Saturday, March 12, 2011

Christian Reconstructionism: The worst nightmare you’ve never heard of.

I’ve been following the “hearings” in Washington on the radicalization of American Muslims. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) who masterminded the event is playing the role of McCarthy rather nicely. If his goal is to arouse fear and sough the seeds of mistrust of Muslim Americans it will likely have its desired impact, especially on Christian right wingers.

I’m not suggesting that there isn’t some degree of threat from fundamentalist Muslims, home grown or immigrants, who are compelled to rally to the terrorist’s cause. We’ve seen some recent examples of American Muslims turned traitor and murderer. But to people who are attuned to the evils of religious extremism American Muslims aren’t even a blip on the threat scale. There is a real and growing threat of nightmarish proportions to which most Americans are oblivious.

There’s a movement in the US that floats under the radar of most people. Few people in the public eye speak openly of it; even if they are themselves part of the movement. It’s called Christian Reconstructionism or Dominion Theology. What is it? Imagine your worst nightmare then multiply by it one-hundred fold.

Much as the ancient Hebrews did not separate their religious tenets from their ruling power, the Christian Reconstructionists (CRs) call for a total infusion of Christianity into government, law and private life. It’s a complete return to “God” in an effort to retake and save the Nation from secularism and free thought. It makes the fear of Shariah law laughable. It is the ultimate theocracy.

Under CR all secular law would be dissolved and replaced by the 613 laws of the Hebrew Bible. This includes stoning to death of disrespectful children; elimination of all positions of power held by women; homosexuality and bisexuality would be a capital crime as would adultery, blasphemy, working on the Sabbath and practicing witchcraft.

It goes down hill from there. Death sentences include execution by burning alive.
Some of the proponents of CR call for the banning of interracial marriage; slavery would be reinstated; all other religions would be banned, including the practice of Judaism. Most social programs would be dissolved including welfare and our public school system. Apostasy from Christianity would be punishable by death. The ultimate goal is to transform the entire globe to the “Kingdom of God” on Earth. You can read much more about this @ . Or just Google “Christian Reconstructionism”

I can hear some of my readers saying: “Come on Hump, you’re being an alarmist. There have always been crazies out there, why should we worry about a few fringe religious whackos?” And they’d be right if I were raising the flag of imminent disaster. I’m not. But it is receiving support from the fringe elements of the Charismatic Christian denominations, Pentecostals and Baptists of whom a growing number of politicians are adherents.

While it is not an immediate threat keep this in mind:

- In 2000 the Republican Party of Texas declared that it "affirms that the United States is a Christian nation."

- In 2004 CR leaders in congress introduced a bill in both houses (HR 3788 and S 2082) called The Constitution Restoration Act of 2004. The bill intended to limit the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts’ ability to hear and rule on cases involving “expressions of religious faith by elected or appointed officials.”

Among the sponsors of the bill were Rep. Robert Aderholt (Alabama), Rep. Michael Pence (Indiana), Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, Sen. Zell Miller (Georgia), Sen. Sam Brownback (Kansas), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (South Carolina).

- James DeWeese a county court judge from Ohio who has three times attempted to defy court rulings banning his posting of the Ten Commandments in his court room calling them the “Rule of Law” is an avowed CR. In fact Roy Moore, a Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, was the initiator of the Constitution Restoration Act of 2004.

- The Washington DC secret Christian organization known as The Fellowship Foundation, AKA “the Family” AKA the “C Street” folks is a far right religious group who calls among its members many high ranking Congressmen and Senators. They sponsor the annual National Prayer Breakfast, are activists in breaking down the “Wall of Separation” between church and state, and hold strong Christian Reconstructionist positions.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. While the likes of Pat Robertson, Billy Graham and their ilk are open theocratic advocates, it’s the elected officials who will not readily identify their extremist religious views that we have to be wary of. You can be assured that every time you hear an elected official speak of “the US as a Christian Nation”; “bringing God back into our country“; “the devout Christianity of our Founding Fathers”; “the term ‘Wall of Separation’ is not in the Constitution”; and other key phrases that their objectives are suspect at best, theocratically motivated at worst.

