Radically Inept
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
  A call to Arms! Really, a call to arms. I first heard about this story Sunday night driving over to a friend's house. I was listening to 89.3 FM WRFG, Radio Free Georgia. And while I can't remember the name of the host or that particular show, since I only heard a small piece of it, but she was interviewing John F. Sugg about his article Creative Loafing Atlanta | COVER | AMERICA THE THEOCRACY published in our local weekly 'where to go, what band is hot' paper, Creative Loafing Atlanta. So, last night when I got to Manuel's Tavern for the weekly Democratic Town Hall in Exile meet, I found they still had a copy of this week's issue. Glad I did. This is the second time in the past few months that I've found something in Creative Loafing to blog on, though the first I used over at Rogue Analyst.

This is an excellent story, and John is sharp enough to let these clowns speak for themselves. He deftly avoids hyperbole, and the entire article is very understated, and yes, it is 'fair and balanced'. Many of you know that David Neiwert over at Orcinus has been blogging and reporting on this for a while. John Sugg adds a fairly comprehensive history to the mix; providing the names of the founders of the Christian Reconstructionist movement and pointing the reader to the original source texts. I know its scary that these kind of people can get published, and in fact, it appears many of them start their own publishing houses to do it. If you are at all worried about the power of the Christian Right, and if your not, you should be, because these people are scary:
The goal, one Reconstructionists feel is now within reach, is a transformation of America into a religious state whose mission is to spread the Gospel (as they interpret it). Violence isn't shunned. As Gary North, the current grand man of the movement, wrote, "In winning a nation to the Gospel, the sword as well as the pen must be used." Those who don't buy the plan could flee, or face unbending Mosaic "justice."
And as usually the case with people attempting to establish a theocracy, the first thing that has to go is your ability to think for yourself:
R.J. Rushdoony, born in 1916 to Armenian immigrants, is the Peter, the rock on which the Christian Reconstruction movement is built. He honed an even more extreme Calvinist theology than Schaeffer's, one based on biblical literalness and inerrancy, and on the assertion of irreconcilable conflict between believers and non-Christians -- including many people who consider themselves Christian but don't measure up to Reconstruction orthodoxy. And, Rushdoony, who died in 2001, thundered a doctrine called "presuppositionalism": All issues are religious in nature, and people don't have the right or ability to define for themselves what's true.
And, of course they have the usual insidious plan of evil geniuses' in all the 'B' flicks:
Recruits to Reconstruction's adopted causes soon find the movement has a blunt distaste for pluralism and democracy. North wrote in 1982 -- in an effort to reach Baptists -- "We must use the doctrine of religious liberty ... until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God."
Of course a vengeful god is on their side:
Except, as DeMar writes in his book Liberty at Risk, "The State is God's 'minister,' taking vengeance out on those who do evil," a role eagerly embraced by the Bush administration. A major task for the Christian state would be to field armies to conquer in the name of Jesus.

As Jerry Falwell -- not technically a Reconstructionist because of theological nuances, but a preacher who generally follows the movement's tactical plan for creating a Christian government -- proclaimed earlier this year, "God is pro-war." And, Atlanta's Rev. Charles Stanley, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and another dominion theology tagalong, was among the first in line wanting to dispatch his missionaries alongside American troops in Iraq.

Stanley wrote last year, "God favors war for divine reasons and sometimes uses it to accomplish His will." That, of course, is balm to the neo-conservatives in the Bush administration.
Hey, if you read this blog at all, you had to know Baby Bush would come up in something like this. And you know all that law and order stuff people like so much, well Christian Reconstructionists are no namby pambys:
The arena that generates the most attention -- and shock -- is dominion theology's radical plans to make capital punishment part of America's daily routine.

Ringgold's Don Boys -- who as a one-term Indiana state official in the 1970s authored legislation that restored capital punishment there -- spoke cheerfully of a time when Americans will witness 10,000 executions a year. And Gary North suggests the method -- stoning -- because rocks are "cheap, plentiful and convenient." Reconstructionists also favor other biblical forms of execution -- burning, hanging and the sword.
I guess it really should be considered a positive that the movement has such a frugal side, right at the beginning. Many movements never seem to get very far, I think because they just spend too much of their followers money on things that they could get done much cheaper, not so the Reconstructionists.

And, what are the Christian Reconstructionists' long term goals, you ask?
Gary North in 1989 candidly described his mission: "The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit to the eternal sanctions of God ... must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel."

Marietta's Pastor Morecraft in 1993 proclaimed that the government he wants to create has this as its primary purpose: "Terrorize evil-doers. ... Bring down the wrath of God to bear on all those who practice evil."

Well, you know, at least this stuff is so wacky, no one in power would ever take them serious, and of course we have the courts on our side, right? Wrong. If you've been paying attention you are already aware of this, but for those who don't watch our legislature closely:
Last month, that sentiment reached the national level. The Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 would acknowledge Christianity's God as the "sovereign source" of our laws. It would reach back in history and reverse all judicial decisions that have built a wall between church and state, and it would prohibit federal judges from making such rulings in the future.

The bill was co-sponsored in the Senate by Zell Miller, the turncoat Georgia Democrat (and United Methodist), and several Republican colleagues, including South Carolina's Lindsey Graham; in the House, the sponsors were all Republican, including Georgia's Jack Kingston.

But the actual drafting was done by Herb Titus, best known recently as former Alabama Chief Justice Moore's attorney. Titus also represents Georgia's Barrow County in its effort to put the Ten Commandments in its courthouse. Titus has more than a little self-serving interest in the legislation. If passed, it would overturn the rulings that forced Titus' most newsworthy client, Moore, from the bench.
Why do most of these guys have to be from Georgia? And Zig Zag Zell, what is up with this guy? Zell, go back home to your mountain cabin, lock yourself inside, and turn on the gas please! You are one scary SOB.

Actually, all of this scares me. I don't think they can succeed in changing the US into a theocracy, but every movement in their direction is a movement away from free thought. And worse, these guys truly believe the Jews must be converted. What's so funny about the Spanish Inquisition? Not a damn thing. So, I'm sure they lose the Jewish vote. Seems they are also believers in things like white supremacy, and believe in doing away with unions, work place safety laws, anti-discrimination laws, environmental protections, and the requirement for your doctor to actually have a license to practice. No, I don't think they will succeed, but they might if we don't pay attention. So, go read the whole article, America the Theocracy, because there is far more information then the quotes I posted here. And, if you look at the right side bar, John has provided some excellent links to more info on the subject.

And many thanks to John F. Sugg for shining some light on these termites. Did you know termites can't handle the light?

Creative Loafing Atlanta | COVER | AMERICA THE THEOCRACY Link updated 04/04/04 
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