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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/christian.identity/chr-iden.03

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

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

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

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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