Washington state Rep. Matt Shea admitted last week to distributing a manifesto that calls for violence against those who do not obey biblical law, according to The Spokesman Review.
> The document is organized in 14 sections with multiple tiers of bullet points and a smattering of biblical citations. Under one heading, “Rules of War,” it makes a chilling prescription for enemies who flout “biblical law.” It states, “If they do not yield – kill all males.”
> After the document was leaked online Tuesday, the Spokane Valley Republican insisted he was not promoting violence and that the message had been taken out of context.
> “First of all, it was a summary of a series of sermons on biblical war in the Old Testament as part of a larger discussion on the history of warfare,” Shea said in a Facebook Live video on Wednesday. “This document, in and of itself, was not a secret. I’ve actually talked about portions of this document publicly.”
However, the document itself does not read like Bible study material or academic writing, as noted by some of Shea’s critics.
> “The document Mr. Shea wrote is not a Sunday school project or an academic study,” Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich wrote in an email. “It is a ‘how to’ manual consistent with the ideology and operating philosophy of the Christian Identity/Aryan Nations movement and the Redoubt movement of the 1990s.”
Knezovich said he obtained the document along with other materials about six weeks ago and promptly turned them over to the FBI.
Another individual, Tanner Rowe, shared Shea’s manifesto online after receiving a copy in August from someone close to the lawmaker.
> The document’s metadata shows it was created by a Matthew Shea, though Shea does not say in his video whether he was the sole author.
> Rowe and other sources said the document resembles the work of the Marble Community Fellowship, a Stevens County congregation that is said to practice a strain of fundamentalist Christianity known as dominionism.
> The leader of the group, Barry Byrd, wrote a 1988 manifesto referring to Jews as “anti-Christs” and condemning interracial marriage, though members have since tried to distance themselves from racist ideology. Shea has been a featured speaker at Marble’s annual Fourth of July God and Country Celebration.
> “It truly is unnerving and, quite frankly, disgusting,” Rowe says in his own Facebook video. “This goes to show what the 51st state, or at least the leaders in it, what they really feel. They are not for liberty. They are for pushing biblical law, which is really no different than certain other fanatics that we have been against in the recent decades.”