The nightmares produced by our subconscious can be intense, but none are as hideous as the concept of a nation guided by Christian Reconstructionist politicians and judges. The zombies from the Night of the Living Dead may want to eat your brain, but at least they don’t want to enslave your mind and body.


Leslie said...

I have been trying to tell people about these Dominionists for I don't know how long.
This is the kind of group that, if you don't agree with their particular theological beliefs, would make you second class citizens if they were in control and they would probably love nothing more than to burn us atheists at the stake.
I wish people would pay attention to these people and the very real threat they pose. They would love nothing more than to turn this country into a Christian theocracy. Personally, I refer to them as the Christian Taliban.

thewordofme said...

Hi A. Camel, how are you doing...

2012 race for Republican nominee is going to be pretty interesting as the unholy trinity of Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney who All happen to follow the dominionist refrain. I think they are all in the top 5 of the recent polls.

Real good chance that a Republican will live in the White-house next term. We should start preparing for the worst.

longhorn believer said...

I had heard of the "The Family", but I had not heard of The Constitution Restoration Act or of Dominionism. I read thoroughly thru the website you linked. Holy shit! I've only just recently retrained my brain on how to handle rational and irrational fears. And now dammit, I don't know which category to put this crap in! However, I think I can still add some rational analysis.

I think we have moved into a period in history where the Constitution is il-equipped to handle some aspects of life especially those where technology has radically changed our lives (ie health care, computers, Internet etc). There are moral questions and financial questions that require examination separately or possibly thru amendment of the Constitution

I think we are moving into a much more secular era in history, certainly in the west and now we even see signs of it in secular movements in Egypt. Also, globalization of the economy is starting to make ideas about national identity seem less important. I think these things combined could be responsible for religious/xenophobic fundamentalists trying to make a grab for try and hold onto what is slipping away from them.

It could get really ugly, but I don't think American Jews, Catholics, and Muslims will go quietly into that good night. And I don't think most ordinary main stream religious people will willingly give up so many of their Constitutional freedoms. What I read stated that Dominionists think a transition to a theocracy would happen easily. Obviously, they are highly delusional on many levels, but on this particular point, they're out of their freakin' minds!

BTW, Hump, if you gave them the idea that the New Testament doesn't rewrite the Old Testament law because of what Jesus says in Matthew, maybe you should stoned to death! Okay, just kidding. That was satire, a complete exaggeration!

Anonymous said...

These f*ckers scare the hell out of me. They teeter on the edge of insanity and yet they have influence within our government.
It is a disease inherent to Republicans, and as more Republicans get voted into government positions, the worse it will get.
Can you imagine what kind of country this would be under a president Palin or Huckabee or Romney or Gingrich? *shudder*

ralph137 said...

I would guess the CR would be on board with NH Representative Martin Harty's idea of thinning the herd.

NewEnglandBob said...

"The Family" has been well documented and exposed. The big problem is the apathy and purposeful ignorance of the average American citizen.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that the danger of these power-hungry religionists is real, I am concerned that if we are to oppose them and defeat their plans, we need to be up on their beliefs. (Mainly nitpicking, but still: Pagans and Athiests are the most literate about _all_ religious beliefs in this country.)

First, Mitt Romney is a Mormon, no matter how much he tries to play it down. What people say about him turning the country into LDS clones is about as likely as JFK's listening to the Pope during his tenure.

Second, hitting them with biblical responses to their biblical knowledge needs to be exact, specific, and cited chapter and verse. There is no way any Christian can follow all of the 613 laws; many of them pertain to the temple and the sacrifices that cannot be performed without the temple. Those are just for starters.

And one needs to remind them that if their Jesus was supposed to overwrite the laws with 'love thy neighbor,' then they cannot continue to use the punishments from the OT since they have been overwritten by their own NT!

dahne ni don

Ross said...

Billy Graham is a Baptist, and Baptists have historically believed in the separation of church and state. Baptists are involved in political discourse, but they don't believe that religious belief should be imposed by governments. This being so, how can he be a theocrat? Can you back up this statement?

Dromedary Hump said...

Ross.. Being Baptist is hardly a guarentee of being a Jeffersonan era Baptist; a period when Baptists were the proponents of sep. of church and state. Billy and his son are proof of this.

While very recently Billy came out and said that he wished he had been less political in his career, the fact of the matter is he was influential in the developmen of the far right religious political movement.

There are many examples.. but this from Religion Watch summarizes it very well:

"Graham was instrumental in creating the Christian Right as a political force while, at the same time, distancing himself from it publicly. He was a participant in meetings where the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention was organized as a means to influence secular politics. In 1985, Graham sent a telegram to Charles Stanley endorsing his re-election as President of the SBC in the most contested election during the fundamentalist takeover the denomination."

Hope that helps answer your question.

Ross said...

I see. Even so, Billy Graham and the SBC aside, the Baptists have believed in the separation of church and state since the 17th century, well before Jefferson's time. The Baptist Union of Australia would also uphold this commitment. If there are any theocratic Christians in Australia, I don't know them.

Dromedary Hump said...

Ross said: "If there are any theocratic Christians in Australia, I don't know them."

Ross , I don't know if Australia is just luckier than we are in that regard..or if you just haven't looked hard enough.
Or maybe it's a matter of interpreting what theocracy looks like, or how much theocracy you're willing to accept.

For example: Here in the US bible study, prayer, and the promotion/ infusion of religion into public schools is strictly forbidden by our constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. In Australia religion has crept into the public school structure.

I read this as creeping theocracy. Your opinion may vary.

I suggest you may want to get involved with that petition. Good luck.

Ross said...

I'm aware of the NSCP debate in Australia, but there's a lot of misinformation being circulated. This website sets the record straight.

Almost all of my education was at secular institutions. I think I had a term of CRE in primary school, and that was pretty much it.

Going back to your original post, I think that you're being alarmist, and I doubt very much that your country will ever become a theocracy.

Dromedary Hump said...

Perhaps youre right. Perhaps I'm just an alarmist. Perhaps you as an Aussie know much more about the US Christian right and its agenda and growing influence in this country than i do.

Maybe we as a nation should just roll over, let prayer back into public school (banned by the Supreme Ct. since the 60's and now edging its way back in across the south).

Maybe the Airforce and Army military academy's turning a blind eye toward forced proselytizing by Christian religious fanatic cadets and officers shouldn't be a concern.

Maybe the army financially supporting a base wide christian evangelical rally /party-at Fort Bragg, requiring those who do not attend to do army duty; while not supporting a secular party/rally by atheists -- is fair and proper.

Maybe it's fine that only the Ten commandments are posted in Court houses and on public property, to the exclusion of all other ancient codes of law and religion clearly violating the 1st amendment's prohibition againstgov't promoting one religion over any othgers.. thus in violation of Supreme Court rulings.

I could go on about 100's of things that atheist activists in this country have battled against for 50 years and continue to have to battle to protect and defend a secular government.

But, you may be right Ross... if I just close my eyes I can rest easy. Afterall, a little religion in the class room and in government can't be too bad can it? Secular countries have never lapsed into extremist religious theocracys; and if they did hell.. "it couldn't happen here."
Besides, you seem to be ok with it, thus maybe be should all feel that way.

Thanks for your advise and input, and I'm very much reassured and relieved that you aren't worried for us. But if US atheists aren't vigilant, aren't willing to ring the alarm bell when theism encroaches, the next thing you know we become more and more like those people and nations who are willing to accept it as a norm. The thinking ones among them regret it later.

Anonymous said...

Reason IS your God ;).