October 2, 2005

Movie Recommendation: Soldiers in the Army of God

With Halloween approaching, some of you may be looking for the ultimate scary movie. I think I just might have found it. Although Soldiers in the Army of God is a documentary produced by HBO's American Undercover series and not a horror movie, it was far more terrifying than any film I've seen.

Filmed in 2000, Soldiers documents what is probably one of the most extreme groups of Christian extremists, the Army of God (AOG). Responsible for much of the anti-abortion violence in the South, AOG is the violent wing of the Christian extremist movement.

In Soldiers, the viewer is treated to several interviews with AOG members and a few heartbreaking ones with the families and co-workers of their victims. What makes this so scary is the complete lack of remorse on the part of the AOG members, virtually all of whom have served prison time. From their perspective (so clearly articulated by one of the men interviewed), their place in America is similar to that of German citizens during WWII who realized what the Nazis were up to. That's right - the German holocaust was the slaughter of millions of Jews, and the American holocaust is the killing of millions of "babies" at the hands of "the abortionists." With such views, it is no great surprise that they believe that killing is justified in the defense of the unborn.

AOG believes that legalized abortion is going to lead to another American civil war if they don't get their way. So, what exactly do they want? I was surprised to learn that overturning Roe v. Wade was simply the beginning. Once Roe falls, they will argue for the trial, inevitable conviction, and execution of "the abortionists." Their definition of this term seems rather broad and probably extends well beyond the handful of physicians who perform these medical procedures. Sound like witch hunts or a revival of the Inquisition? You bet! Actually, their reference point is the Nuremberg trials in which "the abortionists" are the war criminals.

This film was difficult to watch but certainly enlightening. This is hard for me to admit, but my first thought after turning it off was that I should probably look into buying a gun to protect myself. That a strong supporter of gun control would have such a thought was disturbing to say the least. While the panic (and irrational desire for a gun) passed, I can't help but wonder where we freethinkers rank on the hit list of these Christian extremists.

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