When I saw an article titled “The Gay Rights Movement: ISIS without Bullets?” I was intrigued. The idea was so beyond the pale I wanted to know what it was based on. The author of the piece was Gary DeMar. Wait. Gary DeMar?
Yes. Gary DeMar.
Gary DeMar is a Christian Reconstructionist and president of American Vision, a prominant Christian Reconstructionist organization. Christian Reconstructionists believe in implementing Old Testament law in our society today. DeMar is the coauthor of the book Christian Reconstruction: What It Is, What It Isn’t, alongside Gary North. This Gary North:
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.
In their book, DeMar and North defined Christian Reconstructionism as follows:
This is the essence of Christian Reconstruction. The Bible’s laws, including, but not limited to, the case laws of the Old Testament, are applicable today, and, in Colson’s words, are “the only answer to the crime problem.” Of course, a Reconstructionist would say that these laws are an answer for our crime problem and much more, including, but not limited to economics, education, law, politics, business, ecology, journalism, and medicine.
In the Reconstructionists’ model society, homosexuality, worshipping “false” gods, “witchcraft” and marital infidelity would merit the death penalty. One sponsor of the National Reform Association event, the Rev. William Einwechter, argued in a 1999 article that juvenile delinquents should be stoned to death. Another speaker at the event, Gary DeMar, asserted in a 1987 book that gay people, doctors who perform abortions and women who obtain abortions should be executed.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Led since 1986 by Gary DeMar, American Vision is one of the primary exponents of the doctrine of “Christian Reconstruction” — the idea that the U.S. was founded as a “Christian nation” and that its democracy should be replaced with a theocratic government based on Old Testament law. As a practical matter, that means American Vision, which describes its goal as “restor[ing] America’s Biblical foundation,” backs the death penalty for practicing homosexuals.
DeMar has modified that dictum slightly in the past, saying that homosexuals wouldn’t all be executed under a “reconstructed” government, but that he did believe that the occasional execution of “sodomites” would serve society well because “the law that requires the death penalty for homosexual acts effectively drives the perversion of homosexuality underground, back into the closet.” More recently, while hosting American Vision’s “The Gary DeMar Show” in December 2009, Joel McDurmon, the group’s research director, agreed that the Bible does call for killing homosexuals. And, he said, “when most of a society is Christian, is biblical, then it [execution of gays] is perfectly normal; it should definitely be in place.”
But you don’t have to take their word for it. You can also watch the 2009 video of Joel McDurmon, American Vision’s research director, filling in for DeMar on “The Gary DeMar Show.” Yes, he really does endorse the death penalty for gay and lesbian individuals. On film.
I’d initially planned to use this post to respond to the arguments made in the article “The Gay Rights Movement: ISIS without Bullets?” But now I feel kind of speechless. Gary DeMar? Gary DeMar wrote this? Let me quote DeMar’s compatriot Gary North once again, this time from 1982:
So let us be blunt: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberties of the enemies of God.
And DeMar went on to write a book with this guy. And lest you think this is some past connection, Gary North still writes articles for DeMar’s American Vision.
All this said, the argument DeMar makes hinges on this image:
[image eaten by the internet]
I don’t understand how DeMar can print this image without irony. After all, he believes the United States should implement Old Testament law and institute the death penalty for gay and lesbian individuals. Frankly, I don’t see much difference at all between DeMar’s worldview and that of ISIS, except that DeMar does not have the manpower to implement his Christian utopian vision. It is DeMar who wants to tell homosexuals to “convert or die.”
So rather than taking paragraphs and paragraphs to address DeMar’s argument and his reasons for equating the gay rights movement with ISIS, I will simply offer you this altered image with a few words of explanation. You’re welcome.
The issue here is that businesses are required not to discriminate. A Christian florist cannot deny service to a black patron, or a Jewish patron, and so forth. The gay rights movement is working to extend this to gay and lesbian individuals. Lest someone ask about a Jewish baker being asked to bake a Nazi cake, the courts have upheld a baker having policies against cakes that promote hate speech. In other words, a baker can have a policy against producing a cake with swastikas on it, but not a policy against selling cakes to people who are Nazis. As to the argument that providing flowers for a gay wedding constitutes involvement in it, and that that is against a Christian’s belief, I would ask this—do Christian florists refuse to serve couples who were married previously and divorced without biblical grounds? I don’t think they even ask.
But honestly? These arguments and further points I was going to make have been completely swallowed up for me in the fact that Gary Demar wrote this article. Gary DeMar. That someone like Gar DeMar can compare the gay rights movement to ISIS when he himself wants to institute Biblical law and stone gay people is surreal.