From John D. Croft
Vaughan, I don't know if you have seen this. I got interested in the money trail behind the Discovery Institute, the main proponent of IDiocy. and this is what I discovered. Interesting
I post this because I feel it is about time you that others understand who is really behind the Intelligent Design movement they champion.
I know many do not accept this but as Larson, Edward J. Larson (2003) showed in "Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution" (Oxford University Press. pp.248-50) evolution *is* the central defining principle of biology.
The first major modern creationist book published was by Henry M. Morris and John C. Whitcomb Jr.'s "The Genesis Flood". Morris and Whitcomb argued that creation was literally 6 days long, about 6,000 years ago and that humans lived concurrently with dinosaurs, and that God created each 'kind' of life individually. Of course they were very imprecise as to what "kind" means, as in the case of our distinction between humans and chimpanzees it was defined as "genus" level (although it is unclear whether Australopithecus, Homo erectus or Neanderthals were considered the same "kind" as Homo sapiens sapiens). The fact that a creation of the cosmos only 6,000 years would mean that the observable universe was only 6,000 light years in radius and not 13.73 billion light years old (plus the 65 billion extra light years in universal expansion since that date) was never explained.
The Institute for Creation Science, founded by Morris, and funded by Howard Ahmanson Jnr, at the urging of his friend and mentor John Rousas Rushdoony, led eventually to the Discovery Institute that through its "wedge document" has been the source of the ID debate ever since. Rushdoony was profoundly influenced by the theories of Cormelius Van Til who was a Dutch theologian who emphasised the inerrant authority of the Bible and the irreconcilability between believers and unbelievers. Rushdoony is also widely regarded as the founder of the religious home schooling movement in the USA, and started the US fundamentalists claim that the theory of evolution, or atheism, or whatever bee they have in their bonnet, resulted in Hitler and Stalin. In fact Hitler was a Christian and burned the books of Darwin whilst Stalin also rejected modern Darwinianism and officially followed Lysenkoism, a form of Lamarckianism, and had Darwinists sent to the Gulag as "foreign agents", is never acknowledged by religious fundamentalists.
Rushdoony's dislike of democracy and tolerance and the wide use he would make of the death penalty, the British Centre for Science Education called him "a man every bit as potentially murderous as Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot or anyone else you may want to name amongst the annals of evil" and "a thoroughly evil man." Rushdoony forced his first wife to be committed to Agnew State Hospital (by Dr Rappaport) so that he could divorce her within his theology. His married lover, Dorthy Ross Kirkwood, subsequently did the same to her husband (Thomas Kirkwood). They married after both of their divorces were final. Rushdoony then forced his new wife to disown her adopted son, Tom Kirkwood.
Rushdoony and his Christian Reconstructionism, the movement behind the Discovery Institute advocates "complete submission of the state to the Mosaic law." Particularly the Mosaic law's penal sanctions. Under such a system, the list of civil crimes which carried a death sentence would include homosexuality, adultery, incest, lying about one's virginity, bestiality, witchcraft, idolatry or apostasy, public blasphemy, false prophesying, kidnapping, rape, and bearing false witness in a capital case, incorrigibility in children and unchastity before marriage but this only applied to women.
Rushdoony told Bill Moyers in 1988 that "The Bible identifies 15 crimes against the family worthy of the death penalty." He has also written "In the name of toleration, the believer is asked to associate on a common level of total acceptance with the atheist, the pervert, the criminal, and the adherents of other religions as though no differences existed." These people he considers should be eliminated in the theocratic state he wishes to see established through the Christian right of the Republican Party. He has also writtem "One faith, one law and one standard of justice did not mean democracy. The heresy of democracy has since then worked havoc in church and state . . . Christianity and democracy are inevitably enemies." (The Institutes of Biblical Law page 100) Democracy he considers a heresy, and heresy as a form of idolatry demands the death penalty.
"Christianity is completely and radically anti-democratic; it is committed to spiritual aristocracy."
Once in power Christian Reconstructionism of Rousas Rushdoony, the secret group behind creationism will under Rushdoony even use the death penalty be used to punish those guilty of astrology. Rodney Clapp quoted Rushdoony in his 1987 essay in Christianity Today - Democracy as Heresy (Feb 20th issue): "[Christian fundamentalists must] take dominion over the US...[abolish democracy] which is actually heresy...[establish a theocratic republic] under biblical law...True to the letter of Old Testament law, homosexuals, adulterers, blasphemers, astrologers, [and for such offences as] abortion, heresy, apostasy...will be executed."
