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'The Lord is Not Pleased with What Happened to the Hammonds'
Listen to Ammon Bundy explain how 'the Lord' led him to go to Oregon to protest the arrest of two ranchers. But he is not relying on faith, but on guns and the threat of violence.
By Ed Knudson
I received a call last night from a member of my extended family who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. He said he knew the area where the Cliven Bundy ranch is located. He had hunted in the area with friends and knew that the Bundys were good people and even good stewards of the land. I said that the problem is that Ammon Bundy and his brother along with others are not just engaging in a protest, they have taken over public property with weapons and threatened that they are willing to die for their cause.
I said that Bundy had announced that he wanted the federal land in Harney County to be turned over to county government. My family member said that he was absolutely opposed to that idea. He knew what would happen to the land near Las Vegas if that would happen. The county would sell the land and it would no longer be available for others to come and hunt, for example.
I said that if he could get a message to the Bundy family it would be good to tell them that they should leave the Burns area immediately because it will not be too long before law enforcement will have to act. This occupation is now costing over $100,000 a week so it simply can't go on forever. I myself believe the governor should call out the national guard to surround the compound, close off the power, allow no further people in there, and arrest the people as they come out.
I thought I would find out more about Ammon Bundy's personal motivations and how he talks about the reasons for these actions. I found the video below where he speaks in a soft-spoken way explaining that he is not a madman but because his father was so concerned about the Hammonds who have been jailed due to conflicts with federal agencies. Ammon says he prayed on his knees and "the Lord" revealed to him what he should do.
The Bundys are Mormons. Other papers on this website describe some of the history of Mormon conflict with government and its teachings about the U.S. constitution as a divinely-inspired document like the bible. So their notion of "God" is a very particular notion and whether or not other people must accept their view of God is not something that can be forced through the threat of violence. But as Bundy speaks about this matter in this video it is clear he is sincere in his beliefs and I think he also thinks that large numbers of other people would agree with how he speaks of God. He makes an appeal for others to come to Burns to protest.
But, think about this. The guns make a difference (see photo of armed guard; this guy has all the bells and whistles of military-style violence). I believe that Bundy's apparent "sincerity" does not justify his decision to force his views on others through the threat of violence. He is a kind of terrorist. Radical Muslim terrorists are also sincere. Bundy is engaging in criminal trespassing. Whether or not the process of convicting and jailing the Hammonds was fair, and I wonder about that, the way to handle such conflict is through the democratic process in this country, not through guns.
It is clearly time for federal and state agencies to act to end this illegal occupation of public land.
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