American Taliban just as prominent

Tim Paluch

“I really believe that the pagans, and the

abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who

are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU,

People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to

secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say `you

helped this happen.'” – Jerry Falwell on the Christian television

program “The 700 Club”

Nuff said. I could just reprint that quote over and over instead of

wasting my time to write this week’s column. I’d be willing to bet

you’ll pretty much come to your own conclusion that this guy’s a

bona fide wackjob. But that’s not going to happen.

I don’t care how many apologies Mr. (notice how I left out the Rev.)

Falwell issues to the media, how many times he passes off what

he said as an “indefensible mistake,” it doesn’t take away from the

fact that he basically blamed the deadly terrorist attacks on Elton

John, “Will and Grace” and Planned Parenthood.

“God will not be mocked,” Mr. Falwell so eloquently explained to

the show’s host Pat Robertson, hardly the moderate Christian

himself. In fact, Robertson, who a few days later said Falwell’s

statements don’t represent those of his show, replied to Falwell

on air with “I totally concur.” Could the good reverend Robertson,

criticized harshly, be covering his ass?

When you think about these ridiculous statements, I find it funny

the only people who agree that last week’s terrorist attacks were

the result of God punishing the United States are Jerry Falwell, Pat

Robertson and . Osama bin Laden.

And there’s good reason for that. Extreme fundamentalists, or

“fanatics” if you will, are spewing their hate in churches and

mosques around the world in their attempt to hijack the beliefs of

those religions.

Christianity itself has its own Taliban-like factions, and people like

Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are America’s Osama bin


All are recognized wealthy leaders whose business enterprises

fund their political ventures. Osama is worth an estimated $200

million, with forest interests in Turkey, ostrich farms in Kenya and

diamond trading in Africa. With this constant supply of income, bin

Laden funds groups that believe in the same things as him –

pushing radical Islam, the only correct religion, on national

governments and destroying all who oppose.

Then there’s bin Robertson, another multi-multi-millionaire who

owns The Ice Capades, diamond mines in Africa, his own

television network and Kalo Vita, a company that sells vitamins

and creams from “The Holy Land.” With this constant supply of

income, bin Robertson funds groups that believe in the same

things as him – pushing radical Christianity, the only correct

religion, on America’s national government, calling all who oppose

“pagans” and “atheists.”

The Taliban has banned women from working, receiving equal

medical care and getting educated beyond the age of 12.

Robertson, Falwell and the extreme Christian right think a

woman’s place is in the home and think the NEA is evil and

should be eliminated.

The Taliban rules with an iron fist in Afghanistan. They are working

on behalf of tyrannical state-sanctioned religion that pushes strict

interpretation of Islamic law. Religion and government go hand in


I’d bet that sounds pretty good to the Christian Coalition and

friends. In fact, that’s exactly what they’re pushing for.

“The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous

document for self-government by the Christian people,” bin

Robertson once said on his show. Both bin Robertson and bin

Falwell want the Ten Commandments posted in public schools

and work to get Christianity involved in every nook and cranny of

government. To them, the Taliban’s got it made.

Islamic fanatics vow Jihad (holy war) against all who attempt to get

in the way of their God-given motives.

In New York Magazine, August 18, 1986, bin Robertson referred to

non-Christians as “termites” and said “the time has arrived for a

godly fumigation.” And some far-right Christian extremists go as

far as condoning the murder of abortion doctors. Sounds like a

holy war to me, although since it’s America we might want to call

something else. Perhaps “McJihad.”

The extreme Christian right, which is of substantial number, toss

around words like “traditional” and “family values” and “moral”

when they really mean setting back social progress to the Middle


Most of us recognize that the Taliban is grossly misinterpreting

Islam, but we need to realize there are just as many extremists

living in our country masquerading as reverends and holy men.

They may not be as willing to resort to violence, but their motives

are nearly identical.

So, if we are going to start prejudging every person we see of

Arabic descent because there are extremist Muslims out there,

let’s be fair and do the same every time we see an old, rich white

guy in a thousand dollar suit.

Because there’s a bunch. And they’re just as dangerous.

Tim Paluch is a junior in journalism and mass

communication from Orland Park, Ill. He is opinion editor of the