Wash­ing­ton state law­maker faces blow­back for bib­li­cal war doc­u­ment

The Idaho Statesman (Sunday) - - NEWS - As­so­ci­ated Press SPOKANE

A Repub­li­can state law­maker from Wash­ing­ton is fac­ing in­tense crit­i­cism for dis­tribut­ing a doc­u­ment de­scrib­ing how a “Holy Army” should kill peo­ple who flout “bib­li­cal law,” with some cam­paign donors ask­ing for their con­tri­bu­tions back.

State Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane Val­ley in con­ser­va­tive eastern Wash­ing­ton is seek­ing a sixth term in the state House and has been un­der fire since he ac­knowl­edged in a Face­book video last week that he had dis­trib­uted a four­page doc­u­ment ti­tled, “Bib­li­cal Ba­sis for War” to some of his sup­port­ers.

The doc­u­ment con­demns abor­tion and same-sex mar­riage and says how those who don’t fol­low bib­li­cal law should be pun­ished, The Spokesman-re­view re­ported. At one point, the doc­u­ment says, “If they do not yield, kill all males.”

Shea es­pouses far-right con­spir­acy the­o­ries, min­gles with mili­tia groups, con­sid­ers the U.S. “a Chris­tian na­tion” and cham­pi­ons a push for a 51st state called Lib­erty, the news­pa­per re­ported. But he rep­re­sents a deeply con­ser­va­tive dis­trict that has elected him since 2008, in part be­cause of his busi­ness-friendly pol­i­tics.

Shea, a lawyer, has said the doc­u­ment was merely a sum­mary of ser­mon notes based on the Old Tes­ta­ment and that he was not pro­mot­ing vi­o­lence. He did not re­turn a mes­sage left Thurs­day by The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Crit­ics in­clud­ing his Demo­cratic op­po­nent, Ted Cum­mings, and Repub­li­can Spokane County Sher­iff Ozzie Kne­zovich have called the doc­u­ment a guide­line for Chris­tian dom­i­na­tion.

It “ap­pears to call for vi­o­lence against any po­lit­i­cal leader who does not share Shea’s per­sonal re­li­gious views,” the Free­dom From Re­li­gion Foun­da­tion, a Wis­con­sin-based non­profit that ad­vo­cates for sep­a­ra­tion of church and state, said in a state­ment Thurs­day.

Cum­mings said the at­ten­tion has ap­par­ently trig­gered a wave of small con­tri­bu­tions to his cam­paign, just five days be­fore the gen­eral elec­tion.

“I think the whole na­tion is watch­ing what goes on here in the 4th (Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict) and whether we have the in­tegrity and the in­tel­li­gence to vote this guy out of of­fice,” Cum­mings said.

Shea also is fac­ing back­lash from some of his donors. The po­lit­i­cal arm of the North­west Credit Union As­so­ci­a­tion, which rep­re­sents more than 180 credit unions in Wash­ing­ton, Ore­gon and Idaho, gave $1,000 to Shea’s cam­paign be­fore the Au­gust pri­mary but re­cently asked the cam­paign to re­turn it.

“His be­liefs do not re­flect the views and val­ues of the NWCUA, our mem­ber credit unions, or the con­sumers who are credit union mem­bers,” Lynn Hei­der, the group’s vice pres­i­dent for pub­lic af­fairs, said in a state­ment.

The Wash­ing­ton As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors, which do­nated $2,000 to Shea’s cam­paign, de­manded a re­fund and said its name should be re­moved from Shea’s cam­paign ma­te­ri­als.

AT&T had do­nated money to the law­maker but said his state­ments were di­vi­sive and do not re­flect the com­pany’s “core val­ues of in­clu­sion and equal­ity.”

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