Monthly Archives: December 2005

The Ignorance is Frightening

Enjoy the separation of church and state while it lasts, folks. With the kinds of things I’ve seen lately, I’m beginning to wonder how much longer it’s going to last.  The people who want One Christian Fundamentalist Government to Rule Them All seem to be the ones with motivation, while moderates and people of other faiths don’t really have a country-control vendetta.  The latest thing to scare me is the content of an article entitled A Nation Under God, which details the reconstructionist movement and its roots in Georgia.  What is the reconstructionist movement? It is, “an obscure but increasingly potent theology whose top exponents hold that Christian crusaders must conquer and convert the world, by the sword if necessary, before Jesus will return.” 

I don’t remember seeing that in the Bible. Here we go trying to bring about the apocalypse. Dangerous, yes?

George W. Bush has called Reconstruction-influenced theoretician Marvin Olasky “compassionate conservatism’s leading thinker,” and Olasky served as one of the president’s key advisers on the creation of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Bush also invited Reconstructionist Jack Hayford, a key figure in the Promise Keepers men’s group, to give the benediction at his first inaugural. Deposed House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, though his office won’t comment on his religious views, governs with what he calls a “biblical worldview”—one
of Reconstruction’s signature phrases. And, for conspiracy buffs, two heavy contributors to the Chalcedon Foundation—Reconstruction’s main think tank—are Howard Ahmanson and Nelson Bunker Hunt, both of whose families played key roles in financing electronic voting machine manufacturer Election Systems & Software. Ahmanson is also a major sponsor of ultraconservative politicians, including California state legislator and 2003 gubernatorial candidate Tom McClintock.

It certainly doesn’t lack support in government.  And it’s not just that they want control. It gets worse:

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.”

That’s great. Not a Christian? Don’t want to go back to the dark ages?  No citizenship for you. We’re headed back to Salem.  They advocate the execution of witches… by stoning.  No, really:

The Old Testament—with its 600 or so Mosaic laws—is the inflexible guide for the society 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.

Stoning would turn the deaths of the executed into community projects. How quaint. Oh, hey lesbians. You’re okay. Moses didn’t say to stone you.

…most importantly, the state is “God’s minister,” as DeMar puts it in Liberty at Risk, “taking vengeance out on those who do evil.” A major task for the government key Reconstructionists envision is fielding armies for conquest in the name of Jesus.

Oh boy, we haven’t had a good Crusade in ages! This doesn’t really sound like what Jesus would want. It’s very old-testament indeed. It’s funny how people who call themselves fundamental Christians somehow missed the “Love thy neighbor” part.  It seems like they have delusions of grandeur:

Adam and Eve broke their covenant with God, and Satan seized dominion. Christian Reconstruction claims it has a reconstituted
covenant with God and the right to a new dominion in his name.

In this worldview, the mandate for Christians is not just to live right or
to help their neighbors: They are called upon to take over or eliminate the institutions of secular government.

Can someone tell me when, where, or how they acquired this new covenant? Was it written on stone tablets by lightning on the mountain? And they have an interesting definition of theocracy:

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.”

I can’t say I actually know what he means by saying that all governments are theocracies. It’s dumbfounding.

I’ve only taken out select points. You should probably go read the article.

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Gifts from Valerie

For the last few years, around Christmas time, my friend Valerie has put a list of things she might like on her LiveJournal, offering to swap gifts with her readers. Last year I felt like all I had to contribute was stuff I could buy, rather than make, so I skipped out. This year I decided, “what the heck” and sent her something from her Amazon wish list. 

I received her gift today — a book on the game of Go (which I expected) and a Go-centric graphic novel (which I had not).  She also included a cute card:

Thanks, Val!
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Plugging the Analog Hole

There’s a law on the table that aims to plug the analog hole by making every digital recording device include copy-sensing-and-disabling technology.

This is so staggering that I almost wouldn’t believe it, if not for the other crap that’s come out of the recording industry via Congress. I wonder who they paid for this one. I’m going to look right now (and I promise I didn’t before).

Hm. A Mr.Sensenbrenner. Never heard of him. I expected it to be a known RIAA shill (that I had heard of before). Surprising a bit — I suspect he belongs to the MPAA rather than the RIAA. Let’s see.

Political Money Line indicates that he received the most money from Communication and Technology groups. I wonder how much was from technology groups, and how much from communication? I can’t tell, because I’m not a paid member of the site. I suspect, given that tech companies generally lose on DRM, and communication companies (read: MPAA, RIAA) win in the short term, that those contributions came from the MPAA.

Yet another (qualified) example of how your votes don’t matter, only your money. This sort of thing is what drove me to join the EFF. If media groups’ paying legislators to make your life more difficult concerns you, you should too:

ADDENDUM: I know at least Jack Valenti, a lobbyist for and former president of the MPAA, has paid him off. I don’t know how many other MPAA/RIAA lobbyists have.

ADDENDUM #2: Here’s an RIAA-Free list of CDs. You can vote with your dollar by not giving it to those groups, too.

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“Intelligent” Design Not Allowed in Dover, PA

ADDENDUM 2005-12-21: The judge’s memorandum opinion (PDF) is a fantastic read, especially after about page 20.

Finally, a judge ruled that teaching “Intelligent” Design in Dover, PA schools violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs, [the judge] said.


“We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board’s real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom,” he wrote in his 139-page opinion.

They have been fairly brazen:

Said the judge: “It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.”

I was beginning to wonder if the country was totally clueless to this hoodwinking. I guess not. Truly, this is a cause for celebration.

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