Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dominionist, The Players Past And Present. [Part 1]

Back earlier this month here at the House of Public Discourse we posted an article titled: Separation Of Church and State, Unplugged. As a political writer, I find no greater issue in our present- day discourse than the infusion of religion into our political system. In my mind, this issue was settled at the inception of America becoming a free nation and the framing of the Constitution.  There have always been factions in America. In the last 40 years, there has been an all out assault on the idea known as " separation of church and state." The factions behind this assault have successfully infiltrated the Republican Party and are influencing political policy at the local, state, and federal levels.

These factions go by many names. The Christian Right. The Religious Right. Christian Reconstruction and lastly Dominionism. 

What we have seen being played recently with America electing its first person of color to the White House is  the return of the Christian Right to its racist past. There has always been a conflict in America between church and state. What we have seen transpire here in the last 10 to 15 years is a water down Reconstructionist world- view into a relatively  new theology called Dominionism. Hence, Dominionist.

The Conflict.


Dominionist, The Players Past And Present.

The origin of Dominionism and the Dominionist. 

Rousas Rushdoony
The late Rousas Rushdoony had a vision for this country and the world that was very extreme. Rushdoony wrote some 30 books and created a religious movement in this country called Christian Reconstruction. His vision was to reconstruct American laws back to the Hebrew scriptural law.[Old Testament] Rushdoony advocated that Christianity and Democracy were enemies. [ R.J. Rushdoony, The Independent Republic, 1964, p. 122] His Institute for Biblical Law book series is a rendition of how the ten commandments should apply to modern day law. Rushdoony instructed his flock to "... subdue all things and all nations to Christ and His law-word." [See Source] Rushdoony advocates the death penalty for anyone who sins against the 'Ten Commandments.' Homosexuals, anyone  involved in abortion, blasphemy, adultery,  disobedient children, and others would " get the gas," or now, the injection. Rushdoony was so extreme that at first many organized denomination in Christendom did not take him serious. In the beginning, the Christian Reconstruction movement had few followers and many critics.

  Enter Rushdoony's son-in-law Gary North, founder of the Institute for Christian Economics. And, what do we have? A family affair. North has been given credit as being a prolific Christian Reconstructionist writer. Gary North said of his Father-in-law:

"Rushdoony's writings are the source of many of the core ideas of the New Christian Right's political activism."[Source:]

Although Christian Reconstruction may seem far-fetched to many Americans, the philosophy has, in fact, provided the basis for  much of the Religious Right's thinking and activism.[Source:] Stripped of some of its more extreme features many of the dogmas of Christian Reconstructionist are the driving forces behind factions like the Christian Coalition. What our research and narrative here at the House of Public Discourse intends to reveal is how this water-downed version of Christian Reconstruction has reinvented itself in the form of Dominionism. Moreover, how the Dominionist has infiltrated all facets of local, state, and federal government even the White House.[See Article]
Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is an elder in the Redeemer Prebsybitarian Church. A church that embraces a Christian Reconstruction world-view, Olasky had a profound influence on George Bush. Olasky was a major player in Bush's faith- based programs. It was Olasky who wrote a book in 2000 called " Compassionate  Conservatism."  George Bush II wrote the forward. The book was well written and very moving. You feel reading the book that Olasky is a warm and loving father. I think its fair to say the people who follow Christian Reconstruction are not bad people. From our research we find many beautiful, caring and decent people. Christian Reconstructionist believes deeply in what they are doing. They just believe the world would be a better place if everyone believed the way they do.

In his book, Olasky didn't see any problems with government that funds charities that proselytize. He is not concerned about poor, vulnerable people having to embrace a particular faith to receive help. Olasky influence over Bush demonstrates how Christian Reconstructionist has infused  itself into  the political sphere.

Professor William Martin, Ph.D. while, chair of the Dept. of Sociology at Rice University conducted interviews with over 100 leaders of the Religious Right including Christian Reconstructionist. Professor Martin published a book that later became the basis for a PBS documentary
called, “With God on Our Side." Professor Martin envisioned a reconstructed America. What does that mean.[ See Article ]
  • The Federal Government would recede into the background. 
  • Churches would assume responsibility for welfare and education.
  • The U.S. Constitution would conform to Biblical Law.

