Skip to comments.TAKING OVER THE CRA/NFRA AND THE CHALCEDON FOUNDATION - ARE WE BEING MANIPULATED?
Posted on 10/08/2003 4:12:18 PM PDT by Chancellor Palpatine
This California recall has enabled us to take a close look at the inner workings of California politics, and of some of the shadowy interests which manipulate teh GOP to serve the interests of a numerically small but very noisily ideological group of malcontents from within the party. I have taken the time to come up with links to articles and excerpts of what is contained within so as to provide FReepers with some of the connections which exist between various individuals and groups within the California Republican Party, as well as the beliefs espoused by each.
When reviewing these excerpts (and they are all fairly lenghty, be forewarned), keep this working set of names and definitions in mind:
Howard Ahmanson, Jr. - Heir to vast savings and loan fortune, a 20 year contributor and former board member of the Chalcedon Institute. Prolific donor to campaigns of CRA members, and a particular patron of Tom McClintock.
Mark Rushdoony - Dead pseudotheologian and proponent of doctrine of Christian Dominionism.
Chalcedon Foundation/Institute - "Think tank" which advances the cause of Christian Dominionism in America.
Christian Dominionism - an ideology that the United States shall be governed under a Christian moral code with heavy emphasis on Old Testament rules as a matter of civil and criminal law.
California Republican Assembly - an organization which claims to consist of grassroots California Republicans
John Stoos - Former Vice President of the California Republican Asssembly, long time Chalcedon contributing writer and staffer and now a political aide to Tom McClintock.
Rod Martin - Eastern Region Vice President of the NFRA, Editor-Director of the Vanguard.
NFRA - National Federation of Republican Assemblies, the umbrella organization set up by the founders of the CRA, which is to give the movement a nationwide focus.
Stoos describes how the Dominionists took over the CRA.
Writing in the February 1997 issue [of Chalcedon Magazine], Stoos described how "a small group of Christians" first began to take over the California Republican Assembly in 1988 and came to dominate the state Republican Party itself. Stoos said what happened with the CRA "may well be a good model" to export "to facilitate the same type of successes across the country."
"In recent issues, Chalcedon writers have considered how those who believe in the Lordship of Christ and dominion mandate should involve themselves in American politics," Stoos wrote. "We agreed that Christians should not approach politics as 'wanting a seat at the table' as if the Creator of the Universe or his vice regents need to ask permission to be involved."
Political involvement in a constitutional republic, he continued, "is a natural obligation" for Christians who want the freedom to "preach the Gospel and further God's Kingdom."
How ordinary Republicans see that takeover, and what it means to them, together with their organizational efforts to combat it. (this consists of several excerpts, if I err in splitting them up, accept my apologies in advance):
The CRP debacle began in 1988 when Pat Robertson challenged President Bush in the Republican Primary. Although Robertson lost, he energized the Christian Coalition nationwide. In California they joined with the large and powerful California Republican Assembly and ran an effective though losing grassroots campaign.
After Robertsons loss to Bush, the leaders of the two groups had a meeting to discuss starting a third party. (Well documented in the Chalcedon Magazine by John Stoos.) They decided that as a third party, they could have a lot to say about philosophy but little or nothing to say about governance. They decided instead to take over the California Republican Party, control the party platform and the $20 million budget during each election cycle. The CRA-dominated coalition ran a stealth campaign in County Central Committee elections and was successful at winning a majority. They elected a Chairman and Board of Directors that was so dominated by the radical-right that they did not invite Governor Wilson to the 1992 convention, would not let him attend and demonstrated against our sitting Republican U.S. Senator when he was the keynote speaker. The CRA continued to consolidate its control of the CRP to such an extent that by 1994, every office and board member of the CRP was a member of the CRA and no one else was allowed to run. During the six years they had absolute control, the party suffered the worst three defeats in its history. During that time, CRA members and even officers of the party attacked Republican candidates in General Elections, costing us several seats. Although there were many such attacks, including the CRP Chairman initiating lawsuits against Republican Assembly candidates, the ones that could be the most costly were the attacks by a CRA Unit President and his associates on Congressman Steve Kuykendall and candidate Jim Cuneen. While Republicans in the rest of the country were trying to save our Speakership in the House, they were trying to hand it to the Democrats.
