Angry Christian Wants to Start Shooting His Neighbors

With the exception of abortion, the ontological impossibility of gay “marriage” and certain life issues, what never fails to impress me is how amazingly wrong so many representatives of the Right are on almost every issue of prudential judgment upon which they comment. From the greatness of nuking Hiroshima to the justice of the Iraq war to torture to our absolute moral obligation to vote for Romney to the genius of Ayn Rand to support for Maciel and Corapi when it had become obvious they were lying crooks to this latest lunatic call for secession, it is stunning how often the conservative anti-charism of discernment manages to make, not just the wrong call, but the massively wrong call.

Yeah. What America and the Church really need is a Beirut style Civil War prosecuted by red state Christian vigilantes pissed off because they lost a culture war issue. That will help. And it will certainly succeed, of course. Who could doubt it? And it will surely make the Church beloved and solidify it in the minds of the rising generation as the sacrament of the Prince of Peace.

Memo to crazy secessionists: This is not 1860. There will be no sectional division of the US over gay “marriage” or anything else. There will be a culture swiss-cheesed by differences over various culture war issues. A minority of the culture opposes gay marriage and *it is the supporters* who are the ones who emphatically see this as a fight for “liberty” since they see consent as the sole criterion of the Good. Proposing a shooting war (which is what “secession” means) over gay “marriage” is to propose shooting not some far off citizen of a Blue State, but your next-door neighbor. It means urban warfare and street to street fighting. And it means losing–fast–because your vigilante dream of restoring America through the exercise of Sacred Violence will meet swiftly with a police state that has been readying itself ever since 9/11 for a confrontation with internal enemies. You will fit that bill nicely if you decide to take up arms over this. And you will deserve it for murdering innocents in pursuit of your crazy dream of a Christian America imposed by force.

Jesus does not fight sin by crazy dreams of vigilantism. He fights with the cross. Christians should be the last ones advocating war on their neighbors here.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    You are wrong over Hiroshima. If, of course, you regard an invasion of Japan, with the inevitable result of the deaths of hundreds of thousand of allied soldiers and million upon million of Japanese civilians, as a desirable alternative, then you are being as reasonable as your opponents.

    • Timothy of Seattle

      First of all, we shouldn’t intentionally slaughter civilian populations en masse. Ever. If an invasion would equally as bad, or worse, maybe invasion is off the table too. There is no such thing as a necessary evil.

      • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

        The weakness in your position is that the only option you’ve left on the table is the most terrible in terms of civilian casualties, blockade and starvation into submission. So we end up with an enlarged communist sphere, more war deaths, a profound hardening of hearts and corruption of global politics (kind of like Saddam with oil for food but on steroids).

        There may be no such thing as a necessary evil but there are situations where none of the choices are pleasant or without poor consequences. You do your best to minimize the injustice, not be indifferent to its size so long as it is out of sight, out of mind.

        • Pavel Chichikov

          Once a war starts what follows is an evil, no matter what the reason for the conflict. Most of the people who actually fight wars have nothing against each other on a personal level. And yet they have to kill or be killed.

          Glory of Women

          You love us when we’re heroes, home on leave,

          Or wounded in a mentionable place.

          You worship decorations; you believe

          That chivalry redeems the war’s disgrace.

          You make us shells. You listen with delight,

          By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled.

          You crown our distant ardours while we fight,

          And mourn our laurelled memories when we’re killed.

          You can’t believe that British troops ‘retire’

          When hell’s last horror breaks them, and they run,

          Trampling the terrible corpses–blind with blood.

          O German mother dreaming by the fire,

          While you are knitting socks to send your son

          His face is trodden deeper in the mud.

          Siegfried Sassoon

          • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

            I’m sorry, but it is unclear if you agree with me or not that “You do your best to minimize the injustice, not be indifferent to its size so long as it is out of sight, out of mind.”

            • Pavel Chichikov

              I’ve only been a foot soldier, so to speak, so I have no opinion about what one does to minimize anything. The juggernaut rolls on and people are crushed. That’s all I know.

              I do recall what a retired special forces officer with a long and distinguished combat record told me: “Anyone who starts a war ought to be put on trial.”

              • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                Even a foot soldier can choose to take prisoners or not, decide to walk here and not there in a pattern designed to trap or funnel. The scale is small but that doesn’t mean the choices are nonexistent.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Consequentialism, again.

