The March of Christian Dominionism 1: What Is Christian Dominionism?

Author: February 27, 2012 2:20 pm

No. It’s not. And it never was.

Or “Welcome to the Theocratic States of America”

Thirty years from now, a protestor stands alone on a corner. She is visibly pregnant. Her sign, written in blood red marker, says “I’m carrying my rapist’s baby! Thanks a lot, Jesus!” She has only been there for five minutes but has been called “slut” and “whore” by several passersby. One elderly woman stops long enough to tell her she deserved to be raped for not loving Jesus enough. Others look at her with sad eyes but quickly avert their gaze lest one of their neighbors notice.

Finally the police arrive to take the woman into custody. She has not spoken a word. She has no bullhorn. She has not accosted a single person on the street. Yet she is still arrested by men who barely contain their contempt for her. She has broken no laws that we would recognize but still, she is roughly handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser. Of course, they take great care not to harm the baby she is carrying; the bruises she’ll have later won’t be anywhere near life-threatening. In this, she is lucky to be pregnant; others do not fare as well.

She is not read her rights because she has none. She is a blasphemer against the Lord and has been stripped of all legal protections. Her pregnancy will ensure that she survives long enough to perhaps repent and beg forgiveness. If not, she will be stoned to death in a public square by devout followers. Her child will be raised by the State to be a patriotic, loyal and, above all, God fearing citizen.

Welcome to the Theocratic States of America.

This may seem like a scenario out of a bad science fiction film but you would be wrong. This is what the world should be according to Christian Dominionism.

What is Christian Dominionism? It’s exactly what it sounds like: a world dominated by Christianity. Not just under the control of Christianity but completely and utterly dominated by it. According to Dominionists, every aspect of our lives is subject to the strictures of the Bible. Our personal lives and social lives must be lived in accordance with the word of God. Economics, politics, science, the arts and the law are all to be placed under the auspices of Christianity. It is, in essence, exactly what people claim Sharia law is. Minus Islam.

Such a system is, by its very nature, a totalitarian one. There can be no freedom of expression. There can be no free press. There can be no freedoms of any kind except the freedom to obey the Word. This is a very appealing concept to those interested in power for its own sake. Such a concentration of power would be free of morality, ethics, decency or accountability of any kind. The ability to shape the world at will is very alluring and the perversion of religion is a powerful tool to reach that goal.

At the same time, to those without power or hope, the idea of surrendering to such total control is more than a soothing balm; it is something to be craved. The world remains cold and indifferent to the struggles and pain we all go through. Self-direction can be hard and messy. Deciding what is right and what is wrong by relying on your own moral compass can be exhausting. In an environment where a steady diet of pious, theocratic messaging can make it seem a virtue to let someone else tell you how to live and what to believe it is easy to surrender control. At that point, the absolute moral certainty of Dominionists becomes an anesthetic for the confusion and doubt of the everyday world. Is it any wonder the desperate seek it like an oasis in the desert?

Let us clear up two possible misconceptions; while I am an atheist, this article is not an “ATTACK ON CHRISTIANITY!!” as many on the Right, and no small amount on the Left, will claim. This is NOT about religion at all, that is, beyond its use as a means to an end. Dominionists do not care about the teachings of Jesus. They care about the control those teachings will provide over the desperate, the lost and the wounded. Their cries of persecution by evil liberal God-hating heathens like me are camouflage. By wrapping themselves in the trappings of piety, they deflect, successfully if you allow it, any direct critique of their agenda.

This creates an obstacle on both ends of the political spectrum. First, while Dominionists are always found among conservatives, not all conservatives are even remotely Dominionists. The problem is that many on the Right use religion in much the same way: as a prop to claim a moral high ground they have laughably failed to reach. This makes it difficult for Right Wing opportunists to separate themselves from the Christian Dominionism movement. In fact, it is nigh impossible to reveal Dominionists for the power hungry hypocrites they are without leaving themselves open to the very same charge. How does the wolf in sheep’s clothing denounce the other wolf hunting the same flock and stay hidden?

On the other hand, the Left does what is ALWAYS does: refuse to make judgments. Oh sure, they’ll cluck their tongues and shake their heads but they won’t meet the threat because they are afraid of being accused of secularism or not being “tolerant” of diverse viewpoints. Excuse me, but that is load of bull puckey! Should we “tolerate” the Taliban? Or Eugenicists?[i] Better yet, WHY should we “tolerate” a group that seeks to install a theocracy where democracy now flourishes? It is madness to think otherwise but that is exactly what liberals do. Terrified of offending someone, somewhere, many stand impotently by and wring their hands when faced with anything that falsely cloaks itself in piety.

