Another Ron Paul endorser cites the death penalty for homosexuality

Today on Ron Paul’s website, an article by pastor Voddie Baucham is touted on the front page. The article titled, “Baptist Pastor Explains ‘Why Ron Paul?,'” provides reasons why Rev. Baucham believes Ron Paul should be elected. Clearly, the Paul campaign believes this is an important endorsement (as they did the endorsement of Phil Kayser).

Baucham is often cited on theonomy websites (e.g., American Vision and Theonomy Resources). Baucham is a proponent of removing all children from the public schools and an opponent of having age based youth groups.

In a 2009 blog post, Baucham wrote critically of President Obama’s June, 2009 proclamation of LGBT Pride Month, saying:

Hence, sodomites, who who are in large part responsible for the introduction and spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic are praised for responding to this plague in an attempt to avoid annihilation (by the way, I know you don’t have to engage in sodomy to get HIV, but that doesn’t change the facts… see  the book, And the Band Played On for an honest look at this issue).  This is revisionism at its worst.

The President goes on to celebrate the fact that this abomination (Lev 18:22) worthy of the death penalty (Lev 20:13) is now being celebrated in the open.  He writes,  “Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before.” This is a clear sign of the devolution of culture.  As Paul writes in Romans, “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Rom 1:32 ESV)

Although Baucham writes “this abomination (Lev 18:22) worthy of the death penalty” and follows it with his view of Romans 1, he does not directly call for the death penalty now.  However, he does believe that the authority of civil government comes from God and that the church should inform civil leaders of biblical law. Baucham, like many Reconstructionists, believes that Ron Paul has a biblical view of jurisdiction. In his statement, Baucham says that Paul supports state’s rights and believes in limiting Federal power.

Additional information: In this sermon, Baucham refers again to the Leviticus and Romans passages which he interprets as calls for the death penalty. At the same time, he says gays should not be bashed. The inconsistency is not addressed.

Related:

 

Another Pastor Problem for Ron Paul? UPDATED

First read this:

Ron Paul Receives Major Evangelical Endorsement from Dr. James Linzey, President of Military Bible Association

Then, read this:

James F. Linzey Espouses anti-Semitic, White Racialist Conspiracy Theory

Then, check out the reaction at the Daily Paul:

Amazing evangelical endorsement from the president and founder of the Military Bible Association!

Paul’s supporters, for the most part, like the endorsement.

Nothing yet from the Paul campaign. I wrote Dr. Linzey to ask whether or not the Paul camp intends to promote the endorsement, with no answer as yet.

UPDATE:

Dr. Linzey today urges all military personnel in South Carolina to support Paul.

The Daily Beast examines Ron Paul’s Reconstructionist roots

Last week, I reported that Ron Paul hired Mike Heath (is he still AFTAH board chair?), and that Ron Paul touted an endorsement from an Omaha pastor who wants to implement Mosaic law, complete with executions for gays, adulterers and delinquent children.

Today, the Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg examines the topic and notes that many evangelicals who are coming Paul’s way today in Iowa lean toward the Reconstructionist side of the evangelical world.  The other interesting aspect of her article is the brief examination of the difference between dispensational and covenant theologies. The covenant folks believe that the Church is a replacement of sorts for Israel and that the Church will bring back the Kingdom of God on Earth. Dispensationalists believe that God will keep his promises to Israel and will remove the Church from the Earth during the “rapture” thus setting the stage for the coming Kingdom of God.

Often dispensationalists think political action is pointless since the world is coming to a bad end. Covenant adherents, among which are Reconstructionists, think that political takeover is necessary. One can see how the New Apostolic Reformation can work with the Christian Reconstructionists. However, as I pointed out last week, they part company over political ends. Reconstructionists favor a decentralized central government which would allow them to set up enclaves where Christian law dominates. New Apostolic Reformationists (e.g., Lou Engle, Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs) want the law at the Federal level to reflect Christian teaching in order to offset the judgment of God on the nation.

