Patriot Movement more overt
ArchaeoBob printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 11:08:21 AM EST
A couple of incidents including a news story suggest that the patriot movement is becoming more overt.
Today in the news, there is an article about a homicide detective being fired because he had publicly renounced his American Citizenship and declared himself a "Sovereign Citizen".  Sunday, my wife and I were driving to church and ended up behind a van advertising that they were members of the Patriot movement.

I've had people hit me up to join the patriot movement for years.   When I was in the Assemblies of God, several members were tax protesters and were having meetings (which I never attended in spite of pressure from those individuals).  After walking and going back to the Episcopal church, I encountered a few more Patriot movement types who tried to get me to join over the 24 year span we attended those churches.  (Most of those people were 'ex-Assemblies'*, although there were a couple of life-long Episcopalians who also tried to get me involved.)  The point is, they were all very hush-hush about it, and expressed fear that the government would persecute them for their beliefs.  They didn't want to be caught.

The van had bumper stickers all over it, with a couple of new-looking ones that appeared to be connected with some sort of Patriot organization (the print with the organization name was too small to make out, except that I did catch "Patriot" in the name).  One of the two said "I am an American Patriot" and the other had an anti-government message.  There were several other anti-liberal and anti-government messages that looked older but without fine print or some sort of name attached.  

I was going to photograph the van, but couldn't get my phone ready in time before they turned into a gated community.

I find it a bit scary that these groups are coming out into the open.  Having bumper stickers like that (with official organization names) - indicates that the fear of "government persecution" (read getting caught violating the law) has decreased or been superseded by a desire for recognition or increase in membership.  Having an official name of some sort on the sticker means that it's not just a couple of individuals but a group thing and includes others.

Knowing the environment down here, if one law enforcement officer is stupid enough to publicly renounce his citizenship and declare himself to be a "Sovereign Citizen", there are probably a lot more that are part of the movement but who don't advertise.  (We've learned not to trust law enforcement!)

Things are accelerating!!!  I just hope that these people are exposed and STOPPED, before a lot of innocent people are murdered!!!

*-  I doubt they had ever really changed affiliation and probably were steeplejackers or moles.  Almost all stopped attending for unknown reasons within a year or so.

There have been some visible Patriot movement people here in New York City since at least 2006 or so.

Here in NYC, the most visible manifestation of the Patriot movement that I'm aware of is a group called We Are Change, one of our two main local "9/11 Truth" groups.  Their main focus is on promoting the idea that 9/11 was an inside job.  A secondary focus is on promoting grand conspiracy claims involving the Federal Reserve, the "New World Order," and the "Illuminati," who are alleged to be Satanists, Pagans, and occultists.  They are hardcore fans of Patriot movement radio personality Alex Jones.  They are noted for "hecklivist" confrontations with politicians and other public figures.

I don't know whether and to what degree they overlap with the more extreme parts of the Patriot movement, such as the "sovereign citizen" movement.  As far as I can tell, they at least don't talk publicly about the "sovereign citizen" stuff.

by Diane Vera on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 06:09:45 PM EST

how much hostility there is between the different groups.  I have a hard time getting my head around people like that who AREN'T dominionist, but it's obvious that it is so.  Knowing how the militant dominionists hate anyone not like them, I can't believe that they would get along.

Maybe they'll anger each other enough and start warring with each other, which would cause people to recognize how dangerous things could quickly become.

by ArchaeoBob on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 07:23:00 PM EST

.... and many of his followers aren't even vaguely aware that the "Patriot" movement has any Christian supremacist connections at all -- even though he does have blatant dominionists and other assorted bigots as guests on his show.  The Patriot movement people I've run into here in New York seem to regard it as pure secular libertarianism.

As far as I can tell, most of Alex Jones's followers here in New York don't think of him as having a religious agenda at all.  It just doesn't occur to them that Alex Jones's conspiratorial claims about Satanists, occultists, and Pagans constitute religious bigotry or are derived from a Christian supremacist agenda.

by Diane Vera on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 08:54:30 PM EST

This begs the question: is dominionism a religious movement with political aspirations (my opinion based on my experiences), or a political movement with religious aspirations?

The targets for hatred and fear such as you hear from the Patriot movement have been in the crosshairs of "Good Christians" for many years (they did try to get me to join their ranks back in the late 70s and especially in the early 80s, and they date earlier than that).  The earliest expressions of hostility to non-Christians, minorities, and so on that I've read about have always been religious - published in religious newspaper columns, in sermons, and so on (I haven't done a serious study on the subject).  The fear of government and anything 'socialist' also seems to have started with the churches.  All of the rhetoric against "liberals" seems to have started in the churches.  I'm also reminded of what Frank Shaeffer has had to say about the start of the Religious Right.

We've talked about the problems caused by the tendency of Americans to give "Christianity" a pass.  I think it might be more of a blind spot or cultural blinders.  Maybe the elites are using dominionism (lending credence to the political with religious aspirations), but I think it could be considered more along the lines of a mutually informing relationship, with each taking advantage of the other (and which I expect will eventually end up in conflict).

by ArchaeoBob on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 10:16:39 PM EST

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