The Army of the Republic by Stuart Archer Cohen gets two out of a possible five stars in the Shotgun rating system.
I didn’t like this book. Sorry Stuart.
I don’t like people glorifying terrorist acts against a government that I love.*
I don’t like seeing this beautiful system portrayed in such a terrible light.**
You see, in the book, America has completely fallen prey to the cooperate regimes backed by a phony administration. This terrible oligarchy was selling off American public assets (like water) to the highest bidder.
The hero of the story founded a terrorist organization called “Army of the Republic” in response.
While I can sympathize with the passion of the Army folk, I find their violent acts to be disgusting and unheroic. The more violent of acts include the execution (via sniper) of a top business man, the demolition of a water plant, and at one point, a fellow terrorist is taken out point blank.
These terrorist also played fast and loose with the term “Revolution” and their misuse of the term is key to understanding why it should get a negative response from Christians. ***
Why should we trade tyranny of the Oligarchy for tyranny of the terrorist? Even if their revolution were successful (and we never find out if it is or not…) why should we care? Using power to force your view onto another only happens when your view is completely worthless and arbitrary.
This statement by Rushdoony about war, can just as easily be applied to the current understanding of revolutions:
“War is a sign of impotence. A system or philosophy of life which has no power to convert becomes imperialistic. For the zeal and faith of peaceful missionary work it substitutes brutal terror. A failing faith resorts to war, because it lacks the contagion of faith and conviction and can only force men into its own system. War is the resort of those who lack true power and are declining.” – R.J. Rushdoony: Roots of Reconstruction pg. 17.
As Christians we cannot, and MUST not allow talk about violent revolutions. As Otto Scott points out in his lectures, such revolutions always destroy the host country.
So why did I give the book two stars then?
Well, ever since reading 1984 that fateful day in high school, I’ve enjoyed watching totalitarian regimes get what is coming to them. When humans are not afraid to stand up to their governments the idea of the messianic state is shaken.
We are clearly shown that the solution to the fictional America’s problem is a massive change of heart among the citizens of the country.
That is something I certainly agree with. God bring this nation a true revival!
Overall, this is a fast paced and enjoyable book…one that I would have devoured when I was younger. But now that I’m older, and have a clearer understanding of a proper Christian Just War theory, I can spot the naked skeleton of despair through the shimmering facade that is the Revolutionary.
*Yes, I do still love our system of government even though I hate what it’s being turned into by the evil fascists currently in power. It’s like standing by helpless while you watch a gang of grinning and blasphemous thugs rape your girlfriend.
**While ultimately the OT theocratic republic (ruled by a decentralized system of judges) is the greatest and freest system, our American Republic comes in a distant second.
***Consider Otto Scott’s statements about a proper understanding of “Revolution.” http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1805181647