Thursday, December 3, 2009

Will Rick Warren Go to The Hanging (Killing Gays) Or Just Duck? (Again)

By Frank Schaeffer

Nothing illustrates the danger we face from our own Taliban better than the way American "Christians" are now tangled up with the homophobic—now potentially gay murdering – Ugandan Christian/political leadership.

The Ugandan Parliament is considering a bill that would impose the death penalty on gays. One American must be cheering from the grave. Here’s what the late R.J. Rushdoony, Reconstructionist theologian and founder of the modern movement of that name, wrote in a letter to gay rights activist Mel White: “God in His law requires the death penalty for homosexuals.”

Disclosure: Both Mel White and Rushdoony were friends of mine, back in the day I was a Religious Right leader and sidekick to my father – the late Francis Schaeffer – who is “credited” by many, including by Karen Armstrong and Max Blumenthal – with being a key father of the Religious Right… along with RJ Rushdoony. I quit the movement over its hate for the “other” and got out by the late 80s and started writing novels like Portofino, aimed at the heart of the movement through humor at fundamentalist’s expense.

Back in the day before Mel came out he was working with me on one of my father’s movie/book projects. We both left our far right “faith.” Mel acknowledged that he was gay and I said I’d had it with hate. These days I propose an anti-right progressive Christianity in my book PATIENCE WITH GOD: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism)

That said… The problem of American exceptionalism combined with a theocracy in which the “we” of evangelical faith finally destroy the “they” (everyone else) is growing. Who do you think Fox News rabid followers are? Who do you think calls Obama "Hitler" while using the tactics of fascism themeselves?

Rick Warren et al

Today Rick Warren under the guise of his benign smile, the C-Street religious gang and commune in Washington DC and Mike Huckabee, amongst many other American political and religious leaders, are carrying on my father's ideology of “taking back America” for Jesus, and forwarding the theocratic delusions and radical hate campaign of the late RJ Rushdoony.

Others with ties to violent groups are also striving to turn America into our version of a “Christian” Iran. Reconstructionism, otherwise known as Dominionist Christianity, and the Republican Party are one and the same thing these days.

Consider Erik Prince – founder of the nefarious Blackwater private “security” firm.

Prince is the son of Edgar Prince. His vast wealth funded Dominionist organizations including the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family. I was connected to both groups , speaking often for Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson gave away 150,000 copies of one of my right wing “books” (A Time For Anger) in which I called for revolution against the “Left” and the “liberals.”

Erik Prince grew up with powerful leaders in the Christian Right. Prince quit a White House internship with George H.W. Bush. He said Bush was too secular. As a converted Catholic Prince joined the Knights of Columbus. Today Prince sees himself as a Christian crusader, an armed one with a private army. Blackwater’s criminal torture of U.S. war prisoners has been documented so has employee intimidation, threats of violence. Prince sees his call to rid the world of Islam and make way for Christian hegemony.


Rushdoony who Prince, Huckabee and others follow said the Bible must replace civil laws and constitutions with the Old and New Testaments, including the revival of the death penalty for homosexuality, incest, adultery, losing virginity before marriage and apostasy. Rushdoony once told me: “Democracy is a heresy.”

These are core beliefs among several leading figures including Huckabee, Sarah Palin and the inner core of George W Bush’s far right "crusader" religious circle.

Others carried on where Rushdoony left off.

George Grant is one of the far right/thocratic mentors. He appeared with Rushdoony in the video, “God’s Law and Society.” Grant was the co-author for Huckabee’s 1998 book, Kids Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence. That was the book where Huckabee and Grant said homosexuality and pedophilia, sadomasochism and necrophilia were all “institutionally supported aberrations.”

George Grant wrote The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action. He called on a “holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ – to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.”

“...It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel."


Huckabee gave his friendship to Bill Gothard, who runs an outfit called the Institute In Basic Life Principles is also instructive. Gothard teaches that “character choices” result in societal “ills” : "homosexuality, divorce, contraception, crime."

Gothard runs “training institutes” that teach that families must be ruled by his Reconstructionist beliefs. Hundreds of thousands of American (mostly home schooled) children have been raised according to his ideas. He forbids dancing, dating, rock music and “wrong clothes.” Wives must submit to their husbands. Adults must submit to their fathers, and there must be no birth control.

