Monday, February 22, 2010

How Does it Stack Up, Terrorist or Hero?

Everyone has heard about Joseph Stack and how he purposely flew his plane into an Austin IRS building, killing himself and one government employee. As usual, the commentators went crazy the past few days since his daughter called him a hero - just as crazy as they did over the Tiger Woods apology.

For the record, let me say that I hate celebrity worship and publications like People Magazine. I used to like the tabloids because the they had outrageous headlines like: Elvis Returns from the Afterlife to Date Jenna Bush, and Aliens Abduct Obama, Biden Now President - Aliens Return Obama Upon Finding Out! As a kid I did have a few sports heroes, and wanted to be like some of my favorite music legends. But that is what kids do, not adults! I took down my Jimmy Page and Bobby Orr posters when I got married - I think my wife took the Mark Spitz one.

I don't really care where Tiger Woods keeps his putter. If I was his friend, I would suggest keeping it locked up - well at least when his wife is mad. If she can take out the window of an SUV on the move, then she could kill him with it too.

Stack, now that's another story. So what makes him a hero in some folks eyes, and a terrorist in others? Perspective. In my eyes, he is neither. Let me start by saying that no one that flies a plane into a building, taking lives in the process, is a hero. He did, however; bring to light some things that he felt were unfair in this society. If our US legislators were listening, it might have turned out differently - who knows.

He died for something that he believed in. As ridiculous as it may sound, Christians should take note.

He is not a terrorist because he was taking his anger out on a group of folks that he had intimate knowledge of, according to news reports. They were not random infidels that he was unfamiliar with. I am sure that the IRS made some portion of his life miserable and he was simply trying to get some sort of sick revenge. It is doubtful that there will be a movement of affluent pilots taking revenge on the IRS.

The other man killed in his suicidal joy-flight, was a Vietnam vet, and the only hero in the story.

As a Christian, I can only defer to the words of Jesus when it comes to taxes. Mark 12:17 Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And yet we know that when it comes to obeying the Lord, like Daniel, we are to are to stand for our Christian beliefs regardless of the consequences. My suspicion is that Mr. Stack violated this principal and was mad about those consequences.

For the record, I am not thrilled with the US tax codes either. I think it is way over complicated when a Flat Tax or Fair Tax could easily work. As has been demonstrated over and over recently, Washington is out of touch, and based on some of the new candidates, they are not getting the message.

I guess what makes this a much more newsworthy story is that a lot of Americans identify with Stack. Many of them are members of the TEA Party movement. Few if any, can identify with an egotistical golfer.

As a Christian I am offended by Obama's comments about Christian's "guns and religion." The is like saying people are idiots if they support the 1st or 2nd Amendments - or any Constitutional Amendments.

We simply need sane leadership, a balanced budget and to address important issues, like the economy, ending the wars, health care and unfair taxation coupled with wasteful spending. That I could feel good about voting for.

I wonder what it would have been like if Colin Powell flown a plane into the IRS building? Would celebrity status have changed things? I doubt it. To the contrary, if a no-name golfer cheated on his wife, who would care.

What do you think?


photogr said...

No he wasn't a hero. He was distraught beyond his level of restraint and comprehending. We all know dealing with a government agency is not a pleasant experience to deal with. Plus having their employees mightier than thou attitude thrust onto one might lead to other acts of desperation.

I am afraid this is only the beginning of more acts from distraught citizens rebelling against the establishment and status quoa.There will be more copy cat acts like this I am afraid and that worries me that our society feels like they have to go to such extreems.

Anonymous said...

"Stack Overflow" is both a terrorist and a hero.

(Quoting another AnonyMoose)
"We have accepted a definition of terrorism for decades that defined terrorism as the use of force or threatened use of force against noncombatents to effect political, economic or social change.

So it isn't a matter of what type of violence is involved or whether someone has died. It is a matter of whether the person committing this crime is doing so while espousing such change through a manifesto, video tape, or some other communication method."

So if the Unibomber is a terrorist, StackOverflow is as well.

- A nominal Ouse

David said...

I am not going to go with the hero angle at all. Heroes may take out enemies, but regardless of my feelings about the IRS, killing Americans who are at work, and by law doing a job our Congress has given them, it's wrong.

Terrorism is really something that causes folks to be afraid. The Uni-Bomber and folks like Al Queda that premeditate attacks, and spread the fear of attacks are true terrorists.

This guy was simply a "nut job" that got caught up in his on delusional ideologies and took revenge on those that he felt perpetrated his dilemma. By this standard the rampaging postal worker who killed co-workers, or the Columbine kids that went on a killing spree at their High School would be terrorists. I can't buy that argument.

The motive of revenge is not terrorism in my book.

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