A fire in the middle of night seems to have thwarted Craig Cobb's efforts to build a racist church in Nome, North Dakota. And he's steaming mad with plans to build a new church, this time named after the president.
When it comes to establishing a racist foothold in North Dakota, Craig Cobb just cannot catch a break.
Last week, a church he bought in Nome, North Dakota, to build a Creativity Movement chapel burned to the ground in what investigators believe may have been arson. The fire happened on March 22, the same day a local newspaper ran a story on Cobb’s plans to turn the church into a gathering place for the racist Creativity Movement.
A self-styled religious organization, the Creativity Movement promotes what it sees as the inherent superiority and "creativity" of the white race. Its adherents believe that race, not religion, is the embodiment of absolute truth and that the white race is the highest expression of culture and civilization.
Cobb has reacted to the fire with anger and warnings that he may rebuild the building, this time with a special name.
“The President Donald J. Trump Creativity Church of Rome,” Cobb told the (New York) Daily News on Tuesday. “That’s the name, because it’s beautiful. President Trump is like a god emperor, can do no wrong.” That term, “god emperor,” has gained popularity on the racist right, which views President Trump as an advocate for the movement’s fears.
Cobb has spent years trying to establish racist enclaves. At least two North Dakota towns have seen Cobb come come through, most famously in 2013 when he bought more than a dozen properties in Leith for just a few hundred dollars, hoping to attract other racists to the area.
After terrorizing Leith for months, an ordeal detailed in the documentary Welcome to Leith, Cobb was arrested after he paraded through the streets with a rifle. He was originally charged with seven felony counts of terrorizing, which would have carried a maximum sentence of 30 years, but was sentenced to four years probation in 2014.
It's unclear what Cobb plans to do next, though he has a long history of relentlessly antagonizing his enemies. But, for their part, residents seem relieved the fire may have thwarted his plans.
“Everyone is relieved that this building that meant so much is not going to be used by him,” the Rev. Bradley Edin, a Lutheran pastor in the area, told The Bizmark Tribune.