"Those that hate goodness are sometimes nearer than those that know nothing at all about it and think they have it already."
–The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis
"The worst attitude of all would be the professional attitude which regards children in the lump as a sort of raw material which we have to handle."
–On Three Ways of Writing for Children (100) C.S. Lewis
We don't know about you, but the Quiverfull Movement took us completely by surprise. We had no idea that QF families existed. From all the sources we have read, it does appear to be a fairly recent phenomenon. Today, we'll attempt to answer one specific question — WHY? Could there be more to QF than just practicing what the Bible commands in Genesis 1:28: "Be fruitful and multiply"?
As we indicated yesterday, Doug Phillips appears to be one of the more vocal proponents of QF and patriarchy. Because Doug derives much of his income from his Vision Forum business, which markets books, videos, and other items to mostly homeschooling families, it makes sense that he would encourage couples to multiply. After all, that means more homeschoolers who need to buy what he sells. But is that all there is to Doug's QF passion? On the contrary, we believe the leaders of the QF Movement have a very specific agenda, which we'll now explore.
Doug Phillips is extremely proud of his father, Howard Phillips, as you read in his bio yesterday. Were you surprised to learn that Doug's father ran for President of the United States? In fact, James Dobson stated in a speech before the Council on National Policy that he voted for Howard Phillips in the 1996 presidential election. Why? He was casting a protest vote AGAINST Bob Dole. Thanks, Jim, for helping re-elect Bill Clinton…
Before we go any further, let's take a closer look at Doug's father, Howard Phillips. Just who is he, and what does he believe?
Howard Phillips has been very active in the political arena for most of his life. He served in the Nixon administration and left the Republican Party in 1974. During that same year, he founded The Conservative Caucus, which he continues to head. The Conservative Caucus is a public policy organization and lobbying group which emphasizes grassroots citizen activism. In May 1979, he helped to establish the Moral Majority. Howard Phillips, who converted to Christianity from Judaism, is one of the far-right activists who recruited Jerry Falwell, a televangelist and Baptist pastor, to head the organization.
In 1992 Phillips helped establish the U.S. Taxpayer's Party, which changed its name to the Constitution Party in 1999. According to the Wikipedia article on this topic, "The Constitution Party now calls itself, 'America's Fastest Growing Political Party.' Have you heard of it? The Constitution Party advocates a platform which reflects the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bible, and the Bill of Rights." Howard Phillips was the presidential candidate on the party's ticket in 1992, 1996, and 2000. In recent elections, he has stepped aside so that other candidates can represent the party.
On the surface, most conservative Christians would agree with the Constitution Party's platform; however, upon closer examination we're extremely concerned about the leaders' ties to "Christian Reconstructionism", including Howard Phillips and his son, among others.
"What is Christian Reconstructionism", you may ask. Michele Swenson, a liberal journalist and contributor to The Huffington Post, has written what we consider to be an accurate description of Christian Reconstructionism based on our research. Where are the conservative journalists who also need to be reporting on this controversial topic? In Swenson's article entitled "Christian Reconstructionism-End-Times Political Ideology—Theocracy Underground Movement", she explains what it is and how Howard Phillips is involved. Here are excerpts from her article, along with the link:
Much of the political right, from its stealth campaigns to the formulation of policy, has remained below the radar. Perhaps one of the most unreported contributions to the right-wing political machine has been the largely underground church-based politics of Christian Reconstructionism that originated in the ‘60s, which doctrine has since permeated many U.S. fundamentalist churches. Christian Reconstructionists are post millennialists, defining America’s destiny in terms of end-times prophecy of the book of Revelation, and promoting the creation of God’s kingdom on earth before Christ can return.
The late Rousas Rushdoony deemed democracy a heresy, and modeled his movement after the John Birch Society. Christian Reconstructionists hold that only select white Christian males should vote or hold office, a tenet expressed euphemistically by Howard Phillips as return to the "traditional family value" of "one-family one-vote." Seeking to overcome such democratic manifestations as labor unions, civil rights laws and public schools, they call for churches to take over most functions of government, i.e., social services, health and education.
Reconstructionists advocate the rewrite of civil law based on the Old Testament, including death by stoning for 18 categories of behavior, including incorrigible children, adultery, homosexuals and astrologers. Some adherents like Howard Phillips, a co-founder of the "Moral Majority," eagerly anticipate economic chaos or some other crisis that will trigger Christian revolution and usher in theocracy.
We believe the Quiverfull Movement has far more to do with Christian Reconstructionism that it does with Genesis 1:28. After all, the leaders of the Constitution Party claim that it's 'America's Fastest Growing Political Party.' We suspect we now know why they are making this claim. We believe they are counting on the multiplier effect of the Quiverfull Movement in the future.
