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Ideology and Theology of Christian Identity

Remaking Christianity Along Fascist Lines

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Despite many similarities, Christian Identity and Christian Fundamentalism comprise two very different theologies. For example, American Fundamentalism adopted Darby's futurism completely, but Christian Identity rejected it just as completely. Christian Identity is particularly hostile to the futurist concept of rapture. They regard it is a cowardly idea and in fact revel in the hope of having to experience the Tribulation personally.

For Christian Identity followers, it will be one of the greatest honors to serve the Lord and battle against the forces of Satan. It is no wonder, then, that Christian Identity adherents can often be found in fortress-like compounds where they have stock-piled food, weapons and supplies. They are actively preparing for a near future, and their preparations have both immediate and serious consequences for the rest of us who live in the same society with them.

Fundamentalists are actively concerned for the fate of Jews and of Israel in particular. For fundamentalists, the creation of the state of Israel represents a major step forward in the fulfillment of God's plan for humanity. But Christian Identity, as we will learn more about later, regard the Jews as the literal spawn of Satan - so for them, the Jewish occupation of the Holy Lands has nothing to do with God's plans.

Finally, Christian Identity is actively opposed to traditional churches, which they consider to be impure and corrupt. Churches have been deluded into believing that the Jews which exist today are God's chosen people and deserving of special treatment. Fundamentalism is thus in a state of "spiritual bankruptcy" from which it cannot be rescued.

Identity & Jews

Perhaps the greatest distinguishing characteristic between CI and not only its cousin fundamentalism but its parent BI is its extreme anti-Semitism. Identity believers aren't simply displeased with Jews - they hate them with a passion and have incorporated the Jews as intricate elements within Identity theology. Even at its worst, the anti-Semitism of BI was never quite so bad, since the Jews were always considered salvagable.

But in Christian Identity, there is no hope for the Jews - not now and not ever. It would take too much time to go into all of the morbid details here, but Identity believers over the years have managed to construct an elaborate blood line for the contemporary Jews which begins with a union between Eve and the serpent (who was really Satan) back in the Garden of Eden.

It then progresses through Cain (the produce of the aforementioned union), the Edomites, Canaanite and Hititte blood is mixed in, then the Khazars of central Asia and down to the contemporary Jewish populations. We thus encounter a fusion of a number of conspiracy beliefs, especially the two which include the Jews on the one hand and the forces of Satan on the other, each dedicated to a worldwide, millennial old conspiracy to take over the world via economic and political means.

Identity & Dualism

Christian Identity has an unusual relationship with Satan, regarding him in a manner which would not be familiar in most Christian churches today. The Devil is no mere upstart angel looking to cause a ruckus among humans. Instead, he is a terrible and powerful adversary who really does have the strength and potential to unseat God from the throne of creation. This sort of theology is called Dualism - and although Christian Identity doesn't quite go so far as to adopt Dualism completely and explicitly, they do come awfully close.

Identity thus wavers precariously between pessimism and optimism. On the one had, they know that they are God's chosen few, dedicated to the final victory of the Lord as foretold in the Bible. They claim to possess special knowledge about the secret workings behind contemporary political and economic institutions. They also claim to have knowledge of the great cosmic conspiracy designed to overthrow God

On the other hand, their theology would not survive if it weren't for the possibility that Satan could win. Group cohesion is strengthened through the fear that if they do not do their job in the coming battle, the Lord's cause may not be fulfilled. Such pessimism is ultimately reinforced through their very actions.

Their ideology is so extreme that they are not believed or even respected by most other Christians, thus lending credibility to the idea that most of the rest of humanity is either in league with the force of Satan or at least has been duped by Satan. Their focus upon preparing for battle has lead them to already mentioned fortress-like compounds, thus further removing them from society and creating ever more distrust between them and the rest of us.

Identity & Mormonism

As with fundamentalism, there is curious range of similarities and difference between the theologies of Christian Identity and the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormons). Perhaps the most significant point of similarity centers around the figure of Cain. Early Mormon doctrine associated the figure of Cain very closely with conspiracy, evil, and the non-white races around the world.

According to Joseph Smith in his book "Pearl of Great Price," Cain entered into a covenant with Satan - in exchange for doing Satan's bidding here on Earth, Cain became the first to learn the secrets for doing evil. Cain also swore an oath to Satan, creating eventually a network of organizations around the world beholden to evil.

Smith further linked Cain to non-white races, describing blacks as the sons of Cain as early as 1842. This quite readily created a connection between non-whites and evil, implicating them in a conspiracy to destroy whites in their covenant with God. Such racist attitudes towards blacks in particular survived long in the Mormon church, and it was only recently that they were permitted to leadership positions within the church hierarchy.

Another interesting point of similarity is that Mormons also see themselves as the "True Israel." They are recipients of newer revelations from God, and as such have replaced earlier groups of "chosen people," including the Jews. For Joseph Smith, people who converted to Mormonism had joined the bloodline of Israel, whether they realized it or not.

Despite all of this, there is no direct causal link between Mormonism and Christian Identity. In particular, Mormonism is not afflicted by the terrible anti-Semitism which plagues CI. As with fundamentalists, they regard the existence of a state of Israel as a good thing. However, many traditional Mormon doctrines, when accepted, can make a person more predisposed to accepting much in Christian Identity.

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