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Christian ReconstructionR. J. Rushdoony and American Religious Conservatism$
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Michael McVicar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622743

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622743.001.0001

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American Heretics

American Heretics

Democracy, the Limits of Religion, and the End of Reconstruction

(p.178) Chapter Six American Heretics
Christian Reconstruction

Michael J. McVicar

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter closes this narrative of the Christian Reconstruction with an assessment of the fracturing of Reconstructionism into a decentralized movement without a central organizational or intellectual leader during the 1980s and 1990s. As the movement grew, a greater number of theologically and socially conservative Christians became aware of its agenda, inspiring both emulation and contempt. Meanwhile, a second generation of Reconstructionists heavily influenced by the antistatist sentiments of Rushdoony’s system developed separatist communities in Texas and elsewhere. These church-centered groups created their own closed economies built around guns, gold, and bomb shelters designed to protect Reconstructionists from the imminent collapse of the federal government. In the midst of it all, Rushdoony continued his efforts to make homeschooling legal, even as the movement he founded fractured and became the topic of intense debates in both evangelical and secular media outlets.

Keywords:   Reconstructionism, antistatist sentiments, separatist communities, homeschooling, 1980s, 1990s, R.J. Rushdoony

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