Does it seem odd and perhaps disconcerting that one must understand the nuances of Christian eschatology in order to understand what is happening in the GOP race for the nomination? Some reporters, like Goldberg, Pema Levy and Benjy Sarlin at TPM are getting it. I know Sarah Posner with Religion Dispatches is in Iowa today and she gets it. The gentlemen over at Right Wing Watch get it.

Do evangelical writers get it? Gentle reader, please enlighten me if I have missed it, but I cannot recall an evangelical writer or news source examining end times theology (and all it involves) as an influence on political theory.

Related:

Anti-gay politics and Ron Paul: A match made in Iowa

While Ron Paul’s personal beliefs about gays are hard to discern, his strategy in Iowa has been to make the most of anti-gay sentiment there. All last week, I pointed out the work of Mike Heath, Paul’s Iowa state director, to bring in Christian conservatives to the Paul fold. On Friday, I interviewed Brian Nolder, a pastor serving in Pella, IA who has endorsed Paul. Nolder noted that the Paul support among Christians has grown this election season but remains sharply divided between Christians looking for a candidate who will implement conservative positions on social issues from Washington and those who seek a weaker Federal government which will leave those decisions with the states.

With fine reporting, Talking Points Memo picked up on my posts last week about the Kayser endorsement and Mike Heath’s work there. This morning, TPM’s Benjy Sarlin explores Ron Paul’s support among Christian conservatives in Iowa. As I did last week, Sarlin found Christians there divided between those who want a perfect ideological candidate and those who want the Federal government to leave matters to the states.

Sarlin also highlights the work of Mike Heath who is selling Ron Paul as a conservative on gay marriage and abortion. The pro-life argument seems easier, but when it comes to gays, Heath has had a harder sell. In Iowa, Heath has worked to make Paul appealing to both ideological purists and state’s rights conservatives. In his TPM article, Sarlin points to Paul’s Defense of Marriage poster at events (see here) and various pastoral endorsements mentioning Paul’s opposition to gay marriage.

If anti-gay politics and Ron Paul have married in Iowa, then the matchmaker is clearly Heath. TPM reports that Heath had a “stint” as chair of the three-man board of the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality but that barely scratches the surface. While in Maine, Heath said it would be “prudent to reinstate Maine’s anti-sodomy law…” and called homosexuality “a sickness.” Heath opposed basic protections for gays including equal access in housing and employment.

Despite these appeals in Iowa to state’s rights, the prospects are slim that a Paul Presidency would rollback Federal civil rights protections very much. However, if Ron Paul is somehow successful and secures the nomination and then Presidency, he will have to fill an administration with people who think like him. One way to evaluate who a candidate would bring into his administration is to examine his campaign.

Do I need to say more?

Related:

Jonathan Turley says Ron Paul’s response to Kayser endorsement is inadequate

Prominent attorney Jonathan Turley has called on Ron Paul to do more than remove the endorsement of Christian reconstructionist pastor Phil Kayser.

Turley thinks highly of Paul but is critical of his handling of the endorsement and the removal of the endorsement from the website.

Turley calls Kayser, Paul’s preacher problem, writing

Now Ron Paul has his own embarrassing association. The preacher is Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, a pastor at the Dominion Covenant Church in Nebraska, who has a following in Iowa. The Paul campaign issued a press release (that it later removed from its site) heralding the endorsement of Kayser. The problem is that Kayser believes that gays should be executed according to biblical law. It was a a highly destructive endorsement for Paul who is attracting civil libertarians to his campaign. No one can stop someone from endorsing you, but the campaign clearly sought this endorsement from an extremist with reprehensible views. Unlike Wright, Kayser is not Paul’s personal minister, but the press release made him Paul’s problem in reaching out to civil libertarians.

While the campaign was right to pull the press release, it now should take responsibility and disassociate from Kayser. This is, in my view, another example of the dangers of faith-based politics, something that I have long condemned as inimical to separation principles.

Turley is right. Paul appears to be ignoring this and hoping no one will ask or hold him accountable. He may get out of Iowa without dealing with it, but this is only the first contest. I think GOP voters in other states will want answers.

Related:

Kayser endorsement flap not having much impact on Iowa campaign

Several national news outlets covered the Phil Kayser endorsement story this week, but it may not be having much impact in Iowa.

