Saturday, October 19, 2013

dominionists take the center stage..., REDUX (originally posted 9/10/2011)

aljazeera | With Representative Michele Bachmann's victory in the Ames, Iowa straw poll, and Texas Governor Rick Perry's triumphal entrance into the GOP presidential primary, there's been a sudden spike of attention drawn to the extremist religious beliefs both candidates have been associated with - up to and including their belief in Christian dominionism. (In the Texas Observer, the New Yorker, and the Daily Beast, for example.) The responses of denial from both the religious right itself and from the centrist Beltway press have been so incongruous as to be laughable - if only the subject matter weren't so deadly serious. Those responses need to be answered, but more importantly, we need to have the serious discussion they want to prevent.

For example, in an August 18 post, originally entitled, “Beware False Prophets who Fear Evangelicals”, Washington Post religion blogger Lisa Miller cited the three stories I just mentioned, and admitted, “The stories raise real concerns about the world views of two prospective Republican nominees”, then immediately reversed direction: “But their echo-chamber effect reignites old anxieties among liberals about evangelical Christians. Some on the left seem suspicious that a firm belief in Jesus equals a desire to take over the world.” Of course, she cited no examples to bolster this narrative-flipping claim. More importantly, she wrote not one more word about the real concerns she had just admitted.

Dominionism is not a myth
"What In Heaven's Name Is A Dominionist?" Pat Robertson asked on his 700 Club TV show, one of several religious right figures to recently pretend there was nothing to the notion. Funny he should ask. In a 1984 speech in Dallas, Texas, he said:
"What do all of us do? We get ready to take dominion! We get ready to take dominion! It is all going to be ours - I'm talking about all of it. Everything that you would say is a good part of the secular world. Every means of communication, the news, the television, the radio, the cinema, the arts, the government, the finance - it's going to be ours! God's going to give it to His people. We should prepare to reign and rule with Jesus Christ."

Furthermore, C Peter Wagner, the intellectual godfather of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), actually wrote a book called Dominion! in 2008. Chapter Three was entitled “Dominion Theology”. When pressed, Peter likes to pretend that his ideas are just garden-variety Christianity, based on Genesis 1:26, in which, before the fall, God gives Adam and Eve dominion over the natural world - a far cry from dominion over other people, who did not even exist at the time, as evangelical critics of this dominionist argument have repeatedly pointed out.

Dominionism is not new
Dominionist ideas have circulated throughout the religious right for decades prior to Robertson's 1984 speech. A primary source was the small but influential sect known as Christian Reconstructionism, founded by R J Rushdoony in the 1960s, which advocates replacing American law with Old Testament codes. Centrists like Miller make the mistake of thinking that the small size of Rushdoony's core of true believers is the full extent of his influence. But this is utterly mistaken. As Michelle Goldberg wrote in Daily Beast, “Rushdoony pioneered the Christian homeschooling movement, as well as the revisionist history, ubiquitous on the religious right, that paints the US as a Christian nation founded on biblical principles. He consistently defended Southern slavery and contrasted it with the greater evils of socialism.”

A second source traces back to the roots of the Latter Rain movement of the late 1940s, long rejected by orthodox evangelicals because they contradicted scripture and denied primary agency to God - which is why they insist that Christians must actively establish church dominance over all of society, because God can't do it alone.

The Latter Rain was denounced by the Assemblies of God - the largest American Pentecostal church - in 1949, not solely for dominionist ideology, but for a variety of related beliefs and practices. When similar teachings and practices re-emerged in the guise of the New Apostolic Reformation 50 years later, the Assemblies of God denounced them again in 2000.

This time, however, many Assemblies of God congregations have increasingly accepted the NAR influence. Sarah Palin's long-time church in Wasilla is one such congregation. The most clear-cut example of NAR dominionism is the so-called “Seven Mountains Mandate”, which holds that dominionist Christians should control the whole world by infiltrating and dominating the “Seven Mountains” of culture: (1) Business; (2) Government; (3) Media; (4) Arts and Entertainment; (5) Education; (6) Family; and (7) Religion. Fist tap Arnach.


nanakwame said...

Good History and those who are recruited today, shee

Big Don said...

If it ever becomes necessary to push The Big Button, the last thing you want is a POTUS who will be considering how that decision will affect his/her life in the Hereafter...

CNu said...

Worse by far is a POTUS who considers MAAD a sane, rational, and viable strategic option.

Big Don said...

A better approach is TED...(Total Enemy Destruction).  Do it unto them before they can do it unto you...

arnach said...

I believe that this TED is a better approach than yours for fixing the problems of the world and its foreseeable future.

CNu said...

What does it suggest to you when on the one hand, we have the Bush Doctrine of "pre-emptive self defense"

While in parallel, the Bushies want no part of and are working toward the demise of the prayer warrior?

Surely with this degree of policy concordance, their differences don't merely reduce to the petty and personal?

arnach said...

You may have hit that one squarely on the head.  Perhaps what they're actually defending is their "king of the hill" status in Texas, and the two situations aren't on opposite hands after all—purely petty and personal, as you say (and Texan).

I think that things like the video you linked there and this even more hilarious one (Glenn's faces are precious) and etc. are going to be enough to sink Perry in the general, even if the rest of the numb nuts concede the primary right now.  Which isn't going to happen.  If the Bushies know he can't beat O in '12, what's the harm in letting Karl do what he's doing?

arnach said...

Especially since there is no hereafter.

Vic78 said...

It makes sense that they went after the people they did. The Bush team wants to win. They didn't see Perry as a winner. During the debates Perry was out there. He had no sense of slickness. They saw Obama whupping his ass. It would've been worse than what happened to Romney. They really would like for the rubes to stay in their place. It's cool if they're in the congregation. They were never meant to lead.

CNu said...

Damn skippy. Not only that, but the "team" that Perry was on is not the same as the "team" that the Bushes are/were on, notwithstanding their common occupation of the space within the GOP big tent. Glenn Beck and that Skousen mormon team is not the same as the team Perry an'em are/were on. There are factions within the factions. Frankly, they don't all even agree on the consistency and unitary nature of so-called "white supremacy".

That said, the elites and the wannabe elites war with one another interpersonally, administratively, legally, and politically - seeking to avoid at all costs real warfare as real warfare within their ranks ALWAYS costs wealth. Literally, it destroys wealth. They've reached a point, however, due to the legal and political measures they've enacted against one another in their jockeying, and, due to the constituencies (rubes they've duped) that they've aligned pursuant to their ends, that they may soon have little alternative to going to hot war with one another.

Snowden and the shutdown are pretty radical maneuvers which skirt the line of bloodshed. Next up, expect to see some higher-placed federal arrests of minions "making their bones" by skirting the law. Notwithstanding the full disclosure of its existence, PRISM will be used to help further disrupt and degrade the social networks that the neo-Birchers have built up over the past 30+ years, much as it was used to break up the dominionists in the DoD. Or does anybody think that the Petraeus affair was an accident, or that the two top ranked air force and navy nuclear force commander sackings a couple weeks ago was an accident?

Puhlease...., isht gettin real.