Rushdoony and Theocratic Libertarians on Slavery
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:54:25 AM EST
Today's Christian nationalists are working to recruit minorities with a revisionist history that demonizes liberals as the source of American racism.  Simultaneously these same Christian nationalists justify slavery and glorify the Confederacy in the context of promoting biblical law.

Following the fold is a list of quotes from Rushdoony's books and other Christian nationalist texts, provided as documentation to accompany Bruce Wilson's recent article on Glenn Beck's promotion of the worldview which teaches this treatment of the issue of slavery.  When Rousas J. Rushdoony died in 2001, Gary North wrote on, "Rushdoony's writings are the source of many of the core ideas of the New Christian Right, a voting bloc whose unforeseen arrival in American politics in 1980 caught the media by surprise."  Rushdoony provided the intellectual foundations for much of the current war on separation of church and state, as well as the framework for understanding today's theocratic libertarians' paradoxical view of slavery and their fixation with the holiness of the Confederate States of America.  

(Lew Rockwell is the founder of the "anti-state, pro-market" Ludwig von Mises Institute, based in Auburn, Alabama, which melds cultural conservatism with Austrian School economics. He served as Ron Paul's congressional chief of staff from 1978 to 1982.)

Rushdoony was the founder of Christian Reconstructionism and described as the father of the modern homeschooling movement.  He was forthright in his teaching that the U.S. should be subject to Old Testament law in the most literal sense and mapped this out in his 800-plus page 1973 book Institutes of Biblical Law.  He laid the groundwork for today's theocratic libertarianism, or the  belief that the ultimate freedom and liberty will be found through the elimination of most of federal government and the uniform imposition of biblical law.  In other words, replacing "statism" with Christian dominion would provide a utopian society in which federal regulatory systems and central government are not required.  Think of it as a marriage between Ayn Rand's anti-religious, laissez-faire gospel of the free market with theocratic law.  I described the timeline of the development of this ideology in my article Biblical Capitalism - The Sacralizing of Political and Economic Issues.  

Rushdoony's goal of imposition of biblical law on the U.S. did not neglect issues such as slavery, and he claimed that "some people are by nature slaves and will always be."  He argued that socialism tries to give the slave the benefits of freedom, and thus "destroys both the free and the enslaved."  

In his article, Bruce Wilson references Wallbuilders, founded by David Barton, and Stephen K. McDowell, co-founder of The Providence Foundation.  McDowell is co-author with Mark A. Beliles of America's Providential History, a popular Christian nationalist  history textbook which quotes Rushdoony and several other Reconstructionist including Gary North, Gary DeMar, and David Chilton. America's Providential History begins on page one with the following statement,

"The goal of America's Providential History is to equip Christians to be able to introduce Biblical principles into the public affairs of America, and every nation in the world, and in so doing bring Godly change throughout the world. We will be learning how to establish a Biblical form (and power) of government in America and we will see how our present governmental structures must be changed."

The Providence Foundation is now working in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Barton is author of The Myth of Separation, and is currently featured on "Glenn Beck's University". (See Chris Rodda's weekly articles debunking Barton's revisionist history.) Barton is on the board of directors of the Providence Foundation and McDowell is on the board of directors of Wallbuilders.  America's Providential History lists Wallbuilders as a resource and  Wallbuilders uses resource material from the Providence Foundation.   Despite McDowell's statement that he is not a Reconstructionist, America's Providential History quotes Rushdoony and other leading Reconstructionists and mirrors much of Rushdoony's ideology.  McDowell starred on the DVD God's Law and Society produced to spark a "neo-Puritan revival within the church" and also featuring Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead (Coalition on Revival), and Randall Terry.

Bruce Wilson references McDowell's article addressing the subject of slavery on Barton's Wallbuilders site since 2003, which repeatedly quotes Rushdoony.   Rushdoony taught that slavery was biblical as long as involuntary slavery was used solely as a punishment and voluntary slavery was by non-Christians only.  Rushdoony believed that slavery in its most evil context is slavery to statism, welfare systems, socialism, the Federal Reserve, and the "religion of humanity." His  1973 Institutes of Biblical Law describes his  belief that Christians must "subdue all things and all nations to Christ and His law-word."

