The first time I ever heard of the Christian Reconstruction movement, now known as Dominionism, I thought it was a gag.He then goes on to outline some of the scarier parts of this scary stuff and ends not with a whimper but with a bang:
Who in their right mind wanted to live in a world where the Old Testament civil and ceremonial laws would become the template for local and national politics? It was a profoundly dark theology even by the standards of the dour Calvinism I considered reasonable at the time.
According to the tenets of Christian Reconstruction, it was up to Christians to bring the whole world into submission to Jesus Christ. Once that was accomplished (with God's help, of course), the Old Testament laws that guided ancient Israel would be dusted off and applied to civil societies across the globe, including America.
Today, two of the leading Republican presidential candidates, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, reportedly have ties to the Dominionist movement. The press has got to get up to speed on the movement's ideas before either a President Bachmann or a President Perry are in a position to drag Jesus feet first out of heaven, again.Allow me to do my part.
Michelle Goldberg over at The Daily Beast has more on Dominionism:
Dominionism derives from a small fringe sect called Christian Reconstructionism, founded by a Calvinist theologian named R. J. Rushdoony in the 1960s. Christian Reconstructionism openly advocates replacing American law with the strictures of the Old Testament, replete with the death penalty for homosexuality, abortion, and even apostasy. The appeal of Christian Reconstructionism is, obviously, limited, and mainstream Christian right figures like Ralph Reed have denounced it.Rushdoony was a piece of work. As Frank Schaefer points out:
Rushdoony (whom I met and talked with several times) believed that interracial marriage, which he referred to as "unequal yoking," should be made illegal. He also opposed "enforced integration," referred to Southern slavery as "benevolent," and said that "some people are by nature slaves." Rushdoony was also a Holocaust denier.Back to Goldberg with more on Michele Bachmann:
And yet his home school materials are a mainstay of the right-wing evangelical home school movement to this day. In Rushdoony's 1973 book, The Institutes of Biblical Law, he says that fundamentalist Christians must "take control of governments and impose strict biblical law" on America and then the world.
For believers in Dominionism, rule by non-Christians is a sort of sacrilege—which explains, in part, the theological fury that has accompanied the election of our last two Democratic presidents. “Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ—to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness,” wrote George Grant, the former executive director of Coral Ridge Ministries, which has since changed its name to Truth in Action Ministries. “But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice ... It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time ... World conquest.”We wrote about the Lee biography here.
Bachmann is close to Truth in Action Ministries; last year, she appeared in one of its documentaries, Socialism: A Clear and Present Danger. In it, she espoused the idea, common in Reconstructionist circles, that the government has no right to collect taxes in excess of 10 percent, the amount that believers are called to tithe to the church. On her state-senate-campaign website, she recommended a book co-authored by Grant titled Call of Duty: The Sterling Nobility of Robert E. Lee, which, as Lizza reported, depicted the civil war as a battle between the devout Christian South and the Godless North, and lauded slavery as a benevolent institution. “The unity and companionship that existed between the races in the South prior to the war was the fruit of a common faith,” the book said.
Does Goldberg have more on Rick Perry? She certainly does:
In elaborating Bachmann’s Dominionist history, though, it’s important to point out that she is not unique. Perry tends to be regarded as marginally more reasonable than Bachmann, but he is as closely associated with Dominionism as she is, though his links are to a different strain of the ideology.How? She cites this piece in the Texas Observer by Forrest Wilder. Goldberg continues:
The Christian Reconstructionists tend to be skeptical of Pentecostalism, with its magic, prophesies, speaking in tongues, and wild ecstasies. Certainly, there are overlaps between the traditions—Oral Roberts, where Bachmann studied with Eidsmoe, was a Pentecostal school. But it’s only recently that one group of Pentecostals, the New Apostolic Reformation, has created its own distinct Dominionist movement. And members see Perry as their ticket to power.While it's the Republican Party that's otherwise up in arms about Islamic Sharia law taking over the Constitution, isn't it funny (just SOO FUNNY) how they're not so upset about the Christians who want to do the same?
“The New Apostles talk about taking dominion over American society in pastoral terms,” wrote Wilder in the Texas Observer. “They refer to the ‘Seven Mountains’ of society: family, religion, arts and entertainment, media, government, education, and business. These are the nerve centers of society that God (or his people) must control.” He quotes a sermon from Tom Schlueter, New Apostolic pastor close to Perry. “We’re going to infiltrate [the government], not run from it. I know why God’s doing what he’s doing ... He’s just simply saying, ‘Tom I’ve given you authority in a governmental authority, and I need you to infiltrate the governmental mountain.”
According to Wilder, members of the New Apostolic Reformation see Perry as their vehicle to claim the “mountain” of government. Some have told Perry that Texas is a “prophet state,” destined, with his leadership, to bring America back to God. The movement was deeply involved in The Response, the massive prayer rally that Perry hosted in Houston earlier this month. “Eight members of The Response ‘leadership team’ are affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation movement,” wrote Wilder. “The long list of The Response’s official endorses—posted on the event’s website—reads like a Who’s Who of the apostolic-prophetic crowd, including movement founder C. Peter Wagner.”