And Then There Were Three Republican Candidates — And Two Of Them Are Dominionists
By Susie Madrak
It is interesting — perhaps the better word
is "frightening" — to note that with
each passing election cycle the candidate advanced by
the Republican Party is ever more the captive of the Religious
The candidacy and election of George Bush II in 2000
reached an ominous high when he openly allied himself
with the Promise Keepers and began to preach what Gail
Sheehy called a "Promise Keeper" agenda.
Sheehy says that by using this new rhetoric - something
no president, not even Reagan, had ever done before, at
least not on such a deliberate and premeditated basis
- Bush began tapping into a mindset in the culture that
had grown increasingly weary of the hedonism of the last
forty years - a weariness that the Clintons and their
cabal of hard-core "libertines" and "debauchers"
had done so much to exacerbate.
But all the rhetoric that Bush
successfully used in 2000 is "small potatoes" compared
to the rhetoric being used today by both Rick Parry and
Michelle Bachman, two of the three leading candidates
for the Republican Party's nomination in 2012.
It doesn't need to be said that the inexorable movement
of the Republican Party in this direction is very ominous
and threatening — AT LEAST INSOFAR AS THE PROPHETIC
SCRIPTURES ARE CONCERNED which foresee the union of church
and state in the "Last Days" as a precursor to the rise
of the antichrist. [Please see Chapter XIII
of the New Antipas Papers: "The
Woman of Revelation 17."]
quondam, rex que futurus Restitutor Orbis
Sir Thomas Malory
Max Mell, a contemporary poet, has said that underneath
the thin "egalitarianism" of today's American
culture and all of its shallow, perfunctory pandering
to the "worth of the common man" lies a great
longing for that which is messianic; for a savior - a
kind of Resitiutor Orbis who will emerge and rescue
mankind from the chaos and confusion of this present evil
world; and this is especially true among Christians, many
of whom, sadly, hold the concepts of what we today call
"democracy" in UTTER contempt. To their mind,
messianic leadership (by which they mean, "charismatic"
leadership) - not democracy - is the ideal. To such people,
the messy and disordered condition of "politics as
usual" - with all its sordid, back room deal-making
and compromises - is a disgusting and vulgar thing.
Mell thinks that it would be a great mistake to believe
that such thinking is nothing more than a silly "redneck"
kind of aberration that haunts only the fringe elements
of American culture. He believes that the longing for
such a "messiah-king" rests on a solid bedrock
of Western tradition and is very widespread in the culture
at large. It's a yearning that the forces of modernity
can hide and gloss over, but one which they have utterly
failed to stamp out. It is too deeply embedded in the
Western psyche to be readily rooted out - and so much
so that British writers Norris J. Lacy and Geoffrey Ashe
can say that the longing for such a "messiah-king"
has been "... a persistently imagined and hoped
for political goal of countless numbers of people down
through the centuries" - a kind of hunger for
a messianic leader who, as Carolly Erickson, a professor
at the University of California at Santa Barbara, writes,
"... has the ability to dwell in the circle of
the miraculous." Indeed, IT IS PRECISELY THIS
KIND OF "MESSIAH-KING" - the kind out from which
such ancient mythical heroes as Arthur, Lancelot, Tristan,
Parsifal, and Roland were fashioned - THAT MODERN-DAY
CHRISTIAN GROUPS HAVE MADE SUCH A PHANTASM OUT OF.
This kind of thinking - the kind that Max Mell, Norris
Lacy, Geoffrey Ashe and Carolly Erickson describe, the
kind that generates "messiah-kings" - seems
to present itself on a regular (if not cyclical) basis
in the history of Western Civilization, producing in its
wake the Barbarossas, the Napoleons, and the Hitlers of
Western Christendom. It's a phenomenon that inevitably
bubbles to the surface in times of great peril when it
seems that only "decisive" leadership can carry
the day - and it is helped along when it is has been preceded
by a time of cultural dissonance, demoralization, and
disappointment; for example, the cultural and economic
turmoil and confusion that accompanied the socialist governments
of the Weimar Republic that antedated Hitler's rise to
power in Germany, and the so-called "Reign of Terror"
that preceded Napoleon's seizure of power in France in
the last decade of the Eighteenth Century.
The video is by Christine Amanpour — a fierce
opponent of evangelical Christianity; nonetheless her
report on what's happening regarding the marriage of church
and state is accurate; we hope you can see past her bias
and understand the truth of what she is reporting.
With Tim Pawlenty out of the presidential race, it is now fairly
clear that the GOP candidate will either be Mitt Romney or someone
who makes George W. Bush look like Tom Paine. Of the three most
plausible candidates for the Republican nomination, two are
deeply associated with a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism
known as Dominionism. If you want to understand Michele Bachmann
and Rick Perry, understanding Dominionism isn't optional. [Please
see our article, "The Rise of Dominionism:
Remaking America as a Christian Nation."]
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. Most writers, myself included, who explore
it have been called paranoid. In a contemptuous 2006 First Things
review of several books, including Kevin Phillips' American
Theocracy, and my own Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian
Nationalism, conservative columnist Ross Douthat wrote,
"... the fear of theocracy has become a defining panic of
the Bush era."
Now, however, we have the most theocratic Republican field
in American history, and suddenly, the concept of Dominionism
is reaching mainstream audiences. Writing about Bachmann in
The New Yorker this month, Ryan Lizza spent several paragraphs
explaining how the premise fit into the Minnesota congresswoman's
intellectual and theological development. And a recent Texas
Observer cover story on Rick Perry examined his relationship
with the New Apostolic Reformation, a Dominionist variant
of Pentecostalism that coalesced about a decade ago.
Forrest Wilder writes,
"[W]hat makes the New Apostolic Reformation movement
so potent is its growing fascination with infiltrating politics
and government. Its members "believe Christians—certain Christians—are
destined to not just take 'dominion' over government, but
stealthily climb to the commanding heights of what they term
the 'Seven Mountains' of society, including the media and
the arts and entertainment world."
In many ways, Dominionism is more a political phenomenon than
a theological one. It cuts across Christian denominations,
from stern, austere sects to the signs-and-wonders culture of
modern megachurches. Think of it like
political Islamism, which shapes the activism of a number of
antagonistic fundamentalist movements, from Sunni Wahabis in
the Arab world to Shiite fundamentalists in Iran.
Yep, and what they have in mind is the Christian fundamentalist
version of sharia law. It's important that we learn about this,
but even more important that members of the media educate themselves.
God bless you all!
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