Monday, July 10, 2017

Americans should fear theology calling for believers to seize control of country

It is ironic to me how some in the religious right falsely accuse the LGBTQ community or the Muslim community of attempting a take over of America when some of them embrace a theology which actually seeks to seize control over the country.

Perhaps you have heard of it. It's called dominionism and while it's been around for quite a while, according to David Brockman of the Texas Observer, it's gaining influence in political circles:

Dominionism fundamentally opposes America’s venerable tradition of church-state separation — in fact, dominionists deny the Founders ever intended that separation in the first place. According to Frederick Clarkson, senior fellow for religious liberty at the non-profit social justice think tank Political Research Associates, dominionists believe that Christians “have a biblical mandate to control all earthly institutions — including government — until the second coming of Jesus.” And that should worry all Texans — Christians and non-Christians alike. 
 Dominionism comes in “soft” and “hard” varieties. “Hard” dominionism (sometimes called Christian Reconstructionism), as Clarkson describes it, explicitly seeks to replace secular government, and the U.S. Constitution, with a system based on Old Testament law. The father of hard dominionism, the late Presbyterian theologian R.J. Rushdoony, called for his followers to “take back government … and put it in the hands of Christians.”

It sounds like a conspiracy theory and I wish it were. But it's real, particularly in Texas:

Perhaps the most powerful dominionist in Texas politics is Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. In a 2012 sermon and again at the 2015 Texas Tribune Festival, he said that the United States was founded on the Bible. Patrick has also made it clear he believes the Bible should determine public policy. In 2014, Patrick said that elected officials must look to Scripture when they make policy, “because every problem we have in America has a solution in the Bible.” (Where the Bible addresses problems like greenhouse gas emissions or cybersecurity, I’m at a loss to explain, even with 20 years of biblical study behind me.) His call for a “biblically-based” policy mindset “doesn’t mean we want a theocracy,” he insisted. “But it does mean we can’t walk away from what we believe.” For Patrick, not “walking away” seems to mean basing policy on his own religious beliefs — as he showed when he opposed same-sex marriage on biblical grounds. (Patrick also did not respond to my request for comment.)  
 Another dominionist active in Texas politics is conservative firebrand-slash-medical-doctor Steven Hotze. Hotze is linked to Gary DeMar, a dominionist writer and lecturer. DeMar has called for the United States to be governed by Old Testament law, including instituting the death penalty for gay/lesbian sex. As recently as 2013, Hotze was an officer of DeMar’s dominionist think tank American Vision; its mission is “to Restore America to its Biblical Foundation.”

For those who don't remember, Hotze is the leader of  anti-LGBTQ hate group American Vision. In 2015, he testified at a state hearing on marriage equality.  In his testimony, Hotze compared LGBTQs to pedophiles, murderers, and alcoholics.

The fantasy of Christians taking over American government entities is one which seems to appeal to some members of the religious right, even those who don't openly declare themselves as dominionists, such as Franklin Graham who has implied more than once that Christians should  take over America for God under the guise of fighting "persecution" (in between his condemnations of the LGBTQ community)  or James Dobson, who with his family and cohorts, have virtually bogarted the nonsectarian National Day of Prayer and transformed it into a repulsive right-wing orgified bacchanalia of ecclesiastical privilege.

But if you aren't convinced just how spooky the domionist theology is, allow me to leave you two videos of Janet Porter, a supposed pro-life and definite anti-LGBTQ activist. In the past, Porter has gotten into major trouble for her flirtation with dominionist theology. These two videos, one in which she is praying to God for control of the government and the other, in which she is praying for control of the media, should give you a good reason why.

As well as a good reason why all Americans should fear the dominionist theology:

1 comment:

John Powell said...

The original Colonists came here to get away from religious persecution and dominance.

The United States founded on the Bible? Our Founding Fathers, in spite of being a deeply religious lot, look great pains to draft a secular government to avoid creating a system similar to what the first settlers ran from.

Run this country according to Old Testament Law? There is one major flaw here. In the New testament, Jesus is said to declare the Laws of Moses, those in the Old Testament, outdated. How then do these people justify wanting to use laws that the Founder of the religion they profess to follow invalidated nearly two thousand years ago?