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October-12-01

Christian Reconstructionists Launch “Operation Potomac”

Jeffrey Ziegler, President of the National Reform Association (NRA), a Pittsburgh, PA based Christian Reconstructionist organization, has announced plans to form a political action committee and public policy organization, officially entering Washington’s world of politics. The NRA hopes that through “Operation Potomac” it can begin lobbying, developing political campaigns, and grooming potential candidates to run at the federal level. The NRA and Christian Reconstructionism, however, already have close ties to Washington. NRA members have met with several Republicans in the House and Senate during three trips to Washington, DC made since July 2000. House Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) is reportedly helping NRA members organize a “biblical worldview” conference on Capital Hill next year, and President Bush may be considering J. Robert Brame III, board member of Reconstructionist group American Vision as a member of the National Labor Relations Board. Brame has written that the “only sure guide is Divinely-inspired Biblical law superintended by the God Who watches over His Word.”

Christian Reconstructionist ideology is the most radical expression of the Religious Right. Believing that the Bible should be the basis of government, education, and law, Reconstructionists envision an extremist society in which public schools, most social service programs, and welfare would be obliterated. According to Reconstructionist belief, the Bible allows liberal application of the death penalty for crimes including homosexuality, abortion, adultery, child disobedience, and witchcraft. Acceptable forms of capital punishment supposedly outlined in the Bible include burning, stoning, and hanging. Slavery is also acceptable, according to Reconstructionists who claim that the Bible does not outlaw all of its methods.

Media Resources: Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Church and State, 10/01; Frederick Clarkson, Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy