Guest post: As they think God intended

Originally a comment by Dave Ricks on Towns that have never recovered from the gold rush.

The Times article shows Mark Baird waving a flag for the State of Jefferson movement in Northern California. The Times reports the SOJ movement is about representation within California on issues of rural versus urban, etc. But the Times totally missed the SOJ relationship to the Federal government that I’ll write here.

If you click my SOJ link above, and you pull down Resources > Videos, you’ll see Mark Baird showing you the same pocket US Constitution that I pointed out in this B&W thread about Ammon Bundy. I’ll repost some things I wrote on that thread for convenient reference here.

That pocket US Constitution is from the Idaho-based National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCCS). The Southern Poverty Law Center wrote a report about the NCCS in 2011. Quoting from the SPLC report about an NCSS seminar in Fairmont, West Virginia:

As the morning progressed, it became clear that the NCCS worldview and program were based on three major pillars: understanding the divine guidance that has allowed the United States to thrive; rejecting the tyrannical, implicitly sinful, nature of the modern federal government; and preparing for a divine reckoning that will bring down America’s government and possibly tear society as we know it asunder, thus allowing those with sound principles — i.e., godly NCCS graduates — to rebuild the republic along “sounder,” more pious lines.

America’s return to extremely limited government, as they think God intended, is destined to happen, NCCS lecturers teach, because God has already shown an interventionist role in American history. According to the NCCS, the founding of the United States was nothing short of a “miracle” in the literal sense of the word. God is watching, in other words, and he is not happy. Teaching out of the seminar’s 131-page illustrated workbook, [the instructor Randall] McNeely argued that the current federal government is guilty of a “usurpation of power.” It is, therefore, illegitimate, though McNeely never actually uttered that word. Governmental powers should be used sparingly, he explained, limited largely to the common defense and the elimination of “debauchery and vice.”

There is a dark, often unspoken, subtext to the NCCS’s crusade to promote the “sound principles” of proper Constitutional government. That subtext is a belief in the imminent collapse of civilization. This collapse is interwoven in the bombastic teachings of NCCS friend and ally Glenn Beck, whose Doomsday-drenched shows are profitably promoted by fear-mongering purveyors of everything from gold bullion to “crisis gardens” and emergency radios. The NCCS has done much to encourage and spread a deeply apocalyptic worldview among far-right Mormons, of whom Beck is only the most famous.

The NCCS views its education crusade as crucial for rebuilding America after a coming cataclysm; thus, [the NCCS seminar] “The Making of America” is best seen as a God-centric civics class for the bomb shelter. Speaking last year in Mesa, Ariz., [the NCCS president Earl] Taylor spoke cryptically of the need for “the Good Lord’s help” to take America “into a much better phase of existence lasting for a thousand years.”

Taylor’s remarks only make sense in the context of a cleansing, holy wrath, after which will emerge pure Constitutional defenders ready to build a new society on the ashes of the old.

“I fear that the United States is going to have to go through the wringer,” said Taylor. “It’s gonna be rough.”

“When the time comes, when the people who are in power for the power and the glory, and there is no more power and glory left, they’ll probably be looking around asking, ‘Can anybody help?’ And you’ll say, ‘Yeah, I’ve got some ideas. Come on over and eat a little something.’ Because there probably won’t be much food anyway, but if you’re wise, you’ll have some.”

At this depressing image of future Constitutional scholars discussing the evils of the income tax and battling “debauchery” amid the scarred ruins of a post-Apocalyptic America, Taylor brightens up.

“We’re gonna win this thing,” he said. “I’ve read the last chapter, like you have, and in the end, we’re gonna win this thing.”

“Isn’t that great?”

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