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May 7, 2014 0

White Supremacist Activists Opt for Sabbatical after Priest’s Rebuke

matt-heimbach

Matt Heim­bach

Matthew Heim­bach and Matt Par­rott, the founders of the white suprema­cist Tra­di­tion­al­ist Youth Net­work (TYN), have decided to take a sab­bat­i­cal from their activ­i­ties. The two took this step after the priest of the Ortho­dox Chris­t­ian church they belong to pub­licly released a state­ment on April 29 say­ing that Heim­bach must “cease and desist all activ­i­ties, both online, in print, and in per­son, pro­mot­ing racist and sep­a­ra­tionist ideologies….”

The same priest ear­lier that month had over­seen Heimbach’s com­mu­nion in the Ortho­dox Church.  Although it is unclear where Par­rott stands in terms of his own com­mu­nion, he and Heim­bach have both appar­ently cho­sen to take time off from their activ­i­ties at the request of the priest. On the TYN site, Par­rott writes that he and Heim­bach do not know if their leave of absence will be tem­po­rary or permanent.

Par­rott and espe­cially Heim­bach have openly talked about their reli­gious beliefs on the TYN blog.  Their priest noted that he made the com­mu­nion a pub­lic issue because Heim­bach “makes inflam­ma­tory pub­lic state­ments in the name of the Ortho­dox Faith.”  Both Heim­bach and Par­rott osten­si­bly see their white suprema­cist beliefs as com­pat­i­ble with their vision of Chris­tian­ity. Though the two are racist and anti-Semitic, Par­rott has tried to jus­tify their views by claim­ing they have no ill will towards other reli­gious and eth­nic groups.

It is unclear how Par­rott and Heim­bach plan to spend their sab­bat­i­cal. Even after Heimbach’s priest asked him to cease activ­i­ties and do penance to be received back into the Ortho­dox com­mu­nion, Heim­bach par­tic­i­pated in a demon­stra­tion led by the racist League of the South (LOS) in Wash­ing­ton, DC, on May 1. LOS had only recently allowed Heim­bach back into the group after kick­ing him out in Octo­ber 2013 for tak­ing part in a neo-Nazi event. A week before the LOS DC event, Heim­bach attended the white suprema­cist Amer­i­can Renais­sance con­fer­ence in Ten­nessee. In addi­tion, TYN con­tin­ues to func­tion as a group, despite Heim­bach and Parrot’s leave.

The reac­tion from the white suprema­cist com­mu­nity has been some­what mixed, with most peo­ple sup­port­ing Heim­bach and Parrott’s sab­bat­i­cal while the two fig­ure out their next moves. One well-known white suprema­cist, Greg John­son, who runs the online white suprema­cist pub­li­ca­tion Counter-Currents, has attacked Heim­bach and Par­rott for aban­don­ing the white suprema­cist cause for the sake of Chris­tian­ity. Oth­ers, like Brad Grif­fin, aka Hunter Wal­lace, who runs the racist Occi­den­tal Dis­sent blog, believe that Heim­bach and Par­rott will be able to rec­on­cile their racist views with Chris­tian­ity and make a full return to the white suprema­cist movement.

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