Constitution Party Candidate For CO Governor Tom Tancredo Tied With Democratic Rival
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 08:46:24 AM EST
As the Christian Science Monitor asks, in an October 27 story, Is Tom Tancredo the next governor of Colorado?. Some polls show Tancredo behind in the race, but the Christian Science Monitor says Tancredo is gaining momentum. At this point, depending on voter turnout, the election could swing either way - towards secular democracy or towards 'Biblical law.'

In a dead heat with Democratic Party candidate Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Tom Tancredo is the official candidate of the Constitution Party whose platform claims "The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law" and declares, "The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations."

I've been so busy caught up this election cycle in covering a few specific issues, such as the Hawaii governor's race, that I've neglected Tancredo and the Constitution Party. Better late than never:

The Constitution Party was founded in the early 1990s by followers of the late theologian R.J. Rushdoony, who advocated the imposition of Christian government based on his own interpretation of "Biblical law." A virulently racist Holocaust-denier, Rushdoony's vision of "Biblical law" included "Biblical" slavery and the stoning, beheading, or burning at the stake, as forms of capital punishment, of adulterers, homosexuals, and women who have intercourse before marriage. Rushdoony also believed that the Sun rotates around the Earth.

Though mainstream media coverage of this aspect has been sparse and shallow, a few alternative press writers such as Alternet's Adele Stan have covered Tom Tancredo's candidacy in the context of the Constitution Party's roots in Rushdoony's movement, called Christian Reconstructionism. As Stan writes,

To make his third-party bid, Tancredo signed on with the American Constitution Party, which despite its secular-sounding name, is a party based upon the principles of Christian Reconstructionism, whose adherents seek to have biblical law -- including the execution of LGBT people and the stoning of adulterers -- instituted as the law of the land. (Both Rand Paul and Sharron Angle have links to the Constitution Party, as we reported here.)...

Even as he surges on the Constitution Party ballot, Tancredo now seems to be seeking some distance from the party's extremist platform, which calls for an end to public education and all public "welfare" programs -- including Medicare and Social Security -- and the banning of abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. The platform's wording of its plank on HIV/AIDS prevention suggests that gay sex is "perverted."

"My joining the American Constitution Party this year is a marriage of convenience not of love," Tancredo told the Colorado Independent today. "This is not some [philosophical] metamorphosis. I needed to get on the ballot and the [American Constitution Party] needed to draw votes."

Tancredo's disavowal notwithstanding, he did not seem sufficiently opposed to the Constitution Party's goal of "returning" American jurisprudence to its alleged "Biblical foundations" to voice disagreement with the Constitution Party platform.

Tom Tancredo is one of a gaggle of politicians running in the 2010 election who have ties to the Constitution Party. In May of this year I noted Kentucky GOP candidate for US Senate Rand Paul's keynote address at the Minnesota Constitution Party's 2009 yearly convention, and Sharron Angle has perhaps even more pronounced ties to the Constitution Party as a leader in the party's Arizona affiliate, the American Independent Party.

As I explained in my June 2010 story (linked above),

What's Christian Reconstructionism ? Well it's a theocratic intellectual and political movement founded by the late Armenian theologian R.J. Rushdoony, and it burst onto the American political scene in 1992 with the founding of the U.S. Taxpayers Party, later renamed the Constitution Party. Founder of the two parties Howard Phillips was a member of Rushdoony's inner circle and called the theologian "my wise counseler" according to journalist Frederick Clarkson, a noted authority on Christian Reconstructionism.

R.J. Rushdoony gave a keynote address at the U.S. Taxpayers Party founding convention in 1992 and Rushdoony also spoke at the USTP presidential nominating convention in 1996, which selected Howard Phillips as the USTP nominee that year.

In April of 1996 Phillips gave a speech at San Jose, CA Christian Reconstructionist party thrown for R.J. Rushdoony's 80th birthday at which Phillips stated, "This country has a very, very special role to play in building God's Kingdom and restoring Christendom, in giving fulfillment to the postmillennial conclusions which have been reached by those who have been privileged to be part of the Chalcedon ministry."

In a 1995 interview published in the Chalcedon Report, put out by the flagship institution of the Christian Reconstructionist movement, the Chalcedon Foundation (founded by R.J. Rushdoony), Howard Phillips explained, "Our goal must be not merely to capture a party, or even a platform, but to install our policies in government."

In a 1989 fund raising letter for the Chalcedon Foundation Howard Phillips wrote, "Each of us who has read the Institutes of Biblical Law... has been uniquely privileged. God has blessed us with the opportunity for exposure to the insights and teachings of a great theologian and servant... I have no doubt that he will be ever after regarded as one of the most significant figures in the history of Christian thought and advocacy."

U.S. Republican Senator Jim DeMint seem to consider Christian Reconstructionists as a potentially valuable source of financial support for Sharron Angle's political campaign, reports Julie Ingersoll for Religion Dispatches. DeMint has purchased mailing lists from the Reconstructionism-linked group American Vision to power a fund-raising effort for Angle (a correction: Initially I wrote that American Vision donated its mailing lists to DeMint's effort. That was incorrect - the lists were purchased.

R.J. Rushdoony wanted to base American law and government on Old Testament scripture. He advocated stoning to death adulterers, women who have intercourse before marriage, active homosexuals, and people who strike or curse at their parents (the full list of miscreants who according to Rushdoony should be bashed to death with rocks is much longer than this.) Why rocks ? As Rushdoony's son-in-law Gary North, another leading Christian Reconstructionist, put it, "There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost." North has described executions-by-stoning as "community projects."

R.J. Rushdoony had a number of other notable views - he was a geocentrist who thought the Sun orbited the Earth, and he was a Holocaust revisionist who claimed in his master work The Institutes of Biblical Law that less than one million Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War Two and that most of those died from cold rather than execution.

