Broadcasting Promotes Hate?

From e-mail -

I just saw a documentary on TV about skinheads, religious-right extremists, and neo-Nazi people.... Doesn't that [publicity] just help their sick cause?

Possibly; but, then again, these broadcasts can make people aware of the dangers of these views. Many people get sucked into these "causes," without knowing what they really represent.

For example, the "charming and charismatic" Rev. H. in Illinois, is a key figure in America's hate community. His church has 70,000 to 80,000 members in 49 states and 28 countries. (We'll not give his full name or the name of the church, since these people tend to sue and harass the "infidels" who expose them.)

The members of this "Christian" church have reportedly shot, knifed or beaten blacks, Jews and Asian-Americans in several states.

I'm not sure if the Rev. H. was one of the subjects of the documentary you saw, but I feel that getting the word out on what this "charismatic church leader" represents is important.

Personally, I also have a problem with the right-wing radio talk shows that fan the flames of hatred.

I have gotten e-mails from these people, full of "facts" that simply aren't true. I've sometimes responded by pointed to very clear evidence contradicting their "facts," in one case including a denial by the very person they quoted.

This apparently doesn't make any difference. They are "right," and anything to the contrary is simply not relevant.

Probably the kindest response I've gotten from my attempts to set the record straight is that they don't wish to hear from me any more. Of course, the old saying, "I've got my mind made up, don't confuse me with the facts," comes to mind.

We've all been taught that religion should espouse love and forgiveness. Unfortunately, today some religions -- from Christianity to Islam -- preach just the opposite.

I think of the Christian Reconstructionists, who, quoting Deuteronomy, want to re-establish Old Testament laws, and stone to death adulterers and heretics.

Since "adultery" can be in the mind only, and a "heretic" is by definition anyone who doesn't believe as they do, they could justifiably murder almost every person on earth with this belief — while being convinced they were simply doing God's will.

Of course, if you've been reading the news since the 9/11 terrorist attack, you know that this view sounds very familiar.

At least television programs such as the one you saw bring such imprudence to light.

"Fog" also discusses this issue.

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