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Posts for January, 2012

Hey, Ron Paul, now I’m starting to think you want to kill me

Timothy Kincaid

January 17th, 2012

You would think that after touting the endorsement of one Christian reconstructionist who favors executing gays – and being called on it – you’d be careful before you starting talking about another. Unless, I guess, you agree with them.

But today there’s another preacher, Voddie Baucham, Pastor at Grace Family Baptist Church, who is one the front page of Ron Paul’s website singing Ron’s praises:

While I am not looking for a “Pastor-in-Chief,” it is important to me that the man for whom I cast my vote be a Christian, if at all possible… I also want to know that the foundational ideology motivating a man’s decisions is biblical. I know it will not always mirror my own, but I trust God’s word, and appreciate those who look to it for aid in making decisions. To that end, I support Dr. Paul because he is not just a conservative, but a Christian Conservative.

Unlike, I guess, the Mormon and the Catholic options.

Now some of what Baucham says makes sense. He, like me, has no desire to elect a Pastor in Chief. And he notes that when you send a guy to change the moral standards to be to your liking, then the next guy is free to change them to his liking and “How’s that workin’ for ya’?”

But what isn’t mentioned is Baucham’s other writings, like – for example – this response to President Obama’s 2009 statement of support for LGBT Pride Month that Dr. Warren Throckmorton found:

As I have noted elsewhere, President Obama is committed to a radical pro-homosexual agenda. Since day one of his administration, he has made no secret of his intent to move the ball forward on the full acceptance of homosexuality and the criminalization of all disapproval thereof. Just this week he appointed the founder of GLSEN to a post in the Department of Education. Then, in another brazen act, the Obama administration took another bold step forward as he declared June LGBT Pride Month. In a statement on the White House website he wrote:

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country’s response to the HIV pandemic.

Hence, sodomites, who who are in large part responsible for the introduction and spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic are praised for responding to this plague in an attempt to avoid annihilation (by the way, I know you don’t have to engage in sodomy to get HIV, but that doesn’t change the facts… see the book, And the Band Played On for an honest look at this issue). This is revisionism at its worst.

The President goes on to celebrate the fact that this abomination (Lev 18:22) worthy of the death penalty (Lev 20:13) is now being celebrated in the open. He writes, “Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before.” This is a clear sign of the devolution of culture. As Paul writes in Romans, “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Rom 1:32 ESV)

So what’s going on here, Ron Paul? Why is it that you keep talking up the endorsements you get from people who want to execute me?

Once is an error. Twice… well, twice means that you need to start explaining in terms that leave no doubt.

Ron Paul’s Easy Appeal Among Reconstructionists

Jim Burroway

December 28th, 2011

Warren Throckmorton seems to have found what may be the key to Ron Paul’s support among Christian Reconstructionists while also being spurned by Dominionists:

But back to (New Apostolic Reformation dominionists) vs. Christian reconstructionists; the focus of control is different. The NAR folks want to rule America as a Christian nation from the seat of centralized power in Washington DC. The Christian reconstructionists want to deconstruct central government in favor of state or local control of law. Bachmann and Perry promise to govern biblically and impose their view of Christian America on the nation. Paul promises to dismantle the federal government in favor of the states.

In fact, the Christian reconstructionists are afraid of the NAR dominionists. Recontructionist Joel McDurmon wants biblical law in place but he thinks the NAR approach is a dangerous power grab.

It’s notable that the most prominent pastor in Iowa to endorse Ron Paul (an endorsement featured on Paul’s web site) is Rev. Phil Kayser, who has deep reconstructionist (also known as theonomist) ties. At Biblical Blueprints, a reconstrucitonist web site, Kaiser posted a book (PDF: 4.1MB/60 pages) in which he justifies the death penalty for homosexuality:

(page 24): I should think that theonomists would be happy with this understanding of Biblical capital crimes since it is the Bible and the Bible alone that determines ethics.  But I would think that those who are concerned about how Biblical penology would apply in a pagan society and how it would dovetail with evangelism would be happy because Biblical penology beautifully dovetails with God’s program of the  Great Commission. There is no tension between Biblical law and the Great Commission. For example, in a society that was being converted, homosexuals could continue to be converted as they were in the church of Corinth. Even after a society implemented Biblical law and made homosexuality a crime, there are many checks and balances that would be in place. (See Appendix A page  40 for specifics.) The civil government could not round them up. Only those who were prosecuted by citizens could be punished, and the punishment could take a number of forms, including death. This would have a tendency of driving homosexuals back into their closets.

