From Frederick Clarkson of Political Research Associates (March/June 1994) comes this trenchant paragraph: “Reconstructionism seeks to replace democracy with a theocratic elite that would govern by imposing their interpretation of “Biblical Law.” Reconstructionism would eliminate not only democracy but many of its manifestations, such as labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools. Women would be generally relegated to hearth and home. Insufficiently Christian men would be denied citizenship, perhaps executed. So severe is this theocracy that it would extend capital punishment beyond such crimes as kidnapping, rape, and murder to include, among other things, blasphemy, heresy, adultery, and homosexuality.”
Rick Perry and Michele Bachman would jump up and down in denial if they were directly accused of this motivation, but the fact of its presence in their supporting background is clear. Clarkson continues: “Reconstructionism is a theology that arose out of conservative Presbyterianism (Reformed and Orthodox), which proposes that contemporary application of the laws of Old Testament Israel, or “Biblical Law,” is the basis for reconstructing society toward the Kingdom of God on earth. [It] argues that the Bible is to be the governing text for all areas of life–such as government, education, law, and the arts, not merely “social” or “moral” issues like pornography, homosexuality and abortion. Reconstructionists [formulate] a “Biblical world view” and “Biblical principles” by which to examine contemporary matters. Reconstructionist theologian David Chilton succinctly describes this view: “The Christian goal for the world is the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics, in which every area of life is redeemed and placed under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the rule of God’s law.” One may well ask if that is only the Ten Commandments or all 700 strictures.
In other words, western nations are to be re-manufactured in the image of Iran or Saudi Arabia, but with less secularity. Officials will be ministerial mullahs. Moreover, this view sees three areas of governance: Family rule, Church rule and Civil rule. Families will live like desert bedouins, wife and children “submitting” to father/husband who submits to Jesus and God’s Old Testament law, rulings of which are “theonomic.”
Clarkson points to the defining text of this ‘backwardite’ doctrine in the “Institutes of Biblical Law,” 1973, by Rousas John Rushdoony who, with his close apostles, calls for the death penalty to apply also (with things already mentioned) to murder, apostasy, witchcraft, astrology, sodomy, incest, striking a parent, incorrigible delinquency of juveniles and (for women only) unchastity before marriage.
Certainly, if this program can get up steam enough to become noticed as a political movement, it is bound to be enormously popular. Is anything so deeply human and humane imaginable? Let’s get a youth movement indocrinated with these ideas and see how long it lasts through Tweeting, Facebooking, Smart-phoning, Texting, Googling, Kindle-reading and Sleep-over ‘Jama parties. This is for world-hating , sick Puritans so old they detest having to draw another breath, face another moment’s negativity in the news or sort out vectors of ambivalence and ambiguity. Let them have peace!