Reconstructing the Confederacy?
Cynthia Gee printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Feb 03, 2007 at 07:28:43 PM EST
Lately I’ve been reading about a still darker side to the Reconstructionist/Patriarchy movement.

Quite simply, it is this:

There are those among the movement who claim that since SLAVERY is not condemned in the Bible, it is a perfectly legitimate thing, and advocate a return to the same.
J.R. Rushdooney, the father of Reconstructionism, advocated a return to debtor slavery. So does his son-in-law, Gary North. And so do a number of patriarchal secessionist "religious" groups in the south today:
Key members of a white supremacist organization called the League of the South are moving to take control of conservative churches around the South, prompting a possible split in a major Presbyterian denomination. The central player in this little-noticed drama is the Rev. Steven J. Wilkins, pastor of the Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church in Monroe, La., and a founder and current board member of the neo-Confederate League.Wilkins has said that the goal of the League of the South is to save America from "paganism" and restore it as "the last bastion of Christendom" — a Christendom that, in Wilkins’ view, sees slavery as “perfectly legitimate.” :
Southern Poverty Law Center

Sites linking to Steve Wilkins' articles and books include Ladies against Feminism (whose owner, Jennie Chancey, is associated closely with Phillips and VisionForum), and The Patriarch's Path website, (run by "HomeschoolingToday" publisher James McDonald):
MacDonald's site links extensively to articles by both Steven J. Wilkins and Doug Wilson, and Doug Phillips and Dale Dykema as well, and expounds on a number of Patriarchal views, among them the idea that only landowners should vote

And it seems that Wilkins himself has been a very busy man: in addition to teaching his worldview to his own congregation, he and pastor Doug Wilson, another well-known figure in the Patriarchy movement, have been writing what many would term racist curriculum for a large North Carolina private school:

[As printed in The News and Observer, 12/04] "Leaders at Cary Christian School say they are not condoning slavery by using "Southern Slavery, As It Was", a booklet that attempts to provide a biblical justification for slavery and asserts that slaves weren't treated as badly as people think. Principal Larry Stephenson said the school is only exposing students to different ideas, such as how the South justified slavery. He said the booklet is used because it is hard to find writings that are both sympathetic to the South and explore what the Bible says about slavery."You can have two different sides, a Northern perspective and a Southern perspective", he said.

The booklet isn't the only connection its two co-authors have with the school. One of the authors, Douglas Wilson, a pastor in Moscow, Idaho, wrote a book on classical education upon which the school bases its philosophy. Wilson's Association of Classical and Christian Schools accredited Cary Christian, and he is scheduled to speak at the school's graduation in May. Some school leaders, including Stephenson, founded Christ Church in Cary, which is affiliated with Wilson's Idaho church.

The booklet's other author, Steve Wilkins, is a member of the board of directors of the Alabama-based League of the South. That is classified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights group."Doug Wilson and Steve Wilkins have essentially constructed the ruling theology of the neo-Confederate movement", said Mark Potok, editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report.

More chilling is the fact that to Steve Wilkins and his associates and their followers, LYING is perfectly permissible, and even virtuous, if it advances the Patriarchal cause.

From page two of the same Southern Poverty Law article:"An important tool of the movement is stealth." Theonomists justify this strategy with a Biblical story, "Rahab's Lie", of a young woman who lies to protect the lives of Israelite spies in Jericho.

In an article posted on the web site of Wilkins' church, Deacon Kevin Branson praises Rahab as "a spiritual hero" because "she deceived the wicked who sought to kill God's own people.". Branson said he writes about Rahab because "some of us don't have a clue about honorable and necessary deception of the wicked."

His conclusion is that "sometimes God requires that we offer by way of our right hand a sweeping sword, and from our lips deception, that the wicked might fail, and Christ and His Bride might flourish."

