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Huckabee’s Christian Reconstructionist Ties Run Deep

Jim Burroway

January 6th, 2008

We reported earlier on Southern Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s fundraising event at the home of Houston multimillionaire Steven Hotze, a well-known Christian Reconstructionist. Pastor Rick Scarborough, who also maintains Reconstructionist beliefs, was there as well. Since then, we’ve learned that Huckabee’s ties go far deeper than mere acquaintances and financial backers. He has a history of working very closely with some very well-known Reconstructionists over the years. In this report, we will examine two of Huckabee’s closest Reconstructionist colleagues.

Modern Christian Reconstructionism (sometimes known as Dominionism) was founded by the late R.J. Rushdoony and his son-in-law, Gary North. Rushdoony believed that it was the duty of every Bible-believing Christian to place each and every word of the Bible at the core of that person’s life. According to Rushdoony, this meant that the Bible must necessarily replace all civil laws and constitutions with the Old and New Testaments, including the revival of the death penalty for homosexuality, incest, adultery, lying about one’s virginity, and apostasy or public blasphemy, among a much longer list of biblical crimes. Rushdoony wrote that Democracy is a heresy and “the great love of the failures and cowards of life.”

George Grant
These are core beliefs among several leading figures in Huckabee’s circle. One such prominent figure is George Grant, a well-known Reconstructionist who appeared with Rushdoony in the video, God’s Law and Society. Grant was the co-author for Huckabee’s 1998 book, Kids Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence. That was the book where Huckabee and Grant lumped homosexuality with pedophilia, sadomasochism and necrophilia as “institutionally supported aberrations.”

Back cover of Huckabee and Grant’s book, “Kids Who Kill”

That line, which Huckabee defended, may well have come from Grant’s 1993 book, Legislating Immorality: The Homosexual Movement Comes Out Of The Closet. In that book, Grant compares homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality. He also calls for the death penalty for gays, saying “[t]here is no such option for homosexual offenses” except capital punishment.

In 1987 George Grant wrote The Changing Of The Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action, in which he made his call for a theocratic overthrow explicit. On reading these passages, there can be no doubt exactly what Grant is calling for:

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ – to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.

But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice.

It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.

It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.

It is dominion we are after.

World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.

If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose.

Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land – of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations. True Christian political action seeks to rein the passions of men and curb the pattern of digression under God’s rule. (pp. 50-51)

Grant has attained considerable influence within broader evangelical circles. He once served as executive director for D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries, and he has been a vocal advocate for evangelicals withdrawing their children from public schools. Grant operates several educational organizations in Franklin, Tennessee, including a Christian school, and an adult education center. He is “reluctantly” in the process of developing a home-school curriculum.

Bill Gothard
Gothard and HuckabeeAnother strong Reconstructionist tie can be found in Rev. Huckabee’s longtime relationship with Bill Gothard. Gothard runs an outfit called the Institute In Basic Life Principles. As part of the teachings at his institute, Gothard has espoused some very radical principles. The evangelical non-profit Personal Freedom Outreach, whose mission is to warn fellow evangelicals about pronouncements which are considered heretical from an Evangelical point of view, criticized several very odd aspects of Gothard’s theology:

Take for example Gothard’s “Cabbage Patch” flap. In 1986, he taught that the highly popular Cabbage Patch Dolls were causing strange and destructive behavior in children that could only be alleviated when the dolls were removed or destroyed.

In a letter from his organization, his followers were told by representative Ginger Jones that to enter into a written agreement to love a doll was a violation of the First Commandment. The threat as seen by Gothard was that by adopting a doll, children might not want to raise up their own godly children. Children may “love” dolls as they do other toys but this does not mean they worship them.

Testimonials were included with the above letter about the awful effects of the dolls with no allowance made for other environmental and social factors in the homes. The Cabbage Patch doll became a scapegoat.

If only Gothard’s teachings were limited to children’s toys. Unfortunately, it is just one small and amusing manifestation of Gothard’s extremism. Gothard teaches that all of life’s problems can be traced to poor “character choices.” Those choices result in a large number of societal “ills,” including homosexuality, divorce, contraception, crime — even mental illness. In one video, Gothard claims that there is no such thing as mental illnesses, and everything that we call “mental illness” — including schizophrenia — are the direct result of making poor character choices. Among the many unaccredited “training institutes” that Gothard runs is something called “The Medical Training Institute of America,” which emphasizes “the Biblical mandate to call for the elders of the church for prayer before receiving medical treatment for a serious illness.” He describes the “power of crying out” to cure brain tumors, cancer and infertility.