Of course, we’re not ALL afraid of our shadow. Some of us are proud to be filthy liberal scum and we don’t give a sack of beans about hurting someone’s feelings. Sometimes it really is OK to yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. Particularly when the theater really is on fire!

The other most likely misconception is that this is a full on assault against the Right. Well, yes and no. Don’t get me wrong, I despise the Right Wing of this country and take pretty much every opportunity to knock the GOP as the greedy, selfish, corporate whores that they are, but this is less about the conservative movement than it is about a specific subset of it. You could write an entire book about how much  you hate Catholics or Mormons and still not have anything negative to say about Christianity itself. In fact, Christians do this all the time. Dominionists, however, naturally gravitate to the Right because, among other things, that is where the anger and fear is. Christian Dominionism relies heavily on these two emotions to attract, shape and, ultimately, control their followers.

You may be thinking that such a small, radical group (and they are a small group in comparison to the overall conservative movement) would be marginalized and ineffective. Not a threat at all. Yet, somehow, in 2004, seven of the Bush White House’s interns were students from Patrick Henry College. Sound like a small number? It sure does! Until you consider the total number of interns was 100 and they can be picked from any of the thousands of colleges in the country. Also consider that Patrick Henry College accepts less than 100 students per year and specifically caters to homeschooled evangelicals. Suddenly, seven percent seems to be a remarkably high number for a college you’ve never heard of with such an incredibly small student body. Just to make you more uneasy, over twenty conservative Congressmen have had one or more Patrick Henry interns on their staff. And here’s the icing on the spooky cake: Patrick Henry College was only founded in 2000! So many interns attached to high powered conservatives is quite the achievement in so short a time.

In the same vein, caucuses are flooded with the furthest of the Far Right Wing ideologues. This forces would-be Republican candidates to veer wildly to the Right, usually on social issues, in order to even be nominated. This, in turn, drags the entire GOP to the right, not always willingly. We’ve seen a sharply accelerated version of this with the Tea Party but Dominionists have been at it much longer. You may recall the days when Jerry Falwell and his so-called “Moral Majority” exerted a tremendous amount of influence despite being, in reality, a small, widely dispersed group that merely made a lot of noise.

This is how a small, but highly organized and extremely well-funded, group of fringe radicals can control the entire process. Put the right pressure on the right spot at the right time and you elect Congressmen and women who do not believe in science and wholeheartedly support turning the country into one nation under a very specific God.

This concludes our short introduction to the concept of Christian Dominionism. Next we will examine how they capture and hold their followers in my next pack of filthy liberal lies: The March of Christian Dominionism 2: Where Did It Come From and How Does It Work? Or “It’s NOT a cult! My beloved leader and all of his followers tell me so!”

Edited by Sherri Yarbrough

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[i] Happy, Glenn?


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42 Comments

  • Jesus, a homeless preacher that wandered around relying on the kindness of others to feed and shelter him. The Gospels can’t even agree on when he was born, what was going on when he was born or even when he died. All 4 gospels tell such different stories that you wonder if they are talking about the same person. No one knows anything about his life from about age 12 to age 30, when he began his ministry. What forces shaped his life, his beliefs, where did he learn what he preached? Like many prophets in the bible he condemned the religious leaders of his time for “just going through the motions” of Jewish religious services. He condemned them for using the temple as a means of making money from the devout. And for abandoning God’s commandments for personal gain. His messages of love, peace, and the promise of a “kingdom of heaven” for those who were poor, suffering, and living under the occupation of the Romans, was a message that was very popular to a poor, uneducated, people who struggled every day just to survive. But he pissed off the wrong people and was arrested and condemned to death. The Romans played along so they could get rid of another Jewish agitator who may have become a problem. He was sentenced to die the most grisly of deaths, crucifixion, that was reserved for the worst of criminals and used as an example to those who might be thinking of causing similar problems. What happened afterwards is open for debate. His “resurrection” was only observed by his most loyal followers. None of his followers actually considered him “God”, that would have been blasphemy, punishable by death. Because they still considered themelves Jews, not Christians. After all, Jesus was a Jew. They remained a haunted secret sub-sect of Judaism, living in and around Jerusalem. It wasn’t until the conversion of Paul, and his travels, that the divinity of Jesus began to take place. He preached to the world of gentiles, especially Romans, who had a long history of demigods, men who had become gods. Even the Roman emperors were “divine”, as were the Egyptian pharaohs, and Greek mythology was full of them. So the idea that Jesus was divine, or God incarnate was not too far fetched for them to accept. Even his death was turned into something miraculous, because who would want to worship a man put to death by the Romans for being a trouble maker and a possible threat to their authority, like any other common criminal? He was just a man. A man whose ministry brought a message of hope to a poor, illiterate, oppressed people, desperate for any message that would relieve their suffering. While his teachings of peace, love, and hope are universal, they were not original. Treat others as you wish to be treated is the main message of Judaism, as well as many other religions. Perhaps the most original of his teachings was that God was a caring, kind God. A God of Love and universal Peace. And that if we followed his teachings, the Kingdom of Heaven was within our grasp. More than anything his message was one of peace, hope, tolerance, and that God is the Lord of ALL mankind. What would he think of the religion founded in his name as it exists today?

