Christian Patriot movement

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The Christian Patriot movement is a movement of American political commentators and activists. They promote various interpretations of history and law with the common theme that the federal government has turned against the ideas of liberty and individual rights which were behind the American Revolution, and America's Christian heritage.[1]


The movement originally referred to the late 1980s' Posse Comitatus group, a militant far right organization. Posse Comitatus followed an ideology based on the teachings of Posse founder and Christian Identity minister William P. Gale, though the majority do not follow Identity's white supremacist[2][3] views.[citation needed] This ideology holds that state and federal governments are agents of an arcane conspiracy to deprive Americans of their rights as "sovereign citizens." It also holds that this conspiracy can be undermined through various legal pleadings from English common law and other sources, such as a motion protesting the way a defendant's name is typeset in a legal complaint.[4] The ideology persists despite numerous court rulings that have declared its theories frivolous.[5]

Growth and decline[edit]

The movement grew during the 1990s after the Ruby Ridge incident and the Waco Siege appeared to confirm the suspicions of Christian Patriots.[6] The movement maintained ties with the militia movement of the same period. A highly publicized federal confrontation with Christian Patriots occurred in 1996, when Federal marshals arrested the Montana Freemen.[4] After 2000, the original movement became defunct and the term Christian Patriot was increasingly adopted by conservative Christians self-identifying themselves[who?] as patriots.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Matthew Lyons; Berlet, Chip (2000). Right-wing populism in America: too close for comfort. New York: Guilford Press. p. 300. ISBN 1-57230-562-2. The most significant worldview in the Christian Patriot movement was Christian identity 
  2. ^ Eck, Diane (2001). A New Religious America: How a "Christian Country" has become the world’s most religiously diverse nation. New York:: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 347. 
  3. ^ Buck, Christopher (2009). Religious Myths and Visions of America: How Minority Faiths Redefined America's World Role. Praeger. p. 107, 108, 213. ISBN 978-0313359590. 
  4. ^ a b Carey, Kevin (July 2008). "Too Weird for The Wire". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  5. ^ Sussman, Bernard J. Idiot Legal Arguments: A Casebook for Dealing with Extremist Legal Arguments. Militia Watchdog Archives (Anti-Defamation League). Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  6. ^ Anti-Defamation League, The Militia Movement

Further reading[edit]

  • Aho, James (1995). The Politics of Righteousness: Idaho Christian Patriotism. 
  • Durham, Martin (2000). The Christian Right, the Far Right and the Boundaries of American Conservatism. 
  • Gallaher, Carolyn (2003). On the Fault Line: Race, Class, and the American Patriot Movement. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-7425-1974-0. OCLC 845530800. 
  • Kushner, Harvey W (1998). The Future of Terrorism: Violence in the New Millennium. 
  • Martin, Gus (2006). Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues. 
  • Niewert, David A (1999). In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest. Pullmam, Wash.: Washington State Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0-87422-175-6. 
  • Schlatter, Evelyn A (2006). Aryan Cowboys: White Supremacists and the Search for a New Frontier, 1970-2000. 
  • de Armond, Paul (1996). "Christian Patriots At War with the State".