Est. May 2008

24 October, 2014

Christian Identity

NewsBusters has an article up (actually, a cross-post from Bizzy Blog) regarding a very-poorly-timed op-ed over at USA Today:
Sandwiched in between two domestic terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists in Canada during the past three days, USA Today ran a Tuesday op-ed which appeared in Wednesday's print edition by Mary Zeiss Stange called "Beware the Christian Extremists."
So I popped over to the article in question and, while reading it, had to check the header to make sure I hadn’t been re-directed to HuffPo’s Religion section.

The author, Mary Zeiss Stange, has an obvious distaste for Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who stood up to the US government, as well as the ‘sovereign citizen’ idea.  These she expands into a diatribe against what she calls ‘Christian extremism’.

Now, beyond the information given at the NewsBusters/Bizzy Blog link – which brings up questions as to Ms Stange’s ability to research and fact-check her stuff – there’s one thing which, as a Christian, I find to pretty much completely capsize her credibility canoe.

You see, Ms Stange seems to have a bit of an obsession with the ‘Christian Identity movement’.  She describes it as ‘ … a hodgepodge of anarchist and white supremacist politics dedicated to white Christian activism’, as having a ‘ … Creator God, who made only white men in his image, and writes:
It's no coincidence that many factions of the Ku Klux Klan affiliate with Christian Identity. Nor that Christian Identity believers make up a rogues' gallery that includes the likes of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, serial bomber Eric Rudolph and Scott, the Montana Freemen member who killed abortion provider George Tiller. Roeder proudly bore the "sovereign citizen" banner.
Now, I could be charitable and say that Ms Stange seems rather uninformed when it comes to Scripture, in that nowhere in the New Testament is ‘white supremacy’ mentioned, nor is the notion that one skin-color or race is better or worse than any other.  But I find that charity hard to come by, because Ms Stange is actually Professor Stange, ‘a professor of religion and director of the religion program at Skidmore College’.  You’d think that a professor of religion would actually, you know, know the tenets of the religions he or she teaches, and you’d think that, when faced with something so non-Scriptural as the ideology of ‘white supremacy’, that professor would come out and say, ‘What they believe is wrong.’

But Ms Stange doesn’t do that; instead, she presents this anti-Scriptural nonsense as fact, and then uses that ‘fact’ to say that ‘Christianity provides the other four groups [the sovereign citizen movement, ‘militia/patriots, racist skinheads and neo-Nazis’] with their extremist rationale’.

No, it doesn’t, Ms Stange – their willful warping and twisting of Scripture provides them with their ‘extremist rationale’.  Either you are woefully ignorant of Christianity – which would make your professorship of religion a bad joke – or you, too, are willfully twisting and warping Scripture to push an ideology.

Just like the Christian Identity movement.

But here's a final bit of advice for you, Ms Stange: just because it has the word 'Christian' in it, doesn't make it Christian.

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