Bitter message from pulpit
Hayden Lake, Idaho — Signs posted at the entrance to the Aryan Nations headquarters read ``Welcome Aryan warriors'' and ``whites only.'' People in nearby Coeur d'Alene refer to this 19-acre parcel of land as ``the compound.'' Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler prefers to call it ``the church grounds.'' Nestled among the pines is Mr. Butler's Church of Jesus Christ Christian, where he preaches his message of white supremacy each Sunday to a congregation that these days rarely exceeds 30. The church is adorned with flags of the ``Aryan'' nations of Europe, drawings of medieval knights, swastika-like emblems, and a huge picture of Adolf Hitler. It is a fitting backdrop for the man who, more than anyone else, has managed to wrap racist Nazi beliefs in a shroud of religion.
Butler's critics concede that the doctrine he preaches - known as Christian Identity - may constitute a sincerely held religious belief. They note, however, that it is incompatible with other Christian religions and that the State of Idaho has revoked the church's tax-exempt status.
In the following excerpts from an interview, Butler provides an eloquent indictment of his views. He is more likely to cite the Bible than ``Mein Kampf,'' but his messages of anti-Semitism and racial scapegoating are the same ones espoused by Hitler. In his bitter comments about the state of America today he manages to strike many of society's sore spots.
On immigration. ``The United States was founded for the white race. And any government's responsibility is the preservation of its people, by the protection of its borders. When a government abrogates that responsibility, it ceases to be a government of the people. We today have a tyranny, but not a government.''
On affirmative action. ``White men are no longer citizens of the United States, from the standpoint of employment.''
On resistance to communism. ``I was just reading where Hewlett-Packard is opening a factory in [Communist] China. The Chinese will build computers and then ship them and sell them in the US. What's happening here? They're closing American factories, and our men are learning to flip hamburgers. ... They're telling you, `White man, you've had it. You're through.' We've already lost the war against communism.''
On the ``Jewish conspiracy.'' ``Why, if we are the richest nation, are we bankrupt? Why are we giving away millions of dollars to other nations? Because the money system is created by the Federal Reserve System and the Jews. It's the Jews who benefit. The US is giving the Soviets loans for 1 percent or 2 percent interest, yet American citizens get them for 17 percent. Who is this government run for? It's run for Judaism and communism.''
On his mission. ``The Aryan Nations destiny is to bring law and order to this earth, and to call people to their nation. Your nation is your race. ... If you destroy the white race, you live in darkness forever.''
On the future. ``First you'll see economic chaos and collapse. It's here. Then you'll see massive riots. If you don't feed all these people you're importing in here, you're going to have trouble.
``The handwriting has been on the wall, in neon lights, flashing for some time now.''
On white separatism. ```Black is beautiful' is what gets headlines. That's wonderful, right? But white pride? Now that's something to raise eyebrows at.''