Meanwhile over on C-Street…

The Family at C Street is allegedly backing proposed the anti-gay legislation in Uganda. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, and David Bahati, the Ugandan lawmaker, are both active members of the Family. The Family has poured millions of dollars into their “international outreach.”

Congressmen Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts, Senator John Ensign, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, and former Representative Chip Pickering of Mississippi, and, Senators Brownback and Inhofe are “Family” members amongst many others.

As Jeff Sharlet, author of the expose The Family, says the Ugandan bill's biggest supporter is a member of The Family. David Bahati, the lawmaker pushing for homosexuality crimes, "appears to be a core member of The Family. He works, he organizes their Ugandan National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which The Family has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda."

What unites all the Reconstructionists from Erik Prince to Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee?

The ideological link between the members of the Family on C-Street to the Ugandan fascists wanting to kill gays can be best summed up by looking at several quotes from RJ Rushdoony:

“The Bible is without reservation in its condemnation of homosexuality . . . If a man also lie with mankind . . . they shall be put to death. (Lev. 20:13) . . . This is certainly clear enough and there is not a single text in all of the New Testament to indicate that this penalty has been altered or removed. . . (pp 422-25). . . We find that St. Paul far from setting aside the law and its penalties appeals to the death penalty against homosexuals as an established and continuing fact.” (Rom 1:32) (p735) [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law]

“Democracy is the great love of the failures and cowards of life.” [R.J. Rushdoony, Thy Kingdom Come 1978]

“One faith, one law and one standard of justice did not mean democracy. The heresy of democracy has since then worked havoc in church and state . . . Christianity and democracy are inevitably enemies.” (p 100) [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law]

“The 'civil rights' revolutionary groups are a case in point. Their goal is not equality but power. The background of Negro culture is African and magic, and the purposes of magic are control and power. . . Voodoo or magic was the religion and life of American Negroes. Voodoo songs underlie jazz, and old voodoo, with its power goal, has been merely replaced with revolutionary voodoo, a modernized power drive." (p. 61) [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law]

“Biblical law permits voluntary slavery because it recognizes that some people are not able to maintain a position of independence . . . The law is humane and also unsentimental. It recognizes that some people are by nature slaves and will always be so.” (pp. 286, 251) [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law]

“All who are content with a humanistic law system and do not strive to replace it with Biblical law are guilty of idolatry. They have forsaken the covenant of their God, and they are asking us to serve other gods. They are thus idolaters, and are, in our generation, when our world is idolatrous and our states also, to be objects of missionary activity. They must be called out of their idolatry into the service of the living God. ….” [R.J. Rushdoony, Law and Society: Volume II of the Institutes of Biblical Law pp. 468, 316]

The goal is the developed Kingdom of God, the New Jerusalem, a world order under God's law.” [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law p. 357]

Killing homosexuals? Why doesn't Rick Warren condemn the anti-gay legislation in Uganda?

In a piece for The Daily Beast Max Blumenthal wrote that Ssempa, the head of the Makerere Community Church -- "a rapidly growing congregation" -- was "Warren's man in Uganda." Blumenthal pointed out that Ssempa "enjoys close ties to his country's First Lady, Janet Museveni, and [was] a favorite of the Bush White House."

During a "Meet the Press" appearance on November 29, Warren said: "I'm not pro-life, I'm whole life, which means I don't just want to protect that little baby girl before she's born; I want to make sure she gets an education, she's not raised in poverty, she gets her vaccinations," he said. "And so this is what I call the whole life platform, which, beyond just pro-life of protecting that unborn child, goes on."

When asked about whether he would oppose gay marriage if the issue returned to the ballot in 2010, Warren said: "As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides."

Why Rick Warren’s silence? Because under the mask of love he buys into Reconstructionism.

"The Christian goal for the world"?

"The Christian goal for the world," theologian David Chilton has explained, is "the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics." To which Erik Prince, George Bush Jr. rick Warren and C-Street all say a hearty Amen!

