By: David Bloomberg To: Michael White Re: Christian Reconstruction In a msg to Michael Whi

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By: David Bloomberg To: Michael White Re: Christian Reconstruction In a msg to Michael White on , Dave Horn of 1:104/810 writes: > Really? Ever hear of Christian Reconstructionism? MW> MW> Christian Reconstructionism? It must be a term invention by those MW> who are not Chrisian. DH> No, Mike. It isn't. It's a movement represented in the writings of DH> folk like Gary North. The intent of this group is NOT to wait for Jesus DH> to return, but to establish a world that is "ready" for Jesus. The DH> intent is to establish a Christian government here and now. Here is some additional info from my file area: [Edited for readability only by Sysop of The Temples of Syrinx BBS] Date: 02 May 92 02:54:00 From: Ken Cusick To: All ____________________________________________________________________________ A caller sent this to me and I thought you might like to see it. The Nature of the Beast Knowing your enemy is one of the fundamental principles of any confrontation. Here in Gainesville, confrontation has been brewing for months in the form of the Alachua County Commision's ongoing anti- discrimination ordinance saga. The brouhaha has drawn many factions of society out of the closet -- including the American Family Association. I took it upon myself to investigate the AFA, and what I unearthed was troubling. Most of us know the American Family Association and groups like it. We know they're the ones picketing and protesting loudly against not just gay rights but sex and AIDS education and abortion as well. But few of us know that there is a concrete, relatively new, and all-encompassing ideology guiding the actions and beliefs of these groups. The name of this school of thought is Christian Reconstructionism (sometimes also referred to as Theonomy or Dominion Theology), and its followers are growing in number. Many other Christians may be influenced by it without their knowledge. An explicit definition of Christian Reconstructionism (aka CR) is an elusive, complex mixture of politics and religion. In its simplest terms, it amounts to just what its name implies: a grass-roots religio-political movement whose ultimate goal is the structuring of America's political and social system to bring it into agreement with Old Testament Mosaic Law. The basic belief underlying this movement is the idea that the kingdom of God was initiated by Christ 2,000 years ago. This is in direct contrast to the Econventional, mainstream Christian belief that God's kingdom will be inaugurated with Christ's second coming some time in the future. An absolutely literal, dogmat interpretation of the Bible (or at least most passages) is at the heart of CR, so if you aren't up on Mosaic Law, here are CR's goals in a nutshell: God's law as taught in the Bible should govern all aspects of life. Local governments should have absolute sovereignty. Prisons should be be eliminated by executing all serious offenders and forcing others to work to make restitution for their crimes. Schools should be family- or church-run. Husbands should head every household, with women and children subsequent. The death penalty, carried out by stoning, should be the punishment for murder, negligence resulting in the death of another, rape, homosexuality (of course), adultery, apostasy (the abandonment of one's religious or political faith or cause), idolatry, and incorrigibility in children. (For a more in-depth definition, articles on this subject can be found in Christianity Today.) These goals are usually not stated in black and white, and as such some ad ents to some or all of these tenets may be either unaware of the ultimate ideology guiding their beliefs or unwilling to admit to what their political leanings imply. And though when stated openly these goals sound incredible, this movement is not populated by just a small minority of fringe-group radicals. It is a large, well-organized, and growing network of individuals and groups who spend their time, energy, and money working toward these goals. At the heart of the CR movement is the Coalition on Revival (COR), a sort of umbrella organization with a broad-based focus that has, at its heart, a steering committee comprised of some 112 well-known fundamentalist Christian leaders; their director is a man named Jay Grimstead. It is this organization that has been the most influential in working toward CR's goals by orchestrating communication between organizations. The COR has been quietly pulling together the strings of the various born-again, evangelical, and fundamentalist movements to form a broad consensus among sects ranging from Pentecostal to Orthodox