Wednesday, July 01, 2015

the christian right has taken over texas and kansas and would like to take over a whole lot more...,

academia |  All warfare is based upon deception. Therefore, when capable, feign incapacity; when active, inactivity. When near, make it appear that you are far away; when far away, that you are near. Offer the enemy a bait to lure him; feign disorder and strike him…Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance….Keep him under strain and wear him down….When he is united, divide him….Attack where he is unprepared; sally out when he does not expect you.‖ Sun Tzu, The Art of War, 500 B.C.

Introduction Organization of the Book
This book is organized in three parts. Part I examines the Christian Right thematically in order to examine different theologies and ideologies and link those theologies/ideologies to dominant organizations and networks. This is essential to understanding Fourth Generation Warfare which posits that moral conflict is much more important and strategic than physical combat. The main purpose of Part I is to establish that despite different theologies and ideologies, and even somewhat different vocabularies, the right-wing has a common worldview in which the federal government embodies both evil and an existential threat to Christians and/or patriots; that only right-believing Christians are duty-bound to rule on behalf of Christ; that political and economic elites ruling on behalf of Christ are subject to God‘s laws, but not the democratic electorate; that the free market is the embodiment of God‘s will;  that everyone else is basically an enemy of God and the Christian State; and, the enemies of God are liable to be subjected to genocide. The underlying purpose of Part I is to present the multiple ways in which the Christian Right is actively challenging and undermining the dominant liberal values of a secular political culture.

 While the Christian Right is waging a war to induce a crisis of legitimacy, it is premised upon and includes the Christian Reconstructionist‘s rejection of: the Enlightenment; the dominant historical narrative that the U.S. Constitution did not create or embody a ―Christian nation;‖ that America is based upon pluralism and tolerance of religious, racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual orientation differences; and, that the U.S. Constitution begins with the assertion that the American people created a federal government with a communitarian purpose to serve the people rather than embodying a radical anarcho-libertarian concept of a minimalist government without the power to tax and regulate commerce. Consider just one example from late 2012: Texas Governor Rick Perry on a conference call with Rick Scarborough, head of Vision America, a nation-wide organization of patriot pastors, told these pastors that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment the separation of church and state is false and that President Obama is a satanic agent driving God and Christians out of the public square.

 According to Perry: ―‗This separation of church and state…. this steel wall, this iron curtain or whatever you want to call it between the church and people of faith and this separation of church and state is just false on its face. We have a biblical responsibility to be involved in the public arena proclaiming God‘s truth…. President Obama and his cronies in Washington continue their efforts to remove any trace of religion from American life…. Satan runs across the world with his doubt and with his untruths and what have you and one of the untruths out there is driven is that people of faith should not be involved in the public arena

Chapter 1 establishes that at the root of the Christian Right is the fundamental belief that a good Christian serves either God or serves the embodiment of human reason in the form of the State. For the Christian Right, the Bible is literally true, without error, and provides absolute certainly correct answers regarding political, economic, scientific, historical, and social issues. This is the crux of the Christian Right‘s pre -suppositionalism and their epistemological break with reality. Coming from the self-imposed internal exile of fundamentalists and evangelicals following the 1925 Scopes trial, the broad Christian Right believes that secular America is fundamentally evil, satanic, and anti-God. These two modes of knowing faith versus reason put  America into a civil war situation, in their view. The ramifications of this civil war posture are profound and further developed in the chapter. The drive for power and dominion discussed in Chapter 2 demonstrates conclusively that the nexus and unity of strategic purpose between the Christian reconstructionists and the New Apostolic Reformation was established in the mid-1980s through their collective participation and joint collaboration in the Coalition on Revival (COR). The Coalition on Revival attracted hundreds of leading theologians, professors, and strategists from fundamentalist, evangelical, Pentecostal, and charismatic Christians. COR produced 17 ―Worldview‖ documents which were distilled down to 25 theological tenets or Articles. These COR worldview documents, tenets, and a ―Manifesto for the Christian Church‖ were subsequently distributed to thousands of pastors and churches. The Coalition on Revival not only bridged the divide between pre-millennial and post-millennial Christians, in itself a strategic coup, but united the broad Christian Right in terms of strategy. The public unveiling of the ―Manifesto for the Christian Church‖ in 1986 in Washington, D.C. by hundreds of Christian Right leaders included officials from the Reagan administration. The New Apostolic Reformation took the 17 Worldview documents and 25  Articles and boiled them down further to their Seven Mountains campaign for dominion. In other words, Christians are duty bound to wrest control of the seven key mountains of society from Satan‘s agents: government, business, education, religion, family, media, and arts. In order to seize the strategic high ground of society, NAR apostles and prophets lead their followers in the practice of strategic level spiritual warfare and spiritual mapping. While these practices appear benign they are just prayer in fact, they are the precursor to actual physical combat.  And, while the Seven Mountains campaign is specific to the New Apostolic Reformation, a significant portion of the Christian Right collaborates or supports the Seven Mountains dominionism of the NAR. This joint collaboration is best exemplified by the hybrid Freedom Coalition which includes major leading groups from the Council for National Policy‘s Conservative Action Project, itself a coalition that includes the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, and groups from the New Apostolic Reformation.

