I have discussed the increasing use of tasers in our society here, here, and here. As a sociologist, I am concerned about the increasing violence and the consequences, and as a counselor, I am concerned about the effects of that violence. This past weekend, Sarah Palin spoke at the Women of Joy Conference and referenced the Prayer Warriors, admitting again her connection to that group whose admitted aim is the destruction of the demons that are destroying our society. Warriors. Violence. I guess anything goes if you achieve your goals.
Digby writes frequently about tasers as well and discusses here the recent tasering of a baseball fan at a Phillies Cardinals game for the heinous crime of running onto the field. Her point? We have truly sunk as low as we can get. The included comments posted to the YouTube video attached.
Randalrister thanks for postin the video, only thing us cards fans got to see was closeup video of molina laughing at him. 53 minutes ago
rustytrombone1027 Tazed his ass! Nice. 20 minutes ago
r1rav3n me and my boy were in sec 145 left field front row seats to the action. this was the greatest thing we ever seen 27 minutes ago
SavageJon123 Only a Btown kid. lol go Steve 35 minutes ago
DallasWillAlwaysSuck phuckin' hilarious, CBP rules!!!!! 45 minutes ago
StLouisKing05 this was the funniest thing i have ever seen! i sat in section 307 so i saw him hop over the wall and start running!! 49 minutes ago
CheetoSantana The smile on Molina's face was awesome 54 minutes ago
MatthewMitchell3434 I go to school with the kid hes 17
As she goes on to say;
She goes on to comment on the attitudes displayed by those making these comments;
"Real Americans don little tri-corner hats and carry on about "freedom" and "the constitution"In my opinion, they listen to Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and other looney toons right-wing extremists and as Digby says;
"They are paranoid about a non-existent invasion of killer immigrants and are freaking out about a non-existent plan to send gun owners to Fema camps. They threaten to kill census workers who ask them how many times they flush their toilets."
I watch the news and see them at their Tea Parties and their marches as their tens of hundreds march in Washington as they strap on their guns, wave their "Don't Tread On Me" flags, threaten to water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants (of course, never their own) when they clearly have no understanding of what they are talking about. Digby continues;
"But torture? Not a problem. Whether it's administered by the CIA or some minimum wage security guard, they seem to think electric shock, waterboarding or any other sick form of coercion worthy of the worst low rent dictator in the world is just ducky..."This past weekend, Sarah Palin spoke at a Women of Joy Conference and referenced Prayer Warriors, something she has done in the past, including thanking their (fortunately failed) intercession during her vice-presidential campaign. The Christian religion, particularly the evangelical branch, has always had violent tendencies, rooted as it is in the Old Testament, regardless of its constant calls to praise Jesus. Evangelicals love to cite the passages that support their strong law and order tendencies (an eye for an eye as an example) and the patriarchal family structure, ignoring those passages that do not suit their modern lifestyle (only prostitutes wear red [Sarah?] and eating pork is bad...wonder what they would have said about moose meat? and the laws of usury in the Old Testament...).
Anyway, I bring this up to make the link between the increasing use of tasers, the acceptance by our culture of same, and the rise of the law and order movement alongside the Christianisation of our political system. People turn to religion in troubled times as a way to cede responsibility to someone/something else. Let God take care of you and you do not have to take care of yourself. If it is all determined by God, then you have no responsibility for your own life. Lose your job? Your home? It is God's will. (Lose an election? It is a conspiracy led by the Devil, however).
The Old Testament is full of violence and a retributive god--as opposed to the New Testament and the teachings of Jesus who taught us to love our neighbor as ourself and to turn the other cheek. It was Jesus who said that if someone steals your coat, offer them your shirt. I wonder what he would think of tasering someone for bad attitude? Just saying.
