January 3, 2016

I won't hold my breath waiting for media to pick up on the religious extremism at the heart of the Bundy militia show in Oregon right now. But if you look at what they're doing and why, it's pretty obvious.

What we have here, folks, are Mormon extremists, driving their self-proclaimed destinies. Conveniently, that's also happening during an election year.

Let's begin with the elder Mr. Hammond, and his modest way of not supporting the extremists staging this occupation while supporting them.

“This gathering isn’t about me. It isn’t about my family. It’s about how America has to get its feet back under it and go forward,” he said.

Hmmm, where have I heard that before?

But there's more than just the political going on here. The tipoff was the domestic terrorist who named himself Captain Moroni. That's a reach back into the fictitious Book of Mormon and fables contained therein.

“The main reason we’re here is because we need a place to stand,” Bundy said. “We stand in defense, and when the time is right we will begin to defend the people of Harney County in using the land and the resources.”

Meanwhile, Bundy has called for “fellow patriots” to join him at the armed occupation. That call itself closely represents what Captain Moroni told his fellow Nephites in LDS scripture. And it’s part of the reason why “Captain Moroni” came to Burns.

The man identifying as Captain Moroni said he was inspired by the call, and that the inspiration was validated by God in the form of a flock of geese he saw flying.

“I just knew it was the right thing [to come to Oregon],” Captain Moroni said. “I’m willing to die here.”

How noble of him. He is modeling himself after the fable of Captain Moroni who did battle with the government back when Brigham Young Joseph Smith hallucinated the Book of Mormon.

That name is not a silly response to deflect responsibility: In many ways, it encapsulates a deeply intertwined anti-federal sentiment mixed with Mormon symbolism. Captain Moroni is a crucial figure in the Church of Latter Day Saints. He’s also a heroic figure for anti-federalist extremists.

In the modern day west, Captain Moroni has become one of several powerful symbols for the Bundy militia’s anti-governmental extremism.According to LDS scripture, Captain Moroni took command of the Nephites when he turned 25. Moroni innovated weaponry, strategy and tactics to help secure the safety of the Nephites, and allow them to worship and govern as they saw fit.

In LDS texts, Moroni prepares to confront a corrupt king by tearing off part of his coat and turning it into a flag, hoisting it as a “title of liberty.” This simple call to arms inspired a great patriotism in the Nephites, helping to raise a formidable army. Vastly outnumbered, the corrupt king fled. According to the Book of Mormon, Captain Moroni continued to push for liberty among his people.

“And it came to pass that Moroni was angry with the government, because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country.”

These are religious extremists. Armed and dangerous ones. They subscribe to a cult and they steal in the name of Jesus. How is this any different than the thugs of ISIS?

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.