March 31st, 2010 11:16 EST
Does the Hutaree militia raise a red flag of growing far-right violence?
We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. All Christians must know this and prepare, just as Christ commanded "Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment. "
This is a description of the philosophy of the Hutaree from their website. Nine members of the Hutarees, a Michigan-based anti-government militia, that describes itself as Christian Warriors, " were arrested on Monday on conspiracy and weapons charges.
The indictment by the Justice Department said they were an apocalyptic Christian militants who hated the government and had forged a plot to kill law enforcement officers in order to foment an uprising against the federal government.
An Alabama non-profit group that tracks extremist groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center, has noticed an explosion of new extremist groups and activism across the nation. " This is caused by broad-based populist anger at political, demographic and economic changes in America. " (The Los Angeles Times-Militia Members Charged With Plotting To Kill Cops by Richard Fausset-March 29, 2010)
This is an example of racial and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society, " said FBI Special Agent Andrew Arena. The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 512 active Patriot " groups in 2009. All these groups share in common a hatred for the federal government, but the Hutaree bring in the Christian " component that makes them more radical. (The Los Angeles Times-ibid)
The Hutaree believe that the feds are conspiring to create one-world government and so a war is at hand, that is, between Christians and the Antichrist. Exactly who is the Antichrist? This is unclear from "Hutaree theology,` but I would think it must be Barack Obama, since he`s the president of the federal government.
This is hinted at by the SPLC and they also found that the economic downturn has fueled the growth of these far-right groups. But who is the Hutaree leader, David Brian Stone Sr.? You can find a good amount of information on David Stone in a Wall Street Journal article, Militia Chief`s Mistrust Festered, Friends Say.
A best quote from that article is a statement made by Andrea Harsh, who was briefly engaged to David Stone. On the inside of this man`s brain, something evil lurks, and until you get to know him, you don`t know it. " And David scared off one potential recruit in December, Jon Killman.
Jon got a bad vibe " from Stone when he and his sons started joking about those police officers who were shot in a coffee shop in Washington state. Killman describes the Stones at first as a down-to-earth hillbilly family " but changes his mind, after 20 minutes into the meeting, I realized these guys are not dealing with a full deck. "
One might write off the Hutaree as a one off, an oddity with no future ramifications. I can`t really do that. Many incidents of the past come to mind: Ruby Ridge, The Branch Davidians in Waco and Timothy McVeigh`s bombing of federal building in Oklahoma City. These anti-government hate groups don`t mind using violence to achieve their ends. And in the case of David Karesh they don`t mind using "end of time` rhetoric, supposedly culled from the Book of Revelations, that employs Christ in their paranoid obsessions. That is a Christ as a violent warrior, not as a peaceful messenger of "turn the other cheek.`
I agree with Eugene Robinson`s Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post yesterday. His main point is that groups on the extreme right have in recent years been more prone to actually use violence for their demented ends. Groups on the far-left have been mostly innocuous, such as environmental groups or animal-rights advocates. You would have to reach way back to the `60s and groups such as the Weathermen or the Symbionese Liberation Army (1970s) to see examples of radical, violent left-wing groups that stoop to violence.
So the threat of "domestic terrorism` is greater with these fringe militia groups on the far-right, and especially when they hinge their belief-systems to twisted takes on Christianity, and purloin isolated passages from the bible (The Book of Revelations) for ill-purpose. When the federal building was bombed in Oklahoma City (1995) I thought (at first) it was "International Terrorists`. I was shocked to find out that Timothy McVeigh was just a disgruntled Gulf-War veteran!
And let us not forget Joseph Stack crashing his plane into an IRS building here in Austin. This was obviously an act of Domestic Terrorism. " Stack hated the government and was willing to kill innocent people to make his point. Stack shares some commonality with these Hutaree, only his weapon was a small airplane instead of IEDs. I fear these extremist groups will only multiply.