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.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:
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.
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.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.
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.
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."
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.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.
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.