I spoke earlier today with another pastor who has endorsed Ron Paul, Brian Nolder, who said that the big stories there are the Kent Sorenson defection and to a lesser degree Ron Paul’s newsletters from the 1980s and 1990s.

Rev. Nolder, who does not hold the same theonomic views as Phil Kayser, had heard of the matter but did not think it was having much impact on the campaign at present.

According to Nolder, evangelicals in Iowa are divided between those who want top down solutions to moral issues and those who want a smaller Federal government. He has opted to support Dr. Paul because he believes Paul has better solutions to our dept crisis. Many Christians are gravitating to Santorum because those Christians want the Federal government to reflect Christian morality, something they perceive Santorum to favor.

Earlier this week, I noted that Paul himself may not hold theonomic views himself but is attractive to Christian reconstructionists because they want to see the dismantling of a strong Federal government.

One group that might experience difficulty because of Kayser’s endorsement is his own church. A group called Progressive Oasis is calling on the University of Nebraska at Omaha to stop the Dominion Covenant Church from meeting on University grounds.

Ron Paul quietly removes Phil Kayser endorsement from website; Kayser removes link to his death penalty book

UPDATE (12/29): As commenter Jessica Naomi points out, now Kayser has removed a link to his death penalty booklet. It is still hosted on his website read it here. Even though I think Paul should have to answer for the glowing words about Rev. Kayser, I can understand Paul’s action to remove the endorsement from his website. However, I am puzzled that Kayser would make his book harder to find.

After Talking Points Memo and Huffington Post covered Christian reconstructionist Phil Kayser’s endorsement of Ron Paul (first reported here), the Paul campaign has quietly taken the controversial press release from their website.

The Google cache is here, a screen capture is here and a pdf of the page is here.

The TPM reporters called Kayser and he acknowledged the beliefs he posted in his book defending the death penalty.

Related:

Bachmann’s campaign manager defects to Ron Paul, needs to change Twitter motto

Earlier today Kent Sorenson appeared with Michele Bachmann at an Iowa campaign event and then a bit later Bachmann’s campaign manager announced that he joined up with Ron Paul. He became an ex-Bachmann.

Given this defection, Sorenson’s motto on his Twitter account is interesting:

His new motto should be:

Screw standing for something, I just want to win!

Why Ron Paul appeals to Christian Reconstructionists

I think I may have this figured out.

I have been thinking about why New Apostolic Reformation dominionists like Rick Perry, and Michelle Bachmann but Christian reconstruction dominionists like Ron Paul. We know why they don’t like Mitt Romney (hint – in Christian dominionism of any sort, Mormons can’t implement biblical law).

But back to NAR vs. Christian reconstructionists; the focus of control is different. The NAR folks want to rule America as a Christian nation from the seat of centralized power in Washington DC. The Christian reconstructionists want to deconstruct central government in favor of state or local control of law. Bachmann and Perry promise to govern biblically and impose their view of Christian America on the nation. Paul promises to dismantle the federal government in favor of the states.

In fact, the Christian reconstructionists are afraid of the NAR dominionists. Recontructionist Joel McDurmon wants biblical law in place but he thinks the NAR approach is a dangerous power grab:

Can you imagine John Hagee as Secretary of State?

This is exactly the threat—top-down threat, totalitarian threat, eschatological holocaust threat—that 7MD presents to us.

American Vision is not that; they are not us; we are not them.

Perhaps more should be written on these guys and the threats they pose to society. They may have a few better political ideas, but they are just as dangerous in degree as the most radical of the left.

McDurmon distinguishes his view of government from the NAR (7Mountains) approach:

The First and most concerning point is that the 7MD version does what critics of traditional dominion theology have falsely accused us of doing the whole time: planning to grab the reins of influence through whatever means necessary, usurp the seats of political power, and impose some tyrannical “theocracy” upon society from the top down with a “whether you like it or not, it’s for your own good” mentality.

