Quantcast
Connect with us

Leaked emails show GOP lawmaker collaborated with extremist gun group that was preparing for ‘biblical warfare’

Published

on

In Washington State’s legislature, Rep. Matt Shea is controversial even among fellow Republicans: he has distributed white supremacist Christian Identity literature and openly advocated violence against Muslims, gays and others he considers enemies of the United States. And according to a report by Jason Wilson for The Guardian, Shea has enthusiastically encouraged an extremist group called Team Rugged.

E-mails obtained by the Guardian show that Shea was in close contact with Team Rugged in 2016. Team Rugged, Wilson reports, offered training in “biblical warfare” to young Christian fundamentalist men — and that training included advice on ways in which guns and knives could be used on enemies. Shea, according to Wilson, made videos on behalf of the group.

ADVERTISEMENT

The e-mails, Wilson reports, began in July 2016, when Shea corresponded with Team Rugged’s Patrick Caughran. In one of the e-mails, Team Rugged is described as a way “to provide patriotic and biblical training on war for young men.” Caughran said of Team Rugged, “Everything about it is both politically incorrect and what would be considered shocking truth to most modern Christians.”

In the e-mails, Caughran sounds a lot like a member of al-Qaeda, ISIS (Islamic State, Iraq and Syria) or Boko Haram — only instead of  promoting a violent Islamist jihad, he is promoting armed training and holy war for fundamentalist Christians. And one person who is cited as an inspiration in the e-mails is the Georgia-based Rev. John Weaver, a neo-Confederate extremist who the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has described as a “leading proponent” of “training Christians for armed battle.”

Weaver, according to the SPLC, has given weapons training to the League of the South — a neo-Confederate group that marched with neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017.

Caughran, in the e-mail communications with Shea, explained that Team Rugged’s training would show young Christian fundamentalist men “how to work better as a team, both in achieving physically demanding tasks and on the battlefield.” Training, Caughran explained, would include “combatives, the use of a knife in defense, close quarters shooting with rifle and pistol and how to work effectively in teams of two, three and four.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Caughran, according to Wilson’s report, asked Shea to promote its activities on Facebook. And in a 2017 video posted on his Facebook page, Shea interviewed members of Team Rugged and described the group as “returning to basic patriot principles.”

In 2018, Wilson notes, Shea sparked a major controversy in Washington State when he distributed a Christian Identity white supremacist document called “Biblical Basis for War” — which calls for Christian fundamentalist holy war and advocates the killing of all males who support abortion or same-sex marriage.

One of the Washington State Republicans who has been a vehement critic of Shea is Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. In an interview with the Guardian, Knezovich asserted that the militaristic armed training Shea favors for young Christian fundamentalists “almost sounds like going back to the Hitler Youth concept.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Knezovich told the Guardian, “There are lines that should never crossed. When you indoctrinate children in radicalized hate, then we wonder why we have the kind of shootings and bombings that we have around the world.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Trump aides desperately try to downplay ‘order’ to US companies to leave China

Published

on

Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday downplayed the idea of US companies being forced to abandon China any time soon, as an edict from the president ordering businesses to start looking for alternatives has been met with skepticism.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow took to the airwaves from France, where Trump is participating in the G7 summit, to smooth out tensions in the business community prompted by Trump's Friday tweet.

Trump said he has "no plan now" to bring US companies in line, and his aides quickly reinforced the message.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trump sparks confusion at G7 before doubling down on China tariffs

Published

on

President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday on his hard line against China after sowing confusion with statements that he might be willing to soften a trade war G7 partners fear threatens the world economy.

At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump announced a major trade deal with Japan and promised more of the same with Britain, once Brexit is done.

But the positives were overshadowed by a mix-up over his apparent expression of regret for the latest escalation in the US-China dispute.

"I have second thoughts about everything," he conceded to reporters when asked if he regretted his decision on Friday to ramp up tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth some $550 billion, in retaliation for Beijing's earlier hike of levies on US goods.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Persecuted Christians eye long-sought freedom in Sudan

Published

on

Sudan's Christians suffered decades of persecution under the regime of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir. Now they hope his downfall will give the religious freedom they have long prayed for.

Deep within the maze of dusty alleys that honeycomb Omdurman, Khartoum's sprawling twin city, Yousef Zamgila's church is not visible from the street.

It is hidden in the courtyard of a friend's home and consists of a few iron benches, a pulpit and crosses hastily painted on pillars holding a corrugated roof.

"The previous centre got destroyed because we didn't have the right papers. They always refused... So we use the land of our neighbours," says the Lutheran reverend.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
HELP US UNCOVER CORRUPTION!
close-link
close-image