Howard & Roberta Ahmanson

In the 1970s Ahmanson became a Calvinist and joined R. J. Rushdoony‘s Christian Reconstructionist movement. Ahmanson served as a board member of Rushdoony’s Chalcedon Foundation for approximately 15 years before resigning in 1996. In 1996, Ahmanson said he had left the Chalcedon board and “does not embrace all of Rushdoony’s teachings.” He is somewhat reclusive and has Tourette syndrome; his wife usually communicates with the media and others on his behalf.

TIME Magazine covered the Ahmansons in their 2005 profiles of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America, classifying them as “the financiers.”

In 2004, when asked by Max Blumenthal for Salon if “she (Ahmanson’s wife) and her husband would still want to install the supremacy of biblical law”, Roberta Ahmanson replied: “I’m not suggesting we have an amendment to the Constitution that says we now follow all 613 of the case laws of the Old Testament … But if by biblical law you mean the last seven of the Ten Commandments, you know, yeah.”

Ahmanson is a major backer of the Discovery Institute, whose Center for Science and Culture opposes the theory of evolution and promotes intelligent design.

Ahmanson has donated $1,395,000 through Fieldstead And Co. to support California Proposition 8 (2008), a November 2008 ballot initiative that would amend the state’s Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, which had been legalized in a California Supreme Court case earlier in the year. He had been a six-figure donor to California’s previous initiative, Proposition 22. In late 2008, Ahmanson, worried about the narrowing focus of the California Republican Party (lowering taxes), announced that he switched parties and is now a registered Democrat.

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