“We’re not saying that everybody should go and pick up guns and go have a revolution,” S.C. State Rep. Josiah Magnuson assures us.
But, actually, he and his fellow “Christian” doomsday preppers seem to be doing just that. The fact that a state-level lawmaker would even feel the need to say something like that should raise alarm. South Carolina’s The Post and Courier reports:
State Reps. Josiah Magnuson, R-Campobello, and Jonathon Hill, R-Townville — both from tiny towns in the Upstate Bible Belt— are in the process of setting up what they call the “Virtue Solution Project,” a group that is seeking to either save America or survive a societal collapse, which they both believe is likely coming.
“We the People as a whole have become too dependent on big government and big corporations,” The Virtue Solution Project‘s website declares. Yet, ironically, their website and new Peacekeeper app relies on networks provided by the very institutions they claim to despise.
Joisah Magnuson’s group’s website talks a lot about communities becoming self-sufficient and people being empowered to take care of themselves, their families, and their neighbors. This includes setting up “micro hubs” so people can “learn about” things like “spiritual leadership, first aid, farming techniques,” and renewable energy sources.
But, when push comes to shove, it’s all about “a spiritual awakening of God’s [white] people.” Which means “Christian” survivalist militias that seek to undermine the federal government. “We must resist unlawful Federal domination,” the Virtue Solution Project’s website boldly proclaims.
But wait, there’s more. S.C. Reps. Josiah Magnuson and Jonathon Hill’s efforts go beyond encouraging their constituents to form self-contained, militarized, “Christian” communities. They also urge people to get themselves on juries and commit jury nullification.
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 licenses.
This goes a long way towards explaining how the hell a jury found Ammon and Ryan Bundy, along with five other defendants, not guilty after their expensive and dangerous armed occupation of federal land at the Malheur Wildlife refuge.
While jury nullification is unlikely to land you in jail, it’s still illegal. Refusing to render a verdict in accordance with facts and principles of law is a violation of the solemn oath taken when jurors are sworn in. Also, it’s one thing to sit on a jury and — after taking in and weighing all the evidence — find yourself unable to deliver a guilty verdict in good conscience. It’s another to deliberately and deceptively get yourself onto a jury while planning to sabotage the laws of our land.
Josiah Magnuson also just bought a one-acre tract of land near his home to build a so-called “island of refuge.” But the true goal is to “train and equip one million neighborhood leaders” who will “build a fresh beginning for America.” That sounds an awful lot like a survivalist/militia training camp. Even more alarming, others have similar plans in Pickens, Simpsonville, Charleston, and down south at an unspecified location in Georgia.
The growth of these unhinged, so-called “Christian” militias are scary enough. The fact that state lawmakers like Josiah Magnuson and Jonathon Hill are encouraging treason is downright terrifying.
We need to start treating these militia members like the armed domestic terrorists they are. But under Donald Trump’s “unified Republican government” this is unlikely to ever happen.
Watch: S.C. State Rep. Josiah Magnuson lectures on our founding fathers’ “Five Tools” for “restoring the fabric of America.”
In a lecture, Josiah Magnuson talks about the “five tools” our founding fathers supposedly gave us to overthrow the government they created. All these “tools” are supposedly backed by the First through Tenth Amendments that form our Bill of Rights.
The website assures us that if we follow these “sets of steps,” we can begin “restoring the fabric of America.”
According to him, these include: (1) spiritual awakening (for right-wing, evangelical Christians only, of course); (2) education and advocacy…though not publicly funded education; (3) local associations of (heavily armed) “good neighbors”; (4) a “renewed jury system” to resist rule of law through verdicts based on these people’s ill-informed feelings and religious beliefs; and (5) state sovereignty/nullification (to give slave owners a handy bolt-hole).
Lord help us.
Nor are Josiah Magnuson and Jonathon Hill the only doomsday preppers in our state legislatures. In 2012, Wyoming’s House passed a bill that authorized $16,000 to study the impact of various emergencies from straight out of an Alex Jones show. These included “rapid decline of the United States dollar”; a constitutional crisis, a breakdown of the U.S. government, and a “disruption” to food distribution and the energy grid.
And then there were all the GOP lawmakers and officials who supported the Malheur Refuge occupation as members of the Coalition of Western States (COWS). These include: Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, Oregon State Rep. Dallas Heard, Washington State Rep. Matt Shea, and Greenlee County (Arizona), and Commissioner Robert Corbell. (Note: Dallas Heard says he’s not a member of COWS, but he was among the group who met with the armed militants despite the request of Harney County Judge Steve Grasty to stay away.