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“Wouldn’t the fundamentalist Christians you know really want to vote for Jesus Christ for president? Who wouldn’t want to vote for an American president who was a peaceful radical nonviolent revolutionary guy who hung out with lepers, hookers and criminals, who never spoke English — was not an American citizen. A guy who was anti-wealth, anti-possessions, anti-self defense, anti-greed, anti-death penalty completely, anti-public prayer (Matthew 6:5 — he was) but never once anti-gay, never mentioned abortion, never really mentioned premarital sex, never justified torture, never called the poor lazy, never asked a leper for a copay, never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes, and was a long-haired, brown-skinned — it’s in Revelation, I didn’t write it — brown-skinned, homeless, community organizing, pro-womens’ rights, Middle Eastern outrageously liberal reformer Jew.” — John Fugelsang

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From the June 12, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”

John Fugelsang comments on the latest developments in the Steubenville rape case.

“Unfortunately, this may be the information age, but it’s also the pro-male, blame the victim, slut-shaming age as well. Twenty-six-year-old corporate cyber security expert Deric Lostutter, also known as KYAnonymous, whose work played a key role in exposing this crime, could face up to 10 years in prison if he’s convicted of hacking. That sentence is five times longer than the ones given to the actual rapists themselves. … What a great message! ‘Hey — rape a woman and we’ll throw the book at you. Help catch and convict the rapist and we’ll throw a whole library at your face,’” says Fugelsang

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From the June 4, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”

John Fugelsang:

I’m John Fuglesang and I’d like to appeal to all you kind Americans out there, and ask you to open your hearts and lend a hand to one of the most persecuted, oppressed and voiceless groups in all of America. Of course I’m talking about the tea party.

Recently, we learned that during its time when it was headed by Douglas Shulman, certain mid-level bureaucrats at the IRS office in Cincinnati targeted tea party groups unfairly. Now, I know this is shocking — the idea that something interesting could ever happen in Cincinnati. But tea partyers had to face the worst thing any decent American ever faced, my friends: increased, inconvenient amounts of paperwork to prove that groups holding signs saying “Impeach Obama” shouldn’t pay taxes because they’re obviously not political.

Now, this kerfuffle caused the tea party to experience the worst human-rights abuses since the Stark family went to that wedding on “Game of Thrones.”

Becky Gerritson, my friends, president of the Wetumpka, Alaska, tea party, said, “This is not an accident. This is a willful act of intimidation intended to discourage a point of view.”

Yes, the tea party was intimidated into complete silence to such an extent that the only place she was allowed to say this was before a committee of congressmen in front of millions of viewers on CSPAN, CNN and Fox News.

Now let me ask: How would you like it if the IRS wanted to know if you’d been cheating on your taxes, when all you did was carry around a big sign that said, “Taxes are a crime against humanity”?

It’s not right, and the tea party needs your help. They need 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status so they can hide the identities of their completely non-political donors; they need ink so they can keep on non-politically drawing Hitler mustaches on posters of Obama; and they need funds to buy vintage military outfits that best express the America they believe in — and they need a lot of money for that, because authentic Confederate soldier uniforms can get a little pricey.

But don’t take my word for it. Please listen to Lester Derndack, a tea party member who suffered the oppression of the Obama administration first-hand. Lester?

Frank Conniff as Lester Derndack: I applied for tax-exempt status from the IRS and was subjected to all sorts of abuse. I was given extra paperwork that I was forced to sign and spend the whole better part of an afternoon working on. And look at our Muslim president — he’s allowed to serve in office with only two birth certificates. Have you seen them things? I had a nightmare of copies and triplicates that took up an entire hour. I’m telling you, I do not recognize America anymore. Benghazi!

That is very brave, Lester. You’re proof that real teabaggers don’t choke. And there are millions more — exactly, completely like him.

So won’t you please help? These tea party members have been silenced and they now have no voice in society, as they’ve said thousands of times on the thousands of radio and cable TV shows they’ve appeared on relentlessly. These loyal patriots who only want to bring down our government and turn the country over to Wall Street oligarchs have been trying to scrimp and scrape by with only a few million-dollar contributions from billionaire, anonymous supporters like the Koch brothers.

Without your help, they might suffer the fate of Emerge America, a liberal group targeted by the IRS for being political, that was actually, really forced to disclose its donors and lose tax-exempt status, which still hasn’t happened to a single one of these tea party groups that shouldn’t pay taxes because they’re so not political.

Are you going to let the IRS get away, my friends, with breaking zero laws and ensuring people pay their taxes?

All of your contributions are tax-deductible. And remember: If you care about the tea party, do everything you can to impeach the president who appointed Douglas Shulman to run the IRS.

Posted June 5, 2013 by tmusicfan in Uncategorized

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John Fugelsang
“Tonight we are thrilled to announce a new segment on the show: ‘Viewpoint’s Revoltingly Fake Christian of the Week.’

Congressman Stephen Fincher, a Republican from Tennessee, just took the Bible so far out of context he had to apply for a visa.

Fincher is a fierce opponent of food aid for poor Americans. You know, like Jesus. He recently fought to cut $4.1 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. If you only watch Fox, that means ‘food stamps.’ And thanks to the fine work of Fincher and his colleagues, 2 million working American families, children and seniors have already been cut off from food assistance.

So during a recent House agricultural committee debate, he decided to show how Christian it is to turn your back on unemployed suffering Americans by quoting one of the favorite Bible passages of revoltingly fake right-wing Christians — 2 Thessalonians 3:10 — “anyone unwilling to work should not eat.”

But here’s the thing. Ya see,Thessalonians isn’t God or Jesus talking. It’s believed to have been written by Saint Paul. And in Paul’s day, many apocalyptic Christians believed Jesus was coming back really soon and the world was going to end anyway, so why work? These early rapture-heads were hurting the local economy and threatening the functioning society of Thessalonica — and I do hope I pronounced that right. And Paul makes a good point — the “Left Behind” books may be junk theology, but Kirk Cameron still shows up at his job.

So in that context, the quote makes sense. In Congressman Fincher’s context, it’s pretty much the opposite of everything Jesus Christ ever stood for.

Now, Congressman Fincher went on to say, quoting from the book of selfish toolery, “The role of citizens, of Christians, of humanity is to take care of each other, but not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country.” Really, Congressman? Washington steals and gives to others?

Because here’s the other thing — while Fincher was passing bills to take food out of the mouths of the poor, he was supporting a proposal to expand crop insurance by $9 billion, and I’m sure the fact that he is the second most heavily subsidized farmer in Congress and one of the largest subsidy recipients in the history of Tennessee had nothing to do with this.

Between 1999 and 2012, Fincher, opponent of poor, lazy people, put out his tin cup and collected $3.5 million in government money. This guy isn’t just a welfare queen, he’s a welfare kingdom with a moat, a castle and a catapult that shoots government money over the wall into his boiling cauldron of hypocrisy.

The average Tennessee farmer gets a subsidy of $1,500. In 2012 alone, Fincher was cut a government subsidy check for $75,000, which is nearly double the median household income in all of Tennessee.

So he votes to cut food stamps and expand crop insurance subsidies by $9 billion. This guy is swimming in so much dirty pork, he could single-handedly unite the Muslims and the Jews.

The biggest right-wing fake Christian argument is “Yeah, Jesus said help the poor, but he didn’t say the government should steal from me to do it! Benghazi!”

But here’s the thing, Jesus lived under European imperial occupation. He didn’t have democracy. We do. So if you want to follow the teachings of Christ — who constantly talked about caring for the poor — then in a democracy, Christians get a chance to vote for the candidate who will most follow the teachings of Christ and care for the least among us, as he commanded in Matthew 25 — that filthy hippie. ­­

But Fincher and the GOP don’t do that. They cut services for the poor and taxes for the rich. And it’s a free country. They’re allowed. But if you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying you want a country based on Christian values. Because you don’t. And that’s why representative Fincher is our ‘revoltingly fake Christian of the week’!

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From the May 20, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”

John Fugelsang:

In the waning wake of Benghazi-gate, the GOP wants us to be inflamed over IRS-gate. And it’s become pretty clear the only real legislative scandal is the scandalous need for legislators to invent scandals so they don’t have to legislate, which I’m calling Gate-gate.