While the CCR was busy getting started and growing to over 25 Chapters around the state by 1997, the CRA had completed its takeover of the CRP to the extent that they outnumbered Mainstream Republicans by about 1200 to 400, and the counties by about 50 to 8.
Chalcedon's notion of religious life in its ideal society:
While belief could not be mandatory in a Biblical society, and unbelievers could live and work among the people of God, not all religious practices would be permitted. A Biblical society would have to restrain religions based on murder, aggressive revolution, or other civilization-destroying practices. Exodus 22:18, 20 and Deuteronomy 18:10-12 indicate that the practice of occultist religions or religions involving sacrifice to idols was a capital crime under the civil law given to Moses. I did not mention this fact in my reply because it would invite hysterics over witch trials rather than an understanding of my broader point that the state, and therefore the idea of "crime," is necessarily religious. My correspondent evidently wants official state toleration for all religions, including outright paganism, Satanism, and witchcraft. I wanted her to see the impossibility of this pluralism.
Pagans and occultists should not be ignored by Christians as fringe groups of little significance. R. J. Rushdoony, in The Institutes of Biblical Law, pointed out the danger posed by such groups in the past:
At the end of the Middle Ages and in the early years of the modern era, a widespread outbreak and revival of pagan and anti-Christian occultism was responsible for a massive assault on Christianity, an attack on tithing, the mainstay of Christian society, a sexual revolution aimed at destroying the family, and a revival of cannibalism, human sacrifice, and related acts.
John Stoos, on Sacramento bargaining:
A conference committee drew up an agreed-on list of reforms, everyone shook on the deal and it appeared that conservatives had won an impressive victory. The conservative leadership still managed, however, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
First, they sent liberal staff off to draft the details of the reforms, creating over four hundred pages of legal jargon to implement the few simple reforms. The final product actually moved California to the Left of the reforms signed by President Bill Clinton! When this was pointed out to the conservative leadership, they simply said it was the best they could get!
Next came their favorite legislative game: Announcing major reforms, while voting to do just the opposite. There were the obligatory debates, and when the dust had settled, only Senator Dick Mountjoy and Assemblyman Tom McClintock were willing to vote NO, after speaking against the phony reforms in the public debates.
More on Chalcedon's intentions:
Chalcedon and most other orthodox Christian reformers do not undertake to establish a national or state church (and thus do not deny the validity of the separation of church and state, properly understood); rather, we endorse and practice Christian establishmentarianism: the prevalence of historic, Biblical Christianity in all areas of modern life. We advocate a disestablished church but an established Faith.
All consistent Christians are thus intently disestablishmentarian and establishmentarian: To press the claims of Christ in all spheres is necessarily and simultaneously to disestablish Satans kingdom and establish Christs kingdom.
And it is the establishment of Christs kingdom which is destined to prevail.
Lest it be unclear what they believe:
Chalcedon supports only one form of "racism": God blesses, nourishes, and honors the Royal Race of the Redeemed, all of those of whatever physical race that have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and God curses the race of the First Adam, all of those who live in unbelief, rebellion, and work-righteousness (Rom. 5:12-21). This is the only "racial discrimination" the Bible knows anything about. God discriminates in favor of covenant-keepers, and discriminates against covenant-breakers (Dt. 28). Some may object that He favors the race of Israel in the Old Testament era, but it must be immediately noted that His choice was not fundamentally racial, but religious. For this reason, Gentiles could become a part of the Jewish race, and thus a part of the covenant people of God (Gen. 17:12-13). The non-racial aspect of Biblical Faith is clear from Ephesians 2:11-15:
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace....
All converted Jews and Gentiles stand on the same plane of blessing in God's sight, just as all unconverted Jews and Gentiles stand on the same plane of judgment in God's sight. The race God favors is the race of the Second Adam; the race He disfavors is the race of the First Adam. And this has nothing to do with physical race.
