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In a nutshell, here is all you will ever need to know about these loony-tune whackjobs. They believe the following:
- The nation of Israel in the Old Testament of the Bible is the Celtic, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon peoples and their descendants.
- Jews are not the Israelites of the Bible, but impostors to the claim. Some versions of Christian Identity teach that the Jews are literally the offspring of Satan, the result of the devil having sexual intercourse with Eve in the Garden of Eden. Others teach that the Jews are merely impostors who aren't real Israelites, but converts from the Khazar tribe during the Middle Ages (the Khazars were Jewish converts, but they left few traces in modern Jewish genetics). Both versions are still pure whackjob wingnuttery, regardless.
- Some versions of Identity follow a strict chronological reading of the creation story in the book of Genesis, resulting in the bizarre (even for creationism) belief that there were two different creations of humans. Non-white people were created out of mud along with the animals on the sixth day in Genesis 1:26. Adam and Eve, the "first white people" according to Identity, were created out of clay after the original 7 days of the "creation" in Genesis 2:7-22. Thus Identity types often refer to non-whites as "mud people", claiming that they have no souls and that it's okay for the pure ones to rule over them. This usage of "mud people" is not exclusive to Identity, and has spread to other white supremacists.
- In some versions of Identity, the United States is the promised land God promised to his people in Bible prophecy. However, the current government is ungodly and controlled by the Jews, so the U.S. government is called the Zionist Occupation Government, or simply ZOG. ZOG is another term that has passed from Identity into broader white supremacist usage.
Identity believers, when they try to make a case for their wingnuttery at all, rely heavily on British Israelism, a long-discredited 19th century quack archaeological hypothesis pushed by people trying to make a connection between the lost tribes of Israel and the people of the British Isles. More often, they don't even go that far and just string a few Bible verses together out of context to back up their claims. One of their favorites is to use a phony etymology of the name Adam, claiming it means "one who can show blood in the face" (i.e. a white person), to "prove" Adam and Eve were pure white Aryan types. Instead, as any Biblical scholar will know, 'Adam' is a Hebrew pun — 'Adam' (which is also the word for 'man') was made from 'ha adamah' — the earth. In other words, all humans come from "mud races", whites and blacks alike.
Peter J. Peters is a somewhat notorious preacher who shares their beliefs but tries to distance himself from the Identity label.
Eric Robert Rudolph, a convicted terrorist responsible for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park bombing and the bombing of an abortion clinic, was associated with this movement.