Christians for a Test Oath

A couple days ago, I was prepping for a lesson on religion in the U.S. Constitution. (Prepping for the same lesson last semester led to my writing this post about drafts of the First Amendment’s religion clauses.) At one point, I was searching online for the exact text of some states’ former religious test oaths to show students. That search led me to the website Christians for a Test Oath. The creator of the website (it is an individual endeavor, not an organization, contrary to the impression the name may give) is helpfully direct about his (I’m guessing it’s “his”) position:

When someone is inaugurated to public office, he or she takes the “oath of office.” This website argues that no one should be permitted to hold public office who does not take a Christian “test oath.” In the meantime, this website argues that Christians should voluntarily take a Christian “test oath” when required to take an oath of office.

The author is both a constitutionalist and a theocrat in a vein that I associate with Reconstructionism (though I don’t see the author using that term here). He cites the usual kinds of historical texts to argue that the Founders intended to establish Christianity. Less familiar to me was his use of biblical texts (from the Torah and some of the more contested Pauline epistles) to argue that God intends only Christians to govern.

In an interesting twist, I think the creator of Christians for a Test Oath also maintains the website A Theonomic Defense of Pacifism. If they’re the same, then the author, Kevin Craig, does in fact identify as a Reconstructionist: he claims the label on the pacifist website. That he’s also a pacifist was unexpected for me, although that says more about my stereotypical perceptions of Reconstructionists than anything else.

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