Writing for Religion Dispatches, Mark Juergensmeyer claims that a violent Christian extremist movement is growing in the United States. (The murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller and the Hutaree militia’s pipe bomb plot would be two examples.) Is his argument legitimate?
At the extreme right wing of Dominion Theology is a relatively obscure theological movement that Mike Bray found particularly appealing: Reconstruction Theology, whose exponents long to create a Christian theocratic state. Bray had studied their writings extensively and possessed a shelf of books written by Reconstruction authors. The convicted anti-abortion killer Paul Hill cited Reconstruction theologians in his own writings and once studied with a founder of the movement, Greg Bahnsen, at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi.
Rev. Paul Hill, Rev. Michael Bray, and other Reconstructionists—along with Dominion theologians such as the American politician and television host Pat Robertson and many other right-wing Christian activists today—are postmillenialists. Hence they believe that a Christian kingdom must be established on Earth before Christ’s return. They take seriously the idea of a Christian society and a form of religious politics that will make biblical code the law of the United States.
These activists are quite serious about bringing Christian politics into power. Bray said that it is possible, under the right conditions, for a Christian revolution to sweep across the United States and bring in its wake Constitutional changes that would allow for biblical law to be the basis of social legislation. Failing that, Bray envisaged a new federalism that would allow individual states to experiment with religious politics on their own. When I asked Bray what state might be ready for such an experiment, he hesitated and then suggested Louisiana and Mississippi, or, he added, “maybe one of the Dakotas.”
Read the full article at Religion Dispatches