Jess Walter

“YOU CAN SEE FOR MILES in both directions from the point on Ruby Ridge. From here, the paths of the Weaver family and the federal government seem inevitable, trucks barreling toward each another on a one-lane road. The government’s route to Ruby Ridge was a twenty-year drift toward militaristic law enforcement, in which quiet agents in suits gave way to federal SWAT teams competing for funding, in which unchecked arrogance and zeal allowed federal agents to act as if their ends justified their means. For the Weavers, the trail to this place cuts right through our own backyards, through patriotism, the military, fundamentalist Christianity, and eventually paranoia. Randy and Vicki’s story is a map of disenfranchisement. They were seduced by conspiracy and a religion called Christian Identity, by beliefs steeped in racism and fear of government oppression, beliefs that helped bring about the very thing they feared. Ultimately, you come to the Weaver story along the same trail Randy and Vicki took, from the heart of Christian Iowa to the deep woods of North Idaho. There is much to ponder along the way—the accountability of government and the danger of paranoia, the villainy of coincidence and the desperate need to decide, every day all over again, where society’s lines will be drawn. Up a twisting, rutted dirt road, past gnarled pine trees and scrub grass, you come finally to a sign at the edge of the old Weaver property. Two sets of unbending law clashed on the mountain, two incompatible views of the world, outlined by defiant red letters painted on a plywood sign: “Every knee shall bow to Yahshua Messiah.”

Jess Walter, Ruby Ridge
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Ruby Ridge Ruby Ridge by Jess Walter
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