Response to Chalcedon and Others
John Sugg printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Dec 07, 2005 at 06:53:39 PM EST
John Sugg responds to comments from the Chalcedon Foundation's Chris Ortiz.

To call Chris Ortiz at Chalcedon disingenuous would be an understatement.

Do the Reconstructionists want to conquer the nation and world? Here are their own words:


The purpose of regeneration is that man reconstruct all things in conformity to God's order, not in terms of man's desire for peace. This purpose and mission involves law and coercion....

The fulfillment of that covenant is their great commission: to subdue all things and all nations to Christ and His law-word.

Gary North:

The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant--baptism and holy communion--must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel....

So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.

David Chilton:

We believe that institutionally Christianity should be the official religion of the country, that its laws should be specifically Christian.

Gary DeMar:

Civil Officials must acknowledge the lordship of Christ, and obey his rules for civil governments.

There are other citations in my artlcle.

Much of what Ortiz does is quibble. I never wrote that the phrase "Biblical worldview" was exclusively Reconstructionist. After all, I don't see a (r) after the phrase. But it is a phrase they seek to impose on the general discussion. DeMar's own magazine is titled "Biblical Worldview."

Finally, Ortiz laments that Rushdoony wasn't a Holocaust denier because he claimed only a million died, not 6 million. What deception these men of God practice! Here's what Rushdoony wrote in his Institutes of Biblical Law. It is, according to this theologian, a greater sin to get the number of bodies wrong than the actual murders themselves. But, of course, no responsible person questions the number who died in the Holocaust. Note the reference to sterilized women and castrated men.


The false witness born during World War II with respect to Germany is especially notable and revealing. The charge is repeatedly made that six million innocent Jews were slain by the Nazis, and the figure--and even larger figures--is now entrenched in the history books. Poncins, in summarizing the studies of the French Socialist, Paul Rassinier, himself a prisoner in Buchenwald, states: Rassinier reached the conclusion that the number of Jews who died after deportation is approximately 1,200,000 and this figure, he tells us, has finally been accepted as valid by the Centre Mondial de Documentation Juive Contemporaine. Likewise he notes that Paul Hilberg, in his study of the same problem, reached a total of 896,292 victims.

Very many of these people died of epidemics; many were executed. We will return to this matter again....

Let us examine again the mass murders of World War II, and the background of false witness during World War I and later. Life had become so cheap and meaningless to these heads of state and their camp followers that a murder or two meant nothing. Likewise, a generation schooled to violence in motion pictures, radio, literature, and press could not be expected to react to a murder or two. The result was a desperately twisted mentality which could only appreciate evil as evil on a massive scale. Did the Nazis actually execute many thousands, tens, or hundred thousands of Jews? Men to whom such murders were nothing had to blow up the figure to millions. Did the doctor perform a number of experiments on living men and women? A few sterilized women and a few castrated men and their horrified tears and grief are not enough to stir the sick and jaded tastes of modern man: make him guilty of performing 17,000 such operations. The evils were all too real: even greater is the evil of bearing false witness concerning them, because that false witness will produce an even more vicious reality in the next upheaval. Men are now "reconciled" to a world where millions are murdered, or are said to be murdered. What will be required in the way of action and propaganda next time?

Paul Rassinier has been thoroughly discredited by serious scholars. His figures are a fantasy. This is very intersting material Sugg has unearthed.
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Thu Dec 08, 2005 at 12:04:52 AM EST

David Ortiz, in his comments on John Suggs' Mother Jones article for the Chalcedon blog on December 5 and December 7, 2005, repeatedly insists on accuracy. Ortiz points out, with some justification, that Suggs' article contains "a few factual errors," and calls for researchers and writers to be "careful in consulting primary source material." He also expresses his commitment to "accurately representing" statements from people with whose views he disagrees, and asks that those who disagree with him perform "due diligence" before drawing conclusions. Fair enough.

Suggs responds, "To call Chris Ortiz at Chalcedon disingenuous would be an understatement." He then cites major examples where Ortiz has made statements that seem unsupportable, since they fly in the face of clear and convincing evidence that Reconstructionists "want to conquer the nation and world." Suggs then muses that much of Ortiz's corrections amount to examples of a "quibble."

What's going on here? What would be the point of Ortiz insisting on veracity and accuracy in scrupulous reporting of numerous and sometimes arcane details? Is Ortiz busying himself with the footnotes of history while deliberately ignoring or denying the book titles and chapter headlines?

By all means, let's all be as accurate as we can be, and let's gently correct one another and politely accept correction so that we may all be more enlightened. But what's going on when Ortiz turns his microscope on the details, while simultaneously declaring, "We do not advocate political takeover"?

Ortiz points to the easily-found Chalcedon "Credo," in which it is written:
"Our critics sometimes imply or state outright that we are engaged in a subtle, covert attempt to capture conservative, right-wing politics in order to gain political power, which we will then use to "spring" Biblical law on our nation. This is flatly false. We do not believe that politics or the state are a chief sphere of dominion.

It is understandable why many people assume that we do hold this position, however."

Now, I'm a critic of Chalcedon, but I would not imply or state outright that they're engaged in a subtle, covert attempt to gain political power; nope, there's nothing subtle about it. I just look at their titles and chapter headings, and read them in their own words, and take all that at face value.

by jhutson on Thu Dec 08, 2005 at 06:18:34 AM EST

A theme intimately related to John Suggs post here :

"The Theology of Deception"

Now, Chris Ortiz and Mark Rushdoony would of course strenuously deny the very existence of such a concept, but it may well be inherent in the writings of R.J. Rushdoony himself. The Theology of Deception ( rarely refered to a such by adherents to Recostructionist or Dominionist theologies ) is arguably embedded within the dense mass of closely worked "principles" of Rushdoony, as a special, provisional, case, a provision for self-defense which is opposed to normal Biblical or Rushdoonian injunctions against lying and deception.