Doesn't sound very Christ-like to me. These men advocate lying in the name of God, what could be more blasphemous than that... yet we trust the homeschooling materials they sell to tell the truth to our children, the very people they are trying hardest to influence and bring round to their way of thinking.

I'd been thinking for a while about mentioning that.

There's a similar doctrine in the Unification Church - holy lies, divine deception.

by Bruce Wilson on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 08:11:55 AM EST

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I'm beginning to wonder if this resemblance is more than coincidental. Ed Brayton had an article here yesterday,  "Reverend Moon, Bob Dole, Chris Matthews and more", where he commented on Moon's attempts to garner legitimacy among right wing groups through the media. 

In that article, Moon's right hand man, Bo Hi Pak, is quoted as saying: 

"But is a total war. Basically war of ideas. War of mind, the battlefield is the human mind. This is where the battle is fought. So in this war the entire thing will be mobilized, political means, social means, economical means and propagandistic means, and basically trying to take over the other person's mind. That is what the third world war is all about--the war of ideology."

Now, to slightly paraphrase what I posted in the "comments" section of that article, did you ever wonder what is BEHIND the extreme Patriarchal/Dominionist movement? It is not limited to the evangelical Protestant churches.

Consider this: traditionally, Calvinists and Catholics don’t see eye to eye (to say the least!!!), but there has been a parallel movement growing within the Roman Catholic Church since about 1980. These schismatic Catholics do not get along with the Catholic powers-that-be at all — they claim that the Pope is an impostor and that THEY are the only true Catholics left.

Both the Protestant and the Catholic patriarchalists tend to be quite involved with politics and finance. Some of the biggest names in this movement are also big names in finance, politics, the media, and publishing: think  Greg Ahmenson, Marion T. Horvat, Christopher Ferrara, Roberto Fiore, Paul Weyrich, Greg Bahnsen, Gary North, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, JimBob Duggar, David Chilton, Howard Phillips, D. James Kennedy, Marvin Olasky, etc.
In addition to their conservative stance on politics and economics, many seem to share rather similar ideas about the role of women, homeschooling, the Quiverfull movement, etc.

Now for the interesting thing: ideologically,  the Protestant patriarchalists and their Catholic counterparts are coming to have nearly as much in common with each other, as they do with either traditional Protestantism or orthodox Catholicism. Another interesting  thing is that ALL of these “patriarchs” claim to be restoring their respective religions to a purer form that was practiced in the past — with the Evangelicals it’s the 1800’s, with the Catholics it’s pre-Vatican II, etc; but in the past that they claim to be attempting to re-create, their respective denominations NEVER taught the kinds of things that these fellows are preaching now.  And, it appears that a similar movement is growing within Judaism.

It is this very fact, the fact that the same movement has  apparently infiltrated Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism, which leads me to think that something more than sectarian religion is at work here, something not particularly concerned religious belief or practice at all.

 I say this not to cast aspersions upon the beliefs of non-Evangelicals, but the simple fact that Catholicism is very different from Calvinism shows us that whatever is driving this movement is not so much concerned with denomiational religious doctrine as it is with working to achieve its goals through denominational channels.

The thing is organised like a corporation, or a hydra, and appears to be umbrella group which is trying to influence and absorb MANY denominations, and bring them round to a certain common way of thinking, under the auspices of evangelism.

It’s almost like radical patriarchy is a religious theme in itself, and the Christian, Jewish and even the Moslem versions of it are mere variations on that theme.

AND, the Unification Church  is dancing to this exact same tune, though to be fair, one must admit that the Unification Church has been hyper-patriarchal from the beginning.

Check this out:

by Cynthia Gee on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 01:50:13 PM EST
Deception is one method by which small ideological and political movements can exert inordinate power and build power quietly.

Communist revolutionaries used such methods, and you can be assured that the success of various communist revolutionary movements was well studied. Indeed, theorists of the new American right have explicitly acknowledged drawing on such models of successful societal and political takeover.

