Monthly Archives: November 2012

Movers and Shakers – 11 – The Chalcedon Foundation

Chalcedon Foundation

The Chalcedon Foundation is a think tank founded by Reconstructionist, Rousas Jouh Rushdoony in 1965. Rushdooney is the guru of the Dominionist realm. The Foundation publishes books, newsletters and reports which are all geared toward advancing the theological teachings of the Reconstructionist movement. The role of influence of this Foundation of Christianity on politics is staggering.

Since the elder Rushdooney’s death, Mark Rushdooney, his son, has been heading up the Foundation, and it has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its anti-homosexual stand.

Gary North, author and famed economist, as well as Rushdooney’s son-in-law, is a long-time follower of Rushdooney along with Nelson Bunker Hunt, oil billionaire who has made heavy contributions to the Foundation.

According to Wikipedia:

The Chalcedon Foundation describes itself as a Christian educational organization oriented toward promoting Christian reconstruction, emphasizing the Cultural or Dominion Mandate. The Foundation’s founder, Rousas John Rushdoony, who is known as “father of Christian Reconstruction” theology, advocated the imposition of Old Testament laws. Newsweek magazine described the Chalcedon Foundation as “a think tank of the Religious Right, including the Moral Majority.  Rushdoony himself claimed that his movement had 20 million followers, although not all of them are members of an organization.”

The Chalcedon Foundation takes the position that the entire Bible is the inerrant word of God and that the Old Testament is to be taken just as seriously as the New Testament. They believe that the Bible should be adopted and enacted as law, including Scriptures which call for the death penalty for homosexuals, disrespectful children, adultery, and lying.

They advocate Christian Dominion over the world and have played a major role in shaping what has become the contemporary Christian Right.  They have been implementing a political strategy to accomplish a Theocracy in the United States.  Rushdooney and North were both major supporters of the John Birch Society. North has been instrumental in furthering Ron Paul’s bid for the Presidency.

As avid as they are in their anti-homosexual stance, they are rabid about homeschooling believing  “that the right place for a child’s education is his home, and the right teachers are his parents”.

The viewpoints and policies of the Foundation are, indeed, Draconian. The Chalcedon Foundation has had enormous influence on Christian beliefs, legislative policy, and our elections in this country. Additionally, the influence of Gary North cannot be minimized.

Another follower of Rushdooney and his brand of Theology is Gary DeMar, who left the Foundation to head-up American Vision, which operates as a Christian ministry and calls for “equipping and empowering Christians to restore America’s biblical foundation.”

American Vision is a training ground for parents, teachers, pastors and activists “in developing family-oriented biblical worldviews.  According to Wikipedia:

“DeMar has written that “The Bible attributes self-consciousness to preborn babies.” American Vision is opposed to abortion.  The group maintains that the First Amendment’s demand that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” means that Congress may not establish a state religion. The group maintains that the First Amendment does not prohibit members of Congress from making laws that are in submission to the Bible.

 DeMar has said that not all homosexuals would be executed under a “reconstructed government” but that he did believe that the occasional execution of “sodomites” would serve society well because “the law that requires the death penalty for homosexual acts effectively drives the perversion of homosexuality underground, back into the closet.”

American Vision has published over 175 books, DVD’s, Cd’s, and Mp3’s. They host an annual Worldview Conference featuring many speakers from the religious right and the Constitution Party.

While much of this seems to fit on the extreme fringe, there are millions who follow and adhere to this movement. Their influence and their dollars impact our political landscape every day in a way that most Americans never know about.  When we hear about someone like Roy Moore, the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building, we tend to believe that this is just some senile Judge who resides on the fringe of society. When we think that way, it’s a little easier to stomach. But, the truth is, there are lots of Roy Moore’s, Gary DeMar’s, and Rushdooney’s. And they are shaping the political landscape an acre at a time – unless we stop writing them off as resident looney’s and heed the warning signs.

 

DeMar also wrote a “long-term goal” should be “the execution of abortionists and parents who hire them”. Islam is another enemy; in August 2010 he said that “the long-term goal of Islam is the abolition of our constitutional freedoms.”

 

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Movers & Shakers – 10 – The Center For Security Policy

Center for Security Policy

Everyone wants to be safe and secure and free from threat, even more so in this country since the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, that tragedy has sparked a groundswell of paranoia and provided an avenue for the emergence of right-wing, fanatics to further the fear and produce an atmosphere of hate and prejudice. The Center for Security Policy and its offshoots is precisely that.

The CSP is a Washington, D.C. Think Tank that focuses on national Security and advocates policies based on a philosophy of Peace through Strength.” The Center holds a non-profit status and claims to be non-partisan.

