Christian Patriot

From dKosopedia

The Christian Patriot movement is a reference to claimed loose association of groups and people in the United States. Many of these groups may share common interests including militia or self defense, conspiracy theories, a Christian theology which places special emphasis on eschatology or covenant eschatology and apocalyptic matters, and interpretations of law, economics, and the United States Constitution and persistent false beliefs held in the face of strong contradictory evidence not currently entertained by today's venues despite past rulings. The movement is generally considered to be part of the political far right in the United States, and is also described by some, as a movement which bridges the gap between the more mainstream evangelical Christianity and the racialist Christian Identity movement.

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History

The origins of the movement are debated. Some researchers believe the movement is rooted in a wide array of American populist and xenophobic movements, including the Know-Nothing movement, the John Birch Society, Ku Klux Klan, Father Coughlin and U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communism, America First, George Wallace's segregationism, and Barry Goldwater's conservatism and libertarianism. Other researchers more specifically locate the movement's origins in the rural economic depression and overwhelming debt in the 1980s combined with a feeling of disenfranchisement and anger among white males and private property natural rights advocates in response to rapid inflation and rise of federalised departments of education, the Civil Rights movement, and Feminism. The movement proper is thought to begin in the late 1970s or early 1980s, with especially strong followings in the Pacific Northwest and Upper Midwest, with the foundation of the Christian Patriot Association in Oregon and book publishers such as Emissary Publications. Posse Comitatus was a somewhat related albeit more radical movement which was also active at the time.

The movement came to public attention in 1992 when the U.S. Federal Government besieged Randy Weaver at his home in Northern Idaho, and in 1993 during a 51-day standoff between the U.S. Federal Government and the Branch Davidians outside of Waco, Texas, which ended in the deaths of 85 men, women and children. The Branch Davidians were not connected to the Christian Patriot movement at all, but supporters of the Christian Patriot movement were among the most vocal sympathizers of the Branch Davidians during the siege. The siege of the Montana Freemen, a Christian Patriot group, also brought continued attention. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the resulting War on Terror, the movement has fallen from public attention.

The term Christian Patriot came into "official" use by the current movement during the late 1970s or early 1980s following the establishment of the Christian Patriot Association of Boring, Oregon. There was a previous usage of the term during the Great Depression by at least one small group with similar political leanings.

Christian Patriots generally do not gather in large self-identifying groups, but exist in and associate with a wide variety of groups. Such groups include tax protester groups, homeschool groups, and conservative Christian churches. Their literature is sometimes available at gun shows and at "preparedness expos" which were held in some cities during the 1990s.

Views

Some views commonly associated with The Christian Patriot movement, sometimes considered synonymous with the Militia Movement, are generally organized around a belief that world events are secretly controlled by some group such as the Illuminati, the Council of Foreign Relations, international banking families, Communists, Jews, the United Nations, or some combination of the above, and that conspiracy will culminate in a new world order conspiracy, which is either present or impending.

Christian Patriots hold to a strict constructionist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and are closely associated with the tax protester movement. They may encourage people to get rid of their Social Security number, believing it to be an unconstitutional national identity card, and to stop paying income taxes, based on their belief that the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is illegitimate (see Tax protester constitutional arguments). The Christian Patriot movement wants to abolish the Federal Reserve System in the United States, which they believe is part of the conspiracy. Christian Patriots are often hostile to banks and bankers in general, accusing them of usury. Some Christian Patriots may support a state citizenship theory. They generally support gun rights and other conservative causes, along with causes such as jury nullification which also have support from the left and libertarians.

Their Christian theology is Protestant and mostly fundamentalist. Some segments of the movement - notably those overlapping with Christian Identity and the Aryan Nations espouse anti-Semitism, lionize Adolf Hitler and call Christianity a White religion, but this is not a universal tenet of Christian Patriots. There are other Christian Patriots who reject white supremacism and whose views run closer to standard fundamentalist Christianity, albeit with a heavy emphasis on the "Illuminati" conspiracy theory.

Some Christian Patriots espouse anti-Masonic and anti-Catholic views as well. Christian Patriots are apocalyptic, though there are various versions of apocalypse, ranging from the Christian Dispensationalist doctrine of the impending second coming of Jesus to the impending imposition of martial law and revocation of the U.S. Constitution.

Some Christian Patriot views have crept into evangelical Christianity, most notably through evangelical Christian writers citing Christian Patriot works as references. Examples include Pat Robertson, whose book The New World Order used the writings of Eustace Mullins as a source; Jack Chick, who cites Christian Patriot writer Des Griffin's book The Fourth Reich of the Rich in several of his Chick Publications tracts; and John Todd, who caused a brief stir in the late 1970s claiming to have been a reformed member of the Illuminati. During the late 1990s, Hank Hanegraaff and Richard Abanes wrote articles for the Christian Research Institute warning of the increasing popularity of Christian Patriot views among evangelicals, and urging evangelicals to avoid buying into these theories.

Legal theories

Christian Patriots advance a variety of theories on constitutional and statutory law. A recurring theme is that some group of people has used legal trickery to usurp the authority of the United States government. They often have a metaphysical aspect, in that the theorist claims that the legal reality that most people believe is an illusion obscuring a deeper legal reality.

In addition to common tax protester arguments, Christian Patriots have repeatedly made the following legal claims:

Courts that have considered these theories have consistently rejected them as frivolous.

External links

See also