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Published on Jun 2, 2009
Given the recent tragic shooting of Dr. George Tiller, I feel this documentary is of particular significance in understanding the mindset and actions of those who choose violence as a method to be heard on the issue of Abortion
Points of Note:
The Army of God is a militant anti-abortionist organization whose operational method is one of Leaderless Resistance, a type of cell structured organizing that is designed to be highly difficult to trace and monitor. This structure also makes coordination and cooperation between cells very difficult, minimalizing its ability to plan large operations. The Army of God coordinates communication between groups and those incarcerated for crimes against the government and medical facilities, so called 'Prisoners for Christ'
The group promotes what they call 'defensive action' as an appropriate means of ending what they, and many others view as the murder or killing of the 'unborn'. This style of linguistic language specific to a group or ideology is common among extremist organizations and cults and special attention should be paid to their terminology and its ability to foster in-group understanding.
While primarily religious in nature, this Army of God has strong connections with certain political views, such as the Sovereign Citizen movement (itself an offshoot from Christian Identity teachings) and staunch conservatism.
I would stress however, that the views of those expressed in this documentary are not to be taken as indicative of the entire anti-abortion movement, or Christianity in America. While sharing many of the same basic views regarding the morality and legality of abortion in the US, organizations such as Operation Rescue and the National Right to Life do not support violence as a method of achieving their goals.
The makings of a terrorist are complicated, and as you will see in watching this documentary, it is often the case that those who do make that step into violence do so after feelings of ineffectiveness or weakness. Acts of terror are often the result of perceived increased pressure on the group from their external enemy, in this case the United States government, as well as 'Satan', 'secularism', 'paganism' and other enemies of their extreme version of Christianity.