Saturday, October 9, 2010

Media Matters Discuss "Christian Identity"

Media Matters has asserted that David Barton, an academic who teaches at Beck University, a venture of Glenn Beck, spoke twice to "Christian Identity" groups in 1991. They cite a 1994 book by the Anti-Defamation League.

Barton claims that he was unaware of the racist nature of these organizations when he spoke to them.
Barton later said he was not aware that the events were hosted by groups with a racist ideology and said "that with as many as 400 speaking engagements a year, he cannot do background checks on each of the invitations he receives," according to an April 10, 1996, Seattle Times article (retrieved via Nexis).
I don't know much about David Barton so I am not going to comment on his professional life or the criticisms against his work which Media Matters presents in the article. Personally I am not sure if it was a good idea for Media Matters to bring up this matter. Barton said he didn't know the nature of these groups, so I would be reluctant to use this to criticize him over this matter at this moment. So doesn't this mean that he has already addressed this business? If he hasn't spoken to any of these Christian Identity groups in 19 years, if he has avoided them this long, shouldn't we leave this matter alone? Isn't that long enough to leave this alone?

I also must state here that Media Matters did not state just how virulently racist these "Christian Identity" groups are. Here is how they are described in the article, quoting a 1994 book by the Anti-Defamation League:
["]Christian Identity["] movement .... "asserts that Jews are 'the synagogue of Satan'; that Blacks and other people of color are subhuman; and that northern European whites and their American descendants are the 'chosen people' of scriptural prophesy."
It's worse then that. "Christian Identity" asserts that Jews are the literal, fleshy descendants of the Devil, and that whites are descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. It is not enough for them to claim to be Israelites but they claim that Jews are impostors usurping the position of the true Israelites, the select European whites.

"Christian Identity" is a racist offshoot of British Israelism which originated from Victorian Britain, taught by men such as Richard Brothers, John Wilson and Edward Hine, and came into America. At first it was not racist towards Jews, instead viewing them as long lost cousins. It was from this non-racist form of British Israelism that HWA adopted it from J. H. Allen in the late 1920s. (Then carefully stole any credit Allen deserved by pointedly refusing to name him in his discussions about British Israelism.) Hence why HWA did not indulge in hating the Jews. But after World War II many of these British Israelites embraced racist doctrines that produced what is now known as "Christian Identity".

Because "Christian Identity" is related to British Israelism I feel it is necessary to mention this matter here.

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