We have responded, consistently, that our blueprint is about the rollback of tyranny, not the replacement of it—the removal of unjust taxation, welfare, warfare, government programs, etc. We favor privatization, local control of civil and criminal law, hard and sound money, and private charity for cases of poverty, all led by families, businesses, and churches—not large, centralized, top-down solutions. Yes, we would properly recriminalize sodomy, adultery, and abortion, but in a decentralized world like we want, you could leave easily if you didn’t like that.

So at least some of the ends are the same, but the Christian reconstructionists want to rollback the central government and allow states and local governments to make and enforce law with the Bible as a guide. Those who didn’t agree could go somewhere else. The reconstructionist desire to locate power away from the central government is what, I believe, brings in endorsements from reconstructionist pastors, like Phillip Kayser.

A very explicit reconstructionist case for Ron Paul was made recently on the Theonomy resources website by Bojidar Marinov. As a reconstructionist, his support for Paul was based not on his personal views but on his overall philosophy of governance. Marinov wrote:

It is not Ron Paul that we are looking at when we vote for him; we are looking at God’s purpose for our generation; at what enemies He wants us to rout in our generation; and at what must be done in our generation to advance the Kingdom of God.

The great Battle of Our Time is the battle against the socialist welfare-warfare state. While the issues of abortion and sodomy – the two issues that Stephen criticizes Ron Paul for – are important, they are to a very great extent subservient to the issue of the socialist state. Sodomites and abortionists are protected by the centralized government in Washington, DC. The theonomic solution to the problems of sodomy and abortion can not be achieved at the Federal level because at that level liberals outnumber conservatives 20 to 1. And theonomic Christians are almost non-existent at that level. It is only when the socialist state is dismantled and power returned back to the states and the counties that we will be able to successfully deal with the other social and moral issues. As long as sin is protected at the Federal level, our political job as Christians is to dismantle the Federal bureaucracy and return all power to the local communities. Therefore, the great battle is against the socialist state.
Given that, Ron Paul is the man with the best position to work for that goal on the national level. We must join him not because of him but because we recognize the great battle, and recognize where our place is. Once we win that battle, we can move to the next one. But refusing support to an ally for the most important issue we are facing today only because we find deal-breakers in smaller issues is not wise.

The job of theonomists (those who believe the Bible should be the civil law) is to dismantle the Federal government. When issues of morality (sodomites and abortionists) are taken from the central government and put into to the localities can the real Christian reconstruction begin (see this post if you want to know what that means).

Does Paul fit the reconstructionist vision? Given the current political alternatives, I can see why reconstructionists would think so. Consider Paul’s criticism of the Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas that overturned laws against sodomy.

Consider the Lawrence case decided by the Supreme Court in June. The Court determined that Texas had no right to establish its own standards for private sexual conduct, because gay sodomy is somehow protected under the 14th amendment “right to privacy.” Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be, there clearly is no right to privacy nor sodomy found anywhere in the Constitution. There are, however, states’ rights — rights plainly affirmed in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. Under those amendments, the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards. But rather than applying the real Constitution and declining jurisdiction over a properly state matter, the Court decided to apply the imaginary Constitution and impose its vision on the people of Texas.

Viewed from the lens of state’s rights, Paul’s praise of the voter recall of Iowa Supreme Court judges over gay marriage and his support for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, incomprehensible to the NAR dominionist who wants ideological purity, make sense and is actually a plus for the Christian reconstructionist. In Paul’s vision, the people in the states do what they want with various sinners, the Feds will just protect their right to do so. Your civil rights in this kind of world would depend on the state in which you live. If you live in California, then the sky is the limit; if you live in Mississippi then, as recontrustionist McDurmon advises, you better either move, or, as Paul supporter Phillip Kayser hopes, get back in whatever closet you came out of.

Update: Talking Points Memo spoke to Phillip Kayser today and he confirmed my thoughts above. Paul is appealing because reconstruction would be easier in a decentralized America. Now, what will Paul do with that information?

Related:

What Does Ron Paul Really Believe About Gays?

What do Dan Savage and AFTAH’s Mike Heath have in common?

