Austin, TX Gunman Tied to the Christian Identity Movement


As we noted in our Twitter and Facebook streams, recent news reports have linked the man who shot at governmental buildings in downtown Austin, TX to the Christian Identity movement. According to these reports, Larry Steven McQuilliams owned the book Vigilantes of Christendom (with which he included a handwritten note), and was allegedly a member of a Pacific Northwest Christian Identity movement called the Phineas Priesthood.

What is the Christian Identity movement? In our Index of Cults and Religions we define the movement as follows:

The belief that the true identity of the ten lost tribes of Israel is the white, Anglo-Saxon race. The belief is similar to but distinct from the doctrine of British Israelism. A number of independent churches and organizations (including some militant racist groups) make up the general movement. Most deny the Trinity. Some teach a form of the Serpent Seed doctrine, believing that Jews are descendants of Eve’s alleged sexual relations with the serpent (Genesis 3) and are thus not fully human. Many also hold that non-Whites are descended from the union of Cain and a woman from a supposed pre-Adamite race.

We give far more information about the movement, including its history and a biblical response, in our free Profile of the Christian Identity movement.