Frank Gaffney founded the Center in 1988, at which time it was a “hawkish but-once respectable think tank,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. After the September 11th attacks, that all changed along with Gaffney.

In 2003, Gaffney called upon the United States military to take out Al Jazeera News Network. He later climbed on the “birther” bandwagon claiming that President Obama was, in fact, not born in Hawaii, and that he would adopt the Muslim Brotherhood plan of Sharia Law.

Gaffney and the CSP have been major promoters of Islamaphobia and the Shraia Law fear-mongering that has been unleashed in this country. One of their publications, “Shariah: The Threat to America,” asserted that every practicing Muslim engaged in the practice. Of course this is an erroneous assumption.  According to Soutcewatch:

CSP has funded research by David Gaubatz, a former federal agent in charge of special investigations for the U.S. Air Force and a U.S. State Department trained Arabic linguist who referred to President Obama as “our Muslim leader” and said he personally found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and writer Paul Sperry, the author of the 2005 book Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington. The two wrote Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America (published by right-wing conspiracy outlet World Net Daily), where they allege that Muslim spies have posed as interns and infiltrated Capitol Hill with a nefarious Islamist agenda. Rep. Sue Nernick (R- N.C.) wrote the foreward for the book, and in response, Reps. John Shadegg (AZ), Paul Broun (GA), Trent Franks (AZ) and Sue Myrick (NC) called for an investigation into whether any interns associated with the Council on American-Islamic relations were on the Hill. Gaffney writes approvingly of the book on the CSP website.”

Frank Gaffney and the CSP was a driving force behind much of the hysteria surrounding the Ground Zero Mosque and other anti-Muslim events that have taken place over the last several years.

While they bill themselves as non-partisan, they are closely aligned with the Republican Party. Gaffney and CSP’s ideas for national security are pretty straigh-forward: Gut all arms control treaties, push ahead with weapons systems virtually everyone agrees should be killed, give no quarter to the Palestinians and, most important, go full steam ahead on just about every national missile defense program.

Upon searching the affiliates of CSP, the picture becomes even more clear. Arms and defense groups and businesses are well-represented on their Board of Director’s:  Boeing; Lockheed-Martin; TRW; Raytheon; Ball Aerospace & Technologies; Missile defense computer systems maker, Hewlett-Packard; and the Congressional Missile Defense Caucus.

Frank Gaffney has been listed as one of the 30 to Watch by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the CSP has been heavily funded by several conservative foundations including, but not limited to, the Smith-Richardson Foundation; the Sarah Scaife Foundation; the Carthage Foundation; the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; and the John M. Olin Foundation.

An offshoot of the CSP is Family Security Matters which claims to be the “national security resource for American families.”  They, of course, take a very hardline approach to the War on Terror, and promote the same Islamophobic rhetoric as the CSP.

As is evident by the individuals associated with the Council for Security Policy, the misinformation mills often reside right within, or just down the street from, our halls of government. Even more troubling are the influential sources which fund them, as well as the right-wing politicians in this country. The policies and propaganda which spew forth from these so-called “think-tanks” have far reaching implications for each and every American citizen and cannot be dismissed or written off as “just the lunatic fringe.” Every day these groups regurgitate their missive of hate, and they have the ears of some of the most powerful individuals in our government.

Movers & Shakers – 9 – Center for Equal Opportunity

Center for Equal Opportunity

CEO is a rather small conservative think tank in comparison with others. Accordingly, they limit their focus primarily to affirmative action and bilingual education. Founded by FOX News commentator and former Reagan Administration’s Civil Rights Director, Linda Chavez, there is no lack in their well-funded coffers.

The Center for Equal Opportunity is sometimes referred to as the Equal Opportunity Foundation. They argue against all affirmative action issues, and have been active in fighting what they consider to be “Severe racial discrimination” in education, hiring practices and contracting.

While they are supportive of immigration, in general, they have major concerns over illegal immigration and what they consider to be “poor assimilation policies.” Rather than bilingual education, they campaign for immersion in English.

Much of their funding comes from the Bradley Foundation and the Scaife Foundations, but they are also recipients of grants from Castle Rock Foundation; Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation; Earhart Foundation; and the Philip M. Mckenna Foundation.

If the name Linda Chavez sounds familiar it’s because she was George W. Bush’s choice to head the Department of labor, but withdrew her name over a controversy that arose when it came to light that she had employed an undocumented worker from Guatemala.

Chavez has close ties to, and has been affiliated with, the Project for the New American Century, the Manhattan Institute on Policy Research, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Center for Equal Opportunity has a great deal of input and impact upon our immigration and civil rights issues. They have been very instrumental in shaping policies surrounding affirmative action, especially in the area of education. They are also active in the election process where they support like-minded candidates.