Thursday, September 29, 2005
David Tate was the youngest member of the Order, a white supremacist terrorist gang active in the 1980’s. In 1985, Tate shot to death a Missouri state trooper who had pulled him over for a traffic violation. After an intense manhunt, Tate was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life without parole. Now, it seems that he feels that his freedoms are being trampled upon by the Missouri prison system. He is supporting a lawsuit filed by another prisoner asking that the state officially recognize their religion, Christian Identity, as a legitimate one worthy of the same considerations given to other religions in the prison, such as private worship services and access to outside chaplains. Christian Identity, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is a sect of Christianity that espouses white supremacy and a virulent hatred of Jews. Interestingly, Tate and his cohorts might actually have a case here. They note that the Nation of Islam, a black supremacist cult, is granted official status by the prison system. The outcome of the case could have national implications regarding the level of freedom prisoners in the U.S. are allowed to exercise.