At her conference the other day, Sarah Palin said;
"I beg you, Women of Joy, to bring light and be involved, loving America and praying for her. Really, it is our solemn duty. Praying for true spiritual awakening to overcome deterioration. That is where God wants us to be. Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state, our Founding Fathers, they were believers. [unfortunately, Sarah, they just were not believers in what you want them to be believers in] And George Washington, he saw faith in God as basic to life." [h/t Crooks and Liars]Who are the Prayer Warriors? Just their name evokes images of violence, warriors, a group fighting for their cause - which is to take control of nations through an apostolic reformation. This is a group which has maps delineating where the demons are that cause all the ills of society. Through a global network of prayer chains, the warriors hope to overturn healthcare reform, maintain Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and were significant players in overturning California's Proposition 8. This group includes members of Congress, leaders in business, and where even 10 years ago might have been laughed off the front pages by media, is referenced in speeches by Sarah Palin without anyone questioning it.
Has Sarah Palin advocated the use of tasers? I do not know. Has she advocated the use of violence? Yes, indirectly. Anyone who thinks that her comment to not retreat, but reload was used metaphorically should contact me about purchasing some fairy dust. Our culture is morally bankrupt when on the one hand our citizens protest against taxes and the loss of freedom over a bill to provide healthcare to those in need, and believe that spilling blood in freedom's cause is totally acceptable, then turn around and actually ignore the Constitution (torture, denial of the 1st Amendment, 14th Amendment, suggestions to deport children of undocumented workers [remember that little part of the Constitution about anyone born in the United States...?]) and it is totally okay.
Sarah Palin and her ilk haven't got a clue. George Washington and the other Founding Fathers were deists, a fact that is well-known. No matter how many times someone says something, it is still not going to make it true. This is not, and never was, a Christian nation. The Founding Fathers were very specifically opposed to making it one. The part of the Constitution about separation of church and state was not an accident. It was included for a reason (anyone with even a basic understanding of United States history knows why this country was formed - religious freedom anyone?).
The media has given a disproportionate amount of time to reporting on the Tea Parties, Sarah Palin, and other right-wing radicals. Huge marches occur protesting immigration problems, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Proposition 8, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and receive minimal media coverage. A few thousand Tea Partiers march in Washington and the airwaves and newspapers cover it as if it were the event of the decade.
Sarah Palin claims membership in a group that believes in demons and witches, that is connected to another group supporting a bill in Uganda that would execute homosexuals, and it is barely a blip on the radar. Christian groups rant against violence on television and in the movies and try to censor what we read and see and hear, but see nothing wrong with carrying handguns into bars or national parks (what a great combination, guns and alcohol - as someone who has worked extensively with domestic violence victims and substance abuse clients, I can safely tell you that you almost never see a DV case without the involvement of alcohol).
Right-wing extremists and Christianists blame teh liberals for the moral decay of our society, yet rape the environment (drill, baby, drill anyone?), let their constituents freeze and starve (Emmonak and Nunum Iqua just to name two) then take Franklin Graham to another village entirely and deliver cookies.
So, taser a 17-year-old boy for running onto the baseball field? Go for it. He deserves it. After all, he interrupted the national pastime! I would bet that the majority of those posting those comments would call themselves Christians, most likely Republicans, carry guns, and probably include a number of proud Tea Party Sarah Palin fans. Do I say this just because I don't like Sarah Palin? No. I say this because the Republican Party, the Tea Partiers, and Sarah Palin, (and yes, I generalize here) are people who seem to be selfish and out for whatever they can get with no thought for others or the future. They see no connection between calling themselves prayer warriors, laughing about "targeting" Democrats with gun sight maps, and a total desensitization to tasering children, the disabled, the aged, and those who are ill.
We are truly not only financially bankrupt, but morally bankrupt as well. If Sarah Palin and her followers are successful in their endeavors, then we get what we deserve.
Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.
UPDATE 05/04/10 2:10p.m: Speaking of Constitutional Rights, John McCain was on Imus today, and declared that Faisal Shahzad, just arrested for the attempted bombing in Times Square should not have been given the Miranda Warning and that "...there are probably about 350 charges he's guilty of - attempted acts of terror against the United States..." ignoring, of course, that Shahzad is a United States citizen and even if not, entitled to Constitutional protections while in the United States. sigh. Read about it here
Additional sources include:
Crooks and Liars - Sarah Palin's Speech Women of Joy
Heads Up: Prayer Warriors and Sarah Palin are Organizing Spiritual Warfare to Take Over America
Photos: GOP Clown Collage