What is a ‘Christian’ militia?

This week while Christians around the world observed Holy Week, preparing for the death and resurrection of their Lord, a … Continued

This week while Christians around the world observed Holy Week, preparing for the death and resurrection of their Lord, a small group of “Christians” in Michigan were preparing for the end of the world.

Law enforcement officers in Michigan charged nine eschatologically-minded minded members of the Hutaree militia group Monday with plotting to kill a police officer and detonate an explosive at the officer’s funeral in hopes of inciting anti-government violence around the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups, reported that the militia, whose arrested members included a husband, wife and their son, “had close links to several other American militias.”

Much to the dismay of actual Christians, nearly all news reports referred to the group as a “Christian militia,” including stories from Fox News, the AP and The Washington Post.

No doubt the Hutaree thought of themselves as Christians, but should such a group of hate-filled violent extremists be able to claim the title? And should the media accept it as fact?

As the Post reported, the group’s Web site bears the slogan “preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive.” Their shirt sleeves bear patches containing a black cross and the initials CCR, for Colonial Christian Republic, the court papers say. Describing their philosophy, a Web site tied to group members said that “Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment.” The site also contained hate-filled rhetoric about minorities.

In his column Tuesday, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson took on the dilemma:

“The arrests of members of a Michigan-based ‘Christian’ militia group should convince doubters that there is good reason to worry about right-wing, anti-government extremism — and potential violence — in the Age of Obama.
I put the word Christian in quotes because anyone who plots to assassinate law enforcement officers, as a federal indictment alleges members of the Hutaree militia did, is no follower of Christ.”

What should the Hutarees be called?

Elizabeth Tenety
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  • cassie123

    This group did think that they were Christians, but anyone who has read the Bible knows that according to their actions they are not true followers of Christ. It is a shame that their actions hurt the spread of the Gospel when they act as they do, claiming to be Christians. They not only hurt true Christian’s testimony but they harm the testimony of Jesus. While I am sad at what this type of people do what they do in violence, I take comfort in the fact that we are all judged for our actions if not in this life then in the next. God knows our true heart.I do think the media is all too happy to play into the fact that they are Christians — which to some extent I am not bothered by since that is what they claimed to be. However, I just hope the media doesn’t try to pin this violence to every Christian or person on the right to suit their political feelings. There are extremists on BOTH sides. We should ALL condemn these violent actions.

  • FarnazMansouri

    There are no true Scotsmen.

  • PSolus

    “This group did think that they were Christians, but anyone who has read the Bible knows that according to their actions they are not true followers of Christ.”You are aware that they would almost certainly say the exact same thing about you.That’s the problem with magical thinking and superstitious beliefs.

  • AYFKMBLOG

    This is absolutely ridiculous to think that just because someone (or a group) says they are affiliated with a group of people or more specifically, a religion, that it makes it so. What should we call the Hutarees? How about simply “The Hutaree Militia”.Although their actions are considered “extreme” in this day and age, had they succeeded in carrying out their plot, they may have been known in the future as “Patriots” and or “Revolutionists” – A name that is not looked down upon in American History as with the pamphleteers of the American Revolution (1776) such as Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Paine.

  • AYFKMBLOG

    This is absolutely ridiculous to think that just because someone (or a group) says they are affiliated with a group of people or more specifically, a religion, that it makes it so. What should we call the Hutarees? How about simply “The Hutaree Militia”.Although their actions are considered “extreme” in this day and age, had they succeeded in carrying out their plot, they may have been known in the future as “Patriots” and or “Revolutionists” – A name that is not looked down upon in American History as with the pamphleteers of the American Revolution (1776) such as Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Paine.

  • PSolus

    “This week while Christians around the world observed Holy Week, preparing for the death and resurrection of their Lord…’Who is “their Lord”?When, exactly, are they expecting him to die?When, exactly, are they expecting him to come back to life?Will there be the same media coverage for him as there is for Punxsutawney Phil?

  • Athena4

    I like the term “Christianist” to describe these loonies. Similar to “Islamist”. Or “Christian Taliban”. I love how some Christians are denying that these guys are “real Christians” while tarring all Moslems with the same brush as Al Qaeda, or all atheists with the same brush as Stalin or Kim Jong-Il. Pot. Kettle. Black. They are doing the same thing as Al Qaeda is doing – twisting religion into something ugly and militaristic.

  • skipsailing28

    yes, psolus, I am certain that your childish attempts at being offensive do you no credit.but hey, I understand the motivation. Sometimes I have the urge to verbally jostle with some of the more wild eyed liberals that comment in these environs. And holding forth in a venue like this is easy enough for someone like you. Unlike a face to face conversation you don’t have to worry about the reactions of your interlocutor. The simple prudence of saying to yourself “I’d better watch my language because this person looks like they can kick by butt” is not necessary here.so you can engage offensiveness on the cheap. How so very brave of you.

