Two Neo-Confederate Leaders Join Republican & Democratic Parties to Run For Office
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:35:02 PM EST
This is crossposted from the Eyes Right blog at Political Research Associates.  Readers will also want to see the article by Adele Stan at RH Reality Check which highlighted the views of Pastor David Whitney regarding the "justifiable homicide" of abortion providers. -- FC

There was a quietly dramatic moment on February 24th in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Two former leaders of the theocratic Constitution Party (CP) declared their intention to run in the June 24th primary election--as a Democrat and a Republican. The pair are running, respectively, for seats on the Democratic and Republican Party county central committees, as well as for the Anne Arundel County Council. (The county is part of the greater Washington, DC and Baltimore metropolitan area.)

While changing political parties is not an uncommon thing in today's political world, what makes the actions of these men extraordinary and of national significance is who they are, their obvious coordination, and their personal histories and political vision.

Michael Peroutka, the newly-minted Republican, was the 2004 presidential candidate of the Constitution Party. He is an attorney and runs a business with his minister and fellow party-switcher, Pastor David Whitney. They produce tapes and seminars on Christian Nationalist interpretations of the U.S. Constitution via the Institute on the Constitution, an "educational outreach" of the law firm of Peroutka & Peroutka. Whitney, who has now joined the Democratic Party, ran on the Constitution Party's ticket for the Maryland State Assembly against Democratic Speaker Michael E. Busch in 2006.

The two-man team has set forth on a new religious and political mission, but it is not yet clear what it is. But while we wait for the them to declare their intentions, their theocratic and revolutionary backgrounds may indicate what they have in mind.

Proudly Theocratic

Pastor Whitney has led Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Pasadena, Maryland for more than a decade. His sermons are packed with ideas that can be best described as theocratic and revolutionary. On July 4, 2010, after addressing a Tea Party rally, he declared that we have "the God-given right to secede." Uncoincidentally, he and Peroutka are both members of the neo-confederate League of the South. Whitney is active and serves as Chaplain of the Maryland chapter. [see audio clip below]

Peroutka, who has been a regular speaker at League of the South national conferences for years, was elected to their board of directors in 2013, and pledged "resources" to the group. The League's website currently features photos of billboards in Florida and Georgia simply reading, "SECEDE." The billboards are part of a new interstate campaign promoting Southern Nationalist secession. (The League has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

Although the League says it does not support violence, in the past year Whitney has said that church members should own but not register guns; that citizen militias are a bulwark against governmental tyranny; that secession of the states from the union is valid; that vigilante violence is justified in response to legal abortion; and that the only real law, is God's Law. [see audio clip below]

Whitney is fiercely anti-LGBTQ, stating that he has defended "God's Holy institution of marriage by testifying before the State Legislature." He has also justified the murder of abortion providers, declaring in a 2013 sermon, "...we need to understand that there is such a thing as Biblically justifiable homicide."  [see audio clip below]

The first proponent of the notion that killing abortion providers constituted justifiable homicide, was Rev. Paul Hill who in 1994, acted on his belief and murdered an abortion provider and his escort. The Florida courts didn't buy Hill's theory justifying vigilante violence against legal abortion, and sent him to the electric chair for his crimes.

Whitney holds a view similar to Hill's. In a sermon on May 5th 2013 Whitney declared: "When you talk to people about God's Law being restored in America, they say, `Awww, you're some ayatollah. Awww, you want a theocracy'," he complained, explaining that, "Well yes, I want obedience to God's Law because that is where liberty comes from. Liberty comes from God's Law. Tyranny comes when God's law is rejected by a society as it has been rejected in our day. Indeed, any law made that contradicts God's Law, what is it? It's not law at all. You could call it unlaw or you could call it, as our founders did, pretended law. But it is not law if it violates God's Law." [see audio clip below]

When Whitney says he favors theocracy, he also means (as he wrote in February 2014) that we should "restrict citizenship" to Christians of the right sort: Christians who, whether serving as jurors, government officials or "in the Militia" operate according to "God's Law."

Whitney has taken these views so far that he is now part of some national networks of like-minded individuals where such views are unexceptional. For example, Whitney is a member of a national network called the Black Regiment of pastors, which declines to register their churches with the IRS for purposes of federal tax exemption, and his church is not registered as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. (The Black Regiment is one of several groups that derive their name from Revolutionary War-era pastors who were politically engaged, supported the revolution, and wore the black robes which were the clerical fashion of the day.)

The anti-government views of some of the several dozen members of the Black Regiment go far beyond the relatively minor matter of federal tax-exemption. For example, two Southern Baptist ministers have gone so far as to threaten the life of President Obama--staying just barely on the legal side of the law. Rev. Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona in 2009 repeatedly called on God to smite his enemy, President Obama, who Anderson believes violates God's Law by supporting reproductive autonomy and LGBTQ civil rights. (Anderson has also been active in the Constitution Party.) Similarly, Rev. Wiley Drake of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Vista, California, has also engaged in imprecatory prayer--a prayer in which God is asked to strike down his enemies, including Rev. Barry Lynn and other leaders of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, as well as abortion provider Dr. George Tiller (who was murdered while ushering in church), and President Obama.

