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THE BUSH/EXTREME-RIGHT AGENDA: GOODBYE CONSTITUTION, HELLO THEOCRACY?

by HopeNotFear Saturday, Oct. 23, 2004 at 3:31 PM

In his new book, "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order," Mark Crispin Miller paints a sobering picture of the American extreme right and its campaign to dismantle Constitutional government and replace it with a pseudo-religious, "Christo-fascist" theocracy in which Old Testament law--and the Ten Commandments--would be brutally enforced. Death by stoning for adultery, for abortion, for homosexuality, and even for disobedient children. Could it happen here? Is the Bush administration already pursuing this vision? And will we vote to reject this vision on November 2? Yes, we will!

- - - - - - -

Fighting to post the Ten Commandments in government buildings. Keeping "under God" in the Plege of Allegiance. Trumpeting "Faith-Based" Initiatives to redirect taxpayers' money into the pockets of conservative religious organizations. Denouncing gay partnerships--and blaming homosexuality itself for many of society's ordinary problems. Denying a woman's right to choose, even in cases of rape or incest. Enacting environmental policies that fly in the face of science.Teaching Creationism, not Evolution. Waging a "war" to "rid the world of evil."

Notice a pattern here?

NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller (author of "The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National Disorder") noticed a pattern, and he's laid it all out in his latest book, "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order."

(URGENT, PRE-ELECTION ADVICE: BUY THIS BOOK *NOW* AND READ CHAPTER 6, TITLED "THE CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER.")

Here's some of what Miller lays out in his Chapter 6:

"The United States, in short, was quite deliberately not formed as a "Christian Republic": a fact that was reconfirmed a few years into U.S. history, when George Washington--another of the many Founders dubious about fanatical religions...--signed the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796" [Article 11 of which opens with] "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."

In spite of this history, Miller reports that "...belief in nonreligious governance is now especially offensive to [the American theocratic] movement, which, since the seventies, has undergone a major transformation...[in which] AN ELITE THEOCRATIC MOVEMENT OF EXTREME COMMITMENT AND CONSIDERABLE WEALTH WAS FAST BECOMING THE MOST INFLUENTIAL FORCE ON THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT. THIS IS THE POSTMILLINERIAN MOVEMENT KNOWN AS CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTIONISM...also known as 'dominion theology.'"

"Christian Reconstructionism...was thoroughly articlulated [by] maverick theologian R. J. Rushdoony, whose mammoth summa on the creed, "The Institutes of Biblical Law," was published in 1973." "Rushdoony's text explains...THE NECESSARY LEGAL APPLICATION...OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, which ought to be the ultimate foundation of all institutions, here and everywhere."

Miller continues: "'The Christian goal for the world,' says Reconstructionist David Chilton, "is the UNIVERSAL DEVELOPMENT OF BIBLICAL THEOCRATIC REPUBLICS, IN WHICH EVERY AREA OF LIFE IS REDEEMED AND PLACED UNDER THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE RULE OF GOD'S LAW."

"These Christian nations would be just as tolerant and democratic as Iran under Khomeni, or Afghanistan under the Taliban. Non-Christians would be disenfranchised, if not executed or enslaved...while those acceptable as citizens would be forever subject to a penal code far harsher than shari'a law: DEATH BY STONING FOR ADULTERY, FOR ABORTION, FOR HOMOSEXUALITY, FOR PREMARITAL UNCHASTITY (in women), "FOR EVERY ONE THAT CURSETH HIS FATHER AND HIS MOTHER," OR ANYONE WHO DARES WORK ON THE SABBATH, OR OTHERWISE BLASPHEMES, OR WHO HAS BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF APOSTASY, OR HERESY, OR WITCHCRAFT, OR ASTROLOGY."

Troubled by the thought of so many executions?

Miller goes on to quote from a January 6, 2004 Salon.com article, in which a billionaire backer of the Reconstructionists explains that "To impose the death penalty you need two witnesses. So the number of executions goes down pretty quickly."