The people who once told us Obama was a Muslim with a bad Christian pastor, are now telling us Obama has masterminded all these scandals while being completely out of the loop. And now references to Watergate and Nixon are flying through the air like that guy Miguel’s crotch into America’s collective face.

Sen. Orrin Hatch says, “I’ve never seen anything quite like this, except in the past during the Nixon years.”

Congressman Steve King summed up the controversy by saying, “Add Watergate and Iran-Contra together and multiply by 10.” Which is confusing math because Iran-Contra already is Watergate times 10.

But the IRS scandal and Watergate are similar, in that Watergate led all the way to the top reaches of government, and the IRS scandal leads all the way up to people who’ve never met anyone in the top reaches of government.

So of course, both Watergate and IRS-gate are the same, if you believe that criminal behavior which results in a constitutional crisis is exactly the same as a bureaucratic IRS cock-up that results in extra paperwork for a few people.

But it may surprise you to learn there are a few subtle differences between Barack Obama and Richard Nixon.

When Nixon learned that the IRS had audited conservatives, he responded by ordering Haldeman to make the IRS audit liberals on his enemies list. He used the IRS to intimidate and investigate his enemies, because he was a drug-addled, delusional sociopath.

Obama’s IRS didn’t audit conservatives. They were questioning whether tea party groups with anonymous donors were really social welfare orgs. Obama’s Treasury Department investigators stopped the scrutinizing, which began under former IRS head Douglas Shulman, a Bush appointee. And Obama fired the acting head of the IRS even though it wasn’t his fault. Which would be like if “Two and a Half Men” fired Ashton Kutcher because that one time Charlie Sheen was all coked up and terrorized a call girl at the Plaza.

Nixon was forced to say, “I am not a crook.” Obama was forced to say, “I am not a Kenyan.”

Nixon used bribery, blackmail, spying, forgery, burglary and bugging by his plumbers squad to spy on the press for purely political purposes. And Barack Obama can’t even get background checks at gun shows when 90 percent of Americans support it.

Nixon had to deal with the journalism of Bob Woodward. Obama has to deal with the fact that Bob Woodward is no longer a journalist.

Nixon was also engaged in an unpopular, bloody and pointless war and Obama … oh, wait.

Now these men did have some real things in common. Both were pro-environment — Nixon started the EPA. And both were pro-health care — Nixon actually fought for universal health care. Both were corporate centrists, both liked the drug war a bit too much, both weren’t really shy about raising taxes.

But you see Nixon was a conservative who’s way more liberal than his party can admit, and Obama’s a liberal who’s way more conservative than his party can admit.

But the biggest difference? Nixon thought his opponents were out to get him, and Obama’s opponents really are out to get him.

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From the May 9, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”

John Fugelsang:

Friends, we gather today to mourn the passing of irony, which finally died this week. You know it was irony who first showed us that white supremacists continue to be the best argument against the concept of white supremacy.

It was irony that revealed that people must get really stoned to realize that when Dylan sang, “Everybody must get stoned,” he wasn’t really talking about getting stoned.

But alas, this week, the pressure of being the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect, became too much for irony, when Fox News interviewed convicted government cover-up master, former Lt. Col. Oliver North, about an alleged cover-up in Benghazi.

The levels of irony, mixed with a toxic cocktail of hypocrisy and ignorance — and a hubris chaser — proved too much and led to irony hanging itself in grief.

We’ll all remember how tough irony was and how misunderstood. People always confused it with sarcasm. Back in the 90s, Alanis Morissette had a top 10 single where she confused irony with coincidence for over three minutes. That in itself was so ironic it sent irony into a deep depression which took months to get over.

But irony, my friends, was finally done in, this week, by this:

Oliver North: “The abysmal lack of human intelligence. … The evidence of massive bureaucratic ineptness, incompetence, mis-feasance. … The falsified talking points provided to people who were going to speak publicly about it.”

