Why a humanistic state spreads like cancer

The humanistic state constantly expands is power, because its goal, and the goal of its citizenry is to be as God, determining their own laws, lives, and morality (Genesis 3:5). Because it is not God, the humanistic state has a problem, never having enough power to play god as it hopes to do. As a result, by an ever expanding body of law, the humanistic state strives for the total power that is its dream.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (1999). The Institutes of Biblical Law, The Intent of the Law. Ross House Books, Vallecito p. 48

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Capital punishment and the image of God

In 1978, porn publisher Larry Flynt was shot by the serial killer Joseph Franklin. Flynt survived, but was paralysed from the waist down. Decades later, Franklin was executed for his serial killings, but not before Flynt said:

I do not want to… see him die…

As I see it, the sole motivating factor behind the death penalty is vengeance, not justice, and I firmly believe that a government that forbids killing among its citizens should not be in the business of killing people itself.

But that’s a warped and humanistic view of justice.

Here’s a better and transcendent view of justice:

The first line of defense for human life is religious. Different religions have differing ideas about human life, from a contempt for it to a misplaced aversion for it. The Biblical perspective is that man’s life has value, not because of man nor what he is, but because man’s image reflects God, and God protects His image bearer. We can take a life on God’s terms, not our own…

To prize life over justice is a view that in time can forfeit life together with justice.

Quote sources

  1. Flynt, L. cited in Anon. (2013). Larry Flynt: Don’t execute man who shot me. BBC News. Available http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-24579849. Last accessed 13th Sep 2015.
  2. Rushdoony, R.J. (1999). The Institutes of Biblical Law, Volume Three: The Intent of the Law. Ross House Books, Vallecito, pp. 70-71

Christian Reconstruction: taking back, not taking over

Let’s continue with a critical review of the rhetoric and reading comprehension emanating from the British Centre for Science Education:

Like all would-be dictators, [R.J.] Rushdoony had no respect for the law (that is, any law that stands in his way)—”The only true order is founded on Biblical Law. All law is religious in nature, and every non-Biblical law-order represents an anti-Christian religion.” (Institutes of Biblical Law, page 113).

He also made it clear that he expects that force will be necessary to impose such order, “Every law-order is in a state of war against the enemies of that order, and all law is a form of warfare. (Institutes of Biblical Law, page 93).

If that’s meant to be convincing, I’ll just say meh. I’d rather hear it from Mark Rushdoony:

Most critics of Christian reconstruction have misconstrued it as a takeover of the existing centralised state by a few Christian clerics—hence, the moniker of Christian theocrats as the “Christian Taliban”—but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Christian reconstruction is not a takeover of government, but a taking back of government by way of self-government in terms of God’s law, and this is best exemplified in what we refer to as the “quiet revolution” of Christian education.

Without violence, or protest, millions of Christian children are receiving a Christian education by way of Christian schools and homeschooling families. In this way, Christian families have taken back government from the state by the self-government of Christian education.

Quote sources

  1. British Centre for Science Education (2007). In extremis – Rousas Rushdoony and his connections. Available http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/RousasRushdoony. Last accessed 8th Aug 2015.
  2. Rushdoony, M. (2015). Unpublished letter to supporters, February 2015

R.J. Rushdoony’s intellectual and religious influence

Rushdoony and his tiny handful of acolytes saw their gradualist strategy begin to transform conservative Protestant thinking across the United States. Within a decade of the publication of The Institutes of Biblical Law [in 1973], the book was a familiar citation for law school faculty at Oral Roberts University, Pat Robertson’s CBN/ Regent University, and Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. This widespread awareness of Rushdoony’s ideas coincided with the explosion of religious broadcasting that was facilitated by cable and satellite television networks.

Quote source

McVicar, M.J. (2015). Christian Reconstruction: R.J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism [e-book]. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, location 4282.

What Christ now expects of us: (non-animal) sacrifice

The Cross is the end of the sacrificial system, but not of its meaning. If we isolate the Cross from the long history of sacrifices, we tend to stress only what Christ did for us, the rightly finished work. If we approach the atonement with the meaning of sacrifice in mind, we are enabled to recognize what Christ now expects of us.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (1999). The Institutes of Biblical Law, Volume 3: The Intent of the Law. Ross House Books, p. 9

Only a fool would use a word like ‘gynotician’

Urban Dictionary includes this definition for the term ‘gynotician’:

A politician who feels more qualified than women and their doctors to make women’s health care decisions. A combination of the words gynecologist and politician.

