You are hereHuffington Post: The Perpetual American Lynch Mob

Huffington Post: The Perpetual American Lynch Mob

April 15, 2010- Who is the "Tea Party"? It's today's incarnation of the Perpetual American Lynch Mob.

In one generation the Perpetual American Lynch Mob is burning Pequot Indian women and children alive in the name of God while cheerfully quoting Old Testament passages "justifying" their actions. In another time and place the Perpetual American Lynch Mob string up black men.

A few decades pass and they can be found calling President Roosevelt a communist, Jew and the anti-Christ and/or marching on Washington in support of Germany and demanding that the US stay out of World War Two. In another generation the Perpetual American Lynch Mob hound their fellow citizens, screaming that they are communists and out to destroy God-fearing Americans.

At another time and place the Perpetual American Lynch Mob call themselves a "Tea Party" and gather to hurl insults and lies at our first black President. They cheer as one of their leaders says: "We'll hang on to our constitution, religion and guns..." And/or they gather to carry loaded weapons in a march on Washington.

Dad (my late evangelical leader father Francis Schaeffer) and I did our bit in the 1970s and 80s to pass on the torch of unhinged Lynch Mob hate when we helped create the Perpetual American Lynch Mob's "pro-life" incarnation. That movement -- Our Movement -- was begun by people like us wanting to save babies. It ended up in the swamp of homophobia, hate of the "other" and even inspired the murder of doctors.

And the anti-abortion movement also empowered a Republican Party that sank under the weight of this single-issue to the lowest common denominator. The Republican Party didn't just cater to the Perpetual American Lynch Mob, but became the Perpetual American Lynch Mob.

Without the culture war (which Dad and I contributed to) that I describe and explain in my book Crazy For God there would have been no George W. Bush presidency because there would have been no evangelical Republican "base" to power the politics of the far right as it emerged from the 1970s and 80s. Until we pro-lifers came along, most evangelicals (of that generation) weren't single issue anti-American voters.

We anti-abortion activists helped pave the way for yet another generation of cantankerous, religious nuts to weasel their way into the heart of American history and even into the heart of our government. We helped keep alive the worst of the crank tradition that runs like a dark subterranean river of sewage just under the surface of everyday American life.

We gave a boost to the Perpetual American Lynch Mob that resurfaces in every generation in a new disguise and with a new excuse. But that new "cause" is really only the latest manifestation of hate, fear, isolation and ignorance (often born of rube religion) combined with the insane myth of American exceptionalism.



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