The Thumper Rebellion

I went to the quite place and there sat in commune with the silence.

For decades, they railed against any ideas that didn't agree with theirs. Many of them said things that took them to the edge of treason, only backing down when the law glared at them from across the room. That wouldn't last.

It wasn't a large, cohesive group. They were made up of many small groups with similar beliefs. The other Christians tolerated them because most Christians didn't see the danger. They didn't see that, given the chance, the fundamentalists would outlaw the other forms of Christianity, other religions, and science.

In a small town, a charismatic leader went too far. Federal agents had been watching him and his followers. When the group crossed the line, the feds intervened and lost.

The fundamentalists won by luck, but they were spurred on by this initial victory. They said God was on their side. They also knew there was no turning back. They put the word out that the federal government was attacking religion and had been defeated.

Word spread quickly through the little groups. Many armed themselves and formed an army around the leader. In the week that followed, extremists from all over the United States drove to their new battle ground. Many of these outlaws created mayhem along the way. Robberies and murders were common, as were police chases and shoot-outs.

Not all the rebel groups joined the fundamentalists but chose to fight locally. With explosives and firearms, they attacked federal and other government buildings.

The government mobilized to stop the rebels, colloquially called "Thumpers" (short for Bible Thumpers). National Guard and Reserve Troops surrounded the territory of the Thumpers. That is when things became more complicated.

There were many fundamentalists serving in the United States military. Faced with attacking other fundamentalists, many of them deserted to join the Thumpers. Then they deserted, they took military hardware, and often attacked U.S. troops on the way out. Some U.S. troop positions were left with wounded and dead and some had no equipment.

The federal government made it publically clear that this was not a war on religion but a war to protect the Constitution. This information, along the atrocities committed by rebels, swung public opinion against the Thumpers.

With the military resources provided by the deserters, including skills, the Thumpers organized. They took control over their region and confiscated everything. The locals were conscripted (called "converted") regardless of age or condition. The plan was to dig in before spreading. They were sure that God would give them what they needed.

By this time, regular military had joined the Guard and Reserve. Federal air power tried to take out the leader. This kept the leader on the move. Though this made it harder for his enemies to kill him, it also reduced his ability to lead effectively.

The federal ground strategy was to send in small, quiet groups to establish lookout and firing positions on hilltops. Once two neighboring hills were under control, other troops moved in to control the space between. This corralled the Thumpers, but was slow.

One U.S. Army platoon went further than intended when they skirted Thumper armor. Once on a hill, they dug in and notified command.

To the south of their position, several federal companies where engaged with the Thumpers. The leader happened to be with these Thumpers and he was looking to escape. With a small contingent of personal guard, the leader tried to break for the north.

This path took them under the hill held by the lost platoon. The platoon didn't know who was in the vehicles, but could see the white crosses painted on them. The soldiers opened fire with everything they had. The leader and his closest people were finally dead.

Without their leader, the Thumpers gradually fell apart. Internal strife and a lack of faith added to the decay. Government forces ended the fighting and captured the Thumpers within a few months.

After the rebellion, Christians in the United States attempted to distance themselves from the Thumpers. Many maintained that they were spiritual, but they stopped wearing crosses or carrying bibles. Anyone spouting off fundamentalist rhetoric was ostracized. Those advocating the overthrow of the Constitution were quickly arrested.

Within the previously held Thumper territories, there was much to repair. When they took over, everyone was put to work. Males were given guns for the fight and all fighters were also manual laborers. Non-Christians were shot or hanged.

Most women were set to work as nurses, cooks, washers, or gardeners. In some areas, the Thumpers sent unwed mothers to "Harlot Houses" where they were used as sex slaves for the soldiers. Any female who looked fertile, some as young as ten years, were forced into marriage and then raped by their new "husbands".

Depending on the sub-group operating in an area, they sterilized or killed persons they labeled "mentally retarded" or otherwise "unfit."

Federal forces made sure this information got to the public to help remove any lingering sympathy for the Thumpers. Many of the survivors of the Thumper occupation were haunted for the rest of their lives by the atrocities they suffered. Many of the government soldiers and social workers involved in the recovery were haunted as well.