Church formed by white supremacists abandons Nazi symbols

An anti-Semitic church formed by white supremacists has abandoned its neo-Nazi imagery, such as swastikas, to make its message more palatable, a change that a leading Jewish group called an attempt to "sanitize hatred." The group banned the use of Nazi uniforms, red arm bands and similar regalia because they were an instant turnoff to people who might otherwise be open to the church's teachings, including the belief that white Anglo-Saxons - not Jews - are God's chosen people in the Bible. "We don't like the swastikas. We don't like the negativity," said Jonathan Williams, the leading pastor of the United Church of YHWH. "The majority of people see all that as pure evil." Williams was formerly involved with Aryan Nations, which was once the best-known neo-Nazi organization in the United States. It was led by Richard Butler, who was acquitted in 1989 on charges of attempting to create a new Aryan country through assassinations, robberies, guerrilla bands and a race war.