Reader raises questions about Freedom Foundation

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 27, 2008

Dear editor,

After listening to Mark Duke’s radio program for several months, and especially after his recent tirades, I have come to believe that the questions and concerns that many people in our community have about the Freedom Foundation may be justified. Mr. Duke will not approve of this letter questioning his intentions, and like others who have done so, I expect to be demonized as evil by him.

So be it. As he has set himself up as a public figure he is open to public discussion.

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If the mission of the Freedom Foundation is to bring unity to our community, as Duke has claimed, then it is failing miserably.

These people, with no ties to our community, have come here and arrogantly presumed to tell us how we should live.

Those who have not agreed with their way of thinking have been accused of hate, racism, or, as in Duke’s June 25 show, rebelling against God.

From the time they came here it seems they have worked to instill a sense of guilt in part of our community and a sense of victimization in another.

That does not build a united community; it creates friction.

The last thing Selma needed was someone else stirring up racial animosity.

The divisiveness forming in our community since the arrival of the Freedom Foundation is so pervasive that one has to wonder if unity was ever their goal at all.

Or is the real goal of Mark Duke to gain undue influence in Selma by pitting certain people against certain others and acting as one side’s savior?

If that is the case, then Duke is no different from countless other race hustlers who have plagued our town. And it is they who have here been the true underminers of peaceful coexistence and goodwill between the races.

Duke’s argument’s are often not even rational.

By his words it would appear that anyone who exercises natural choices or preferences in association is guilty of hate.

By that reasoning Duke must hate all women besides his wife, for he certainly made a preferential choice when he chose her above all others. That is unless he treats all other women equally to his wife, in which case I extend my sympathy to her. Preference and choice are natural in all humans, but it doesn’t mean hatred of others.

It would take a very arrogant and egotistical man to assume that he, and only he, speaks for God. Duke claims that God sent the Freedom Foundation here and that those who are not with them in spirit are rebelling against God, including many of our local pastors, black and white.

There is no doubt that Duke can be convincing to many.

Why else would over 60 people relocate to Selma and work to spread his message? And it is understandable that devout Christians would often be most susceptible to that message, as no Christian wants to be accused of going against God’s will.

Whether Duke’s influence deserves the label of cultism as many in our community fear, I cannot say. But I would advise anyone listening to Mark Duke to remember that he is not God, but a fallible human.

And just because he claims to speak for God does not make it so.

David Koresch and Jim Jones also made that claim.

Steven Fitts