Prominent California philanthropist Howard F. Ahmanson Jr., (someone who once handed me a check for 150,000 dollars for one of my far right projects) who has given Rushdoony's operations more than $700,000 over the years is tired of this mess. According to the June 30, 1996, Orange County Register, Ahmanson departed the Rushdoony-founded “Chalcedon” board and says he "does not embrace all of Rushdoony's teachings."

But Howard is the exception. So am I.

More "respectable" leaders like Warren, Huckabee and Palin won’t admit it but they would like to do here what the Ugandans are doing there, and not just to gays, to all the "other" who are in the way of their taking America into the darkness of theocracy.

Pastor Rick is the epitome of the two-faced friendly evangelical leader today: say one thing for the public, believe another thing and work for it.

Reconstructionists persist and the movement is growing while key figures in Congress to big time pastors routinely deny they are part of this political/religious movement. Meanwhile they’re fixin’ to go to a hangnin’ in Uganda, with the blessing of the smiling nice guys like Rick Warren and and a wink and a nod from the Reconstructionist handmaid Sarah-Tea-Bagger-Palin.


schmec02 said...

Fanatics and extremists are always scary...

James Hipps said...

It always puzzles me when I hear "Christians" say they want to "take back America". What exactly are they taking it back from? I feel if they were truly "Christian" they'd be coining the phrase "give back America", as in giving it back to the original inhabitants who were endured rape, murder and various other "Christian" acts.

john.defelice said...

James they've created a myth of "Christian" control that was "robbed" by secularists and liberals. It permeates their preaching and television shows and a lot of money has been spent (and made) rewriting history in home school curriculum. As a historian I find this historical distortion frightening.

Michael said...

Rick Warren finally did come out and denounce the Ugandan bill. At least give him credit for that. See here:

I don't think Warren is in bed with the reconstructionists as much as you say. He's definately calls homosexuality a sinful choice and expects them to go through "conversion therapy," but doesn't go as far as the looneys like Rushdoony.

My point would be that the biblical framework from which Warren works (inerrancy, biblical authority, literalism), fuels the fire of reconstructionist ideas, even though he isn't strictly one.

Many evangelicals are trying to have it both ways: denounce homosexuality and be compassionate to homosexuals, but they walk a thin line and their call for gays to repent and get with the real Jesus program has caused a lot of gays untold grief--hence Mel White's story.

Jeff said...

It is very rare that one reads a blog post with so much unfounded rhetoric as in this one. I find it truly amazing that a person could misunderstand or purposely distort an argument in this proportion. So let us start with the basics. Who is it that condemns homosexuality and what is the source of that condemnation? What is the source of epistemology that the Church is arguing from? Is it subjective opinion as is the case with yourself, or rather, is the source of the argument and condemnation from OBJECTIVE Biblical revelation? ANSWER: the church is arguing from the latter which is the Objective word of God, which we use as the founding documents of our system. Now, do these founding documents allow for unrighteous behavior such as homosexuality? Well, even a cursory reading of the Biblical text gives the clear answer to this question; “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Lev. 18:22). Point in fact, homosexuality is so horrid in the eyes of God, that the individuals involved have “blood guiltiness” upon them; “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them” (Lev. 20:13).

Now, you may claim that that was the Old Testament and Moses, which is no longer binding via the New Testament. However, what Law does Paul appeal to in regards to Homosexuals in Romans 1:32 (c.f Lev. 20). What Law does Paul appeal to in 1 Tim. 1:8-11 or 1 Cor. 6:9, or James in his Epistle, or the author to the Hebrews? ANSWER: the Law of Moses! Our Lord Jesus states as much in Matt. 5:17-19. He upheld the Law, the Mosaic Law. Jesus upheld the Law to such a high degree that He even rebuked the Pharisees for the alteration of the stoning of disobedient children in Matthew 15:1-6! This is the Biblical mandate; it is Theonomy, not autonomy. It is God’s Law as prescribed in the pages of the Old and New Testament’s and it can only be altered if the Law Giver Himself alters it. And before one claims “legalist” or “cultural practice,” please allow me to remind you that (1) all proclamations by God are binding unless they are changed by God in His word and (2), cultural does not dictate theology. Consider the Lord Jesus on this issue when He proclaims;

“"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:17-19)

Jeff said...

