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There have been a lot of people who have mocked those trying to bring attention to the new political movement of Dominionism. They’ve been derided as paranoid Henny Pennys screaming that the sky is falling, and as alarmists who are trying to persecute a specific form of Christianity. But with the rise of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, who are deeply associated with Dominionism and the New Apostolic Reformation, new attention is being paid, and rightfully so.
Dominionism is no longer something that can be ignored, and if it is ignored, we do so at our peril, because it’s worming its way through the highest levels of government, and if we’re not careful, could ascend to the presidency and literally end America as we know it.
That might sound over the top, but that is exactly their plan, which is carried out on two tiers: political but also spiritual. Michelle Goldberg, columnist for The Daily Beast, has been at the forefront in reporting on this issue. In a column earlier this week, she pointed out the basic premise behind their beliefs. It’s a simple belief and a dangerous one that is gaining ground in the Republican Party:
“Put simply, Dominionism means that Christians have a God-given right to rule all earthly institutions. Originating among some of America’s most radical theocrats, it’s long had an influence on religious-right education and political organizing. But because it seems so outré, getting ordinary people to take it seriously can be difficult.”
Fortunately, this bizarre strain of Christianity is finally starting to catch the attention of some in the mainstream media. Writing for The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza, dissects Michele Bachmann in a fascinating profile piece and points to the origins of Dominionist thought and their sense of entitlement:
“[…] Dominionism, which relies on Genesis 1:26, where man is urged to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Sara Diamond, who has written several books about evangelical movements in America, has succinctly defined the philosophy that resulted from Schaeffer’s interpretation: “Christians, and Christians alone, are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns.”
And there are those making the connection between the Dominionist movement, what I think can be safely labeled as an American Christian construct, as it spreads overseas. Leah L. Burton, who grew up within the Dominionist movement, details the connection between the Norway terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, and Dominionist thought in an article at PoliticusUSA:
“In particular, with a video manifesto (which has been linked on Youtube until it was pulled there, and which has since shown up on Liveleak) the shooter makes some very specific references that show he has familiarity with, and probably shares terminology with (if not overtly sharing intel with) “Christian patriot” militia groups in the US (including material that has been posted on racist and far-right-wing forums in the US, use of particular catch phrases associated with the “Christian Patriot” movement in the US, and others). I’ve just spent nine hours typing up an extensive analysis of the video; he is clearly connected with religious-nationalist groups in Europe and in the US. The degree of references to material originating in the US, in fact, indicate he has been in somewhat regular contact with anti-Muslim racists in the “Christian Patriot” movement in the US, rather than obtaining racialist material from racist groups elsewhere in the world.”
They’re learning how to play the game, and play it well, and this movement has been in the making for several decades, but is now ascending in a manner that no one expected, with candidates like Bachmann and Perry, who receive significant backing from this movement, and who receive their spiritual advice from people like David Barton and other prominent figures in the movement. Katherine Yurica has detailed its evolution:
Dominionism is a natural if unintended extension of Social Darwinism and is frequently called “Christian Reconstructionism.” Its doctrines are shocking to ordinary Christian believers and to most Americans. Journalist Frederick Clarkson, who has written extensively on the subject, warned in 1994 that Dominionism “seeks to replace democracy with a theocratic elite that would govern by imposing their interpretation of ‘Biblical Law.’” He described the ulterior motive of Dominionism is to eliminate “…labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools.” Clarkson then describes the creation of new classes of citizens:
“Women would be generally relegated to hearth and home. Insufficiently Christian men would be denied citizenship, perhaps executed. So severe is this theocracy that it would extend capital punishment [to] blasphemy, heresy, adultery, and homosexuality.”
Today, Dominionists hide their agenda and have resorted to stealth; one investigator who has engaged in internet exchanges with people who identify themselves as religious conservatives said, “They cut and run if I mention the word ‘Dominionism.’” Joan Bokaer, the Director of Theocracy Watch, a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University wrote, “In March 1986, I was on a speaking tour in Iowa and received a copy of the following memo [Pat] Robertson had distributed to the Iowa Republican County Caucus titled, “How to Participate in a Political Party.” It read:
“Rule the world for God.
“Give the impression that you are there to work for the party, not push an ideology.
“Hide your strength.
“Don’t flaunt your Christianity.
“Christians need to take leadership positions. Party officers control political parties and so it is very important that mature Christians have a majority of leadership positions whenever possible, God willing.”
Dominionists have gained extensive control of the Republican Party and the apparatus of government throughout the United States; they continue to operate secretly. Their agenda to undermine all government social programs that assist the poor, the sick, and the elderly is ingeniously disguised under false labels that confuse voters. Nevertheless, as we shall see, Dominionism maintains the necessity of laissez-faire economics, requiring that people “look to God and not to government for help.”
When one examines the progress of its agenda, one sees that Dominionism has met its time table: the complete takeover of the American government was predicted to occur by 2004. Unless the American people reject the GOP’s control of the government, Americans may find themselves living in a theocracy that has already spelled out its intentions to change every aspect of American life including its cultural life, its Constitution and its laws.
This anti-American, perhaps even treasonous cult has taken hold in this country in a way that no one could have imagined. They have managed to hijack and seize control of one of the two major political parties, the Republicans, and move it completely toward its own theocratic agenda, but they’ve done it in a manner that could be said to have been accomplished completely under the radar. Only now, as they become more vociferous in their conquest for power, are people finally starting to wake up and see it for what it is: an imminent and viable threat to the nation’s democracy.