If you’re involved in politics, you get a lot of mail. Some of it is very supportive and encouraging. Other mail, not so much. We thought we’d share with you some of the hate mail the Texas Freedom Network gets. Some messages — such as the rusty saw blade we received by postal a while back — aren’t reproducible here, of course. But usually the e-mail and letters we get offer plenty of quotable material. Enjoy.
Our criticism of the far right’s absurd ranting against President Obama’s speech to students (see here and here) earlier this month got plenty of reactions. One writer responded to a story about the speech in which TFN President Kathy Miller noted that Texas Gov. Rick Perry earlier had flirted with secessionists and State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar had accused then-candidate Obama of sympathizing with terrorists:
The Governor did not, that is a twisted lie. Not a new trick from baby killing liberal politicians. And just how friendly does Barry have to get with these tyrannical nutcases? And how many times does he have to cite Muslim proverbs or proclaim how great is a religion that in itself promotes peace and tolerance but has spawned a culture of hate and violence, even amongst its own people. Lady you can dismiss the facts and hide behind your elitist state of mind all you want. But by your own words and actions you have revealed your honest intentions.
You and your buddies would do well to learn as has every other who has attempted to take take from us what is God(yes I said God) given. That lesson would be that the freedom of choice will not be taken from us nor restricted by corruption. We recognize the subtle traps the current Administration and its party are laying down. We will not be lured any longer. Don’t be fooled by our politeness. Though we are not the bully that liberal “community organizers” tend to be. We do have our limits and you and your friends would be wise to remember that -every action has an equal and opposite reaction- Newton’s Law.
A number of writers have been angry about Kathy pointing out that far-right pressure groups are unfairly criticizing the work of social studies curriculum writers. One group had even accused curriculum writers of engaging in a “war on Christmas” for including Easter but not Christmas in a list of holidays celebrated by major religions around the world. (TFN doesn’t oppose the inclusion of Christmas, but we have noted that critics are deliberately distorting what the curriculum writers recommended and why.) From one e-mailer:
If you have children, I feel very sorry for them. You are what’s wrong with America. I will not stand silent and listen to your uneducated ‘reasoning’ of Christians or Jews or any HONORABLE group that has the brain power to realize that God does exist. I will not let you or your small group of non-believers ruin my children’s rights to learn about all religions. If you don’t like WHAT THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS BELIEVE, tough. If your looking for a fight, you will get one.
I feel very sorry for you. Why? Because you will stand in front of God to give an account of your life decisions. Just like the rest of us. FYI- God doesn’t tolerate non-believers. He condemns them to an eternity of/in Hell.
You will not win this battle.
said Kathy Miller, president of the watchdog group Texas Freedom Network, which opposes initiatives pushed by Christian conservatives. “If I were their teacher I would send the Free Market Foundation to detention.”
Dear Kathy Miller: If I were in your class I’d kick your ass.
Some writers were not so concise:
Pass this on to your cronie Miller
“This is just a cynical attempt to use religion as a weapon to mislead the public and divide Texans over something as important as our children’s education,” said Kathy Miller, president of the watchdog group Texas Freedom Network, which opposes initiatives pushed by Christian conservatives. “If I were their teacher I would send the Free Market Foundation to detention.”
Guess what Miller… YOU LOSE…so get your butt to detention and stay there!!! Haven’t you read Revelations yet? You LOSE in the end! We win 🙂
Christmas WILL be taught in our Texas school system. I will fight for it UNTIL HELL FREEZES OVER!
My children who attend public schools (right now) will not adhere to “Losers” trying to withdraw our Christian faith out of the system and keep other faiths in.
If you don’t like what our country was founded on…. CHRISTIAN principles based on the laws of God…. then why don’t you move to a different country. I will purchase a one way ticket for you…. just call.
I teach my kids DAILY about Jesus Christ…. AND YOU AND ALL YOUR FOLLOWERS WILL NEVER TAKE THAT AWAY. THEY KNOW THE TRUTH NO MATTER WHAT YOUR FALSE INDOCTRINATIONS TRY AND DO. THEY ARE ROCK SOLID….
God Bless the USA!!!
TEXAS CHRISTIAN AND PROUD OF IT
Comparisons to communists weren’t surprising:
I noted your comments opposing Texas “Christian Conservatives” attempts to defend the public mention of the American holiday “Christmas” in Texas public school curriculum.
While you are certainly within your American 1st Amendment rights to express this opinion and join the “War Against Christmas” (i.e. any mention/public celebration of the Christmas holiday, I take strong exception to your comments:
“If I were their teacher I would send the Free Market Foundation to detention.”
This has very strong Soviet connotations – where sadly millions of Christians were arrested and sent to “detention” – the Soviet Slave labor camps – The Gulag for professing their Christian faith.
And sadly, too many American public schools, colleges and universities are dominated by very intolerant people who want to send those with opposing views or beliefs to “detention” for thought crimes.
Ms. Miller – please remember this is still America, where the 1st Amendment protecting free speech and freedom of religion is in place. This is not (yet) Zimbabwe.
We’ll post more of these kinds of messages from time to time.
26 thoughts on “Checking Out the (Hate) Mail Bag”
I don’t understand how this is hate mail? Real hate mail is written by leftists to conservatives. A rusty saw – that’s hateful, but this stuff is just expressing a point of view.
Ah, rusty saw blades. And heavy door hinges. Those were the days.
Can the saw blade be considered a threat?
Also, is the Zimbabwe reference a racist or just dumb comment?
“Real hate mail is written by leftists to conservatives.” And therein lies your inability to see what is in front of you. Hate mail is hate mail and people from across the political spectrum are capable of it. “Dear Kathy Miller: If I were in your class I’d kick your ass.” — this is violent, which is a related and different aspect of self-rightous people who tend to write hate mail.
While we have a right to free speech, along with that right comes certain responsibilities. The right to free speech doesn’t give us the right to threaten violence, attack people racially nor to lie in order to secure funds intended to further political agendas.
All rights come with responsibilities, something which it seems, many have forgotten about.
Keep up the good work!
wow, every school kid should memorize the “detention is communism” screed and try to use it to get out of detention.
Where do these people get the notion that TFN is against God? I have never heard TFN say that. I doubt that TFN has ever made such a statement. It is my understanding that all TFN opposes is any particular religion or religious sect taking over the government so it can use the authority and power of the government to impose its beliefs on people who do not hold to those beliefs.
If you will notice, in the Bible, even God does not force people to believe in him one way or another. He has structured the world where each person has the freedom to choose him, reject him, choose something else, or choose nothing at all. It’s what Jefferson would have referred to as an “inalienble right” from God. So, why does the Religious Right believe that it has the authority to bump God’s will out of the way, sit on God’s throne in his place, and countermand the will of God that men should be free to choose? In addition to being tyranny, this is the bottomline sin that forms the entire putrid foundation of the Religious Right. If you go back to the book of Genesis in the Bible and read it carefully, you will find that the Religious Right is building its whole program on the foundation of original sin. The term “original sin” is by definition desiring in the heart to bump God out of the way so you can play God. The Religious Right does not want the things of God, as it might claim. In reality, the Religious Right wants to BE GOD and unwittingly aligns itself with true evil. Now, There’s your trouble…
“Don’t be fooled by our politeness.”
Not likely that we will be………
TFN: Thank you. I thought that was the correct answer to my question. You folks must have nerves of steel.
Well, we didn’t want to give someone any ideas.
Here, let me try it…
All of you DEVIL WORSHIPPING liberals aren’t going to PULL the Wool over my eyes. Barrack HOOSEIN obama is a muslim through and through and he kills babies BY TEHE DOZEN. Tha’ts why Im home schoolling all 12 of my kids so they won’t be indcotrinated by the leftist agendda. Remember that this country was founded on Christian principles inspite of what the history books say because athiests make up stuff about the founding fathers being diests and sagittarians. Then they throw the Treety of Tropoli at you which doesn’t prove nothing. If you don’t like it you can leave because the majority RULES in USA!!!! And let me ask this: where is his birth cerfiticate? You bunch of lyars make me sick. I blame it all on Darwinism because MY GRANDFATHER WAS NOT A MONKEY! You hvae nor morals because you don’t believe in god, and because of that you will BURN IN HELL for all eternity. Why do you HATE god so much anyway? What did Jesus ever do to you? I pray to God you will find Jesus someday because he loves you. Just shut the eff up though.
The Religious Right Conservatives sometime back took big business, the flag, Christianity and American culture, tied the four into their kind of politcal party and redefined each component, to explain where they are going with it. Now they are at sea…rudderless.
Thank you TFN for pissing off the religious right…..job well done! I’d worry if you didn’t get hate mail.
Hi Ben. Very nice. All too accurate. However, you forgot the part about Mattison’s “Memoral and Remonstrous” and Jeffers sons’s Letter to the Dingleberry Babtists. The folks who do what you just did write letters to the editor of our daily newspaper. Lots of them get published, and I have often wondered to what extent they were cleaned up by the copy editor prior to publication.
Hey Ben, that was an excellent Poe!
Kathy, You are doing a terriffic job keeping us informed about people who DO NOT Know what real freedon or religion is. The Christians ( and I am one) who spew this garbage above did not understand that GOD JUDGES not man and their small brains. Anyone who tells me that science lies, that God will condemn me to Hello, needs help. FYI you-all, many people who came to this country were convicted convicts (GA), were escaping another Christian faction ( Mass) or wanted freedon to believe what they wanted (RI). read the Constitution, people.
Again, KATHY, you and TFN KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK YOU DO KEEPING US INFORMED!
Lee wrote: “I don’t understand how this is hate mail? Real hate mail is written by leftists to conservatives. A rusty saw – that’s hateful, but this stuff is just expressing a point of view.”
Lee, would you care to share with us what your definition of ‘love’ mail would be?
As for “real hate,” I’ve seen examples from both sides. Of course, you recognize only one. You wouldn’t recognize the counterpart if it smacked you in the face.
“This stuff” may be “just expressing a point of view,” but others have the right to do the same, don’t you agree? Where TFN points out facts, the above excerpts from letters are misrepresentations, and half-truths, and blatant lies.
True, these love letters from the fundies are entertaining, and the only real sting their insults successfully impart is to the grammatical psyche of our language. Still, probably best not to respond to these suitors… as they say, why get in to a kicking contest with a jackass?
And I concur with others… very nicely done, Ben! In future renditions, maybe have less subject-object agreement, MORE SHOUTING WITH ALL-CAPS!, more misplaced punctuation, and so on.
To all TFN staff… keep up the good work!
Good heavens. I must say, however, that unless you’ve cleaned up the grammar and spelling considerably, you attract a higher-quality bunch of wingnuts than, say, PZ Myers does. Cold comfort, I know, given the threats included in these letters.
Charles, the devoutly un-American people who write these letters conflate liberal Christianity and atheism all the time. They know very well that we have far more in common with atheists than we do with them. But they’ll never admit that they hate us even more — and view us as a far greater risk — than they do atheists. We’re the lukewarm who will be spat from His mouth, to again quote the Revelation (NOT “Revelations”) of Crazy Not-John-the-Apostle. Because their small minds can’t imagine a greater insult than to label us atheists, and because they know that atheism is generally viewed with far more suspicion than liberal Christianity, you’ll always find them attacking with the A word. You and I know, of course, that if we were so completely without principle as to sacrifice the rights of atheists in a vain attempt to appease them, they’d be after us next in a heartbeat.
That’s why they will never admit that many, if not most, of the members of TFN are Christians. They like to pass themselves off as a majority, even though we liberal Christians are some of their most ardent opponents. And while I don’t know exactly what the composition of TFN’s membership is, I do know I first heard of it from my United Methodist pastor, who recommended it to me as a first-way to stay informed and engaged.
Hate mail or simply uncivil discourse?
I might suggest rather than focus on “hate mail” and spend time debating what constitutes it, we might rather focus on “uncivil political discourse”, which is inclusive of hate mail, yet slips past the debate as to what constitutes it. Simply insulting another person constitutes uncivil discourse, does it not? And rather than engaging in uncivil disourse ourselves, why not simply make a statement about rudeness (“You’re being rude. Please engage in fact-based political discourse rather than personal attacks.) and then cite facts with references?
In this way, we can address the undesirable behavior, not engage in it ourselves and present facts?
Thank you for taking the time to read my post….
Well, Robert. What you say is fine in theory, but there is a potential problem with it.
Let’s use a historical military metaphor for purposes of illustration. We have some Christian pacifists here in my town. I suspect that they may be better Christians than all of us. They take “turn the other cheek” very seriously. You might hear one of them say:
“If we would just do away with all of our weapons to where we had none at all, our enemies would then see that we mean them no harm and have no means to attack them. When they see that, then they will do away with all of their weapons. Both sides just want peace and a sense of security. If we do this, then we will have it.”
Ah yes. But there is just one little problem Robert. There is evil in the world. In 1939, the entire Polish population could have done like the Christian pacifists and just sat on their hands (pretty much did considering their horse cavalry). You see. They had a psychopath living next door—a psychopath that needed some “lebensraum” or “living room” both there and in the Soviet Union to the east. Because of this, the pacifism would have made no difference for peace. War, destruction, and murder came anyway because peace and brotherhood was not one of the values held by the psychopath.
I think unemotional and truthful civil discourse is a fine thing—as you do. It brings treaties of peace. It makes brothers of sqabbling siblings. It solves difficult problems—like healthcare reform. The problem is this. You have to have two sides that VALUE civil discourse equally. Time and time again, the Religious Right has shown that it has no interest in either truth or civil discourse. It is the psychopath that has decided (long ago) that anyone who disagrees with it is an enemy that must be destroyed at all costs.
This is why the Religious Right made so much progress in the 1980s and 1990s. It had little organized opposition (like TFN) at first, and the nonfundie churches like the United Methodist Church rolled over and played dead with a totally pacifist stance. Thus, just like the famous Aryan psychopath (for a while at least) the Religious Right had the whole stage to itself, plenty of money, plenty of weapons, and a pacifist enemy unwilling to lift a finger in defense or a word of effective dissent. Guess whose yard got mowed?
In my opinion, the Religious Right has no interest whatsoever in what you call civil discourse. They would call that a “risk of compromise’ with an evil enemy that must be destroyed. At some point, the general public and the rest of the Christian community in the United States awakened to the reality that they had a fight on their hands—a fight that they did not pick—just like Poland. The Religious Right now has a real fight on its hands—one that it is now beginning to lose. Civil discourse would be a preferred alternative, if the Religious Right would ever have any real interest in it. Restore a brother and brotherhood peacefully if you can. The scriptures do say this, and it is the much preferred alternative.
But if you cannot do this and the brother remains hostile and intransigent in their self-righteous evil (and is hurting others), Jesus himself provided the church with an excellent personal example of how to deal verbally with outfits like the Religious Right in Matthew 23. I would encourage you to go to the King James Version of the Bible (more poetic justice) and carefully read the example Jesus sets. Without any physical violence, Jesus issues a blistering verbal barrage of REBUKE that still echoes after 2000 years. The era of rebuking the Religious Right up one side and down the other HAS ARRIVED. Rebuke them on air. Rebuke them on land. Rebuke them at sea. Rebuke them up high. Rebuke them down low. Rebuke them on the radio. Rebuke them on the Internet. Rebuke them on cable news. Rebuke them on network news. Rebuke them in public forums. Rebuke them on the streets. Rebuke them to friends. Rebuke them to familly. Rebuke them at every turn. Rebuke them so much they cannot draw a single breath without someone bearing down hard on their case. Suffocate them with rebuke until they see the error of their ways.
