religious extremism in the US

Religious books from the ancient Near East can be dangerous in the hands of some people. Have you heard of the Hutaree? They were an apocalyptic group in the US that planned on starting a terrorist war in order to facilitate God's return and imposition of justice in the world.
In the most diabolical scenario, the Hutaree would murder an unsuspecting police officer to lure others from around the state and country to the fallen officer's funeral. Then these ... warriors would spring into action, attacking the funeral procession with improvised explosive devices. After the surprise attack, Hutaree militia members would retreat to "rally points." From these locations, "the Hutaree would wage war against the government and be prepared to defend in depth with trip-wired and command detonated anti-personnel improvised explosive devices, ambushes, and prepared fighting positions", the indictment alleges. The Guardian, 2010.
Who was their spiritual guide in all this? Not some Imam linked to Al Queda, but Jack Van Impe. I used to read his stuff back in the late 90's. He's an end-times-Jesus-countdown-clock sort of guy. the Guardian article continues,
The most conspicuous is a link to Jack Van Impe ministries, a noxious example of the Christian supremacist demagogue. Despite the stench of charlatanism, the Hutaree list Jack Van Impe's website as one of their major sources of information. It's this kind of gullibility that provokes the question of how anyone could believe this nonsense, much less kill for it. But the Christian warriors supply the simple answer: "For we live by faith and cannot see nor understand what we believe, entirely, but nevertheless the reward is worth it in the end."
Supremacist demagoguery, end times apocalyptic fear mongering, revolution, taking over the world for God, ending the evil government...

Because these guys were infiltrated before they could execute their plans, they were eventually let off the most serious charges because they were exercising their free speech rights.

Muslim extremists do not represent modern Islam, just as these Christian militias do not represent modern Christianity. There are ways to read the Quran and be a peaceful neighbor. There are ways to read the Bible and be a murderous terrorist. Bad ideas can have terrible consequences. Good law enforcement can stop these ideas before practiced. Good ideas can also prevail.

Minimal gun control is a bad idea. Paranoid militias are not well regulated and are a bad idea. Any gun owner who thinks it is their job to prevent bad government by their personal weapons cache is a bad actor. I was going to write about the foolishness of thinking a militia will stop the US govt. but a better writer has just done that, You Are Not Going to Resist the Government With Your Guns by Marc Randazza. As far as Christian militias, I'll use this quote from the extremely conservative Christian ministry of R.C. Sproul, "The church is not to maintain a standing army, and the state is not to do evangelism or to administer the sacraments."

Apparently other "biblical" Christians think differently. Maybe the Christ-like part (love your neighbor, bless your enemy, sermon on the mount stuff) falls toward the end of the Libertarian, 2nd Amendment-adoring, white-privilege-enjoying American priority list.


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