Who Are the Hutaree Militia, And Why Do They Want to Kill Cops?
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Spinning out of this broad Patriot movement that chronically appears throughout US history come armed citizens’ militias. The Militia Movement in the United States gained headlines in the mid 1990s. Like today, this earlier militia activism was part of a right-wing populist surge that ran from the Republican Party on the reform side to organized white supremacist groups on the insurgent side. This is not one unified movement, but a series of overlapping ones—think of the Olympic symbol of five interlocking rings. It’s quite plausible that sectors of the broad Patriot movement can work together on a common project without all of them actually agreeing on anything but stopping the secular liberal conspiracy to enslave America.
The story embraced by the armed militias in the 1990s was that the government of the United States was part of a secret plan to establish a One Word Government as part of building a New World Order. The debate at the Patriot and militia meetings I attended in the 1990s was whether or not the plot was controlled by the Freemasons, the Skull and Bones Society, the Corporate Elites, the Bilderbergers, or the agents of Satan in the End Times. Occasionally, someone would pull me aside and whisper that it was actually the Jews.
The ’90s militias are widely seen as part of a right-wing populist revolt against the administration of Democrat Bill Clinton, but it actually began under the administration of Republican George H.W. Bush, who was seen as a cosmopolitan internationalist eager to build the nefarious and tyrannical New World Order. Today’s militia activism can be traced in part to the North American Union conspiracy theory that percolated up during the last Bush Administration.
Is Obama the Antichrist or False Prophet?
Last July the following appeared on a Web post: “Obama is the false prophet, Javier Solana the Antichrist, add Satan and you have the unholy trinity. God help us all.” Republicans in New Jersey disagree, 29 percent of them think that Obama “is or might be the Antichrist.” Apparently the Hutaree Militia speculated that Javier Solana (the former Secretary General of NATO and the Secretary-General of the European Union) was the Antichrist, and that the US government merely played a supporting role in Satan’s evil End Times gambit.
As Robert C. Fuller observed in his classic Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession, the candidates for the starring roles vary over time in fundamentalist eschatological analysis. Some see Islam as the religion of the false prophet, the theological sidekick to the Antichrist. After 9/11 there was an increase in the demonization of Muslims in some Christian evangelical circles, especially those in which apocalyptic conspiracy theories flourish. For example, Hal Lindsey joined in the Islam-bashing in 2002 with The Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad. Speculation in conspiracy circles that Obama is secretly a Muslim, perhaps born in Kenya, add fuel to this bigoted fire.
Paul S. Boyer, author of When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture, suggests that religious views about biblical prophecy in the United States have “always had an enormous, if indirect and underrecognized, role [in] shaping public policy.” If the message of apocalyptic demonization is not clear, try reading one of the novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins in their Left Behind series of Christian apocalyptic novels which have sold more than 70 million copies.
Writing in the American Prospect, Gershom Gorenberg blasts the authors because they:
promote conspiracy theories; they demonize proponents of arms control, ecumenicalism, abortion rights and everyone else disliked by the Christian right; and they justify assassination as a political tool. Their anti-Jewishness is exceeded by their anti-Catholicism. Most basically, they reject the very idea of open, democratic debate. In the world of Left Behind, there exists a single truth, based on a purportedly literal reading of Scripture; anyone who disagrees with that truth is deceived or evil.
The main villain of the Left Behind series of books, Gorenberg notes, is “Nicolae Carpathia, the man who turned the United Nations into a one-world government with himself as dictator,” on behalf of Satan. In fact, Carpathia is the dreaded Antichrist. According to Gorenberg: