Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Under Suspicion

Careful, everyone. Talking too much about "sovereignty" could land you on the FBI's domestic terrorism watch list.

The Casper Star-Tribune, in its investigative series about the so-called sovereign citizen movement, presents the tell-tale signs of a movement member as follows:

"The sovereign citizen movement often shares the same views of the tea party movement, and its emphases on the Second and 10th Amendments:

* Opposition to taxes -- especially the federal income tax.

* Opposition to regulations and regulatory agencies.

* Loathing of President Obama.

* "Take America back" rhetoric.

* Christian spirituality.

* And property rights."

Holy crap! This sounds like me and most of my friends. Maybe we all belong on the FBI's domestic terrorist watch list.

I wouldn't say I "loath" President Obama, which means I can't quite check that box (though I certainly don't like him much). I'm not heavily into "Christian spirituality," so that isn't a perfect fit. And I'm not quite sure who America should be taken back from, or who took it from whom, or who American belongs to these days, or what that really means, so there's no check mark there either. But I have to admit that some of the warning signs of a sovereign citizen sympathizer hit pretty close to home.

Of course, they might also describe most of the founding fathers, as well as many millions of middle-of-the-road Americans, past and present, living and dead, who simply take the ideas ensconced in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution seriously. Is that really all it takes, these days, to qualify as a potential domestic terrorist in the eyes of the FBI?

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