Religion News Service reports:
Shortly after 31 members of a white nationalist group were arrested in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, over the weekend, pastor and former Washington state lawmaker Matt Shea claimed on Facebook the men were members of antifa, or anti-fascist demonstrators.
“This attempted ambush from antifa was thwarted,” said Shea, who has previously espoused Christian nationalism and has suggested replacing the existing U.S. government with a form of theocracy. Not only was Shea’s antifa claim untrue, at least one of the arrested men attended Shea’s own church within the last year.
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Shea last appeared on JMG in March 2022 when he was involved in a suspicious attempt to “rescue” Ukrainian children.
He first earned national headlines in 2019 when leaked chats showed his violent fantasies about executing non-Christians and when it was learned that he had participated in militia drills to train young men for “biblical warfare.”
Shea advocates for the creation of a 51st US state based on “biblical law.” He has also said that all American men who fail to avow allegiance to Jesus should be executed.
He was expelled by the Washington state Republican caucus but refused to resign even after the feds found that he had “participated in an act of domestic terrorism against the United States” by helping plan the armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in 2016.
He did not seek reelection in 2020 and is now the pastor of Covenant Christian Church in Spokane.
NEW: Shortly after Patriot Front members were arrested in Idaho over the weekend, pastor/ex-Washington lawmaker Matt Shea claimed on Facebook the men were Antifa.
That was false. In fact, at least one of the men arrested had attended Shea’s church. https://t.co/NAmIqiwzJW
— Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) June 15, 2022