Dark Discussions on the Christian Right
The Neo-Confederate movement has been trying to jump start itself of late. It has been an especially heady few months for the League of the South, a theocratic, White nationalist group based in Killen, Alabama
Some of its leading members have been running for office in Maryland. And League president Michael Hill has gone so far as to call for the formation of paramilitary death squads. He now claims that he wasn't doing any such thing, but that if he were, we would just have to find out for ourselves. (We, being liberal "bedwetters.")
Anyway, as it turned out, just around the time Hill was protesting too much, the Southern Poverty Law Center learned that the League was indeed organizing a secret paramilitary unit
which calls itself "The Indomitables."
I recently wrote at the blog of Political Research Associates:
The Indomitables unit features White supremacist military veterans, notably the League's Florida chapter Chairman Michael Tubbs, who is a former Green Beret, demolitions expert, and convicted felon. He was released from prison in 1995, having served about four years.
Hill appointed Tubbs as his "Chief of Staff" in June of this year.
Tubbs has a long history of racism and criminal activity, as documented in 2004 by Mark Potok in Intelligence Report magazine:
"In 1987, prosecutors say Sgt. First Class Michael R. Tubbs and another Army Green Beret, toting automatic weapons fitted with silencers and dressed completely in black, robbed two fellow soldiers of their M-16 rifles during a routine exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C. `This is for the KKK,' the holdup men shouted as they fled....
Ultimately, five caches of weapons were found, including machine guns, 25 pounds of TNT, land mines, an anti-aircraft machine gun, grenades, booby traps, 45 pounds of C- 4 plastic explosive and more. (Authorities believe that the arsenal was stolen from Fort Bragg and Fort Campbell, Ky.)
They also found notes written by Tubbs that showed that he and his brother, John Tubbs, were setting up a violently racist group called the Knights of the New Order. Officials said Michael Tubbs had drawn up lists of targets including newspapers, television stations and businesses owned by Jews and blacks.
There was even a group pledge authored by Tubbs: `I dedicate my heart to oppose the enemies of my race, my nation and the New Order. ... I dedicate my life from this moment forward to fostering the welfare of the white Aryan race.'"
One does not have to believe that these characters will succeed to see that they are serious, and to acknowledge that even small bands of heavily armed zealots can kill and maim and otherwise damage and destabilize society. As it happens, they are not alone in their violent visions. There are a number of people across the conservative spectrum who have been thinking in these terms for some time. I wrote back in June that
"...there are powerful indications in the writings of some Christian Right leaders that elements of their movement have lost confidence in the bright political vision of the United States as the once and future Christian nation--and that they are desperately seeking alternatives....
...at least some of the historic culture warriors of the Christian Right seem to be considering an ostensibly unlikely coalition with the Neo-Confederate movement. The coalition would lead their followers in religious and political directions in which violence is as likely as the outcomes are uncertain. It is an unlikely coalition, not necessarily because the Christian Right and most Neo-Confederates differ much on issues, but because Christian nationalism is so fundamentally at odds with the notion of fracturing the nation due to a loss of hope and faith in the role of the United States in God's plan.
While most on the spectrum of Christian Right thinking are not nullificationists and secessionists there is tension in the movement about it. Of course, going into the Fall elections, warm and fuzzy notions of how God wants America to be a Christian Nation are already taking center stage. But just off stage, the discussion gets much darker.