Monday, November 16, 2015

Looking Backward 2015 - 1859

Note:  I do not link to neo-Nazi websites, among other reasons, having gotten numerous malware warnings from viewing them.  One resulted in malware which was very hard to remove.  I will give citations, you click on the websites where the material is found at your own risk.   And that is not to mention not wanting to risk spreading their hate unintentionally.

In the brawl resulting from my reposting of an article pointing out that, among other American mass killers,  Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were professed atheists I got into a bit of a brawl.   I knew that there were a lot of online atheist venues who claimed they were Christians, apparently a lie which has gained currency in that campaign of lies.  That is among those online atheists who are aware of  McVeigh and Nichols and their mass murder, the bombing of the The Murrah Building in Oklahoma City,  considered the biggest mass murder committed on American soil before 9-11.   Though I suspect that leaves out attacks by white Europeans on Natives of what would become the United States, I haven't looked for estimates of victims to compare that to*.

One of the atheist trolls, one whose comments I've posted because they are useful to show how dishonest they are brought up an interview Timothy McVeigh gave to Time magazine after his arrest and before his trial.  As given by "Skeptic Tank" copied from one of the many atheist websites which clip it in exactly the same way.

Time Magazine
By Patrick E. Cole Monday, Apr. 15, 1996
"TIME: Are you religious? 
MCVEIGH: I was raised Catholic. I was confirmed Catholic (received the sacrament of confirmation). Through my military years, I sort of lost touch with the religion. I never really picked it up, however I do maintain core beliefs.
TIME: Do you believe in God? 
MCVEIGH: I do believe in a God, yes. But that's as far as I want to discuss. If I get too detailed on some things that are personal like that, it gives people an easier way alienate themselves from me and that's all they are looking for now."

Considering he was being held for trial in what was called, at the time,  the largest mass murder in U. S. history and other charges that would certainly get him the death penalty, it's rather remarkable that he would give an interview which could be used against him  and cause controversies that would possibly taint the jury pool through media discussion of it.  It's hard for me to imagine a lawyer with him for a client wouldn't think an interview was too risky to support.  By that time I imagine his lawyer had likely heard enough of McVeigh's bizarre mix of poses of integrity with the most flexible and self-serving of assertions of good and evil and a definite tendency to  grand stand, looking to be the center of a spectacle,   [Sounds like he'd fit in on a lot of blog discussions, doesn't it ] to be nervous about him talking on record.

In any case, it was certainly in McVeigh's interest to try to sell himself to an audience consisting, mostly, of the residents of Oklahoma from whom any jury deciding his case would be drawn. Notably, Oklahoma has a very large percentage of residents who are conservative Christians.  That audience would be who he was addressing in the year before his trial.

I can't know, of course, but I certainly think it's possible that McVeigh would have imagined he might be acquitted or convicted of lesser charges.  He didn't plead guilty, though he knew the prosecution had about as strong a case as they could want.  Still, he wanted his lawyers to argue he was justified on the basis of a "necessity defense".  McVeigh apparently engaged in a bit of word play, saying that the imminent danger he would have had to prove he was in from the federal government didn't necessarily mean he was in danger from it at the time he murdered and injured all of those people.  Just about any time I read anything McVeigh said or wrote his word play is evident. He seems to have been the kind of person who figures that any possible interpretation he can claim for words can make terrible acts and ideas assume a good and noble character.

And it is clear that if he were to be convicted, he wanted his conviction and likely execution to promote the cause of insurrection against the Federal Government.  I think everything he did after his capture, from this interview through his bizarre correspondence with Gore Vidal** and the tapes made of him were his calculations of how to put himself in the best light for PR purposes and, perhaps to his parents for whom I think he had some feelings, and to further his bizarre cultic campaign.  He clearly saw himself as a soldier in that campaign, presenting himself as a man who is going down for his cause.  Which is certainly the twisted thinking that is common to so many people who are prepared to take up violence as a means of getting their way.

But that's not what I'm going to focus on, here.  The atheist who brought that up unintentionally brought something a lot more interesting to my notice.

In the quote at issue, his declaration of belief was

I do believe in a God, yes. But that's as far as I want to discuss. If I get too detailed on some things that are personal like that, it gives people an easier way alienate themselves from me and that's all they are looking for now.

For someone raised as a Catholic, even a relatively nominal Catholic but who took it seriously, to say you believe in "a God" would be have to feel rather strange.  The god that refers to could be any god when Christianity as well as Judaism and Islam only believe in God, the one God.  Which is, I think, noteworthy but it doesn't tell us much about his purposely vague statement.

But the phrasing does make sense if in addition to The Turner Diaries, McVeigh had adopted the atheist religion of the author of that book  the physicist, William L. Pierce.   Among his many enterprises Pierce founded a religion, "Cosmotheism".  I think the Southern Poverty Law Center got it right when it called the "religion" a tax dodge but to the true believers in Pierce and his gospel of racial inequality, racism and the desire to kill many people, it was and is a serious code of belief.

Here, from one of those carrying the torch of William Pierce online;

To the Cosmotheist, Nature is God. And science, logic, observation, reason, and the deepest stirrings of our race-soul are the means of apprehending God — not the ravings of ancient Semitic cutthroats, carpet-dealers, and con men (or the poetry and verses they stole from their more accomplished neighbors).

Mathematics, physics, and genetics are the real words of God. Mathematical principles may be misunderstood for a time, but they cannot be faked as scripture can, nor for long can they be maliciously revised for political advantage — and they are eminently verifiable. So also with the laws of evolution and biology, physics and cosmology.

Kevin Alfred Strom:  William Pierce: Cosmotheism’s Hard Way, National Vanguard

The "god" McVeigh would have gotten from reading Pierce was nothing more than the material universe talked about as a poetic metaphor, morality being whatever the result of physical causation produced.  He could have gotten the same from reading Haeckel or any other atheists who expressed themselves in that kind of poetic metaphor.  Which is unsurprising from a physicist like Pierce who wanted to present his atheism in a form that would get him tax exemption for his various money making schemes.

I can't help but ask how much of that sounds familiar to people who read atheist blogs?  Believe me when I tell you that there is much resonance between online atheist invective and the language used by Pierce's Cosmotheists.

If that was " a god" Timothy McVeigh believed in, it's understandable that he wouldn't want to "get too detailed" because, given the demographics of the jury pool he would face in Oklahoma such a religion could be imagined to give, " people an easier way alienate themselves from me and that's all they are looking for now".  On the other hand, if he believed in God as a Christian, the reticence to say that to such an audience at such a time would make no sense at all.

I won't pass up the opportunity to point out the gargantuan narcissism in that whiny complaint that if he said what he wanted to that it would be easier for people to "alienate themselves from me"   As if his killing 168 Oklahomans, including children and injuring 680 of them in an attempt to foment a bloody civil war as described in his how-to book, The Turner Diaries wasn't a supreme act of alienation on his part.   But such is the thinking of a megalomaniac provided with a vision.  Such is the language he would have gotten from reading William Pierce and many a Hollywood movie in the military worship genre so popular in the 70s and 80s.   He apparently was want to allude to lines in such movies as A Few Good Men.

That McVeigh was an adherent to Pierce's violent millenial insanity is beyond question.  When he was peddling stuff at gun shows, he sold copies of The Turner Diaries, he sent copies of it to friends telling them they should read it, he had pages of it found with him when he was apprehended.  His attack plan was similar to one in the book made on an FBI headquarters.

Pierce, in interviews after McVeigh and Nichols were arrested did the old Mission Impossible thing, he disavowed any knowledge of McVeigh or his actions.  And he may have been ignorant of them, specifically, considering the line of mass killings associated with him and his writings.  The Turner Diaries, alone, have quite a legacy of inspiring murder and terror from the first years after its publication in 1978 up to today.  Dylan Roof, the man who murdered people attending a Bible study group at an African Episcopal Methodist church in Charlotte, South Carolina, owned a copy of it. Reading what else Pierce was saying, the encouragement of mass violence, racial genocide, his obvious love of violent murder on a mass scale, his disavowal is even more pathetically transparent than McVeigh's word play.

I am planning on posting a number of pieces about Pierce and other scientific racists and extreme eugenicists and promoters of genocide.   As you may have guessed, there is, beyond any reasonable doubt, citation of Charles Darwin and natural selection by them to justify and lend scientific credibility to their neo-Nazi ideology.  They aren't especially shy about it, as I will show, they claim him for their cause.   That same website promoting Pierce's phony religion said this:

The science writer Don Kaiser shows a mature understanding, almost a Cosmotheist understanding, of the ever-evolving, non-static nature of life  when he writes in his “Life Is Evolution” that “The sole charcteristic that ultimately distinguishes living from non-living matter is classical Darwinian evolution. Life is simply matter that evolves. …Evolution is the sole feature that differentiates living matter from non-living matter. …Given the fact that all life forms die, how do they persist through time and changing environments? Every environment harboring life forms must change, simply because of their existence, so evolution is the only way life forms can persist through time. Not only did Charles Darwin discover what makes life possible despite the fact that all life forms eventually die, he unwittingly discovered the sole feature that distinguishes living from non-living matter. Charles Darwin defined life. Life is Evolution.” (emphasis mine)

and, quoting William Pierce writing about George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman:

Life’s central impulse is to move toward the creation of a superior kind of human being, Don Juan asserts. That is what Life, at its core, is about. Here Don Juan is expressing an evolutionary, Darwinian idea, the concept of man evolving into something higher, more advanced than he is now. Life as Don Juan perceives it is the force that seeks to bring about ‘higher and higher individuals, the ideal individual being, omnipotent, omniscient, infallible, and withal completely, unilludedly self-conscious: in short, a god.’ Don Juan brings race into it as he affirms the ‘great central purpose of breeding the race; ay, breeding it to heights now deemed superhuman; that purpose which is now hidden in a mephistic cloud of love and romance and prudery and fastidiousness, will break through into clear sunlight….

