I attended a summer camp when I was 9 or 10 years old in a Walnut Orchard out in the Northwest San Fernando Valley, back when there were still pockets of agriculture in the Valley — about 1957 I believe.
It was called “Christian Commandos”. Even as a 9 or 10 year old I thought the name was bizarre, an oxymoron that turned Jesus’s teachings upside down. But given my Dads military and Police background it was not surpising that he sent my brother and I there. I don’t remember exactly what we did, other than some basic hand to hand combat training, but it was all serious stuff, and mostly boring. I was glad to be done with it after a week.
I think of it now when I read about the court proceedings relating to the January 6 Capital invasion, and the Oath Keepers, and other folks who obviously take themselves and their convictions very seriously. It humanizes them for me to a considerable degree, like the folks who put on the Christian Commandos camp. My Dad was obviously sympathetic since he sent us there very purposefully. It is also is a reminder that extremists on both sides of the political spectrum, who emotionally need simple solutions, have always been present in our politics.
But, like Japan before World War II, and Putin currently, people who can’t tolerate ambiguity mistake the cacophony and indecision of Democracy for weakness. In their impatience the January 6 invaders tried to cut through the complex fabric of negotiated law that has made this countries democracy the dominent power in the world, and a magnet for people from other countries.
While I can appreciate their sincerity, for our democracy to continue to grow and improve I have to conclude their disrespect of law cannot be tolerated.