Anti-government movements: American values run amok?

 

Hutaree photo from the group Web site
“H
utaree” and “Guardians of the free Republics” were not part of my working vocabulary until recent events thrust them into national attention

The FBI pinched members of the Hutaree, a radical Christian militia group (shown above from their Web site), for allegedly planning to murder a police officer and then detonate a bomb at the funeral. The Guardians—part of the sovereign citizen movement—declare a vow of nonviolence, but sent letters to state governors, telling them to step down or be taken down. (Scroll down for details in posts this week.)

Why do these extremist groups exist? It’s too easy to dismiss them as a bunch of right-wing nuts.

In a way, they are American—just too much American—and perhaps, at the same time, not all of what it means to be American.

The principles they stand for—limited government, individualism, patriotism, and free markets—are American values. It’s just that they’ve taken them to the utmost extreme.

And, they have not balanced these values with others that are part of the American panoply—community, equality, personal responsibility, and compassion for others.

American values are a two-edged sword. They cut both ways. They are sources of strength and causes of problems. Individualism run amok, for example, is blind to concerns for the welfare of the collective.

What do you think? Do you buy my thesis?

Well, we’ll have another go at anti-government movements. Tax day comes next week—which, no doubt, will raise the ire of the third major anti-government movement in America: the tax protest movement.

Next week you will also see some new features and a new look for OurValues.org—all part of an extreme makeover of the ReadTheSpirit organization. Stay tuned!
 

 

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