Believe me when I tell the defenders of Charles Darwin, it gets worse.  This will continue.

*  I don't ususally listen to it anymore, but I did listen to NPR's Weekend Edition last night which ended with a piece that was a lot like the one I posted the other day, pointing out that far larger numbers of people in the Middle East, Africa Asia and elsewhere have been the victims of terror violence with little to no notice in the white Western media.   I won't ignore that fact beginning with the foundation of my country on the mass murder, terror, enslavement and the theft of the land of the people who lived here before Europeans lived here.  The history of mass murder doesn't begin when large numbers of white people got killed, their murders are part of a long history of murder that precedes the foundation of the United States and continued in the western expansion of the theft of this continent.  Those lives count as do those non-white, non-Europeans who are murdered, today. They count as much as the victims of the Paris terror attacks.

**  Vidal's heroification of Timothy McVeigh was the end of my denial of his intellectual decadence.  Vidal is one of the most bizarre figures of the nominal left during the past century.  For all of his put downs of Buckley and his opposition to some of the worst of U.S. policy, his leftism was more pseudo-left than anything which would have produced a truly liberal government, in the traditional American understanding of the term, the liberalism which produced all of the great reform movements in our history.  His Southern patrician habits of thought never really left him.


  1. I suppose we could get into a conversation about how "reason" is a god to some on-line atheists, but that's too subtle a discourse for most of them, for whom "god" can only be the God of Abraham or a superhuman figure like Zeus.

    Funny thing is, they completely misunderstand both figures, and trying to explain their error to them just makes them the more certain they are right. Kind of like the fundie Christians and Muslims they so despise.

    1. Some people say that the difference is between a material god, a god who is subject to the same forces and conditions of things in the material universe and God who is the creator of the universe which God permeates but who is nothing like the universe and the things in it. The "God" of so many fundamentalists is that kind of pagan-material god as is the "god" of Cosmotheism and, though he didn't call it "god" Ernst Haeckel's ultimate reality.

      I almost included Carl Sagan's statement about "The Cosmos" and I might but it's very probably that Timothy McVeigh's "god" is the very "Cosmos" that Carl Sagan waxed so poetically over in his big TV moment. Considering the vicious antisemitism of the Cosmotheists - clearly based on their hatred of both the Mosaic and Christian view of life and the universe - their vicious, murderous hatred of Jews, it is ironic that they would be in such basic agreement with Sagan.

      I am more convinced every time I look into this that that difference is the very essence of the difference between American style liberalism and its opposite, no matter what name is used to identify it. So much of the strife among those opposites, on the so-called right and so-called left, are turf fights and gang wars when they, like gangs, share the same view of life.

    2. "So much of the strife among those opposites, on the so-called right and so-called left, are turf fights and gang wars when they, like gangs, share the same view of life."

      Yup. Nobody fights like family. Keep that in mind, and much of the persistent strife of the world makes sense.

  2. Oh, this is wonderful on so many levels.

    A genuinely brave guy plays Lennon's "Imagine" outside the theater in Paris over the weekend.

    1. Big deal. Lots of people sang religious music in venues more likely to be the target of another attack, such as Notre Dame.

      I'm not impressed with the rote performance of that meaningless and dirge like drivel. You being impressed by it is a sign of its meaninglessness.

  3. Wow.

    So because John Lennon wrote a song that committed the to you unforgiveable sin of suggesting God doesn't exist, you feel justified in pissing on the graves of all the people (white boy rock fans, BTW) who got blown away in that theater.

    What a petty, vindictive, small-minded sack of shit you are.

    BTW, Nobody got killed at Notre Dame on Saturday.

    1. He committed the musical sin of writing a piece of crap, he committed the sin against economic justice of pretending to be all about "no possessions" as he lived in the friggin' Dakota and was sitting on an estimated 800 Million in c 1980 dollars. He committed the stupidity of attributing war to religion when religion is one of the very minor motives of warfare.

      I note that you ignore any people of color and all women among those murdered, as well as any who may have been religious and who would not welcome Lennon's atheist dirge, not to mention any who had any idea what good music was. I seem to recall it was a death-metal band playing, I wonder how many of them are fans of the "smart" mop head.

      No one who went to Notre Dame knew they weren't going to get killed, same for any other religious service held in the aftermath of the attacks. Just as so many of those people of color in "other places" have been murdered by ISIS and its associated nihilists as they attended mass or other services. Those lives don't count to you sitting on your ass in the greater NYC area, gassing about the lives of white boys, some of whom, I'd bet, were those Christians you despise so much.