In order to justify tearing down the wall of separation of church and state, Christian nationalist historians work to legitimize their interpretation of Old Testament law as legally binding to Christians.  This does not mean sourcing the bible as one of the foundations for today's secular law but using biblical law as a blueprint for governing, including guidelines for criminal and civil law. They are particularly concerned about economics, taxation, and property rights.  For instance Beliles and McDowell's text teaches that property tax and inheritance tax  are not biblical and that the only taxes biblically allowed are the head/poll tax and tithe.  They criticize the 16th Amendment "which gave us the progressive income tax, which is a non-biblical form of taxation that destroys personal property rights."  

The application of biblical law to modern America requires some serious logical contortions on the topic of slavery.  

Following are quotes about slavery, the Civil War, and civil rights, from Rushdoony and from Beliles and McDowell's text America's Providential History.  Also see McDowell's article on slavery at Wallbuilders.  

Rushdoony Quotes

"The law here is humane and also unsentimental.  It recognizes that some people are by nature slaves and will always be so.  It both requires that they be dealt with in a godly manner and also that the slave recognize his position and accept it with grace.  Socialism, on the contrary, tries to give the slave all the advantages of his security together with the benefits of freedom, and in the process, destroys bot the free and the enslaved.  The old principle of law, derived from this law, that the welfare recipient cannot exercise the suffrage and related rights of a free citizen, is still valid.
-Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 251

Christians cannot become slaves voluntarily; they are not to become the slaves of men (I Cor 7:23), nor "entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Gal. 5:2).  The road of pseudo-security, of pseudo-liberation in slavery, socialism, and welfarism, is forbidden to the Christian."
-Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, p.137

"The purpose of freedom is that man exercise dominion and subdue the earth under God.  A man who abuses his freedom to steal can be sold into slavery in order to work out his restitution (Ex. 22:3); if he cannot use his freedom for its true purpose, godly dominion, reconstruction, and restoration, he must then work towards restitution in his bondage.
-Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 485

In the following paragraphs, Rushdoony includes quotes from Benjamin M. Palmer, whom he describes as the greatest of Southern Presbyterian Calvinists:

"Indeed an important aspect of the Civil War was the Unitarian statist drive for an assault on its Calvinist enemy, the South...  The gathering conflict (South Carolina had moved as early as November 16, 1860) Palmer saw as forces of a false theology, of atheism and of the French Revolution, of the religion of humanity, in short, arrayed against a Christian people dedicated to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to Constitutional government.  These forces sought to frame "mischief by law."  The South had slavery, the North had its growing and fearful problems of capital versus labor.  Interference of one into the problems of the other could not be tolerated, because it would be destructive of the social order.  Moreover, `In the imperfect state of human society, it please God to allow evils which check others that are greater.'  The anti-Christian, Jacobin attack on slavery had to be fought and slavery defended, because the revolutionary reordering of society would be far worse than anything it sought to supplant.  "Human legislation" was seeking to supplant God and to set "bounds to what God can alone regulate."

"Last of all, in this great struggle, we defend the cause of God and religion.  The abolition spirit is undeniably atheistic.  The demon which erected its throne upon the guillotine in the days of Robespierre and Marat, which abolished the Sabbath and worshipped reason in the person a harlot, yet survives to work other horros, of which those of the French Revolution are but the type.  Among a people so generally religious as the American, a disguise must be worn' but it si the smae old threadbare distuise of the advocacy of human rights."  
-Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System, pp. 58 - 59
(The book credits the Howard Phillips family in its list of people who made the 2001 Ross House Books reprinting of the 1965 book possible.)

"The next great breech [against the Constitution] after the 11th Amendment came when Congress in 1862, by a legislative rather than a constitutional measure, abolished slavery in the territories.  Lincoln, in abolishing slavery in the rebellious states, recognized the unconstitutionality of his step, but undertook it nevertheless.  The 14th Amendment, illegally ratified, provided grounds for interference of the federal government in the jurisdiction of state governments.  These implications of the 14th Amendment were progressively utilized by the Supreme Court shortly after the beginning of the twentieth century, and there began the court's recession from its conception of America as a Christian country and its development of a thesis of the unitary state.  As the court embraced moral relativism as its religious principle, so it established national sovereignty and absolutism as a corollary to its denial of higher law."
-Rushdoony, This Independent Republic, (1964, reprinted 2001) p. 34

