[L]ook at the influence of Christian Reconstruction; how has it impacted the style of the conservative Christianity that makes up the religious right—which is not to say that if I can show influence that that means that the leaders of the religious right really embrace every aspect of it.
Clearly we all seek to shape society along lines we think is best. Reconstructionists themselves hold a view of knowledge that says that there are really only two possible worldviews (a biblical one and a humanist one that comes in several varieties) and that both worldview are in a conflict for dominion (so in their view “we” are fighting for it too).
Its not that Rushdoony’s views of the biblical punishment for homosexuality have become widely accepted. The real influence is much more subtle: it’s in the now-multiple generations who have grown up in Christian schooling and Christian home schooling for which he laid philosophical, theological and legal foundations—Bachmann's legal education is but one example of that. The influence plays out in the many Americans who see history and science as theology, promoting “Christian American history” and opposing evolution as an explanation for human origins.
Granted Americans have always had a sense of themselves as what Ernest Lee Tuveson called A Redeemer Nation, but David Barton invokes that telos in a much more literal way than those before him.
And it was shocking when, in 1980, Ronald Reagan said he supported teaching what he understood to be the biblical account of creation alongside evolution in schools. Today all of the viable candidates for the Republican nomination hold this view.
These broad cultural changes have developed, in part, from a longterm strategy adopted by the Reconstructionists (what Doug Phillips calls multigenerational faithfulness), the most important component of which is the education of children (theirs and insofar as is practical other peoples’ as well).
It is not fearmongering, paranoia, or religious bigotry to try to understand their goals and strategies. In fact, it’s irresponsible not to.