P.S. to Cytocop: This is not intended as an anti-Jewish slam. You know me better than that. This is church business.
Rebuke away. All I’m saying is no need to be an a..hole when you do it. Is that more clear?
For example: http://owlnest.blogspot.com/2009/09/tea-baggers-retrospect.html
This blog speaks to what you are saying . . . it is civil and yet adaquately addresses the issue.
Maybe the social studies teachers might teach about America and its founding, and the 19th century Democrats who set the example for conservatives and libertarians, all of which can be found in THE CHANGING FACE OF DEMOCRATS now at Amazon.com and with notes on http://www.claysamerica.com.
Charles is right, except I’d add one thing. The religious right has very little interest in HONEST discourse, either. When they do attempt to be civil, it’s so they can try to tell some smooth lies. We often see it here on this very blog, when the creationists come trolling.
In fact, it’s usually the religious right that starts whining about people lacking civility, when their lies are met with derision and ridicule. “Why do you have to be so mean?” they ask. Well, because you’re a lying scumbag. I feel no need to be civil to lying, hurtful, hateful, bigoted, close-minded scumbags. Besides, being mean to them is good therapy. (For me, not them.)
Hello Clay Barham. I went to your website and read some of the text there. As others here will tell you, I have a policy of not arguing with political conservatives or creation science/ID people. It is no fun arguing with a fence post. However, I will say just a little to you on this subject of American individualism vs. community.
The Scots-Irish emigrants who poured through the Cumberland Gap in the late 1700s and early 1800s were rugged individualists, and they set a certain “cultural tone” that was carried (more or less) from the Appalachian Range to the Pacific Coast. However, I would argue that these people were not rugged individualists as a matter of personal philosophy, as it might be with you and the other conservative armchair pioneers of today. They were rugged individualists because they had to be as a matter of necessity. It was the only way anyone could be in a lonely and untamed wilderness with people shooting arrows at them. When your nearest neighbor lived 50 miles away, you had to cut down those 25 trees out back to have enough firewood for winter. This was because there was no one else to do it but you. You might not have liked it. You may have been sick with tuberculosis—but you still had to do it all by your lonesome or it would not get done—and your sorry butt would freeze to death in January.
Now, I think it is fine for you and me to sit in our central heat and air dens and admire someone who could do that a couple of hundred years ago. I admire people like Pasquinel and McKeag as much as the next person. However, they were people who had to adapt to the unique environmental and circumstances of their own times. As James Michener put it in “Centennial,” it was the land that made the people who they were. Today the circumstances have changed and so has the land. It is vastly different now from the way it was in 1801, and our unique circumstances make us who we are today. We are different from the early pioneers because our circumstances are clearly and necessarily different.
I have a friend who grew up on the high plains. We are both people who support the Obama health care plan with the public option. He mentioned that there was a cultural sense of “community” among the rural people who live on the plains. These are simple people who would not know Karl Marx from Groucho Marx. If a neighbor’s barn burns down, the members of the local community come togther to help them rebuild it out of a sense of community. This is not socialism or communism. It is just plain old Biblical goodness of the heart that develops in those lonely, wind-swept churches out there. Using this framework from his youth, my friend views the Obama health care plan as this same sense of basic American community being implemented on a larger scale. I do too.