The organizer of the above mentioned Black Regiment faction is Rev. Chuck Baldwin, the 2008 Constitution Party presidential candidate. (Baldwin was also Peroutka's 2004 vice presidential running mate.) Baldwin leads a second, overlapping group called Second Amendment Pastors (of which Whitney is also member) that opposes registering firearms. Baldwin believes revolution is preferable to gun control. "Firearms-especially semi-automatic rifles-in the hands of millions of American citizens," he wrote, "is truly the only thing that stands between freedom and tyranny for the people of the United States."

That's the Ticket

Peroutka's 2004 failed presidential campaign was well-known for touting conspiratorial claims. Many of which can still be seen on The American View website. One of their campaign pledges was as follows:

    "It is clear that both major parties are committed to the agenda of the new world order and seek to enforce economic, military and social policies that are antithetical to the interests of the people of America. Michael Peroutka and the Constitution party will fight to defend America against its foreign and domestic enemies in order to return to a Republic of Sovereign States based on Biblical principles."

Peroutka has not indicated whether his views of the GOP changed when he switched his registration to run for office as a Republican.

Likewise, Whitney has apparently not displayed any public transformation of his beliefs that suggest they are now more in keeping with those of the Democratic Party. In fact, as recently as October 13, 2013, Whitney gave a sermon where he said, "God's word is wise in how to structure a human civil government. Because if a human civil government allows a tyrant to control an army, you are going to lose your freedom. It's only when you, the people, are armed in a militia structure that you can prevent that kind of tyranny from overwhelming the country."

This is more than mere patriotic vigilance against real (or imagined) excesses of government, Whitney is suggesting something more revolutionary. In his Independence Day 2010 sermon, for example, he declared that when government does not conform to God's Law, "the people have a right to secede." He said that many people, "are recognizing that the wicked regime in Washington, DC [apparently referring to the Obama Administration], is not likely to lay aside its despicable and evil tyranny...". He concluded that we may eventually come to the "same difficult decision which our forebears reached on that hot July day in Philadelphia." He has not indicated whether he believes a citizen militia should be raised against the leader of his newly-adopted Democratic Party.

It would be tempting to dismiss the electoral prospects of Peroutka and Whitney as dim in light of their controversial views, and history of denunciation of the alleged complicity in "great evil" by the Democratic and Republican parties. But in a (likely) low-turnout primary for local offices in a non-presidential election year, anything is possible. Indeed, Peroutka's personal wealth as a successful debt collection attorney, and both candidates' experience in running campaigns, could make for a surprising 2014 primary season in Maryland.




Display:

WWW Talk To Action


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 (18 comments)
Religious Freedom is Not Just for Christian Conservatives
Religious freedom is one of the central issues of our time. Arguably, it a central issue in any time, and every time, at least......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Dallas and its Historic Connection to the Religious Right
There has been a recent rash of demonstrations outside of the famous First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.  The current pastor appears to be......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Fr. Frank Pavone Claims the 2016 Coughie Award!
Yes, folks it's time for the presentation of the annual Coughlin Award. As always, the competition was fierce. But this year, the gold......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)
Christmas Broadcasting Traditions
It is time to once again note the preposterous-but-malevolent claims that there is a War on Christmas. The annual revival of this repulsive anti-Semitic......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Steve Bannon: Alt-Right Anti-Catholic or Political Opportunist?
In March 2016 Trump campaign strategist and CEO Steve Bannon made a comment that could be construed as being blatantly anti-Catholic. He accused the......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
How The Election of Trump Made My Life Easier
I might be one of a select few who didn't vote for Donald but would have to say Trump's election made my life easier...I......
By wilkyjr (10 comments)
The Bakke Plot To "Infiltrate" Secular Institutions
Back in 2012-2014 I did a lot of writing and research on The Gathering, the yearly meeting of elite evangelical right philanthropists who collectively......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
The Term "Alt-Right" is All Right
There is a misguided effort underway to not use the term "alt-right."  The effort, currently led by the Center for American Progress, claims that......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Getting the Low Down on Dominionism
A refresher on dominionism will probably come in handy over the next little while. -- FC I am pleased to report that the task......
By Frederick Clarkson (10 comments)
The New Kochs: Anthology of DeVos Support, Funding of School Privatization and Religious Right
This post from 2-14 will be a helpful resource in the days ahead. -- FC Mother Jones' January/February issue includes an article titled "Meet......
By Rachel Tabachnick (1 comment)
Strategy for Privatizing Public Schools Spelled out by Dick DeVos in 2002 Heritage Foundation Speech
This post about the long term strategy for privatizing the public schools takes on fresh importance in light of the nomination of Betsy DeVos......
By Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
Did God Engineer Trump's Win?
Political analysts have postulated a number of theories to explain the victory of Donald J. Trump in the presidential election: Hillary Clinton failed to......
By Rob Boston (5 comments)
Some thoughts for a Sunday post-election reflection:
Emancipation, Reconstruction, Redemption, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow The struggles of the Civil Rights Movement took us two steps forward Now the "Second......
By Chip Berlet (0 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 (1 comment)
"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 (6 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 (2 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 (1 comment)
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 (0 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 (5 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 (1 comment)
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 (1 comment)
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)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (11 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (1 comment)

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.