Chapter 3 returns to idea of the epistemological break with reality started in Chapter 1 from a different angle the collaboration of segments of corporate America, the Republican Party, and the Christian Right in undermining the science that undergirds federal regulations. While corporations want to undermine science to improve their profits and the Republican Party apparently does it to secure campaign financing, the Christian Right‘s opposition to science especially evolution and global warming is rooted in their literalist, inerrant interpretation of the Bible, and their pre-suppositionalism and dominionism. The issue of denying the science of global warming brings together some major energy corporations, the billionaire Koch brothers, their allies in the broad Christian Right, and the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party movement, in turn, has been increasingly drawn into the Christian Reconstructionist‘s opposition to the United Nations and the so-called Agenda 21 which under the guise of sustainable, local economic development is supposed to rob patriotic  Americans of their private property, constitutional rights, and lives. Opposition to the United Nations is rooted in the 1950s John Birch Society conspiracy theories. The Koch brothers and their now defunct Citizens for a Sound Economy (now split into Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks) provided the organizational model for national, state, and local groups to forge alliances between extractive industry companies and conservative Christian organizations to promote ―wise use‖ anti-environmental movement organizations that also forged grassroots links with the Christian Patriot militia. Further readings on buybull buddy fourth generation warfare for control of the U.S. 


Dale Asberry said...

Seems like Handmaiden's Tale-style chair rearranging to me

John Kurman said...

I'm guessing there is a deep association between dominionists and the sovereign rights crowd and the 2A-holes. The 2A rights crowd makes noises about how collectives are always suspect, contain members that are sheeplike, obedient, compliant and easily corruptible. But if you are a lamb of God believer, YOUR collective can't possibly be any of those things. And thus, as a free, bold, fearless, morally upright member of such a collective, it is your prerogative, and yours alone, to be the masters of government. Anyone else are subjects and slaves. Very convenient.

Stroke 'em if you got 'em.

Dale Asberry said...

Handmaiden's Tale collective

CNu said...

What distinguishes modern social movements—noted for the lower prevalence of bureaucratic structures and a higher propensity to use
multiple types of networks—from previous models of social movements is the idea that what holds these modern movements together is the narrative, the structure of ideas, the core values, and belief in action. Ideas are the structure and the glue of modern social movements.

Some commenters are not simply bantering about ideas in a collegial quest for truth. Some commenters are engaged in a literal contest for converts.

“Religion…is at the heart of many of the ideologies on the contemporary radical right.” From the Patriot militias to the neo-Nazis, though they do not share the same religion. One cannot understand the actions of the Republican Party and the Christian Right, often acting in tandem, without considering the religious basis and motivations for their policies and actions.

John Kurman said...

re: Sun Tzu I have a healthy streak of paranoia, and realized what's the whitest place right now? Canada! Sure, they seem all nice and liberal...

John Kurman said...

Crafting the narrative is called fashion, and it's a quarter million years old at least, fashioned for us. Me, I'm opensourcepunk, and.there's gotta be a better term for that. Nerd prbly.

CNu said...

"fashioned for us" is a very interesting turn of phrase. by whom?

CNu said...

lol, it's the British Commonwealth. They went black a long time ago and won't be going back...,