There may not be any demonstrable connection between the deception advocated in Christian Reconstructionist writings and that practiced by the Unification Church - deception is a common route to power.

Indeed, the IRD employs deceptive techniques, via the para-church "renewal groups" it coordinates and fundraises for, and in that case the thrust of the effort amounts, to an extent, to a Catholic based attack on American mainline Protestant denominations : the IRD board includes a considerable number of prominent conservative Catholics, and the agency does not similarly target the Catholic Church.

But, the Unification Church appears to be targeting the Catholic Church, in Africa, and seems to be using something similar to the IRD "para church" model by which the creation of a parallel, highly conservative church structure, serves as a springboard for tearing down older targeted church institutions.

In these latter two cases, it is likely that the methods have rough common origin in anticommunism and specifically in the lighter range of the spectrum ( nonviolent, that is ) of counterinsurgency techniques developed for combating socialist and progressive ideologies, or "Liberation Theology", within society.  

by Bruce Wilson on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 03:30:08 PM EST

It's true that there is no demonstrable connection between deception as it is advocated by Reconstructionism, and as it is advocated by Unificationism.
 However, I think that the current patriarchal/sexual meme that is spreading through both Protestantism and Catholicism ( stressing  homeschooling, ultra-modest dress for women, extreme subjugation and control of females inside and outside the church, courtship & arranged marriage vs. dating, Quiverfull, etc) may possibly have its roots in Unificationist propaganda. 
It is not rooted in the teachings of Jesus, or in the doctrines of any denomination of Christianity,  or even in the teachings of Rushdoony. 

Indeed, Rushdooney himself spoke against extreme patriarchy:
 "The man who acts as thought his wife were only created to obey him denies the “one flesh” aspect of marriage and assumes the role of a bachelor exercising sexual and self-serving demands over a resident woman. Instead of a marriage, there is simply cohabitation. It is the man’s will, not God’s public purpose concerning the family, which is then put into force."

by Cynthia Gee on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 06:37:56 PM EST
I can't gainsay your sense of this, but it's hard to demonstrate. So, where do you take your explanation ?

Remember, also,  that there are similar patriarchal currents growing in other religious traditions too, not just Christianity.  

by Bruce Wilson on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 11:21:24 PM EST

"Remember, also,  that there are similar patriarchal currents growing in other religious traditions too, not just Christianity. "

My point exactly. Whatever is driving this meme transcends denominational boundaries and the boundaries separating Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. In fact, if Judaism and Islam were willing to put down their weapons, and if Christians were willing to stop insisting that Jesus is the Messiah and the only way to salvation, the patriarchalists in all three groups could just join together into one big "happy" family.
This is all supposition, of course, and it sounds like crazy conspiricy theory, but isn't this the very  thing that Moon is trying to achieve?

by Cynthia Gee on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 11:39:20 PM EST

Oh, yes... you can tell that those slaves are happy because of the smile on their faces!

(Loud sound of a whip cracking and someone crying out in pain!)

You there!  Smile!  Smile or we'll carve a smile into your face!

Yeah, you can tell that they're happy!  Even the dying one is smiling!  (Strange, but it looks like a spasm of agony to me!)

(Irony off)

These people sound like the twerps we have in central Florida- I've actually HEARD things like that!

Funny how the people who talk like that also generally hate minorities!!!

And they especially hate anyone who has "mixed blood" who can pass as white - God help the "non-pure" if they gain power!

by ArchaeoBob on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 12:29:44 PM EST

I first became aware of this 5 years ago while I was driving a taxicab in central Florida, in the Deland-Deltona area. It's amazing the things two people will discuss while riding in the back of a taxi. And, I've been researching the movement since then.

by Cynthia Gee on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 01:13:48 PM EST

For those who are interested in further study of the Confederacy movement, I recommend my friend Edwars Sebesta's web site

He has more than one wants to know about the Confederacy movement's politics and theology.

by JerrySloan on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 07:13:01 PM EST

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