Be still, and know that I am God. - Psalm 46:10

Save Us from the Zealots

Rev. Robert Fleischmann, CLR National Director
Clearly Caring Magazine, 3rd Quarter 2009, Vol. 29, No. 3

EDITORIAL SIDE BAR: While the nation prepares to welcome a new justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, the candor of a sitting justice is revealing. In a July 15, 2009 interview with the New York Times, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg made this comment about the 1973 legalization of abortion: “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” Ginsberg sees the legalization of abortion as a form of eugenics, where society rids itself of segments of the population deemed undesirable. At one time, in his more pro-life days, Jesse Jackson called abortion “black genocide.” Why he changed his position continues to astound me. Abortion is one of the new politically correct fanaticisms of our society. It is eugenics, legalized and shrouded under the allure of individual freedom and choice. Eugenics is alive and well – it is just wearing different clothing!

“A fanatic is a man that does what he thinks th’ Lord wud do if He knew th’ facts iv th’ case.” (Mr. Dooley, a fictitious Irish character created by Chicago Post author and humorist, Finley Peter Dunn [1857-1936])

On Sunday, May 31, 2009 an anti-abortion activist, Scott Roeder, allegedly acted upon his fanatical anti-abortion convictions and killed later-term abortionist George Tiller at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, KS. Causes are often characterized by their most extreme elements. We see that again as the media hungrily pursued the story of this shooting, leaving the impression that all anti-abortion people are like this guy. This is a ridiculous and unsubstantiated leap in illogic. The shooting of an abortionist is no reflection of those who consider themselves pro-life or conservative.

Ugly Fanaticism is Dead

The problem with homicidal fanaticism is that it is so brutal, so harsh, so raw and so unsophisticated. now more than ever, such terrible acts are without excuse. This is an era in which anyone can express an opinion – worthy or not – and express it on any number of Internet blogs. A person can be elected to municipal, state and federal offices with little or no previous experience, regardless of their liberal or conservative background or scandalous past (or present).

Today a Hollywood celebrity can get a forum on virtually any political topic – and people listen! You can be a shock jock on Internet radio. You can commit peaceful acts of civil disobedience and get positive reviews for your passion.

Fanaticism to the point of assassination is so non-21st century. And, labeling a fanatic’s murderous act as indicative of a class of people who share his social convictions is pitifully opportunistic. Sweeping generalizations for the sake of sensationalism is a tired effort to attract viewers and increase readership.

Fanaticism in New Clothing

The accepted genre of fanaticism in the 21st century is cleaned up. It has a shine and polish to it with an arsenal of euphemisms, statistics, polling data and scientific jargon. The new face of fanaticism is not that of a crazed killer, methodic and scheming as he goes for that one memorable event. Rather, fashionable fanaticism is a wolf in sheep’s clothing – deceptive, disarming, intellectualized and ever so dangerous. Its advocates know how to work a crowd to build support for their cause – even when their cause is morally bankrupt.

Today’s fanatic is reckless with the truth, merciless with those holding contrary opinions and articulate in appealing to the intellect and emotions. The fanatic thrives on the ignorance of others and is convinced and convincing that there are no lasting moral absolutes. As time changes, they argue, so do the moral boundaries. Like the emperor who thinks he is modeling his royal garments that don’t exist, so also do the fanatics espouse convictions that have no substance.

The “baby in the womb” has been dehumanized with terms such as fetus, embryo and blastocyst. The child in the womb is called a parasite to be kept or discarded at the whim of the host.

The harsh rhetoric of the early eugenics movement has been polished as palatable to our more politically-sensitive ears. Instead of talking about “purifying the race” and eliminating the “human weeds,” our modern fanatics talk about prenatal testing, “every child a wanted child,” and “choice.”

Respect for all human life has been blurred with confusing rhetoric about over-population and financial burdens to care for the aging and disabled. By inciting panic the modern fanatic justifies killing the most dependent and helpless of society with the soothing rhetoric that it is for the good of society.

The fanatic emotionally argues that dead children are better than disabled children, and the dead elderly are better than living burdens.

These modern zealots now take fanaticism to a new level. It makes shooting others look primitive and unsophisticated. Today’s fanatic wants to apply a different standard which measures value by the wantedness and usefulness of a human life.

The proverb states, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). As society steps further away from God with any sense of lasting moral absolutes, the fanaticism continues.

According to God’s Word, it was wrong for the doctor to kill unborn children. It was wrong for the zealot to kill the doctor, and it is wrong for today’s more sophisticated zealots to kill the disabled born and unborn. All of these activities represent fanatical convictions ignorant of God’s Word and completely devoid of God. Left to himself man’s path leads to death, and today’s fanatics are rushing down that path with eagerness to take others with them!



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