Wednesday, March 16, 2016

#1622: Marshall Foster

Foster, the way he appeared what
appears to be some decades ago.
Marshall Foster is an R.J. Rushdoony fan and Christian Reconstructionist. He is the founder of the World History Institute (previously the Mayflower Institute), an educational (propaganda) foundation that tries to teach us about the Biblical and historical foundations of liberty. So, not liberty. And the history part is pretty revisionist to make it fit their agenda, too – Foster appears to be a committed fan of the kind of pseudohistory promoted by e.g. David Barton.

Foster was for instance co-producer for Kirk Cameron’s movie Monumental, which sought to establish that America is a Christian nation by consulting David Barton and Gary DeMar and arguing that the original pilgrims from the 17th century were religious fundamentalists; therefore the Founding Fathers were; therefore America should be a theocracy. That argument is pretty representative for the kind of stuff Foster is into; he advocates abolishing public schools (rather obvious, given the kind of evidence and reasoning he apparently thinks we ought to be impressed by) and to return to the Bible as the foundation for all aspects of society.

As a deranged fundamentalist Foster also nourishes a couple of pet fundamentalist peeves. Harry Potter, for instance. Foster doesn’t like Harry Potter. Indeed, Foster is scared of Harry Potter, and the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando where, according to Foster, “[m]illions of people each year will be taught at this theme park how to become witches, cast spells, conjure up spirits, and ride brooms.” You know, Foster, Harry Potter isn’t really real, and people cannot really ride on broomsticks and so on. Then again, Foster is on the advisory board of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, so his difficulties with distinguishing fiction from reality aren’t particularly surprising: The Bible, after all, “emphatically forbids witchcraft (Ex. 22:18), wizardry (Deut. 18:10-11), enchantments (Is. 47:9-12), and divination (Ezek. 21:21).” Here he weighs in on the Sandy Hook shootings; exasperated, Foster rejects all the psychological explanations or “imbalance of chemical enzymes,” and concludes instead that the tragedy was due to Lanza’s “sin nature”. Which isn’t much of an explanation even if true. Not that Foster would be able to distinguish an explanation from incoherent lunatic ravings if his life depended on it. But the upshot is, as always, that we need to get the Bible back in public schools.

Diagnosis: Deranged madman who seems to have some followers among the more lunatic fringes of fundamentalism. Stay well clear of this one.

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