"During the Civil War, a Protestant thinker commented on the extent to which America had been subjected to anti-Christian pressures.  These forces had been especially strong because of the political ties with France in the early years of the country's independence... Now,however, a special effort was again under way, as during the first twenty-five years of national existence, to undermine the Christian faith.  This came from Unitarians, Universalists, and pantheistic, and other related groups.... The basic impetus was origin in Unitarian with European influences  being channeled through that movement and its associated forces.  It outgrew Unitarian boundaries and saw itself as "free thought."  Women's suffrage, feminism, the Negro vote as well as abolition, mesmerism, spiritualism, the peace movement, vegetarianism, socialism, repeal of usury laws, and other like movements were championed by these men... "
-Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System, p. 95

Note that in the following quotes the term "religion of humanity" is used by Rushdoony as a slur similar to the current use of "secular humanists" by the Religious Right.
"The Civil War was a triumph for the religion of humanity.  Most churches, whatever their stand on slavery, opposed abolitionism and its social radicalism.  As a result, in the North, these churches supported the war effort rather than demanding it.  The Unitarian,  Universalist, and transcendentalist champions of abolition were thus the real victors of the war."
-Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System, p. 89

"In the name of `civil rights,' some lots or homes can be sold to Negroes, and the courts increasingly further such action, which conforms to the religion of humanity, but a church can be denied the right of purchase in the name of planning."
-Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System, p. 68

"Minority groups, by means of the general ticket, hold balance of power in many states:  the labor vote, Negroes, Catholics, Zionist Jews, pensioners, and the like... Only by restoring localism, by amending the Constitution to require the coincidence of the electoral college  and its vote with the structure of Congress, can minority rule, with its attendant evils, hatred and injustice, be checked."
-Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System, p. 19

"Segregation or separation is thus a basic principle of Biblical law with respect to religion and morality.  Every attempt to destroy this principle is an efffort to reduce society to its lowest common denominator.  Toleration is the excuse under which this levelling is undertaken, but the concept of toleration conceals a radical intolerance.  In the name of toleration, the believer is asked to associate on a common level of total acceptance with the atheist, the pervert, the criminal, and the adherents of other religions as though no differences existed."
-Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 294

"In asking for these welfare subsidies, the Negroes are, it must be noted, asking for slavery, for welfarism is a form of slavery, and slavery is a form of welfarism.  Welfarism is used to enslave peoples, and to break down the independence of the middle class by confiscatory taxation... In the culture of humanism, excellence  must be destroyed to make way for the equality of degradation and failure.  
-Rushdoony, The Biblical Philosophy of History, p. 72

America's Providential History
 by Mark A. Beliles and Stephen K. McDowell, First edition 1989

"Why was the North losing the battles?  Because God induced the greatest generals to fight for the South."  
-p. 233

"Lee did much to promote revival in his army and saw every soldier as a soul to be saved."
-p. 233

The text describes the Confederate troops as an ongoing revival.

"During the winter of 1862 and 1863, while the Confederate army bivouacked along the Rappahannock, a religious revival swept the entire command. Jackson, [Gen. Stonewall Jackson] of course, enthusiastic, bent his energies toward facilitating the tide of Christian sentiment that bathed his army.  He also strove to better organize the chaplains of the army, arguing they should meet together and through God's blessing devise successful plans for spiritual conquests.

While the Confederate Army was enjoying revival (up to 150,000 troops were saved during the war), it also enjoyed phenomenal succes in almost every major battle.  This induced Abraham Lincoln to seek God for the reasons why.  He concluded that the nation's chief sins were slavery and pride."
-pp. 234 - 235

The authors recognizes the abolition of slavery and the preservation of the Union as two positive aspects of the war.  The negative aspects are described as follows:

"After the war an ungodly, radical Republican element gained control of Congress.  They wanted to centralize power and shape the nation according to their philosophy.  In order to do this, they had to remove the force of Calvinism in America, which was centered in the South at this time, and rid the South, which was opposed to centralization of its political power.  They used their post-war control of Congress to reconstruct the South, pass the Fourteenth Amendment, and in many ways accomplish their goals.  This explains the strong bias against the Republican Party in the South up to recent times."
-p. 243

Stephen K. McDowell on Wallbuilders Website

"Personal and civil liberty is the result of applying the truth of the Scriptures. As a person or nation more fully applies the principles of Christianity, there will be increasing freedom in every realm of life."

"The law of Moses was given to fallen man. Some of the ordinances deal with things not intended for the original creation order, such as slavery and divorce. These will be eliminated completely only when sin is eliminated from the earth."

