Thursday, August 31, 2006

An article about the scary Christian Reconstructionists

I'm a firm believer in the separation of church and state, so this stuff scares me. You'll notice that, in spite of Ahmanson, the CRs think that ID has fallen into a compromise with secular humanism. I guess they think you give up six-day young earth creationism, then the devil Darwin takes control, and then pretty soon the resurrection of Jesus goes right out the window (not to mention double predestination).

Secularists aren't accustomed getting support from C. S. Lewis, but anyone who wants to defend the separation of church and state should read his "Meditation on the Third Commandment" from God in the Dock. It's the best case for church-state separation that I have ever seen.

HT: Richard Carrier (hey we agree on some things!)

9 comments:

Don Jr. said...

It only comes to mind because I just saw it the other day, but (I'm not certain, I haven't read it) isn't John Locke's A Letter Concerning Toleration another good defense of the separation of church and state principle? I'm just curious.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Religious groups are benefiting from President Bush's 'faith-based strategy' in a big way. Pat Robertson, who at first was against the faith-based funding idea, took some money from it, and then never criticized it again. His "Operation Blessing" for example, received USD $108,000 two years ago, and is now receiving USD $14.4 million.

There's also growing evidence that faith-based organizations are not doing a better job than secular or non-denominational organizations; and evidence of churches using the money for their own means rather than for helping people; and faith-based organizations continue to discriminate against non-Christians and even against Christians of different denominations, or Christians of their own denomination who are not obeying God "strictly" enough in various areas of their lives. Lastly, there is growing evidence that votes are being "bought" for the Republican party via "faith-based" funding, including votes in swing vote districts. The accountability and results of faith-based funding operations are being challenged. Read the Americans United for Separation of Church and State website, an organization founded by a Baptist minister. (Also consider perusing this atheist/agnostic site that features news about Faith Based Funding)

Edward T. Babinski said...

If you're interested in what's going on in the Christian media concerning Church-State separation, then consider watching the videos of Christian dominionists speaking their minds, and singing their triumphalistic Christian songs (ala Carmen), at the Biblical America Resistance Front, "Four Themes of Biblical America."

Mike D said...

I am reading Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg. She is also worried about Dominion Theology.

I agree that the rhetoric of the extremists is scary and indefensable. The lure of power is just too much for many of these fringe leaders. But it is a fringe. Both Godlberg and the author of the article posted by Victor get way too much mileage out of guilt by association. It is not accurate to paint Rushdoony, Robertsont, Dobson, Falwell, and the entire evangelical church with the same brush. That is not the way it is.

I am dismayed by some things being said in the name of Christianity, but I still hold out hope that most Christians in the pew see politics as an arena that is affected by their faith values, but not the focus of their mission.

I am glad to see some attempts to label the politics of the church as "Chrisitian Nationalism" or "Dominionism" instead of "theocracy." There is little call for theocracy. There is a move by Christians to exert legitimate political influence to reflect their values. This unerves those with contrary opinions. Chruches with significant influence need to be careful not to abuse their influence.

Victor Reppert said...

It should no doubt be pointed out that even Dobson, Robertson and Falwell, who go want to do far much more in uniting church and state than I am comfortable with, do not advocate scrapping the constitution and replacing it with the Bible. Of course the guilt-by-assocation arguments are used against ID as well by people like Forrest and Gross, and that damages their credibility.

JD Walters said...

That was some scary s--t I just read. I never imagined that people like Gary North have such a large following and influence. My God. I almost feel like proposing that these people should be stoned, but that would of course drag myself down into the same gutter as them, and would be completely contradictory to genuine Biblical Christianity.

Evil Theonomist said...

And how high does misrepresenting people land on your list of priorities?

Folks like Bahnsen (a reconstructionist) and many, many others (all, as far as I know) hold to a seperation of church and state.

The church has her specific roles and so does the state. The state bears the sword and the church, say, dispenses sacrements.

Now, you may think that wanting God's holy law (which was supposed to be a model for the nations) to be the standard (i.e., the standing case laws, in general equity form) for our civil law is "mixing church and state."

Well, it's not. Since there is no neutrality, and since giving law presupposes some particular view (e.g., that we can know what is right and wrong from observing nature), and is based on some standard (e.g., the human mind is capable of determing right/wrong, and it's punishment), then it turns out that your rant against theonomy is just a veiled form of prejudice which wishes to have it's own standard and presuppositions enforced rather than God's law.

By what standard do you come up with laws? Even granting natural law can do the trick (it can't), you definately don't get a penology from nature. According to natural law, what is the punishment for theft? 10 years in jail? 20? So we see you're position boils down to arbitrariness.

And to say that things like "stoning for adultary" is just, *gasp,* so eman and wretched, consider who gave that law. Consider what you're saying about Jehovah.

Further, our Lord Jesus Christ said something about His coming not abrogating the law and not one jot or title would be removed, and whoever violates even the *least* of His commandments would be called least in the Kingdom.

So, we all need a standard for our law. I vote for the sure rock of God's word, you, well, the ruinous sands of human opinion.

Evil Theonomist said...

Hmmmm, I've read ad hominems against theonomists in this combox but no substantive argumentation dirfected their way. Bravo guys.

Dave said...

This article is a fine example of the usual paranoid conspiracy stuff that comes from the opponents of the religious right. Guys like North and Titus have a very limited audience, and most right-wing Christians don't even know what they believe about capital punishment, much less agree with them. I came out of a very conservative, reformed, Christian background, and I can tell you that even in the ultra-conservative circle I ran in, guys like North didn't have many followers. Christian Reconstruction, as a social and intellectual movement, is effectively dead. It had its heyday in the 1980's, but it failed to light a fire under evangelicals, who were as turned off by its implications as non-Christians are.