Ron Paul touts endorsement of pastor who defends death penalty for gays, delinquent children & adultery

Ron Paul touts endorsement of pastor who defends death penalty for gays, delinquent children & adultery

Phillip Kayser is pastor of the Dominion Covenant Church in Omaha, Nebraska, just across the border from Iowa. Yesterday, Rev. Kayser endorsed Ron Paul for President.  The Paul campaign clearly welcomed the endorsement calling Kayser an “eminent pastor.” Ron Paul’s Iowa Chairman, Drew Ivers, commended Kayser’s view of Paul’s approach to government, saying

“We welcome Rev. Kayser’s endorsement and the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs.  We’re thankful for the thoughtfulness with which he makes his endorsement and hope his endorsement and others like it make a strong top-three showing in the caucus more likely,” said Ron Paul 2012 Iowa Chairman Drew Ivers.

Dr. Kayser has degrees in education, theology and philosophy/ethics.  He is the author of over 40 books and booklets.  The name of one organization that he founded describes well his ministry: Biblical Blueprints.  His passion is to see the comprehensive blueprints of the Scriptures applied to science, civil government, education, art, history, economics, business, and every area of life.

For his part, Kayser said he had some disagreements with Paul but endorsed Paul due to Paul’s views on limited government, non-intervention abroad and civics. Kayser said Paul’s view of civics is “far closer to Biblical civics than any of the other candidate’s…”

Kayser’s endorsement and the Paul campaign’s response (“…how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs”) is of note because what Kayser believes about government. It appears that Kayser is a Christian reconstructionist (see this post about their views) who believes that the penalties associated with Mosaic law should be implemented today. Also, known as theonomy, the adherents generally believe biblical rules should be promoted by Christians in politics and implemented by legislation.

Kayser’s work is promoted on the website Theonomy Resources which is run by Stephen Halbrook. I wrote about Halbrook’s book on biblical law here and noted that he promoted the idea that homosexuality, adultery, idolatry and rebellion in children should be considered capital offenses today (see What would dominionists do with gays? Part 3).

In his own writing, Kayser has similar views. In defense of the death penalty, he writes:

Whereas Hebrews 2:2 gives a blanket endorsement of all Old Testament penology as justice, the rest of the New Testament gives specifics. It teaches that homosexuals who come out of the closet are “worthy of death” (Rom. 1:32). It teaches that juvenile delinquents who abuse their parents can in certain circumstances “be put to death” (Mt. 15:3-9) and that rejection of this provision was to “transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition” (v. 3).

Kayser nuances his teaching somewhat by saying the death penalty is not required by the Old Testament, but instead may be implemented by the state if parents press charges.

Would the church of today receive the same scathing denunciation because we do not want the state to enforce this law? In America we have juvenile delinquents who threaten their parents, abuse their parents and keep their parents in constant fear. There should be some provision where this could be stopped. Keep in mind that in the Old Testament the parents couldn’t put their children to death, only the state could. On the other hand, the state couldn’t put them to death unless the parents testified against them. And there are many other checks and balances in Biblical jurisprudence that are outlined in Appendix A. But Christ gives no indication that this commandment has been annulled. Instead, he reproves those who would seek to annul it.

Regarding gays, Kayser’s vision for a nation being restored to biblical law allows for a variety of responses:

For example, in a society that was being converted, homosexuals could continue to be converted as they were in the church of Corinth. Even after a society implemented Biblical law and made homosexuality a crime, there are many checks and balances that would be in place. (See Appendix A page 40 for specifics.) The civil government could not round them up. Only those who were prosecuted by citizens could be punished, and the punishment could take a number of forms, including death. This would have a tendency of driving homosexuals back into their closets. (p. 24)

I don’t know if Ron Paul believes this way or not, but Rev. Kayser and the Paul campaign certainly seem to endorse each other on their views of government. I think Rep. Paul should be asked if he would support the right of a state to implement such a system. If he is consistent with his past writings and current endorsers, I don’t know on what basis he would believe that a federal court could overturn laws recriminalizing homosexuality.

Adultery is also listed by Kayser as a potential capital crime. Um, Newt…

UPDATE: Phillip Kayser’s endorsement has been scrubbed from Ron Paul’s website.

Related:

What Does Ron Paul Really Believe About Gays?

What do Dan Savage and AFTAH’s Mike Heath have in common?