue the crusade against fags, abortions, brown people, science, evolution, rational thought, critical thinking and dinosaurs. Good. Good for them. I’m glad they killed the guy. Next up! Carl Sagan. Oh, he’s dead? Um, Hawking? How about just anyone who reads then? Good.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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