Reconstructionists believe that Christians should follow the examples of biblical characters such as Joseph, Daniel, and Jesus Christ Himself. Joseph and Daniel both exercised enormous influence within the world’s greatest empires. But they attained their positions by hard work, perseverance in persecution and suffering, and faithful obedience. Jesus Christ attained to His throne only by enduring the suffering of the cross. Christians are no different. We are not to attain positions of leadership by revolution or rebellion. Instead, we are to work at our callings, and wait on the Lord to place us in positions of influence, in His time.
Gary North has called those who wish to advance the kingdom by revolution “romantic revolutionaries.” This is not a recent emphasis in North’s writings. His first major book was Marx’s Religion of Revolution, in which he insisted that “faithful men will remain orderly in all the aspects of their lives; they are not to create chaos in order to escape from law (Rom. 13; I Cor. 14:40). It is reserved for God alone to bring his total judgment to the world.” In the biblical worldview, “it is God, and only God, who initiates the change.” North has pointed out repeatedly that the kingdom of God advances ethically as the people of God work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Revolutionaries are lawless. Their time frame is short. In fact, one of Dr. North’s books, Moses and Pharaoh, is subtitled Dominion Religion versus Power Religion. Power Religion, he writes,
is a religious viewpoint which affirms that the most important goal for a man, group, or species, is the capture and maintenance of power. Power is seen as the chief attribute of God, or if the religion is officially atheistic, then the chief attribute of man. This perspective is a satanic perversion of God’s command to man to exercise dominion over all the creation (Gen. 1:26-28). It is the attempt to exercise dominion apart from covenantal subordination to the true Creator God.
What distinguishes biblical dominion religion from satanic power religion is ethics.
Still, the Bible teaches that we are at war, and that we must prepare for it. The apostle Paul tells Christians to “put on the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6: 11). At first, even Pilate considered Jesus’ kingdom to be militaristic and political (John 18:28- 40). In Acts, the Christians were described as a sect preaching “another king, Jesus” (Acts 17:7). These were the forerunners of The People for the American Way. They said of the first-century Christians, “These men who have upset the world have come here also; and Jason has welcomed them, and they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus” (vv. 6-7). There was another king, but those outside of Christ put a political and revolutionary slant on Christ’s kingship.
 See David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1987), pp. 511-12; James B. Jordan, “Rebellion, Tyranny, and Dominion in the Book of Genesis,” in Gary North, ed., Tactics of Christian Resistance, Christianity and Civilization No.3 (Tyler, TX: Geneva Ministries, 1983), pp. 38-80.
 Gary North, “Editor’s Introduction,” Christianity and Civilization, Number 3 (Summer 1983), pp. xxxii-xxxvii.
 North, Marx’s Religion of Revolution (Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, 1968), p. 99. This same quotation appears in the revised second edition (1989) on page 86.
 (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1985), p. 2. Dr. North distinguishes among “Power Religion,” “Escapist Religion,” and “Dominion Religion” (pp. 2-5). He makes it very clear that “Power Religion” is a militant religion that is unlawful and counterproductive.
When walking on earth, Jesus Christ was still God, even though He had no armies and no throne, and had to pay taxes to a foreign pagan dictatorship that worshiped the Emperor and various deities of the Roman State.
What Jesus insisted on was not money and power, but flawless ethics: complete sinlessness before the perfect Law of God.
Naturally, he has power, ownership of the entire Creation, and a throne set at the right hand of the Father now. But not while he walked the earth, 2000 years ago, and not before His crucifixion, naked before the Roman State and the mocking Priesthood.
First full and satisfactory obedience to God, then the great reward from the Father’s Hand.
Most of North’s recent post, Politics, 2021 to 2031, is basically a lament for the next decade of Democratic dominance, as well as the lack of any committed hard conservative (gun rights/anti-deficit/pro-life) takeover plan for the Republican Party.
I understand, and sympathize. But you can’t get righteous politics, right off the bat.
Gary North has emphasized the same point. In his book, Political Polytheism, North wrote:
Every revolution needs slogans. Here is mine: politics fourth. First comes personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (not just Savior). Second comes Church renewal. There can be no successful reformation of society without first beginning a reformation of the Church. Third comes family renewal. This involves pulling your children out of the public schools. Fourth comes local politics. At a minimum, this would involve public protests against abortion. From there we go to state and national politics.
Before any national political renewal can begin, we must first do what we can to make it clear to the politicians and the national government that a major religious transformation has taken place. Without the widespread movement of the Holy Spirit, this cannot happen.
 Gary North, Political Polytheism: TheMyth of Pluralism (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), p. 559.