CONT: It is clear from thee afore mentioned text that the Lord Jesus had no intention to abrogate the Law. Point in fact, not even the least of the commandments is made void by His incarnation. This point is made apparent in the Greek as used by the Apostle Paul. Thus, it is helpful to look to both the Greek New Testament and the Greek LXX to see how the Apostle Paul words his condemnation as the spokesman for God. When this is done, something fascinating is found. The Apostle, drawing from the LXX, combines the Lev. 18:22 words of “αρσενος” and “κοίτην” to form the word “αρσενοκοίτης” or “arsenokoites” which means “a male who has sexual intercourse with a male; a homosexual, a sodomite: 1Cor. 6:9; 1Tim. 1:10” (c.f. Lev 18:22 in the LXX which states “καὶ μετὰ ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικός βδέλυγμα γάρ ἐστιν”). Thus, the objection of “only Old Testament relevance” is shown to be fallacious and the orthodox Christian teaching on this subject is affirmed (see Romans 1:26-32). Thus, any man who lays with a man and by application of Romans 1, any woman who lies with a woman; regardless of the passive or active agent in the event, is condemned by the Biblical revelation.

God’s Law is attached to His character; it is an extension of His character. Hence, if God is immutable, then his moral law is also immutable. God has not changed His mind on ethics. He has not changed His mind on the proper actions of and within human experience. Rather, it is impossible for God to have forsaken these laws (the Law). They are not simply moral laws because God deems them to be laws. Meaning, murder is not wrong because of God’s decree. Rather, it is wrong because it violates God’s character. The coming of Christ did not annul the Law, rather, it fulfilled it; “Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead we uphold the law” (Rom. 3:21).

You see, the issue here is not with me, or Ugandan, or with the “right.” Rather, the real issue in this debate is with Paul, James, Jude, Hebrews, the Lord Jesus and ultimately, the Triune God of Scripture itself. You wish to live in a world where you are god; where you and your autonomy call the shots. You come to the Christian community and proclaim; “I refuse to change so you must change and accept me as I am.” This is simply an untenable position. You claim a system of “hate” so as to draw on the emotions of the readers. However, this emotive type of argument has no bearing upon the truth; it is simply subjective opinion with no foundation or force. God has given His Law, a Law that is an extension of His character and is therefore immutable. Hence, it is still valid to this day and all of those with affection for Christ should attempt to guide the civil magistrate to enact this Law. We offer love through the God of love. You look for tolerance for your unrighteous actions or the actions of others. We offer an objective ethical system and a God that can both change the individual and save them from their unrighteousness. You ask for special benefits within the church and society. We offer the sure cornerstone of Christ Jesus. You offer the fruits that result in Hell fire.

So Mr. Schaeffer, please either provide for us an exegetical argument that would allow homosexual conduct (an argument that you well know cannot be provided), or, simply proclaim that Paul, James, Jude, Hebrews, Moses, Jesus and the Law of God are old fashion and wrong. The latter of these two propositions is at least honest.

Trinity said...

Bravo Jeff.... Need not add another word... Frank looks like you'll just have to turn the other cheek :-)

scotlandmike said...

Jeff/Trinity: I'm not sure if that's exactly the issue here. It's not a debate between subjective opinion and objective truth (if only it were that simple). It's about how the revelation of scripture can be received and interpreted without the deceiving influences of culture, prejudice, politics. For reasons that aren't revealed to us (nor need be as it was not God's will) God did not choose to reveal Himself through a timeless set of codified wisdom but through complex histories, laws, poetry, proverbs and stories. It takes work to understand what is objective and when we are imposing our own values, prejudices, concerns onto the text we are given.

Unfortuantely, this is the trap I see Rushdooney falling into--despite much good and perhaps the best of intentions. Too often, the "objective" word of God looks a lot like certain American values, certain modern sexual mores, certain cultural standards. It's awfully hard not to project yourself and your own flaws under the guise of objectivity and then denounce those who question you as simply "in rebellion" or as acting "autonomously" when they're just interpreting the Bible differently with the same honest reverence that you yourself bring to the text. It's just harder and more complex than you suggest. Nothing is simply "given" and "apprehended" purely. Calvin knew this, and I'm afraid the Reconstructionists avoid facing this traditionally Reformed concern.

