Imagine I started a rumor that conservative churches were conspiring to bring about the biblical end times, a time of chaos and violence when non-believers will suffer and believers will celebrate the second coming of Christ. This, of course, is not true, but people angry with the church, insecure about their place in the world, irrational because of mental illness, and those wanting to create chaos for personal gain might believe and spread it.

Now imagine the movement grows like wildfire, where people who don’t know any better begin to believe. Self-righteous protectors, armed with automatic weapons, begin to camp in front of conservative churches intimidating innocent churchgoers, taking pictures of them with their children and recording license plates. Rumor-believers claim they are intimidating no one, but simply exercising their first and second amendment rights.