Tuesday, August 22, 2017

#1887: Peter Leithart

Peter Leithart is a theocrat and president of Theopolis Institute for Biblical, Liturgical, & Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Alabama. He is also the author of numerous books, some coauthored with George Grant or Gary DeMar, including a series of children’s bedtime stories that we haven’t read but nevertheless recommend that parents who wish to raise wholesome, good and wise kids avoid with a passion. Taking a cue from Islamic fundamentalists – reconstructionists like Leithart tend to harbor a certain envy for radical jihadists – Leithart has presented “American Christians with a call to martyrdom,” in particular as a response to the legality of abortion and gay marriage: “Throughout Scripture,” Leithart says (in his book Between Babel and Beast), “the only power that can overcome the seemingly invincible omnipotence of a Babel or a Beast is the power of martyrdom, the power of the witness to King Jesus to the point of loss and death.” At least Leithart, as opposed to some dominionist, recognizes that the type of hatred and bigotry he would prefer be the law is neither popular nor embedded in the Constitution: “To be faithful, Christian witness must be witness against America.” How Leithart’s claims are relevantly different from a Taliban video is less clear, insofar as Leithart is explicitly and repeatedly calling for Christians to seek martyrdom in combat against America and its values.

It is probably not even worth mentioning that Leithart is a young-earth creationism; indeed, he doesn’t even seem to bother with the science: any semblance of criticism of a literary reading of the Bible from science or history is for Leithart entirely beside the point.

Diagnosis: He does his best to make himself ideologically indistinguishable from the most delusionally rabid Taliban jihadists – and he seems to have a number of followers (David Lane, for instance). Dangerous.

1 comment:

  1. Don't you love these advocates for self martrydom who say "here let me hold your coat while you go blow yourself up". I guess practice what you preach is no longer in fashion.