Mar 29, 2010

Christian Militia members arrested in Michigan

While looking though the cover stories on one of my favorite news sites today, I came a cross a particularly interesting headline: "Militia members in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana charged with police-killing plot". Clicking on the headline presented me with information detailing Christian-militia's plan to kill a law enforcement official and then to attack again at the funerals of any police officers they may have killed. The article was particularly interesting due to due to its location.
While one might expect crime like this to come out of a large city like Detroit, the scene where this group was located is described as being "rural, wooded property". Even more interesting to me is that though the article describes this property as being rural, it states that there were neighbors close by (who were not part of the militia), and that even though the individuals who are facing charges were aware that there were people around them who could observe their behavior, they made no effort to disguise that they were part of a militia group. A neighbor stated that most every one knew that they were involved with what they were, and the individuals even ran a website whose mission statement proclaims that they are willing to fight in the name of Jesus. It's interesting t me, that while they weren't too far away from a city, if there were people who were openly declaring to be militia that neighbors would neglect alert the authorities sooner than they had. The social implications here all point towards the militia group as being dominant in the area they were in, perhaps scaring their neighbors into submission, but it's still intriguing to me that no one would have placed a phone call or reported the activity when they went to the city to buy supplies.
Even more interesting, perhaps, is the fact that two grown children were involved in this group, one of whom is still avoiding arrest. One has to wonder why these grown individuals, children of the two who run the group, would continue to believe in the group, particularly in the presence of neighbors who could have provided some external opinions. They were probably socialized into these beliefs, but one has to wonder how? The obvious paradigm would be conflict theory; that the parents and friends of the parents in this situation set up a social system to bear over the children and ensure that their social beliefs mirrored that of their own, but symbolic interactionism is also worth looking into. Do you suppose it's possible that while to the vast majority the performance of these individuals would be considered "botched" in the situation they were living in had they opted to act in any other way they would have been considered to have given bad performances and would the lose standing with he group and so were forced in a way to carry these values into adult hood? I'm also interested in the one son who ran away; on the surface it certainly seems like he's just avoiding getting into trouble (which is almost undoubtedly a motive), but is it possible that he's finally found a way to escape the oppressive environment, or have a chance to give a performance he believes is good?

The whole article can be found here:

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