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 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:
Professors who have studied religion, politics and similar conservative Christian outfits say the ideas behind Magnuson and Hill’s plan aren’t new.
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.
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.
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.