Mainstream media outlets are bias in their reporting about the nine self-identified "Christian warriors" accused of plotting to kill law enforcement officers, contends a group whose mission is to respond to anti-Christian defamation.
Even though members of the militia group call themselves Hutaree, which they say means "Christian warrior," their alleged violent plan "is absolutely contrary to Christianity," said Dr. Gary Cass, president of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.
"They may have illicitly co-opted the Christian faith to justify their murderous intentions, but it is defamatory for the media to keep referring to them as Christians," said Cass. "They are simply terrorists."
Federal authorities arrested on Monday nine people accused of planning to kill a Michigan law enforcement officer and then attack police during the funeral. Six of the members are Michigan residents, one is from Indiana, and the other two are from Ohio.
The indictment says Hutaree wanted to use improvised explosive devices on the vehicles carrying police during the funeral procession.
Attorney General Eric Holder calls the arrested militanmen and women "anti-government extremists."
Hutaree, in the "About Us" section of its website, cites Scripture taken out of context to support its mission. Hutaree points to Luke 22:35-37, for example, which says, "Then Jesus asked them, 'When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?' 'Nothing ,' they answered. He said to them, 'But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.'"
Hutaree claims the reference to swords in the Bible means "Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment,'" according to its website.
But the mainstream Christian interpretation of the verses is that Jesus is referencing the coming persecution that his disciples will face after his death.
The disciples also misunderstood and took Jesus' reference to swords literally and said, "See, Lord, here are two swords."
Jesus out of frustration ends the conversation and replies, "That is enough."
In the same chapter, Jesus is arrested in the Mount of Olives and this is the only time when his disciples are recorded to have used swords. One of his disciples (Luke 22:50) cuts off the ear of a servant of the high priest, but Jesus scolded his disciple, saying, "No more of this!" and healed the man's ear with his touch.
Hutaree says it knows "many people, even Christians" don't agree with what it is doing, but it believes the Bible supports its actions.
Cass of Christian Anti-Defamation Commission calls the members of Hutaree "insane."
He said it is "hypocritical" of mainstream news organizations to resist calling someone who carries out Jihad because of his faith an "Islamic terrorist" for fear of offending Muslims.
"But when some insane person claims to be a Christian and does something completely contrary to the Christian faith, the media keeps making the libelous association," Cass argued. "It's time for the news media to stop this transparent double standard."
A bond hearing for the nine suspects is set for Wednesday afternoon.