Remember the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer?
Six of the suspects in that scheme have been indicted in the plot so far, and one of those men — surprise! — happens to be a member of a right-wing militia that stormed the U.S. Capitol last week. And in a recent court appearance for the Whitmer plot, that man claims he had God’s permission to kill people:
Barry Croft, 45, of Bear, Del., pleaded not guilty and was denied bond during a hearing in federal court in Grand Rapids. The hearing marked Croft’s first appearance in a Michigan courtroom since being charged alongside five others in October in a case that has focused national attention on violent extremism in Michigan.
Croft is the national leader of the 3 Percenters, a small militia that participated in the Jan. 6 insurgence at the U.S. Capitol, FBI Special Agent Richard Trask said during the hearing…
“Croft was saying he was granted permission from God to commit murder, correct,” [Asst. U.S. Atty. Nils] Kessler asked the FBI agent.
“Correct,” Trask said.
That conversation was part of the justification used by the government to make sure Croft isn’t allowed to leave the state. He had requested to be released from prison before trial to avoid the risk of contracting COVID. Thankfully, prosecutors agreed he was a flight risk and should stay put. Whitmer wasn’t Croft’s only target, either. The FBI also claims he posted a hit list on Facebook that included the Obamas.
I suppose, in a twisted way, God could arguably have had a sense of humor in all this: Croft attempted to kill people but got caught and charged with crimes before he could harm anyone. (Well played.)
Or maybe we should stop taking anyone seriously when they justify their worst actions with faith. Just because you’re religious doesn’t mean you’re virtuous.