Friday, July 30, 2004

Antistatism makes for strange bedfellows:

Ed Brayton is right that World Net Daily is really World Nut Daily.  I must confess that I read this news site everyday, partially for pure entertainment value (meaning I read it to laugh at it).  Yet the site does have some merit.  When they are not running features from the lunatic Armageddon Creationist, gay hating crowd, they give voice to some credible libertarians as well.  The reason?  The editor, Joseph Farah, like libertarians, hates the big, statist government that we live under today.  To his credit, for balance, the site also features some columns by leftist liberals as well.

But, all in all, the nuttiness clearly outweighs the merits of the site.  And boy does this site give voice to sum nut-balls. 

For instance today, they run a column by the discredited “researcher” Paul Cameron.  Remember a few years back when the religious right came out and started asserting that average gay lifespan was 43, and that lesbians didn’t live much longer?  Yes, Cameron was the source of these lies, debunked here, here and here

So the crank Cameron is up to his usual nonsense and WND is giving him a forum.  His conclusion:  The “Democratic” states are “dying,” while the “Republican” ones are “growing.”  Along his convoluted way, he manages to even mix up the “red & blue” colors:

The correlations are not perfect – other factors influence birthrates – but they are very strong. The growth states are mainly Republican (the blue states) and the dying states are mainly Democrat (the red states). The rapidly dying states averaged 0.7 (that is, only 0.7 away from a perfect Democrat 0), the dying states averaged 0.95, the growing averaged 1.75, and the rapidly growing states averaged 2.3 (0.7 away from a perfect Republican 3).

Gay rights was [sic] strongly correlated with demographic decline: 5 (50 percent) of the 10 most rapidly dying states and 6 (32 percent) of the 19 dying states have gay rights (states with gay rights averaged 0.1). No growing state has gay rights.

Homosexual activity was large in "the way of death" about which Moses and St. Paul wrote. Is it a coincidence that gay marriage commenced in a dying state, or that 11 of the 13 states with gay rights laws are dying (Minnesota and New Mexico have "average" birthrates)?

John Kerry is from a dying state, Bush from a rapidly growing one.

I don’t think I need to say more.  A quick check into his background and it is apparent that we can’t take a word that comes from this guy’s pen seriously.

I think the strangest case of antistatist politics—in fact, libertarian politics—making for strange bedfellows is how the Christian Reconstructionists have managed to infiltrate libertarian circles, indeed calling themselves “Christian libertarians.”  Like real libertarians, they too want to eliminate today’s big-government.  And when it falls, what do they want to replace it with?  This:

"The Christian goal for the world," Recon theologian David Chilton has explained, is "the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics." Scripturally based law would be enforced by the state with a stern rod in these republics. And not just any scriptural law, either, but a hardline-originalist version of Old Testament law--the point at which even most fundamentalists agree things start to get "scary."

American evangelicals have tended to hold that the bloodthirsty pre-Talmudic Mosaic code, with its quick resort to capital punishment, its flogging and stoning and countenancing of slavery, was mostly if not entirely superseded by the milder precepts of the New Testament (the "dispensationalist" view, as it's called). Not so, say the Reconstructionists. They reckon only a relative few dietary and ritualistic observances were overthrown.

So when Exodus 21:15-17 prescribes that cursing or striking a parent is to be punished by execution, that's fine with Gary North. "When people curse their parents, it unquestionably is a capital crime," he writes. "The integrity of the family must be maintained by the threat of death." Likewise with blasphemy, dealt with summarily in Leviticus 24:16: "And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him."

Reconstructionists provide the most enthusiastic constituency for stoning since the Taliban seized Kabul. "Why stoning?" asks North. "There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost." Thrift and ubiquity aside, "executions are community projects--not with spectators who watch a professional executioner do `his' duty, but rather with actual participants." You might even say that like square dances or quilting bees, they represent the kind of hands-on neighborliness so often missed in this impersonal era. "That modern Christians never consider the possibility of the reintroduction of stoning for capital crimes," North continues, "indicates how thoroughly humanistic concepts of punishment have influenced the thinking of Christians." And he may be right about that last point, you know.

Every time I read that passage about "square dancing" and "quilting bees," I can't help but break out in laughter.

[Update: Ed Brayton, prescient as always, adds his thoughts on this topic with this post.]


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