Rabbi Michael Lerner Compares Christians in Congress to Islamic Extremists
Rabbi Michael Lerner wrote the following in the Huffington Post: “I fear those fundamentalist extremists just as much as I fear the Jewish extremists who have threatened my life and the Christian extremists who are now exercising power over the U.S. Congress. Every form of violence outrages and sickens me.”
Rabbi Lerner does not explain who these “Christian extremists” are. (Given Lerner’s penchant for extrapolated logic that can be found in some of this other articles, I can guess how he might explain his “Christian extremists” claims.) In what way do they compare to the Paris Islamists who murdered people because of editorial insults to the prophet Muhammad? What the folks at Charlie Hebdo did in savaging religions of all types was despicable, but their actions certainly did not merit murder. Christians were savaged by Charlie Hebdo, and as far as I can tell, Christians didn’t shoot anybody.
So what congressional “Christian extremists” is Rabbi Lerner talking about? By making such an outlandish comparison, he dilutes the significance of the savagery that took place in Paris in murdering unarmed civilians and police officers, one of whom was a Muslim.
Earlier in the article Rabbi Lerner wrote the following:
“[T]he media [were not] much interested in a bomb that went off outside the NAACP’s Colorado Springs headquarters the same day as they were highlighting the attack in Paris. Colorado Springs is home to some of the most extreme right-wing activists. It was a balding white man who was seen setting the bomb, some reports claim, and so the media described it as an act of a troubled ‘lone individual,’ rather than as a white right wing Christian fundamentalist terrorist. Few Americans have even heard of this incident.”
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Actually, there is a great deal of interest in the NAACP “bomb” that went off. A sketch has been made of the alleged perpetrator, a $10,000 reward has been offered leading to information about the crime, and the FBI is involved. Numerous articles about the “bombing” are available online.
There is no evidence that the incendiary device was placed at the NAACP offices by a right-wing activist or even that the NAACP was the target. It could have been a disgruntled police officer. It’s possible that the device was put there by someone wanting to blame outside agents to draw attention of African American causes in light of what took place to Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York.
Al Sharpton did it in the Tawana Brawley case, and false charges were brought against the Duke Lacrosse team. Here’s a list of 11 fake hate crimes and another list of 7. You can Google “fake hate crimes” for more examples. Here are some that the Huffington Post reported.
Even Salon.com, hardly a right wing website, reported that “Bogus hate crimes [are] all the rage.” The article was written by Mark Potok at the ultra-liberal and anti-Christian Southern Poverty Law Center. Of course, Potok’s reason for writing the article was so he could attack conservatives. For him and the folks at the SPLC, bogus hate crime reports “give fuel to right-wing opponents of hate crime laws who like to claim that enormous numbers of reported hate crimes never occurred.”
Do I know that the NAACP “bombing” was a fake hate crime? I do not, and neither does Rabbi Lerner know it was done by a “white right wing Christian fundamentalist terrorist.”
If the bomber turns out to be a “white right wing Christian fundamentalist terrorist,” Christians will be the first to condemn him or her.
But back to Christians in Congress. I still want to know who are the “Christian extremists who are now exercising power over the U.S. Congress” and inciting “violence.” What “form of violence” does Rabbi Lerner have in mind?