The Phineas Priesthood or Phineas Priests (also spelled Phinehas) is a Christian Identity movement that opposes interracial intercourse, the mixing of races, homosexuality, and abortion. It is also marked by its anti-Semitism, anti-multiculturalism, and opposition to taxation. It is not considered an organization because it is not led by a governing body, there are no gatherings, and there is no membership process. One becomes a Phineas Priest by simply adopting the beliefs of the Priesthood and acting upon those beliefs. Members of the Priesthood are often called terrorists for, among other things, planning to blow up FBI buildings, abortion clinic bombings, and bank robberies.
The Phineas Priesthood is named for the Israelite Phinehas, grandson of Aaron. According to Numbers 25, Phineas personally executed an Israelite man and a Midianite woman while they were together in the man's tent, running a spear through the two and ending a plague said to have been sent by God to punish the Israelites for sexually intermingling with the Midianites. Phineas is commended for having stopped Israel's fall to idolatrous practices brought in by Midianite women, as well as for stopping the desecration of God's sanctuary. Yahweh commends Phineas through Moses as zealous, gives him a "covenant of peace," and grants him and "his seed" an everlasting priesthood. Today, members of the Phineas Priesthood cite this chapter as a justification for using violent means against interracial relationships and other forms of alleged immorality.
The term appears to have originated with author Richard Kelly Hoskins, who introduced the name and concept in his 1990 book, Vigilantes of Christendom: The Story of the Phineas Priesthood (ISBN 1881867056).
- The Order and Phineas Priesthood at Anti-Defamation League
- Extremism in America: Richard Kelly Hoskins from www.adl.org
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