Sunday, January 23, 2005


I know Gary North doesn't speak for all Christians... he doesn't even come close. However, as a Christian Reconstructivist, he is also a theocrat. I view the introduction of religion into our government as a slippery slope. I hope believers and non-believers alike can work together to prevent the kind of scenario North advocates. Here is his observation about cursing:

"The question eventually must be raised: Is it a criminal offense to take the name of the Lord in vain? When people curse their parents, it unquestionably is a capital crime (Ex. 21:17). The son or daughter is under the lawful jurisdiction of the family. The integrity of the family must be maintained by the threat of death. Clearly, cursing God (blasphemy) is a comparable crime, and is therefore a capital crime (Lev. 24:16).

"What about the integrity of the church? What if someone who is not a member of the church publicly curses the church? Is the State required to apply the same sanction? The person may not be covenantally subordinate to the particular church, or any church, unlike the subordinate child who curses a parent. There is no specific reference to any civil penalty for cursing anyone but a parent or God, nor is there any civil penalty assigned for using God’s name in vain. Then is there a general prohibition against cursing? On what grounds could a church prosecute a cursing rebel?

"One possible answer is the law against assault. Battery involves physical violence against a person, but assault can be verbal. A threat is made. A curse is a threat: calling the wrath of God down upon someone. Another approach is the law against public indecency. A third: cursing as a violation of the victim’s peace and quiet. Restitution could be imposed by the civil magistrate to defend a church or an individual who is victimized by cursing.

"What about cursing a civil magistrate? It is clear that this is an act of rebellion analogous to someone in the military who is insubordinate to his superior officer. A citizen or resident alien is under the lawful authority of the civil government. By publicly challenging this lawful authority, the person becomes a criminal rebel. There is no explicit penalty assigned to this crime. We know, however, that public flogging is lawful, up to forty lashes (Deut. 25:3), yet no crime in the Bible ever explicitly requires public physical punishment, except on an eye-for-eye basis, or the unique case of the woman who has her palm split in response to her specific prohibited physical violence against her husband’s opponent in a fight (Deut. 25:11-12). The punishment for cursing a civil magistrate is therefore left to the discretion of the magistrates or a jury. It might be public flogging; it might be a fine imposed in lieu of public flogging."

Gary North, The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1986), pp. 59-60

Comments? I'll be posting some more items by this guy and his buddies.


Blogger Phil said...

Who is this nutjob?

7:47 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Thankfully he is only a minor nutjob in the Nutjob Scheme of Things. It's worth it to do a Google search for "Rushdoony" and one for "Gary North". Not only have they taken fundamentalism to its extreme, they have overinterpreted scripture in alarming ways. I wonder how many Christian Reconstructivists there are in the US, in the world?

8:50 PM  

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