  • PSolus

    “yes, psolus, I am certain that your childish attempts at being offensive do you no credit.”I disagree; I think that it does me great credit.”but hey, I understand the motivation.”And I understand the frustration and embarrassment of attempting to explain and defend a superstitious belief system.That’s why I asked the questions.”so you can engage offensiveness on the cheap.”You’re welcome.”How so very brave of you.”Really, it’s not that big a deal.

  • ThomasBaum

    Athena4 Hi Athena.You wrote, “I love how some Christians are denying that these guys are “real Christians” while tarring all Moslems with the same brush as Al Qaeda, or all atheists with the same brush as Stalin or Kim Jong-Il. Pot. Kettle. Black. They are doing the same thing as Al Qaeda is doing – twisting religion into something ugly and militaristic.”Athena, if you notice it is not just “some Christians” that do this but absolutely “some” of every “group”. Seems as if it is more of a “human” prejudge or prejudice thing toward the “other”, does it not?As I have said before, one does not need to believe in God or gods to have a self-righteous, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou attitude.Hope you’re doing fine and I am not disagreeing about the “some Christian” thing but pointing out that it is pretty much universal amongst “some” of all human “groups”.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • skipsailing28

    I see no need to explain or defend my faith. Either you believe or you don’t. What I don’t quite understand though is why folks like you find it necessary to be offensive.so you don’t believe in God. so what? If you think that somehow makes you automatically morally superior you’re doing a great job of hiding it with all your childishness. An adult secure in their beliefs has no need for the nonsense you write here. If being offensive makes you feel better then perhaps you should seek counseling of some sort. if you think that being offensive raises your imagine with others I have to pity both you and them.You see all you’ve offered are some immature attempts at what I call “baited hooks”. You hope that by being offensive you can get some person of faith into an argument wherein you can demonstrate just exactly how offensive you really can be.Why would anyone bother with that?

  • barferio

    All of you “real christians” defending your religion by claiming these christians don’t represent you – how many of you are blaming all of islam for the evil committed by some of them?Somehow you find this defense reasonable when using it for your religion, but won’t accept it when the muslims use it to defend theirs.I’m not going down your path, I’m not excusing the muslim evil by saying christians do it too — I’m saying you’re both capable of great evil in the name of your so-called loving religion.The catholics are destroying themselves before our very eyes, watch out for the destruction of your religion too.In the words of the Great Thomas Baum – take care, be ready.

  • skipsailing28

    OK, let’s talk about sanctimony for a moment shall we?Here’s a gem of an example from thomasbaum:”Athena4 Just too funny. Gotta love the use of “the other”. Now that’s really au courant lefty speak. So impressive.what thomasbaum has neglected to mention is the glaring bigotry he glorifies. Are people actually tarring ALL muslims based on the acts of Al Q? Certainly there are thoughtless people in every group, but let’s look at the facts about radical islam before making these silly moral equivalencies.As I noted in my response to the odious barferio, the difference between christians and muslims relative to their violent members is in the behavior of the non violent members of the group.No christian sect that I know of is planning a celebration for those militia morons. Certainly no one will mount the kind of event tha the world witnessed when the lockerbie bomber stepped off the plane in Libya, right?Oh, and while christians routinely arrest and prosecute those people who commit crimes in the name of the Lord, the muslims name streets and squares after mass murderers. but you apparently can’t see a difference between the two faiths. How so very bigoted of you.Your equivalency goes like this: There are people who plan to kill in the name of Jesus and there are people who plan to kill in the name of Allah. Therefore both faiths are equally wrong.Let’s try this: the Nazis breathed air. Christians breath air. therefore they are equivalent to Nazis.Sorry to say your “analysis” is sadly lacking in critical thinking.

  • PSolus

    “…you find it necessary to be offensive.Somehow, I’m getting the feeling that you found my questions offensive.”You see all you’ve offered are some immature attempts at what I call “baited hooks”. You hope that by being offensive you can get some person of faith into an argument wherein you can demonstrate just exactly how offensive you really can be.”Well, you caught me.”Why would anyone bother with that?”Yes, why are you bothering?

  • skipsailing28

    Good question.

  • PSolus

    “Good question.”You’re welcome.

  • PeterDM

    New reports quoted the militia members as saying they were going to fight the anti-Christ.A true Christian would understand that we need not fear the anti-Christ because Jesus already defeated him when he died on the cross and rose on the third day.Furthermore, the events to take place in the apocalypse are destined, pre-ordained, and it’s stated that Jesus will defeat Satan and the anti-Christ. So it is not up to man to do so, but to greater powers. Nothing we can do with any amount of fire-power will change God’s will.

