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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas reading

If you have some free time this time of year -- perhaps you're flying to visit relatives -- then I recommend obtaining a copy of the December Mother Jones. The issue is filled with stories about "God and Country."

The piece by John Sugg, for example, is somewhat shocking: "A Nation Under God." Sugg discusses the "increasingly powerful Christian Reconstruction movement."

What do Reconstructionists want?
Reconstructionists aren’t shy about what exactly it is they are pursuing: "The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise," Gary North, a top Reconstruction theorist, wrote in his 1989 book, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism. "Those who refuse to submit publicly...must be denied citizenship."
Sugg links a number of public figures to Reconstructionism: Alabama gubernatorial candidate Roy Moore, Marvin Olasky (compassionate conservatism's chief thinker), Tom DeLay, Promise Keeper Jack Hayford, etc.

The movement's founder claims that 20 million Americans are Reconstructionists.

Here's another eye-opener:
The Old Testament—with its 600 or so Mosaic laws—is the inflexible guide for the society [author Gary] DeMar and other Reconstructionists envision. Government posts would be reserved for the righteous, as long as they are male. There would be thousands of executions a year, with stoning a preferred method because it would turn the deaths into "community projects," as movement theologian North has noted. Sinners in line for the death penalty would include women who commit adultery or lie about their virginity, blasphemers, witches, children who strike their parents, and gay men (lesbians, however, would be spared because no specific reference to them can be found in the Books of Moses). DeMar told me that among Reconstructionists he is considered something of a liberal, because he’d execute gays only if they were caught indulging in sodomy. "I’m happy to just drive them back into the closet," he said.

...In his book Liberty at Risk, DeMar writes that "the State cannot be neutral towards the Christian faith. Any obstacle that would jeopardize the preaching of the Word of God…must be opposed by civil government."
OK, one more:
I asked [Roy] Moore, "Do you favor a theocracy?" The judge turned and looked at me, shook his head, frowned, and walked away. But DeMar, in our interview, had already answered the question.

"All governments are theocracies," he said. "We now live in a secular humanist theocracy. I want to change that to a government with God at its head."
Happy holidays!

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