A lawmaker from Spokane, Washington is being investigated by the FBI for a radical religious manifesto called “Biblical Basis for War.” Rep. Matt Shea (R) distributed the four-page document to people close to him, and was made public by Tanner Rowe.
“It is, quite frankly, one of the more horrific things I’ve ever read,” said Rowe. “You don’t kill people because they don’t subscribe to your religion. You don’t advocate for that.”
Posted by Tanner Rowe on Tuesday, October 23, 2018
In the document, Shea says an offer of surrender should be made before declaring war, but if that offer — which would include abolishing other religions, other political ideologies and certain civil rights — is refused, Shea says to his followers: “kill all the males.”
He does not say explicitly what to do with the rest.
The “Biblical Basis for War” is a manifesto for how to take control of a region that Shea calls “the redoubt” and govern it by biblical law as a fundamentalist Christian theocracy in the event of “a collapse.”
As a response to his manifesto, at least one donor is asking for their money back. Northwest Credit Union Association, which donated $1,000 to Shea’s reelection campaign, asked that their money be returned. The Association told Spokane Public Radio that “his beliefs do not reflect the views and values of our organization, member credit unions or customers.”
While Shea claimed that the manifesto was a summary of sermons, he is known in the Northwest for his radicalism. Shea is close allies with white militia icon and insurrectionist Cliven Bundy, a neo-Confederate church called Lordship in Idaho (which sings about Shea’s Redoubt), and a radical conspiracy theorist militant group called the Oath Keepers.
“What I hear from people is, ‘We don’t care about his character, he votes the way we want him to,’” Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told Rolling Stone. “When I first met him I had this bad vibe about him.”
Matt Shea is up for re-election Tuesday, but his moves toward King of the Redoubt are a longer road. And the “Biblical Basis for War” is almost certainly his map.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.