Christians haven’t done their homework, so they will continue to fail.
Oddly enough, though, God has cut off certain routes of moral failure: the economy will never return to the state it was in February 2020, so the shine of the consumerist lifestyle will be a good deal dimmer from now on; the welfare state is now in a sharply accelerated bankruptcy curve, even as the checks fly out the door; and homeschooling has been given a great big boost.
North expects to die before 2031. It is up to us — and especially the younger generation of Christians now being homeschooled — to put his legacy to work in the service of Christ, in the real world as well as in the world of thought.
The opportunity that his generation of Christians missed — “the Rapture generation is the Worthless generation” as Rushdoony well knew — and my generation coolly passed by uncaring will be in your hands.
Use the tools we give you well. Get out of the basement, and out into the sun.
And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us (Exodus 5:20-21).
Premillennialists preach escape for today – escape from involvement in politics, plus the inevitable cultural retreat and defeat of the church on this side of the Second Coming. They also preach the wonders of bureaucratic power for the far side of the Second Coming. What they mean by today’s escape is today’s subordination to the culture of “Egypt.” They resent anyone who would make their humanist task masters angry.
The number of these inconsistent premillennial activists is growing rapidly. Members of the older school of premillennialism see exactly where their social activist colleagues are headed theologically, but the activists are sick and tired of sitting passively in the back of humanism’s bus. They want to protest against their status as second-class citizens, even though they also believe that Christians will never get into the driver’s seat this side of the rapture.
What they do not want to admit yet is that biblical law provides the only valid road map. We Christian Reconstructionists believe that they will eventually change their minds, or at least their brightest younger followers will. So do the traditional premillennialists, but there is little that they can do about it.
Must this king reign from some future earthly throne in order for this prophecy to be fulfilled? Why? Why can’t He reign from on high, at the right hand of God? Why can’t He reign through the Holy Spirit and His holy people? Theologically speaking, why not?
But why should evil men get more powerful as time goes on, while righteous men get less powerful over time? Both the amillennialist and the premillennialist insist that this is the case in the era of the church in history. But why should this be the case? Do unbelievers have the principles of success? Does evil produce good fruit in history, and righteousness produce bad fruit? Does God in the long run in history reward the unjust and curse the just? Jesus taught the opposite: “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bring- eth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Matthew 7:17-19).
The reason why I emphasize the judicial character of the millennium is that this is the only world-transforming change that traditional dispensationalism asserts for the bodily return of Christ during the millennium. Orthodox premillennialists know that Jesus’ bodily presence will, in and of itself, be able to convert no more people to saving faith than His bodily presence did two millennia ago. It is the Holy Spirit who converts men to saving faith, and He will not be “more present” then than He is now. Indeed, if we are to take seriously Jesus’ comments in John 16, the Holy Spirit will be in some way less present. Jesus had to leave the earth in order for the Spirit to come in full power.
Meanwhile, the pietist-humanist alliance continues: a rejection of the idea of Christian social transformation based on a return to biblical law. The Christians of our day do not want deliverance from Egypt. They prefer slavery to freedom, if this freedom means that they must challenge the rulers of our day in the name of God.
The humanists want Christians to stay out of politics as Christians. The pietists agree. The humanists deny that there are valid biblical blueprints that apply to this world. The pietists agree. The humanists argue that Old Testament laws, if applied today, would produce tyranny. The pietists agree. The humanists say that the civil government should be run in terms of religiously neutral laws. The pietists agree. The humanists deny that the God of the Bible brings predictable sanctions in history against societies that do not obey His law. The pietists agree. The humanists deny that the preaching of the gospel will ever fundamentally change the way the world operates. The pietists agree. The humanists say that Christians should sit in the back of cultural bus. The pietists agree. This is why both sides hate the message of Christian Reconstruction.
 For a detailed refutation of this view of ethical cause and effect in history, see Gary North, Dominion and Common Grace: TheBiblical Basis of Progress (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1987).
What will hindsight make clear about our reaction to COVID-19 propaganda? Will we regret shutting down the economy as much as we ought to regret invading Iraq?
The cast of characters is different, of course: Trump, desperately seeking “wartime president” status; Dr. Anthony Fauci; epidemiologist Neil Ferguson; state governors such as Cuomo, Whitmer, and Newsom; and a host of media acolytes just itching to force a new normal down our throats. Like the Iraq War architects, they use COVID-19 as justification to advance a preexisting agenda, namely, greater state control over our lives and our economy. Yet because too many Americans remain stubbornly attached to the old normal, a propaganda campaign is required.