Gothard insists that families and communities must organize themselves on a strict interpretation of Christian Reconstructionist principles. In addition to Cabbage Patch Dolls, he also forbids dancing, dating, rock music (even Christian rock) and “wrong clothes.” Wives must submit to their husbands, adults must submit to their patriarch (the husband’s father), and couples must discard all forms of birth control. Families should limit their contact with those who are not “saved,” they should lock their misbehaving children into “prayer closets,” and they should home-school their children.

To help families with that last injunction, Gothard maintains a home school curriculum, composed of a series of “wisdom booklets” in which “the Bible is the main textbook” for all subjects in the curriculum, including science and mathematics. Gothard’s most famous home-school alumnus to date is probably Matthew Murray, the “Colorado Shooter” who killed four people in two separate shooting sprees in Arvada and Colorado Springs. The particularly tragic irony is that there is evidence that Matthew Murray may have been suffering from mental illness — he reportedly heard voices, which is often a symptom of some forms of schizophrenia which Gothard dismissed as a mere character flaw.

While little is known about Gothard outside the evangelical movement, he claims to have built a large following of 2.5 million alumni of his 25-hour basic seminar since 1964. Matthew Murray’s parents are reportedly among his alumni. Another alumnus is none other than Rev. Mike Huckabee, who wrote this endorsement of Gothard’s prison program, which was implemented in at least one Arkansas state prison:

As a person who has actually been through the Basic Seminar, I am confident that these are some of the best programs available for instilling character into the lives of people.

Huckabee has also Gothard’s “Character Cities” program, which is a secular front organization which tries to inject Reconstructionist goals into local politics under the radar. So far, 171 cities, 37 counties and 8 states have adopted resolutions. In 1997, the Ocala Star-Banner reported on a meeting Gothard held in Little Rock with members of Huckabee’s administration:

Gothard has described his meeting in Little Rock as the start of something big. He said it laid the groundwork for “the most exciting opportunity I can imagine” to merge the institute’s teachings with government programs. In a letter published on the institute’s Internet site, Gothard said his organization has been asked to “present a plan and contract to restructure ( Arkansas’ ) welfare program, their educational system and their juvenile justice methods.” He also claims that Gov. Huckabee’s aides “have already begun taking steps” to put the proposal into action.

What Does Rev. Huckabee Believe?

It’s hard to know where Huckabee himself stands in all of this since he is coy about addressing how he sees the role of church and state. In his 1997 book, Character Is The Issue: How People With Integrity Can Revolutionize America, Huckabee claimed that he despised “legalism” in the Church as much as liberalism (p. 74). Nevertheless, he casts the struggle between liberalism, which he describes as godless, and his form of Christianity as a political fight in which only one side can emerge victorious:

Here’s the bottom line not just for Arkansas and America, but for the world: one worldview will prevail. Either by numbers or persuasion, one side of this polarized culture will defeat the other in setting public policy. When two irreconcilable views emerge, one is going to dominate. Ours will either be a worldview with humans at the center or with God at the center. Standards of right and wrong are either what we establish as human beings (standards which can be changed to suit us), or they are what God has set in motion since the creation of the world.

… The winning worldview will dominate public policy, the laws we make, and every other detail of our existence. (p. 137)

Huckabee clearly believes that his campaign is a part of “what God has set in motion.” Those beliefs echoed throughout his address to students at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, where he explained why he thought his poll numbers were rising:

There’s only one explanation for it, and it’s not a human one. It’s the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of five thousand people. (Applause and cheers)

And that’s the only way that our campaign could be doing what it’s doing. And I’m not being facetious, nor am I trying to be trite. There literally are thousands of people across this country who are praying that a little will become much, and it has. And it defies all explanation. It has confounded the pundants, and I’m enjoying every minute of their trying to figure it out. And until they look at it from a… just experience beyond human, they’ll never figure it out. And that’s probably just as well. That’s honestly why it’s happening.

Hat tips: Wayne Besen, Cincinnati Beacon

See also:
Rev. Huckabee: “Obey God’s Orders”

Comments

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Bruce Wilson
January 6th, 2008 | LINK

Great piece ! I’ve linked to it on Talk To Action, and I’m working on a “Huckabee Fun Pack” – of great reporting on Huckabee’s hard religious right associations – that I’ll be sure to showcase this in as well.

