The author has coined the term “Anarcho-Theocracy” to describe his conception of the Biblical Form of Government. He is aware that the term, made up of two equally offensive concepts, is alarming. Nevertheless, it is an accurate term, as it combines the essential features of the system advocated by this thesis: the abolition of “the State” and the formation of a society that is self-consciously “under God.” Sometimes it is convenient to use the term of one’s opponents, as “capitalists” adopted a term coined by Karl Marx. In this case, we have coined our own term.[1]

Anarchism – the abolition of “civil government” – is a scandal to most Christians. “Theocracy” is a term that frightens both atheists and Christians. It is the purpose of this Preface to get inside the author’s head in order to gain some understanding of the concept of “Anarcho-Theocracy,” and allay misunderstandings.

The author of this Thesis would be described as a “left-wing radical” because of the years he spent (nearly a decade) working with the homeless, illegal aliens, crusading against the death penalty[2] and American military intervention abroad, in a House of Hospitality which is part of the Catholic Worker movement.[3]

He would also be called a “right-wing extremist” because of his views about the inerrancy of the Bible and his conservative morality. The author is a Capitalist,[4] a Calvinist,[5] and a “Christian Reconstructionist.”[6]

 The author enjoys reading America’s Founding fathers,[7] and wishes we could (as a start) return to the form of government that existed 200 years ago. America’s Founders would undoubtedly be crestfallen were they to travel through time into the 21st century to see how the political order they had sacrificed to create had endured. Were they to converse with the average worker, housewife, or college student about the Declaration of Independence, they would conclude that the vast majority of Americans had never read it, and could not talk intelligently about it. They would find that statisticians now keep track of the (rising) rates of sexually transmitted diseases among 13 and 14-year olds, who will be graduated from public schools as “functionally illiterate.” They would find that legal scholars frankly admit that the U.S. Constitution is a relic, and its Republican system of separation of powers long ago discarded in favor of an “Administrative State” which Madison, as he wrote in The Federalist, would have called “the very essence of tyranny.”[8]

Few (if any) Signers of the Constitution disagreed with Benjamin Rush’s insistence that the Bible be used in common schools.[9] Rush and the author of this Thesis would both be accused of “Bibliolatry” by liberals. This Thesis is grounded on the view that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, a textbook in history, geology, economics, and political science, as well as religion.[10]

Further this Thesis presupposes the social and political philosophy of the “Christian Reconstructionists,” also called “Theonomy.”[11] The author was personally tutored by R.J. Rushdoony, began writing for The Chalcedon Report before graduating from USC, and had a regular column in that periodical. He also has written for Gary North,[12] and was personally tutored for ordination in the OPC by Greg L. Bahnsen.[13] The author of this Thesis accepts the idea that the Bible is a “blueprint” for the Reconstruction of every area of human endeavor. The “anarchistic” paradigm advanced by this Thesis is roundly condemned by nearly all “Reconstructionists.” The influence of Reconstructionist scholars on this Thesis is nevertheless obvious.

The author’s commitment to “theocratic” politics is illustrated in his conflict with the California State Bar. The author believes that an oath is a self-maledictory promise made to and in the presence of God. After the Constitution was ratified, no atheist was permitted to take office or serve on a jury because an atheist could not take an oath, seeing he rejected the existence of the God to Whom all oaths are made. Although diluted in subsequent years, it was not until 1961 that this theistic bias was ruled “unconstitutional” (Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488). Since that time, the oath has been demoted to “no more than an amenity,”[14] and an instance of “ceremonial deism,”[15] in stark contrast to earlier courts, such as an 1844 decision which declared that deism was a form of “infidelity.” Not wanting to take an oath which proclaimed him “unfaithful” to God, the author petitioned the State Bar after passing the California Bar Exam to permit a modification of the oath required for admittance to the Bar, adding the lines from the 1776 Delaware Constitution:

I, A.B., do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be given by divine inspiration.[16] 

That petition was rejected, showing that a Secular Humanist Theocracy has replaced the older Christian nation which the U.S. Supreme Court once declared America to be.[17]

Theocracy is an inescapable concept. All law is a social expression of “ultimate concern,” the religious ideals of the culture. For Benjamin Rush and the Framers of the Constitution, America was a nation “under God.” Man is the new god, as incarnated in the State. This thesis argues for a more consistent Christian Theocracy, as against the now-crumbling (but increasingly-powerful) Humanist Theocracy.

And yet despite (or perhaps because of) his conservative leanings, the author proposes the complete abolition of the State.

The Impudence of an Attempted Paradigm Shift

The advocacy of “Anarcho-Theocracy” – an idea which is not only “politically incorrect” in the dominant left-leaning culture, but “heretical” among evangelical Christians – appears arrogant at best. Probably the reaction among conservatives must be very much like that of the Tories in 1776 who heard revolutionary patriots describe a nation without a king. “Anarcho-Theocracy” undoubtedly represents a change as momentous as that described by Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, upon hearing of Locke’s rejection of the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings: 

Never before had I heard the authority of kings called in question. I had been taught to consider them nearly as essential to political order as the sun is to the order of our solar system.[18]

The “Lively Experiment[19] of America shows that new ideas are not necessarily bad ideas.

A Spring Underground

But “Anarcho-Theocracy” is not really a new idea. All of the premises that lead to our conclusion have been articulated many times throughout Church history. Many of those who have advocated these ideas have been forced underground, and have never been allowed to move from persecuted minority to mainstream. Those who have challenged the legitimacy of the State, or of Church-State unions, have been labeled “subversives,” “rebels,” and other terms which carry strong disapprobation, and have not been allowed freedom to propagate their ideas. Many of them have unfortunately been theological heretics.[20] This thesis avoids those theological and Christological heresies

But in nearly all cases, whatever theological heresies they held, those who challenged the State did so from a foundation of virtue and Christlike ethics. They did not criticize the State because the State demanded and fostered godliness, but because the State fostered lawlessness and violence. The Anabaptists, as an example, were noted by their opponents as a people of exemplary personal conduct.[21]

Water is purified as it travels underground, and when it comes to the surface as a spring, it brings refreshment.

