Incredibly, the Las Vegas Sun ran a front page article on Sunday, “Sharron Angle’s take on separation of church and state.” It attempts to argue Nevada Republican Senate Candidate Sharron Angle is something resembling a “Christian Reconstructionist” who believes that there should be zero separation of church and state. Here’s how the article characterizes her views:
A Southern Baptist active in her church, Angle’s religious convictions have informed many of her positions throughout her years in politics. She believes abortion is a violation of God’s will and should be banned in all cases. She argued for the religious freedom of private and home schools. And she has said that public policy should support the “traditional” family structure as described in the Bible, in which one parent stays home with the children while the other works.
How exactly does this make Angle a radical? A majority of the country is pro-life, even if the majority is not against abortion in all cases. And believing in the “traditional family structure” is suspect? On what planet is this reporter living?
Indeed, although many Americans view the separation of church and state as one of the keys to the nation’s success as a multicultural society, Angle believes that religion has an expansive role to play in government. And, she has repeatedly said anyone who opposes that based on the claim of separation of church and state misunderstands the Constitution’s ban on “establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
In this regard, Angle’s view of religion’s role in government parallels that of a religious political movement — Christian Reconstructionism — seeking to return American civil society to biblical law.
Have to love the sneaky way the reporter slips the word “multicultural” in there — so much for E Pluribus Unum. Despite what the reporter is insinuating here, it’s actually a common fallacy that the Constitution establishes a strict separation of church and state. Leapfrogging from there to suggesting Angle is advocating “Christian Reconstructionism” is just appallingly unfair. Further, “Christian Reconstructionism” has a specific meaning in religious contexts. It doesn’t just mean “someone who doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state.” Angle is a Southern Baptist, which is pre-millennial and Arminian. Christian Reconstructionists are post-millennial and hyper-Calvinist. Also, remember when Angle was being decried for ties to Scientology? Can’t the Angle smear merchants just pick a religion and stick with it? Moving on:
Reconstructionism, because of its more controversial aspects, is a label liberals would love to brand Angle with — a tactic they’ve attempted with other high-profile fundamentalist Christian politicians such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.
WHO’S LABELING THESE PEOPLE AS CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTIONISTS? The Las Vegas Sun reporter who wrote this, that’s who. Perhaps “liberals” have failed in branding conservatives as “reconstructionists” because they couldn’t find a reporter willing to go out and write a high-profile piece in their local paper misapplying such an incendiary label. Also, Ron Paul? Really? He’s been called a Christian Reconstructionist? Huh? But by far, here’s the most outrageous thing in the piece:
The movement’s more extreme beliefs are based on a strict interpretation of Mosaic law described in the Old Testament and include the execution of homosexuals and unchaste women and the denial of citizenship to those who don’t adhere to Reconstructionists’ religious beliefs. Angle has never advocated those views.
“Nazism’s more extreme beliefs include the genocide of Jews, Gypsys and homosexuals. Las Vegas Sun reporter Anjeanette Damon has never advocated those views.” See what I did there? Lucky for us, we’re told what Christian Reconstructionists do believe:
Under Reconstructionist thought, government should have no role in education, safety net benefits such as Social Security or welfare, or in environmental protection. Angle has similarly advocated those positions.
You might be a Chrsition Reconstructionist if… You resent that educational standards have plummeted since Carter created the Department of Education… You think Social Security is a Ponzi scheme used by Congress to feed wasteful government spending… You’re repulsed by the EPA’s attempt to get a choke hold on the entire economy by deciding it can regulate carbon emissions…
Here all this time you thought you were just a mainstream conservative, but little did you know that you’re really a Christian Reconstructionist!
This article is repugnant on just about every level. I guess it could be seen as progress that Angle is running against a Mormon, and he’s the one with less controversial religious views. But I think the lesson we’re learning is that the press is generally hostile to religion — unless they’re talking about Democrat.