Republican governors such as Scott Walker and Rick Perry who impose draconian limitations on abortion clinics and attempt to limit access to HPV vaccinations, contraception and women’s health care in general by shutting down Planned Parenthood clinics even though they do not perform abortions. They, and people like them, are gynoticians.

But R.J. Rushdoony shows the foolishness of such an argument—rationally, not emotionally:

Significantly, when a group of young women invaded a New York state legislative hearing to break it up with their demand for total repeal of the anti-abortion law, they declared that “they were tired of listening to men debate something that was of primary concern to women. ‘What right do you men have to tell us whether we can or cannot have a child?’ shouted one of the women.”

The logic of this position is revealing: the women held that men cannot legislate with respect to childbirth because they do not experience it. The test of legislative validity in both the law and the law-makers is thus experience. By this logic, it can be held that good citizens cannot legislate with respect to murder, since the act of murder is outside their experience. Men who cannot, like women, bear children can legislate with respect to abortion because the principle of law is not experience but the law-word of God.

My two cents

Governor Rick Perry of Texas speaking at the R...
Governor Rick Perry of Texas speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Please attribute to Gage Skidmore if used elsewhere. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first quote is a more recent example of the emotional manipulation, irrationality, loaded terms, red herrings and downright fallacy of feminist political rhetoric that I’ve found on the internet.

In the context of abortion, it shows how the term “women’s health” carries more baggage than a jumbo jet.

I agree that the principle of law ought not to be the personal experiences (or non-experiences) of a politician; that’s a ridiculous way of determining right and wrong. Any logical person could push that to its logical conclusion and see where it ends up.

Yet, it won’t stop emotional people or fools from clinging to it.

Quote sources

  1. Urban Dictionary (2013). Urban Dictionary: gynotician. Available from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=gynotician. Last accessed 18 Aug 2013
  2. Rushdoony, R.J. (1973). The Institutes of Biblical Law. Volume I. Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company. pp. 267-268

God is the source of law, not the state

(quoting Ed Brayton)

They [Roy Moore and John Lofton] have stated over and over again that “God’s law” trumps the Constitution, by which they of course mean their interpretation of the Bible.

(quoting R.J. Rushdoony, emphasis in original)

God is the only true source of law; the state is an agency of law, one agency among many (church, school, family, etc.), and has a specified and limited area of law to administer under God. The Moloch state denies any such boundaries…

The Moloch state simply represents the supreme effort of man to command the future, to predestine the world, and to be as God.

My two cents

English: August 2003 rally in front of the Ala...
August 2003 rally in front of the Alabama state judicial building in support of Roy Moore. Taken from the Re-taking America website, copyrighted by Kelly McGinley at Re-Taking America, from whom permission has been received to license this material under the GNU Free Documentation License. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like the distinction which is drawn by Rushdoony. Brayton draws a distinction as well, but it’s philosophically and politically misplaced. Rushdoony’s distinction I hadn’t quite realised, but now it seems obvious.

As for Brayton’s appeal to “their interpretation of the Bible”, that’s a misleading half-truth, which reminds me of Rodney Clapp’s similar slip back in the late 80s. I’m unaware of any Constitution on earth that has never been subject to different interpretations by lawyers and judges. But that fact doesn’t mean that the opponents of Biblical law will do away with their national Constitution.

As a result, I can turn Brayton’s argument on its head by saying “they have stated over and over again that “the Constitution” trumps God’s law, by which they mean their interpretation of the Constitution.”

At the end of the day, God’s law precedes the state’s fiat law–ontologically as well as chronologically. The only possible issue with Rushdoony’s quote is in breaching the prohibition of mentioning or invoking the name of other gods (Exodus 23:13).  Then again, that might be permissible under Brayton’s own “interpretation of the Constitution”.

Quote sources

  1. Brayton, E. (2006). John Lofton Interviews Roy Moore. Available: http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2006/07/24/john-lofton-interviews-roy-moo/. Last accessed 3rd Mar 2013.
  2. Rushdoony, R.J. (1973). The Institutes of Biblical Law. Volume I. Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company. pp. 34-35