I think I have demonstrated how even capital punishment can be restorative.  Other aspects of penology such as restitution, indentured servitude, etc. are certainly restorative.

I should think that those who accuse Biblicists of a theology that would cause a holocaust should be happy since we advocate standing law, not the Herem principle, and since standing law could be implemented even in a society like ours without the need for massive bloodshed. After a few speedy executions of non-repentant criminals, others would think twice before despising God’s law.

Paul opposes Lawrence v. Texas because he thinks it infringes on states rights. Kayser likes the idea of states having the right to kill homosexuals, which neatly completes the circle to his support for Paul.

Later in the book, Kayser defends his support for capital punishment for gay people against the objection that his theonomist proposals would “lead to a bloodbath”:

(page 38): Objection 13 – “This would lead to a blood bath if we were to implement that law today because almost our entire nation is implicated in capital crimes.”

This objection is a mixture of pragmatism (we can’t do it) and emotional appeal (it would lead to a blood bath). But neither argument changes God’s definition of justice. Difficulty in implementing Biblical law does not make non-Biblical penology just. But as we have seen, while many homosexuals would be executed, the threat of capital punishment can be restorative.

What’s a few dead homosexuals in the greater scheme of things? And this is the man of whose endorsement Paul’s web site now brags. Along with Paul’s praise of the voter recall effort against state Supreme Court judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality, his opposition to Lawrence v. Texas, and the man who Paul selected to lead his Iowa campaign, suddenly those newsletters appear neither anachronistic nor anomalous. Ron Paul supporters have to ask themselves a really hard question: With his active courting of extremists like these, what kind of people do they think Paul will select for his administration?

Ron Paul touts endorsement by pastor who wants you dead. Literally.

Timothy Kincaid

December 28th, 2011

Ron Paul is touting the endorsement of “Eminent Pastor Rev. Phil Kayser, Ph.D.”. Kayser is the pastor of Dominion Covenant Church in Omaha, Nebraska and, as might be deduced from the church’s name, Kayser is a dominionist. But as Dr. Warren Throckmorton reports, Kayser is extremist even for dominionists. The eminent pastor reverend doctor Phil Kayser wants to rule the world.

Our church will not rest or be satisfied (Is. 62:6-7) until all human authority submits to Christ (Matt. 28:18), all nations are discipled (Matt. 28:19), all Scripture is followed (Matt. 28:20a) and all of Christ’s presence and resources are claimed (Matt. 28:20b). Anything less than an expectation of total victory for King Jesus in history (1 Cor. 15:24-28) does not do justice to the all encompassing mandate of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20).

Oh, and by “all Scripture is followed”, the eminent pastor reverend doctor veers from the usual and customary Christian teaching. The eminent pastor reverend doctor means the following:

But notice how Paul ties this in with his overarching theme of natural knowledge. It is not just the sinfulness of homosexuality that is known, but also the justice of the death penalty for homosexuality. In verse 32 Paul says, “Who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” The reason men have an innate sense of justice is because God’s law reflects not only His holiness but also His justice and goodness (Romans 7:12). Romans 13 says that magistrates are subject to all three. They must know what is sin and what is good, and they must apply justice in condemning the one and protecting the other. All of that, Romans 1-2 says is in man’s heart.

Now, I personally don’t believe that executing gays is intuitive or natural or written right there in man’s heart. So I personally don’t find this to be an endorsement that compels me to support Ron Paul. But if you are a big supporter or the eminent pastor reverend doctor Phil Kayser, then you will probably also find that supporting Ron Paul is written in your heart. With a sharpie.