Following that interview, law enforcement revealed that throughout America kettles have reported mass incidents of being called black by pots and tragically, upon hearing the word “mis-feasance” from Col. North, 2,000 dictionaries also committed mass suicide.

Even worse is the fact that the irony of this interview was lost on the Fox viewing audience, who know Oliver North not as the former National Security Council staff member who shredded thousands of documents that would have exposed his participation in a wide range of crimes related to the illegal sale of American weapons to Iran; arming both sides of the Iran-Iraq War — both sides of the same war; violating the Boland Act by illegally funding the Contras of Central America; instructing his secretary, Fawn Hall, to destroy evidence so as to obstruct any government investigation; and lying about all of this to Congress — but rather, they know him as that guy who makes Sean Hannity so excited and giggly you can see Sean’s nipples protruding through his polyester suit.

You see, irony couldn’t handle the irony of it all, and was so overcome with irony it took its own life to avoid more irony.

Now during the Iran-Contra hearings, Col. North said the entire Reagan administration knew about the plan, which he described as “neat.” He was subsequently convicted of obstruction of justice, shredding documents and illegally receiving a security fence for his own home.

North also called the anti-Sandinista Contras “freedom fighters,” the same phrase the Reagan administration used for the Taliban back in the 80s — which ironically led to irony’s first suicide attempt.

But poor irony couldn’t handle the fact that Reagan and Bush ran in 1980 pledging to never negotiate with terrorists, then had Col. North illegally sell weapons to the same Iranians who helped kill our Marines in Beirut; lied about the amount of weapons; lied about the amount of shipments; used the money to illegally fund the civilian-killing Contras in Central America after stuffy old Congress passed that Boland Act law saying they couldn’t.

Reagan testified that he couldn’t recall authorizing the sale of weapons to an enemy nation. Oliver North lied about it to Congress, got off on a technicality and on Christmas Day, 1992, lame duck President George H. W. Bush pardoned everyone convicted of Iran-Contra crimes and they all walked away clean.

And Bill Clinton got impeached for whipping it out in front of the help.

Of course, any Republican will tell you, “No, no, Bill Clinton wasn’t impeached for sex, it was for lying under oath.” The irony being if Republicans cared about lying under oath, Oliver North wouldn’t be working for Fox, he’d be biting the pillow in a federal pen as we speak.

Irony is survived by its cousin, wit, and its very distant relatives, sarcasm and snark.

Fox News plans to follow up the Oliver North cover-up interview with segments featuring tax tips from Wesley Snipes, Ryan O’Neal parenting suggestions and relationship advice from Jodi Arias.

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From the May 7, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”

John Fugelsang:

Here’s a message from the South Carolina Board of Tourism: From the foothills of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains to the cobblestone streets of historic Charleston, the Palmetto State is waiting for you.

So maybe it’s time you explored South Carolina’s greatest tourism attraction: our bottomless supply of duplicitous, double-talking, political tea-bags.

From our beloved and racist senator, Strom Thurmond, who fought against segregation while secretly fathering a child he had with the family’s black maid — I’m sure it was consensual — to our beloved homophobe and long-time bachelor Sen. Lindsey Graham. From politician Joe Wilson screaming “You lie!” at America’s first black president during a State of the Union address, to Sen. Jim DeMint opposing the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act before quitting his post to be a lobbyist, to Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer comparing starving poor Americans to stray animals that breed too much.

In South Carolina, we’ve got a proud heritage of putting our faith in soulless fascists who feed us empty lines about the Bible, patriotism and fiscal responsibility, and that pride flies as high as the flag of the anti-American, enemy nation that rests majestically atop our state’s capitol.

And nowhere are our values more evident than in the political resurrection of former governor and newly elected congressman, and deeply repentant Christian, Mark Sanford, who South Carolina voters have returned to the House of Representatives, where he previously served three terms, in a special election tonight.

Now, lots of politicians commit adultery. But only one voted to impeach Bill Clinton while he was in Congress, then became governor and abandoned his post to visit his Argentine girlfriend — using taxpayer funds to subsidize the trip — while lying about his whereabouts to his staff, his wife and the entire state. Talk about a multi-tasker.