This is just the tip of the iceberg, a sampling of an ideology that has been marketed to homeschoolers, private schools, and adult education programming for three decades.  The existence of this theocratic libertarian movement is often overlooked, since it differs in significantly from the stereotype of the Religious Right. For example, the movement tends to be anti-war and critical of the neo-conservatives of the Bush administration, while strongly committed to social conservatism. Consider the similarities between theocratic libertarianism and segments of the Tea Party movement, which much of the press has described as a competing, and very different entity than the Religious Right.

Despite the glorification of the Confederacy in the writings of Rushdoony and the text of Beliles and McDowell, the Christian nationalist movement is going to great lengths to appeal to African Americans. See this PFAW booklet on the issue, "David Barton: Propaganda Masquerading as History."  For a condensed version of the current talking points by Christian nationalists on why African Americans should flee from the oppressive and racist Democratic party, see an example from Peter Marshall Ministries website. Note that the "Southern strategy" realignment is conveniently left out of these histories.

Peter Marshall and David Barton were both on the advisory board for the Texas School Board of Education during the recent controversial changes to the history curriculum guidelines, an example of the gradual movement of Christian nationalist ideology into public school curriculum.  No crystal ball is required to know what is coming next. Take a look at America's Providential History and the writings of Rushdoony.

Gary North, Rushdoony's son-in-law and prolific Reconstructionist writer, describes how theocratic libertarianism can be implemented.

"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 constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God. Murder, abortion, and pornography will be illegal. God's law will be enforced. It will take time. A minority religion cannot do this. Theocracy must flow from the hearts of a majority of citizens, just as compulsory education came only after most people had their children in schools of some sort.

-Gary North in "The Intellectual Schizophrenia of the New Christian Right" from Symposium on the Failure of the American Baptist Culture, published by Geneva Divinity School and edited by James B. Jordan (1982)

For more information on how theocrats can claim to be libertarians, and information on Reconstructionism see the following:

The Libertarian Theocrats: The Long, Strange History of R.J. Rushdoony and Christian Reconstructionism,
by Michael J. McVicar, The Public Eye

Frederick Clarkson’s four-part series on Reconstructionism in The Public Eye including Part Three, “No Longer Without Sheep.”

The Christian Right, Dominionism, and Theocracy,
by Chip Berlet, The Public Eye

Bruce Wilson on the U.S. Taxpayers Party/Constitution Party's relationship with Reconstructionism at Talk to Action.

Rand Paul and the Influence of Christian Reconstructionism, by Julie Ingersoll, Religion Dispatches

As a social Libertarian, I can tell you that there's no such thing as "theocratic libertarian". The two concepts are mutually exclusive and completely contradictory. Is this what the Christian Nationalists are calling themelves now?

by Frank Frey on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:08:47 PM EST
I agree.  A theocrat should not be considered a Libertarian.  But many of the "libertarians" out there are teaching this type of theocratic worldview.  And for many it makes logical sense.  You eradicate the federal government, regulatory systems, etc., but you control society with biblical law.

The term some theocratic libertarians are using to describe their worldview is "biblical capitalism." See Gary North's "10,000 pages on why the bible mandates a free market" where he states, "When Christianity adheres to the judicial specifics of the Bible, it produces free market capitalism."  This is a theocratic justification for unregulated markets, in contrast with Libertarian or Ayn Randian philosophy.  The theocratic justification then must also be applied to social issues.

Ron Paul is one of the more theocratic-minded politicians in America despite his libertarian reputation and many of his supporters were shocked, absolutely shocked, to find out that he does not believe in evolution and with his actual voting record.  (Both Lew Rockwell and Gary North have worked for Ron Paul.)  

I have had many people, particularly young people, tell me that they are Libertarian and strongly object to the Religious Right on social issues, only to minutes later start spouting the talking points of theocratic libertarians.  Yes, it is a totally different creature, but I would argue, it has consumed much of what is advertised as libertarian in this country.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:20:04 PM EST

Frank, there is a good article on this topic in a previous issue of The Public Eye at
This author of the article is correct that the core of movement thinkers is quite small, but the historical narratives taught by Rushdoony and the movement have spread throughout much of the Religious Right.  Textbooks are filled with Rushdoony-style narratives of the history of America.

