Bo Gritz and Middle America

Letter From Indiana

"You want to go see Bo Gritz burn the U.N. flag?" My libertarian neighbor Bill, during the final days of the last presidential campaign, was making me an offer I couldn't refuse. I have always been half-frustrated by mv failure to take advantage of all those radical activities in my college days during the 60's. This looked like a great opportunity to make up for lost time.

On the way down, Bill filled me in on the details. Bo Gritz was running for President of the United States and speaking at the Indianapolis Baptist Temple, the flagship—or at least the most combative—fundamentalist church in Indianapolis. The church was hosting a conference of the American Coalition of Unregistered Churches, a group of congregations that refuses to register with the IRS in order to avoid governmental control of religion.

Bo Gritz, in case you don't know him, is a lieutenant colonel and former Green Beret. He led an unsuccessful MIA rescue mission into Southeast Asia and helped negotiate the surrender of survivalist Randall Weaver to the various forces that had surrounded his home. According to Bo, he speaks Chinese and Swahili, so he's no dummy. He's no coward either. He claims that the Justice and State departments told him he would spend 15 years in jail if he did not forget what he knew about government drug-trafficking in Burma. He didn't and was tried, but acquitted.


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