Deconstructing Reconstructionists

Frank Schaeffer, himself a former fundamentalist Christian and the son of Francis Schaeffer, one of the foundational thinkers behind the rightwing “loonies” now dominating American politics, writes on AlterNet, “Michele Bachmann Was Inspired By My Dad and His Christian Reconstructionist Friends — Here’s Why That’s Terrifying.”  Christian Reconstructionism is a belligerent movement that sees all who are not ‘friends’ as ‘enemies’–and that, of course, is almost all of us, even fellow countrymen and women.  Its essential postmillennialism leads to a celebration of government and institutional failure and a self-righteous belief in the possibility of their own essential self-reliance (they believe they alone will be able to survive when everything else collapses) and special relationship with god.

In other words, they like disasters, and enjoy creating them.  Like pyromaniacs, they love watching the rest of us try to put out the fires they created.  After all, they can’t be hurt by them–or so they believe.

Schaeffer writes, and I believe he is right:

Anyone who wants to understand American politics, not to mention North American religion, had better get acquainted with the Reconstructionists. For instance these folks just held America hostage in the debt crisis, an attempt to – literally – destroy the government’s ability to function at all a manufactured “crisis” in which Bachmann was a leading proponent of scorched-earth, destroy the system “politics.”

Whatever you think of Bachmann personally–and I find her something of a joke (and her husband an insult to all real therapists)–she does not come out of nowhere, isn’t simply a loose cannon careening over the deck of our nation.  If anything, she is a cannon deliberately cut from its moorings in a time of high seas.  There is a pernicious and, yes, anti-American movement behind her, this Christian Reconstructionism, and it has been operating below decks for decades now, only recently feeling it has the power to explode onto the bridge, take control of the vessel itself, and scuttle it.

That may sound alarmist–and it is.  But this force cannot be fought in kind.  Just as violence against terrorism leads to more terrorism, fighting the Christian Reconstructionists via their own tactics only helps them on the road to their goal of total destruction of the United States.

We have to be better than they are.

I don’t know how, but the time is now.  I think I’m going to go read a little Gandhi and Thoreau–and Martin Luther King.  My suspicion is that they outline the only way we can fight the Christian Reconstructionists successfully at this point.  Our strength has to be other than destructive.

Otherwise, we will all be destroyed, and they will win–or will seem to, until they realize that their apocalyptic vision is nothing more than their own self-congratulatory myth, and that they destroy themselves just as soon as they destroy the rest of us.  Though they believe otherwise, they will burn, too.

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