There are many other facets to their agenda. Woman would be demanded to a subservient role. They would oppose any form of common sense gun-control. While George Bush II [Dominionist] was president the ban on assault rifles was allowed to expire [See Source], and the Religious Right dominated Republican Party senate did not even allow a vote to extend the bill. Christian Reconstructionist and Dominionist both passionately oppose any regulation on business. These regulations  protect the environment, workers safety, public health, and advocate much more use of the death penalty,  They believe and support massive tax-cuts for the wealthy. 

What is Dominion Theology?

In 2004 author Kevin Phillips wrote a book titled; American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of BushThis book points out that two of then president George Bush II religious advisers Reverend Jack Hayford and Anthony T Evans were adherents of Dominion Theology. It is important to remember that Christian Reconstructionist and Dominionist are interchangeable. However, our research here at the House of Public Discourse has found Dominionism as a water-down form of Christian Reconstruction. They share the same goals with the latter being less punitive. Dominion Theology is not affiliated with a particular denomination. For the most part, their followers are people from all denominations. Their belief is that Christians have the responsibility and are mandated to take power over the world. The term dominion means “to take control over." The Dominionist wants to take control over all Democratic institutions that govern our country. 

“Christians are mandated to gradually occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns."  
What spurred my interest and gave this writer concern about Dominion Theology other than it being [in my view] a false teaching and un-biblical was the track record of some of its followers who reached high levels of position in our government.
Tom Delay (R-TX)

  Tom Delay, (R-TX) and former House Majority Leader had a Dominionist world-view. He said:

He [God] is using me, all the time, everywhere, to stand up for a biblical world view in everything I do and everywhere I am. He is training me. [Source: Worldview Weekend, Pearland, TX , April, 2002]   

Pat Robertson
According to televangelist Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition said at a banquet in 1984:

" Our aim is to gain dominion over society"

" Rule the world for God"

That is Dominion Theology in a nut-shell. Rule the world for God. A dominionist organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ' The National Reform Association,' in their mission statement made the following proclamations: 

  1. Jesus is Lord in all aspects of life, including civil government.
  2. The civil ruler is to be a servant of God, he derives his authority from God.

This mission statement is based on Romans in the Greek scriptures[New Testament]. 

In this Dominionist rendition and interpitation the Dominionist presents this scripture in the following context.

It [government] is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil. [Romans 13: 1,3.4] 

Here is where this writer takes issue and poses questions into the Dominionist motives. Christian Right organization have a serious flaw in their theology. " They cherry-pick the Bible," " they tweak and twist scripture to placate their agenda's and motivations." What Romans chapter 13 verses one, two, three, and four are about is. " Submission to Authorities." Let's break this down and put it in the context that was the motivation of its author the apostle Paul. 

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. [Romans 13: 1, NIV]

If the government is the minister of God, and God is responsible for the 
establishment thereof and the people in the office are there because God put them there why have we seen the Republicans obstruction to Americas first black president reach seditious levels? In fact, according to Matthew Henry famous Bible commentator all good-Christians should:

Matthew Henry

"We are here taught how to conduct ourselves towards magistrates, and those that are in authority over us, called here the higher powers, intimating their authority (they are powers), and their dignity (they are higher powers), including not only the king as supreme, but all inferior magistrates under him: and yet it is expressed, not by the persons that are in that power, but the place of power itself, in which they are. However the persons themselves may be wicked, and of those vile persons whom the citizen of Zion contemneth, yet the just power which they have must be submitted to and obeyed."

 When reading the Bible you can pick and choose, which passages to emphasis. This cherry picking and twisting can shape someone's world-view. In fact, the very image of Jesus Christ can be shaped to conform to one's motives. There is an image of a gentle loving Christ and an image of Christ, the avenger. The Christ of Dominion Theology is the avenger. The Reverand Tim LaHaye describes that moment when Christ returns in his best-selling " Left Behind." series. Tim LaHaye Christ does awful things to non-believers. Their eyes are melted-out. Flesh boils. Sounds a lot like the effects of a nuclear blast.

Jerry Falwell

The late Reverend Jerry Falwell depicts a similar event.

What Robertson, LaHaye, and the late Falwell are implying goes back to a central point concerning Dominion Theology. Believe as we do or your doomed. These people rest their entire mindsets on the false assumption America was founded on Christian principles. As we reported here at House of Public Discourse [ See Article] the facts of these assumptions are incorrect and blatantly untrue. In part 2, we will dig deeper into these false assumptions and how they are shaping public policy in the present.

Written by: Johnny Hill
Research: Roni May

Article Source: Cornell University Theology Watch. 

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