Skip to main content

Terrorist Heritage

December 2023
1min read

In Philip Jenkins’s screed “Home-Grown Terror” (September), the citizens’ militia movement is labeled as an anti-Semitic, paranoid, intolerant American societal faction preaching against and determined to visit violence upon the (good) government, its (good) policies, and (good) laws. Using as evidence one quote from a 1930s newspaper report and some photos of a half-dozen militia members in the woods of Michigan allegedly motivated by a bizarre seventeen-year-old fantasy novel called The Turner Diaries and conservative “hate” talk radio, it concludes that those Bible-thumpin’, gun-totin’ “patriotic Christian Americans” apparently have declared a jihad against (good) government! Altogether a remarkable chain of assertions linking the citizens’ militia movement to the terrorist act of the bombing of the federal office building in Oklahoma City, which has been determined by law-enforcement agents to be the action of two, possibly three, irrational people whose only connection has been service in the United States Army.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.