Presbyterian and Assemblies of God. But the COR is not by itself a highly visible organization. In fact, CR is a movement intent on motivating change from the ground up. Its followers hope to accomplish this by working hardest to legislate morality and religion at the local level -- hence the AFA's loud and offensive objections to Alachua County's proposed ordinance. There are organizations, however, that target for and have been successful in capturing national attention as well. The NAFA, an organization that first became well-known for pressuring the sponsors of selected television shows, is among them. Their leader, the Rev. Donald Wildmon, is a member of the COR steering committee. Another group, the Traditional Values Coalition, has most recently gained media attention for their loud protests against public school condom distribution and their hand in securing a gubernatorial veto of California's gay rights bill. Focus on the Family is yet another similar organization, with sibling organizations, each known by their own name, in roughly twenty states. And Concerned Women for America, headed by Beverly LaHaye (another COR member), is known for campaigning against sex and AIDS education in public schools. Propaganda abounds -- most of us have heard the AFA or a similar group use a term like "traditional family values" to lend itself legitimacy, and these groups often also use ridiculously skewed statistics and almost comical assertions about the "average" homosexual. The AFA's recent letter to the editor of the Gainesville Sun presents us with a prime example of the way these groups do business. Mr. Jim Johnston, writer of the letter and president of the local AFA chapter, starts off by weeping and moaning over the demise of the "family." He then makes the mystifying claim that in reality only 1-3% of the population is homosexual, as if discrimination against us could be made less wrong by the claim that we are fewer. (To say the least, I question the impartiality of his statistics.) He goes on to announce that homosexuality "is such a public problem" that families are unsafe in parks, the restrooms at UF, and those at the mall. He apparently believes we are (or at least wants to portray us to others as) hordes of deranged homosexuals prowling public restrooms and parks preying on innocent children. This distorted world view is simultaneously amusing, sad, and alarming. And, as we are all too aware, print is not the only medium CR uses: even after all the scandal of the 1980's, televangelism remains a very effective front on which fundamentalists wage their war against "sin". Jerry Falwell's Liberty Foundation recently mailed to its supporters a booklet asking for (surprise!) money to help defeat the "wicked goals" of "radical homosexuals," even crying out that "we cannot allow the homosexuals to rule America!" By far the most widely-known Christian Reconstructionist, however, is 1988 presidential candidate Pat Robertson. Rev. Robertson, who heads the Christian Broadcasting Network (aka The Family Channel) is seen daily on his network's "700 Club." In his 1988 book Salvation Sale, Gerard Straub details CBN as an organization devoid of shades of gray wherein the slightest transgression was grounds for firing. Employees could not smoke or drink, even in their own homes; scientific or intellectual inquiry was denounced as Satan's handiwork, and homosexuals, adulterers, and other "undesirables" were immediately terminated upon discovery. Employees were encouraged to spy on and turn in coworkers who disobeyed. Rev. Robertson tis political ambitions toward the presidency as a means of fulfilling the goals of CR. And Mr. Straub, once an insider high up in CBN, plainly stated that though at first, "I simply considered him misguided but harmless," he now knows better: "I was wrong. He is not harmless; he is dangerous." The same could be said of CR is general. The entire gist of this movement is dangerous, and particularly dangerous is its unassuming approach. Around the country, people who embrace the philosophies of CR are working quietly through their churches and community action groups to legislate their own particular brand of morality into law at the local level. And, of course, CR's workhorse groups have together emerged as the one insistent minority opposed to all attempts by the gay community to secure protections and/or freedoms under the law. The issue of our rights has become one of the most visible fronts in the escalating war b en reason and religion. It is the one issue that brings CR's ultimately fascist nature into sharpest focus, because it is on this issue that many of CR's proponents have been drawn out into the limelight. It is here that they have made their most heinous