Armed for Life: The Army of God and Anti-Abortion Terror in the United States

Armed for Life: The Army of God and Anti-Abortion Terror in the United States

Armed for Life: The Army of God and Anti-Abortion Terror in the United States

Armed for Life: The Army of God and Anti-Abortion Terror in the United States

Synopsis

The Army of God may not be widely known, but they are well established as an extremist Christian organization united in their belief that abortion must be stopped at all costs, including the use of violence or force. Who are the primary players in this underground terrorist group, what acts are they responsible for, and what are the motivations behind their quest to make abortion illegal in the United States?

"Armed for Life: The Army of God and Anti-Abortion Terror in the United States" addresses these questions and more, drawing upon never-before-published interviews with members of the Army of God and their own writings to reveal the details of this grossly understudied organization--and to document what its existence and expansion says about our society.

Excerpt

In the classic film The Sound of Music, there is a famous scene in which a group of nuns fret (in melodious rhythm and perfect pitch) about how to solve a problem involving a fellow nun. In the song, they equate their conundrum to trying to capture a cloud for the purpose of tying it down and catching an ocean wave to keep it on the beach. They go on to lament the impossibility of defining their troublesome sister and then summarize the issue by harmonizing “How do you hold a moon beam in your hand?” Notwithstanding the rather important difference in issues (the nuns were concerned about getting Sister Maria to come to meals on time instead of spending hours singing in the hills), and denomination (the nuns were— obviously—Catholic), the song could be nearly as appropriate in explaining the challenges of studying the Army of God: an organization that is not at all organized; a pro-life group justifying the use of fatal force; a shadowy movement composed of individuals ready and willing to talk to anyone who will listen about why they do what they do; a group of only a few dozen able to paralyze an industry. How do you find a word that describes this? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

For the most part, the answer has been “you don’t.” Most books on the antiabortion movement in the United States to date have devoted a few pages to this perplexing group, content to leave the lines between the Army of God and the rest of the pro-life movement blurred. These books provide invaluable knowledge about the antiabortion movement as a whole and the many groups that form its different parts. There are outstanding resources available that identify leaders in the movement and provide excellent historical context. There are others that trace the long path from nonviolent . . .

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