Fred Clarkson wrote a great series on Reconstructionism for The Public Eye in the mid-1990s. The link below is to Part Three, "No Longer Without Sheep," which refers to the growth of Reconstructionist-style dominionist theology in the Pentecostal/Charismatic sector.  The growth of charismatic dominionism has been explosive in the 15 years since this article was published.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:53:06 PM EST

"Few things are more commonly misunderstood than the nature and meaning of theocracy. It is commonly assumed to be a dictatorial rule by self-appointed men who claim to rule for God. In reality, theocracy in Biblical law is the closest thing to a radical libertarianism that can be had." - from The Meaning of Theocracy

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 06:39:01 PM EST
Where they want ultimate freedom for business to do anything they want. That includes gov't bail outs and employing slaves to do their work to get the most out of them. And to gain the lion's share of the rewards. Since it isn't about saving money its about short changing their workers to take more for themselves as a right of theirs. A divine right in fact. Prosperity gospel among other psychological mechanisms that support their mind set as being superior because their Aryan-Nordic God says so. Your economic and social position is because you are blessed. The more money and power you have the more blessed you are. "Social darwinism" at work. Eugenics too if they can slip it in under another name and swathed in mystic biology.

by Nightgaunt on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 07:05:24 PM EST

Frank, I totally agree with you. I was shocked to even see the headline of this article.  This is the danger Glenn Beck, for example, is posing because he's calling himself a libertarian and is clearly, clearly not one.  He's totally right winged and is "restoring history" on his show daily! I'm so very upset by this whole deal.  I joined another website with a message board and people absolutely hated me because I said I was a libertarian thinker.  Someone on that message board actually asked me if I was the "kind" of libertarian who thought gays were ruining America! I'm shocked and appalled at the reputation libs are getting these days.  What can we do about this?

by LisaH on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 04:41:27 PM EST
I hear you. Yes, it is rough. What I use is education. Let people know what it is that we, as Libertarians, stand for. Let them know that there is a big difference between Social Libertarianism, for example, and the statist, authoritarianism that Glenn Beck promotes. One of the major problems that we face is the fact that the TheoCons have usurped a lot of the names and organizations and have completely subverted and perverted them. I used to belong to the American Constitutional Party back in the early 70's. I left it for a variety of reasons not the least of which was the relentless tide of evangelical christians that bought, schemed, and did whatever else they could to put themselves in positions of power. This is just one example.
I would also suggest using the resources on this site as a guide. The articles that Rachel references in this post are an excellent guide. You may also wish to check out the Center 4 A Stateless Society. Although they tend to be Anarchist oriented there is plenty of good thought provoking material to be found there.
Above all else, don't give up hope.

by Frank Frey on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 06:23:58 PM EST

Lisa and Frank, if you have not read it, there was an interesting article in Reason back in 1998 titled "Invitation to a Stoning" on the foothold that Reconstructionists were gaining in libertarian causes. One example was a conference for the Alliance of Separation of School and State which featured both libertarians and very hardcore theocrats including Rushdoony, Samuel Blumenfeld, and Howard Phillips.

Be aware that the word "statist" and many other terms including liberty and freedom have been redefined by Reconstructionist writers.  They define themselves as the anti-statists despite their goal of imposing biblical law, which they claim will provide the ultimate liberty.  

by Rachel Tabachnick on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 06:42:01 PM EST

Where one of the "aunts" in their education of the handmaid's to the elites are told how they have been given "freedom from," which is better than the overrated "freedom of" which they had before the Second Reformation that over threw our former gov't to replace it with a corporate theocratic nation-state some time in the first two decades of the 21st century.

by Nightgaunt on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 07:11:11 PM EST

++++++++-+--+--+--++++++ #Xian #Bible supports & promotes slavery going so far as to give advice on how slaves should be treated. Bible: Slave Owners Manual & more!!

by sovereignjohn on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:22:19 PM EST

Both seek to impose slavery and harsh rules on its citizens based on its holy text/ Both are anti-Semitic, and will kill all infidels/ Both have been active in multinational politics-Rios-Montt established a bloody regime, also the Uganda anti-gay efforts/ both are subversive movements in the US, seeking to overthrow the government/

by zowie on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 06:27:11 PM EST

There are various types of Xianity and various types of libertarianism.

I don't think it's accurate to apply no-true-scotsman types of fallacies to define who is and who is not a "libertarian". Gary North has been a regular for the past decade. His writings have influenced a lot of libertarians.

The overtures towards The Blacks<sup>TM</sup> doesn't just happen on the libbercon right, the neocon/mainstream conservative xian right, especially the neo-pentecostals and charismatics, have been doing the same thing for at least a generation. They've been doing this since at least Ben Kinchlow on the 700 Club, and Frederick KC Price and EV Hill on TBN.

The latest ploy is twofold: get some homophobic Black pastors to claim gay rights isn't civil rights, and use people like Alveda King to claim MLK was a Republican.