What Motivates This Thesis

This thesis is not rooted in hedonism or antinomianism. Our desire to abolish the State is motivated by the fact that (to adapt the words of Princeton professor A.A. Hodge in 1887) the State is

the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief, and of anti-social nihilistic ethics, individual, social and political, which this sin-rent world has ever seen.[22]

In particular, the State engages in more theft, murder, and kidnapping than any other group of people, including the criminals from which the State promises to protect us.[23] The State is, without close competition, the greatest thief and mass murderer on the planet. The 20th century, marked by the final destruction of Christian localism and the rise of the secular State, has been the century of mass death on a scale unparalleled in human history.

Nothing in this thesis should be construed as a defense of lawlessness, chaos, or unchecked immorality.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism says man’s chief end is to Glorify God and enjoy Him forever. This thesis is written not just as an academic exercise, but as part of a larger task of setting down blueprints for a new system of social organization, which, when implemented, will bring greater glory to God and enjoyment of Him to all mankind.

When physician Benjamin Rush signed the Declaration of Independence, he had similar thoughts. Lawrence Cremin[24] writes:

For Rush, who was present in the Congress as a representative of Pennsylvania, the events surrounding the creation of the Republic marked nothing less than a turning point in the course of human history. "I was animated constantly," he reflected in later years, "by a belief that I was acting for the benefit of the whole world, and of future ages, by assisting in the formation of new means of political order and general happiness."11

         11. The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, edited by George W. Corner (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1948), p.161.

More about the author will be discovered as he exposes his “presuppositions” following Tab 2.

[1] To the surprise of no one, a search of 2,073,418,204 web pages through (11 January 2002) reveals that only the author of this Thesis is using the term “Anarcho-Theocracy.” Nearly 4,000 web pages mention “anarcho-capitalism,” and about one-tenth that number mention “anarcho-socialism.”

[2] See Tab 32.


[4] See Tab 5.

[5] See Tab 3.

[6] See Tab 4.

[7] Reading the Founders has been made a joy by computer technology. The American Freedom Library CD-ROM contains a quarter of a million pages of historical documents, debates, and analysis, searchable in a second.

[8] Quoted in A. Gulas, The American Administrative State: The New Leviathan, 28 Duquesne L Rev. 489, 490 (1990). (With Madison's warning ringing in his ears, Gulas nevertheless supports the "New Leviathan.") See also Peter B. McCutchen, Mistakes, Precedent, and the Rise of the Administrative State: Toward a Constitutional Theory of the Second Best, 80 Cornell L. Rev. 1 (1994). The great constitutional scholar E. S. Corwin was

told that Professor Powell of Harvard carefully warns his class in Constitutional Law each year against reading the Constitution, holding that to do so would be apt to “confuse their minds.” Certain it is that of the 6,000-odd words of the constitutional document, at least 39 out of every 40 are totally irrelevant to the vast majority, as well as to the most important, of the problems which the Court handles each term in the field of constitutional interpretation.

E. Corwin, Constitutional Revolution, Ltd., 13 (1941).

[9] Benjamin Rush, A Defence of the Use of the Bible as a School Book, from an early collection of tracts published by the American Tract Society around 1830. American Tract Society - Box 462008 - Garland, TX 75046 – USA; online at

[10] See Tab 43.

[11] See Tab 4.



[14] Cole v. Richardson, 405 U.S. at 685, 92 S.Ct. at 1337; 31 L.Ed.2d 593 (1972).

[15] County of Allegheny v ACLU, 492 U.S. 573, 602-603, 109 S.Ct. 3086, 106 L.Ed.2d 472, 500-501 (1989); Madalyn Murray O'Hair v. Blumenthal, 462 F.Supp 19 (W.D. Tex., 1978); Aranow v. U.S., 432 F.2d 242 (9th Cir. 1970).

[16] Del. Const. art. 22 (adopted Sept. 20, 1776), 1 Del. Code Ann. 117 (Michie, 1975).

[17] Holy Trinity Church v. United States, 143 U.S. 457, 12 S.Ct. 511, 36 L.Ed. 226 (1892). Theocracy is an inescapable concept. Every society has laws which are based on morality, which in turn are derived from religion. The two religious alternatives are Theonomy and Autonomy. The religion of autonomy is known today as “Secular Humanism.” See Tab 40. The “god” of this religion is man, usually as incarnated in “the State.”

[18] Lawrence Cremin, American Education: The National Experience, 1783-1876,  NY: Harper & Row, 1980, p. 114-15.

[19] Sidney E. Mead, The Lively Experiment: The Shaping Of Christianity In America, New York, Harper & Row, 1963.

[20] For a survey of the earliest forms of civil and religious libertarianism, see John W. Kennedy, The Torch of the Testimony, Christian Books Publishing House, 1964.

[21] Leonard Verduin, The Reformers and Their Stepchildren (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; 1964.

[22] A.A. Hodge, Popular Lectures on Theological Themes, Phila: Presbyterian Board of Publications, 1887, p. 280, quoted in R.J. Rushdoony, The Messianic Character of American Education, Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, 1963, p. 335. Hodge was referring to the government-run school. But all of government, as propagator of law, is an educator. See R. Lerner, “The Supreme Court as Republican Schoolmaster,” 1967 Sup. Ct. Rev. 127.

[23] Tab 19

[24] American Education: The National Experience, 1783-1876, NY: Harper & Row, 1980, p. 114-15.