Holy Week American Christian terrorists (militia)
This is the week we recall that Jesus was willing to be killed, but not to kill … to be tortured, but not to torture. This is the week he told Peter to put away his sword, saying, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). This is the week he contrasted his kingdom in this world with the kingdoms of this world by their opposite responses to the violence question (John 18:36 ff). (The prepositions in and not of are important.) Many of us believe that Jesus embodies the image of a nonviolent God, an image intended to transcend and correct violent images.
Even Juan Cole sees their behavior as of one piece with the bizarre view that Obama is the Anti-Christ. A flawed Harris Poll last week found that 14% of Americans believe President Obama “may be the anti-Christ” And one quarter of Republicans hold that view.
The Christian Science Monitor reports:
There is “no question” the catalyst was President Obama’s election, says Heidi Beirich, the [Southern Poverty Law Center’s] director of research. A similar upswing took place after President Clinton’s election in 1993. Militias and the antigovernment groups that spawn them often become more active when the federal government turns more liberal.
“A major shift to the left certainly helped” in both cases, Ms. Beirich says.
The economic meltdown and the growth of minorities such as Latinos are also a factor, she adds.
The Irregular Times makes a valiant attempt to make sense of Hutaree views and values mishmash. They are explicitly Christians. They seem to have given a twist to millennial expectation of the end times and they clearly see God as expecting them and other believers to use deadly violence on unbelievers. And practice of their theology resulted in being charged, TalkingPointsMemo reports, “with seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence.”
You can certainly try to sort through their Web site yourself.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, whose expertise in this field is well-recognized, reported this month:
The SPLC documented a 244 percent increase in the number of active Patriot groups in 2009. Their numbers grew from 149 groups in 2008 to 512 groups in 2009, an astonishing addition of 363 new groups in a single year. Militias – the paramilitary arm of the Patriot movement – were a major part of the increase, growing from 42 militias in 2008 to 127 in 2009.
. . .
“This extraordinary growth is a cause for grave concern,” said Intelligence Report editor Mark Potok. “The people associated with the Patriot movement during its 1990s heyday produced an enormous amount of violence, most dramatically the Oklahoma City bombing that left 168 people dead.”
Do the Covenant for Civility and the Democratic effort to ink a civility pledge with the Republicans seem at least a little more urgent, now?
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