American Vision blends two strains of fundamentalist thinking: the idea that the United States was founded to be “Christian nation” and Christian Reconstructionism – the belief that government should enforce a harsh version of “biblical law.”
Inspired by the writings of the late theologian Rousas J. Rushdoony, Reconstructionists seek to impose the criminal code of the Old Testament, applying the death penalty for homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, witches, incorrigible juvenile delinquents and those who spread false religions.
Gary DeMar, AV president, has authored a number of fundamentalist-oriented books such as Thinking Straight in a Crooked World and God and Government. DeMar sometimes tries to downplay his guiding theology’s most extreme manifestations, but he has been criticized for arguing that the Bible calls for the execution of gay people. His views in this area and others have led the Southern Poverty Law Center to define AV as one of “a dozen of today’s most influential anti-gay groups” and included it on a list of organizations they define as “hate groups.”
Despite its overtly radical theocratic agenda, American Vision sometimes finds allies among some of the Religious Right’s most powerful outfits. AV’s 2007 conference was cosponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund, a well-funded Religious Right law¬yers’ outfit that James Dobson and other religious broadcasters helped create; Michael Farris’s Home School Legal Defense Association; the late TV preacher Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University School of Law; and World Magazine, Marvin Olasky’s influential evangelical Christian periodical.
The event was promoted heavily by the Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition, and it was held in a North Carolina facility owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.
DeMar Quote: “Even our Constitution assumes the protection of the Christian religion. The First Amendment had the specific purpose of excluding all rivalry among Christian denominations. Other competing religions were not protected by the First Amendment.” (God and Government, Vol. 3: The Restoration of the Republic, 1989)