Feel better now?

Miller identifies some of the key organizations associated with Reconstructionism, including the Council for National Policy (CNP), The Chalcedon Foundation, and the Rutherford Institute.

He also names some prominent individuals who he says are members of the CNP and/or advocates of Reconstructionism: "Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Paul Weyrich, Donald Wildmon, Oliver North, and Howard Phillips...former Attorney General Ed Meese...Howard Ahmanson...Richard DeVos of Amway, Pierre S. DuPont IV, and several members of the Coors clan." Miller also notes that "Although he sees himself as the Messiah, the Reverend Moon has been a generous contributor to the [CNP]."

And, Miller writes, "The GOP's current national leadership is heavily represented on the council: Tom DeLay...Representatives Dan Burton and Ernest Istook...Senators Trent Lott, Lauch Faircloth, and Don Nickles...Dick Armey and Jesse Helms are on board also. Other major rightist politicians, while not formally affiliated, find the council a receptive place...it would be hard to find a {Protestant) Bush cohort, or anti-Clintonite, who has not at least had friendly dealings with the CNP."

Miller notes that Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition, when asked "if Bush was generally in sync with Sheldon's overall agenda" answered "George Bush IS our agenda."

Miller goes on to discuss the influence on the White House of the Apostolic Congress, which calls itself "the Christian Voice in the Nation's Capital," and which, Miller says, purports to speak "for the people" and "from a theocratical perspective."

As he exposes the goals of Reconstructionism, Miller also explains how Reconstructionists have found common ground with Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Ahmed Chalabi, William Kristol, and the other members of the "neo-conservative" bloc within the Bush administration. Miller asserts that one element of this common ground is a shared conviction that LYING "for the right reasons" is not only permissible; it is, at times, NECESSARY to advance the cause.

Miller writes: "Such is the standard moral practice of the movement that, not being genuinely Christian (MANY EVANGELICALS DEEM RECONSTRUCTIONISM DANGEROUS), should be known as 'Christo-fascism.' "

- - - - - - -

Now consider all this in the context of the so-called "war on terrorism."

You've probably heard about the law--Senate Bill 742 proposed in 2003 by a Republican member of the Oregon state Senate and still awaiting consideration by Oregon lawmakers--that would throw street-blocking war protesters in JAIL, FOR LIFE, AS TERRORISTS. But under this law, life in jail for "terrorism" (with a possibility of parole after 25 years) would be mandatory for anyone who "plans or participates in an act that is intended, by at least one of its participants, to disrupt" business, transportation, schools, government, or free assembly. (You can read about this at http://www.nc.indymedia.org/news/2003/04/3936.php)

In "Cruel and Unusual," Miller suggests that as far as the extreme right is concerned, there is "no distinction between 'liberals' here and 'terrorists' abroad"; the so-called "war on terrorism" is both a WAR ON DISSENT and a WAR ON LIBERALISM itself.

- - - - - - -

Miller concludes that "The only legal way to halt the nation's slide into theocracy, it seems, would be to open serious investigations by the Congress and the press, begin a robust national debate, and finally VOTE THE ZEALOTS OUT OF POWER."

Let's rise to that challenge on November 2. Let's vote to honor our Constitution. Let's vote to reject theocracy. Let's vote to protect the rights of all, regardless of their faith or lack thereof. Let's vote with our eyes open, realizing we're perched on the edge of a cliff--and the dark canyon below is filled with hate and misery.

In the Presidential race, in the Congressional races, and even in local School Board races, let's vote for hope, for love, and for light.

- - - - - - -

NOTE: Professor Richard Heinberg of the New College of California has also written about the so-called "Christian" Reconstructionists, the neo-cons, and the great challenges we face as a nation. Check out the March, 2004 edition of his newsletter, the "Museletter," at http://www.museletter.com/archive/144.html

(For additional perspectives on the faith-related concerns in the Presidential race, check out www.sojo.net, www.RepublicansForKerry.org, and www.BushRelativesForKerry.com)

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