Clergy response team
There have been reports that the Bush II administration plans to use, in the event that Bush declares martial law, what they apparently call clergy response teams to go door to door in an effort to calm citizens and encourage them to cooperate with the government. Some reports indicate that this initiative is misinterpreting a chapter in the Bible (specifically Romans 13) as justification for blind obedience to authority.
As sinister as this sounds, we have not been able to find more than one source for this – a report from KSLA-TV of Shreveport, Louisiana; all the other reports reference either this link, or a White House document which does not confirm it without a very heavy-handed reading between the lines.
We are currently seeking more information about this supposed initiative.
- 2008-04-11 video New American Theology of Civil Submission: at least one or two preachers arguing that freedom means we should feel free to surrender our freedom to authority (...and I thought I was joking in Stand Up to Your Rights. -W.)
- 2008-02-23 video Re: Clergy Response Teams: The original KSLA report, plus long dissenting commentary from a born-again Christian
- 2007-08-26 Government training clergy to "quell dissent"
- 2007-08-23 Homeland Security Enlists Clergy to Quell Public Unrest if Martial Law Ever Declared, KSLA-TV
- 2007-08-22 White House Web Page Confirms Martial Law "Clergy Response Team" Program: claims that a White House document confirms the initiative, but I don't see this. There are elements in common, but nothing is mentioned about the clergy encouraging citizens to comply with government instructions
- 2007-08-17 'Clergy Response Teams' Pave The Way For Martial Law By Collecting Weapons In Church
- DHS to use "Clergy Response Teams" to help "government" if martial law is declared
- audio and text transcript of KSLA report (plays automatically)
- Feds Train Clergy To "Quell Dissent" During Martial Law: "Shocking KSLA 12 news report confirms story we broke last year, Pastors to cite Romans 13 as reason for public to obey government orders, relinquish guns and be taken to camps during state of emergency."
- 2006-02-23 Appendix B - What Went Right (from The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned) is the White House document cited as confirmation of the existence of clergy response teams. Oddly enough, the report emphasizes the value of citizen empowerment – a surprisingly counter-authoritarian conclusion for this administration.
There is some question about the date of the KSLA report; KSLA's site gives the date as 2007-08-23, but other pages reference it as early as 2007-08-16. Possibly the TV report happened on the 16th and the web page was only posted on the 23rd?