Saturday, April 18, 2009

Committed to Christian Principles, or Rightwing Terrorist?

The United States Department of Homeland Security, led by Janet Napolitano, is taking some heat over a recent assessment released as an unclassified document. The news outlets have focused most intently on the report’s fear that terrorist cells may spring from returning US military personnel, who may be disgruntled over the new administration or who find it difficult to integrate back into non-military society.

The report is titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" and is a fairly short read. It is interesting that in a time where Homeland Security has insisted that we not label radical Muslim or Islamist groups as “terrorists”, the article uses the phrase “domestic rightwing terrorist” three times. If the World Trade Center attack was not terrorism, what was it? Are we really in more danger from our own people who have conservative principles than those with an agenda of viewing our country as “The Great Satan”? I remain unconvinced.

Having read the assessment, I am struck the most by a paragraph at the bottom of page three. It states, “Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.” Within this paragraph, I find two items of concern.

The first item has to do with “rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority”. It is clear to me that the federal government is interested in usurping as much power as possible – perhaps beyond the powers granted within the US Constitution. Our Constitution is very clear on this point. The Tenth Amendment very succinctly states “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The founders’ intent was for states to individually enact laws that governed the people, leaving very little for the federal government executive branch to do beyond making treaties, appointing ambassadors, and commanding the military. It’s ironic that the majority of this report demeans returning military veterans by proclaiming that they pose the greatest terrorist risk to our nation at the moment. For more on states’ rights and the Tenth Amendment, visit this previous blog installment.

Even more disturbing is the implication of danger emanating from people who are passionate about an issue such as abortion. Do I need to fear that my own government will label me as an “extremist” because I am willing to march, protest, write, and preach about the evils of abortion? Who are the terrorists on this subject - the people trying to prevent the murder of unborn babies, or the people who make it perfectly legal and divert tax dollars toward its subsidy? I wonder how the baby would answer that question.

As a dedicated God-follower, I will not deviate from the principles that He has given. If I must defy my own government to remain faithful to God’s ways, then I will happily do that. Watering down our Christian beliefs in the name of “tolerance” and “open-mindedness” are traps set by Satan himself. I’m reminded of a quote I recently read from Dante – “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality”. Satan is working through some of the laws in our own beloved country to attempt an attack on God’s purpose. If I don’t stand against this onslaught and am labeled as an extremist for my beliefs, so be it. In the end, when the trumpet sounds, where do I want to be found standing?

I recognize that this government report most certainly falls short of labeling every pro-life advocate as a terrorist. But it represents just one more step away from the godly principles upon which our country was founded, and which God lays out in His Word. A step here, a step there, and we will find ourselves outside of God’s grace because of our own neutrality. Stay vigilant, be aware of the constant erosion of Christian morals, and look for opportunities to take a stand against evil!

To read the entire nine-page government article, just click here.