My defense of Barack Obama's defense of the Second Amendment (again, Obama is not coming to take your shotgun or shut down hunting in South Dakota, contrary to the lies of the National Rifle Association) brought lots of interesting comments from folks on both sides of the issue. I've received good comments online and by e-mail.
Alas, the article also brings me this unpleasant example of an apparent Christian couple who don't read their Bible much. I usually delete even asterisked versions of such language from the comments section, but I feel compelled to hold to the light this example of unthinking verbal thugs who can't even cling to their religion right. I quote verbatim, but my secular humanist values require that I asterisk out the foul language "Mark & Loni" use:
From: "Mark & Loni" email@example.com
Subject: The Head Ni**** in Charge wannabe's support of the 2nd amendment
Date: 2008.09.26 19:57You are a God D****d Mother F***ing liar. You deserve nothing less than to be brutally tortured to death, you despicable Nazi b*****d. You will burn in hell for eternity, because that is God's will.F** you, a******!
Again, for the record, I have no problem with Christianity. I do have a problem with professed Christians who make Christianity look really, really bad.
Mark & Loni obviously won't listen to me. But if you are a Christian, you might want to contact Mark & Loni and let them know that as brothers and sisters in Christ, we really shouldn't use such language about our "enemies." Maybe we shouldn't even think of our fellow beings as "enemies." Such language doesn't do the cause any favors. (You might also want to ask why, if they think they are speaking in the name of the Lord, they are still ashamed to put their full names to what they say.)
But hey, keep those cards and letters coming! We'll get some civil discourse out of this yet.
Update 09:10 CDT: firstname.lastname@example.org also isn't doing much for SAE's image. A quick Google search finds the e-mail address listed alongside this entry in the March 2008 Charlotte Sigma Alpha Epsilon Alumni Directory:
Mark J. Feit
Class [a term used lightly] of 1974
VAKA Chapter of SAE, William & Mary
email@example.com also posts on a forum called WarRifles.com. I'd sign in to learn more about mark_loni's views, but the site warns, "Jerks, Whack Jobs or Godless Men - Don't Bother Joining This Site." Far be it from me to argue my credentials with those folks.
Manta.com offers a little business information:
Mark J Feit
24028 Gamble House Ct, Santa Clarita, CA 91355-3333, United States Map)
SIC: Business Consulting Services, NEC
Line of Business: Business Consulting Services
I wonder how good racism is for business in the greater Los Angeles area?
According to OpenSecrets.org, Mr. Feit gave $300 to the National Rifle Association in 2007.
Of course, who knows if Mark J. Feit actually sent the above e-mail. Maybe it was a hacker. Maybe it was his wife Loni. We'll see....
Update 16:34 CDT: There is a Mark Feit who appears to have been a Farmers Insurance agent in Valencia, CA. However, Farmers Insurance does not list Mark Feit as an active agent, only Robert Feit just down the road in Granada Hills.
Loni Feit is listed in various places online as the director of purchasing at the Los Angeles office of New World Travel.
Update 2008.09.28 16:58 CDT: Joseph Thompson asked about "accountability." For what it's worth, and for the record, here's my reply to the above e-mail, sent this afternoon:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Feit:
Yesterday morning I received an e-mail from your address referring to me as a "God D****d Mother F***ing liar" etc. To permit such language and wishes for violent harm to be sent from your e-mail address is poor judgment. To compose and send it yourself, if that is the case, is bigoted, thoughtless behavior that makes you and your professed faith look bad.
If one or both of you composed said e-mail, your fellow citizens have a right to know when members of their commnunity hold such dangerous and uncivil views. I have thus created a blog post to make your e-mail part of the public record. Now, when anyone Googles "firstname.lastname@example.org", "Mark J Feit" or "Loni Feit," your e-mail to me will appear as one of the top ten records available for everyone to read. Enjoy.
If neither of you composed the e-mail sent from your e-mail address, do clarify. Otherwise, no reply is necessary; I find even this minimal contact with small-minded people like the writers of the original e-mail to be unpleasant and unproductive.
Cory Allen Heidelberger
While I find this incident unpleasant, I will keep you updated on any reply.