VA Governor Candidate McDonnell – Stealth Theocrat?

In 1989, Robert McDonnell wrote a master’s thesis advocating a 15-point plan toward a Christian nation, including things like introducing “covenant marriage“, banning no-fault divorce, and rejecting federal funds for school sex-ed programs or health clinics which provide contraception or family planning counseling. In 14 years in the state legislature, he worked toward 10 of those points. Now, he disavows it entirely and claims to be “moderate”.

The Washington Post reports:

At age 34, two years before his first election and two decades before he would run for governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master’s thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as “detrimental” to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over “cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.” He described as “illogical” a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.

The 93-page document, which is publicly available at the Regent University library, culminates with a 15-point action plan that McDonnell said the Republican Party should follow to protect American families — a vision that he started to put into action soon after he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.

The thesis, in its entirety, may be viewed online here.

For a “stealth” theocrat, he ain’t too good with the stealth.

I’m curious if this view, from McDonnell’s thesis, is one he claims to have changed as well:

Leaders must correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state. Historically, the religious liberty guarantees of the First Amendment were intended to prevent government encroachment upon the free church, not eliminate the impact of religion on society.

What’s Regent University? It’s a Christian school, founded by theocrat Pat Robertson and originally called CBN University (Christian Broadcasting Network):

McDonnell said that he was seeking a faith-based institution that explored the Christian origins of Western law . . . The school expected students to take their faith seriously; they were admitted only after signing a statement affirming that Jesus Christ was their savior. The school also produced a number of politically active conservatives. Its Web site used to say that 150 of its graduates worked in President George W. Bush’s administration. Regent’s motto: Christian leadership to change the world.

Christian leadership to change the world. This is the very basis of Christian Reconstruction.

But, enough about the past. McDonnell wants us to decide who he is based on his record. OK!

  • Introduced legislation to ban late-term abortions (all circumstances), require parental consent for minors to have abortions, require 24-hour waiting period for any woman to have abortion;
  • Actively opposed abortion, even in cases of rape or incest;
  • Sponsored legislation to introduce covenant marriage, which makes it very difficult to obtain a divorce (typically only for domestic violence, adultery, or felony with jail time);
  • Led 2003 charge to end judicial career of a lesbian accused of sexual harassment; quoted at the time as saying that homosexual activity called into question ability to be a judge.

I’m sure there are plenty more interesting things in his record. Time to do a little digging!

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