Thursday, April 28, 2005

Retraction: Herb Titus does NOT want to execute gays & adulterers:

Herb Titus, attorney for Roy Moore, Howard Phillip's former Vice Presidental candidate under the US Taxpayer's party, and former Dean of Pat Robertson's Regent University School of Law, does not want to execute gays & adulterers.

In this post, I wrote:

However, I do see a marked difference between, on the one hand, the hardcore lunatics (who truly do want to "control[] the bodies and behaviors of all Americans to [absolutely] conform to Biblical absolutes") at the extreme end of the spectrum like Howard Phillips and Herb Titus (who would execute gays & adulterers), as well as the softer lunacy of Gary Bauer & James Dobson (who would probably just lock gays up for practicing), and on the other, conservatives Christians like Bush, many of whom are more humble and kind in their positions, or at least, some of their positions.

Titus wrote me in a personal email (and I didn't send him my post, he found it on his own), that I misrepresented his position and that his real position is laid out in his book, "The Bible: Law Book for the Nations" in First Steps to Statesmanship at 50-55 (2001) and this book is available from the American Heritage Party, P.O. Box 241, Leavenworth, Washington 98826.

Now, let me explain why I wrote what I did. From what I have read I was under the impression that Titus was, like Gary North, RJ Rushdoony, and Howard Phillips (with whom Titus ran as a VP Candidate), a "Christian Reconstructionist" and that sect of fundamentalist Christianity believes in the Biblical literal punishments as set out by the Old Testament, which includes stoning to death, among others, homosexuals, adulterers, recalcitrant children, and those who would encourage the community to worship false Gods. I did not intentionally spread a lie about Titus. I had a good faith belief that this was his position. If I am wrong, I stand corrected and apologize.


Jim Babka said...

Saying, "If I'm wrong, I apologize" after trying hard to impugn Herb Titus via association is NOT an apology. It's not even close.

Herb Titus is a Constitutionalist and believes in government restraint. He believes federal drug laws are un-Constitutional and he was co-senior counsel in the (Ron) Paul, et al v. FEC case challenging the McCain-Feingold law. He has a great deal to say about Reconstructionism, more than can be said here, but he believes it is based on a flawed Biblical exegesis.

Specifically to your charge, he does not believe the Law of Moses applies to a secular state -- the core belief of Reconstructionists. He does believe in capital punishment, but only for things like murder, aggravated rape, kidnapping for ransom, and treason (as defined by our U.S. Constitution).

Your charge against Titus, and even more so the sources you cite, are poor logic. Your charge is simply "guilt by assocation." But politics always makes strange bedfellows. Libertarians, for example, have been known to work with Greens and Reform Party members, even though their differences with each camp are quite vast.

All of these articles pretend the differences don't exist yet there are serious differences in some cases. For example, Herb Titus has been cited elsewhere (in what he believed was a private conversation) that he didn't believe his former employer, Pat Robertson (who fired him) was a Christian.

You should issue a REAL apology because you made a very specific charge (that he... "would execute gays & adulterers") to which the man accused responded by saying, "That's not my opinion."

Ed Brayton said...

Hi Jim. I think perhaps you're reading less into the post than Jon intended. The title of the post clearly takes Titus at his word when it says "Retraction: Herb Titus does NOT want to execute gays & adulterers". He's issued a retraction, lniked to the books in which Titus' real views can be found, and explained why he made that mistake in the first place. And he did apologize. That seems the honorable thing to do.

You and I had a similar conversation about Titus, as did Perry Willis and I a few months ago, because I was under the same impression that Jon was. I had read quite some time ago that his departure from Regent University was because Robertson was trying to distance himself from the reconstructionists, in more than one source. I was quite surprised to find out that you and Perry were friends with him, but both of you told me that his views had been misrepresented and that he was much more libertarian than I might imagine. But prior to that, I would have written something very much like what Jon wrote and had every reason to believe it was justified and true.

I still don't think I would call Titus a constitutionalist. While not a reconstructionist, he does have some views that I would consider pretty crazy. His brief in the McCreary case, arguing that the 14th amendment doesn't incorporate any of the bill of rights as binding on the states, is entirely contrary to the legislative history of that amendment and way, way outside the mainstream of legal thought on the subject. And the Constitution Restoration Act that he authored is a dangerous attempt to distort the separation of powers and clear the path for tearing down the separation of church and state. So while he's not a reconstructionist, and may be a terrific guy, I still consider many of his views to be quite dangerous.

Marty said...

I personally think Jon owes an apology to Dr. Dobson as well, for the "soft lunacy" comment. I doubt he's knows much of anything about the man, much less has read any of his work.

Jonathan said...

I have heard Dobson speak countless times and often have tuned into his Radio show while driving in my car.

Anonymous said...

So, when God set down these laws He just had a "bad day"? Was God a "lunatic" at that time? I would be more careful with the choice of your words - you come across arrogant and unkind. You're not very credible in judging others as unkind etc.

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