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the Body Politic
Vol. 7, No. 3 - March 1997, Page 2
Copyright © 1997 by the Body Politic Inc.
Editor's Desk

Is the Army of God On the March Again?

By Anne Bower

The phone started ringing off the hook about 4:58 last night. The mainstream media had just found out that a group calling itself the Army of God had sent a handwritten letter to the Reuter news agency claiming responsibility for the bombings in Atlanta. Reporters who typed in, Army of God, on the Internet came up with an article I authored a year ago about Shelley Shannon, who considered herself a Soldier in the Army of God and was in possession of multiple copies of their manual when she was arrested for the attempted murder of Dr. Tiller. (Ms. Shannon had buried the manuals in her backyard.)

Reporters were frantically scrambling for any info on this group. No one I talked to had much idea of who they were and what might be going on. Of course, few of my readers would be surprised. You know that there is a movement of violent activists whose stated goal is to place America under the rule of the Bible. These people hate abortion, homosexuality, multiculturalism, public education, evolution, and, like my neighbor Randy Terry, preach, promote, and revel in intolerance.

As soon as the bombs went off at the Atlanta clinic, my fellow researchers and I all said, this is a perfect MO for members of a Christian militia. This second bomb at the lesbian nightclub is clearly in keeping with another target of these hate groups. Our concern now is, what's next? Another clinic? Another club? Or will the AoG expand to other public entities on the hit list, like public schools which are routinely likened to "the Gates of Hell?" (see page 25)

As I write this, there are no answers, but a lot of scary questions. Has this Army of God finally found its recruits and arsenal in the person of Christian militia members who have been actively training for civil upheaval? Shelley Shannon's "escapades": setting fire to clinics, injecting butyric acid into clinic walls, and the wounding of Dr. George Tiller, seem pretty pitiful when contrasted with these deadly bombs.

Shelley was a raw recruit. If the Army of God is really on the march again, this time they are well armed and disciplined. Clinics have a reason to be afraid. But then, so do the rest of us.

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