Last week, Robert Novak wrote about why some of the architects of the 1970's-era conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention don't like Mike Huckabee. Although some of them have enthusiastically endorsed their fellow SBC; preacher, one notable exception is Paul Pressler, who endorsed Fred Thompson. According to Novak, Pressler's objection is his concern that "Huckabee plays to the establishment and would be subservient to the State Department and the New York Times."
But even Novak seemed disconcerted by a Huckabee fundraiser in Texas last week, hosted by Steven Hotze, whom Novak describes as a Christian Reconstructionist leader. explained by Bruce Prescott, Executive Director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists explains Christian Reconstructionism:
At its root, Reconstructionism is a militant Biblicism. . . . Stripped to its barest essentials, here is their blueprint for America. Their ultimate goal is to make the U.S. Constitution conform to a strict, literal interpretation of Biblical law. To do that involves a series of legal and social reforms that will move society toward their goal. 1) Make the ten commandments the law of the land, 2) Reduce the role of government to the defense of property rights, 3) Require “tithes” to ecclesiastical agencies to provide welfare services, 4) Close prisons – reinstitute slavery as a form of punishment and require capital punishment for all of ancient Israel’s capital offenses – including apostacy, blasphemy, incorrigibility in children, murder, rape, Sabbath breaking, sodomy, and witchcraft, 5) Close public schools – make parents totally responsible for the education of their children, and 6) Strengthen patriarchically ordered families.
Hotze, Prescott told an Interfaith Alliance forum on religious extremism in 2002, "mobilized Christian activists all over Houston to take over Republican Party precincts . . . . That made him the political boss of the Republican Party in Houston. . . . He has also been very successful in electing ultra-conservative right wing candidates to public offices – particularly in the judiciary."
In a 1990 video intended to mobilize Republican activists, Hotze said:
Biblically, the legitimate role of civil government is to provide justice based upon the absolute standards of God's law, to restrain wickedness, to punish evil doers, and to protect the life, liberty and property of law abiding citizens.
Christians have the responsibility to be actively involved in family, church and civil government arenas. There is no neutrality. Civil government will either reflect biblical Christianity or it will reflect anti-Christian positions.
You can make the difference. The upcoming primary elections will provide you with the opportunity not only to exercise your right to vote but also to attend precinct conventions which occur at your polling place after the polls close. The precinct convention is the most critical meeting for you to attend if you want to have an impact in the area of civil government.
That, Novak contended, reflects Huckabee's base.