Friday, September 16, 2005

Double SuperDuper Red States

There's a new community being planned between Mitchell and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, that would be populated by people who sign (use American Sign Language) to communicate. Laurent is primarily a concept with a plan and a web site, but the prospect of a "new urbanism" settlement far enough along to get the locals steamed about increased density and lost farmland. At least, that's why they say they're against it.

How American for this minority to create its own utopia. It's firmly in the tradition of Brigham Young, hippie communes, Liberia, gated communities and Branch Davidian dreams — but with a design charette and comprehensive plan. Some are concerned that Laurent could become a stop on the Wall Drug-Corn Palace tour, a sort of roadside zoo that displays herds of deaf people, but I thought it could be very cool.

Then, the other night I learned of another utopian movement, and this one gave me pause. On The Daily Show, Ed Helms lampooned a secessionist group called Christian Exodus, which encourages right-thinking Christians to relocate to South Carolina, where they can establish a majority rule sufficient to seceed from a nation plagued by activists, sodomy and public education. Helms suggests, and a settler readily agrees, that South Carolina was selected because historically it has been so welcoming to minorities. In fact, the state's main appeal may be that it has a strong secessionist pedigree and established the Church of England as the state religion, which has apparently not been rescinded, even after the War of Northern Aggression.

At first I suspected the characters in "Southward, Christian Soldiers" of being deadpan comedians, but it turns out the pioneer and the organization's leader, Cory Burnell, MBA, are real people. (Burnell himself lives in California, the better to recruit, I guess.) Since I recently forswore implying people are stupid, I can only say these guys are really, really good sports who apparently don't watch cable.

But they do watch demographics and election results:

ChristianExodus.org is moving thousands of Christian constitutionalists to specific cities and counties in South Carolina through a series of emigrations. Our board of directors considers the values of this state to be very similar to the values held by our membership. Additionally, South Carolina possesses a rich history of standing up for her rights.

The cities and counties will be selected based upon, but not limited to, the following criteria:

Voter turnout in primary elections.
Voter turnout in general elections.
Moral nature of the electorate.
Cost of living/housing.
Economic and employment opportunity.
Christian educational choices (including home school networks).
Availability of churches.

The first move of ChristianExodus.org members has commenced. Our research committee selected two city/county combinations for Phase One. We believe we can reestablish constitutionally limited government in these two counties with the relocation of 500 Christians to one and 2,000 to the other. That number of activist émigrés, when combined with the present Christian electorate, will enable constitutionalists to win the city council, the county council, elected law enforcement positions, and elected judgeships. We will then be able to protect our God-given and constitutionally protected rights within our local community.


Why build a new town in a place where you're not welcome, when you can take over receptive communities that already exist? This is an extreme version of the strategy the far right has patiently pursued for over a decade. I was laughing the other night, but I'm not as ready to laugh today.

1 Comments:

Blogger Charlie Quimby said...

Too Beautiful notes that Cory Burnell is a financial planner, and predicts that exodus will be of contributors' money.

When I was researching Mr. Burninhell, I found this little tidbit explaining why his nonprofit group isn't filing for a 501(c)3 status. Hmmm.

3:33 PM  

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