By: Randy Edwards
Re: [1 of 2] The Theology of Christian Identity
** Topic: CDR: Racist Ideology **
/* Written 12:39 PM Mar 13, 1994 by markalf in igc:pol.right.foru */
/* ---------- "CDR: Racist Ideology" ---------- */
Center for Democratic Renewal
P.O. Box 50469
Atlanta, GA 30302-0469
The Theology of Christian Identity
Identity is a quasi-theological movement of small churches,
tape and book distribution houses, and radio ministries which seeks
to broaden the influence of the white supremacist movement under
the guise of Christianity. Because many of its core beliefs are now
held by members of different Klan and neo-Nazi organizations,
Identity binds the movement across the country. Instead of Mein
Kampf, Identity uses the Bible as the source of its ideology. It
teaches that people of color are pre-Adamic, that is, not fully
human and are without souls. Identity followers believe that Jews
are the children of Satan and that the white people of northern
Europe are the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel.
The racial identity of the Israelites in the Old Testament is
the central turning point for this quasi-religious movement--hence
the name, Identity.
According to Identity believers, their true lineage has been
hidden for the past 2,000 years, supposedly since white people
migrated out of Biblical Israel. They believe that their racial
identity is important because of the fate of various racial groups
during the period they refer to as the End Times.
Identity groups also refer to themselves as Kingdom Identity
because of their belief that the Second Coming of Christ will occur
prior to the establishment of His Kingdom here on earth.
Some Christian denominations believe that true Christians will
leave the earth and meet Christ at the time of the Second Coming,
escaping a period of war, plagues and disasters known as the
Tribulations. This process is known as the Rapture. Unlike these
Christians who believe the Second Coming will occur prior to the
establishment of the kingdom, the Identity movement considers the
Rapture a hoax and a Jewish fable of "marshmallow Christianity."
According to this reasoning, if there is no Rapture,
Christians can expect to suffer through the Tribulations in order
to reach the Kingdom. Identity teaches that the "elect" people of
the Anglo-Saxon nations have a special role to play throughout the
period of the Tribulations and until the establishment of the
Kingdom. In Identity Christianity, election is determined by race,
not by the redemptive grace of God.
Since many Identity believers think that humankind is now in
the period of the Tribulations, current events are interpreted as
the fulfillment of dire prophecies. Some believe that social
security numbers and drivers licenses are the Mark of the Beast,
and should not be used.
The Tribulations, they believe, are divine retribution for
their sins; they have sinned by allowing the stranger--Jews and
others--to live amongst them. They have sinned because society
allows interracial marriages. They have sinned by allowing the
sodomites (homosexuals) to continue their "evil practices." Since
Identity followers believe that the Bible commands racial
segregation, they interpret racial equality as a violation of God's
Law. If Christian ministers advocate racial equality, they are
advocating breaking God's Law.
Identity and the Christian Republic
The creation of a white Christian republic in the United
States is a shared goal within the white supremacist movement, from
the hard-core neo-Nazis of the Aryan Nations to the many Christian
Patriot groups. The Identity movement provides a theological
justification for this racism and breach of the constitutionally-
mandated separation of church and state.
For example, William Potter Gale, an influential Identity
leader who died shortly after being indicted for conspiracy to kill
IRS agents, wrote:
"The Church is composed of the many-membered body of Jesus
Christ. This Republic was founded as a Christian Republic. The
government is nothing but an expansion of the Christian church! It
was founded by a compact...know as the Articles of Confederation,
Perpetual which have their source in the Holy Bible. Since the
Constitution was lifted from the Articles of Confederation, the
source of the Constitution is the Bible."
Identity, like other sections of the white supremacist
movement, teaches that an international Jewish banking conspiracy
if behind many of the world's events. Sheldon Emry, who led the
Lord's Covenant Church in Phoenix, AZ, before his death, spelled it
out for his followers:
"God Almighty warned in the Bible that one of the curses which
would come upon His People for disobeying His Laws was: The
stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high
[Deut. 28:44-45]. Most of the owners of the largest banks in
America are of Eastern European ancestry and connected with the
Rothschild European banks."
Emry's themes are now a staple of Identity theology and form
part of the basis of its appeal: America is the new Promised Land;
Jews and other non-whites are aliens in this land; the Federal
Reserve and interest (usury) are violations of God's law; the price
that the true House of Israel pays for violating that law is
dominations by the Jews.
The same themes are echoed by Pete Peters, a minister of the
LaPorte, CO Church of Christ. Peters believes that "Once God's laws
are obeyed by His people, the body of people shall be healed.
Healthy bodies throw off parasites. When there is repentance and
obedience to His laws, the porno shop will no longer be on Main
Street, the Jewish Hollywood filth will no longer be
tolerated...the homosexual and the murderer will be removed, the
Jewish banker will no longer be allowed to charge interest..."
Identity and Mass Influence
During the 1970's and early 1980's, Identity was used as a
rationale to establish paramilitary survivalist camps far removed
from the mainstream of society. During the 1990's, some Identity
leaders have attempted to rid their movement of its paramilitary
image and establish a larger following with broader influence.
Chief among these Identity leaders has been Pete Peters.
Peters is developing new methods for the Identity movement to
expand. From his home in LaPorte, he has built a radio ministry
with many followers, who regularly purchase his literature and
taped sermons. Each summer Peters runs a family-style Bible camp in
the Colorado Rockies. When he convened the 1990 camp almost 500
adults and small children participated. Similar events were held in
1991 and 1992. Peters also holds a regular camp session in
Virginia. He has purchased 1,000 acres of land in Wyoming.
In 1989, 1990 and 1991, Peters led a delegation of his
followers to Washington, DC, to lobby against gun control and other
issues. In November 1989, Peters led the opposition to an amendment
to a Ft. Collins, CO, ordinance that would have outlawed
discrimination based on sexual orientation. The anti-discrimination
Although a Clergy Coalition organized to support the anti-
discrimination measure, no one challenged Peter's claim to be a
legitimate Christian leader of his adherence to the racist theology
of Identity. As a result, Peters successfully cast himself as a
community leader and gained new adherents. Peters' success has
served as a model for other Identity leaders.
** End of text from cdp:pol.right.docs **
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