Best, Bruce Wilson

AM
January 6th, 2008 | LINK

Two words: Damn scary.

Erica B.
January 6th, 2008 | LINK

Anybody who considers his run for the presidency to be an attempt to establish “dominion” is highly disqualified for the position. Language of conquest is just inappropriate, not to mention disturbing and creepy.

On a lighter note, I owned a Cabbage Patch doll when I was young (ah, the 80’s!) and so far haven’t neglected my kids… anybody who is so wrapped up with their childhood toys that it would affect their adult actions has issues that aren’t caused by the dolls!

And who do you complain to about election returns being manipulated by a divine entity — considering Huckabee has blatantly stated his results are caused by God (apparently instead of human voters), there’s gotta be a case there!

NancyP
January 6th, 2008 | LINK

If The Huck doesn’t tank soon, you might consider rabble-rousing the doctors. Huck’s funder and advisor, one Stev(ph)en Hotze, M.D., is a quack extraordinaire, as well as an advocate of punishing doctors that work on the Sabbath.

It’s a sad state of the nation when the queers are out-queered by the presidential candidates and their associates. What happened to the days when candidates were merely crooks and not kooks?

Multi Medium » Pop Quiz
January 6th, 2008 | LINK

[…] has scarier friends, Beagle Eyes or Bunny […]

Sweet Homo Alabama » Blog Archive » News Briefs 1-06-08
January 6th, 2008 | LINK

[…] Box Turtle Bulletin talks about Mike Huckabee’s ties to Christian Dominionism. Scary Stuff. […]

Samantha Davis
January 7th, 2008 | LINK

And who do you complain to about election returns being manipulated by a divine entity — considering Huckabee has blatantly stated his results are caused by God (apparently instead of human voters), there’s gotta be a case there!

So who died and made Diebold god?

Sorry, couldn’t resist that one!

But in all seriousness: you can tell the character of a man by the company that he keeps. Even if Huckabee wasn’t a dominionist he is obviously sympathetic to hard-right reconstructionist ideas; a Huckabee presidency would therefore give dominionists access to the whitehouse regardless of what his personal beliefs are.

If Huckabee wins New Hampshire I fear that he might just be able to win the rest of the country; especially if he is running against Clinton.

John Lofton, Recover
January 7th, 2008 | LINK

As a Christian Reconstructionist who wrote a column for 11 years for Dr. Rushdoony, I can say, confidently, that Huckabee is no CR. No way! Following is a press release on this subject just released.

Mike Huckabee, From Biblical/Constitutional Perspective,
Still Clueless, A Double-Minded Man

Contact: John Lofton, 410-760-8885, 301-873-4612, JLof@aol.com

MEDIA ADVISORY, Jan. 7 /Christian Newswire/ — Recovering Republican John Lofton, Editor of TheAmericanView.com and co-host of “The American View” radio show with the Constitution Party’s 2004 Presidential candidate Michael Anthony Peroutka, has issued the following statement:

Mike Huckabee has said that he is a “Christian Leader.” But, as a Presidential candidate, he is not leading as a Christian. He has given no explicitly Biblical answers to any question. In fact, on numerous issues, he has run away from his professed Biblical faith sounding, operationally, de facto, like an atheist, like just another politician.

If you will listen to The American View radio show
137 http://www.theamericanview.com/index.php?id=967, you will hear Mr. Huckabee: Refusing to defend the Christian faith and running away from his having once said that America must be taken back for Christ; saying he would have no problem appointing atheists to positions in his administration (what would an oath mean to such an unbeliever?).

In addition, Mr. Huckabee refuses to support and say what God says about homosexuality; he opposes criminal penalties for women who murder their children by abortion; and, of course, there’s that unbelievably stupid and dishonest press conference where he said he had done an anti-Romney but decided not to show it – and then he showed it to the press corps so they could see what he wasn’t going to show! Then, after supposedly spiking his anti-Romney ad, he appeared on network TV making some of the same charges that were in the ad he, alledgedly, killed!

