By Joseph Geglia
Several days ago I read an article in Mother Jones on the Oath Keeper movement. The Oath Keepers are people, mostly former and current members of the military and law enforcement, who take an oath to protect the Constitution against domestic threats. They have a list of ten orders that, if given by a superior officer, they will refuse to follow.
The article begins like a good kebob, with an introduction and description of Lee Pray a soldier and an Oath Keeper. While the organization’s founder Stewart Rhodes is quick to point out that the Oath Keepers are a non-violent organization, Pray and other members routinely stash weapons and run drills in preparation for what they see as the imminent shift to a totalitarian government.
As the article’s author, Justine Sharrock, follows Pray through the history of the Oath Keeper movement she writes in a remarkably levelheaded manner. Sharrock details how Stewart Rhodes is quick to disassociate the Oath Keepers from hate groups and people who call for open revolution. When describing an Oath Keeper convention Sharrock remarks how it could just as easily have been an insurance conference.
While restrained in painting the Oath Keepers as right wing terrorists Sharrock doesn’t buy into the Oath Keepers completely either. Though they claim to be a non-partisan organization their founder is a former member of Ron Paul’s campaign, and they are frequently associated with the Tea Party and 912ers. While Rhodes claims they are non-violent many Oath Keeper members train and plan for an armed resistance. Sharrock doesn’t seem concerned with the implications of this as many Oath Keepers themselves admit that they could not resist the armed forces. Still, with the facts laid bare, it is a scary thought to think that members of our armed forces are preparing for what they consider to be a second revolution.