  • Here is a multipart series I wrote for my blog. There are a lot of sources I hyperlink to.

    http://lefthemispheres.blogspot.com/p/dominionism-series.html

  • Religion is all utter bullshit no matter what form it takes and as been a source of misery, violence and represssion since history began. Mankind will not advance any furthur until all oragnized religions are sent to history’s scrapheap of bad ideas like slavery, imperialism, no legal rights for woman etc.

  • Very interesting article. I am Pagan, more precise Kemetic and do not worship either Jesus or the Devil, but from this writings I can see that “The Devil” has found it’s foothold in the teachings of Christianity and is using it now as a shield to play on peoples emotions using the current world situation. The dark will always win the masses by intrucing itself to them using either the faithful or trusted people in power places as the dark likes power and control over all.
    As far as I can remember from Revelations in the Bible this is what was predicted:” That the Devil will walk amongst you and use your own faith against you to claim the world for himself” and what is his preferred method to claim souls in fear: power, control, war, murder, etc.
    ANd what is so sad, is that good people will believe all this stuff even when they know something is not right and when they realize they don’t like it they are in to deep to do anything. SO I hope people will wise up and choose tolerance, freedom and peace and the ability to choose for yourself what is good for yourself. I hope that we have learnt from our past.

    • Your an arrogant nut. You think that you know what is right and wrong when you are too retarded to see that just about every piece of ideology that you believe in is another example on just how stupid and gullible a person can be and another example of irrational logic. We are NOT all the same, we are not all equal, this is a physical and logical impossibility, tolerance is not good if it tolerates obscene behavior and persons, and just remember no great nation was founded by peace.

      • Josue, while I agree with what you have to say, I think that you can get your point across more effectively without insulting others. While, reading your comment, I was more focused on your arrogance, rather than on what you had to say.

      • Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan Czech Republic, Slovakia and united Germany were all founded peacefully. The birth of nations doesn’t have to be the result of war, and with any intelligent view toward the future, war may be an anomaly.

        On a side note, you, Josue, are rude, obnoxious, irrational and very, very intolerant.

  • I’m all for nailing some preachers to the crosses in there temples of evil and setting them ablaze!!!!!!!

  • Jean Clelland-Morin

    I am agnostic and a volunteer for Secours Catholique. I respect Christians who attempt to live a Christ-like life. From where do monsters like Dominionists come? // Jean Clelland-Morin

  • It sounds really amazing !I suppose if you like E-shopping?I think choose right sporting clothes is very important!

  • I’m with you, Justin. I grew up in the Methodist church and enjoyed the social club and the idea that I was on the right path. Late high school and college enlightened me. I’m now free of the mind poison that is religion. I’m proud to be an Atheist.

    Religion comforts and cripples. It’s a drug that’s hard to get off of. I’m glad to have shaken myself free of those chains of delusion.

    The concepts of Compassion, Honor and Responsibility were around long before the bible showed up.

    Power corrupts. There must be watchdogs on the watchdogs. That would be the free and unimpeded press. That would also be transparent government and corporations that do business with the government.

    Abe Lincoln said that most can weather adversity, but to truly test a person, give her power. People fail the test of power all the time. We must provide for that natural failing.

    I liked this article.

  • They will never change, and it will only get worse as time goes by. So, in my opinion, this country needs partition, like India/Pakistan, two irreconcilable groups can never live together, there is a divorce in the making in this country.

  • This is a chilling indictment against the Right Wing Christian Taliban that is already forming. I saw a documentary on Netflix Instant recently called “Waiting for Armageddon.” It was about the way the Right Wing fundamentalist Evangelicals are taking over the political scene. It was frightening to see what they actually believe, how they can’t wait for the Rapture, so they can have a ring-side seat and watch the destruction of the wicked from heaven (one of the people in the film could hardly contain his glee at the thought). They love war, because each war gets them closer to Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ.

