So, major outlets’ stories on the recent arrest of this “Christian militia,” this example of homegrown terrorism that is happening as a result of the irresponsibility of the republican leadership and its media mouthpieces, are refusing to actually use the word ‘terrorism.’ If they were truly neutral regarding Islam, then they should not hesitate to call Christian terrorism what it is, i.e., Christian terrorism, and the people who perpetrate it, terrorists. This would be useful because it would point out that, amongst other things, violent extremists of whatever stripe are violent extremists. Right now, CNN and co are working under the assumption that if a Muslim sets off a bomb in a market and kills 50 people, he is a terrorist, but if a nice Christian guy sets off a bomb at a police officer’s funeral and kills 50 people, then he is a militiaman.
By referring to these people using their own term “Christian militia,” the media are legitimizing them as heirs to the American colonial militia, which organized tea parties and other sorts of activities against the British. Thus, this terminology falls right into the teabaggers’ idea of themselves as somehow heroes of armed resistance against a tyrannical DC government.
There are a few problems with this idea, however. One, is that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, and co, were highly educated, highly articulate, highly humane people who were well versed in the history of political philosophy, knew the Greek and Latin classics, knew the history of Rome and Greece, and knew more recent history (e.g., the English Civil War) extremely well, and whose sensible arguments won the sympathy of a great percentage of the British and French educated and elite classes. In short, they inspired a majority of the most sensible people in their society that they were right, and that, in fact, the government of Britain under George III was merely acting in economic self-interest, rather than in the interest of the American people, when it was waging a war. Thus, the American militias clearly had the moral high ground for most of their conflict. (more…)