  • Schaum

    Ah, SKIPS AILING, the original April fool.”but hey, I understand the motivation. Sometimes I have the urge to verbally jostle with some of the more wild eyed liberals that comment in these environs.”But you don’t you know. You are not equipped, intellectually or experientially, for verbal jostling. You just rant. Thats all, just rant. You are a frightened little christer, infected with the cancer of catholicism, and can’t find your way out. So you bludgeon — and ultimately hit no one but yourself. You are predictable, ineffective, and disorganized. So keep at it. We can all use a good laugh. And you do deliver!

  • Schaum

    SKIPS AILING:”You see all you’ve offered are some immature attempts at what I call “baited hooks”. You hope that by being offensive you can get some person of faith into an argument wherein you can demonstrate just exactly how offensive you really can be.”This is called projection, an activity largely reserved to immature minds.

  • edbyronadams

    The interesting thing about the ready use of “Christian militia” is the reluctance that the same media organs first used to label terrorists as Muslim or Islamic.I’ve not read about this group’s larger plan but the idea of the murder of some law enforcement officers leading to a much larger general attack on government is strange fantasy on the order of Charles Manson’s thinking his murders would result in a race war.I am so glad that these lunatic plotters are not the genius menace portrayed in movies but less than competent human beings.

  • Sajanas

    We should absolutely describe them as Christians. If you were going to remove anyone who wasn’t Christ-like from Christianity, there wouldn’t be terribly many people left. But if you follow the religion your whole life and then commit some crime, I don’t think its right that the religion can just disowned them easily. I personally think that both Islam and Christianity feed people this foolish superiority, that you are going to heaven, and the guy you don’t like is going to Hell. They tell you that you can be absolutely right, because the holy books are absolutely right. They tell you to ignore other ways of thinking, because they could tempt you away from your faith. Most religions don’t cultivate rationality. Its no surprise people go off the rails every so often.

  • bigbrother1

    As long as these people continue to use the name “Christian,” and as long as other Christians are OK with that, they will continue to take over the religion in name and in ideology.The fact is, most US Christians do believe in a Jesus that endorses killing, even mass-murder. The Hutarees are only more honest and upfront about it.

  • PSolus

    PeterDM,Perhaps you could create a Web site where we heathens and infidels can submit names of people and groups of people, and you can let us know if they are “true christians” or “false christians”.When someone says that they are a christian, I have no choice but to take them at their word, because I do not have the ability to differentiate “true christians” from “false christians”.If your Web site proves to be a success, perhaps you could do something similar for muslims, jews, budhists, hindus, etc.

  • skipsailing28

    Here’s answers to your questions:This week while Christians around the world observed Holy Week, preparing for the death and resurrection of their Lord…’patris, et filli, et spiritu sanctisWhen, exactly, are they expecting him to die?When, exactly, are they expecting him to come back to life?the profession of faith said aloud by Catholics during mass state that on the third day he arose from the deadWill there be the same media coverage for him as there is for Punxsutawney Phil?Generally speaking Easter Sunday gets more attention than groundhog day.This childish attempt at being offensive does you no credit.

  • skipsailing28

    here’s a response to barferio”He wrote:Your position is either an immature attempt at being offensive or it is the result of abyssal ignorance. I don’t see a third choice.Still, for the sake of the open minded people reading these comments, let me respond.the difference between christians and muslims isn’t that neither have wackos among them. It is how the non wackos deal with them.If you will notice, no christians have stood up and said “Right on guys, go kill cops in Jesus’ name!” We Christian non wackos know that what these guys were planning is completely wrong. We applaud the arrest and will applaud the conviction and sentencing of these miscreants. Just as we applauded the arrest of those who killed abortion doctors. I strongly suspect that there were practicing christians among those law enforcement officials who investigated and disrupted the group.such is not the case with muslims. the non wackos in that faith either say nothing or actively support the wackos.here’s just a few examples that are top of mind:The reception given by the palestinians to the mass murdering Samir kuntar when israel foolishly released him.The naming of a square for Dalal Mughrabi, a mass murdering bomber responsible for the deaths of innocent israelis.I could go on but a reasonable person will understand my point based on the examples above.No sir, the christians and the muslims deal with their wackos differently. That you don’t notice that is simply a function of your own bigotry.As for the status of the Catholic church, well yes times are tough for the religion. But there is a difference between religion and faith. Those of us who keep the faith will also preserve what is best of the religion.As an example, look at the schism in the anglican church. African Anglicans, alarmed by the drift in England, declared that the world wide communion of Anglicans ceased to exist. They kept their faith and took their religion in a different direction.Rumors of the demise of the Catholic Church are little more than wishful thinking.