And after he was charged with breaking 37 state ethics laws, was unanimously censured in lieu of being impeached, violated his court orders and child support agreement, publicly humiliated the mother of his children and trespassed into her home to watch the Super Bowl.

Yes, this man brought sleaze to public life and remained faithful and true to it in the private sector, too.

This same governor did all he could to keep federal stimulus funds from helping South Carolina’s unemployed folks and our crumbling public education system, and then used taxpayer funds to pay for family vacations and book-signing travel. All this while we ranked No. 2 in unemployment and No. 11 in child homelessness.

But he did the right thing. He told us that Jesus forgave him and said mean things about Nancy Pelosi and Obamacare, proving that it’s OK to be a horrible Christian as long as you’re a good Christian.

So, come on down to South Carolina. And if you’re a lying, cheating, swindling, heartless, hypocrite, political empty suit who tells us what we want to hear — we just might elect you to office, too.

And if you ever make a real mistake — like working with Democrats — well, we’ll give you a chance to mend your ways. Take Lindsey Graham, America’s sweetheart. Lindsey used to work with the Democrat party on issues like immigration and climate change, so we censured him twice as public humiliation, and now he’s like an obedient, right-wing Tennessee Williams heroine who can’t stop screaming, “Benghazi!”

And while we may be ranked the fifth worst state to make a living, ninth lowest median household income, ninth highest percentage of residents living below the poverty line, second worst graduation rate, second worst in women killed by men, and worst in the so-called union at reprimanding bad doctors — we’ll never hold our Republicans responsible, because they tell us who to blame, and hate the same people we do.

Because from being the first state to quit America so we could keep slaves, to cutting our state’s entire HIV/AIDS budget, we’ve got a breathtaking history of being manly men with a manly devotion to man’s inhumanity to man.

Our politicians believe Darwin was wrong, and we here in South Carolina are here to prove it.

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John Fugelsang

The NRA reminds you that we can’t have background checks for guns but need a national registry of mentally ill people so they can’t buy guns, except they can still buy guns because we won’t have background checks for guns.

Posted May 2, 2013 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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From the April 24, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”

John Fugelsang:

Do you know what the problem with drones is? That President Obama got to keep the Nobel Peace Prize but Milli Vanilli had to give the Grammy back.

Now this will upset some Obama supporters who won’t accept any criticism of our president, but in 2010 President Obama sent this greeting to Netroots Nation where he said, “What I’m asking you is to keep making your voices heard, to keep holding me accountable.”

You got it, Mr. President. Now at “Viewpoint” we don’t respect blind allegiance to politicians and I suspect Mr. Obama doesn’t respect it either. And some of us critique this guy because we care about him and we care about his legacy.

Now the Obama administration has continually defended its use of drones to kill people — including American citizens — as legal, wise and ethical. But this week the administration refused to send a witness to testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the legality of the drone program.

The use of drones has increased dramatically since the first strike under the Bush administration back in 2001. And since then some 4,000 people have been killed in targeted operations, including American citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son, who was 16 years old.

The FAA predicts in the next 15 years more than 20,000 drones will occupy U.S. air space, including police drones, military drones, corporate drones and the entire cast of “The Five” on Fox News.

And even if you accept the meme that drones are the new normal, they save U.S. troops lives by keeping boots off the ground — there’s still reason to object. And it’s all a part of a little formula I call “IBM.”

OK, “I” is for “Imminent.” The administration believes it can kill American citizens without a trial if that person presents an imminent threat of violent attack against the U.S. But John Brennan and the White House have what they call “a broader concept of imminence.” Meaning that if they think you might be an imminent threat someday, like in 10 years, that’s enough and they can kill you now.

OK, that’s like buying tickets today for the “imminent” production of Steven Seagal playing King Lear in 20 years. And that’s not going to happen, either.

Now “B” is for “Blowback.” According to a joint study by Stanford and NYU, only one in 50 victims of drone strikes in Pakistan are militants. The rest are innocent civilians, or as Dick Cheney would call them, “collateral damage.” And every time a drone kills a few innocents along with an America hater, we generate all new America haters, or, “Don’t radicalize me, bro.”

