Archive/File: orgs/american/christian.identity chr-iden.03 Last-Modified: 1993/11/02 This

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Archive/File: orgs/american/christian.identity chr-iden.03 Last-Modified: 1993/11/02 This is a transcription of a Xerox copy I received recently regarding Christian Identity. Typos mine. [Editor's note: source unreadable (line 3 of quoted text) - would appreciate confirmation from anyone who can provide it. knm] ===Begin Transcription=== MONTANA'S RACIST RIGHT The Politics of "Christian Identity" The Montana Deep in the woods, late at night, a circle of men dressed in white robes surrounds a burning cross. Arms stretched to the sky, their leader calls for divine affirmation of the supremacy of the white race. Around the perimeter of light cast by the flames leaping from the cross, men dressed in fatigues with automatic weapons cradled in their arms keep watch. It is cold, dark, mysterious, and evil. Such are the images in our mind's eye when racist organizations are mentioned. These are the images of violence and terror we all associate with the racist right. But these images represent only a small portion of the whole picture of the racist right. There is much more to this movement than twisted Klansmen and paramilitary fanatics secretly creeping around in the woods. Much more common in Montana are the so called Christian patriots or constitutionalists. They believe that the Federal Reserve and the Trilateral Commission are Jewish conspiracies. They say that income tax is unconstitutional. Christian patriot groups show a populist face. They claim to represent the little guy, the working man -- the people. But when they say "we the people", they mean "we the white, Christian people." The thread that binds the Ayran Nation, various Klan groups, and Christian patriots is "Christian Identity". Christian Identity is a theology that holds that white, northern Europeans are God's chosen people. Jews are descendents of Satan and everyone else is "pre Adamic"; virtually a different species. Christian Identity provides these groups with access to a higher truth which is used to justify behavior that the rest of society finds abhorrent. In recent years, these groups have been turning more and more to the political process to move their agenda. One of the reasons for this was aggressive prosecution of some hate activists by the Justice Department. Many leaders in the hate movement became fearful that their continued association with, and advocacy of, illegal activity would result in prison sentences. Another, and probably larger reason, was that they saw some quite notable successes. Lyndon LaRouche successfully blew apart Illinois' Democratic Party politics by methodically working to take over local party central committees. His tactics were carefully observed by many leaders in the hate community. Then along came David Duke. Duke showed the racist movement how to package themselves. While much of the hate movement remains committed to the extremist rhetoric which alienates and frightens most people, more and more are turning to Duke's soft core hatred. Far too many are finding an audience in these times of protest politics. Hate groups are not seeking victory in the political process. They believe the political system is completely co-opted and must be destroyed and rebuilt. But the political process does offer some opportunities which can be found nowhere else. Candidates are generally allowed to portray themselves as they see fit. Only if the sharp eye of the media focuses on them are they challenged. Too often the media dismiss candidates with a history of hate activism as a political curiosity and do little beyond making note of former ties to racist organizations. Most of the time these candidates travel from one candidate forum to another, finding a few supporters here and a few there, raising money and quietly building their network. In Montana, during the democratic primary race for govenor, Red Beckman joined the field of candidates. In his book, _The Church Deceived_, Beckman wrote that the Holocaust was God's judgement on the Anti-Christ Church. Beckman was also one of the featured speakers at a Christian Identity retreat in Colorado this summer. The media did identify Beckman as a tax protester, but he was rarely challenged about his bigoted views by either reporters of other candidates. Perhaps a bigger concern in Montana is the presidential candidacy of Bo Gritz. Gritz is running on the Populist Party ticket. The Populist Party was founded by Willis Carto a virulent anti-Semite from the East Coast. Currently, the Populists are experiencing factional infighting, but the leadership still reads like a who's who of the racist movement. Gritz was David Duke's running mate for a brief period of time in Duke's Populist Party Presidential bid in 1988. Gritz has devoted a lot of effort to Montana. He has appeared at rallies in Kalispell, Billings, Butte, and Bozeman. Each was attended by about 400 to 500 people. In Kalispell, he held a sixty dollar a plate fund raiser, which was attended by 128 people. At heach rally he sells his book, tapes, bumper stickers, t-shirts, etc. Gritz recently qualified for the ballot in Montana. Most disturbing of all is the success hate groups have had in stiching bigotry and ignorance into the political fabric. Radical epithets have been replaced by the buzz words like "quotas," "career criminals," and "welfare mothers." Gay bashing has assumed a coat of respectability called "family values". It is not the extremists using these terms, it is mainline candidates seeking the support of a fearful, distrustful, and frustrated electorate. Our political process over the last twelve years has tolerated, fostered, and encouraged bigotry and intolerance. It is a trend that is fundamentally anti-democratic. We can reverse this trend only if we speak out, organize, and educate. Justice Oliver Wenell [sic] Holmes said it best, "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of an eye, the more light you shed upon it, the more it contracts." --- Ken Toole Ken Toole is President of the Montana Human Rights Network +------------------------------------------------------------------------+ "It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." Televangelist, Pat Robertson, who spoke at the Republican convention, on the proposed equal-rights amendment +------------------------------------------------------------------------+


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