Deranged politicians: Jesus will head a new, 'virtuous America'

Deranged politicians: Jesus will head a new, 'virtuous America' March 21, 2017

South Carolina State Representative Josiah Magnuson, above, has a bold new vision for America in which ‘Christ is placed in His rightful position as the authority over all of life, and His law of liberty is made our rule of conduct’.
Magnuson, 25, and fellow S Carolina State Rep Jonathon Hill, 32, inset – both home-schooled idiots whose fathers were pastors – aim to create a new virtuous and heavily-armed America through an organisation they have launched: The Virtue Solution Project.

The two Republicans, according to this report, aim to either save America or survive a societal collapse, which they both believe is likely coming.
The dotty organisation is a mixture of Christian bullshit, grassroots political organising and disaster prepping. They are advocating that their followers, and offshoot groups, form their own communities that will no longer have to rely on corporate America or the “tyrannical” federal government. They are encouraging neighbors to support “principled men” – such as themselves – who are willing to nullify laws and court rulings they don’t agree with, like abortion, gay marriage, gun restrictions and federal standards for driver’s licences.
For their members who are not in political office, they advocate doing their part by finding their way onto juries in order to acquit people charged with crimes they personally believe are “unjust.”
If that doesn’t work, they will have “community preparedness centres” where there will be access to:

Reading material, tools, food storage, ammo, and more.

The centres will be there when the economy collapses, a natural disaster occurs, a foreign nation attacks, the federal debt dooms the country or an electromagnetic pulse wipes out the nation’s infrastructure. All are scenarios they have considered.
It’s also at these “micro hubs” that neighbors and fellow members of their “militia” will be able to learn about spiritual leadership, first aid, farming techniques, renewable energy sources, and setting up “perimeters” and other “tactical defence” strategies.
Magnuson said during one of the lectures he gave in the past year and downloaded onto YouTube:

There’s probably going to be a lot of little crises, but there will eventually come a point where there is a major disaster of some sort in our country, in all likelihood. We need to be ready for that, and that will give us an opportunity to have a fresh beginning. I think all Christians understand that there is a prophetic element to this, living in the end times and so forth.

Professors who have studied religion, politics and similar conservative Christian outfits say the ideas behind Magnuson and Hill’s plan aren’t new.
Some aspects of their proposal resembles militia groups in the Western United States. Other material produced by the state lawmakers looks like that of Christian nationalist groups.
Said David Sehat, a history professor at Georgia State University:

The way I would describe this group is the John Birch Society meets prepper-culture, combined with a kind of Christian restorationist sensibility and expressed in a business PowerPoint kind of way. That seems to me to sum up the group, which is super weird, also super interesting and super disturbing in some ways.

Hill said people shouldn’t read too much into the group’s material because they are only in the infant stages of developing their ideas. The point, he said, is not to scare people, it’s about self-sufficiency and providing for your neighbors.
During the early gatherings of the group that have been posted on Youtube, Magnuson made it clear he is not advocating for an armed insurrection.

We’re not saying that everybody should go and pick up guns and go have a revolution.

Magnuson’s idea of public education is a one-room schoolhouse where parents choose the teacher.

That’s the way it worked back in the day. And then we got away from that and now we basically have career politicians and bureaucrats on a school board that are running things. It’s no longer the parents.

Until their replacement movement takes hold the two lawmakers are working to counteract the current political system in the House of Representatives by trying to nullify laws they determine are unconstitutional or morally evil.
Magnuson has sponsored bills that would allow local government to enact laws mandating transgender individuals use the bathrooms that correspond with the sex on their birth certificate or would define “personhood” as a fertilized egg, effectively nullifying court decisions upholding access to abortions.

While Magnuson and Hill explicitly advocate against calls for secession, several professors said some of their movement’s language and ideas are similar to those in the former Confederacy.
Michael McVicar, a professor of religion at Florida State University who studied the South Carolina group Christian Exodus during the early 2000s said:

When you start talking about nullification, that old Confederate ideology is just percolating right under the surface.

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  • barriejohn

    The most shocking aspect of this story is that these idiots were ELECTED by the American people!

  • Gui

    Although the ideological part, the ones about preppering and self-reliance seems to be reasonable.

  • L.Long

    The only thing in america that is virtuous are the heathen atheist sinners!!! I’ve read their books o’BS and there aint nuttin virtuous about the religious!!!