    • Dave G.

      Are you new to this blog?

    • TheodoreSeeber

      If you regard an invasion of Japan as the only solution at the end of WWII, sure, Hiroshima was justifiable.

      But if instead of invasion,you consider the possibility of a massive blockade as the end of WWII, Japan was within 2 months of resource collapse in August 1946, the real reason for dropping the bomb was to scare Stalin (and it worked).

      • Pavel Chichikov

        Hiroshima made Stalin more than thoughtful, but from what I read he did not consider atomic weapons game changers. For one thing, the US had only a few at that point. But because the SU was devastated, Stalin ordered his generals to avoid provoking the US and settled for the Kuriles and Sakhalin instead of part of Hokkaido.

      • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

        Sorry, but after our recent conversation where you laid out how you would like the US not to exist at all, you don’t get to talk about US politics without having it pointed out that you are a textbook anti-american.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          Yes, I’m a textbook anti-American, pro-Cascadian. But if you’ll notice, Cascadia was the only region of the continental United States to be directly attacked by Japan. Not Baja California. Not Washington DC. Not Florida. Cascadia. It was my state where the Balloon Bombs went off, it was my state where one of the two submarines attacked, it was my state where they tried to burn down the forests (more joke than ever on Japan, Oregon’s *far* too wet for that).

          The other sub attacked California, where the Japanese at least proved that they could hit the broadside of a barn :-).

          • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

            Waiting for Mark to chime in for consistency sake on how your secessionism is pro-violence in 3..2…1…

    • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

      We should all be willing to die (and allow our families to be murdered, too) than to do one unjust act. And I’ll take your reply off-the-air because I have too many other things I’m arguing about with too many other people.

      • Dave G.

        Easy to say. Tough to demonstrate.

        • Roki

          Nobody ever claimed that doing good was easy – or supposed to be easy. Nor that there are all that many examples of truly, fully, perfectly good lives.

          This is why the Catholic Church emphasizes forgiveness of sin, and why she celebrates the heroic victory of the saints.

          • Dave G.

            Of course. Because it’s much easier saying “I’d let my family be butchered than do one unjust act” than actually letting my family be butchered rather than do one unjust act. Sometimes, we might be surprised just who would do such a thing, and who wouldn’t when it all finally hit the fan. But you’re right, it’s nice to know forgiveness is there if I end up being one who balks at the eleventh hour.

            • Andy, Bad Person

              Sure. But just because we have a propensity to act in weakness doesn’t make evil good.

              • Dave G.

                Who says it does? Just keeping it real. Who knows? The ones thinking ‘I’d bomb Hiroshima all over again’ might, in the end, be the ones to take the bullet for the faith in the name of righteousness. You just never know.

  • Elaine S.

    “Proposing a shooting war (which is what “secession” means) over
    gay “marriage” is to propose shooting not some far off citizen of a
    Blue State, but your next-door neighbor. It means urban warfare and
    street to street fighting.”

    Check out this essay by author T. J. Stiles, titled “The War on Terror, 1865″:

    http://www.tjstiles.net/work7.htm

    “Call them scenes from an insurgency. A man answers a knock at the door
    and is riddled with bullets. A platoon of soldiers storm a farm and
    torture the head of the household for information. Several guerrillas
    stop at another farm; when they get food and supplies, they reveal
    themselves to be soldiers in disguise, and arrest the inhabitants. Some
    troops stop a civilian on the road and ask his allegiance; when he says
    it’s to the government, they reveal themselves to be insurgents in
    disguise, and murder him.

    “These are all examples from the guerrilla conflict in Missouri during
    the Civil War. It’s hard to miss the resemblance between these scenes
    and those in Iraq today.”

    Lots of people have a very romanticized or idealized view of the Civil War, partly from movies and books like “Gone With the Wind” or “North and South”, and partly because all the history books seem to focus on the great battles and famous generals, and on noble Johnny Reb and brave Billy Yank marching off to distant battlefields with 100 percent support from the folks back home. You don’t hear too much about the brutal, ground-level guerilla wars in border states in which neighbors were literally killing neighbors. Nor do you hear too much about incidents perpetrated on both sides that, if committed today in a foreign country, would immediately be labeled as war crimes. If it happened before — in a much more “Christian” society than we have today, among people who could have been my ancestors or yours — who’s to say it couldn’t happen again?

    • ivan_the_mad

      Right. It wasn’t just the state that visited violence upon those of contrary loyalty, but often their very neighbors. See colonial loyalists in the late eighteenth century for more examples of how secession is less than pacific, and doesn’t require agents of an angry Caesar to spill blood.

  • Dave

    I still think secession is a valid option theoretically, and that the fault would be with the Federal behemoth. Saying secession is inherently wrong is like saying that the wife shouldn’t try to leave her violent alcoholic husband because he’s liable to beat you up or kill you.

    Still, in reality, because we know with near certainty that Caesar would never let any state leave, it would mean war, and it is probably better to simply let America collapse under its own weight and then step into the breach. I no longer think that this collapse will take an overly long period of time.

    • http://blog.goliard.us/ Blog Goliard

      Also, to say the breakup of a nation is inevitably violent is to go too far. It worked out fine for the Czechs and Slovaks.

      Still, anyone who at this point in time goes around talking about secession is, at best, unhelpful to what they’d consider their own side; at worst, they’re signaling that they’re dangerous people generally.

  • http://blog.goliard.us/ Blog Goliard

    I have never heard of this person or this website before.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Secession only leads to civil war if the centralized bureaucracy doesn’t also realize that they are in collapse.

    It is possible to secede without a civil war, but it will take recognizing that with this decision, the Constitution has become so violated by the federal government as to make it a moot point.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

      Since you do not believe in the US Constitution, why do you use it as an argument?

      • TheodoreSeeber

        In this case, because the enemy, the federal government, still thinks it is valid. Unless we convince them otherwise, martial law will be the result, no matter whether we secede or not- it is the next logical step.

        • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

          “And you’re just the man to do it”

          – A man for all seasons

          • TheodoreSeeber

            “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle”
            -Sun Tzu

            If we are to see the correct path, we must know not only ourselves, but our enemy.

  • Stu

    Mark, did you have to call the guy a lunatic? Further, one can be for “secession” and not be calling for a “shooting war.” Now that may be, as you have logically implied, an inevitable byproduct. But it may not be and people can disagree.

    I think issues like this are actually going to slowly tear the union apart. At some point, there will be one state who simply refuses to acquiesce to some Federal mandate and it will cause others to follow suit. Further, I also foresee groups of states beginning to take actions to isolate others to create a de facto “secession.” For instance, seems to me that it will only be a matter of time before a pro-homosexual state decides to take action against a traditional state by not recognizing their marriages until that state changes its marriage laws.

    It’s the coercion that will tear things apart as a house divided cannot stand.

    • http://blog.goliard.us/ Blog Goliard

      “Mark, did you have to call the guy a lunatic?”

      C’mon Stu…you’re hardly new around here.

  • Steven Cass

    I’ve been hearing this a lot about secession too. I try to inform that any such movement would, inevitably, lead to a bigger tyranny. This doesn’t mean that non-violent resistance is out the window. I heard that a preacher was denied a permit to preach on a public beach because of “separation of church an state” but he’s going to preach anyway. This is an excellent example of the things we should be doing to resist this government.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    One has been hearing about secession for years now on certain blogs. I think it’s mostly hot air, bloviating. For one thing, anyone who joins a conspiracy that promotes itself on blogs has just poked his head into a roach trap.

  • Will

    Some people never stopped fighting the Civil War.

    • Stu

      Oddly, most are from the North.

      • Will

        Not the ones I have read comments from.

        • Stu

          Here is my favorite example of the day.

          As part of Virginia marking the 150 year anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, asked the Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, to borrow a battle flag from the Civil War that was captured by Federal troops from Minnesota. The Governor of Minnesota balked, remarking:

          ”The governor of Virginia earlier this year requested that the flag be loaned, quote, unquote, to Virginia to commemorate–it doesn’t quite strike me as something they would want to commemorate, but we declined that invitation.

          It was taken in a battle at the cost of the blood of all these Minnesotans. And I think it would be a sacrilege to return it to them. It was something that was earned through the incredible courage and valor of men who gave their lives and risked their lives to obtain it. And, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a closed subject.”

          Mark Dayton. What a guy.

