By Kelleigh Nelson:
Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature. — Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Gary North on Theocracy
A New York Times article of 2011, identified North as a central figure in Reconstructionism, the philosophy which advocates the institution of “a Christian theocracy under Old Testament law as the best form of government, and a radically libertarian one.” North has written: “I certainly believe in biblical theocracy.” Remember, a theocracy is a government headed by one form of religion, and Gary North means for it to be hyper-Calvinist Reconstructionism, just as Muslims want all governments to be Islamic. Here is a list of theocratic organizations.
Interestingly, unlike Rushdoony, and many other dominionists, North does not claim the Constitution justifies theocracy, but that the Constitution was, in fact, when things started going really downhill. He advocates that the Constitution just be scrapped in favor of a new theocratic form of government.
In 1982, North wrote his totalitarian screed, in Christianity and Civilization, which stated his ultimate goals, but as he said then, he’s playing the long game: “It will take time. A minority religion cannot do this. Theocracy must flow from the hearts of a majority of citizens.” Although he despises the notion of religious liberty, he accepts its use as a strategic deception (“As a tactic, it is legitimate; we are jockeying for power. We are buying time.”) until he and his fellow Reconstructionists are in a position to seize power and destroy the “enemies of God.”
This is what Dr. Gary North believes, “The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel.” Gary North, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), p. 87.
Gary North on Theonomy
In Gary North’s book, “Theonomy, An Informed Response,” he pleads his case for a theonomy with a discussion as to the idea that most Old Testament laws still apply today. There are 613 Mosaic laws listed and, according to North and other Reconstructionists, only a few of the dietary and ritualistic observances can be done away with under D/R.
In Reason Magazine, Walter Olson summarized the people who can expect to die in a world run by Rushdoony/North followers,
“Sots would escape capital punishment–which would make them happy exceptions indeed. Those who would face execution include not only gays, but a very long list of others: blasphemers, heretics, apostate Christians, people who cursed or struck their parents, females guilty of “unchastity before marriage,” “incorrigible” juvenile delinquents, adulterers, and (probably) telephone psychics. And that’s to say nothing of murderers and those guilty of raping married women or “betrothed virgins.” Adulterers, among others, might meet their doom by being publicly stoned–a rather abrupt way for the Clinton presidency to end.”
And yes, children should be killed. According to North, this isn’t just acceptable, it’s mandatory. In his book, “The Sinai Strategy,” he writes (caught on the Wayback machine),
“The question eventually must be raised: Is it a criminal offense to take the name of the Lord in vain? When people curse their parents, it unquestionably is a capital crime (Ex.21:17). The son or daughter is under the lawful jurisdiction of the family. The integrity of the family must be maintained by the threat of death. Clearly, cursing God (blasphemy) is a comparable crime, and is therefore a capital crime (Lev. 24:16, “And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.”)
Reconstructionists provide the most enthusiastic constituency for stoning since the Taliban seized Kabul. In North’s, God’s Monopoly of Execution he asks,
“Why stoning? “There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost. Second, no one blow can be traced to any person. Third, public stoning makes it clear to everyone that the whole community is responsible for the prevention of criminal behavior. Fourth, executions are to be personal, not impersonal. The condemned man has the right to confront his executioners face to face. Stoning is therefore integral to the commandment against murder. The fifth and by far the most important reason is that stoning is literally a means of crushing the murderer’s head by means of a rock, which is symbolic of God. This is analogous to the crushing of the head of the serpent in Genesis 3:15. This symbolism testifies to the final victory of God over all the hosts of Satan.”
For Reconstructionists, the Christian Church is the New Israel. They believe Christians, not Jews, are God’s chosen people and are those whom God has a special covenant. If Christians keep the covenant, they will be rewarded. If they don’t, they will be punished, as will the whole nation. The basis of this belief is called “replacement theology,” and many churches have a form of this belief, but it does not deny their salvation, nor are most congregants aware of this doctrine in or out of their churches. “Saved by grace through faith alone” does not seem to satisfy the D/Rs. Thus, their reason for the keeping of the Old Testament laws and reinstituting salvation by works and death to sinners.
There are eight basic covenants in the Bible, five to Israel, and the rest to mankind in general. We will not go through them here, but to say that there were two conditional covenants, the Edenic covenant, and the Mosaic covenant. A conditional covenant is a proposal of God to man characterized by, “If you will, then I will,” whereby God promises to grant special blessings to man provided man fulfills certain conditions contained in the covenant. Thus it was in Eden, “Don’t eat from the Tree of Life, ” and in the Mosaic Law, the keeping of the law.
An unconditional covenant is a unilateral covenant and is a sovereign act of God whereby He unconditionally obligates Himself to bring to pass definite blessings and conditions for the covenanted people. This covenant is characterized by the formula: IWill, which declares God’s determination to do as he promises. The New Covenant is one of the six unconditional covenants and is a promise by God to those who believe.
It is the basis of the Dispensation of Grace. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10.
Gary North’s D/R belief is still by works, fulfilling the majority of Mosaic Law, which was done away with by the New Covenant and the blood of Messiah Jesus shed on the cross for those of us who believe.