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Christians, above all others, should speak honestly and plainly letting their yeas be yea, their nays be nay (Matthew 5:37, James 5:12) lest the cause of Christ be disgraced and ridiculed. But, alas, Mr. Huckabee is not such a plain, honest speaker. In many ways, without exaggerating, it could be said that he is a political cuttlefish who, even, when confronted with direct quotes re: things he actually said, squirts cloud-after-cloud of obfuscating verbal ink all over his questioner the result being that many times one forgets the question he was being asked – that being, of course, his intention. Cuttlefish, incidentally, have been called the chameleons of the sea because of their remarkable ability to rapidly alter their skin color at will.

If you’d like to interview John Lofton, you may reach him by calling: 301-873-4612; 410-760-8885; or by email: JLof@aol.com.

Emproph
January 7th, 2008 | LINK

How is the desire for world conquest any different than the love and pursuit of power based on an ideology of supremacism? And they think this is a novel idea that God somehow had to “teach” them? Sounds like the definition of idolatry to me.

Tim Havlik
January 7th, 2008 | LINK

I have been through Bill Gothard’s Seminars several times. Some of the information presented was misinformed. Gothard does believe that schizophrenia is more serious than a character flaw. He believes that it is a real problem that plagues many individuals. However, due to a different world-view the treatment of such a case is different than in the medical world.

Jim Burroway
January 7th, 2008 | LINK

The statement about schizophrenia comes from this video, of Gothard speaking at one of his presentations. It seems pretty clear to me. If there is a different source, I’d be interested in seeing it.

David Roberts
January 7th, 2008 | LINK

I attended a Bill Gothard seminar in the mid 80s. As far as those things go, it wasn’t bad. He was a tad extreme on some marriage issues, especially considering he was not married, but nothing terribly odd. His emphasis on personal responsibility was actually quite helpful, and I still refer to it. I would like to know more about the context of that video, as I would have probably walked out if he had said anything as wacky as that.

He may have changed, but his focus then was all about how one conducts ones own life with no attention at all to issues of government or law. The “crying out” business is just a way of saying one should pray to God for healing – not particularly radical. He may have gone nuts in the years since, but at that point he was just a guy with strong opinions and lots of pricey study materials. If I had a problem with him, it was with his tendency to see scripture as a contract of some sort – you do this, you will get that. Lots of “principles” which he referred to almost like laws of nature.

He’s always been quite popular, certainly among Southern Baptists. Huckabee’s association with him will almost certainly be a plus for many voters.

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[…] Christian Reconstructionist Ties Run Deep Abigail Beal wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptWe reported earlier on Southern […]

Seth
January 8th, 2008 | LINK

Send this information to Jamie Kirchick. Maybe he could put his muckraking talents to good use with it.

The Story So Far… » Blog Archive » Huckabee’s Dog Whistle Politics
January 8th, 2008 | LINK

[…] Huckabee’s Christian Reconstructionist Ties Run Deep […]

Linda
January 13th, 2008 | LINK

Bill Gothard loves to name drop, but I find it highly unlikely that Huckabee is a big supporter of his. Gothard’s legalistic program is full of the idea that Rock and Roll music is directly from Satan, and as I recall, Mike Huckabee does not just listen to Rock and Roll occasionally, he is a member of a band! Don’t be fooled by smear campaigns.

Lynchburger
January 16th, 2008 | LINK

Informative piece. Sort of. Looks more like guilt by association to me. Did you draw out a full range of connections Huckabee has had during his public career, or did you cherry-pick for a few nasties? It seems you are really saying, see he’s got these friends, and they believe these awful things, so Huck must be one of the co-conspirators. Wouldn’t hold up in court, my friend.

But you do raise an important question: When does legitimate political involvement cross the line and become oppressive? I don’t think you tried to even answer that, and I know why. It is a very hard question. Should all us Christians and others of faith just shut up and sit quietly at the back of the bus? No. Should we try to take over and impose a Christian theocracy. No. That would be God’s job, not mine. Somewhere in the middle then, perhaps we can learn to live with each other. We are required by our faith to serve our communities, social, political or otherwise. Yet we are to be “wise as serpents but harmless as doves.” So you can count on us sticking our noses into the policy debates in the public square, but please understand this, the reconstructionist movement is not good theology, and most knowledgeable Christians know it. I have been at the epicenter of much of this. I have had direct contact with some of the leading figures in the movement. I know things the rest of you don’t. Trust me (if you can), militant secularism is a much greater threat to us than we are to it, at least from a political point of view. You radical secularists, set your paranoia aside. There are no dominionist Christians hiding under your bed.