Those who revere scripture as the Word of God on all sides would better spend their time studying the scripture and its context, taking a lot of time and being willing to be open to the truth and explore what exactly is meant by the language concerning homosexuality in the Biblical cultural/linguistic context and if it meant anything like what we mean today. I bet all sides would be in for some correction if they could be honest and humble about it.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

Thanks for the level headed reply Mike. I agree with much of what you stated in your post. However, I do in fact think that excellent men of the faith have already studied the language, culture and historical setting/influence in regards to this issue. This was the purpose of my post and why I stayed on topic as I did. One area that I believe that we would agree on, and something that I did not include within my post is how one goes about enacting the “general equity” (as the WCF puts it) of the Law upon a modern day society. This to me is the real question – a question that many who support Theonomic ethics are open too. Example: Greg L. Bahnsen in his 1991 (or early 90’s) debate with Paul Johnson proclaimed that it was his opinion that the civil magistrate could in extreme cases enact the death penalty for flagrant and repeated homosexual offenses. However, Bahnsen also proclaimed for all to hear that his view was teachable and that he was open to further instruction in this area. Hence, Bahnsen understood that there is indeed a cultural application of the law (such as a railing around the roof of a house), all the while realizing that the Law itself is immutable and eternal.

The point of my post is that homosexual acts and their condemnation by the church are not a matter of hate as Mr. Schaeffer stated. Rather, we are simply trying to be consistent with our founding documents. These documents, beyond doubt condemn homosexual relations in both the old and new eras of salvation history. It is not “hate” that fuels the “want” for an application of the Law. Rather, it is out of a love for God’s revealed word and indeed, a love for fallen mankind. True love speaks from a position of truth and if the God of the Bible is true, and the Bible is His revealed word, then these individuals (along with the entirety of fallen and unregenerate humanity) and in grave danger in both a temporal and eternal fashion. The civil magistrate is to enact the law against such actions in the temporal realm, and God will judge and condemn such actions in the eternal sense. Now, this (and my original post) says nothing of the Christians interpersonal relations with homosexuals. We as individuals are to approach the homosexual in love and compassion - something that is not done in many cases. But as you know, this is a separate issue.

Lastly, I agree that we as the corporate church need to leave our traditions, bias and politics out of this issue. So again the question arises, how would one and to what extent does a society enact the Law? This is indeed a topic that would and should take much time to develop. Thank you for bringing out these additional points.

Jay Rogers said...

All Christians, in fact all people, are theonomists whenever God's Law suits them. A true theonomist is simply one who tries to obey God's Law even when he doesn't like it or fully understand it.

Jay Rogers said...

Frank, I noticed you mentioned the God's Law and Society DVD, of which I am the producer.

I was wondering if you have seen the series at all.

If not, I ask if you would be willing to accept a free review copy in order to critique it.

I am all for meaningful dialog and criticism. Therefore, it would behoove you to actually address the tenets of what you lambaste rather than spin pure polemics.

Anders Branderud said...

"Matt 5:17-19" was quoted in a previous comment.

Ribi Yehoshuas authentic teachings reads:
[Torah, Oral Law & Hebrew Matityahu: Ribi Yehoshua Commanded Non-Selective Observance
The Netzarim Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu (NHM)]:

"I didn't come to subtract from the Torâh of Moshëh or the Neviim, nor to add onto the Torah of Moshëh did I come. Because, rather, I came to [bring about the] complete [i.e., non-selective] observance of them in truth.
Should the heavens and ha-Aretz exchange places, still, not even one י or one of the Halâkhâh of the Torah of Moshehshall so much as exchange places; toward the time when it becomes that they are all being performed -- i.e., non- selectively -- in full.
For whoever deletes one [point of] the Halâkhâh of these mitzwot from Torah, or shall teach others such, [by those in] the Realm of the heavens he shall be called 'deleted.' And whoever ratifies and teaches them shall be called ' Ribi' in the Realm of the heavens.

For I tell you that unless your tzәdâqâh is over and above that of the [Hellenist-Roman Pseudo- Tzedoqim] Codifiers of halakhah, and of the Rabbinic- Perushim sect of Judaism, no way will you enter into the Realm of the heavens." (see NHM)

Quote from ; “History Museum”

Anders Branderud

jk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.