Politics & Media
Jun 11, 2009, 09:35AM


Will the GOP dial back the Jesus talk in the wake of hate crimes?

Jeremiah Wright picked an unfortunate day to tell Virginia’s Daily Press that “them Jews” were preventing him from talking to President Obama. Speaking at the Hampton Minister’s Conference, Wright picked an odd scapegoat for his lack of communication with the President, and on the same day that James von Brunn opened fire at the Holocaust Museum in D.C., killing a guard. The last email blast that noted white supremacist von Brunn sent out to his followers included that old saw: “It's time to kill all the Jews.”

Wright’s delegitimized outside of his cult, however; he has no power except a certain level of media reach. That separates him from John McCain, undoubtedly the least hateful of the GOP’s current brain trust, who nevertheless spoke at the 2009 College Republican National Committee convention last week and assured those minions:

You are a brave band of warriors […] And you will be able to look back some day and say look, I was part of the Republican Party when times were the toughest. […] It's hard trying to do the Lord's work in the city of Satan.

No one would accuse John McCain of white supremacy, or of instigating a senseless, despicable crime like yesterday’s shooting. But the mainstream right’s Manichean, militant, and Bible-obsessed worldview—swiftly encapsulated in McCain’s moronic series of statements—looks more and more unforgivable with every act of domestic terrorism that’s committed in these opening months of the Obama administration. You simply can’t justify calling an abortion doctor a Nazi, or positioning a ruthless murder as merely a "warning of things to come" unless the government changes, or saying that young GOP “soldiers” are doing “the Lord’s work” in opposition to Satanic rule, when two murders have now been committed by people who held (slightly) exaggerated versions of those very convictions.

Von Brunn may not have been a churchgoer, but anyone who attempts the murder of specific ethnic groups in part for their beliefs is a religious terrorist. (He also despised blacks, regardless of faith, which is obviously no less hateful.) James von Brunn will most likely be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in jail, as he should be. But it will be a telling moment when no one in the GOP argues against his imprisonment in the U.S.; their “constituents don't want these terrorists in their neighborhoods,” after all. I suspect Republican tolerance for terrorists will increase when the men in question are American, and have only targeted abortion doctors and non-Christians specifically. We’ll see how quickly von Brunn gets flown to Palau.

  • you would hope that people (meaning really religious conservative types) would have a better sense of when their being manipulated and completely pandered to

    Responses to this comment

Register or Login to leave a comment