Christian Militia in Michigan

Published March 30th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson

The FBI took down a Christian militia group in Michigan on Monday.

The indictment said the Hutaree, who describe themselves as “Christian warriors,” viewed all law enforcement as their enemy. It said they had planned a violent act to get the attention of the police, possibly by killing an officer at a traffic stop, and then attacking the funeral procession with explosives.

The arrests of the Hutaree members comes amid what the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama non profit that tracks extremism, has called “an explosion of new extremist groups and activism across the nation.” The organization has cited the economic downturn as a major reason for the change, and also contends that the far-right has been particularly animated by the election of the nation’s first black president.

That is pretty disturbing. I agree with the author that a lot of these occurrences are related to nutball “conservatives” rather than nutball “Christians”, however the two groups have quite a bit of overlap. I got a lot of flack a few days ago for saying religious people don’t stand up against extremists in their own religion (only in opposing religions). It will be interesting to see the Christian response to these arrests. I suspect we’ll hear a lot of the No True Scotsman* type arguments. “No True Christian would do these things”, immediately close mind.

* From Wikipedia:
No true Scotsman is a logical fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim, rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of assertion to tautologically exclude the specific case or others like it.

Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the “Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again.” Hamish is shocked and declares that “No Scotsman would do such a thing.” The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again and this time finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, “No true Scotsman would do such a thing.”
—Antony Flew, Thinking About Thinking (1975)

Update: There’s a related article today in the Washington Post, The Hutaree militia and the rising risk of far-right violence.

68 Responses to “Christian Militia in Michigan”

  1. theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

    Shades of the Manson family! What deludes small bands of imbecilic losers living in squalor in the middle of nowhere into thinking that THEY are god’s chosen people? They look more like the cast of the next “Hills Have Eyes” sequel. If it were up to them to repopulate the earth DEvolution would quickly be proven.

  2. Mike M says:

    This is the kind of thing that either blows up badly (civil war type stuff) or falls on its face pathetically. The lack of brains behind all this is astounding, and a century ago these would have been called “simple people” and would be protected from things that would scare them, such as stories of ghosts. I’m looking forward to a Edward J Murrow-type expose’ to come along.

  3. cathy says:

    I happen to have grown up in a trailer in the woods and assuming all rural poor folks are irrational militia nuts is classist and rude. Guess what? Rich white dudes don’t have a monopoly on rationality. The poor are neither genetically nor mentally inferior and I can’t believe I have to make a point of stating as much.

  4. Salisu Gumel says:

    It is very sad that the authorities in the US did not classify these Christian Extremists as “Terrorists”. Had it been are Muslim Jihadists, US would have named them Terrorists. This is very hurtful and clearly injustice to Muslims. From today, US Government shall justify it policies, no bias against Muslim or for Christians.

  5. Jordan48 says:

    Reply to Justin Verano:

    QUOTE: “Religious fundamentalists are dangerous wether they belong to the Taliban or the Tea Party. RAmen brother.”
    Your analgoy is grievously flawed! Thats like saying that every American who owns a gun is a threat to the national security. Your everyone who eats spaghetti is Italian. It just doesn’t ring true. You fail to understand that Christian fundamentalists were the founders, in a large part, of this nation. Many of those who draftwed the United States Constitution were Christians.

    If you desire proof, visit the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, and study the early innaugural speeches of such men as Geo Washington, Madison, and Lincoln, to mention only a few. Study the speeches of Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin, etc.

    Former President Ronald Reagan was quoted: “I know here that you will agree with me that standing up for America also means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. I believe this country hungers for a spiritual revival. I believe it longs to see traditional values reflected in public policy again. To those who cite the First Amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions and everyday life, may I just say: The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.”

    This quote is taken directly from the Jefferson Memorial: “The God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated, but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

  6. UUniversal Love says:

    #13 Jordan48

    I’m sorry, but Jefferson and Franklin were not Christian, they were Deist, and they believed that all religious ideas were welcome in a new country founded on liberty. And Reagan was absolutely right when he said that. Just don’t pretend that it only applies to your religious values.

    My mom, a catholic, has something she likes to say:
    “I’m a fundamentalist. I believe that the fundamentals of the bible are really important.”
    By the way, she’s talking about “loving your neighbor, even your enemies, even the gentiles do that” kind of stuff.

    I would personally love to see our country talk more about it’s beliefs. Everyone. I think a greater embrace of spirituality would be a great thing. But don’t conflate dogma with spirituality. Don’t conflate your personal doctrine with one important truth. Here’s one important truth… All men are created equal. Not all Christian men.

  7. theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

    I disagree with the conservative view that “our country was founded by Christian fundamentalists”. Actually, if you study up on it, you’ll find a surprising LACK of religious fervor. I had assumed they were, given the times, but they were – thank the FSM – very secular. Thomas Jefferson probably got as close to atheism as a public figure could back then.

  8. Drained and Washed Clean says:

    14 – UUniversal Love

    Very eloquently said; I tip my hat to you. Well done. Obviously you have been deeply touched by His Noodley Appendages.



    Shame on you for perverting history in an egregious attempt to affirm your warped belief that a religion should rule this country. When that happens things like the Crusades or the Inquisition occur. The founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they could see what you “Christians” are trying to do. It is a threat to the freedom that this country was founded on.

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