The first time I ever heard of the Christian Reconstruction movement, now known as Dominionism, I thought it was a gag.
Who in their right mind wanted to live in a world where the Old Testament civil and ceremonial laws would become the template for local and national politics? It was a profoundly dark theology even by the standards of the dour Calvinism I considered reasonable at the time.
According to the tenets of Christian Reconstruction, it was up to Christians to bring the whole world into submission to Jesus Christ. Once that was accomplished (with God's help, of course), the Old Testament laws that guided ancient Israel would be dusted off and applied to civil societies across the globe, including America.
The motivating idea behind Christian Reconstruction was that Christ would never consider returning to an Earth consumed by spiritual decadence. The world needed to be "cleansed" to attract a procrastinating Jesus who was already 2,000 years overdue. It was up to Christians to take over and make him feel welcome.
In a world made more acceptable to Jesus, homosexuality could not exist and all non-Christian religions would be outlawed. Women would be restricted to managing the home and raising children, leaving millions of jobs to be filled by once-unemployed men.
Disobedient children would be subject to execution if they didn't repent, taxes would be light and slavery would be allowed as long as safeguards were included so that it didn't become an abusive or racist institution again. A stint in slavery would be limited to seven years.
All legal disputes would be settled by consulting the Ten Commandments or the Pentateuch. The irony is that many of the people who advocated this nonsense are some of the most vociferous critics of Shariah law in America today.
I didn't take Christian Reconstruction as a political philosophy seriously until I met an actual Theonomist (follower of God's Law) in the real world.
"Oscar" was in his early 20s, as was I, when we met. He was a Jewish convert to Christianity, so he was always on the defensive. As a young believer, he fell in with a mob of Theonomists in San Diego before moving to Pennsylvania for college. The primacy of the Old Testament in Christian Reconstructionist thought appealed to his sense of cultural identification.
Since I knew he was from a family of Holocaust survivors, I asked him what he thought of the mandate that all non-Christians would have to convert or die. Oscar said that if his relatives refused to become Christians or submit to forced exile, then they would suffer the civil penalty for practicing idolatry. He would carry out the execution himself if called upon to do so by the Christian state.
Do you honestly believe that a Republican Congress, populated by men and women who cannot control their own impulses and so need a punitive religious structure to keep them on the straight (in all senses of the word) and narrow and cannot imagine not needing one, would stop an authoritarian president and the followers who regard him or her as a quasi-Messiah, from implementing such mass killings and exile of heathen by executive order if they believe they were told to do by God?
If you don't already know about Christian Reconstruction, it's time to change that.