The Weekly Sam: Moyers on Christian Reconstruction By Samuel L. Blumenfeld

It was nice to see so many familiar faces on prime-time
television — R. J. Rushdoony, Rev. Morecraft, Bob Thoburn, Arnie
and Barbara Simkus. And everyone looked good and sounded good.
Technically, it was a beautiful job — from the bucolic views of
Vallecito to the sunny Simkus kitchen. It showed people —
specifically, Christians — in the process of reconstructing America,
not just talking about it: writing books, building churches, teaching
children, getting involved in politics. But hovering over the
entire presentation was the question: are these people a danger to

The questions Moyers posed Rush were the expected ones, the
difficult ones concerning the Bible’s references to capital offenses,
and Rush answered them forthrightly. The punishments called for in
the Bible were not necessarily those Rush preferred or advocated.
In any case, he made it qaite clear that he opposed coercion and
that a reconstructed America could only corne about when and if the
vast majority of people had voluntarily accepted the Bible as their
moral standard.

Moyers focused on the issue of democracy because that is the
liberal skewer on which all values are cooked. And that’s probably
why Moyers never adequately defined democracy, because in America
the word evokes aromas, feelings, and images but not much thought.
Moyers ignored the fact that the Founding Fathers warned us of the
perils. of democracy • it seems as if Rush were the first in
American history to cite the dangers of majority rule. And of course
virtually no time was given to showing what majorities can do to
minorities when not restrained by God’s law. After all, Hitler was
put into power by a majority of Germans voting under the most
democratic and permissive government the Germans had ever had, the
Weimar Republic.

Also, there was no one to correct Norman Geisler’s mis representations of Christian Reconstruction. The idea that Reconstructionists
can, or even want to, impose their rule over the United States against
the will of the majority is so preposterous as to be laughable.
Unfortunately, many people will believe Geisler or, at the least, use
Geisler’s words as justification for their wildest nightmares about
the religious right.

And so the major issue that was bandied about was the potential
use of coercion by civil government to impose the rule of “the
righteous.” Obviously, “the righteous” were referred to in the
pejorative sense: self-styled Biblical moralists who want to impose
their moral values on others. Yet, no mention was made of the coercion
liberals are presently using against Christian schools and home schoolers
in this tolerant, humanistic democracy. The stories of harassment,
prosecution and jailing of Christian parents have found no responsive
chord among the celebrants of pluralism and variant lifestyles .

Democracy, Moyers inferred, is a system of tolerance, in which
variant lifestyles and values systems live side by side in competitive
but brotherly harmony. Such a system might indeed be ideal if all
lifestyles were acceptable to God. But the Bible clearly tells us
what is permissible and what is not.

Not surprisingly, Gary North emerged as the heavy in this
debate, even though he refused to be taped or interviewed by Moyers.
Moyers simply quoted North at his worst, and that was enough to set
the skewer. spinning and the juices boiling.
Yet, on the whole, what emerged from the video was, I believe,
basically positive — all the criticism of Christian Reconstruction
notwithstanding. What emerged was an image of Christians in control
of themselves, leading productive lives, providing lifesaving spiritual
answers to a society in the throes of social, cultural, and moral

Yet, nothing can come of the movement if people are repelled by it.
And it obviously has repelled such moralists as Norman Geisler
But Rushdoony wrote in Intellectual in 1961,

“For Scripture, the godly man is the saved man, not the self-consciously
good man. It is not a contrast between moral and immoral but between
godly and ungodly, holy and wicked, and the moral man, as witness
the Pharisees, can epitomize ungodliness.”
What attracts people to Christian Reconstruction is its adherence
to Biblical principles, its reliance on God’s word as a guide to
living, its uncompromising stand on the vital moral issues of the day,
its strong support of family life, its advocacy of economic freedom,
its vision of Christian liberty, its hope for the future. It is a
movement of godly parents anxious to raise a new godly generation.
That is why Christian Reconstruction is particularly strong among
home schoolers.

Another positive point made by Moyers is that the Reconstruction
movement is attracting people from all denominations, from all
races. It is even attracting Jews. The scenes in the Atlanta
church gave the impression of enormous potential power to Reconstructionism when fired with charismatic energy.

Obviously , Moyers
viewed this potential development more with apprehension than joy. So the positive seemed to outweigh the negative in this
production. Even though this is not what Moyers may have intended.
Clearly, what we saw was Christian Reconstruction seen through the
eyes of a troubled liberal, sophisticated enough not to see modern
Calvinists as witch-burning bigots, but betraying his prejudices
by way of his focus. I came. away feeling that Moyers is of two
minds concerning Christian Reconstruction: he liked Rushdoony but
tended to believe Geisler. Which means there is hope for Moyers.
He may convert!

(This article was written in the mid 1990s.)  For  more of Sam’s work please visit his archive: