Calvinism, Gun Laws And An End To Public Education : No Compromise In Episode 4: The Dorr brothers have become known for their network of ultra pro-gun Facebook groups. But their family name has also been connected to an extreme religious movement that has sought to eliminate public education, outlaw homosexuality and replace all laws with rules from the Old Testament. Lisa and Chris dig into the roots of the Dorr family to learn more.
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Building The Kingdom Of God

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Building The Kingdom Of God

Building The Kingdom Of God

Building The Kingdom Of God

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Paul Dorr was convicted of criminal mischief in Orange City, Iowa, after burning library books on a Facebook Live video. Chris Haxel for KCUR hide caption

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Chris Haxel for KCUR

Paul Dorr was convicted of criminal mischief in Orange City, Iowa, after burning library books on a Facebook Live video.

Chris Haxel for KCUR

The Dorr brothers definitely make money through their pro-gun activism, but reporters Lisa Hagen of WABE in Atlanta, Ga. and Chris Haxel of KCUR in Kansas City, Mo. aren't convinced profit fully explains the Dorrs' no-compromise worldview.

A viral Facebook video offers some clues. It shows Paul Dorr, father of Aaron, Ben and Chris Dorr, burning books he checked out from a local library.

It turns out the elder Dorr educated his 11 children at home, and took them along to protest outside abortion clinics as part of Operation Rescue.

Like his sons, Paul Dorr is active in politics. He's developed a reputation as a fierce opponent of public schooling and works as a hired gun to help defeat school bond referendums across the Midwest.

But as Paul Dorr says, his reason for attacking public schools is "almost always not my client's reason." His clients may simply want to keep property taxes low.

But Paul Dorr's plan is to eliminate public education entirely – to see the public education system "one day be gone, and restore education back into the hands of families, the parents and the Christians."

Paul Dorr is part of a different type of no-compromise movement. It's called Christian Reconstructionism, and its adherents believe it is their duty to reconstruct society in accordance with biblical law.

As reporters Hagen and Haxel examine the Dorr brothers through this lens of reconstructionism, they begin to see connections everywhere. And they receive an unexpected phone call from an insider — someone who can speak from experience about what it's like inside this fundamentalist Christian movement.

Clarification Oct. 2, 2020

In an earlier version of this episode, we quoted Professor Julie Ingersoll saying Ron Paul "ran as [the Constitution Party] presidential candidate a couple of times". In fact, though the Constitution Party listed him as their candidate on ballots in some states, Ron Paul ran for president as a Republican and as a Libertarian. He also endorsed the Constitution Party candidate for president in 2008.