Monday, August 24, 2009

More "Civil War" Rumblings

A week ago I asked if the health care debate is turning into a reenactment of the American Civil War.

Now some within the Fox News-fueled far right are openly warning that a new Civil War is indeed fomenting,and they're pinning the blame on Obama.

The Second American Revolution Has Begun! - "The natives are restless .... America is seething. Not since the Civil War has anything like this happened .... A series of gigantic, unpopular government-imposed (but taxpayer-financed) bailouts, buyouts, rescue and stimulus packages have been stuffed down the gullet of Americans. With no public platform to voice their opposition, options for citizens have been limited to fruitless petitions, e-mails and phone calls to Congress all fielded by anonymous staff underlings .... the public is exploding .... Conditions will continue to deteriorate .... A false flag attempt, a genuine crisis, or a declaration of war, may slow the momentum of the “Second American Revolution,” but nothing will stop it."

Voight: Is Obama Creating a Civil War in America? - Courtesy of the Moonies' rag, the Washington Times.

Today's angry far right claims the label of "freedom fighters" in suggesting that a Civil War is at hand. Antebellum and Civil War era southerners (including Southern Baptists) utilized the same language in defending their rights to own slaves: should the United States outlaw slavery, they reasoned, whites would be victimized. Today's self-proclaimed freedom fighters likewise limit freedom to their own self-interests (to the point where they bristle at the suggestion of "messing with" their socialized health care - Medicare - AND become livid at the thought of extending socialized medicine to "others").

Observers of the current health care debate would be better served by examining Baptist freedom fighters of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In an era of genuine persecution (Baptists were beaten, whipped, jailed and even stoned for their faith - at the hands of theocractic colonial governments), Baptists fought for freedom of conscience and freedom of religion for all citizens, religious or not.

Is America a land of self-serving, self-righteous individuals who despise the "other" and will go to war against a democracy that champions equality and justice? Or are we a nation of citizens united in the common interest of freedom expressed in the attainment of general welfare and domestic tranquility?

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