Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism have been influenced far too much by three modern day heresies that are running rampant in various flavors and to various degrees on the so-called Religious Right. These three heresies are directly linked to the overwhelming, current-day fundie lust for governmental power over the American people. It is clear that the fundies want to use the legal system, the authority of government, and ultimately its police powers to force-feed American citizens with fundie doctrines and rot docterns. They want various arms of government to implement fundie behavioral standards for the American people as a whole, and they want to control the behavior of the American people—even in their own bedrooms. Their fundie worldview is authoritarian and totalitarian in nature, which is antithetical to American democracy and the whole historical thrust of our constitutional republic for the past 241 years. American fundies are working hard for nothing less than a de facto American Theocracy created of the fundies, by the fundies, and for the fundies—and all nonfundie Christians (i.e., apostate Christians) and nonfundie citizens are just sin-laden targets for their totalitarianism. In their twisted minds, these targets had better give in or get out of their way because God is exclusively on the fundie side. All of this feeds directly into the fundie agenda for the 2016 election and the U.S. Supreme Court.
The three closely related heresies are Christian reconstructionism, dominionism, and theonomy. Some of their influence on fundies has been overt. However, much more of it has been subliminal. This means fundies sitting their church pews, fundies listening to conservative Christian radio, fundies watching Christian television, and fundies reading books from their local Christian bookstores have been slowly absorbing these heresies into their brains without knowing it. Indeed, it would be accurate to say that most rank and file fundies have never even heard of these three heresies by name—even though they have been breathing hot air straight down their necks for more than four decades. For example, the founder of the Christian homeschool movement, a deceased radical Calvinist by the name of Dr. Rousas J. Rushdoony, was also the founder of the Christian reconstructionism heresy. Some Christian homeschool learning materials have been designed to subliminally indoctrinate children with Christian reconstructionist heresy—and the parents of these kids are not even aware of it.
It would take too long to discuss these three heresies in depth here, but please feel free to Google the three terms Christian reconstructionism, dominionism, and theonomy, and then read about them in depth. Herein, we will simply summarize them using original, baseline Christian reconstructionism as the model for our discussion.
Dr. Rousas J. Rushdoony thought Bible-believing Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals would one day be responsible for implementing Christian reconstructionism. This would begin in the United States and then spread out across the entire world. Most of it would be achieved at first through a willful program of slow, stealthy, subliminal indoctrination rather than overt open action. The open action would come later. Under Christian reconstructionist and Calvinist thought, Christian fundamentalists, conservative evangelicals, and all other Bible-believing Christians are predestined to do the following:
(1) Peacefully overthrow the current government of the United States at the federal, state, and local levels. All democracy is evil, and God hates it. Why? God is an all-sovereign, totalitarian monarch who rules his eternal kingdom with an iron fist. A few Christian reconstructionists have muttered that a peaceful overthrow is coming too slowly. Therefore, a violent overthrow of the U.S. government might be a better idea.
(2) After overthrowing the U.S. government, fundie leaders will take complete control of the United States at the federal, state, and local levels. Simultaneously, they will take complete control of the major centers of national culture and society so Bible-believing Christians can reconstruct them. They will reform, reshape, restructure, and operate them in ways that will be pleasing to Fundieland. They would say pleasing to God. I say pleasing to Fundieland. In turn, these reconstructed centers will dynamically reshape American culture and society to conform with fundie beliefs and behavioral standards.
(3) Replace all existing criminal and civil law with the 10 Commandments and the moral law set forth in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. In other words, they will implement a new fundie legal system quite similar to Sharia Law under Islam. All gay people will be executed in accordance with Biblical law. Incorrigible children will be executed. Black people will be re-enslaved because God created some men to be slaves. (The list of horrors goes on and on.)
(4) All traditional American religious freedom throughout the nation will come to an end. Every citizen in the nation will be required to become a Bible-believing Christian. Those who refuse or resist will be dealt with harshly, including imprisonment and/or execution because they are infidels and blasphemers violating Biblical law and the will of God.
(5) The government and Bible-believing churches will begin the process of cleansing as much daily sin as possible from all Americans, their culture, and their society. Man dedicates himself to the task of erasing sin and perfecting mankind here on Earth. It may be necessary to kill millions of people to erase their sins. In other words, if you kill a person, you simultaneously kill off her sins.
(6) Jesus, sitting on his throne in Heaven at the right hand of God, will later look down upon the Earth, see that the Earth is under Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical control—and most important of all—notice the near absence of human sin on the Earth.
(7) Jesus will then say something in Heaven along the lines of:
The world was so unclean and sinful before. I could not make my second coming any sooner, or else I would have gotten my glowing white robes dirty with the sinful filth of the Earth. My fundie people have taken over the Earth now, cleansed it of almost all human sin, and it is now safe for me to descend with a shout in full assurance that my holiness will not be soiled by the sin of the Earth.
Then Jesus Christ descends to the Earth with a mighty shout and makes his second coming. This reflects the fact that Christian reconstructionists are post-millennialists who believe it is the job of all “true” Biblical Christians to cleanse the Earth of sinful people and their sin, and by so doing, pave the way for the second coming of Jesus. Most fundies today are premillenialists and dispensational premillennialists, so they will have to change early on in the Christian reconstruction process or get executed.
If you do not see the heresy in the above seven items, I have only one thing to say. You have either never read your Bible, or when you did, you did not understand much of what you read.
Finally, with regard to these seven items, I want to warn you about something you may encounter in your own Christian walk. You will need to be wise to this. Christian reconstructionists tend to be slippery fellows. They have a premeditated and well-defined national strategy to ward off any criticism of their heretical beliefs. If a person criticizes Christian reconstructionism, their standard response is almost always to say:
This critic obviously does not understand Christian reconstructionism.
Then a river of deflective bullshit starts flowing. They can get away with this because their many Christian reconstructionist writings tend to be long, intellectually dense, and difficult for an ordinary person to penetrate and understand. The seven items I have listed above are written from my own memory, and they were derived over many years from various external sources who claimed to understand Christian reconstructionism. The reference lists at the bottoms of the two following Wikipedia articles would be a good starting place if you would like to dig deeper into the matter of Christian reconstructionism:
Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism, to some extent, have always been militant in nature. Christian fundamentalism was born as a religious movement in the American Northeast and the Great Lakes Region in the early 20th century. It is a purely Yankee invention—not a Southern invention—as many Americans wrongly believe today. Only later in time did it travel South and thoroughly infect so many southern churches. From the time of its invention until 1925, it grew and thrived with great militance.
The 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, came close to killing off Christian fundamentalism. Although public school teacher John T. Scopes lost the case against him for teaching evolution, at least initially, the bad public relations for Christian fundamentalism as a belief system spread all over the world like airborne radioactive contamination. Basically, it drove the whole fundie movement underground like a wailing dog with its tail tucked between its legs. From 1925 until about 1970, it largely separated itself from sinful American society and culture. It became insular, self-contained, and self-sufficient—like North Korea. However, unlike today, this was not a period when Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals were openly and actively working to take over American government, establish an American Theocracy, and force-feed their beliefs to people.
A Christian Fundamentalist Resurgence occurred in the early 1970s. It gave us the ugly, virulent, highly militant, and power-grabbing forms of Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism that run so rife in the United States today. I will not go into the reasons why here. It would take too much time and space. However, I find it more than just a little suspicious that the beginning of this virulent resurgence occurred at about the same time as the publication of Dr. Rousas J. Rushdoony’s first multi-volume treatise on Christian reconstructionism, which was entitled The Institutes of Biblical Law.
What does all of this scary business have to do with the U.S. Supreme Court? To use a quote from my on-line friend Dr. Barbara Forrest at Southeastern Louisiana University, Christian fundamentalism, conservative evangelicalism, and the Religious Right today are primarily about “politics, religion, and power.” They seek hegemonic dominion and power over the lives of the American people. Fundies believe a U.S. Supreme Court, properly stacked with conservative justices partial to them, can be an important tool for achieving the absolutist dominion they seek over American government, American culture, and the personal life of every American.
Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals would claim that they are seeking only the dominion of God over the United States and its people. I strongly believe otherwise. God is just a convenient excuse fundie reconstructionists are using as cover for their insatiable human lust for temporal power over our country and its people. The fundies do not fully understand that absolute human power really does corrupt absolutely.