Christian Patriot movement

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The Christian Patriot movement is a radical and extremist movement of American political commentators and activists. They promote various interpretations of history based on their belief that the federal government has turned against the ideas of liberty and natural rights expressed in the American Revolution, and against what they believe to be America's Christian heritage.


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 cult Posse founder and Christian Identity minister William Potter Gale, and the majority of the Christian Patriot movement's members still adhere to Christian Identity's white supremacist[1][2] 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.[3] The ideology persists despite numerous court rulings that have declared its theories frivolous.[4]


The movement grew during the 1990s after the Ruby Ridge incident and the Waco Siege appeared to confirm the suspicions of Christian Patriots.[5] 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.[3] After 2000, the original movement became defunct and the term Christian Patriot was increasingly adopted by conservative Christians who identified themselves as patriots.[citation needed]

In 2009 The Southern Poverty Law Center said that militia groups may be experiencing a "Patriot revival."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Buck, Christopher (2009). Religious Myths and Visions of America: How Minority Faiths Redefined America's World Role. Praeger. pp. 107, 108, 213. ISBN 978-0313359590.
  3. ^ a b Carey, Kevin (July 2008). "Too Weird for The Wire". Washington Monthly. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
  4. ^ Sussman, Bernard J. Idiot Legal Arguments: A Casebook for Dealing with Extremist Legal Arguments. Militia Watchdog Archives. Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
  5. ^ Anti-Defamation League, The Militia Movement
  6. ^ Keller, Larry (August 2009). "The Second Wave: Return of the Militias". A Special Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Montgomery, Alabama: 5–10. Retrieved September 12, 2013.

Further reading[edit]