Identity's extreme ideas espoused by the Rev. Peters echo paranoid themes found in other hate groups. Photo: Blair Godbout/The Coloradoan.

The Identity Movement and its “Real Jew” Claim

LaPorte, Colorado–It was a typical winter Sunday at the LaPorte Church of Christ. Snow swirled outside. Inside, casseroles prepared for the afternoon social simmered on hot plates, filling the church with the warm smell of macaroni and cheese and au gratin potatoes. About 50 worshippers cleared their throats and sang “Rock of Ages”. Then Pastor Pete Peters, a friendly, smiling preacher, introduced special guests in the congregation, including a tax protester recently released from prison, an author specializing in white supremacy and an elderly lecturer on Jewish conspiracy theories. This Sunday sermon focused on the heart of Peters’ theology, a claim that “the Anglo Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian and kindred peoples are the true Jews”, descendants of the tribes of ancient Israel. Those people recognized as today’s Jews, Peters suggested, are not Jews at all, but, rather, millions of evil “antichrists” masquerading as God’s chosen people. The Rev. Pete Peters. (Photo: Blair Godbout/The Coloradoan.) “These people are not who they say they are,” said Peters, a slight man with close-cropped brown hair, a small mustache and

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The Price of Fundamentalism

New York–During her five-year journey through fundamentalism Laurie Hausman became a born again Christian, joined a strict church, married a youth leader in the congregation, worked as a missionary and had a child. For most of that time her new religion filled her deep need for community and spiritual certainty. She followed her pastor’s rules, giving up her writing, music and old friends, dressing modestly, attending services and accepting the subservience the church required of women. Immersed in her faith she found new friends, work and an entire way of life. Hausman’s fundamentalist lifestyle began to break apart in her fifth year in the church, after her mother died. Hausman chafed at the church’s rules and was troubled because friends in the church said she had failed to convert her mother and save her from Hell. She was working two jobs to support her family, while her husband donated his time to God as a street-corner evangelist. He brought home drug addicts and street people who slept on the floor. She remembers one troubled man

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The Rev. Pat Robertson

Christian Politics

SPARTANBURG, S.C.–In 1982, Jan Johnson decided he had a Christian duty to become involved in politics “to help save America.” He spoke to members of his church, Evangel Temple. A handful, including pastor Charles Gaulden, joined him to become delegates to the state Republican Party convention. This year Johnson and Gaulden helped lead a conservative Christian campaign that swamped precinct elections across South Carolina. The “Christians,” as the movement became known, jammed delegate-selection meetings that typically draw just a handful of party activists. More than 150 Evangel Temple members were elected to a convention where they wrestled with the GOP “regulars” for control of the state wide party machine. The battle, fought to a virtual draw, stunned the regulars and made the Christians the party’s power brokers. They now have the strength to control executive positions and nominations to the 1988 national presidential convention. South Carolina is the second state where conservative Christians have rushed local caucuses. Earlier this year, the Christian Right proved its status in the Michigan GOP, forming an alliance with Rep.

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Porfirio Aleman, a born-again Christian.

The Christian Right Abroad

TEGUCIGALPA–Rev. Allen Danforth steps on the gas pedal and wheels the metallic blue custom van past Honduras’ National Stadium. To the right, a city of squatter slums stretches toward the horizon. On the left, “Fuera Contras!” is scrawled in red on the stadium wall. The message–”Leave Contras!” is evidence of increasing opposition to the American-backed “Contra” guerrillas who use Honduras as a base camp for attacking neighboring Nicaragua. “We’re seeing more of that every day,” says Rev. Danforth pointing to the slogan. “That’s one reason it’s so important that we are here, as Christians and as Americans. Religion aside, Honduras is the front line between communism and Texas. Communism draws its base of support in poor countries by providing people with their basic needs,” he continues. “They do it with things like low cost medical care. We can be a powerful tool to eliminate that, to head communism off at the pass, in the name of Jesus Christ.” In the name of Jesus Christ and anti-communism, America’s “Christian Right” has emerged as a major religious

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