UPDATE: It seems that someone in Ron Paul’s campaign finally noticed what it was that Phil Kayser actually believes and teaches. The campaign website no longer proudly announced Kayser’s endorsement.

Ugandan Health Minister Says Prayer Cures AIDS, Linked to American Dominionist Movements

Jim Burroway

September 2nd, 2011

Health Minister and pastor Christine Ondoa

Christine Joyce Dradidi Ondoa wears two hats. She is a pentecostal preacher at a Life Line Ministry in a Kampala, Uganda, suburb, and she is also the new Health Minister for the Ugandan government:

Asked if she expected to be named a minister, the Mount St. Mary’s Namagunga and Moyo SS alumna, said: “Yes and no”.

“Yes because I knew that I was always meant for good things and knew that God was preparing me for a big task. But I did not know that it was going to come this soon and at this time.”

Ondoa is not without qualifications. She is reportedly a trained pediatrician, and she served previously as the Executive Director of one of Uganda’s three national referral hospitals. However, as Bruce Wilson discovered at Talk To Action, she has some decidedly unorthodox medical opinions. According to the Ugandan news magazine The Observer:

The newly appointed health minister, Dr Christine Ondoa Dradidi, has told The Observer that prayer heals HIV/AIDS, and that she knows three people who were once positive but turned negative after prayer for deliverance.

She, however, said medical workers and the general public should be cautious about people who claim they were healed of HIV.

“I am sure and I have evidence that someone who was positive turned negative after prayers,” Ondoa told The Observer on last week, promising to ask colleagues in Arua hospital, where she once worked, to find the relevant documentation.

As pastor, at Life Line Ministries, she works under the direction of apostle Julius Peter Oyet, who is one of the most influential evangelical leaders in Uganda you’ve never heard of. Oyet was present in the gallery when the Ugandan Parliament first considered the introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in 2009, and he has been very open about his belief that homosexuality should be a capital offense. Oyet, who is also President of the Ugandan branch of the U.S.-based College of Prayer (or COP, which itself is a ministry of Rev. Fred Hartley’s Lilburn Alliance Church in Atlanta), was made a member of M.P. David Bahati’s staff to lobby Parliament for the bill’s passage. While Bahati is the bill’s author and sponsor, Oyet played a crucial role in its drafting. He reportedly told a documentary filmmaker:

I was there. Id have been part of the brains behind it. We worked on it. We planned who should propose it. It is the Ugandan’s bill. It is the culture of Uganda to keep purity. It is everybody’s voice. I worked with Bahati on this.

Wilson, who was among the first to raise the alarm over role played by the particular branches of Dominionism — you know, the thing that’s supposedly a myth — known as the New Apostolic Reformation and the so-called Seven Mountains Mandate in propelling the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill into Uganda’s Parliament, has effectively connected the dots between Ondoa and Oyet, to U.S. evangelical groups headed by Fred Hartley, III and C. Peter Wagner. Wilson points out that one key rhetorical hallmark of these groups is that they refer to homosexuality as a manifestation of “Baal worship.” Wilson also reports that two weeks after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced in Uganda’s Parliament in October, 2009, Hartley led a two day COP training session in Uganda to “mentor” Bahati and fifty other members of Parliament. Wilson’s report has many more details on the entire movement, tracing its inspiration from Christian Reconstructionist R.J. Rushdoony and Gary North, who advocated bringing back the Old Testament as the basis for civil law, including the mandate to kill gay people.

What Would Dominionists Do With Gays?

Jim Burroway

August 31st, 2011

Warren Throckmorton answers that question as he dives deep into the different flavors of Dominionism and comes up with many different answers, none of them good. Some are, as he puts it, “squeamish about ‘severe sanctions’ like death.” But others, not so much. It’s an excellent breakdown. You will want to keep this link handy.

Christian Dominionism Is Not A Myth

Jim Burroway

August 21st, 2011

On August 14, Michelle Goldberg sounded the alarm about the close ties that two GOP candidates for president, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have with extreme elements of far-right Cristianism known as Dominionism. Today, A. Larry Ross responds with a well-intentioned, but ultimately hopelessly informed counterargument that “Christian Dominionism is a Myth.” Ross’s argument rests on this crux:

Although her well-intentioned article may resonate in the echo chambers of her fellow East Coast media elite, Goldberg misapplies a broad label that few, if any, evangelicals use or with which they identify.