One of us was active in the Republican Party during the early 1980s and had first hand experience with a group of Christian Reconstructionists. This group had relocated from another state and established a church that was dedicated to advancing the principles of Christian Reconstructionism. Besides just discussing their dominionist beliefs in their church, they became active in the Republican Party and tried to effect political change. Fortunately, they were unsuccessful. We believe it was divine providence that allowed one of us to interact with Reconstructionists over a period of time in order to understand who they are and what they believe.
If Reconstructions had their way, here's a description of how society would probably look. (See this link for more info.
A Reconstructed Society
From What is Christian Reconstructionism? by Frederick Clarkson, The Public Eye:
A general outline of what the reconstructed 'Kingdom,' or confederation of Biblical theocracies, would look like emerges from the large body of Reconstructionist literature. This society would feature a minimal national government, whose main function would be defense by the armed forces. No social services would be provided outside the church, which would be responsible for 'health, education, and welfare.' A radically unfettered capitalism (except in so far as it clashed with Biblical Law) would prevail. Society would return to the gold or silver standard or abolish paper money altogether. The public schools would be abolished. Government functions, including taxes, would be primarily at the county level.
Women would be relegated primarily to the home and home schools, and would be banned from government. Those qualified to vote or hold office would be limited to males from Biblically correct churches.
One of the tenets of Reconstuctionism is that prisons will be empty because the death penalty will be applied to all capital crimes. Some of the more extreme leaders of the Reconstructionist movement include as capital crimes unrepentant homosexuality, abortion, adultery, blasphemy, and even incorrigible children.
If Reconstructionism is a new term for you, the above description of a reconstructed society must sound strange and frightening to you, but rest assured that this is NOT A JOKE! These reconstructionists are serious about their beliefs, and they have an agenda.
Furthermore, if you're not familiar with the terms "Christian Reconstructionism", "Dominionism or Dominion Theology", and "Theonomy", we highly recommend the resource at this link:
However, we must caution you because reading it may make you feel like you've entered "The Twilight Zone." If Reconstructionists were to gain control of our federal government, what changes would they likely make? Here's are some possibilities which are included at the above link:
-The use of the death penalty would be greatly expanded, when the Hebrew Scriptures' laws are reapplied. People will be executed for adultery, blasphemy, heresy, homosexual behavior, idolatry, prostitution, evil sorcery (some translations say Witchcraft), etc. The Bible requires those found guilty of these "crimes" to be either stoned to death or burned alive. Reconstructionists are divided on the execution method to be used.
-A church or congregation which does not accept the Mosaic Law has another god before them, and is thus guilty of idolatry. That would be punishable by death. That would include all non-Christian religious organizations. At the present time, non-Christians total two-thirds of the human race.
-The status of women would be reduced to almost that of a slave as described in the Hebrew Scriptures. A woman would initially be considered the property of her father; after marriage, she would be considered the property of her husband.
-Polygamy and the keeping of concubines were permitted in the Old Testament. However, Reconstructionists generally believe in marriage between one man and one woman only. Any other sexual expression would be a capital crime. Those found guilty of engaging in same-sex, pre-marital or extra-marital sex would be executed.
-The Old Testament "Jubilee Year" system would be celebrated once more. Every 50 years, the control of all land reverted to its original owners. In theory, this would require every part of North American land to be returned to the original Aboriginal owners (or perhaps to those persons of Aboriginal descent who are now Christians). Hawaii would be given back to the native Hawaiians.
-Governments would all have balanced budgets.
-Income taxes would be eliminated.
-The prison system would be eliminated. A system of just restitution would be established for some crimes. The death penalty would be practiced for many other crimes. There would be little need for warehousing of convicted criminals.
Legal abortions would be banished; those found to be responsible for abortions would be charged with murder and executed.
Bill Gothard, Howard Phillips, and Doug Phillips are all Christian Reconstructionists, and we believe they are manipulating the minds of homeschooling families, who are often isolated and impressionable. We fear that some of these ideas are being promoted within the homeschooling community, and that's why the Quiverfull Movement will be instrumental in carrying out their agenda. These dominionists are working to get like-minded individuals elected so they can begin to put their own form of government in place.
These Christian Reconstructionists are definitely a fringe group; however, they seem to believe that their plan is according to God's will. All we can do on this blog is to educate our readers about these wackos and pray that their ridiculous plan will be thwarted. If Christian Reconstructionists are trying to create an army of followers, then promoting the Quiverfull Movement would be an excellent way to do it!