Politics: Meet the Dominionists (be afraid)

wvrevy

Daddy to da' princess, which I guess makes me da'
Joined
Nov 7, 1999
This is an article I just saw that is from Rolling Stone. Even if you aren't all that into politics, you need to read this. Is this really what we want for this country ?
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The Crusaders

Christian evangelicals are plotting to remake America in their own image

By BOB MOSER


It's February, and 900 of America's staunchest Christian fundamentalists have gathered in Fort Lauderdale to look back on what they accomplished in last year's election -- and to plan what's next. As they assemble in the vast sanctuary of Coral Ridge Presbyterian, with all fifty state flags dangling from the rafters, three stadium-size video screens flash the name of the conference: RECLAIMING AMERICA FOR CHRIST. These are the evangelical activists behind the nation's most effective political machine -- one that brought more than 4 million new Christian voters to the polls last November, sending George W. Bush back to the White House and thirty-two new pro-lifers to Congress. But despite their unprecedented power, fundamentalists still see themselves as a persecuted minority, waging a holy war against the godless forces of secularism. To rouse themselves, they kick off the festivities with "Soldiers of the Cross, Arise," the bloodthirstiest tune in all of Christendom: "Seize your armor, gird it on/Now the battle will be won/Soon, your enemies all slain/Crowns of glory you shall gain."
Meet the Dominionists -- biblical literalists who believe God has called them to take over the U.S. government. As the far-right wing of the evangelical movement, Dominionists are pressing an agenda that makes Newt Gingrich's Contract With America look like the Communist Manifesto. They want to rewrite schoolbooks to reflect a Christian version of American history, pack the nation's courts with judges who follow Old Testament law, post the Ten Commandments in every courthouse and make it a felony for gay men to have sex and women to have abortions. In Florida, when the courts ordered Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed, it was the Dominionists who organized round-the-clock protests and issued a fiery call for Gov. Jeb Bush to defy the law and take Schiavo into state custody. Their ultimate goal is to plant the seeds of a "faith-based" government that will endure far longer than Bush's presidency -- all the way until Jesus comes back.

"Most people hear them talk about a 'Christian nation' and think, 'Well, that sounds like a good, moral thing,' says the Rev. Mel White, who ghostwrote Jerry Falwell's autobiography before breaking with the evangelical movement. "What they don't know -- what even most conservative Christians who voted for Bush don't know -- is that 'Christian nation' means something else entirely to these Dominionist leaders. This movement is no more about following the example of Christ than Bush's Clean Water Act is about clean water."

The godfather of the Dominionists is D. James Kennedy, the most influential evangelical you've never heard of. A former Arthur Murray dance instructor, he launched his Florida ministry in 1959, when most evangelicals still followed Billy Graham's gospel of nonpartisan soul-saving. Kennedy built Coral Ridge Ministries into a $37-million-a-year empire, with a TV-and-radio audience of 3 million, by preaching that it was time to save America -- not soul by soul but election by election. After helping found the Moral Majority in 1979, Kennedy became a five-star general in the Christian army. Bush sought his blessing before running for president -- and continues to consult top Dominionists on matters of federal policy.

"Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost," Kennedy says. "As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society."

At Reclaiming America, most of the conference is taken up by grassroots training sessions that supply ministers, retirees and devout churchgoers with "The Facts of Stem-Cell Research" or "Practical Steps to Impact Your Community with America's Historical Judeo-Christian Heritage." "We're going to turn you into an army of one," Gary Cass, executive director of Reclaiming America, promises activists at one workshop held in Evangalism Explosion Hall. The Dominionists also attend speeches by supporters like Rep. Katherine Harris of Florida, who urges them to "win back America for God." In their spare time, conference-goers buy books about a God-devised health program called the Maker's Diet or meet with a financial adviser who offers a "biblically sound investment plan."

To implement their sweeping agenda, the Dominionists are working to remake the federal courts in God's image. In their view, the Founding Fathers never intended to erect a barrier between politics and religion. "The First Amendment does not say there should be a separation of church and state," declares Alan Sears, president and CEO of the Alliance Defense Fund, a team of 750 attorneys trained by the Dominionists to fight abortion and gay marriage. Sears argues that the constitutional guarantee against state-sponsored religion is actually designed to "shield" the church from federal interference -- allowing Christians to take their rightful place at the head of the government. "We have a right, indeed an obligation, to govern," says David Limbaugh, brother of Rush and author of Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity. Nothing gets the Dominionists to their feet faster than ringing condemnations of judicial tyranny. "Activist judges have systematically deconstructed the Constitution," roars Rick Scarborough, author of Mixing Church and State. "A God-free society is their goal!"

Activist judges, of course, are precisely what the Dominionists want. Their model is Roy Moore, the former Alabama chief justice who installed a 5,300-pound granite memorial to the Ten Commandments, complete with an open Bible carved in its top, in the state judicial building. At Reclaiming America, Roy's Rock sits out front, fresh off a tour of twenty-one states, perched on the flag-festooned flatbed of a diesel truck, a potent symbol of the "faith-based" justice the Dominionists are bent on imposing. Activists at the conference pose for photographs beside the rock and have circulated a petition urging President Bush to appoint Moore -- who once penned an opinion calling for the state to execute "practicing homosexuals" -- to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"The other side knows we've got strongholds in the executive and legislative branches," Cass tells the troops. "If we start winning the judiciary, their power base is going to be eroded."

To pack the courts with fundamentalists like Moore, Dominionist leaders are planning a massive media blitz. They're also pressuring Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist -- an ally who's courting support for his presidential bid -- to halt the long-standing use of filibusters to hold up judicial nominations. An anti-filibuster petition circulating at the conference blasts Democrats for their "outrageous stonewalling of appointments" -- even though Congress has approved more nominees of Bush than of any president since Jimmy Carter.

It helps that Dominionists have a direct line to the White House: The Rev. Richard Land, top lobbyist for the 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention, enjoys a weekly conference call with top Bush advisers including Karl Rove. "We've got the Holy Spirit's wind at our backs!" Land declares in an arm-waving, red-faced speech. He takes particular aim at the threat posed by John Lennon, denouncing "Imagine" as a "secular anthem" that envisions a future of "clone plantations, child sacrifice, legalized polygamy and hard-core porn."

The Dominionists are also stepping up efforts to turn public schools into forums for evangelism. In a landmark case, the Alliance Defense Fund is suing a California school district that threatened to dismiss a born-again teacher who was evangelizing fifth-graders. In the conference's opening ceremony, the Dominionists recite an oath they dream of hearing in every classroom: "I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe."

Cass urges conference-goers to stack school boards with Dominionists. "The most humble Christian is more qualified for office than the best-educated pagan," says Cass, an anti-abortion activist who led a takeover of his school district's board in San Diego. "We built quite a little grass-roots machine out there. Now it's my burden to multiply that success all across America."

Cass points to the Rev. Gary Beeler, a Baptist minister from Tennessee who got permission for thousands of students to skip class and attend weeklong events that he calls "old-time revivals, with preaching and singing and soul-saving and the whole nine yards." Now, with support from Kennedy, Beeler is selling his house and buying a mobile home to spread his crusade nationwide. "It's not exactly what I planned to do with my retirement," he says. "But it's what God told me to do."

Cass also presents another small-town activist, Kevin McCoy, with a Salt and Light Award for leading a successful campaign to shut down an anti-bullying program in West Virginia schools. McCoy, a soft-spoken, prematurely gray postal worker, fought to end the program because it taught tolerance for gay people -- and thus, in his view, constituted a "thinly disguised effort to promote the homosexual agenda." "What America needs," Cass tells the faithful, "is more Kevin McCoys."

While the dominionists rely on grass-roots activists to fight their battles, they are backed by some of America's richest entrepreneurs. Amway founder Rich DeVos, a Kennedy ally who's the leading Republican contender for governor of Michigan, has tossed more than $5 million into the collection plate. Jean Case, wife of former AOL chief Steve Case -- whose fortune was made largely on sex-chat rooms -- has donated $8 million. And Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza, is a major source of cash for Focus on the Family, a megaministry working with Kennedy to eliminate all public schools.

The one-two punch of militant activists and big money has helped make the Dominionists a force in Washington, where a growing number of congressmen owe their elections to the machine. Kennedy has also created the Center for Christian Statesmanship, which trains elected officials to "more effectively share their faith in the public arena." Speaking to the group, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay -- a winner of Kennedy's Distinguished Christian Statesman Award -- called Bush's faith-based initiatives "a great opportunity to bring God back into the public institutions of our country."

