The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 17, 2000, Page 5, Image 5

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    Blue eye, brown eye, Heaven, Hell
It’s time for you to discover the truth behind the ever vocal Religious Right
It’s time to see the truth behind the
religious right
A couple of days ago, another
columnist asked me about the
Religious Right and its origin - just
, where this growing movement of con
servative Americans sprung from.
As a non-member, I gave her some
answer about it starting in Georgia,
being rooted in strict Calvinism and the
Christian Reconstruction - part of the
reasoning behind why it’s against abor
tion and gay rights, along with all this
important information I looked up in
45 minutes online.
What a ridiculous, roundabout way
of lying about the whole thing. I don’t
believe it, no matter what religious
doctrine its members might quote.
I thought you ought to know where
the religious right really comes from.
My real answer is this:
Your gut instinct. You see it. You
know it. You can touch it. You can hear
There are certain words and phras
es that trigger this “brainwashed” bell
in your head - you know what they are,
the words that is, not by classical defin
ition, but because you know.
You also know its members are the
saddest people there are. They are inse
cure, jumpy people. They are constant
ly toting around Bibles in their book
bags, pulling them out before a math
test, consulting them to see whether or
not they should eat a chicken sand
Because every decision they make
is either for or against God, they have
to take their little brown baby book
with them wherever they go.
You know they consult their baby
book to cross the street, to buy posters,
to kiss other girls - which baby book
won’t let them do, because baby book
says it’s lesbianism, and it’s against
God’s word. But baby book, they plead,
why not? Because, baby book says,
Babies that they are, they’d still like
to intimidate and impress you, make
you think they’re rich. They make you
believe that with all their talk and the
way they dress - because they’re
phony, too.
Actually, they are middle-class
jesters, scammed by politicians into
foolish voting rituals that rob them of
more money every single year. They’re
so insecure about their religion that
they throw guilt votes toward
Republicans the way fat people eat
The truth about them is they are
weak, insignificant people - people
who don’t trust themselves to be loyal
to God, so they have to tell you at least
20 times a day how much they love
And they are so humble, aren’t
they? They turn humility into an art
form. They point their fingers inward
and convince themselves they are
awful, awful sinners. And then they
have to tell everyone else. Because
deep down inside, they know they
don’t really love God. But they’re too
stupid to think for themselves, so they
go along with it, hoping and praying
the Lord will show almighty mercy on
But he probably won’t, because
they’re not even sure he really exists.
But don’t tell them that, even
though they really believe it, even
though the real reason they’re part of it
is because nobody else wanted them.
You know these people for what they
are: the kids in school no one liked, the
mouthy ones, the tattle-tales, the
snitches, the little brats who were so
afraid to ask any girls out because there
had to be something wrong with them.
And there is something wrong with
them. They’re anti-social, over-zealous,
jealous freaks. They try to con you into
converting to their religion, cold-call
ing your faith like a telemarketer.
Some of them are chemically
unbalanced. Others have become
extremely skilled at hiding their real
personas, covering them with a veneer
of social responsibility. Below it is a
aarK, aarK core.
The truth: These are the sickest
people we have. At their core, they are
miserable, spiteful, revenge-filled
souls who like nothing more than hurt
ing others. They are liars.
They have rules that won’t allow
girls and boys to talk to each other
about things like sex because when
they were in high school, nobody ever
talked to them about anything, and they
never had boyfriends or girlfriends. So,
they hide inside God’s word and use
that as a crutch to be social misfits.
They’d kill for their cause.
In fact, they already have.
They are the lunatics who line the
sidewalks outside Westminster Church
with doctored photos of plastic,
chopped-up aborted babies covered in
red syrup, which they call blood.
You know those photos aren’t real,
don’t you? They’re made up. Because
that’s the kind of thing they do.
They also scream and yell at young
children, pointing at their posters, say
YOU!” What sick, twisted people they
These people will do this because
they are such sad, miserable people.
They will lie to you and sell you God’s
They hate blacks. Remember, these
are people who hearken back to the
good old days, the 1950s, when blacks
had to drink from the colored fountain
and eat in the colored restaurant.
There are blacks among them, and
they are all Uncle Toms. You know
them to be the house slaves, so to
speak, as compared to the ones who
work out in the cotton fields.
You know they hate all other reli
gions. They hate Buddhists, Hindus
and Jews. Especially Jews.
If these people lived in 1942 Nazi
Germany, they would have screamed
“Achtung Juden.”
Not only would they have flipped
the switch on the gas chambers, they
would have enjoyed it.
They are the classic cases of
picked-on adolescents who decided to
get back at all their bullies when they
got older. But instead of getting a
makeover, they became insane,
attempting to legislate bodily fluids
and social behavior, just like Adolf
Hitler. And just like Hitler, these peo
ple were failures at everything else in
So maybe it isn’t their fault. It
doesn’t matter. Your goal ought to be to
make them feel as bad as they want to
make you feel - worse, even.
It’s time to give them a taste of their
own intolerance.
Because in what world do Jew-hat
ing, love-hating, segregation-loving,
weak, insignificant liars need to be tol
They aim to make America con
form to their own miserable standards,
because they themselves are sad, sorry,
miserable human beings who deserve
no decent treatment.