They will also use slavery to try and get Blacks to vote Republican, imagery like "the democrat plantation". A lot of TBN programming is now from Black churches.

They need Black people desperately on a symbolic level, to deflect any criticism of their views of race, and also to be the mouthpieces for the extremes of their social agenda. It's not new. It's also not just whites manipulating Blacks, either...with Christianity comes a long strain of built-in reactionary social views regardless of the community where it takes root, or was forced upon the believers.

by ohcrapihaveacrushonsarahpalin on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 12:50:48 AM EST
"claim gay rights isn't civil rights"

I've heard that one stated openly several times, and used to believe it until after I met GLBT people who disproved the claims made about them.  (No, they are not all hedonistic sex addicts who will couple with anything that moves!  In fact, most of my GLB friends are in permanent committed relationships!)

That sort of thinking is not focused just on African Americans; they push that stuff on all minorities.  I even heard it at a couple of powwows.

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 02:25:52 PM EST

That sort of thinking is not focused just on African Americans; they push that stuff on all minorities. I even heard it at a couple of powwows.

Yeah, it comes built in to Christianity. The challenge nonwhite queers face is reminding those white gays who feel communities of color are somehow more homophobic than their own is reminding them that Black, Indian/NA, Latino etc homophobes are no more homophobic than any other group of homophobes.

As far as other minorities, though, no group matches the symbolic importance of having a prominent Black person bestow the blessing of what civil rights is and is not. That sort of thing leads to demagoguery among these opportunist pastors trying to define gays out of civil rights. I wish it was different, but just as we have whites-first bigotry to thank for the need for the civil rights movement at all, we can't get around this symbolic element in the larger culture.

by ohcrapihaveacrushonsarahpalin on Mon Jul 19, 2010 at 06:51:08 AM EST

If one's intent is to put some institution other than the elected government in sovereign power over people, then first the elected government must be destroyed. Now we can pretend that nothing will take its place but a vacuum called liberty, or we can recognize that political power springs forth from the relationships between people and that any institution that has the ability to manipulate those relationships has power. Everyone on the Right masturbates to the song of "the good old days before Big Government." Every damn faction selectively talks about returning some aspect of the good ol' days, and between them they cover the entirety of our past. What was that past for most humans alive after 3000 BC? Agrarian peonage based on polarization of wealth via debt to the big landlords, supposedly mitigated by priests who often were big landlords themselves, tyrannized by tribal custom manipulated by the landlords, and enforced by a handful of mercenaries working for the landlords. An entirely private system, which then sprouted a government of the landlords, by the landlords, and for the landlords. Seemingly "natural" because the tyranny of tribal custom is enforced by one's own parents. Cheap to run for all these reasons and thus near-zero in taxes for the rich. Is feudal peonage libertarian, theocratic, or is it simply the normal state of a private property system? All other alternative lifestyles were brutally crushed by the armies of agrarian societies long ago, or represent the recent, unstable and fleeting development of industrial democracy, perhaps as short-lived a fluke as Athens or Venice. There is no guarantee that barons, priests and kings will not gang up again to re-impose the natural political monopoly of wealth.

by super390 on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 06:06:06 PM EST
God's Law doesn't have to be "imposed." Everyone is under It, commanded to obey It. You either do, and are blessed; or don't and are cursed, as we are today in America -- and we (mostly what passes for "the church") deserve this curse (Psalm9:17.)

John Lofton, Editor,
Communications Director, Institute on the Constitution
Host, "TheAmericanView" radio show
Recovering Republican

by TruthTeller on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 08:55:43 PM EST

So they impose it themselves saying they are doing "god's will" which is the usual way they work. Now as for slavery it is still in the Bible and that it would even continue to exist in the Heavenly Kingdom. Some of us don't want that. Unfortunately our enemies are very focussed on it and are working hard to get their theocracy here. One that will be very libertarian for business to operate while the real yokes will be on the people who aren't elite oligarchs in their society they wish to create. One that will have a considerable number of the population purged as being enemies of their church-corporation-state they want so much.

by Nightgaunt on Mon Apr 11, 2011 at 07:16:27 PM EST

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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 (64 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 (161 comments)
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 (176 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 (70 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 (80 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 (218 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-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (253 comments)
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 (107 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 (211 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 (165 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 (163 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 (169 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 (156 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 (130 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 (330 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 (148 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 (90 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 (214 comments)

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