We’re all familiar with Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person of the Week.” I do something similar on my personal blog,using the old Norse term nithing (ON niðingr).
A nithing is a villain, scoundrel, coward, vile wretch. A nothing could also be a truce-breaker or a traitor. A niðing deed (niðingsverk) is an ill deed, or villainy. A person guilty of this sort of behavior was held in contempt.
This award works from a target rich environment, and it is not always easy to choose a candidate. My front-runner right now is Bryan Fischer, the “Director of Issues Analysis” for the hate group called the American Family Association, who whined, er, um…I mean, “opined”that he didn’t like that President Obama awarded the medal of honor to a soldier who saved lives.
Apparently, saving lives is feminine. Taking lives is masculine, and soldiers should be killing, not saving. We’ll remember that if Mr. Fischer ever finds himself on a battlefield trying to hold his intestines in. “Sorry, it wouldn’t be manly to save you. You understand.”
Given the dearth of women in U.S. combat units (conservatives don’t like them there) it is to be wondered who Mr. Fischer thinks would save him. No self respecting man would. Fischer certainly wouldn’t respect any man who stopped to pull him to safety. “You girlie man!” he would cry, outraged.
What is it, exactly, that this brave soldier did that upset this week’s hatemonger so much?
From his Medal of Honor Citation:
While under heavy enemy fire, Specialist Giunta immediately sprinted towards cover and engaged the enemy. Seeing that his squad leader had fallen and believing that he had been injured, Specialist Giunta exposed himself to withering enemy fire and raced towards his squad leader, helped him to cover, and administered medical aid. While administering first aid, enemy fire struck Specialist Giunta’s body armor and his secondary weapon. Without regard to the ongoing fire, Specialist Giunta engaged the enemy before prepping and throwing grenades, using the explosions for cover in order to conceal his position. Attempting to reach additional wounded fellow soldiers who were separated from the squad, Specialist Giunta and his team encountered a barrage of enemy fire that forced them to the ground. The team continued forward and upon reaching the wounded soldiers, Specialist Giunta realized that another soldier was still separated from the element. Specialist Giunta then advanced forward on his own initiative. As he crested the top of a hill, he observed two insurgents carrying away an American soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other. Upon reaching the wounded soldier, he began to provide medical aid, as his squad caught up and provided security.
I don’t know; sounds pretty manly to me. One of just 19 men to ever win two, Tom Custer (brother of the more famous George Armstrong Custer) didn’t win his by slashing through Confederate regiments with gleaming saber.
He was awarded two Medals of Honor for capturing Confederate regimental flags (2nd North Carolina Cavalry flag at Namozine Church on April 3, 1865, and again at Sayler’s Creek on April 6, 1865).
Isn’t handling fabric kind of girlie? I mean, shouldn’t Tom have been killing people instead of stealing their material?
An eyewitness reported:
“Custer crossed the line of temporary works on the flank of the road, where his unit was confronted by a supporting battle-line. In the second line he wrested the colors from an enemy color bearer. Advancing on another standard he received a shot in the face which knocked him back on his horse. Despite his wounds, he continued his assault on the color bearer who began to fall from wounds he had also received. As he fell, the wounded Lieutenant Custer reached out to grasp this second standard of colors, bearing both off in triumph.”
Again, sounds pretty manly to me. How would Mr. Fischer feel about this sort of activity? I mean, being shot in the face isn’t very manly either, is it? After all, as Fischer said in his blog post, “Gen. George Patton once famously said, ‘The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.'”
Yeah, it’s definitely girlie to get shot.
What’s the logic behind all this? According to Fischer, “So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?”
Saving people, getting shot and killed, none of that helps Mr. Fischer sleep soundly at night. He wants to know that the enemy is being eviscerated.
Naturally, there was some outrage over Fischer’s remarks but that doesn’t phase the old hater. Nossir. Fischer defended himself with the following words:
“The bottom line here is that the God of the Bible clearly honors those who show valor and gallantry in waging aggressive war in a just cause against the enemies of freedom, even while inflicting massive casualties in the process.”
Ya got that, you wannabe heroes like Sgt. Giunta?
“What I’m saying is that it’s time we started imitating God’s example again.” You tell ’em Mr. Fischer.
“What I am saying is that I am observing a trend in which we single out bravery in self-defense and yet seem hesitant to single out bravery in launching aggressive attacks that result in the deaths of enemy soldiers.”
The key points seem to be these:
- Kill enemy soldiers
- Don’t get shot or killed yourself
- Don’t feminize your comrades by expecting them to rescue you
- Don’t feminize yourself by rescuing your comrades (or Bryan Fischer)
- Don’t feminize yourself by worrying about fabrics on the battlefield
“Christianity,” he reminds us, as if multiple crusades, inquisitions and witch burnings are not evidence enough, “is not a religion of pacifism.” Because there’s nothing about loving your enemy or turning the other cheek in your holy book, right, Mr. Fischer? “War is certainly a terrible thing, and should only be waged for the highest and most just of causes. But if the cause is just, then there is great honor in achieving military success, success which should be celebrated and rewarded.”
This is the manly world of Bryan Fischer. Follow these simple rules and you too can be a real genuine American hero.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.