Rachel Johnson

Atheist Blogger- the godlessvagina / Podcaster the pink atheist

When Extreme Beliefs Kill

3 Comments

What do you say when a 40 year old male with White Supremacy  beliefs  goes on a rampage in a Sikh temple? The only thing you can say, any belief taken too far can be deadly. Especially when mixed with a life of disappointment, and a hate for your fellow humans. As a society we should be shocked and horrified, and asking the question, how long before the next killing spree. This one comes on the heels of a previous shooting in Colorado. A young college student who wounded 54 and killed 12. America seems to be the land of the free and the home of the rage.

White supremacy has never been known for their kind views on anything. They not only look down on all other races, but believe that the Jews killed their savior, and there will someday be a holy war in which the whites will be redeemed and fight for the glory of god. They are a fringe group on the edge of insanity functioning under the protection of freedom of speech, and the right to keep and bare arms.

Michael Page was killed after going into a temple and killing innocent people on Sunday morning. People who knew him were shocked, but the world shouldn’t be. He was released from the military after loosing a stripe, and showing up to formation drunk. He then led a life which as a mix of poverty, and struggles. All of that leading up to the day when he would take others lives before his own was taken.  Six people were killed and three were wounded, but a community is weeping over the losses of their loved ones. It is hard to understand how one idea so putrid can spread so far and wide as to punish other human beings for their race, color, or religion.

As an atheist I don’t believe in god, and don’t enjoy what religion does, but I could never promote the killing of innocent people. It is disgusting to see hate groups linked to murder that try and defend their actions, and claim they are not full of hate. In a statement from the page where Micheal’s music was posted, a white supremacy music site, the page was distancing themselves from his group and its music.

“We have worked hard over the years to promote a positive image and have posted many articles encouraging people to take a positive path in life, to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and just general behavior that can affect ones life negatively,”

While they may not promote the hate and violence of the white supremacy group, they do promote the music. It falls under freedom of speech, and it is also a display of what amount to extreme beliefs. Only so many messages can be sent when your main focus is on hating other races and being superior. None of that has to link with drugs, but feed a person enough hate, and more likely than not, they will snap. That is not the circumstances for everyone, but certainly someone who feels they were slighted, and wronged, with their heart filled with hate is the person who winds up going on a shooting spree.

It does not matter what the doctrine is, or the belief. The problem is that people with nothing good in their lives will always cling to the one thing that gives them power and that is hate. Weather it be hate for another doctrine, color, race, creed, nation, the hate is all the same. Just because it is disguised under other terms does not mean it is a lesser hate. The problem is that groups like “skin heads” or white supremacy  find it easy to hate others based on an idea of their race. Just like Muslims hate Hindus based on their religion . People who are taught to devalue other lives, and see theirs as superior are more likely to wind up in this situation.

Extreme beliefs such as the ones held by the Uni-bomber, David Koresh, Hitler, Stalin. All thought that they were right in using and abusing the lives of others. All of those stories are filled with hate. David Koresh thought he was the messiah, and hated the government, mostly because they did not approve of him being the messiah and having sex with young girls. Hitler hated the Jews, and was a political bully with an anti-gay stance that got them sent to concentration camps. Stalin was an atheist with political motives which made him want to eliminate competition and religion in the most grotesque of fashions.

No matter what the belief, be it political, racial, or just based on nature, any idea can be taken to extremes. The problem is when it gets innocent people killed because they did not fit into the belief, or the criteria of the belief. There are some very angry people who feel deserted, unhappy, and outside in this world. These are the people who often stop sympathizing with people. Sometimes enough to kill them. While this may be a form of suicide, by getting themselves killed, it also does harm to the innocent lives that are effected. Like the people who were in the temple on Sunday.

It is tragic that access to weapons is so easy for people who belong to these fringe groups, and there is no limit to the amount they can obtain. The easy access to weapons makes taking lives seem far too easy. Especially when they have no value. People like white supremacists have been know for acts of hate and violence against other races. Just as many extreme beliefs, like religion have been. Any time you have a superiority complex and weapons mixed, you are sure to have fatalities. Critic’s may say that is not always the case, but this is not the first killing by white supremacists. Around a decade ago a man was drug behind a truck, to his death, just because of the color of his skin. It was one of the most shocking and brutal killings in a long time, and while guns were not used, the same fashion of hate was.

My heart goes out to those in the Sikh temple, for their loved ones and the loss of life. I empathize that no matter where they were, who they are, or what they were doing could they ever deserve this. As an atheist I feel it is my duty to spread love for my fellow human beings. Be they Muslim, Hindu, Christian, or what ever the belief. This does not mean I must have love for the religion or doctrine, but for the people behind it. Fringe groups like the white supremacy should be ashamed to even exist. After all we are all linked. It is a tragedy of the same proportions when someone is killed in their place of worship as it would be in any other. While I hold no respect for the doctrines that separate us human beings, I hold all love for my fellow humans, their right to exist, and do as they choose. We should all be as tolerant of each other.

 

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Author: Rachel Johnson

I am a writer about atheist issues. Separation of the church and state. Women and their right to choose, and sex. I talk about all of the "taboos" of modern life as well as evolution and science.

3 thoughts on “When Extreme Beliefs Kill

  1. American exceptionalism needs racism in order to survive. It’s necessary to create enemies to create fear as leverage for control. That sometimes spills over within our gun culture.

  2. It’s sad but true that in the 21st century we still have these kinds of groups. I know a few of these people and they take their racism seriously. So sad.

  3. Pingback: Separation and Violence | Thoughts for Growth

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