"God is indeed a homophobe" - Ron Paul Curriculum Author Who Wants Stoning, Biblical Slavery
[update, Sept. 12, 2013: here's a page, on Gary North's personal website, with videos of North talking about his role in the new Ron Paul homeschooling curriculum. North's website is peppered with extreme anti-gay rhetoric, including these quotes, from North's free book "Boundaries and Dominion - An Economic Commentary on Leviticus":
[page 26]"God is indeed a homophobe. He hates the practice and those who practice it, which is why He destroyed Sodom. God warned Israel; practice such an abomination, and the land will vomit you out, just as it vomited out its former inhabitants (Lev. 18:24-29)" [page 221] "Homosexuals do not reproduce. They recruit. There is an inescapable competition for bodies and souls: homosexuals vs. heterosexuals. If the homosexuals should win this competition, the human race will end unless test-tube babies become a cost-effective reality. This is not just a war over civilization; it is a war over the survival of the human race."
In 1976, Ron Paul's first year as a U.S. Congressional Representative, serving Texas' 22nd District, Paul brought in Christian Reconstructionist Dr. Gary North - who has advocated stoning as a capital punishment for homosexuality [see footnote 2] and argued for the enslavement of non-Christians [see footnote 1], to serve on Paul's Congressional staff as an economic analyst and newsletter writer. The relationship has continued to this day - North helped develop, along with Neo Confederate Thomas Woods, Ron Paul's new Christian home schooling curriculum, launched last April 2013. But North also claims to have helped develop Ron Paul's grand political strategy. According to Dr. North, Ron Paul's presidential runs in 2008 and 2012 were part of a stealth, long term strategy which in 2008 - Phase 1 of the strategy, "raised over $28 million, assembled a huge data base -- a postage-free data base -- and got network TV interviews all over YouTube".
North went on to describe "Phase 2" - a stealth strategy with several components. One was for Ron Paul supporters to run for government office, at every level - from town "dogcatcher" and up the line. Another was the creation of a Ron Paul homeschool curriculum. We can see the first in play starting in 2010, with the Tea Party wave that swept far-right Republicans into power in Congress and in many U.S. states. The Ron Paul homeschool curriculum was launched in 2013.
North also outlined the components of a low-cost, tech-savvy rolling political campaign in which Ron Paul would steadily, methodically, patiently build his brand name, his public presence, and his contact lists. Explained North,
"If Ron Paul will provide the leadership, he can spearhead a national movement whose goal is to roll back the state to its Constitutional limits -- its 1791 limits, meaning the Bill of Rights. All ten of them. This movement must be based on a systematic, well-thought-out campaign to roll back the civil government in every area of life in which it is operating unconstitutionally."
It is worth noting, here, that in 1791 the Constitution and Bill of Rights allowed for legal slavery and did not provide for women's suffrage. In his book Tools of Dominion [PDF of book], Dr. North allows for a form of legal, "Biblical slavery" but argues that baptized women should be allowed to vote and hold public office. Non-Christians would, however be excluded from voting and public office.
The objective of the Ron Paul strategy "Phase 2", per North, was "to get positioned locally with numerous officials so as to present a united front against the Federal government when it begins to falter". He went on to explain,
"Precinct by precinct, town by town, county by county, a decentralized political movement could begin to undermine the legitimacy the existing political structure....
The central issue is legitimacy. The supreme goal is to undermine the legitimacy enjoyed by the prevailing central state."
Is the strategy that Gary North outlined in 2008 the very same one that Ron Paul is now pursuing ? The evidence is compelling - Ron Paul shows no sign of receding into the background. His media presence is only growing, especially with the recent launch of the Ron Paul Channel.
In many respects, the master strategy that Gary North outlines is merely a continuation of an initiative, launched from the dominionist and theocratic religious right during the late 1980s, to gradually take over the Republican Party, from the bottom up.
For more, see these related articles from Rachel Tabachnick, on "Biblical Capitalism":
Theocratic Libertarianism: Quotes from Gary North, Ludwig von Mises Institute Scholar
Rushdoony's Theocratic Libertarianism at Work in the Nation's Statehouses
Rushdoony and Theocratic Libertarians on Slavery
Ron Paul Curriculum Launched by Reconstructionist Gary North and Neo-Confederate Thomas Woods
Footnote #1: On page 111 of Tools For Dominion, Gary North opens a chapter titled "A Biblical Theology of Slavery" with,
"Without a proper understanding of the theological foundation and institutional functions of indentured servitude in the Old Testament, the reader will be baffled by several of the case laws of Exodus. Modern man's automatic negative reaction against the word "slavery" makes it imperative that the serious Bible student understand the biblical concept of servitude before he begins a study of Exodus 21; otherwise, he will be tempted to conclude in advance that these case laws do not apply today, that they were designed for use by "primitive desert tribes" rather than designed for use by all societies everywhere."
