On Restoring America
Mainstream Baptist printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Nov 23, 2005 at 08:55:32 AM EST
In February 1990 I received an unsolicited video in the mail.  The video came from a Dr. Stephen Hotze and was entitled "Restoring America:  How You Can Impact Civil Government."  Filmed at a church in my neighborhood, I recognized the actors as the pastor and congregants of an Independent Fundamental Baptist church (the Jerry Falwell kind).   The video was a guide on how to 1) take over a Republican Party precinct meeting, 2) elect "Christian" delegates to the GOP District meeting, and 3) put planks supporting the theocratic agenda of Christian Reconstructionism into the party platform.
After reciting the standard mythology about America being a Christian nation, about the influence of Christianity on the reconstruction of the South after the civil war, and about the threat of modern secularism, here is what Hotze said on the video:

Biblically, the legitimate role of civil government is to provide justice based upon the absolute standards of God's law, to restrain wickedness, to punish evil doers, and to protect the life, liberty and property of law abiding citizens.

Christians have the responsibility to be actively involved in family, church and civil government arenas.  There is no neutrality.  Civil government will either reflect biblical Christianity or it will reflect anti-Christian positions.

You can make the difference.  The upcoming primary elections will provide you with the opportunity not only to exercise your right to vote but also to attend precinct conventions which occur at your polling place after the polls close.  The precinct convention is the most critical meeting for you to attend if you want to have an impact in the area of civil government.

[To hear an audio podcast (an mp3 file) of Hotze's 8 minute speech, click here and give it time to download.  To hear the audio from the entire 34 minute video, click here and give it time to download.]

I was not registered as a Republican, but I knew that a good friend of mine, a retired moderate Baptist preacher, chaired the GOP precinct in my neighborhood.  I called him and advised him about the organized attempt to takeover of his precinct.  He survived the challenge that year (they ousted him the next election cycle), but nearly all of the other Republican Party precinct leaders in Harris County lost their chairs.

Hotze's dominion over politics in Houston, Texas (the third largest city in the U.S.) began that year - just in time to prepare for service as host of the 1992 GOP National Convention.  His reign lasted for around a decade -- until he was arrested for D.W.I. and fell from the good graces of his Fundamentalist followers.  The machine he created, however, still rules over the Harris County Republican party and his success inspired and emboldened theocrats to takeover GOP precincts all over the state of Texas.

Along with his video tape, Hotze sent a written agenda and instructions for how to conduct a precinct meeting.  He also suggested resolutions for the party's platform.  Today, nearly all the planks that Hotze suggested can be found in the current platform of the Texas Republican Party.

Meanwhile, most of the country club Republicans who provide the funds for this theocratic juggernaut still seem to be sipping their cocktails in ignorant bliss.

Dominionists are patient revolutionaries.  They work through the system to gain control.  Then they work from within the system to change the system.  The changes they are making are incremental.  They have little respect for democracy and none for pluralism.  They mean business and they already hold many of the mechanisms of power around the country.    

It is long past time for Americans who love democracy to acknowledge what is at stake and start facing the challenge that these patient theocratic revolutionaries represent.  Facing this challenge means organizing at the grass roots level - precinct by precinct - the same way they did.  Rhetoric and writing alone, no matter how passionate, is not going to defeat them.  In the end, what matters most is the number of ballots that are cast to oppose them and whether the votes are accurately recorded.

Tomorrow I'll post an essay about the Southern Baptist judge who offered them advice on how to use the system and patiently gain control of the mechanisms of power that they need to effect change.

This is the first of six essays. Here are the links to the other essays in the series:

Learning to be Patient Revolutionaries
From Reconstructionism to Dominonism, Part 1
From Reconstructionism to Dominionism, Part 2
SBC Takeover Leaders and the CNP
Reconstructionism, Southern Baptists & Education




Display:
This post by "Mainstream Baptist" is both important and coincidental. The coincidence is that I'm also a Houstonian (for the last 16 years), and it was the work of Stephen Hotze that originally caused me to be alarmed about the effectiveness of his kind of Dominionist theo-fascism that was clearly spreading throughout Texas.

Indeed, the Republican party of Texas is now an extreme, right-wing body that controls the state, and clearly perceives itself as an instrument of God's will. The danger to religious freedom in Texas is now firmly entrenched.

by Ed Menken on Wed Nov 23, 2005 at 09:30:37 AM EST


It was early 1982 when he gathered a band of similarly-minded fanatics and got a local ballot initiative to repeal Austin's pioneering ordinance forbidding employment discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. They lost that vote. Dr. Hotze seemed to grow frustrated with Austin and moved on to Houston.
Dr. Hotze is now peddling female hormones in the Houston area.

by MaryOGrady on Wed Nov 23, 2005 at 10:29:21 AM EST

Ed and Mary,

Thanks for your comments.

I did not realize that Hotze started in Austin.

Mary is right about his quack hormone treatment.  Here's a link to a recent article in the Houston Press.

by Mainstream Baptist on Wed Nov 23, 2005 at 01:26:30 PM EST


As I read about Holtze's tactics (and others of his ilk) I was struck by similarities with a past extremist takeover of a democracy: The seizure of Weimar Germany by the National Socialists in the early 1930s.  Hitler realized after his failed putsch that the Nazis had to work through the system, rather than use force to seize power.  I realize that the comparison between Depression-era Germany and the US is shakey, but the basic method, and ultimate goal, are worth examination.

I am truly afraid for the future of our nation, and the democratic ideals that we have held onto for over 200 years.

by mikee59 on Sat Nov 26, 2005 at 10:14:23 PM EST



WWW Talk To Action


A Talk to Action Anthology on Neo-Confederacy, Nullification and Secession (Updated)
Over the past year, a number of posts have addressed the growing Neo-Confederate movement, the advocacy of nullification of federal laws, and even the......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Two Years Ago Today, the 'Least Credible History Book in Print' was Published
This post is an updated version of my post from this same date last year, which, not surprisingly, was titled "One Year Ago Today,......
By Chris Rodda (1 comment)
Geocentrist Creationists Seek To Become The Center Of Attention
There are days when fundamentalist zealots do something so off the wall that I don't know whether to laugh or cry, so I do......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
A Full Quiver of Bad Advice
Mike Huckabee mailed out an open invitation to all Texas pastors inviting them to attend the Texas Renewal Project.  The first 1,000 to respond......
By wilkyjr (7 comments)
Opus Dei Priest's Secessionist Roadmap to Theocracy
Fr. C.J. ("John") McCloskey is in many ways the  American face of the secretive Catholic organization, Opus Dei.  He is a former Wall Streeter,......
By Frank Cocozzelli (10 comments)
Don't Be April Fooled by Far-Right Activists Dressed Up as Democratic Candidates
This is cross-posted from The Huffington Post. It expands and updates previous posts about the Neo-Confederate theocrats Michael Peroutka and Pastor David Whitney. Maryland......
By jhutson (0 comments)
Dangerous Defiance: Md. Official Ignores Court Ruling On Sectarian Prayer
I'm not a lawyer, but let me give you a little free legal advice anyway: It's never a good idea to defy a federal......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors'
Austin Ruse doesn't understand why people were so upset when he said on a national radio program that university leaders "should all be taken......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Justice For All: The Supreme Court And The Role Of The Justices' Religious Beliefs
Today's Washington Post has an interesting story about how the personal religious beliefs of members of the Supreme Court might affect their decisions.The question......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
RINO Says His Dino Proves Noah's Flood -- Wha Wha What?
Michael Peroutka, the presidential candidate of the Constitution Party in 2004 and co-founder of the theocratic Institute on the Constitution, made news recently when......
By jhutson (0 comments)
Franklin Graham Slams Obama and Supports Putin in Battle Over Gay Rights
With a column vigorously supporting Vladimir Putin's anti-gay crusade in Russia, Evangelist Franklin Graham finds himself edging closer to inheriting the mantle of Fred......
By Bill Berkowitz (3 comments)
Neo-Confederate Democrats: Oxymorons?
“Many of you may be thinking that I have lost my mind,” Republican Del. Don Dwyer wrote in a March 2013 email and Facebook......
By jhutson (2 comments)
The Catholic Right Star & the Porn Star -- UPDATED
A Duke University freshman best known by her stage name Belle Knox has been much in the news. She was even interviewed by Piers......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Baptists and Bullets in Texas Politics
One thing regional Baptist GOP candidates share in common is a deep affection for gun rights.  The endorsements of pro-gun positions takes precedence over......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
The Battling Noahs & The Titanic Film Comeback of Noah & His Ark
Who would have imagined that in 2014, Noah, yes the Noah of the Biblical story of Noah and his Ark, would be garnering so......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)

America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (1 comment)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (0 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
A Wiccan Witch In Salem
Since it's only two weeks from Halloween, I made my usual foray into Christian Right Country to find out what their plans are for this Halloween. I don't know where to be sad or......
irishwitch (0 comments)
Jerry Falwell's Fundamentalist Liberty University Still Getting Hundreds of Millions in Federal Aid
In 2010, Liberty University got more federal funding than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In a 2011 Talk To Action story, contributor Bill Berkowitz covered the new trend in which right-wing evangelical colleges and......
Bruce Wilson (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.