Michael Anthony Peroutka is the founder of the Institute on the Constitution (with his brother Stephen), co-host of The American View radio program, and prominent member of the Constitution Party, being their candidate for president in 2004. His candidacy – the campaign theme being “God, Family, Republic” – emphasized in particular the Bible and the idea of America as a Christian Nation, advocating for instance a revision of the First Amendment to affirm Triune Christianity as the officially established religion of the United States. Peroutka was accordingly endorsed by several prominent Dominionists, the League of the South, and Alex Jones. (In 2014 his ambitions are a bit lower, but he is registered to run for spots on a county commission and on the Republican party committee in Anne Arundel County, Maryland; less power, perhaps, but also a greater chance of succeeding – and this guy is seriously dangerous.)
Yes, he is a staunch theocrat, claiming that the church–state separation a myth and a lie and that the Constitution, in reality, mandates just the opposite (which makes it a bit unclear why he thinks it needs to be changed, but fair enough). According to Peroutka “[a] revolution has happened in America […] over the past 150 years. Evolution is at the bottom of it, and some very un-American people have been and are behind it. The purpose of the revolution is to stop you from being able to think and believe like an American [i.e. like Peroutka] any more …. It’s been a calculated and evil anti-God, anti-Christian revolution.” You don’t get much more insane than that; though he is probably right that people with a modicum of education and critical thinking skills probably won’t think and believe like him. He has elsewhere argued that teahching evolution is “disloyalty to America”. To support the claim, he quotes the Declaration of Independence: “There exists a creator God. He is the God of the Bible. He is not Allah, nor any of the Hindu deities, nor is he the God that is in the wind or in the trees or some other impersonal force. He created us. We did not evolve from apes or slimy, swampy things.” Evidently secular scholars must have missed that passage.
In 2012, the Human Rights Campaign called Peroutka an “active white supremacist and secessionist sympathizer,” though Peroutka denies the charges. He does, however, refer to the Confederate flag as “the American flag”. Interestingly, Peroutka does (at least occasionally) take his own goals to be in line e.g. with Martin Luther King’s goals, though he does have his own interpretation of MLK’s words, claiming for instance that MLK did not call for civil rights in the 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech (but rather for Biblical law). Indeed, Peroutka has said that all civil rights laws are unjust because “there is no such thing as a civil right.”
Peroutka is perhaps (or used to be) most noted for his anti-abortion stance, advocating that the anti-choice movement should begin to use different and more extreme tactics and that local officials should begin prosecuting women for murder if they have an abortion. He apparently refuses to recognize Roe v. Wade; according to Peroutka that case doesn’t have any impact on the law because it violates the Bible. He doesn’t like gays either (surprise), and was part of the coalition to file the motherof all Proposition 8 briefs in 2013 (arguing for instance that laws against homosexuality and sodomy affirm rather than deny the humanity of gay people). Peroutka has elsewhere emphasized that if we followed God’s laws then there would be “no way we are ever going to validate homo or sodomite-unmarriage,” compared gay marriage to bank robbery, claimed that ENDA isn’t about civil rights (there are none, remember) but an insidious attempt by the government to force you to be gay, and argued that the apparently un-Biblical victory of the Union in the Civil War led directly to gay marriage – according to Peroutka the South’s defeat opened the door to a “huge black hole of centralized power,” which means that people began looking to the government, rather than God, as the source of their rights; “the real effect of the War and the Reconstruction after the war was to take the very foundation of our understanding of our rights away from us, that is to say that they come from God, and put them in the hands of men,” who can then change the meaning of concepts like marriage. Yes, it is all going down the drains; according to Peroutka, America is “heading toward Haiti” because we are disobeying God’s laws.
Of course, due to its failure to align itself with God’s laws, Peroutka does not trust the legal system. He is accordingly for instance pessimistic about the Hobby Lobby case – Justice Anthony Kennedy will rule against Hobby Lobby because he hates God: “The reason he hates God is because he thinks he is God. And if you think you’re God, then you hate anybody else or any other entity or being that anybody would give homage to that would interfere with what you see yourself as; he is jealous of any other God.”
On the other hand, Peroutka is very fond of home-schooling, and argues that the solution to school violence is to abolish schools, which … well …
Diagnosis: At least he is reasonably clear about his goals. It is rather interesting that he has earned the respect of several people who also claim to have America’s best interests in mind (Peroutka, on his side, doesn’t even really recognize America).