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Christian Reconstruction Group Cruises ‘Patriot’ Waters

By Evelyn Schlatter on October 26, 2011 - 9:41 am, Posted in Patriot Groups

American Vision is a hard-line Christian Reconstruction organization whose current leader, Gary DeMar, has said that democracy should be replaced by a theocratic government run by Christians who will impose Old Testament prohibitions and the occasional executions of “sodomites” to drive gay people back into the closet. It’s no surprise, then, that American Vision has involved itself over the years with anti-gay and anti-abortion causes.

Lately, however, it has branched out and seems to be testing its message in the antigovernment and conspiracy-laden “Patriot” waters. Literally.

The group is co-sponsoring a January 2012 “Patriot Cruise” that will, according to a promotional webpage, transform participants’ abilities to defend their faith and the country’s foundations, and help them learn how to convert others who oppose “the truth by which we stand.”

During the weeklong cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s 1,020-foot Mariner of the Seas, participants will “explore what Americans really believe” in the learning environment of a “masters [sic] level teaching classroom and the energy of a Town Hall meeting.” Other sponsors include the Patriot Depot (which sells anti-Obama T-shirts and other “supplies for the conservative revolution”) and a Gary DeMar side project, Vision2America, which is working to “restore America to a Christian republic.”

“No conference on land,” American Vision claims, “will equip you for opposing the godless apologists of the liberal machine.”

So far, in addition to DeMar, there are four “On Board Leaders” (other speakers to be announced). The others are Alan Keyes, former presidential candidate and birther who works with the Declaration Alliance (which supported the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps); speaker and author Bill Federer of American Minute, who has appeared on conspiracy-monger Alex Jones’ show; and Tea Party activist Victoria Jackson, once known for her six seasons on Saturday Night Live but currently known for her anti-gay, anti-Muslim and anti-liberal slams; and birther Gary Kreep, a former national board member for Young Americans for Freedom. Kreep also lists himself as unpaid general counsel to the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. The MCDC closed down in March 2010, though its website remains.

Can’t make the cruise and need a Patriot fix? The American Vision store carries the Patriot-friendly tract Gateway to Liberty: The Constitutional Power of the Tenth Amendment, as well as a 2011 Firearms Guide and another guide called Disaster Prep 101. You can also pick up some copies of the young adult novels The Drums of War, a series about the Revolutionary War.

American Vision is also tailoring its Christian Reconstructionist rhetoric to more Patriot and Tea Party-sounding calls to “restore America.” Its website currently posts a “County Rights” project, a series of articles by research director Joel McDurmon (soon to be available in video and book) that tell readers how to “restore freedom” by taking control of local (i.e. county) governments and establishing the kind of community that reflects their values.

In one article, titled “State’s Rights: How to Get Freedom Back,” McDurmon gives a shout-out (but is quick to claim it’s not an endorsement) to the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC), a driving force behind so-called “nullification” movements to undo or weaken federal laws that proponents don’t like. Though he claims not to endorse the TAC, he nevertheless lists 12 issues that the TAC is working on, including “Sheriffs First” laws against “unwarranted federal policing activities” and freedom from federal gun regulations. He calls the list “impressive” and proceeds to explain how nullification might be a strategy to undo Roe v. Wade at the state level.

  • Ed Heffernan

    Recently stumbled onto American Vision News website. Have their commenters always called openly for the President’s assassination, or is that just the Apr 16 birther thread? The Secret Service needs a look at that site.

  • michele

    If life doesn’t begin at conception where does it begin, please state your resources.

  • Reynardine

    Gary Kreep? You can’t make it up!

  • CIA Jon

    responding to what the first comment said

    facts have a liberal bias

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Jeff, “life” technically begins in the sperm and egg cells, if you want to play that game. Furthermore, the vast majority of pregnancies end in miscarriages where the woman never knows she was pregnant; this is because often times the fertilized egg does not implant in the uterus. So if you believe that life begins at conception, your god is the ultimate abortion doctor.

    PS- There is nothing in the Bible prohibiting abortion.

  • jonas

    A foetus feeds off of its host (mother) through its physical connection to her and cannot survive on its own as a human being. A baby can.

  • Aron


    The claim that life begins at conception is hardly a ‘fact.’ It is an opinion-based claim: nothing more.

  • Jeff

    I don’t see the link between the statement that someone wants to establish a theocratic government and establishing old testament prohibitions with the anti-abortion movement. The anti abortion movement in its truest form is based on the fact that life begins at conception and that to intentionally kill that life is wrong. To automatically draw a link anti-abortion with the fringe you are discussing here is unfair and will cause your organization to lose support of people like myself who are pro-life but also are anti-hate.

  • Jonas Rand

    “…Vision2America, which is working to ‘restore America to a Christian republic.'”

    The US never was a Christian theocracy. From Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli (1796):

    “…the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”

    Additionally, it is impossible to claim that this is somehow a recent change in the “values” upon which the country is founded (whatever they are), which Christian conservatives often do (usually citing the ’60s or another period in the 20th century), because the treaty was signed in 1796. That is only 20 years after the American Declaration of Independence, and only 9 years after the signing of the US Constitution.

    The mention of Bill Federer having appeared on Alex Jones’ show is a non sequitur and could possibly be confusing to people who have never listened to his show. Identifying Jones as a conspiracy-monger, while true, could give the impression that he chooses his guests based on whether they agree with his views. Occasionally, his guests are scientists, degreed professionals, and experts in their respective academic fields. Helen Caldicott, for example, has appeared on the Alex Jones show to discuss the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster and subsequent attempts at covering it up. Frequently, guests on Alex Jones show are very articulate as well, so an appearance on his show does not really speak to the guest’s character, level of paranoia, or political views.

    However, the rest of the “On-Board” leaders seem like reactionary, racist, and/or Christian fundamentalist individuals. They are influencing US politicians with their vitriol, intolerance and hatred. I for one am tired of their bigoted claptrap.