Thursday, April 15, 2010

More on the Hutaree Christian terrorist "militia"

Dave Neiwert provides an audio of David Bryan Stone Sr., the leader of the Hutaree Militia of aspiring Christian terrorists, rousing his followers in The Hutaree militia: At the crossroads of Christianity and terrorist violence Crooks and Liars 04/12/10. Dave writes:

The striking aspect of the audio is the way Stone's rhetoric is essentially a logical outcome of basic Patriot-movement rhetoric about the "new world order" and "sovereignty" -- rhetoric that is nowadays gaining wide currency at Tea Party rallies and on their websites. Indeed, as we've been reporting for some time, the Tea Parties are fundamentally a revival of the '90s Patriot movement, this time with the blessing of official conservative-dom.
This is why it's so silly for people like Bob "the Daily Howler" Somerby to be blathering on about how liberals shouldn't be criticizing these nice white folks in the Tea Party movement for what they actually say and do. Especially Somberby's favorite Tea Party crush Pam Stout.

The mainstream media continues its reluctance to describe far-right terrorist groups as terrorists. But I have come across a weird exception to that rule in the conservative Christian Post (which I suppose doesn't count as "mainstream" media) in Group Takes Offense at 'Christian Warrior' Media Coverage by Ethan Cole 03/30/10:


Mainstream media outlets are bias in their reporting about the nine self-identified “Christian warriors” accused of plotting to kill law enforcement officers, contends a group whose mission is to respond to anti-Christian defamation.

Even though members of the militia group call themselves Hutaree, which they say means “Christian warrior,” their alleged violent plan “is absolutely contrary to Christianity,” said Dr. Gary Cass, president of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

“They may have illicitly co-opted the Christian faith to justify their murderous intentions, but it is defamatory for the media to keep referring to them as Christians,” said Cass. “They are simply terrorists.”
Cass is pretty much turning the reality of our press corps upside down here:

He said it is “hypocritical” of mainstream news organizations to resist calling someone who carries out Jihad because of his faith an “Islamic terrorist” for fear of offending Muslims.

"But when some insane person claims to be a Christian and does something completely contrary to the Christian faith, the media keeps making the libelous association," Cass argued. "It's time for the news media to stop this transparent double standard."
The fundamentalist preacher R.C. Sproul in Perils Facing the Evangelical Church Ligonier Ministries Blog n.d. (accessed 04/13/10) gives an example of the kind of argument that fundamentalist Christians (and not just fundamentalists!) use to disown not only Christian churches with whom they sharply disagree but also distance themselves from any sense of responsibility for Christian religious terrorist groups:

When we consider the predicament that the evangelical church of the twenty-first century faces in America, the first thing we need to understand is the very designation "evangelical church" is itself a redundancy. If a church is not evangelical, it is not an authentic church. The redundancy is similar to the language that we hear by which people are described as “born-again Christians.” If a person is born again of the Spirit of God, that person is, to be sure, a Christian. If a person is not regenerated by the Holy Spirit, he may profess to be a Christian, but he is not an authentic Christian. There are many groups that claim to be churches that long ago repudiated the evangel, that is, the gospel. Without the gospel, a gathering of people, though they claim otherwise, cannot be an authentic church. [my emphasis]
A number of other good articles recently have addressed the Hutaree Militia and the general context of domestic Christian terrorist groups, including:

Sarah Posner, Will Ralph Reed’s New Venture Wed Religious Right to Tea Partiers? Religion Dispatches 04/13/10

'Tea' is for terrorism David Bernstein Boston Phoenix 04/12/10

Mark Juergensmeyer, The Return of Christian Terrorism Religion Dispatches 04/08/10

Frederick Clarkson, The Faith-Based Militia: When is Terrorism 'Christian'? Religion Dispatches 04/08/10

Chip Berlet, 'Christian Warriors': Who Are the Hutaree Militia and Where Did They Come From? Religion Dispatches 03/31/10

Mark Juergensmeyer, Onward Christian Terrorists; Fighting Evil in the Obama Era Religion Dispatches 06/11/09

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