The news outlets are telling us that authorities have arrested nine members of a midwestern group that was planning on murdering policemen.
We can all be glad that these reprehensible people are securely behind bars, but I have a bit of a quibble with the characterization of these criminals. Their organization is frequently referred to as a "right-wing Christian militia." Perhaps this is how they imagine themselves, but for the sake of accuracy it should be noted that it's not clear that they are "right-wing," they are certainly not "Christian," and the proper designation of the group is not "militia," but "terrorist organization."
I hesitate to call them "right-wing," although they may be, because their political views have not yet been brought to light. What we do know of them, however, makes them sound more like fascists. Fascism is an ideology of the left, not the right, and fascists have always been prone toward the trappings of militarism and a lust for violence. Moreover, violence directed toward police has always been characteristic in this country of extremist groups on the left. The "Hutaree" seem, in fact, to be a white version of the fascist, leftist black panthers or black Muslims of the 1960s.
Whatever their political linkages may be, though, they are not Christians religiously. Just because they recite a couple of Bible verses and believe a few dogmas that may be faintly Christian does not make them Christian any more than the Muslim belief in God and an afterlife makes them Christian. Jesus said that not everyone who speaks in his name is a disciple of his but rather it's he who does the will of his Father. Murdering innocent people is not the will of the Father of Jesus Christ. These people may call themselves Christian but, if so, they are CINOs (Christian In Name Only). They are no more Christian than Stalin was a humanitarian. They're even less Christian, as difficult as it is to imagine, than is the Westboro Baptist crowd.
Nor should their organization be called a "militia." To do so is to smear the name of an honorable tradition in American history. These people are not militia men, they're terrorists. Their machinations are indistinguishable from those of any al Qaeda cell and, indeed, they serve much the same purpose. But for the fact that they're United States citizens they should not be tried as criminals in civilian court but rather sent to Guantanamo to be tried by a military tribunal as enemy combatants.
I sympathize with those who are alarmed by our current government, and I agree with Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the founding fathers that a long chain of abuses may at some point prove unendurable, but we are right now very far from that point. We still have the right to vote, we still have the right to speak out against encroachments upon our freedom, we still have the right to undo through peaceful means whatever damage is done to our country through misguided political policies. To decide that there is no other recourse at this juncture than killing, to plan to murder the men and women who are working to protect us every day, as well as their families, is absolutely despicable.
Send them to Guantanamo and let them cohabit with the jihadis there. They have much in common.RLC