Roseburg Editorial

By Pastor Jim Jenkins

From Goebbels, a Biography by Peter Longerich, page 79:

"What drives an ideological movement, Goebbels asserted in a speech to a party rally in 1927, was in essence not a matter of knowledge, but of faith. Christ did not offer proofs in his sermon in His Sermon on the Mount, wrote Goebbels in an article around this time, He simply made assertions. Self-evident truths don't have to be proven."

It could not have been clearer. Joseph Goebbels, who was Adolf Hitler's National Socialist German Worker's Party (Nazi) Reich Minister of Propaganda, had no intention of conducting party propaganda in terms of argument. The only thing that mattered was the impact on the masses.

Like all of you, I was sickened by the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College. I was also troubled by some of the media coverage. This is from an editorial that appeared in The Oregonian (Portland, OR) newspaper:

"John Hanlin, the Douglas County Sheriff, has never shied away from sharing his opinion. Hanlin is big on the Second Amendment and down on legal marijuana. Conservative Roseburg, 'a red dot in a blue ocean,' as the local newspaper called it last year, liked that about him."

"Hanlin's stances became world news Thursday after a 26 year old man killed nine and injured nine others at Umpqua Community College. The shooter committed suicide after exchanging gunfire with police."

"In some circles Hanlin was the hero who refused to speak the shooter's name. In others, he was the sheriff who balked at gun control and shared it on Facebook suggesting that Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. As President Obama and pundits debated gun control laws, Hanlin refused to chime in."

This front page article by Casey Parks in The Oregonian (Oct. 5, 2015) went on to describe how Hanlin, "Had the same goofy flat-top haircut that he has now."

Please note that the emphasis here is not about the UCC shooter, who was incredibly measured and cool as he forced people to stand up and declare if they were a Christian, then shot them in the head if they answered in the affirmative. This was a hit piece about a law enforcement official who dared to oppose the narrative being constructed by the liberal ideologue press bent on making this tragedy all about gun control.

Note also the clever sequence. The sheriff is described as:

  • Pro Second Amendment (a gun nut)
  • Against Legalized Marijuana (a sop to a state media obsessed with this issue)
  • From Roseburg, a red dot in a blue ocean (Roseburg is an insignificant place populated by reactionaries "clutching their guns and Bibles.")
  • Goofy looking

The President of the United States, true to form, did not let a good tragedy go to waste. Facts be damned, he rushed to the bully pulpit and lectured us on how it is time to address the issue of gun control.

When asked at a press conference the next day, Obama replied to the reporter who asked him if he, as President, could do anything about all the disaffected, angry young men. (He had just lectured that there are, "millions of such young men in the world . . . I used to be one of them.") He answered the reporter by saying: No, as President he could do nothing. However, he promised to talk about it.

One has to remember Mr. Obama is the leader of the same Democratic party that turned Senator Paul Wellstone's memorial service into a pep rally full of invective laced, ad hominem attacks against Republicans. To use this latest tragedy to advance a political agenda is despicable, but hardly unique.

I conducted some Critical Incident Stress Debriefings for teachers, staff and others after the Thurston High School shooting. The anguish and pain in the room was palpable. To introduce anything but compassion and respect for the privacy of those people would have been obscene.

I also served as a chaplain at Ground Zero after 9/11. I remember hearing a report that I refused to believe, until I actually saw coverage in the newspaper. A reporter, accompanied by a camera man, went up and knocked on a front door. A young woman answered. The lights and camera went on and the reporter shoved a microphone in the woman's face as he showed her a photograph and said, "This is one of the jumpers, we think it's your husband."

It is the responsibility of the readership to hold publishers and reporters accountable. Shame on The Oregonian, shame on the President and shame on us if we sit idly by as propagandists politicize the slaughter of innocent people.

Finally, God bless those who literally made a stand for their faith in Jesus. Their stand was not printed in ink, it was poured out in blood.

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