The Church Militant

Headlines in the Detroit Free Press, which reached us recently via USA Today, and the Chicago Sun-Times, from the second-to-last day of last year, were wake-up alarms alerting readers to yet another extremist group of the sort that prospers in these years. One local paper tabbed it as “Right-wing group builds empire near Motor City,” which was an accurate but provincial-sounding notice for a national phenomenon. In all those stories the phrase “Church Militant” was prominent, as it was in another December 30th story, this one by Samuel G. Freedman in the New York Times, which goes into details we cannot provide here. Indeed, we might have dozed past the words “Church Militant” altogether had Freedman not moved the concept from the fourth to the 21st century: “‘Church Militant' Theology Is Put to New, and Politicized, Use.”

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