The most vivid proof of the Christianizing of Capitol Hill comes at the final session of Reclaiming America. Rep. Walter Jones, a lanky congressman from North Carolina, gives a fire-and-brimstone speech that would have gotten him laughed out of Washington thirty years ago. In today's climate, however, he's got a chance of passing his pet project, the Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act, which would permit ministers to endorse political candidates from their pulpits, effectively converting their tax-exempt churches into Republican campaign headquarters.

"America is under assault!" Jones thunders as his aides dash around the sanctuary snapping PR photos. "Everyone in America has the right to speak freely, except for those standing in the pulpits of our churches!" The amen chorus reaches a fever pitch. Hands fly heavenward. It's one thing to hear such words from Dominionist leaders -- but to this crowd, there's nothing more thrilling than getting the gospel from a U.S. congressman. "You cannot have a strong nation that does not follow God," Jones preaches, working up to a climactic, passionate plea for a biblical republic. "God, please -- God, please -- God, please -- save America!"
 

Tigger_Magic

I am opinionated, independent-minded, self-righteo
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
:earseek: Mr. Moser needs to seek some therapy for his raging paranoia. It's an interesting article to read, as I do enjoy good fiction as much as the next person. Hmm, maybe I'll go watch Star Wars 3 this afternoon and see how George Lucas has predicted how the right wing (Dominionists) will take over the world. :rolleyes1
 

wvrevy

Daddy to da' princess, which I guess makes me da'
Joined
Nov 7, 1999
Tigger_Magic said:
:earseek: Mr. Moser needs to seek some therapy for his raging paranoia. It's an interesting article to read, as I do enjoy good fiction as much as the next person. Hmm, maybe I'll go watch Star Wars 3 this afternoon and see how George Lucas has predicted how the right wing (Dominionists) will take over the world. :rolleyes1

What's "fictional" about it ? Point to one inaccuracy in that entire article.
 

richiebaseball

Disney? I'll go!
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Tigger_Magic said:
:earseek: Mr. Moser needs to seek some therapy for his raging paranoia. It's an interesting article to read, as I do enjoy good fiction as much as the next person. Hmm, maybe I'll go watch Star Wars 3 this afternoon and see how George Lucas has predicted how the right wing (Dominionists) will take over the world. :rolleyes1

Sarcastic and unbelieving you are.
 

Zippa D Doodah

<font color=red>Suffering from Fairy Alienation.
Joined
Apr 9, 2003
Gee.., There are just too many labels for evangelical Christians to keep up with these days. So what, because I believe its OK for Chrsitians to have an active voice in government I just might be a "Dominionist"? FWIW, Kennedy and friends often overstate their case, but what is described in the article is far from our country's greatest worry.

Sincerely,
Darth Zippa
 

DisDuck

Backup Driver to Car#1
Joined
Dec 29, 1999
I wonder what Zippa & JoeEpcot have to say about this article. I have been called paranoid by some when discussing this type of issue but maybe I am not. Who will stand up to these people and tell them in no uncertain terms to practice their faith in the homes and churchs and leave the rest of us to practice as we choose, in our homes and synagogues. Looks like no place for a Jew, Hindu, Bhuddist, Shinto, Moslem, etc. in their world.
 

DisDuck

Backup Driver to Car#1
Joined
Dec 29, 1999
"far from our country's greatest worry"...For me as a Jew it is one of our country's greatest worry. My beliefs are not your beliefs or this groups beliefs so therefore, under their 'rule' I must change or be considered 'g-dless'. So much for freedom to express one's religion.

It is interesting that one of the greatest science-fiction writers, Robert Heinlein predicted just this possibility in one of his books written over 40 years ago. A theocracy arises in the US based on the charisma of a fundamentalist Christian.
 

wvrevy

Daddy to da' princess, which I guess makes me da'
Joined
Nov 7, 1999
Zippa D Doodah said:
Gee.., There are just too many labels for evangelical Christians to keep up with these days. So what, because I believe its OK for Chrsitians to have an active voice in government I just might be a "Dominionist"? FWIW, Kennedy and friends often overstate their case, but what is described in the article is far from our country's greatest worry.

Sincerely,
Darth Zippa

Actually, I don't consider anything to be a greater threat to this country, as a whole, than the continuation of the erosion of rights that has begun to take place under the radical right regime we have in place right now. America is not America unless we have our civil liberties...it's what sets us apart from (and, in my opinion, above) most of the rest of the world.

