Are We Becoming The "Reconstructed Kingdom" ? The Invisible Hand of Rousas J. Rushdooney
Joan Bokaer printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:03:48 AM EST
Tax cuts and the accompanying national debt do make sense in the context of a "reconstructed Kingdom."  I'm not advancing a conspiracy theory, but the vision of a reconstructed Kingdom ties together many of the legislative threads coming from the Bush White House and Republican-controlled Congress. Adam Smith described an "invisible hand" guiding the forces of capitalism. Whether intentional or not, there appears to be the invisible hand of Rousas J. Rushdooney, father of Christian Reconstructionism, guiding the political activism of this current administration.
As Congress reconvenes, efforts to make tax cuts permanent will once again be on the agenda. Cutting taxes is an age-old conservative issue, but then so is a balanced budget. Generally, when a country is fighting an expensive war, citizens are asked to make a sacrifice by paying for the war in the form of higher taxes. Instead, this administration and Republican-controlled Congress are obsessed with cutting taxes. Their policies have led to an $8 trillion debt. The monster debt is supposed to be offset by cuts in social programs for the poor, but the
National Debt has continued to increase an average of $2.83 billion per day since September 30, 2005!  

How do traditional conservatives reconcile making tax cuts permanent in the face of a mounting deficit? They don't. It appears that traditional conservatives do not control the legislative agenda.

Tax cuts and the accompanying national debt do make sense in the context of a "reconstructed Kingdom."  I'm not advancing a conspiracy theory, but the vision of a reconstructed Kingdom ties together many of the legislative threads coming from the Bush White House and Republican-controlled Congress. Adam Smith described an "invisible hand" guiding the forces of capitalism. Whether intentional or not, there appears to be the invisible hand of Rousas J. Rushdooney, father of Christian Reconstructionism, guiding the political activism of this current administration.

The Reverend Andrew Sandlin, a Christian Reconstructionist, explains the term "reconstructed" this way: "every area dominated by sin must be "reconstructed" in terms of the Bible." The eventual goal is to achieve the "Kingdom of God" in which much of the world is converted to Christianity. Only then will Christ return.

What in the world does a "Reconstructed  Kingdom" have to do with tax cuts?

As we advance toward a reconstructed Kingdom, the federal government must recede into the background as responsibility for social programs and education shifts to the churches. Tax cuts for the rich, cutbacks in social programs for the poor, and a monster debt make sense if the goal is to starve the federal government and transfer social programs to churches through faith-based initiatives. Responsibility for education shifts to religious schools through vouchers.

But the public demonstrated back in 1964 that they like their social programs. Barry Goldwater ran on a pledge to cut back or eliminate much of the federal government and he was soundly defeated. One of the strategists who worked on his campaign, Paul Weyrich, joined with others to broaden the base of the Republican Party. They looked to the huge membership of fundamentalist, Pentecostal, and charismatic churches. Weyrich articulated the goal of dominionism in 1980. He told a group of evangelical leaders:

We are talking about Christianizing America. We are talking about simply spreading the gospel in a political context.

A decade later, in 2001, Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation issued a
strategy paper :

Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them.

As the national doubt mounts, so does the vulnerability of the federal government.

When Fred Clarkson published his groundbreaking article,
What Is Christian Reconstructionism? did he think he would actually be seeing the following events begin to unfold a decade later? Consider Clarkson's description of a reconstructed "Kingdom:"

A general outline of what the reconstructed "Kingdom," or confederation of Biblical theocracies, would look like emerges from the large body of Reconstructionist literature. This society would feature a minimal national government, whose main function would be defense by the armed forces. No social services would be provided outside the church, which would be responsible for "health, education, and welfare... The public schools would be abolished. Government functions, including taxes, would be primarily at the county level.

Starve the federal government and transfer its social and educational functions to churches. The end result is what the Texas GOP Platform calls a "Christian" nation:

The Republican Party of Texas affirms the United States of America is a Christian Nation ...

One interesting contradiction and how it is resolved
The faith-based initiative and school voucher programs are funded by the federal government which is supposed to mostly vanish. The Texas GOP Platform addresses this contradiction:
Until such time as such unconstitutional spending programs are repealed, we believe that the faith-based initiative as proposed by President George W. Bush, and currently implemented, should continue to receive federal monies.

So federal social programs are "unconstitutional." They are also unbiblical according to a dominionist text book popular in Christian schools and the Christian homeschool movement, America's Providential History:
A government controlled and funded welfare system is unbiblical ... Scripture makes it clear that God is the provider, not the state.

The Texas GOP Platform explains that tithing - when members give 10% of their income to the church - will replace income from taxes as churches assume responsibility for social programs and education.

Of course we are far from living in Rushdoony's Kingdom of God, a society based on Biblical Law, or the first five books of Hebrew Scriptures (also called the Old Testament.) Reconstructionists envision a very rigid world order where there is no room for any other view or policy, no democratic tolerance for rival parties, and no individual freedom.

But we are on the road to a "reconstucted Kingdom," a road that would probably collapse of its own internal contradictions before we ever see the light. It is not inevitable that we stay on this road, and, indeed, it is time that we change directions.

Coming soon on government policies and the "reconstructed Kingdom" - unfettered capitalism. Stay tuned.

If this really is a deliberate tactic by policy makers sympathetic to reconstructionist causes (which I doubt) then the only way it will succeed is it there is a major budget implosion which requires a complete overhaul of the way social programs are funded. Perhaps this is what the reconstructionalists are wanting, but it will only ever happen as an unintended consequence of gross mismanagement by Congress.

The main reason we're even contemplating this possibility today is not because of a deliberate policy on behalf of the Republicans, it's simply because the Republican congress wants to (a) reward their friends and allies via tax cuts and (b) they don't have the will power to cut spending accordingly--they know they will be voted out of office if they do.

People often seem to mistake government incompetance for conspiracies. I always find it easier to assume that the government is run by idiots.

Any assistance they may be lending to the reconstructionalist cause is just a side-effect of your typical partisan politics.

by tacitus on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:42:02 AM EST

You don't have to see a conspiracy to see that what is happening is not mere incompetence, but a deliberate effort to change the federal government and return it to a pre-New Deal era.

Competent federal agencies, from the FCC to EPA, are being placed under the charge of people who fundamentally disagree with their missions, and are committed to undermining, not enhancing, their effectiveness.

Other government programs are being diverted to faith-based initiatives.  Others are simply being cut or eliminated.

Bush, as with Reagan, is intentionally forcing the national debt higher and higher.  This isn't happenstance.  It's planning to make government social support and regulatory programs obsolete.

Grover Norquist is one of the people who devised this strategy.  Here is a clip from The Nation.

To Norquist, who loves being called a revolutionary, hardly an agency of government is not worth abolishing, from the Internal Revenue Service and the Food and Drug Administration to the Education Department and the National Endowment for the Arts. "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years," he says, "to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."


by cyncooper on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 04:04:36 PM EST

Fine article by Ms. Boaker.  I went to the link of Sandlin's article on Reconstructionism and found this quote: "[A Reconstructionist] firmly believes in the separation of church and state, but not the separation of the state--or anything else--from God."  That surely gives a new meaning to what most of us think of as separation of church and state.  In this context, his use of "church" and "God" is a distinction without a difference since by his Reconstructionist view, God's church (meaning his definition of God's church) would order society, not a constitution.

by larry jones on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 03:49:07 PM EST

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