Gary North and Ron Paul
Ron Paul has long been a favorite politician of Christian Reconstructionists. North was a Paul staffer and research assistant during the Texas congressman’s first term and has called him the “mahatma of self-government.” As Adele Stan reported on Alternet, in 2008, Howard Phillips, another Christian Reconstructionist, and founder of the Constitution Party and Conservative Caucus, was the keynote speaker at the rally Paul convened in the shadow of the Republican convention. (That year, Paul endorsed the Constitution Party candidate, Michael Peroutka, for president over John McCain.) “The people who I know who are big Ron Paul guys are old school Reconstructionists,” says Paul supporter, Brian D. Nolder, the pastor of Christ the Redeemer Church in Pella, Iowa. Link Howard Phillips’ son, Doug Phillips, who spoke at R.J. Rushdoony’s funeral, founded leading Christian patriarchy Vision Forum, another Reconstructionist group.
The past association with Paul is probably one of the reasons that Paul’s recent attempt at developing a homeschooling curriculum has North acting as Director of Curriculum Development. Link North has penned a homeschooling curriculum under Ron Paul’s name, based “first and foremost” on “biblical principles.”
Tom Woods, who has done some writing for Dr. Paul before, is also involved in the project.) Woods is a convert to Catholicism and credited as one of the intellectual leaders in promoting Austrian School economics to Catholics. He is the author of The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy. In the book, The Poisoned Spring of Economic Libertarianism. Catholic author Angus Sibley writes about the incompatibility of “Catholic Social Teaching” with the Austrian School of Economics. A chapter titled “Libertarian Catholicism?” focuses on Woods, Michael Novak (American Enterprise Institute – see part 13) and Thomas Sirico (neo-conservative Acton Institute) as leading the shift in Catholicism to “market idolatry.” Link
Paul’s involvement in the project appears to be minimal, and statements allegedly from him on the curriculum site are written in the style and voice of Gary North (peppered with transparently self-conscious first-person references to remind the reader that this is really Paul, not North, speaking). The site itself appears to be modeled, if not an actual clone, of North’s own subscription website.
For instance, “Ron Paul’s” 100% guarantee reads a lot like North’s own, and the domain RonPaulCurriculum.com was first registered in 2010 to Gary North.com, Inc. The fee for the curriculum is $25 to start, $250 a year after that, plus $50 per course. (Notice that for all the grousing about “worthless FRNs,” he still expects to be paid in dollars.) Link
High-profile people often lend their names to their friends’ projects–and it is North’s project. Parents should be concerned about Gary North, and what his agenda is in educating their children. North has been quite explicit about this in the past, and he laid out his ultimate goals in an article in 1982. The article was, “The Intellectual Schizophrenia of the New Christian Right” in Christianity and Civilization: The Failure of the American Baptist Culture. You can still read it online:
Everyone talks about religious liberty, but no one believes it. So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.
Yet, Ron Paul is neither a Calvinist D/R nor a Catholic, (North and Woods), and he claims he is in charge of the content and everything else. Ron said in a conference call, he wants a curriculum that–“while recognizing the importance of religion, as the non-religious Murray Rothbard did–is not “Christian.” So, with North heading everything up and the top teachers also being D/R’s, is Paul saying Recontructionists aren’t Christians?
The curriculum demonstrates Ron Paul’s ongoing commitment to a worldview that is dramatically different from that of the libertarian label Paul usually receives, a worldview that is theocratic libertarianism. The plan for a Ron Paul Curriculum has been in the works for several years. American Vision, Gary DeMar’s Reconstructionist ministry, was soliciting readers in 2010 to contact Ron Paul and encourage him to support North’s curriculum plan. North also wrote about the planned curriculum in 2010 on the blog of Lew Rockwell, founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. And here’s this link showing that the plan for the curriculum dates back to at least 2008, and is part of a larger agenda described by North. The page includes North’s statement, “The blinder the mainstream media are to what is really going on here, the better.”
This curriculum has its own faculty and it’s done online. To me, this is a not a home schooling system, it’s an online school, which is extremely dangerous. Nothing comes between the child and the computer.
North will be teaching several of the courses, including economics, Western civilization, Western literature, starting a home-based business, and writing direct-mail advertising copy. His high-school preparation course is already available on the website.
Woods, who holds a B.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, both in history, will be teaching courses in Western civilization, the U.S. Constitution, government, and the history of American wars.
Other instructors include Wofford University economics professor and fellow Reconstructionist, Timothy Terrell, Reconstructionist, Bojidar Marinov, and Bradley Fish, Jr., who according to Linked In, claims he is a co-founder of the Ron Paul curriculum. Fish, a home school success story, earned a bachelor’s degree in business management at age 18. His parents and grandmother will be teaching other courses at the elementary and middle-school level. I would surmise Fish is also in the D/R camp.
In Part 22, we’ll look at a few other high up muckety mucks who belong to the CNP.
© Copyright by Kelleigh Nelson, 2015. All rights reserved.