For Cliven Bundy, not paying the federal government is a spiritual thing.
Bundy, the notorious Nevada rancher who refused to pay two decades worth of grazing fees to the federal government and objected to their advances with an armed militia, says his fight against the federal government was a good-versus-evil battle of Biblical proportions.
“There was people from almost every state in this United States was there. Some of them told me they’d traveled for 40 hours to get there,” Bundy said, according to The Spectrum. “Why did they come? … Because they felt like they needed to. They was spiritually touched.”
Bundy said repeatedly he wasn’t paying the government because he didn’t believe they had the authority to charge grazing fees on their land. Over the weekend, he said he felt he was protecting a holy document, the Constitution.
“If our Constitution is an inspired document by our Lord Jesus Christ, then isn’t it scripture?” he asked, according to The Spectrum, to a chorus of yeses. “Isn’t it the same as the Book of Mormon and the Bible?”
“Absolutely,” the audience replied.
Bundy spoke at this weekend’s Independent American Party event, a socially conservative group that encourages people to reject Republican and Democratic “duopoly” and vote for candidates based on their qualifications; the party is only recognized in two states, though it has other-party affiliation in two additional states. Organizers say 100-120 people attended the event, but Bundy complained that turnout was too small.
“Where is all of your college students? Where’s our young and where’s our old? Where’s our black and where’s our brown?” Bundy asked. “Where are you people? Aren’t you interested in freedom and liberty? I’m not here to talk to a club.”
In April, Bundy made headlines—and lost many of his early supporters—when he suggested that Black Americans might be happier as slaves.
“If the standoff with the Bundys was wrong, would the Lord have been with us?” Bundy said. “Could those people that stood without fear and went through that spiritual experience … have done that without the Lord being there? No they couldn’t.”