Once again I don my Doomsday hat, postulating that our civilization, our species, is fast approaching some cataclysmic crescendo that will usher in a new historical movement, some change in tempo or key that will mark a new age. None can know exactly when or how this transition will occur, nor indeed what to expect on the other side. But if one has been paying any attention at all to current events, to the exponential growth of human population, to the depletion of the resources that fuel our civilization, to the irreversible changes occurring in our environment, it seems inevitable that compulsory change is coming for humanity.
And while I believe that many human institutions, including organized religion, can help humanity in the trying times to come, I also know that there are those who will revel in the insanity and fear that the recognition of such a transition will engender, who will delight in and promote chaos and lunacy. (Picture a mad sailor, in the crow's nest of a flaming frigate, laughing and swilling rum from a jug, even as the flames climb the mast and rigging to claim him.)
One such group of apostates is the sect (for lack of a better word) of faux Christians that work from the mindset that they are oppressed, tortured souls, saintly in their virtue and forgiveness, eagerly awaiting Judgment Day when their god will set everything to right. Chris Hedges wrote about this movement in his book, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.
I remember when Mel Gibson's flick, the Passion of the Christ, came out back in 2004. I spoke with several professed Christians who were deeply moved by the film, which depicts the Christ character being tortured mercilessly for more or less its entire run time. By all accounts the film is graphic and difficult to watch. But there seemed to be a common current among the sentiments expressed by those who admired the film: gratitude toward Christ. I remember a television report that showed people leaving the cinema in tears, wailing "He did it for me!"
(In the interest of full disclosure, I have not actually seen the flick. My opinions regarding the film are based on what I have read about it and what I have heard from others. And I have seen other of Gibson's flicks (Braveheart, Lethal Weapon) where the protagonist "virtuously" endures torture.)
Well, the mindset that Gibson reveals with his work is, to me, exemplary of this lunatic faction of so-called Christians. I find it sick that people would enjoy what sounds to me like an elaborate snuff flick. The masochistic idea that it is virtuous to endure torment and suffering twists at my guts, fills me with distaste and revulsion.
But what is even more frightening is the thought that these people, these martyrs for their god, are impatiently awaiting the final Trumpet Call, when they will mete out the vengeance that is their due upon those whom they imagine as their oppressors. Already, we see signs that they believe we are approaching the Day of Judgment.
horrible shooting that occurred in Powell, Tennessee, where a demented conservative, Jim D. Adkisson opened fire in a Unitarian Universalist Church. Well, recently, the authorities released the hand-written letter that Adkisson penned as a suicide note and manifesto. Here's some choice quotes:
Don't let the word church mislead you. This isnt a church, it's a cult. They don't even believe in God. They worship the God of Secularizm. [...]You can read the whole thing here.
So I thought I'd do something good for this Country. Kill Democrats til the cops kill me. If decent patriotic Americans could vote 3 times in every election we couldn't stem this tide of liberalism that's destroying America. Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them. Each little bite contributes to the downfall of this great Nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is Kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather.
I'd like to encourage other like minded people to do what I've done. If life aint worth living anymore don't just Kill yourself, do something for your country before you go. Go Kill Liberals.
Tell the cop that killed me that I said "Thanks, I needed that!" -Jim Adkisson
Note the tone of suffering, the vehemence. Adkisson, who survived the incident, sees himself as a victim. A virtuous Christian patriot who endured the slings and arrows cast at him by liberals. But, in what he thought would be his final act, he sought to bring about Judgment Day, to light the fire that will consume the world, calling for "like minded people to do what I've done."