And they are all the same.
You believe all that, don’t you?
Don’t you?
You do.
And so you know. Really, you do.
You know why the religious right
might hate you. Ajnd if they do, you
know who the hate began with in the
first place.
Not us.
Not them.
Not me.
Samuel McKewon is a junior political science major and a Daily Nebraskan senior editor.
Other side of the fence
Visit with prison guards gives different view of the inside
Walking into the State Penitentiary
doesn’t give you the most comfortable
feeling in the world, even if you’re only
going to be there for an hour. I used to
drive by the building off Highway 2
everyday when I lived on Pioneers
It never really bothered me that I
slept fewer than two miles away from
convicted killers.
But I pay more attention to the
place after I enter the barbed-wire
fences and then get frisked.
I can’t imagine coming here every
day. Today I have an interview with a
prison guard. John Rugess is my escort
- an administrative assistant who used
to be a guard. He hands me the reports
I asked him for in an earlier phone call.
He is an agreeable and helpfol man,
even though I’m a member of the press.
He tells me the penitentiary deals
with the media on a pretty regular
“Prisoners can call the media,” he
said “If anything ever happens, expect
the media to find out.”
I am taken to a room with a long
table on the “free” side of the prison.
The other side is called the secure side.
The secure side is where the prisoners
are held in captivity. Only restrained
prisoners are allowed on the free side.
It’s mainly used for administration.
Cpl. Matt Hinrichs is the first guarc
I interview. He is 5-foot-10 and stocky,
with a nearly shaved head.
If I would give you a picture of
what a stereotypical guard would look
like, it would be a picture of Matt
Hinrichs. He has been a member of the
force for five and a half years.
He has a degree in criminal justice
from UNL and first had a job in com
munity corrections. Then he got a job
in state corrections because that was
the next level.
He said he had an interest. That’s
why he’s in here.
It’s a fact that prison guards work
with inmates who sometimes want to
hurt or kill other inmates, or even the
guards themselves.
Physical intervention is required. I
ask Hinrichs about this.
He said, “You think about it, and
you know it’s around you. It’s a respon
sibility of staff to protect other inmates
and other guards.”
But he points out that most situa
tions aren’t physical. Most of it is ver
bal intervention and talking aggressive
prisoners down.
“Don’t put yourself in situations,”
he said.
He said the smallest amount of
force necessary is used.
I also interviewed a former guard
who worked in the Pen for more than
10 years, but he asked that I change his
name here. He will be referred to as
Hinrichs and Robert both gave me
elements of the physical training
required for guards. They use a system
based on pressure points, which are not
designed to injure.
“Their punishment is being here;
they are not to be punished here. There
are procedures for anyone who goes
beyond those bounds,” Rugess said.
The procedures may have been the
result of widespread accusations
lodged years ago against guards. The
former prisoners’ accusations have led
to prisoners’ rights organizations and
basically an open-bocdc policy in pris
ons. *
“Fifty years ago, no one knew what
went on inside prisons,” Rugess said,
“Reforms have been made.”
Prison guards often are presented ir
negative light 6y movies and television
alike. It’s absurd to believe we will ever
see a show called ^The Happy Prison
Guard.” Instead we get a picture of
guards more criminal than the crimi
nals themselves.
Rugess said that old media stereo
types of guards are false.
It’s nothing like “The Shawshank
Redemption,” or “Murder in the First,”
he said. “Regulations guard against
Robert said sometimes he felt
threatened by administration.
“They watched us closely,” he said.
“They’re scared of the legality issue.”
While prisoners may need protec
tions, it is also indisputable fact that the
prisoners are violent themselves.
In 1997, only 11 guards were
assaulted in Nebraska, but 14,359
guards were assaulted in U. S. prisons.
Yet for the job, the average prison
guard who has completed a probation
ary period makes less than $24,000 a
year. Gas station attendants can
make more than
A National Public Radio report that
came out of Texas said the state cur
rently needed more than 1,200 guards
to maintain its jail system. And Texas
has the highest inmate-violence rate in
the nation.
Rugess also said the demand for
officers was high. Robert informed me
that the state was now recruiting, which
he said hasn’t happened in 10 years.
I asked both guards what they
thought of public perception.
Hinrichs was optimistic: “I would
like to think that the public respects us;
you’ll always need jails and correc
Robert was less optimistic: “We are
viewed right beside inmates.”
They both may be right.
Robert and I discussed that rarely
does one hear about prison guards
unless a prisoner escapes or the guards
aren’t doing their jobs.
I ask Cpl. Hinrichs if he has any
lasting thoughts, and he tells me to
write that his job is a good one. He said
it’s necessary because there will always
be prisoners and there will always be
jails. But he said it’s not a job for every
As I walk out the door, I take a look
behind me at the inside of the barbed
wire gates of the Nebraska State
Penitentiary. I am distanced from pris
oners who walk behind a gate. I don’t
think I want to return to this place. I
know that Matt Hinrich’s job is not for
But as I drive off, I am sure as hell
glad that it’s good for him.
TrevorJohnson is a junior secondary education and English major and a Daily Nebraskan columnist