You see. We now live in a country with 307 million people. With the exception of a few spaces here and there, we are crowded densely together, especially east of the Mississippi River and on the west coast. Whereas our nearest neighbor was 50 miles away in 1801, our nearest neighbor may be only 2 feet away now. Therefore, everything we might do has the power to impact our nearest neighbor more or less immediately. When people are packed together like this, there has to be a sense of community—a recognition that my behavior can adversely affect you and your behavior can adversely affect me. We need to care about that. If nothing else, it is a matter of simple etiquette. For the Christians out there who take Jesus seriously, it is “…do unto others as you would have them do unto you…” Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Eugene Debs have nothing to do with this. Most sane people know instnctively that the rights of my clenched fist necessarily end somewhere right before its potential impact point on your mouth. The rugged individualism of the Scots-Irish pioneers (while admirable in its time) will not work in a lot of cultural and social contexts in the United States today. It is out of time and place like the proverbial sore thumb. For those who insist that they have a rugged American individualism that should allow them to freely do this thing or that thing without any regard for how it affects their neighbor is—to be quite frank—selfish.
For example, I have a pentacostal cousin who most likely thinks that his basic freedom as an American has been wrongly curtailed by the state because we have a law saying that he has to buckle his seatbelt when he gets in his car. It’s his seatbelt. His rugged, conservative, pioneer individualism tells him that he should be able to do whatever he wants with that seatbelt because he owns it. Trouble is, to the best of my knowledge, he has no health insurance and probably pretty minimal auto insurance. He also has some rather severe problems with mental illness and a lot of physical twitches like in Parkinson’s disease. If he slams that old car of his into something while exercising his so-called “God-given American freedom” to not buckle his seatbelt, who do you think is going to end up paying for that $100,000 hospital bill? It’s not going to be him because he is poor as a church mouse. It’s going to be someone else. You see. The seatbelt law is not about just him and his freedom. It’s also about how he might impact the wallet of his neighbor. Buckle up. You protect yourself. You protect your neighbor.
I am going to end by going back to that burned barn on the high plains. “Community” is where the farmer gets some help from relatives, friends, neighbors, and maybe even some government agency loan or grant for disaster relief. It is an expression of care for our neighbor—even if the government is doing it. Most people who care about each other would approve of that. Rugged American pioneer individualism, translated into today’s circumstances, is some idiot like Ann Coulter standing on the sidelines yelling: “No damn it!! If you were real Americans, you would leave him alone and make him rebuild it all by himself!!!! He needs to take personal responsibility.”
As I have told others here in the past and as I am going to tell you now, I think the modern rugged American individualist’s real definition of “American freedom” is the “…unabridged right to do whatver I want, whenever I want, and wherever I want—no matter who it hurts.” You cannot do that in most places today. It’s selfish and it gets the person standing next to you riled up.
Therefore, as a matter of finding true happiness in life, I think the first American spaceship sent to colonize Mars should consist only of people like you Clay. Just think of it. You would be sitting there in that thin carbon dioxide atmosphere, temperature 80 degrees below zero, red sand and rocks all around, a blistering wind storm whipping up to the south. Other than your own party, your nearest neighbors would be 100 million miles away and you could be free to do whatever you like. However, as my dad was fond of saying, “..if you conservative boys think you’re gonna get away with doing that here, you got another think coming.”
Your interest in the Geneva Bible should be troubling to any Christian and any American who values their rights as an American. John Calvin, right-wing nutcase Presbyterianism, Reformed Theology, and Francis Schaeffer are the soils that gave rise to Christian Reconstructionism, Dominion Theology, Theonomy, and all of the horrible things that have arisen from them—things that are a true threat to the Christian faith and real American liberty. Show me a person who claims that they are an arch conservative with a strong Calvinist background, and I will show you a 1960s John Bircher who felt compelled to become a Rushdoony nutcase. There is a strange part to this too, there are a lot of people out there who are indeed Rushdoony nutcases but are not aware that they are Rushdoony nutcases.
P.S. I’m an anthropologist, and I would bet my last dime that you’re not a very popular person among professional sociologists in the United States. I know. You are lonely and your genius is misunderstood by those who should understand it most.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love . . . I guess the fundamentalists don’t sing that any more at Sunday School.