Ross identifies himself as “a lifelong evangelical who understands the foundational tenets of belief in the doctrine of love, according to the principles of Jesus in the Great Commandment and the Sermon on the Mount.”  I take him at his word. I think that description applies to almost all who identify as evangelicals — as well as almost all who identify as mainline Protestants, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Mormon. Which means that it doesn’t really tell us much. And if the particular individuals that Goldberg discussed held themselves to that relatively simple and expansive definition, then there would hardly be any cause for alarm. But they don’t. And instead of understanding what they do believe to be equally essential articles of faith, Ross dismisses the entire phenomenon as ghosts dreamed up by the “East Cost media elite” (his words; how’s that for misapplying broad labels?) to pump more excitement into cable news channels:

Most Americans today consume news less for information than for validation, and gravitate to media outlets that reinforce opinions and a worldview they already embrace. Despite today’s proliferation of 24/7 news networks and social-media platforms, as everyone retreats to these silos of validation, we seem to have lost our public square, or at least the former civility of it.

Sojourners president Jim Wallis has observed that network-television viewers need to hear the collegial, respectful discussions among marquee leaders with opposing views that take place in network greenrooms moments before they aggressively attack and demonize each other in heated debates broadcast on point/counterpoint news programs.

But in discussing Dominionism, Goldberg doesn’t misapply anything. To the very point that Ross misses, she is actually applying a label to identify a theology that few, if any, evangelicals use or with which they identify, and she applies it specifically to that exceptionally tiny minority for whom the label does applies. These are not the people within the broad spectrum of Christianity, nor are they even those within the outer ten percent of its fringes. We’re not talking about the Pat Robertsons, the Joel Olsteens, the Albert Mohlers or the Rick Warrens. No, we’re talking about people who are far, far more fringe than anyone whose name immediately comes to mind whenever most people think of Christian Evangelicalism. And that is exactly Goldberg’s point. And when Goldberg says, “If you want to understand Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, understanding Dominionism isn’t optional,” that advice applies to mainstream Evangelicals as well. I suspect most of them don’t understand Dominionism either. Ross certainly doesn’t appear to.

Pretending that the so-called New Apostolic Movement and Seven Mountains Theology don’t exist or that those influenced by the Kansas City Prophets have not gained influence among particular presidential candidates here at home and political leaders abroad doesn’t make them go away. Granted, these are probably not the kind of people Ross runs into in his church, his friends and colleagues’ churches, or in any other circles he hands with. But just because they can’t be found under Ross’s bed or alongside him in the pews — or in Wallis’s greenroom sojourns — doesn’t mean they don’t exist. And when they are identified as close advisers credited for a big win in Iowa, or when they act as main speakers and moderators at a huge televised rally for a candidate’s benefit, the proper response is to ask hard questions of what they want for the country, not whistling and quickly walking away.

Huckabee: Amend Constitution to “God’s Standards”

Jim Burroway

January 15th, 2008

It’s unclear whether Southern Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee actually agrees with the strict Christian Reconstructionist views of many of his associates (there’s a lot of end-times theological differences that Baptists usually don’t go for), but there’s more evidence that his C.R. friends are at least influencing his political thoughts. Take this, for example, from a speech in Michigan yesterday:

“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”

That strange quote even raised some eyebrows at Christianity Today:

A provocative statement, certainly. But what does “amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards” mean? Does it mean that the Constitution does not measure up to God’s standards? Is the Constitution anti-God? Would the addition of a human life amendment and a federal marriage amendment would make it measure up to God’s standards? And is Huckabee suggesting that those who oppose these amendments, say, because of their views on federalism, are trying “to change God’s standards”?

I can see how support for a human life amendment and a federal marriage amendment can win votes among some politically conservative evangelicals. But honestly, I’m thinking that this quote probably cost Huckabee more evangelical votes than it won him.