I'll basically say the same thing to you that I would to these freaks in that article...If you want to live in a government run by religion and biased towards your religion, you are every bit as un-American as any "enemy of the state" you could possibly name. This is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a theocracy. Trying to make it into one (where people are forced to pray in school...or prohibited from being with the person they love regardless of gender...or any number of other idiotic notions) makes you no better than anyone else trying to tear this country down.
 

wvrevy

Daddy to da' princess, which I guess makes me da'
Joined
Nov 7, 1999
DisDuck said:
"far from our country's greatest worry"...For me as a Jew it is one of our country's greatest worry. My beliefs are not your beliefs or this groups beliefs so therefore, under their 'rule' I must change or be considered 'g-dless'. So much for freedom to express one's religion.

It is interesting that one of the greatest science-fiction writers, Robert Heinlein predicted just this possibility in one of his books written over 40 years ago. A theocracy arises in the US based on the charisma of a fundamentalist Christian.

Heinlein's "Future History" stuff ought to be required reading in schools, in my opinion. His stories about Nehemiah Scudder (the evangalist DisDuck mentioned) are particularly apt in this day and age.

Sorry....back to the topic :teeth:
 

DisDuck

Backup Driver to Car#1
Joined
Dec 29, 1999
Also an aside.. WV good to see another Heinlein (aka libertarian) fan. I just bought what might be his earliest story (just recently released in paperback) called '...The Living' (don't remember the entire title).

Now back.. So far Zippa has joined the fray.. where is JER?
 

Zippa D Doodah

<font color=red>Suffering from Fairy Alienation.
Joined
Apr 9, 2003
DisDuck said:
"far from our country's greatest worry"...For me as a Jew it is one of our country's greatest worry. My beliefs are not your beliefs or this groups beliefs so therefore, under their 'rule' I must change or be considered 'g-dless'. So much for freedom to express one's religion.

It is interesting that one of the greatest science-fiction writers, Robert Heinlein predicted just this possibility in one of his books written over 40 years ago. A theocracy arises in the US based on the charisma of a fundamentalist Christian.


Just to be clear, by no means do I consider Jews to be out of relationship with the deity (excuse my clumsy wording...trying to be respectful re. naming the name). As a Christian I am but a latecomer to the covenant establsihed through Abraham. (I know... not the way you see it, but it is what I believe)

Also, I believe all people should have a voice in government. Folks on here sometimes think differently, but that is the way it is. Yes, Christians should have tehir voice in government as well. If we remove faith (wheter yours or mine) from the public forum then we basically are the Netherlands.

Regarding a theocracy, I do not think that is something that can be enigineered by people. A true theocracy can only happen when G*d is in charge -according to my faith, when Jesus comes again.
 

Tigger_Magic

I am opinionated, independent-minded, self-righteo
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
wvrevy said:
What's "fictional" about it ? Point to one inaccuracy in that entire article.
Well, since you asked... Let's start with inaccuracy #1
"Soldiers of the Cross, Arise," the bloodthirstiest tune in all of Christendom...
I wonder if Mr. Moser bothered to read the words to this hymn by Charles Wesley or bothered to do any research on the meaning of the hymn. To call it the "bloodthirstiest tune" leads me to believe the answer is, sadly, no.

Inaccuracy #2
Kennedy built Coral Ridge Ministries into a $37-million-a-year empire, with a TV-and-radio audience of 3 million, by preaching that it was time to save America -- not soul by soul but election by election.
While Dr. Kennedy does speak out on political issues, I have never seen or heard him do it from the pulpit. I wonder what evidence Mr. Moser has of Dr. Kennedy doing that.

Inaccuracy #3
In the conference's opening ceremony, the Dominionists recite an oath they dream of hearing in every classroom: "I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe."
Here Mr. Moser presumes to know the thoughts and even dreams of everyone he labels a "Dominionist."

But you only asked for one... :)

This is what happens when people build walls of misunderstanding and fear. People like Mr. Moser do not understand what motivates religious people and why they believe what they believe. They are content to assign labels to them rather than make an effort to understand who they are. Not content to wallow in their own fear, they seek to spread it like a cancer to others by tossing out wild, unsubstantiated allegations like the religious right is trying to take over America and make us all think, act, pray, believe like they do.

Well, hello... that will never happen. There's this little obstacle in the way called the Constitution. The Constitution prevents the government from imposing a religion or any religion on you. This wild-eyed speculation that Dominionists are going to somehow take over the government, usurp the Constitution and ram religion down everyone's throat is pure fantasy based completely on fear and lack of understanding. Oddly, those are the same building blocks of prejudice. :(
 

Tigger_Magic

I am opinionated, independent-minded, self-righteo
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
wvrevy said:
Actually, I don't consider anything to be a greater threat to this country, as a whole, than the continuation of the erosion of rights that has begun to take place under the radical right regime we have in place right now. America is not America unless we have our civil liberties...it's what sets us apart from (and, in my opinion, above) most of the rest of the world.