So we are faced with a blizzard of new “facts” almost every day, most of which turn out to be only mildly true, extremely dubious, or plainly false:
* The virus aerosolizes and floats around, so we all need to be six feet apart (But why not twenty feet? Why not one mile?);
* The virus lives on surfaces everywhere, for days;
* Asymptomatic people can spread it unknowingly;
* Antibodies may or may not develop naturally;
* People may become infected more than once;
* Young healthy people are at great risk not only themselves, but also pose a risk to their elderly family members;
* Thin, permeable paper masks somehow prevent microscopic viral spores from being inhaled or exhaled toward others;
* People are safer inside;
* The rate of new infected “cases” in the first few weeks of the virus reaching America would continue or even grow exponentially;
* Social distancing and quarantines do indeed “save” lives;
* Testing is key (But what if an individual visits a crowded grocery an hour after testing negative?);
* A second wave of infections is nigh; and
* Our personal and work lives cannot continue without a vaccine, which, by the way, may be two years away.
Again, much of this is not true and not even intended to be true—but rather to influence public behavior and opinions. And again, the overwhelming burden of proof should lie squarely with those advocating a lockdown of society, who would risk a modern Great Depression in response to a simple virus.
How much damage will the lockdown cause? Economics aside, the sheer toll of this self-inflicted wound will be a matter for historians to document. That toll includes all the things Americans would have done without the shutdown in their personal and professional lives, representing a diminution of life itself. Can that be measured, or distilled into numerical terms? Probably not, but this group of researchers and academics argues that we have already suffered more than one million “lost years of life” due to the ravages of unemployment, missed healthcare, and general malaise.
By the same token, how do we measure the blood and treasure lost in Iraq? How much PTSD will soldiers suffer? How many billions of dollars in future VA medical care will be required? How many children will grow up without fathers? And how many millions of lives are forever shattered in that cobbled-together political artifice in the Middle East?
Propaganda kills, but it also works. Politicians of all stripes will benefit from the coronavirus; the American people will suffer. Perversely, one of the worst COVID propagandists—the aforementioned Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York—yesterday rang the bell as the New York Stock Exchange reopened to floor trading. He now admits that the models were wrong and that his lockdown did nothing to prevent the Empire State from suffering the highest per capita deaths from COVID. Like the architects of the Iraq War, he belongs on a criminal docket. But thanks to propaganda, he is hailed as presidential.
Epidemiologists created faulty lockdown models. The media promoted fear. Politicians assumed worst-case scenarios, and big tech suppressed dissenting views. This is how people’s fears grew disproportional to reality and how seemingly short-term lockdowns stretched into months.
If any of this sounds surprising, you’re not alone, and it’s probably a result of the reporting bias most of the media has adopted during this pandemic. I understand the media needs to create sensation for more clicks and advertising money, but some outlets have displayed such an imbalance in reporting that they can no longer be taken as an impartial source of information.
This second article in the series will explore the media fear cycle and how it contributed to unnecessarily extending our pandemic policy disaster.
‘War’ and ‘Apocalypse’ Descend Upon Us
From early on the media published stories comparing coronavirus to a world war and an apocalypse, even when such headlines were completely unwarranted. Take this March 20 headline from Austin, Texas.
At the time of the article’s publication, there were 58 confirmed coronavirus cases in all of Travis County and as few as three cases per day were being added to the count out of a population of over 1 million. Only a handful were hospitalized. Yet some doctors were already describing the situation as a war and media outlets were happy to publish it. Weeks later Austin reached peak hospitalization at around 100 people, which was 2.5% of its capacity.
those deaths are tragic, they are out of 8 million people and a bit far from an apocalypse. Yet when that word was used by a 27-year-old medical resident to describe how she felt, the New York Times seized on it to describe the city’s medical system. Then, when deaths did actually surge later in April, the media had to ratchet up the hyperbole to doomsday levels.
Having your phone buzz you continuously with stories like this doesn’t help either:
Given references to war, apocalypse, and young fathers who are never seen again, it’s no wonder that people’s fear became so strongly misaligned with actual risk. So where were the voices of calm? With mainstream media largely not covering dissenting views, many tried to get their message out on social media, but there they met a much more direct challenge.
Suppression of Dissenting Views
Two “tech growth hackers” — people whose job it is to grow things virally on the internet — played unexpected roles in the lockdown debate.
On March 10, Tomas Pueyo published “Why You Must Act Now” on Medium. It reportedly gained over 40 million views within nine days, making it one of the most read early articles about the virus. It was quoted in the New York Times, emphasizing how a one day delay in lockdown could lead to 40% more cases, and presumably 40% more deaths. This has since been severely challenged as states such as Texas and Florida took much longer to lock down but saw fewer deaths than some comparable states that locked down sooner. Sweden and several U.S. states never locked down and they didn’t see any of the promised doomsday exponential growth either. Nonetheless, Pueyo’s article made a compelling argument at the time to lock down and the media promoted it.