    I guess I’m in trouble if they win the battle against freedom, because I would be considered one of the wicked by them, because I’m a Liberal Democrat, and a New Ager.

  • It isn’t the Bible, it is the Republican version of the Bible

  • As a Christian, I have been appalled by the highjacking of the church. Many, many believers fell for this right-wing baloney, and many of my family members are still supporting the republicans, blissfully ignorant of what insidious elements are behind their beliefs. All they care about are the talking points. Abortion = murder. Obama = Muslim. Socialism = bad. Government = bad. Taxes = bad. That’s it. That’s all of it.

    But I have felt there was something in the air, something like a gathering storm, for many years. It’s not something you can run away from. You can’t move to another continent and be out of danger, as if this were a catastrophic storm on the horizon like Katrina. This storm is still swirling around the planet, like a pandemic virus, infecting anyone susceptible to it. And when it has incubated for its time, and begins hatching, the horrors we would see are beyond description. We are just beginning to see the unfolding of this brood of vipers.

    I learned about Dominionism just a couple of months ago. I was shocked that so many of the evangelical leaders whose names I recognize are involved in this. So many of our political leaders are closely tied to this movement. This is a demonic cult, and it has taken over the minds of people at all levels of society. The battle for America is not a battle that can be won with guns or bombs. This is a battle for the soul and the spirit of this country. This is a battle in another realm entirely.

    I do not take offense at the criticism of this pseudo-christianity. Your criticism is directed at this cult, and not at the church that still follows Jesus. For your info, here’s a link to a page I like on FB. Everyone who participated had some excellent input. http://www.facebook.com/TheChristianLeft/posts/227554867266658?cmntid=227576387264506

  • Sharia law, xtian style. Margaret Atwood did it best in The Handmaid’s Tale. Smash religion. Smash patriarchy. Save the earth and her children.

  • Religious extremists are the worst kind of terrorist. They know no limits to their agenda and consider even murder to be an acceptable method of control. And this will happen if more people stay blissfully ignorant of the real “agenda” from these people. Because it’s all about CONTROL.

  • You may not know this, but your predictions are all too true! And are actually in the Scriptures! I myself dont believe in religion even though I was raise Christian. However, i do believe in God(and you dont need religion to believe in Him!) Jesus himself Prophecied that there will be a time like this! True Servants of God dont Shout out condemnnation, and, it is against Gods Law to Judge Others! And the Scriptures say that in these times there will be a Seperation of the White Sheeps from the Black Ones! You may be an Atheist, But I believe God is useing you. He does work in Strange Ways.

    • Deno, I’ve come to suspect that Satan’s most brilliant move of all would be to co-opt a sect of Christianity for his own and deceive the weak, the spiritually vain and the intellectually lazy into following him. I just didn’t know it was referenced in the bible. But that’s exactly what I see happening today. Good point, too, about the messenger. If we are all, indeed, God’s creations, God doesn’t need an atheist to love Him for Him to love the atheist (or Muslim, or Buddist, or Mormon, or Jew, etc.) Nor does he need anyone to believe in Him for Him to exist. If you TRULY believe in God, then you know that the atheist still exists for God and God knows what’s good and right in him. (I, personally, know a lot of deeply good atheists and I’d put more faith in their good intentions than those of a number of self-proclaimed “Christians” these days.) I don’t need my messages of truth to come only from those who are sanctioned by a religious institution.

    • Dominionists are more into self-fulfilling prophecy… than biblical prophecy.

  • The Platzner Post

    That’s a future none of us want!!!

  • I am so glad that some attention is finally being paid to this. It is by far the most serious threat to freedom in this country. The only thing I would like to add is that most of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates either are Dominionists themselves, or are despots who are cynically using the movement to further their own agenda.

    I believe that if we elect Palin, Bachmann, Santorum, Perry, or Huckabee as president in 2012, it will be the last free election we have as a secular democracy. Actually, to be perfectly honest, since Citizens United, we don’t have elections, we have auctions anyway. But there is still a difference between an ordinary corporate shill and a corporate shill who has a hidden agenda to destroy the fabric that has held this nation together for 200 years and replace it with a Taliban-style dictatorship.

  • What I think is almost the most shocking thing in this article is that there is a college that caters to homeschooled evangelicals that is named after the man that delivered the “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech.

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