Monday, July 4, 2016

#1685: Colin Gunn

If Christian reconstructionism is a fringe movement, it is pretty mainstream for a fringe movement. There are plenty of people in the US fighting fervently to institute a theocracy, and although they often claim to revere the Constitution, their idea of what the Constitution says has very, very little with what it actually says. In particular, reconstructionists fight tooth and claw against religious freedom. They do so in the name of religious freedom, of course, but what they mean is their freedom to force others to accept their religious beliefs, not religious freedom. Accordingly, many reconstructionists take a dim view of public education, since public schools are not allowed to violate the religious freedoms of students and in particular not allowed to force or even recommend that students adopt the religious belief these reconstructionists think students should adopt. And combine that sense of dismay with the persecution and martyr complex at the core of their own sense of identity, and you will get some truly inane and scary conspiracy theories.

Homeschooling activist and dominionist Colin Gunn is one such, and he is behind one of several “documentaries” about the perils of the public education system,  such as “IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America,” which features an impressive lineup of Christian Reconstructionists such as Gary North, Gary DeMar, Doug Phillips, John Eidsmoe and Joe Morecraft, as well as none other than Ken Ham, of Answers In Genesis and the Creation Museum fame. According to Gunn, the education system can only be fixed if “every subject taught in school is designed to give glory to God,” so OK: Gunn may not even be trying to pretend that he is in favor of civil rights or religious freedom. Rather, he strives to protect children from being exposed to subjects like evolution or, really, science in general: the teaching of evolution can, according to Gunn, contaminate “the culture of a school” and trigger school shootings, and the “faith of many children are undermined very quickly in the science class”. Instead, the Bible alone should be basis of “understanding of real science,” says Gunn. “Real science” does apparently not mean science. The solution, of course, is to eradicate the “sinful” and secular public school system that also exposes children to the philosophies of gays, progressives, and abortion rights activists.

In an interview with Vic Eliason on Crosstalk, Gunn claimed that even the school bus is emblematic of the United States’ “totalitarian education system” (no, he doesn’t quite understand what “totalitarian” means; go figure). Moreover, Gunn claims that public schools are persecuting Christians (by not forcing everyone to submit to Gunn’s Taliban-style version of dominionism, of course) and has compared public school education in the US to Nazi indoctrination through the Hitler Youth (Eliason agreed, and said that the public school system was performing “mental molestation”).

Diagnosis: Thoroughly deranged, frothing madman. The rabid Taliban-envy that characterize people like Gunn should really be a laughing matter, but given his influence and the sheer number of delusional maniacs sympathetic to his cause, it really isn’t.

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