Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#989: Gary North

A.k.a. Scary Gary

Gary Kilgore North is a Dominionist Calvinist writer, one of the leaders of the Christian Reconstructionist movement (son-in-law of R.J. Rushdoony, for instance), and one of the most explicit Talibanists in the US at present. What distinguishes North from most other central reconstructionist thinkers, such as David Barton, Kirk Cameron or Gary DeMar, is that North actually agrees with minimally sane people that the Constitution does not justify theocracy and is not a continuation of the Bible. North’s response, though, is that the Constitution should be rejected in favor of a new theocratic form of government based on the Old Testament (the Constitution, according to North, was a scam). After all, this is the only proper response to the current decline of America, as described in his book Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism. To quote from the book: “The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion – must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel.” Yep, those good old days when everything was better.

His political vision is laid out in the “Sinai Strategy”. As most Taliban dominionists, North ignores the New Testament and its teachings of mercy and forgiveness, and instead focuses on various forms of corporal punishment, such as stoning: “Why stoning?” asks North (rhetorically). “There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost … executions are community projects – not with spectators who watch a professional executioner do ‘his duty,’ but rather with actual participants … That modern Christians never consider the possibility of the reintroduction of stoning for capital crimes indicates how thoroughly humanistic concepts of punishment have influenced the thinking of Christians.” Yep, that’s Gary North for you (he might actually be correct about the last point, but that’s sort of a different matter).

What sort of crimes would merit such punishments? Well, blasphemy for sure: “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.” See how unfortunate we are, we who have let the ideals of humanism send us straight into barbarism?

So, in conclusion, when it comes to dealing with religious liberty (from his article “The Intellectual Schizophrenia of the New Christian Right”): “we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.” North’s views on education are also presented in homeschooling activist Colin Gunn’s documentary “IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America.”

North is also famous – and got his nickname – from his promotion of Y2K hysteria during the late 1990s (the story, including North’s response to the rather obvious failure of his doomsday predictions, is here; also here).

North is also a prominent member within the paleo-libertarian movement, having written for The Freeman (and currently for Lew Rockwell’s site); he was also a research assistant for Ron Paul in the 70s. Much of his writings are, accordingly, attempts to synthesize theocracy with Austrian school economics (or “the reiki of economy”), as he tried in Inheritance and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Deuteronomy or Treasure and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Luke. He has also co-written the book Fighting Chance (promoting Duck and Cover silliness) with Arthur B. Robinson, who is otherwise known for initiating the Oregon Petition.

There is a webpage devoted to Gary North’s bullshit here. One of his recent books, Christian Reconstruction: What It Is, What It Isn’t (with Gary DeMar) is reviewed here.

Diagnosis: One of the vilest, craziest people alive, Gary North still manages to retain quite a bit of influence, despite wearing his Taliban-envy on his sleeves.


  1. Gary North was protege and son in law to the late Dominionist minister R.J. Rushdoony. North is married to Rushdoony's daughter Sharon. At some point, North and his late father in law had a falling out.