          • Dave

            Mark Dayton is an amazing man – amazing in that he almost always manages to do the wrong thing. I suppose he is right occasionally – you know, “even a stopped clock…”

            I wish Dayton would be stopped.

  • wlinden

    So the breakup of the USSR led to a “shooting war”?

  • kirthigdon

    The author of the linked article does not advocate violence, says nothing about guns or shooting one’s neighbors, concedes that he might be ahead of his time, and merely seeks to put the idea of a break-up of the US in circulation. So has he committed some kind of thought crime? Quick – alert the NSA. No need to try him; just put him in an insane asylum for his lunacy.
    BTW, the comparison with Lebanon (“Beirut style Civil War”) seems especially inappropriate since none of the factions in that war were attempting to secede from Lebanon; they simply wanted to gain more power over the whole country. There were (maybe still are) one or two small groups who wanted to merge all of Lebanon into Syria, but that is the opposite of secession.
    Kirt Higdon

  • vox borealis

    Secession should *always* be on the table, even if a remote possibility. There is no natural right for a United States of America to exist. Indeed, the nation was founded on the assumption that no State has an inherent right to exist. I see nothing wrong with people in parts of the nation to question the legitimacy of the power asserted by Washington, DC.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    There was a war on. The ban on bombing civilians had been violated by both sides from the beginning – and that means not from 1939, but from 1935, when the cycle of wars really started (in a place called Ethiopia, which nobody now remembers,and where Mussolini indulged in every kind of depravity that were to become common in the following years). Tokyo and other Japanese cities had been devastated by conventional weapons. What you are saying is that it was especially bad to do with an atom bomb what had been done equally brutally with napalm and TNT. As for your bizarre notion of blockading Japan for eternity, people as a rule want wars to end. Japan had an immense army in China still, and vast bodies of men elsewhere that would have gone on doing mischief. You just imagine you can opt out of history.

    • Stu

      I’ll be happy to say that indiscriminate bombing of civilians is wrong no matter what type of warhead employed.

  • Cui Pertinebit

    Again, this is the tension between that compromise in Christianity, between the “otherworldly” orientation of the Evangelical Counsels, and the “this-worldly” orientation of marriage and family life.

    When I was Protestant, all the New Testament teachings of our Lord about selling all and giving to the poor, become a eunuch for the Kingdom, considering the lilies of the field and how they neither spin nor toil, etc., motivated me to have little patience with Protestantism’s evident comfort with wealth and worldly stability. But I realized, as I came into the Apostolic Tradition, that I was giving short shrift to the duty that family men had to store up wealth and provide for their families and protect them from dangers. Also, the State has the “power of the sword,” and that “not without reason,” as St. Paul said.

    I for one, don’t have any problem with the Anglo-Saxon development of law – which I view as a deeply Christian development of the philosophy of law and government – that says, ultimately, the people are the State, and it is their consent in accordance with Natural Law, that rightly rules the State. When people threaten to completely undermine the moral, spiritual and material health of a nation, I think the scope of our concerns has risen entirely above the “turn the other cheek” morality that should govern our one-on-one interactions with others. On this larger level, people who have not left the world to live as monks and hermits have every right – and even DUTY – to resist imminent and real dangers. You yourself, Mr. Shea, have recognized that “brownshirts” is exactly the right title for these people. They have every intention of stealing our property, forcing our businesses closed, indoctrinating our children, etc. There is nothing unchristian about wanting to secede from these people peacefully, or , if that cannot happen, stopping them forcefully.

  • Elmwood

    Violent revolutions are seldom justified, mostly because that you will create more evil through the terrible effects of war.

  • B.E. Ward

    This has nothing to do with secession, but I wonder sometimes if we might see a push to redraw state lines to improve representation. For instance, Washington and Oregon might be better served to be split vertically rather than horizontally. Or, have the eastern chunks of the two join Idaho. Together, they would be an agricultural powerhouse.

    Even anecdotally, I look at a Washington license plate and wonder what someone from Ritzville thinks about living in “The Evergreen State”.

  • NurseBob

    I didn’t read anything in Mr. Craft’s column that recommended secession by violence, so why the headline about shooting neighbors? Anyway, there have always been Americans calling for secession over lots of issues almost from day one. What’s so different about this guy’s call? Yawn.


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