I read the recent letters from women defending the FEC and its militia branch the UDAF (United American Defense Force). FEC United and UDAF were founded by opportunists and virulent election deniers, Joe Oltmann and John Tiegen. I don’t doubt his heroism in Benghazi (2012), but here and now he is an advocate of repression who hints at violence in his carefully chosen words. He makes money from fear mongering and rousing his band of pseudo-patriots. True patriots respect the Constitution and rule of law.
Non-service members normalizing excessive military gear in public is a tactic of the bully. This trend is happening across our country; often playing out in school board meetings, election offices and other places that have a true vested interest in our democracy. These are true patriots. Thank you to our federal DOJ in backing free speech and assisting ordinary citizens in pushing aside egregious behavior designed to limit opposition. All Americans, especially in our community have earned the right to be worried.
Another statement from the FEC supporter claimed they want a “common culture” in the schools. I’m alarmed by this statement. Is what defines the “common culture” based solely on the religious teaching of far-right extremists? We’ve seen hateful rhetoric couched in the Bible by selecting passages that supposedly speak to their views. Americans, especially in our community, have seen the violence fomented by FEC and UDAF. Last year’s gathering at The Rock Church sponsored by FEC/UDAF called for the hanging of public officials and the audience applauded. Free speech is always appropriate but hate and inciteful speech is harassment and threat speech.
I will do my part to motivate reasonable, average citizens to show up at the school board and other meetings where the FEC/UADF is counting on intimidation. Calling out people who do not believe as you do as evil or defective … is the cornerstone of fascism. Not Christianity.
I leave you with two thoughts: America is a plural democracy, there is no single culture embraced by all and as Rev. Graham said, “Courage is more contagious than fear.” See you at public meetings. Just Say No to Extremism.
Katie Barrett, Castle Rock