and telling public statements. Groups guided by CR have consistently opposed everything from domestic partner ordinances to even simple hate crimes legislation. They have worked hard to foster fear, hatred, intolerance, and misunderstanding through propaganda and prejudiced stereotyping. Jay Grimstead himself is quoted in Penthouse as saying, "The Bible has something like 11 reasons for capital punishment. And murder was one. And homosexuality [was another]...The actual punishments we don't have agreement on, but we think that homosexuality...should be outlawed." Similarly, Jimmy Swaggart has long advocated death not only for homosexuals, but also for those who would defend them. By advocating death or, at the very least, incarceration for homosexuals, they encourage attitudes that make gay-bashing acceptable, even desirable, behavior. Hiding behind the pulpit, they help to turn a war of words and legislation into a true war at its most primitive level. Visibility is perhaps our most important weapon in combating those who adhere to this destructive and ethically indefensible ideology. By showing our families, friends, ners, co-workers, and the community at large that we are sound, stable, productive individuals who just happen to be lesbian or gay, we do a lot to dispel the hysteria of the Religious Right. By reminding those around us that we are people first and lesbian/gay second, we emphasize our individuality and humanity. And our fundamental humanity is what will protect us in the end against those who would dehumanize, label, and shun us. Speak out. Here in Alachua County there is no time like the present. Let the Alachua County Commission, the American Family Association, and the community at large know how you feel. Expose the AFA for what it is; let them know their ideology is offensive, as is their contention that they speak for all Christians. Tell them that their theft of the term "family" is an affront not just to families with gay or lesbian members or struggling gay co-parents, but to single-parent families, step-families, mixed-race families, foster families, and all other so-called "non-traditional" families as well. Above all, keep a vigilant eye on groups like the AFA. They are an organized danger, a cancer marring the fabric of society, and they show no signs of disappearing. (c) 1992 Natasha Mohr printed March 1992 in MAMA RAGA Coalition on Revival steering committee member Christian Reconstructionist legal foundation ORION PEOPLE ---------------------------------- ------------------------------------ Forceful Men organization Orthodox Presbyterian Sect Leonard Coppes (Denver) American Family Association Donald Wildmon Bay Area Council of Pastors (Calif.) Pentecostal Sect Paul Cain Rutherford Institute R.J. Rushdoony Focus on the Family Dr. James Dobson (Has 20 state offices, each operating (Christian psychologist) under its own name) Pennsylvania Family Instutitue Michael Geer (Penn. section of FotF. Puts out CITIZEN magazine.) National Family Legal Foundation Alan Sears Christian Coalition Traditional Values Coalition CHARISMA & CHRISTIAN LIFE magazine Stephen Strang Assemblies of God Sect (Youth Alive high school ministry teaches aggressive "recruiting" tactics. Uses FIRST HOUR BIBLE STUDIES which includes a section on "Five Ways to Use Your Classroom for Christ.") Youth Invasion Ministries(Offers seminars on teen evangelism, similar aggressive tactics. Goal is "to raise up Holy Ghost SWAT teams us who will lead the campus to God." Citizens for Excellence in Education Robert L. Simonds National Association of Christian Educators Robert L. Simonds (Against the teaching of sex education, Thomas Tancredo (Denver) international relations, humanism, evolution, values clarification, and sexual-gender orientation [acceptance of gays]) publishes EDUCATION NEWSLINE magazine HOW TO ELECT CHRISTIANS TO PUBLIC OFFICE (be considerable damage to Denver public school system. ARTICLES: Christian Reconstructionism: CHRISTIAN CENTURY, 10/4/89, p880 CHRISTIANITY TODAY, 9/2/89, p52 Coalition on Revival: MOTHER JONES, 11-12/90, p11 CHRISTIANITY TODAY, 11/19/90, p57 CHRISTIANITY TODAY, 3/5/90, p42 Christian Educators: EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP, 10/89, p61 Donald Wildmon: NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, 9/2/90, p22 TIME, 6/19/89, p54 VARIETY, 1/21/91, p27 BROADCASTING, 7/31/89, p74 Paul Cain: CHRISTIANITY TODAY, 1/14/91, p18 Pentecostalism: CHRISTIAN CENT 10/17/90, p93 ------------------------------------------------------------ Thank you for reading a text on the Aether BBS, 904-757-3182 ------------------------------------------------------------ - - - -----===< * >===----- - - -

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