  • PSolus

    “Here’s answers to your questions:””patris, et filli, et spiritu sanctis”Shouldn’t it be “their Lords” then, instead of “their Lord”, or am I missing something here?”We observe Christ’s Death on Good Friday, that is the friday before Easter Sunday.”Who is this “Christ” guy, one of the “their Lords”? Is he “patris”, “filli”, or “spiritu sanctis”?And by “observe”, do you mean that you are all going to stand around and watch him/them die, or are you just celebrating the fact that him/them already died?”the profession of faith said aloud by Catholics during mass state that on the third day he arose from the dead”Are these the same people who eat his/their body and drink his/their blood?”Generally speaking Easter Sunday gets more attention than groundhog day.”So, will there be six more weeks of winter if “their Lord” sees his shadow after he rises from the dead?”This childish attempt at being offensive does you no credit.”Are you sure about that?

  • coloradodog

    “Christians” who condemn Muslims for not denouncing their murderous terrorists are no better when they fail to denounce their white-supremist radical extremists and the likes of Fred Phelps who still, for some unfathomable reason, is allowed to call his gang of thugs a Baptist Church.Until Christians wake up and see the evil among themselves, including Papal obstruction of justice in child abuse cases, we definitely should and will call this militia “Christian”

  • skipsailing28

    Ah yes, the technique is an old one and both Schaum and psolus are using it.Basically both are seeking to advance and promote their point of view by being purposefully disagreeable.How they expect this to be effective is anyone’s guess. Thus far both have proven that they can be rude. Schaum has certainly proven that his anger can be expressed in an endless litany of name calling.Yet I suspect that both see themselves as intellectually superior to others. Why would anyone agree based on what they post here?

  • PSolus

    “Ah yes, the technique is an old one and both Schaum and psolus are using it.”Please, do go on.”Basically both are seeking to advance and promote their point of view by being purposefully disagreeable.”Purposefully disagreeable! The nerve of them!”How they expect this to be effective is anyone’s guess. Thus far both have proven that they can be rude. Schaum has certainly proven that his anger can be expressed in an endless litany of name calling.”Indeed!Yet I suspect that both see themselves as intellectually superior to others. Why would anyone agree based on what they post here?Why, indeed!One also has to wonder why you bother with them.

  • skipsailing28

    don’t look now pal, but I wasn’t talking to you.

  • Athena4

    To clarify: by “Some Christians are tarring all Moslems as terrorists,” I mean some Christians on this forum. Not all of the Christians on this forum are doing it. As a former Catholic, I don’t judge all Catholics by the rantings of James Dobson, nor do I feel that all priests are pedophiles, nor that all Moslems are terrorists, nor that all Christians are bigoted right-wingers who hate more than they love. Just some the minority of them.

  • PSolus

    “don’t look now pal, but I wasn’t talking to you.”How rude and purposefully disagreeable of you!I don’t know why I even bother with you.

  • ThomasBaum

    skipsailing28You wrote, “Just too funny. Gotta love the use of “the other”. Now that’s really au courant lefty speak. So impressive.”If you read what I wrote, you might see that I tried to point out that many think of the “other” and it is not confined to religion and by the way isn’t “au courant lefty speak” at least one of your ways of speaking of “other”?You then wrote, “what thomasbaum has neglected to mention is the glaring bigotry he glorifies. Are people actually tarring ALL muslims based on the acts of Al Q?”I do not “glorify bigotry” but to pretend that it does not exist is avoiding reality and yes some do “tar all Muslims” just as some “tar all Christians” and some “tar all whatever or whomever”, this is just a fact of reality, is it not?Jesus is God-Incarnate and God is a Trinity and the god of Islam gets upset if anyone says that Jesus is God or if anyone calls God their Father and it is for these simple reasons, among others, that I say that the god of Islam is satan not how “Christians” act toward the actions of other “Christians” or how “Muslims” act toward the actions of other “Muslims”.By the way, God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof.Jesus is the Saviour of ALL and God’s Plan is for ALL, we are to PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS, if the Good News were not for ALL then it would not be Good News.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Muddy_Buddy_2000

    The group does call itself a Christian Milta, though I have read several stories and did not even remember the Christian part of their claims. I will not I am hardly fond of the Christian Right, since I believe they made the Republican Party a force of bad things for our country, and forced me into the Democratic Party. I would suspect that I would be all too happy to pick up on the Christian Milta Concept if it was such a media focus without proper context.