¨Will A Wealthy Social Conservative Have His Way With California Voters Again?
Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr., has put $900,000 of his own money into passing California's gay marriage ban, but it's not the first time the flush ascetic has injected his religious views into politics. From stemming affirmative action to stoking unrest within the Episcopal Church, Ahmanson has been one of the most influential political donors in the country.¨
By Kerry Eleveld
An Advocate.com exclusive posted October 13, 2008
¨Will the same man who bankrolled a Republican takeover of the California Assembly in 1994, underwrote an amendment that gutted the state’s affirmative action law in 1996, and fostered the birth of the schism within the Episcopal Church over its gay-inclusive leanings now succeed in taking away the marriage rights of tens of thousands of gays and lesbians in California on November 4?
Weighing in with $900,000 of his own money, Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr., a conservative philanthropist and highly influential political donor, is one of the single biggest benefactors of the campaign to pass California’s gay marriage ban, Proposition 8.
Though Ahmanson is notorious in California circles and has been the subject of several comprehensive pieces in Salon , the Orange County Register , and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington among others, the reclusive philanthropist -- who almost never speaks to the press -- isn’t on the radar of many Americans even as his impact is being felt across the nation.
Cruising Ahmanson on the Internet reveals the tale of a socially conservative ideologue who has put his money where his mouth is, assiduously flexing the muscle of his multimillion-dollar fortune to bend the country’s political system to the will of his worldview. According to multiple reports, he and his friends poured more than $4 million into winning enough Republican seats in the early ‘90s to briefly wrest control of the California Assembly from Democrats; he put $350,000 into dramatically weakening the state’s affirmative action laws (Proposition 209) and $210,000 – 35% of total funds according to Salon – into banning recognition of gay marriages from other states (Prop. 22) in 1999; and perhaps his most cataclysmic legacy to date began when he funneled $1 million to the American Anglican Council, which helped fuel the rift over gays that has besieged the Episcopal Church. (The Advocate reported more about the upshot of conservative Anglicans’ anti-gay crusade here).
Ahmanson’s moral certitude has its underpinnings in a variant of Calvinism known as the Christian Reconstructionist movement founded by far right theologian Rev. Rousas John Rushdoony, who promoted philosophies that might well be considered draconian by modern standards. In his 1973 tome “The Institutes of Biblical Law,” Rushdoony concluded that the Bible instructs society to execute people for 18 sins, including: murder, rape of a betrothed virgin, adultery, promiscuity by unwed women, homosexuality, sodomy, striking or cursing a parent, habitual criminality, blasphemy and bearing false witness. During an interview with Bill Moyers in the late ‘80s, Rushdoony said of the death penalty, “This is what God requires.”
Ahmanson considered Rushdoony a close spiritual guide – close enough to be at his bedside when Rushdoony left this world in 2001 – and in line with his teacher’s thinking, in 1985 Ahmanson told the Orange County Register, “My goal is the total integration of biblical law into our lives.” But his later interviews, few as they are, indicate some awareness of the disconnect between Rushdoony’s prescription for social order and that embraced by most of the developed world. In 2004, he told the Register, “I think what upsets people is that Rushdoony seemed to think – and I’m not sure about this – that a godly society would stone people for the same thing that people in ancient Israel were stoned. I no longer consider that essential … It would still be a little hard to say that if one stumbled on a country that was doing that, that it is inherently immoral, to stone people for these things. But I don’t think it’s at all a necessity.” the story continues...
Michele Bachmann is a Minnesota Congresswoman and the sweetheart of the Tea Party. She has ignorantly riled up thousands of people with ba...
IT GETS BETTER--Archbishop Desmond Tutu supports LGBT full acceptance and inclusion too!
¨Churches say that the expression of love in a heterosexual monogamous relationship includes the physical, the touching, embracing, kissing, the genital act - the totality of our love makes each of us grow to become increasingly godlike and compassionate. If this is so for the heterosexual, what earthly reason have we to say that it is not the case with the homosexual?¨ Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The No Anglican Covenant Coalition -- COMPREHENSIVE UNITY
A VERY UN-ANGLICAN COVENANT (click on logo)
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