I'll basically say the same thing to you that I would to these freaks in that article...If you want to live in a government run by religion and biased towards your religion, you are every bit as un-American as any "enemy of the state" you could possibly name. This is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a theocracy. Trying to make it into one (where people are forced to pray in school...or prohibited from being with the person they love regardless of gender...or any number of other idiotic notions) makes you no better than anyone else trying to tear this country down.
This does so well to prove my previous point about building a wall of fear in this country. It is done through wild speculation ("the continuation of the erision of rights that has begun to take place under the radical right regime...") and continues with the abhorrent/prejudicial labeling of others ("freaks").

I am continually amazed at the accusations that some group is attempting to create a theocracy in America. Where is the evidence of this happening with even the remotest bit of success?

If someone wants to post the 10 Commandments in a courtroom, most likely they will fail, and at the very least they will come under attack. If I want my children to say the Pledge of Allegiance with the words "under God" in it, that comes under attack. If my city has a cross in its seal, that'll be under attack. If my community wants to put up a Nativity in a park along with the other seasonal displays in December, we'd better have our attorney's retainer paid in full 'cause there's gonna be a court fight. And these are just a few examples. If a school wants to hold a graduation ceremony in my worship center, I've got to cover up all the religious symbols lest someone be "offended."

So who is forcing what on whom?
 

septbride2002

"TO MILE 9!!!"
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
They are forcing you to be respectful of others who do not believe as you do. You are still free to practice your religion in your home and church. You are not free to practice it in city hall, at a public school graduation, or in a public park. You (meaning all Christians not just Tigger_magic) need to learn there is a time and place for your religious beliefs and that forcing them on the public is no longer acceptable.

~Amanda
 

chobie

<font color=teal>Fish are friends, not food<br><fo
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Tigger_Magic said:
This does so well to prove my previous point about building a wall of fear in this country. It is done through wild speculation ("the continuation of the erision of rights that has begun to take place under the radical right regime...") and continues with the abhorrent/prejudicial labeling of others ("freaks").

I am continually amazed at the accusations that some group is attempting to create a theocracy in America. Where is the evidence of this happening with even the remotest bit of success?

If someone wants to post the 10 Commandments in a courtroom, most likely they will fail, and at the very least they will come under attack. If I want my children to say the Pledge of Allegiance with the words "under God" in it, that comes under attack. If my city has a cross in its seal, that'll be under attack. If my community wants to put up a Nativity in a park along with the other seasonal displays in December, we'd better have our attorney's retainer paid in full 'cause there's gonna be a court fight. And these are just a few examples. If a school wants to hold a graduation ceremony in my worship center, I've got to cover up all the religious symbols lest someone be "offended."

So who is forcing what on whom?


The Christians are trying to force their religious symbols and beliefs on everyone else and want to use taxpayer money to do so.

Your children are not under attack for saying the Pledge of Allegiance they way it is currently written, it is my kids who are ostracized for not saying the words "under God" .

I don't know of any other religion that tries to display their religious symbols on public property.

No school is forced to hold their ceremonies at a church. If they do than they know they cannot have religious symbols on display. No church is forced to accept money from a public school for a graduation ceremony.
 

Bichon Barb

<font color=darkorchid>Mmmmm. French fries. Oh to
Joined
Jun 5, 2002
DisDuck said:
Looks like no place for a Jew, Hindu, Bhuddist, Shinto, Moslem, etc. in their world.

And you can count me in as a Christian who has no place in their world.
 

DisDuck

Backup Driver to Car#1
Joined
Dec 29, 1999
Thank you Bichon for showing that there are Christians opposed to this 'new' order.
 

septbride2002

"TO MILE 9!!!"
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Bichon Barb said:
And you can count me in as a Christian who has no place in their world.

Include me in this as well. As a Christian I am able to seperate myself from my religion and politics. As a Christian I am not offended that a nativity scene is missing from out side City Hall, and am curious as to why other Christians are offended. As a a Christian I want to educate myself to other religions beliefs so that I may be respectful of them.

I think one of the greatest things Pope John Paul II did was speak of peace and acceptance among religions.

~Amanda
 









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