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Major Ron Paul Supporter Favors Death Penalty for Gays

Paul's endorsement from a pastor who wants the death penalty for gays exposes his links to radical Christian Reconstructionists.

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In his address to the segregationist John Birch Society's 50th Anniversary Gala in 2008, Ron Paul spoke in the code he knew would be understood by Christian Reconstructionists, who have long ties to the Birch Society. Reconstructionists refer to the righteous who reside in a land swept by evil as "the remnant." (A prominent Christian Reconstructionist publication is called The Remnant Review.) "The remnant holds the truth together," Paul told the Birchers, "both the religious truth and the political truth.'"

Good Reconstructionist Friends

After news of Kayser's death-wish for gays swept through the blogosphere, the pastor, in an apparent act of solidarity with the Paul campaign, removed the link to his pamphlet, "Is the Death Penalty Just?" (It remains available, at press time, in PDF form here.)

Other publications available from Kayser via his Web site include a bibliography of resources, titled Worldview Reading List, which firmly roots Kayser in the Christian Reconstructionist ideology, citing Rushdoony's seminal Reconstructionist text, the Institutes of Biblical Law, some 28 times.

In the Institutes, Rusdoony wrote that "deliberate and mature warfare against God marks the homosexual." Consequently, he continued, "God's penalty is death, and a godly order will enforce it."

In his Worldview Reading List, Kayser also cites Reconstructionist author Gary North, Rushdoony's son-in-law, seven times. In 1978, Ron Paul hired Gary North to serve as his congressional aide, though North lasted only through Paul's first term. (See Julie Ingersoll of Religion Dispatches for more on North and his relationship with Ron and Rand Paul.)

Another close associate of Ron Paul's is Constitution Party founder Howard Phillips, whose conversion to Christianity was inspired by Rushdoony himself. (Phillips routinely refers to gays as "sodomites" in his own writings.) Rushdoony, Phillips told me in September, made the conversion of Jews his special mission. (Phillips is of Jewish heritage.)

At a 2008 rally convened by Ron Paul in Minneapolis in the shadow of the Republican National Convention, Phillips appeared as a keynote speaker. Ron Paul has appeared with Phillips at Constitution Party events, and served as the keynote speaker of the 35th anniversary gala of the Conservative Caucus, another of Phillips' groups. Together with Phillips and John Birch Society president John McManus, Paul has spun a conspiracy theory about an imminent threat to U.S. sovereignty under the non-existent North American Union, which the three contend is a European Union-style plan already under way, designed to erase America's national borders and eradicate U.S. currency. Ron Paul's demand for a return to the gold standard for U.S. currency, as well as his disdain for the Federal Reserve, align perfectly with the "biblical" monetary policy positions espoused by Rushdoony in the Institutes.

Live and Let Die

A common misconception about the Ron Paul agenda is that he is a libertarian who just wants to let all humans live as they please. But Ron Paul is no libertarian; if not a Christian Reconstructionist himself, he is truly the best enabler a Reconstructionist could hope to have.

Ron Paul seeks to shrink the federal government to minimal size not because it intrudes in the lives of individuals, but because it stands in the way of allowing the states and localities to enact laws as they see fit -- even laws that govern people's behavior in their bedrooms. (Digby has dubbed this philosophy Ron Paul's "antebellum politics.")

Here's what Paul published on the Web site of Lew Rockwell -- allegedly one of the authors of his racist, homophobic newsletters -- about the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas that struck down the state's anti-sodomy laws, which prohibited sex between men: