Every now and then, Montana hard right Republican politician Jerry O'Neill pops his head out of the dumpster he lives in to demand something quaint-- like getting paid in gold and silver for his services or having state legislatures elect senators again, rather than ordinary Americans. O'Neill lives in the tiny hamlet of Columbia Falls (which has 966 families, 96.27% of whom are white; there are a few Native Americans and a Black person too) and people there must like him. They keep voting for him. That might change now that he's introduced a bill in the state legislature that slips corporal punishment back into the judicial system, long a goal of the crackpots in the so-called "Christian Reconstructionist" cult.
According to Frederick Clarkson, a pioneering researcher of the Christian right, ?Reconstructionism seeks to replace democracy with a theocratic elite that would govern by imposing their interpretation of ?Biblical Law.? Reconstructionism would eliminate not only democracy but many of its manifestations, such as labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools. When would be generally relegated to hearth and home. Insufficiently Christian men would be denied citizenship, perhaps executed."
Calling for the literal application of all 613 laws described in the Book of Leviticus, Rushdoony paid special attention to punishments. Instead of serving prison sentences, criminals would be sentenced to indentured servitude, whipped, sold into slavery, or executed. "God's government prevails," Rushdoony wrote, "and His alternatives are clear-cut: either men and nations obey His laws, or God invokes the death penalty upon them." Those eligible on Rushdoony's long list for execution included disobedient children, unchaste women, apostates, blasphemers, practitioners of witchcraft, astrologers, adulterers, and, of course, anyone who engaged in "sodomy or homosexuality."
Burning at the stake, death by "the sword," and hanging were some of Rushdoony's preferred modes of execution. However, his son-in-law Gary North, a self-styled Reconstructionist economist (who eventually fell out with his father-in-law) and former advisor to libertarian Republican representative Ron Paul of Texas (a onetime outspoken admirer of the John Birch Society), advocated stoning evildoers to death. Rocks, North argued, are free and plentiful, making them ideal tools for the financially savvy executioner.