Jason D
January 16th, 2008 | LINK

Is there even such a thing as a mulitant secularist? Do they have a website or something? Why haven’t I ever heard of them, meanwhile Radical Christian Fundamentalists like say Oral Roberts, Richard Roberts, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, The Bakers(in the 80’s), The Camerons, Paul Crouch, Billy Graham, Benny Hinn, D James Kennedy, Jimmy Swaggart, Joseph Nicolosi, James Dobson, Alan Keyes, Anita Baker, The Moral Majority, The Family Research Council, Exodus, PFOX, The AFA, Concerned Women For America — on and on and on.

So where are these militant secularists, and why haven’t I ever heard about them?

USpace
January 17th, 2008 | LINK

Huckabye? Huckabee wants to have adulterers, homosexuals and rape victims stoned to death. He also wants to make alcohol and music videos illegal, and make women 2nd class citizens and to take all girls out of school.

Oops, my bad, that’s another ‘religion’.

Hey, anybody but the PIAPS!

if you’re MAD
punish your country
VOTE for Hillary

http://haltterrorism.com/

http://absurdthoughtsaboutgod.blogspot.com/
.

Emily K
January 17th, 2008 | LINK

tee hee! Closet-case Muslim on our hands… :-D

2008 Election: On the Candidates « Hope2012
January 17th, 2008 | LINK

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January 19th, 2008 | LINK

[…] titled “Character Is the Issue: How People With Integrity Can Revolutionize America,” warning starkly that in the struggle between secular and sectarian, “one worldview will […]

Patrick
January 20th, 2008 | LINK

First, let me share the facts:

**Democrat CFR member Candidates:**
Barack Obama: Also, his wife Michelle Obama is on the Board of Directors in the Chicago branch of the CFR.
Hillary Clinton
John Edwards
Chris Dodd
Bill Richardson

**Republican CFR member Candidates:**
Mitt Romney
Rudy Giuliani
John McCain
Fred Thompson
Newt Gingrich
Mike Huckabee: Huckabee is not a CFR member, though he named Richard Haas, president of the CFR, as his adviser on foreign policy. On Feb. 21, 2006, Hass wrote a column for the Taipei (China) Times titled, “State Sovereignty Must Be Altered in Globalized Era.” This is an explicit solicitation for global government. Here is the article –http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2006/02/21/2003294021

So what is the “CFR” anyway?

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is David Rockefeller’s private thinktank. This group has nothing to do with our government since it is entirely private. This group is pro-war and pro-North American Union (loss of American sovereignty and loss of Constitutional protections). You can read more about this group at —
http://www.infowars.com/articles/nwo/cfr_stacks_deck_with_dem_gop_presidential_candidates.htm

Here’s a short video of a discussion between Dick Cheney (ex-director of CFR) and David Rockefeller, which reveals their close-knit ties —
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbnpN07J_zg

b
January 20th, 2008 | LINK

Jason D,

I think you maybe meant Anita Bryant, not Anita Baker. :)

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August 17th, 2010 | LINK

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October 28th, 2010 | LINK

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Bachmann Endorser Grant Says “It Is Dominion We Are After. World Conquest” « Women Born Transsexual
November 15th, 2011 | LINK

[…] it should be noted, reportedly supports the death penalty for homosexuals and just so happens to be a pretty vocal advocate of […]

Kerrye R.
June 1st, 2012 | LINK

I can’t beleive the commandment “Thou shall not kill” is so over turned twards hate.

What about people who are born intersexed like me??
Do you think I should be punished and put to death because I was born this way??
You realize we live in a black & white society where there are no bathrooms for those that are intersexed, and if this is wrong, then why would god create GLBT people to begin with, because I can damn well garantee none of us asked to be this way, yet the birth defect I have is becomming more and more common.
When I was born, it was 1 in every 30k people.
Now it’s down to 1 in every 7,000 people.

So, if you want to put anyone to death for being GLBT, maybe you should think about killing god, because HE created us to begin with, and if you dont like it, maybe you should kill yourself and rid the world of another person who spreads discrimination, sexism and hate.

Why Doug Wilson on Slavery Should Be Like Jimmy the Greek | The Wartburg Watch 2012
July 16th, 2012 | LINK

[…] the Box Turtle Bulletin link we learn about George Grant. Please note the dates of the quotes material which were well before the […]

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