On March 20, Aaron Ginn published “Evidence Over Hysteria” on Medium. Similar to Pueyo, he delivered data-driven arguments, but unlike Pueyo he concluded that blanket lockdowns were an overreaction and that more measured approaches could actually save more lives. The article gained nearly 3 million views within 24 hours and then was suddenly deleted by Medium. The Wall Street Journal covered its deletion on March 22, but the article’s lockdown alternatives were generally ignored by the media and its message never got out. You can view an archived version of the Ginn article here and decide for yourself if its analysis was too dangerous to be read by the American public.
Suppressing the Views of Dissenting Political Leaders
The media were also ready to promote a sense that society was about to collapse while suppressing a call for calm. When Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti said, “These days, I have been thinking about the old speeches of Churchill — it is our darkest hour but we will make it” — he was comparing Italy’s COVID-19 situation to the unfolding collapse of Western Europe in 1940.
Such a statement was not only a crude exaggeration but also an insult that downplayed Italy’s own dark chapter of horrifying war crimes during World War II. But COVID-19 is Italy’s “darkest hour” and the media just goes along with it? Compare this to the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who tried tweeting to get his message out to his citizens, only to have it deleted by Twitter for sharing dangerous ideas, including the following statements:
“What I have been hearing from people is that they want to work.”
“What I have said from the beginning is that ‘we are going to be careful, the over-65s stay at home.’”
“If it continues like this, with the amount of unemployment what we will have later is a very serious problem that will take years to be resolved.”
Suppressing the Views of Dissenting Medical Doctors
A Medium piece signed by six medical doctors titled “Eight Reasons to End the Lockdowns Now” emphasized that the curve had already been flattened. It was deleted by Medium (archived copy here) on April 10 and largely ignored by the media. The doctors were eventually allowed to repost the article but only after Medium demanded changes. The message was clear: Dissenting views are not welcomed.
I do not know whether the deleted footage was correct or not. But I do know that YouTube cannot know either. YouTube claims to rely on official health organization guidance, but of course the WHO originally said there was no evidence of human-to-human virus transmission and the surgeon general originally said we shouldn’t wear masks. Does that mean they would delete videos disagreeing with those early opinions as well?
Health organizations change their views all the time, including the CDC, which at first said the virus easily transmits through touched surfaces until more recently it said maybe it doesn’t. We have to leave room in the public dialogue for dissenting views because governments simply don’t have a monopoly on the truth.
Playing Down Positive News
In addition to suppressing or simply ignoring dissenting views, the media also downplayed positive news. In early April, Stanford conducted the first official seroprevalence study in the United States and showed Santa Clara County likely undercounted coronavirus cases by a factor of 54 times. That also means the county may have overestimated the virus’ fatality by 54 times. However, this potentially very positive news was downplayed.
In Santa Clara County itself, a local paper ran the headline “COVID-19 warning about pets” over an article discussing CDC recommendations to keep pets away from strangers, even though there hadn’t been any meaningful data showing pet-to-human transmission taking place. Tucked in the upper corner was a smaller but immensely important story reporting that “Stanford researchers have estimated that the [COVID-19] death rate in Santa Clara County is about 0.12% to 0.2%.”
To its credit, at least the Daily Post ran a story about the reduced death rate. A CNN headline for the same story instead read, “Far more people may have been infected by coronavirus in one California county, study estimates,” choosing to focus on the number of cases rather than the reduced death rate. The Stanford’s researcher primary commentary was buried in the CNN article:
“If 50 times more people have had the infection, the death rate could drop by that same factor, putting it “somewhere between ‘little worse than the flu’ to ‘twice as bad as the flu’ in terms of case fatality rate,” Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya said.
Just as happened in the wake of the 2003 Iraq WMD journalistic failure, the 2020 pandemic should serve as a reminder of the importance of journalistic rigor in the face of overwhelming groupthink. This is not a question of whether social distancing works; it’s a question of whether shutting down businesses and locking up low-risk populations in their homes was worth the collateral damage and whether less draconian measures could have been even more effective.
The media should have more strongly questioned faulty academic models, unrealistically high fatality rates, lockdown efficacy, shifting goal posts, and the suppression of dissenting views by big tech. Had it done so, our public policy disaster may have been averted, or at least curtailed, potentially saving even more lives in the long run.
Yinon Weiss is a tech entrepreneur, a U.S. military veteran, and a bioengineer by education.