John Stoos allows Mother Jones (!) to interview him:
From radical fringe to kingmakers in a decade how did they do it? "Basically, there's two places you have influence: one is in the nominating process in the primaries, where you can elect people in ideological agreement with your views, and the other is in the party structure," says former CRA vice president John Stoos, a former gun lobbyist, member of the fundamentalist Christian Reconstructionist movement, and senior consultant to the State Assembly. "And who pays attention to this stuff? You literally have to plan months and years ahead to know where the openings are."
Larkin felt the wrath of the CRA when he ran for the California Assembly in 1996. In 1992 he had angered the CRA by launching a campaign to wrest control of the party's Ventura County Central Committee away from the conservatives. In reprisal, the CRA backed conservative Tom McClintock, who defeated Larkin in the 1996 primary and ultimately won the general election.
"They're organized and dedicated," says Larkin, "and mainstream Republicans are neither, so a very small group can take over."
Ahmanson's patronage benefits several nonprofit think tanks, including the Claremont Institute, where McClintock worked for two years after losing his 1994 run for state controller, and the Chalcedon Foundation, which promotes a brand of Christianity known as Christian Reconstructionism. Chalcedon produces journals for which McClintock political aide John Stoos routinely writes.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Ahmanson served on Chalcedon's board of directors and was its largest benefactor, giving it at least $733,000. He remains a donor to the nonprofit organization, which was founded by Rousas John Rushdoony. Often called theologian to the religious right, Rushdoony, who died in 2001, advocated a nation ruled by Biblical law, a vision that assigned the death penalty for 18 sins, including murder, rape of a betrothed virgin, adultery and sodomy.
[hang on, this is my favorite part]
Ahmanson could not be reached for comment. But at a news conference this week, McClintock said he knew nothing about Ahmanson's theology, other than that he is a Christian. [compiler's note - take from that what you will]
An extract from a statement of the NFRA:
Our Founding Fathers firmly held to the conviction that religious freedom was fundamental to a free society. We also express the conviction that we are a God-fearing people, according one another the equal right of religious freedom and acknowledging with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God.
Parents bear the final responsibility before God in the rearing of their children. Parents have been commanded by God to love their children and lead them in the paths of truth. Parents must be free to discipline their children in love and direct their education without government intrusion.
The CRA speaks:
We believe with the framers of that document when President Adams stated, "This Constitution will not work except with a religious people."
An official of the NFRA in a candid gleeful boast:
Even these numbers understate the case. In California, for instance, where the study rightly noted reverses, Christian conservatives in the powerful California Republican Assembly were nevertheless able to overturn the foreordained outcome of their partys gubernatorial primary, badly upsetting left-wing Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan with conservative underdog Bill Simon. A Simon win in November would guarantee their dominance in the party, and dramatically increase their influence in both state and nation.
Forewarned is forearmed, and inasmuch as my state hasn't seen the entry of these people as serious players, I'll do my best to keep them out.
It should be clear to all conservatives by now that the left intends to demonize us. They don't just disagree with us, they hate us. And worse, they want to get other people to hate us.
Places like Free Republic drive the left batty.
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I didn't check your links, but I read everything you posted. Assuming it isn't discredited as inaccurate, it's more than a little disconcerting.
More anti-conservatism from CP. And, now, you're in direct opposition to Jim Robinson who is a supporter of the NFRA and the CRA.
If not a Christian moral code, by which code do you suggest we would better be governed? Please cite historical precedent.
And yes, they're disturbing as all hell, especially considering how vital a portion of the national economy is centered in California, and how much destruction has been wrought by these games.
I'm a Senate District Director of the CRA and I'm as grassroots as you can get! However, I will grant you this: When the CRA endorsed Gary Bauer for President, they lost a lot of members and some of us just sat there in shock, scratching our heads. Since then, however, the CRA has come back with a more practical approach. The current CRA President Mike Spence is a great guy and the leaders of the CRA are absolutely first rate individuals. Your article deserves to be read and studied and responded to. I'll get back to you after I've had time to digest it.
Story of so many of our lives.