Rand Paul: We Wouldn’t Need Laws If Everyone Were Christian

At ReligionDispatches, Sarah Posner has some more data on Rand Paul’s crackpot brand of libertarianism, which is inexplicably mixed with fundamentalist Christianity: Rand Paul: We Wouldn’t Need Laws If Everyone Were Christian.

Appearing on The Brody File, Rand Paul, who believes that portions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act need “further discussion” and may violate private business owners’ First Amendment rights, said that we wouldn’t really need laws in this country if everyone were a good Christian:

I’m a Christian. We go to the Presbyterian Church. My wife’s a Deacon there and we’ve gone there ever since we came to town. I see that Christianity and values is the basis of our society… . 98% of us won’t murder people, won’t steal, won’t break the law and it helps a society to have that religious underpinning. You still need to have the laws but I think it helps to have a people who believe in law and order and who have a moral compass or a moral basis for their day to day life.

Although Paul attends a mainline Protestant church, in his comments one might hear an echo of Christian Reconstructionism. RD contributor Julie Ingersoll, an expert on Christian Reconstructionism, once described it to me this way: “Reconstructionists claim to have an entirely integrated, logically defensible Christian worldview. Reconstructionism addresses everything you have to think about.” In other words, as a society we should follow (preferable) biblical law, and dispense with all but a small handful of civil laws.

The younger Paul may not be an ardent Christian Reconstructionist — he may not even realize its influence on his views — but his father, Congressman Ron Paul, used to employ one of Christian Reconstrutionism’s leading thinkers, Gary North, on his staff. North is the son-in-law of the founder of Christian Reconstructionism, R.J. Rushdoony.

Howard Phillips, the former Nixon administration official who founded the Conservative Caucus and Constitution Party (formerly the U.S. Taxpayers Party) and co-founded the powerful Council for National Policy, claims Rushdoony as his mentor. Phillips once observed, “Much of the energy in the home school movement, the Christian school movement, the right-to-life movement, and in the return of Christians to the political world, is directly traceable to Dr. Rushdoony’s work.” James Dobson, who offered a last-minute endorsement of Paul, had voted for Phillips in 1996 as “protest vote” against the GOP. Ron Paul spoke at the Constitution Party’s fundraiser in 2009, as did John Birch Society president John McManus.

The John Birch Society, R. J. Rushdoony, Gary North (who’s on record advocating the death penalty for homosexuals, atheists, blasphemers, and women who have abortions), the Constitution Party — the nomination of Rand Paul is a perfect storm of far right bad craziness, several streams of theocratic atavistic weirdness all coming together at this moment in US politics.

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