Unfortunately this Christian Reconstructionism of Rushdoony is based also on Holocaust denial and racism. Rushdoony believed that interracial marriage, which he referred to as "unequal yoking", should be made illegal. He also opposed "enforced integration", referred to Southern slavery as "benevolent", and said that "some people are by nature slaves". In The Institutes of Biblical Law he calculated Jewish deaths during the Holocaust to be between 896,292 and 1.2 million, suggested that many of those died of epidemics, and accused Holocaust survivors and researchers of bearing "false witness" against Germans, another Biblical law bearing the death penalty. Rushdoony states, "The false witness born during World War II with respect to Germany is especially notable and revealing. The charge is repeatedly made that six million innocent Jews were slain by the Nazis, and the figure--and even larger figures--is now entrenched in the history books". He considers this a lie.
Rushdoony was a complete fundamentalist who had no belief in democracy and wanted to turn the USA into a theocracy (with himself and his fellow believers in charge). His ambitions involved staggering levels of violence. His son in law and early follower Gary North believes Christ's Ethical teachings in the Sermon on the Mount were merely "recommendations for the ethical conduct of a captive people." In a future theocracy, when the roles have been reversed, North has told his followers to react with violence to an "oppressor" - "Either bust him in the chops or haul him before the magistrate, and possibly both". Rushdoony himself was a member of the John Birch Society and enjoyed a long friendship with Robert Welch, the founder of the Society and the man who accused President Dwight Eisenhower of being a knowing Communist agent.
Rushdoony was one of the first members of the secretive Council for National Policy, which the Rev. Tim LaHaye and others started to bring right-wing Christians, other conservative activists, and John Birchers together with wealthy patrons willing to fund them. Other members of the CNP include Howard Ahmanson, John Ashcroft (former US Attorney General), Jerry Falwell (leading televangelist and creationist), George Gilder (Discovery Institute founder), Ted Haggard (a Richard Dawkins bete noir), Nelson Bunker Hunt, Trent Lott (Bill Clinton impeacher), Oliver North (Iran Contra affair organiser and corrupt public official), Pat Robertson (leading televangelist and creationist), Richard Mellon Scaiffe (misanthropist), Kenneth Starr (of the Monika Lewinsky business), John Templeton (John Templeton Foundation). Rushdoony's Chalcedon Foundation publishes the writings of several white supremacists. One of those authors is Larry Pratt. He is head of Gun Owners of America, a pro-gun lobby that makes the extremist National Rifle Association look tame. Pratt was involved in the 1996 Presidential bid by Pat Buchanan. Pratt is an advocate of paramilitary organisations (known as militia by some in the USA.) Pratt also founded English First, a group opposed to non-English speaking immigrants. And, of course, Pratt is also involved with the Christian Reconstructionist movement. Larry Pratt is a friend of former attorney general John Ashcroft.
Also involved in this cabal is born-gain Christian Phillip Johnson, the "brains" behind the Discovery Institute and author of one of the most fraudulent books ever written, "Darwin on Trial?" The man behind the Wedge scam, a close friend and benefactor of Howard Ahmanson's funding. Intelligent Design "theorist" and mover-and-shaker Phillip Johnson dedicated his book "Defeating Darwinism" to "Howard and Roberta" -- Ahmanson and his wife. Ahmanson also contributes heavily to the Discovery Institute, the 'intellectual' flagship of the Intelligent Design movement, and the George C. Marshall Institute, which is the flagship organisation that disputes research indicating that human activity contributes to global warming and funds campaign for extremist Republican candidates. Ahmanson has given several million dollars over the past few years to anti-evolution groups (including Discovery Institute), as well as anti-gay groups, "Christian" political candidates, and funding efforts to split the Episcopalian Church over its willingness to ordain gay ministers and to other groups which oppose the minimum wage. He and several other prominent Reconstructionists have close ties with Diebold, the company that would manufacture the computerized voting machines if they were used. There has been some criticism of Diebold because it refuses to make the source code of its voting machine software available for scrutiny, and its software does not allow anyone to track voting after it is done (no way to confirm accuracy of the machine). This ease of possible "vote-fixing" may or may not be connected to the belief of Diebold's Reconstructionist backers that only "Christians" should be allowed to vote.
So now we know. These are the people and organisations that are really behind Brent Mortimer, Charles Dawkins, Maynard Smith, Null and all the others who deny evolution. They are antidemocratic right wing Christian ayatollahs, who wish to model the USA on a form of theocracy that disappeared before the European Enlightenment, and make Hitler look tame by comparison.