In Texas, if at first you can’t secede, try — joining a militia?

Posted Saturday, Sep. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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kennedy A determined Marine reservist made national headlines last year when he petitioned the White House for Texas secession.

Now, after more than 125,000 Americans signed his petition, Micah Hurd has sort of seceded.

Hurd, 24 and now a Plano resident, left college at UT-Arlington and quit the Texas State Guard.

Frustrated with the Guard, the state’s civil disaster-relief corps, he instead has joined a militia.

The Guard doesn’t have a “productive vision,” Hurd said, adding that he thinks Texas needs a “military force.”

He joined a Weatherford-based militia to resist “if we get attacked by our government.”

Hurd, the son of a Weatherford pastor, landed in The Washington Post in November when he petitioned President Barack Obama to let Texas “withdraw” and keep its “standard of living … [under] the original ideas and beliefs of the Founding Fathers.”

Hurd said Friday, “I adamantly believe Texas should secede.”

And if the rest of America doesn’t see it that way?

“I do not believe at this point we should enact a revolution,” he said.

“But in 50 years — who knows?”

The White House sent a brief response to Hurd’s petition and others from eight states, saying America’s founders meant to create a “perpetual union” as described in the Articles of Confederation.

“I can’t find that anyplace in the Constitution,” Hurd said.

He said he bases his views in part on his faith as a follower of Christian Reconstructionism and dominionism, a libertarian strain of Christianity.

To Reconstructionists, liberty and human rights are Bible-based and the only righteous government is a theocracy under “God’s law.”

“Nowhere in God’s law does it say I must continue to be subject to a tyranny,” Hurd said.

“We can remove ourselves from our fiscally irresponsible government.”

Hurd’s departure from the Texas State Guard was not without controversy.

When his White House petition made the news, 4th Regiment Col. Howard Palmer of Denton emailed volunteers not to discuss secession in any government capacity.

Palmer’s email called the idea “ignorant talk” and told any secessionists to “make it go away.”

Hurd said he was not petitioning as a Guard member. (He remains a Marine reservist after five years in the North Carolina-based 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.)

Now living in Plano with his family and studying to become a fiber engineer, Hurd said he will commute to drills in Weatherford and hopes to counter stereotypes of a “Billy Bob militia.”

He fears the federal goverment “stepping in and mandating a sweeping change of laws to limit our rights,” he said.

“Those rights are God-given.”

In all the nostalgia for Texas independence — just last week Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman speculated that the rest of the U.S. might collapse — there has been little discussion of the religious overtones.

Writing on “secession theology” for Religion News Service last fall, Massachusetts scholar G. Jeffrey MacDonald compared the petitions to a reformation and church splits over purity.

Hurd said converting Texas or America to a religious theocracy is a “long-term goal — it might take 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 years.”

He is not the only secessionist thinking that way.

Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538 Twitter: @BudKennedy

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