[ from "The Institutes of Biblical Law" by Rushdoony, Pg. 565-569 ] - "...Thus, not only are we under no obligation to tell the truth to a lawless enemy who is bent on doing us harm, or destroying us, but the requirement to tell the truth in a court of law is strictly governed by law........As noted previously, we are not under any moral obligation to tell the truth to an enemy seeking to harm or destroy us. The duty to tell the truth is reserved for normal relationships which are within the frame­work of law, and to the proceedings of courts of law in church, state, and other institutions. Even here, however, there are limitations on the power of the court or the demands of other persons." [ emphasis mine ]

The key words to notice in that statement are "harm" and "enemy" :

Who might that "enemy" be, and what might constitute "harm" ?

Well, Rushdoony voiced some clear opinions on that as this invitational announcement a special appearance of Rushdoony at a Chicago area church, in 1995, suggests :

"Dr. R. J. Rushdoony, Reformed Scholar and Founder of the Christian Reconstructionist movement will be lecturing in the Chicago/Milwaukee area, September 29-October 1, 1995. The Church of Christian Liberty, pastored by Dr. Paul Lindstrom, will be hosting Dr. Rushdoony Friday Night and Saturday Morning, September 29-30. Dr. Rushdoony will be giving three lectures on Christian and Homeschooling, the ongoing War with Humanism and the Future of the American System. Saturday evening, and Sunday morning, Dr. Rushdoony wll be hosted by Lakeside Church-PCA Milwaukee. There will be an invitational only reception for Dr. Rushdoony Saturday night and he will be preaching at Lakeside Church during the Lord's Day service. Those interested in attending the Chicago lectures should contact Dr. Paul Lindstrom, (708) 394-9220 for specific times and locations. Those interested in attending the Saturday evening reception or hearing Dr. Rushdoony preach Sunday morning should contact Rev. Brian Abshire, (414) 228-1590. This is a rare opportunity to meet and learn from one of the most important theologians of the twentieth century. Christian Liberty and Lakeside Church are very honored to be able to host him." [ emphasis mine ]

In this epitaph, titled "Dr. Rushdoony and phonics" and written following R.J. Rushdoony's death, Samuel L. Blumenfeld - avowed follower of Rushdoony - describes Rushdoony's position on the "culture war" :

[ "Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education, including, "Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers," "The Whole Language/OBE Fraud," and "Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching Children." " ]

In his book, "The Messianic Character of American Education," first published in 1963, he [  RJ Rushdoony ] recognized that the war between humanism and Christianity was a struggle unto death, and that the humanist control of the public schools gave the enemies of Christianity a decided advantage over believers. [ emphasis mine ]

Now, those are not the words of Mr. Rushdoony himself, but I'm sure others here on Talk To Action can provide the necessary quotes.

At issue is this : if R.J. Rushdoony asserted that there is a literal war - implying a "combat unto [ literal ] death" between "Christianity" ( as defined, of course, by Rushdony himself ) and states, governments, purported foes such as "secular humanism", then Rushdoony's self defense escape clause comes into force - deception in that war is justified.

Hence, the "Theology of Deception"

In practice - and this may be a very sore point for some of Rushdoony's follower's - it might be very hard to prevent such an approach from devolving into, well......moral relativism, and situational ethics.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Dec 08, 2005 at 09:31:05 AM EST

This is an area I'm all too familiar with--the AoG has been practicing this in "stealth evangelism" (as they term it) for upwards of sixty years, and creating upwards of forty separate groups that are set up not only to wear down people's trust to prosyletise to them but to explicitly lie about their connections to dominionism or the AoG (usually they claim they're "nondenominational", as the FGBMFI does).

The Moonies also specifically describe this as "heavenly deception", Scientologists refer to it as "fair game", and nearly all spiritually abusive and coercive groups practice this (so much so, in fact, that it is considered a major warning signal of a potentially abusive group if there are multiple fronts).

Hence I'm not one bit surprised that the concept of "heavenly deception" appears in Rushdoony's writings as well.

I've written some in the larger context of generally spiritually abusive tactics in the dominionist movement here.

by dogemperor on Thu Dec 08, 2005 at 03:03:14 PM EST

Because I appreciate your insightful comments, I want to make sure that I, and maybe others new to this site who are less steeped in the theology of dominionism than thee, understand what you mean. I did a li'l doubletake when I read the acronym AoG. Based on my experience, I usually associate that with the militant, underground Army of God, several of whose participants have been sent to prison for committing violent felonies, such as kidnapping, arson, attempted murder, and murder. But since the Army of God hasn't been around for 60 years, I assume from the context that instead you are referring to the Assemblies of God. And I did a double-double-take with cheese on top when I came across FGBMFI. Maybe I'm slow on the uptake, but it took me a minute to figure out you were referring to the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International. In a bid for transparency, let's slow up on the acronyms, 'kay? TYVM. (Which means, variously, Thank You Very Much or That's Your Vulcan Mindmeld, depending on whether Star Trek is playing in the background.)

by jhutson on Thu Dec 08, 2005 at 05:44:54 PM EST
My bad there--I forgot that AoG is a common acronym for two separate dominionist groups (one which merely seems to be at the root of dominionism, the other probably the most violent of dominionist groups in the country).

I'll try to be a bit more clear in future.

(And yes, for reference, generally the AoG in my posts = Assemblies of God, FGBMFI = Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International.)

by dogemperor on Thu Dec 08, 2005 at 07:25:46 PM EST

Ah! Thanks for the clarification. Keep up the great work; live long and prosper!

by jhutson on Fri Dec 09, 2005 at 08:00:12 AM EST

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