Dominionism, anyone?

“Breaking American democracy isn’t an unintended side effect of Christian nationalism. It is the point of the project.”

That’s from a New York Times essay today entitled “Christian Nationalists Are Excited About What Comes Next.” Author Katherine Stewart goes on to discuss last month’s Road to Majority Policy Conference in Nashville and its apparent embrace of dominionism.

The mention of dominionism immediately reminded me of something I wrote in 2011, “Dominionism and the presidency”:

There are 7 spheres, or “mountains,” that dominionism seeks to control

Dominionism. Ever heard of it? I hadn’t until today, when CNN’s Jack Cafferty did a piece on it. His question was, “How much does it worry you if both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have ties to Dominionism?”

I didn’t know if I was worried or not; I didn’t know what the heck he was talking about. So I decided to read a bit about it.

I decided to start with as neutral a definition as I could find. The Free Dictionary says of “Dominion Theology”:

Dominion Theology is a grouping of theological systems with the common belief that the law of God — as codified in the Bible — should exclusively govern society, to the exclusion of secular law, a view also known as theonomy.

It says a lot more than that, actually. Stuff you might want to know about. But I’m trying to be objective here.

And Wikipedia:

Dominionism, in the context of politics and religion, is the tendency among some politically active conservative Christians to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States. … The goal is either a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law.

Even with Wikipedia, neutrality is not assured. It is, after all, written by contributors who are free to challenge and edit the contributions of others. I predict the dominionism entry is about to become a hot Wiki Wars battleground, with liberals and conservatives trying to spin it to their advantage.

The minute you read beyond Wikipedia to, say, Sunday’s Daily Beast article, this dominionism stuff starts looking pretty ominous. In “A Christian Plot for Domination?” Michelle Goldberg writes, “Put simply, Dominionism means that Christians have a God-given right to rule all earthly institutions.” What follows is a detailed report on the rise of Dominionism and how it influences today’s political candidates, particularly Bachmann and Perry. For starters, both say they were “called by God” to run for president.

I’m not sure it’s worth my time to read much beyond the Beast’s detailed story. We know how liberally biased the press is. Nothing they say about Dominionism is going to be good; they’re all out to take down good Christian Republicans.

And we can’t expect to get an unbiased opinion from the right either, because they’ll just quote the Bible:

And God blessed [Adam and Eve] and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” —Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

One doesn’t argue with the Bible. Nor could the Bible possibly be guilty of modern-day political bias since, after all, it was written way back in Biblical times.

Personally, I’m not a believer. Haven’t been since I was old enough to take a few science classes and start thinking for myself. But it’s never been a big deal one way or the other. Why should anyone else care what I believe or don’t believe? I don’t bother anybody. I don’t go around trying to force my non-belief on others. I’ll be just as respectful of someone else’s belief as they are of my unbelief. And yet … they keep trying to force their belief on me. Why is that? What gives them the right? The Constitution and just plain ol’ good manners say they should keep their religion out of my life. Their reply, of course, is that they “answer to a higher power.” Higher than any mere mortal or the laws of mortals. They answer only to God. And apparently God is telling them to run for office, win the presidency, and turn the country into a theocracy.

Theocracy. A country where the dominant religion controls and runs everything according to that religion’s edicts. The best modern example is Iran. It sounds to me as though Dominionism in America would be similar to Sharia law in Iran.

So, Cafferty asked if it worries me that Bachmann and Perry have ties to Dominionism. Nah, “worried” is what I’ve been about ordinary, everyday, right-wing religious nuts. Dominionists who could become president scare the bejesus out of me.

###

That was 11 years ago. You can imagine how I feel today. Only now my concern reaches far beyond a single individual in the White House.

14 thoughts on “Dominionism, anyone?

  1. Astute notice by you and post
    Oh, a “new”/discovered word – guess we’ll be hearing it a lot.
    Rick Perry is the same goofus he was a in college and Gov. office. He does love that camera. Used to be said ‘Just like Bush, but not as smart”. He is part of that cabal that seems determined to push us into another war.
    I am equally concerned about Big Business(including the NBA) and Big Pharma (who has more board members and advocates in gov than you can shake a stick at – especially Pfizer) making government policy and International policies. No to mention that comment by Nat. Economic Director Deese: ““This is about the future of the liberal world order, and we have to stand firm.”. Then there’s the unelected bureaucrats…the more authority returned to the states which can be in closer control of voters, the better right now.
    Whackadoodles to the left and whatadoodles to the right of us. Stuck in the middle with you
    Yeah, I’m terrified.

    1. Yep, we’re surrounded. I don’t know when or how the middle ground became so unpopular. What ever happened to manners, cooperation, dignity, concern for others, and all those other old-fashioned values? I guess the separation of church and state is not a problem for the right if the church takes over the state.

  2. A disturbing concept that I hadn’t heard of before, though there have always been those who think that way (when I lived in Kansas there was always a Theocratic Party candidate on the ballot). But recent developments have certainly suggested that the first amendment is under attack in insidious ways.

    1. Even when Colorado had 16 presidential candidates on the ballot, none hinted at being theocrats. But who knows, that may change next time around. What won’t change is that damnable Supreme Court. Our system of government is being destroyed by extremeists, and no one seems to care.

    1. All my life I’ve heard people cherry-pick Bible passages to explain or justify their actions, but this is way beyond that. And yet it tracks with that Bible quote above. It certainly looks like the Supreme Court is in it up to their eyeballs. And that’s extremely disturbing. How do you stop the Supreme Court?? It’s the end of the line for appeals.

  3. It’s always more than merely pleasing to read material from thinking Americans – sorry if that sounds patronising .. but it’s the thoughtless ones whose ideas the rest of us mostly get.

    1. Hi, M-R. Good to see you again. Yes, some of us are still thinking, or trying to, until it gets too painful and depressing. Then we have to take a break. I guess that explains why I jump around from serious to frivolous and back again.

... and that's my two cents

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