Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy recently cast the April standoff between federal agents and armed protesters on his cattle ranch as an “an age-old battle between good and evil,” according to Utah newspaper The Spectrum.
“The Lord told me … if (the sheriff doesn’t) take away these arms (from federal agents), we the people will have to face these arms in a civil war. He said, ‘This is your chance to straighten this thing up,'” Bundy told members of the Independent American Party at an event Saturday in St. George, Utah, as quoted by the newspaper.
Bundy abandoned the Republican Party earlier this year in favor of the IAP, a socially conservative and largely Mormon movement that urges members to reject traditional political parties and vote for candidates based on their individual merit. The rancher had been hailed as a hero by many on the right in the heat of the standoff, which was sparked by Bundy’s refusal to pay grazing fees and remove his animals from federal land.
“If the standoff with the Bundys was wrong, would the Lord have been with us?” said, noting that no one was killed as the conflict between protesters on the ranch and federal agents got heated. “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.”
Other members of the Bundy family who spoke to the IAP pointed out that they were unarmed when the standoff with federal agents initially turned violent, according to the Spectrum.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.