Anti-Semitic tendencies in Christian Reconstructionism appear have survived Rushdoony. In 2007 on the Chalcedon Foundation web site, the Chalcedon Foundation's Communications Director Chris Ortiz wrote a post concerning anti-Semitism that contained a favorable reference to Michael Hoffman, who Syracuse University political scientist Michael Barkun has referred to, in his 2006 book A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America, as a "Holocaust denier and proponent of multiple conspiracy theories."

According to Rushdoony, the institution of pre-Civil War slavery in America represented a step up for Africans kidnapped, shipped to America, and forced to work on cotton plantations - "The move from Africa to America was a vast increase of freedom for the Negro, materially and spiritually as well as personally." But slavery was a net negative for the South according to Rushdoony, who wrote, "Only a minority of the slaves ever worked," thus forcing slave owners to hire hard-working whites to pick up the slack, claimed the Reconstructionist titan.

As Rushdoony wrote in Politics of Guilt and Pity (Fairfax, VA: Thoburn Press, [1970] 1978),

the white man is being systematically indoctrinated into believing that he is guilty of enslaving and abusing the Negro. Granted that some Negroes were mistreated as slaves, the fact still remains that nowhere in all history or in the world today has the Negro been better off. The life expectancy of the Negro increased when he was transported to America. He was not taken from freedom into slavery, but from a vicious slavery to degenerate chiefs to a generally benevolent slavery in the United States. There is not the slightest evidence that any American Negro had ever lived in a "free society" in Africa; even the idea did not exist in Africa. The move from Africa to America was a vast increase of freedom for the Negro...

Writings of the late R.J. Rushdoony, especially his monumental Institutes of Biblical Law - which sought to establish how Old Testament scripture could be implemented in American jurisprudence, have heavily influenced the evolving Christian right, and Rushdoony's works have found a place at major evangelical right institutions such as the late Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and Pat Robertson's Regent University.

Sharron Angle's membership in the U.S. Taxpayers Party/Constitution Party affiliated Independent American Party of Nevada, raises serious questions about her candidacy given the viciously eliminationist nature of R.J. Rushdoony's writing.

On page 574 of Rushdoony's Institutes of Biblical Law he described Jesus and an "executioner" of non-believers, writing,

The significance of Jesus Christ as "the faithful and true witness" is that He not only witnesses against those who are at war against God, but He also executes them.

.... Jesus Christ as the witness is therefore the Lord and Judge over history.  He gives witness concerning men and nations, passes sentence against them, and them proceeds to their judgment or execution.

... The cross therefore requires judgment.  The false witness concerning Jesus Christ, to which all unbelievers, all apostate churchmen, and all nations and institutions which deny His sovereignty and His law-word, with one accord assent, that law requires their death (Deut. 19:16-21).


As the Constitution Party platform currently states, "The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States... This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ... The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations... The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law"

Should we consider Tom Tancredo fully in line with the Constitution Party's agenda? Perhaps not, but he seems happy enough with the co-branding implied by his running on the Party's ticket.

Is Colorado slowly slouching towards Margaret Atwood's Republic of Gilead? And if so, what responsibility does mainstream media bear for failing to inform Colorado's voters about Tom Tancredo and the Constitution Party?

It's a sad day for American Democracy when stories such as this get neglected and, whether Tom Tancredo prevails against John Hickenlooper or not, there will be future consequences. The Overton Window has been shoved hard towards the mainstreaming of R.J. Rushdoony's political vision and, in this era of corporate-driven tabloid journalism it is hard to see mainstream media shoving it back with responsible, in depth journalism.

A few years ago, in More From The Biblical Stoning & Legalized Slavery Movement, I covered the wider dimensions of a 1998 story in Reason magazine that concerned a controversy over Christian Reconstructionism's more severe positions. As Walter Olsen wrote in the Reason article,

"For connoisseurs of surrealism on the American right, it's hard to beat an exchange that appeared about a decade ago in the Heritage Foundation magazine Policy Review. It started when two associates of the Rev. Jerry Falwell wrote an article which criticized Christian Reconstructionism, the influential movement led by theologian Rousas John (R.J.) Rushdoony, for advocating positions that even they as committed fundamentalists found "scary." Among Reconstructionism's highlights, the article cited support for laws "mandating the death penalty for homosexuals and drunkards." The Rev. Rushdoony fired off a letter to the editor complaining that the article had got his followers' views all wrong: They didn't intend to put drunkards to death.

Ah, yes, accuracy does count."

Twelve years down the road, here we are.    

 




Display:
The false witness concerning Jesus Christ, to which all unbelievers, all apostate churchmen, birkin bags


by mike12 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 06:19:50 AM EST

Your website is so cool. I'm impressed by the details that you have on this blog.pisos para gimnasio


by mike12 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:30:45 PM EST

The top of the site will act like a built-in landing page, but once a visitor goes below the fold, the focus will be on content. The sidebar will display.tapetes antifatiga


by mike12 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 05:36:38 PM EST

The Overton Window has been shoved hard towards the mainstreaming of R.J. Rushdoony's political vision and, in this era of corporate-driven tabloid journalism it is hard to see mainstream media shoving it back with responsible, in depth journalism.tapetes con logo


by chineseboy on Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 07:09:28 AM EST

Great post, Your article shows tells me you must have a lot of background in this topic. Can you direct me to other articles about this ? tapetes dieléctricos


by nilky698 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 04:51:20 AM EST

I've read anything like this before. So good to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject.toenail fungus


by mero on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 04:45:57 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (3 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (5 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (7 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (21 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (4 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (4 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (3 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (2 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (7 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (2 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (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.