  • Brian Jordan

    Talking of deranged Americans, only slightly OT, last week Channel 5 gave an airing to the fundy “rapture” film Left Behind. They had the nerve to describe it as science fiction, when it would even disgrace the name of fantasy fiction.

  • Angela_K

    @barriejohn. Shocking, these nuts and their deluded followers are allowed to breed too. I used to frequently go to the USA on business and discovered, while the country is over-run with religious wackos, there are some decent sensible people there; I may be biased in my findings because my dealings were mainly with Physicists and Engineers.

  • As learned as these men are, they may be unfamiliar with a book that generally goes by the title “The Bible.” It is divided into books, chapters and verses. I suggest they read Romans 13:1 before claiming there is a single thing wrong with this or any government.
    Or perhaps they are among those very few Protestant Christians who pick and choose which parts of the Bible they like? I know, shocking, but there are a small number of them.

  • Paul

    I would hope the soon to be court case deals with this bit:
    “For their members who are not in political office, they advocate doing their part by finding their way onto juries in order to acquit people charged with crimes they personally believe are “unjust.”
    A member of the jury is by law, to try an accused based upon the evidence and not conscience etc., anything else is a perversion of justice. In this idiots case, seeking to encourage people to not do and in a jury ignore the evidence is a crime / it is perverting the course of justice. I hope that some sensible people actually deal with them for this.

  • barriejohn

    Gui: I’m sure that you could find some aspects of almost any ideology “reasonable”, but it’s coded language, isn’t it?
    Paul: Good point. I bet they’d absolve murderers who carried out their crimes from “the right motive”.

  • sailor1031

    A member of a jury is to decide guilt or innocence if he/she can; but it is not a requirement of law, at least in the US, that the jury reach the verdict that the prosecutor wants. Juries are entitled if they wish to ignore evidence and find a defendant not guilty. It’s called nullification and is the jury’s prerogative. I’m sure it irks prosecutors, and maybe judges too, to no end but there are times when the evidence may point to a correct but not a just verdict.
    It is a discouraging fact of US geography that the further south and west one goes, the more of these religious cretins there are. It’s not called “the bible belt” for nothing.

  • Paul

    I wasn’t suggesting for one moment any jury member is there for the prosecution. Jury trials in the US are still used for civil trials and there is no prosecution there. A juror is there to weigh up the evidence, and convict or not, only on the evidence. Both prosecution and defence present evidence.
    Unlike the English system, the US jury system is a one that at selection of jurors, is predicated upon challenges to jurors by each side (prosecution and defence) and the reason is each side trying to ensure jurors fit their bill and look as though they may find for their side. It is in short a business. The US system has many challenges to a juror during their selection and it is like an interview process, the English system is not like that, challenges are far fewer and may only be made in certain circumstances.
    The idiots comments to upset jury trials by ignoring evidence is really quite astonishing.

  • Cali Ron

    sailor 1031: Your statement about nullification is accurate as far as it goes, but the issue is more complex than that and extremely rare, and most jurors have no idea they have that right since the judges don’t tell them that in their instructions, which makes me wonder why you mentioned it. If a single juror tried to hold out for a not guilty verdict he can be removed by the judge or a hung jury called and a new trial with new jurors called.
    When you say “…the further south and west one goes, the more of these religious cretins there are” you seem to forget that eventually you reach the west coast which has decidedly less of those type of “religious cretins”. Please don’t lump Cali in with the bible belt.

  • Cali Ron

    Angela K: You are not biased. There are plenty of decent folks in America. It’s the medias attempt to bolster ad income through sensationalism and shock that results in the religious fanatics and nutjobs getting a lot of attention while normal people go about their day being normal and ignored. Our medias portrayal of England and it’s people is no doubt a misrepresentation as well. Remember, only 1/4 of registered voters voted for Trump. It was apathy that made him president, not his popularity, which is currently polling at 30%.

  • John the Drunkard

    Survivalism, general Xtian lunacy etc.
    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Dominionism. This is a STRONG vein in American far-right crazyness. A belief in a theocratic Xtian state being the needed precursor to the Apocalypse.
    There are many sects and movements that partake of this madness. They really are looking to make an American ISIS. The language comes out of the mouths of Republicans (Big Surprise) but there have been concerted attempts to recruit officers and men in the U.S. military.
    The two mooks in this article may not be much, but they are part of a broad, deeply entrenched, and insanely dangerous subculture in the U.S.

  • barriejohn

    John the Drunkard: You are right. I knew Christians in the UK over thirty years ago who declared that it was a GOOD thing that the world was (in their eyes) descending into anarchy and immorality, as it meant that the “Coming of Christ” was being brought closer and closer. There’s nothing harmless about such views, because they inform attitudes and inspire actions.

  • sailor1031

    I apologise to all californians (and Oregonians, Washingtonians, Alaskans and even some Arizonans and Nevadans) who may have been offended. I used the term “bible belt” not realising that some would not know the geographic limits of that somewhat loose descriptor. Although I note that per Pew 20% of californians describe themselves as “evangelicals” and that Tim LaHaye was a pastor in San Diego; also that the “Fundamentals” that all this was based on was published in Los Angeles by the forerunner of what is now the fundamentalist Bible Institute of LA (BIOLA) – so California can’t claim complete innocence, any more than Virginia (my state of residence).

  • sailor1031

    @john the drunkard: ah yes – dominionists. Of whom Mike Pence is one – by his own admission. Intrigues me that so many agressive-liberals are trying to get Trump impeached so that Pence can be POTUS and start introducing the reign of Yeshue on earth as he has stated he will do. I guess Trump-derangement syndrome doesn’t permit a rational approach to the problem. Frankly I’d keep Trump for the entertainment value when I see the alternatives.

  • andym

    “John the Drunkard: You are right. I knew Christians in the UK over thirty years ago who declared that it was a GOOD thing that the world was (in their eyes) descending into anarchy and immorality, as it meant that the “Coming of Christ” was being brought closer and closer. There’s nothing harmless about such views, because they inform attitudes and inspire actions.”
    Isn’t that one of the reasons why so many fundies are fanatical supporter of Israel? They hope that the Middle East conflict will result in Armageddon and the second coming?

  • barriejohn

    @andym: That’s exactly what they think – dispensationalists anyway. The formation of the Sate of Israel paved the away for Jesus to return to earth (to the Mount of Olives) so that he could join battle with the enemies of Israel (Armageddon), before setting up his thousand year reign on earth (The Millennium), centred at Jerusalem. That’s what I was taught, and there was no room for any alternative interpretation of “prophecy”. The “darker” the days became, the more certain they became that this day was drawing very near!

  • barriejohn

    PS Many evangelicals also see “Biblical Prophecy” being fulfilled in the development of the EU (Revived Roman Empire), though some of their “interpretations” have been superseded by events. Just look at this twaddle from Stephen “Birdbrain” Green, who seems to have finally lost the plot now:

  • Cali Ron

    Andym: Indeed. Ironic that Christian American’s blame the Jews for Jesus death, but support them to help usher in the end times when they believe that Jews who haven’t converted to Christianity will go to hell.
    barriejohn: I remember when I was quite young a hell and brimstone traveling preacher came to our church and he had a giant scroll that he stretched across the whole stage area of the church with pictures, diagrams and such detailing the chronology of the end times with plenty of terrible details. After scaring the shit out of everyone the alter call was made and many fearful souls were “saved” that day. My church was dispensational premillennialist (we’re in the millennium now, can’t you tell?) and taught that Jesus would take the Christians at the rapture, followed by 7 years of tribulation. Of course the evangelicals don’t all agree on which theory is the true theory, but each believes his is the true theory. If god is going to destroy the world he’d better hurry up, because man is doing a damn good job of it already.

  • Cali Ron

    sailor1031: I was just having a little geographic fun. The whole east, midwest, south, etc. labels don’t really make sense today, being coined before the western states were states. Cali has it’s share of evangelicals (I live near Roseville in northern Cali and it’s a hotbed of conservatism and evangelicalism), but we are generally far more secular than than the bible belt (we did legalize pot).
    I honestly don’t know who to fear more, the crazy, petulant man-child or the deluded bible thumper (Paul Ryan is no better). If not for Trump’s victory Pence was about to fade into political history as his popularity was at record lows in his state when Trump picked him. We are basically screwed for the next 4 years. My plan is to drink, smoke and keep my head down while I watch the lunatics run the asylum. Pass the popcorn please.