North takes great pains to distinguish his concept of Biblical Slavery from the historic U.S. Southern institution of slavery, it is worth noting. It is slavery nonetheless, but North ties his advocacy for Biblical slavery to a trenchant (and still applicable) critique on the dysfunctional nature of the modern U.S. penal system. On page 116, North sketches out the theological underpinnings:
"hierarchical temporary bondservice of man to man under biblical law is the system that God has established for the reformation of covenant-breaking men, which in turn reflects His permanent covenantal rule. Indentured servitude always points to liberty, meaning covenant-keeping liberty under God. Covenant-keeping men are institutionally subordinated to God in terms of a law-order that progressively. brings long-term prosperity and liberty (Deut. 28:1-14). Servitude is inescapable, but the forced system of bondage known as indentured servitude is used by God to bring self-discipline and maturity to His covenant people.
On page 121, North notes that the form of Biblical Slavery advocated by Reconstructionists is somewhat controversial:
"When English-speaking people use the word "slavery," they have in mind especially the West's Negro slave system, or perhaps some other system of permanent slavery. The word produces a kind of "knee-jerk" negative response. This is why it has been so difficult for Christians to discuss the Old Testament institution of slavery in a calm, analytical manner. 22 For example, in a hostile article attacking the Reconstruction movement, author Rodney Clapp warns his readers: "More startling than any degree of influence, however, is what Reconstructionists actually propose for society: the abolition of democracy and the reinstitution of slavery, for starters."23 He never cites any evidence for his accusation. There is a reason for this gap in his documentation: Christian Reconstructionists do believe in democracy - meaning representative republican government, with Old Testament Israel as the model 24 and they do not believe in slavery along the lines of Western Negro slavery. 25 What Christian Reconstructionists do accept is the continuing moral validity of the Old Testament's system of indentured servitude: for debt repayment (instead of nearly painless declarations of bankruptcy) and for restitution payments to victims by criminals."
Even slightly more controversial, perhaps, is the Christian Reconstructionist vision for the permanent enslavement of "heathens", non-Christians that is. On pages 121-122, North elaborates,
"Because of this confusion in terminology between indentured servitude and permanent slavery, any forthright discussion of slavery in the Old Testament is likely to create many initial misunderstandings. The only form of permanent slavery in the Old Testament was the enslavement of heathens: "Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession."
Footnote #2: As Gary North muses, on page 108 of Tools For Dominion, in a the subsection Homosexuality and God's Penal Sanctions
"Homosexual behavior was a capital crime in the Old Testament (Lev. 20:13). Is it still a capital crime today? Virtually all non-theonomic interpreters draw back from this politically embarrassing (in 1989) conclusion."
In a caustic footnote on page 101, North goes into details on more categories of miscreants deserving of death-by-stoning:
You can almost hear the sneer in the words of Ed Dobson (who until March of1987 was vice president of student affairs at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and who also served as editor of Falwell's Fundamentalist Journal) and Ed Hindson (pro-fessor of religion at Liberty University): "Some of Rushdoony's followers, in order to prepare the world for Christ's second coming, have called for laws mandating the death penalty for homosexuals and drunkards." They wrote this in a non-Christian magazine: ''Apocalypse Now?", Policy Review (Fall 1986), p. 20. First, they would be hard-pressed to find any follower of Rushdoony who has called for the death penalty simply for drunkenness, nor do they mention anyone who has. This was a classic "cheap shot." The passage that they presumably are referring to, Deuteronomy 21:20, calls for the death penalty of rebellious sons, who manifest their rebellion as drunkards and gluttons, and whose parents are required by God to testify to this fact before the civil magistrates. Such sons are therefore rebels against lawfully constituted authority (parents), and are to receive the death penalty. Second, with respect to homosexual acts, the Bible clearly calls for the death penalty (Lev. 20:13), as these men surely know. Yet they try to trick their non-Christian audience into blaming unnamed followers of R. J. Rushdoony for this supposed embarrassment, rather than blaming its "shamefully unliberal" perpetrator, God. God's response to this antinomian embarrassment is AIDS. To say that such antinomian arguments by these biblical law-hating Christians are merely misleading is giving them far too much credit."
On pages 44-45, North describes his philosophy of stoning:
Stoning was a communal activity, an aspect of the civil covenant: sanctions...
Public stoning forces citizens to face the reality of the ultimate civil sanction, execution, which in turn points to God's ultimate sanction at judgment day. Stoning also faithfully images the promised judgment against Satan: the crushing of his head by the promised Seed (Gen. 3:15). Because most people, including Christians, do not want to think about God's final judgment, they prefer to assign to distant unknown executioners the grim task of carrying out God's judgment in private. This privatization of execution is immoral; it is itself criminal. It is unjust to the convicted criminal,41 and it is unjust to the surviving victims, who do not see God's justice done in public. The systematic impersonalism of capital punishment is the problem, not capital punishment as such. This deliberate impersonalism has corrupted the entire penal system today.42"
In 1998, North's writings on "biblical stoning" inspired a sardonic article published in the November 1998 edition of the Libertarian magazine Reason, by Walter Olson, "Invitation to a Stoning - Getting Cosy With Theocrats". Wrote Olsen,
"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."
Describing Gary North's writing on the subject, Olson went on,
"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."