The Christian Identity movement has its roots in British Israelism. Amazing. So does Herbert Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God. And so do some of the ersatz genealogies connecting medieval Europe to the Bible.
“The history of the Christian Identity movement reveals its startling foundations — which posit that both Christians and Jews are God’s chosen people.
“The acidly anti-Semitic religion driving much of today’s extreme right first gained a following as a Victorian curiosity, a benign British eccentricity propounded by the son of a radical Irish weaver. Born as British Israelism, the belief system now recreated as Christian Identity saw Jews as the long-lost brothers of Anglo-Saxons, the fellow elect of God.“
The short version of British Israelism is that some religious fundamentalists, particularly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, developed the idea that the Anglo-Saxons (and other northern Europeans) are descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. That means they are God’s “Chosen People”.
There is no evidence, except wishful thinking.
- “How the Christian Identity Began“, Intelligence Report, Southern Poverty Law Center (Winter 1998: Mar. 15, 1998). Retrieved Nov. 2, 2019.
- “A Short Critique of Herbert W. Armstrong’s British-Israelism–The United States and Britain in Fantasy“, World of His Grace. Retrieved Oct. 30, 2019.
- J. Wilson, “British Israelism. A revitalization movement in contemporary culture“, Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions Année, 1968(26), pp. 73-80. Retrieved Nov. 3, 2019.
Revised Nov. 3, 2019 to add link.