Rev. Huckabee: “Obey God’s Orders”

Jim Burroway

January 7th, 2008

Yesterday, we reviewed Southern Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s deep connections with two key Christian Reconstructionist figures. We ended that post with a question: What does Huckabee believe?

Well, we know that he says that “The winning worldview will dominate public policy, the laws we make, and every other detail of our existence. We also know that he attributes his standing in the polls as being God’s work. And today, we learn about a sermon he gave at a very small New Hampshire church about being part of God’s army:

“When we become believers, it’s as if we have signed up to be part of God’s Army, to be soldiers for Christ,” Huckabee told the enthusiastic audience.

…”When you give yourself to Christ, some relationships have to go,” he said. “It’s no longer your life; you’ve signed it over.”

Likening service to God to service in the military, Huckabee said “there is suffering in the conditioning for battle” and “you obey the orders.”

No cameras were permitted at the service, which guarantees that this item won’t make the evening news.

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”

Mike Huckabee and the Christian Reconstructionists

Jim Burroway

December 20th, 2007

Gov. Mike HuckabeeIt’s been widely reported that former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee flew down to Houston earlier this week for a fundraiser hosted by Steven Hotze. In today’s column, Robert Novak identified Steven Hotze as “a leader in the highly conservative Christian Reconstruction movement.” According to Novak, that fundraiser’s host committee had an unusual make-up:

State Rep. Debbie Riddle was the only elected official on the host committee, most of whose members were not familiar names in Texas politics. David Welch is executive director of the Houston Area Pastor Council. Jack Tompkins heads a firm providing Internet services to the Christian community. Entrepreneur J. Keet Lewis is an active Southern Baptist.

A better-known committee member was Baptist minister Rick Scarborough, founder of Vision America. In endorsing Huckabee on Nov. 1, Scarborough said, “I acknowledge that Huckabee is not the perfect candidate” but one “who will listen to wise counsel.”

According to Novak — who is not exactly a flaming liberal himself — until Huckabee’s problems with his fellow Southern Baptists had been that they didn’t think he was conservative enough! A pretty amazing assessment given his many statements on AIDS and homosexuality which have come to light recently (and which Huckabee has refused to back away from, a move which earned him a LaBarbera Award). But as strident as his pronouncements may be, they hadn’t been orthodox enough to fully satisfy the Christian Reconstructionists. But now that he’s receiving donations from them, it looks like things have changed between them.

For those who don’t know, Christian Reconstructionists are the guys who want to replace civil law with Biblical law, which makes them the Christian equivalent to Muslims who advocate for Sharia law. To give you an idea of what these people are about, the Cato Institute posted a snippet of a 1986 statement that was signed by Steven Holtze:

We affirm that the Bible is not only God’s statements to us regarding religion, salvation, eternity, and righteousness, but also the final measurement and depository of certain fundamental facts of reality and basic principles that God wants all mankind to know in the sphere of law, government, economics, business, education, arts and communication, medicine, psychology, and science. All theories and practices of these spheres of life are only true, right, and realistic to the degree that they agree with the Bible.

This statement is virtually identical to some of the messages presented by American pastors at the most recent Watchmen On the Walls conference last November. Other signatories to the statement include D. James Kennedy, Tim LaHaye, George Rekers, Don Wildmon, and R.J. Rushdoony.

Rushdoony is considered the father of Christian Reconstructionism. His 1973 book, The Institutes of Biblical Law, serves as a foundational document for Christian Reconstructionists. In the Institutes, Rushdoony called for the replacement of civil law with Biblical Law, including the legalization of slavery (because the Bible approves of it) stoning as punishment for a long list of Biblical offenses including homosexuality (because the Bible calls for it). Rushdoony defended these beliefs right up until his death in 2001. Scarborough recently declared that his is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, but “a Christocrat.”

Huckabee recently told an audience at Liberty University that God was responsible for his recent rise in the polls. And we’ve noted before that Huckabee has been voicing a rather strange theology lately. Does that theology now include theonomy and the Christian Reconstructionist theology of those whose support he’s seeking?

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