And finally, “M” is for “Militant,” the most abused word in the entire drone campaign. Because under current U.S. policy, all military-age males who live in a combat zone are considered to be enemy combatants. The White House, Pentagon and DOJ all use this tactic to keep the civilian death count low, so if you’re a non-militant who happens to get killed by a drone that kills militants, you’re a de facto militant. That’s like saying going into a gay bar just makes you a Lady Gaga fan.

So what do you call a president who’s killed thousands of Muslims with drones, escalated war in Afghanistan, personally thrown Palestinian statehood under the bus at the U.N., kept Gitmo open and ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden? Well, our right-wing friends call him part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

But we know the right wing’s not going do anything about this. Rand Paul has already changed positions like a yoga teacher on tainted meth. No, my friends, I’m afraid it’s up to you: the Obama supporters who are mad at me right now for criticizing him. The Obama supporters who refuse to ever criticize him. Remember what the president said at Netroots: Hold him accountable.

And if the policy doesn’t change and we keep on doing this, and he damages his own legacy by killing so many innocent civilians overseas, you, my friend, if you ever get to go to the White House, are now morally authorized to walk around, find the president’s Nobel Peace Prize and draw quotation marks on it.

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From the April 15, 2013, edition of “Viewpoint.”

John Fugelsang:

We can now report that The Boston Globe confirms that the Boston police commissioner has said there has been a third confirmed death from today’s bombing. Now, Ralph Waldo Emerson said “all violence, all that is dreary and repels, is not power, but the absence of power.” Emerson was born in Boston, a city that’s seen its share of violence since the very beginning of the American experiment.

The Boston Massacre in 1770 was a foreshadowing of the American Revolution, and the Siege of Boston was one of the significant victories of the early war for independence. The city’s crime rate has been famously documented, so much so that an area was for years known as “the combat zone.” But in the 1990s, the Boston police department worked with neighborhood and religious groups to bring about the “Boston Miracle,” where people working together reduced violence and murders in the city dropped from 152 a year at the top of the decade to just 31 in 1999.

People working together can do that because for every example of humans resorting to violence there are untold, unreported thousands of humans who reject it and find another way.

So here’s what we know:

Police do not believe the JFK Library fire was related to the bomb. We know The New York Post was wrong when they said a Muslim suspect was in custody. We know that today was not Hitler’s birthday, it was not the anniversary of Waco or Oklahoma City.

A lot of people really want to assign blame; many are politicizing the attack. As of this broadcast, we don’t know if it’s cowardly right-wing homegrown extremists, cowardly foreign terror organizations, or a deeply cowardly individual.

What we do know is that whoever did this was influenced by violence, and allowed themselves to be guided by the propensity for violence that exists in all of us.

Whoever did this was influenced by the seemingly quick, easy and powerful temptation of violence to achieve a desired result. Whoever did this was influenced to believe that violence would give them satisfaction, change — they’re wrong and you know it.

We know that terrorism is a tool, and it has a purpose. It’s deliberate violence designed to use fear to stimulate change. We know it doesn’t work.

We know the U.S. Constitution was written to ensure domestic tranquility.

We know that in the Gospels, Jesus says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” He also says, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”

We know the holy Quran says: “If anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or to spreak mischief in the land, it would be as if he killed all humankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all humankind.”

We know that the world’s great religions all preach against this kind of violence — yet the fundamentalists devotees of religion continually think their piety gives them a pass. But again we don’t know if this terrorist attack was that kind of terrorism.

We know that Ralph Waldo Emerson influenced Henry David Thoreau; Thoreau’s writings on nonviolent resistance influenced Gandhi; and Gandhi influenced a young man who attended Boston University; a man who later said, “it is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence.” That young man was Martin Luther King Jr. — who went on to become the greatest American voice for nonviolence in the 20th century.

And we know for everyone who’s influence has driven them to destruction and violence there are thousands more who reject it. Look at the people who ran into the bomb site to help the wounded. That’s the reality.

So if you’re on the side of every Christian, Muslim or Jew; every progressive or conservative who seeks to end our conflicts nonviolently, then congratulations — you’re already part of the solution.