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AR Republican Charlie Fuqua Advocates Stoning Rebellious Children, Per Deuteronomy

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"For connoisseurs of surrealism on the American right, it's hard to beat an exchange that appeared about a decade ago in the Heritage Foundation magazine Policy Review. It started when two associates of the Rev. Jerry Falwell wrote an article which criticized Christian Reconstructionism, the influential movement led by theologian Rousas John (R.J.) Rushdoony, for advocating positions that even they as committed fundamentalists found "scary." Among Reconstructionism's highlights, the article cited support for laws "mandating the death penalty for homosexuals and drunkards." The Rev. Rushdoony fired off a letter to the editor complaining that the article had got his followers' views all wrong: They didn't intend to put drunkards to death."

Rousas J. Rushdoony held many notable positions, including a rejection of the Copernican model of the Solar System (he was a Geocentrist.) That position provoked a bitter dispute with Rushdoony's son-in-law Gary North, who cleaved to the modern theory espoused by Copernicus and Galileo. But both men were in accord about stoning. As Olsen's Reason article acerbically described,

"when Exodus 21:15-17 prescribes that cursing or striking a parent is to be punished by execution, that's fine with Gary North. "When people curse their parents, it unquestionably is a capital crime," he writes. "The integrity of the family must be maintained by the threat of death." Likewise with blasphemy, dealt with summarily in Leviticus 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. "Why stoning?" asks North. "There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost." Thrift and ubiquity aside, "executions are community projects--not with spectators who watch a professional executioner do `his' duty, but rather with actual participants." You might even say that like square dances or quilting bees, they represent the kind of hands-on neighborliness so often missed in this impersonal era. "That modern Christians never consider the possibility of the reintroduction of stoning for capital crimes," North continues, "indicates how thoroughly humanistic concepts of punishment have influenced the thinking of Christians." And he may be right about that last point, you know."

Charlie Fuqua's positions track quite closely with those typical of Christian Reconstructionism along another spectrum as well - Christian Reconstructionism embraces a form of radical economic libertarianism in which the proper function of government is restricted to mainly to the spheres of defense and basic policing but little else. As Fuqua puts it, on his website,

" If government gives all of us security in our social status (social security), it takes away our ability to excel or fail. As more of us get economic security from our government, rather than from our productivity, we become more insecure as a nation. This is because more and more of us lose the motivation to work to avoid poverty.

[...]

...Our founding fathers realized that government was a necessary evil. It is vitally important that we understand both aspects of that statement. Government is necessary to restrain the evil inclinations of individuals who would harm others for their own gain."

As described by researcher Rachel Tabachnick, in an article which maps out Christian Reconstructionism's growing influence at the level of state legislatures, Rushdoony's Theocratic Libertarianism at Work in the Nation's Statehouses, Tabachnick writes,

"The foundations of Christian Reconstructionism were laid by the late Rousas J. Rushdoony  in his prolific writing including his major tome, Institutes of Biblical Law and promoted through his Chalcedon Foundation.  Reconstructionism teaches that all institutions of society and government must be reclaimed from "humanists" and reconstructed on the basis of biblical law.  Reconstructionists claim that the unfettered free markets are biblically mandated.  In other words, God is the invisible hand behind laissez-faire capitalism and government intervention is putting faith in man instead of God.  Reconstructionist leaders have overlapped significantly with two other organizations that have sacralized radical free markets - Lew Rockwell's Ludwig von Mises Institute, which promotes Austrian School economics, and the John Birch Society."

 

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