Christian Reconstructionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
prominent advocates of Christian Reconstructionism have written that according to their understanding, God's law approves of the death penalty not only for murder, but also for propagators of all forms of idolatry, active homosexuals, adulterers, practitioners of witchcraft, and blasphemers, and perhaps even recalcitrant youths (see the List of capital crimes in the Bible). American Vision's Joel McDurmon responded to these criticisms by denying that Reconstructionists have promoted coercive means.
Conversely, Christian Reconstructionism's founder, Rousas John Rushdoony, wrote in The Institutes of Biblical Law (the founding document of reconstructionsim) that Old Testament law should be applied to modern society and advocates the reinstatement of the Mosaic law's penal sanctions. Under such a system, the list of civil crimes which carried a death sentence would include homosexuality, adultery, incest, lying about one's virginity, bestiality, witchcraft, idolatry or apostasy, public blasphemy, false prophesying, kidnapping, rape, and bearing false witness in a capital case.
While advocates of such extreme views are few in number, they have had a great influence. For instance, Glenn Beck hosts a Reconstructionist on his show every week, David Barton, although the self-proclaimed historian Barton has largely been discredited, his views remain popular.
According to sociologist and professor of religion William Martin, author of With God on Our Side:
It is difficult to assess the influence of Reconstructionist thought with any accuracy. Because it is so genuinely radical, most leaders of the Religious Right are careful to distance themselves from it. At the same time, it clearly holds some appeal for many of them. One undoubtedly spoke for others when he confessed, 'Though we hide their books under the bed, we read them just the same.' In addition, several key leaders have acknowledged an intellectual debt to the theonomists. Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy have endorsed Reconstructionist books. Rushdoony has appeared on Kennedy's television program and the 700 Club several times. Pat Robertson makes frequent use of 'dominion' language; his book, The Secret Kingdom, has often been cited for its theonomy elements; and pluralists were made uncomfortable when, during his presidential campaign, he said he 'would only bring Christians and Jews into the government,' as well as when he later wrote, 'There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world.' And Jay Grimstead, who leads the Coalition on Revival, which brings Reconstructionists together with more mainstream evangelicals, has said, 'I don't call myself [a Reconstructionist],' but 'A lot of us are coming to realize that the Bible is God's standard of morality … in all points of history … and for all societies, Christian and non-Christian alike… It so happens that Rushdoony, Bahnsen, and North understood that sooner.' He added, 'There are a lot of us floating around in Christian leadership—James Kennedy is one of them—who don't go all the way with the theonomy thing, but who want to rebuild America based on the Bible.'
For many years, and for some yet today, Christians just assumed they, meaning "Christians" in general as opposed to one denomination or another, had the right to government support in the form of access. They assumed Christian prayers at public meetings and public schools, in the military, and in Congress were welcomed. They failed to realize that the BoR was written to protect minorities and individuals. Few of them ever realized that anyone would object and when objections did occur, the objectors were ignored, ridiculed, and/or persecuted. That reaction continues today as you can see from this news incident and others involving military coercion of religious participation, and continued incidents involving schools. I understand these sorts of violations are traditional and as such carried on with little thought to the effect they may have upon those with other views. But I would think, as a Christian who cares about others, once it was pointed out that those violations are hurtful to one who doesn't share that view, a Christian would begin to think about it and come to the conclusion that Christians as a group should not continue such actions, but what I hear from such Christians is something like, "Well, you're just wrong to feel that way, so I'm going to do it anyway regardless of what the courts say."