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writing for godot

The War On America: Part II How a Political Religious Movement Is Threatening Our Seniors, the Poor and the Middle Class

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Written by Jonathan Dane   
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 04:25


In my original article, The War On America: How A Political Religious Movement Is Threatening Our Democracy (in the Human Rights category of the Godot section of RSN) I pointed out how a political religious movement called Christian Dominionism, or Christian Reconstructionism, is gaining strength and popularity in the United States and abroad. Leah Burton, in her webinar: Dominionism 101, states:

“Defined in its simplest form Christian Dominionism is a political approach to Christian faith and practice based on a literalistic interpretation of Chapter I verse 28 of the Book of Genesis. Wherein, they perceive themselves as the “Chosen” and are commanded to “subdue” the earth and “have dominion” over all living creatures. The goal of Christian Dominionism is to abolish Separation of Church and State and to establish the United States as a distinctively Christian Nation based upon Old Testament Mosaic Law....”
(Leah Buron, Burton Webinars, Christian Dominionism 101, 2011.

The opposition of ruling members of the GOP to any consideration of raising taxes on the rich, even as the income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its largest margin ever, becomes more understandable when seen in light of Dominionist doctrine and their interpretation of Biblical Law. Dominionist ideology holds that women, homosexuals and the poor “have earned God’s wrath by their licentiousness and undisciplined lives”. The wealthy are wealthy because they are in God’s favor and, therefore, to increase their taxes would unconscionable.

The current Republican proposals for dealing with the deficit are based on ideology rather than policy. While the fate of the country, and perhaps the world, hangs in balance and negotiations over raising the debt ceiling are held hostage by GOP members unwilling to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans, our seniors, the poor, and the middle class are facing the loss of jobs, health care, and vital social programs.

In addition to prohibition of taxation of the rich, Dominionist ideology includes:
• The relegation of women to hearth and home;
• The elimination of Social Security and Medicare;
• An extension of the death penalty to all murderers and to those who practice abortion;
• The denial of citizenship or the execution of insufficiently Christian men; and
• Capital punishment for blasphemy, heresy, adultery, and homosexuality.

Regarding social programs Katherine Yurica, author of the “Yurica Report”, The Despoiling of America, 2004, writes:

“In the end, Dominionism should be viewed as a backboard that bounces the New Deal and FDR’s social safety net programs, social security (as well as Medicare) into its political opposite: laissez-faire economics (the motto of 18th century French economists who protested excessive government regulation of industry. Laissez-faire is a doctrine opposing governmental interference (as by regulation or subsidy) in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights. Dominionism opposes the licensing and regulating power of the government.”

To further understand the agenda of the Dominionist movement one only need listen to their accusations against others, especially liberals and members of the Democratic Party (included in their category of the licentious and undisciplined). They simply accuse others of what they themselves are doing making it more difficult to place the blame where it belongs.

Leo Strauss shows us how the Dominionists hide their true motives in his book, Thoughts on Machiavelli. Katherine Yurica paraphrases his words as follows: “One ought not to say to those whom one wants to kill, ‘Give me your votes, because your votes will enable me to kill you and I want to kill you,’ but merely, ‘Give me your votes,’ for once you have the power of the votes in your hand, you can satisfy your desire.” As an example, she cites the Clean Air Act passed by George W. Bush during his presidency that did exactly the opposite of what it proclaimed. It ended up cutting government control and weakened measures needed to keep air and water safe.

More recently, Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan did a masterful job of deceiving the people of his state in order to win the election. Filmmaker and advocate of the middle-class Michael Moore says Snyder “has pulled off one of the biggest Jekyll and Hyde ruses I’ve ever seen in electoral politics.” He ran as “just a nerd from Ann Arbor” but the people soon learned he is a multi-millionaire intent on passing laws that support the interests of his friends on Wall Street and makes life more difficult for senior citizens and the poor.

Among politicians in the news today who are known to have Dominionist affiliations are Rick Perry of Texas (a possible presidential candidate) and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota who recently declared herself in the running for the 2012 elections. It is assumed that they, like the rest of us, want the best for this country. Their agendas, however, are informed by their belief systems which have been shown to be rooted in Dominionist theology. Moving our country from a democracy to a theocracy, a goal of Christian Dominionism, is contrary to the most basic concepts of our democracy and not what most Americans want.

It would be tempting to dismiss all of this as a conspiracy theory were it not for the extensive research and documentation that has come to light on this organization that tries to remain secret. It is doubtful that most Americans, Christian or otherwise, are aware of the underlying agenda of the millions of Dominionists in this country today. In 2004 the number was estimated at 35 million. Today, with the help of money from big business (including the Koch brothers) that number has grown exponentially and is estimated to be at least twice that.) It is time for America to wake up to their traitorous agenda which Katherine Yurica calls “subversive, seditious, secretive, and dangerous.”
Our liberty, our democracy, and perhaps our very lives are at stake.

See also:
Katherine Yurica, “Yurica Report”, The Despoiling of America, 2004. http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/TheDespoilingOfAmerica.htm

An interview with Leah Burton, author of "God, Guns & Greed ~ The New Conservative Vision for America,” by Sarah Jones –
http://www.politicususa.com/en/radical-dominionists.

Explorations and articles related to Dominionism
http://godsownparty.com/blog/

State of Belief Radio: The Roots of Christian Reconstructionism by Sarah Posner
http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/sarahposner/2810/state_of_belief_radio%3A_the_roots_of_christian_reconstructionism

Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates, reviews Max Blumenthal’s
book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party. Nation Books, 2009
http://www.religiondispatches.org/books/1868/republican_gomorrah_documents_the_christian_right_takeover_of_the_gop

Article about Jeff Sharlet’s book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.
http://jeffsharlet.blogspot.com/2008/02/blog-post.html

Joan Bokaer of Cornell University's Theocracy Watch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc8XS-PxFFA

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC interviews Jeff Sharlet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F3nDIdHcnE

Thom Hartmann interviews Jeff Sharlet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUdg1TS-leE&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Article about The Family - Salon.com July 21, 2009
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/07/21/c_street

Article about The Family – Harpers
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2003/03/0079525

Amy Goodman interviews Jeff Sharlet
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/8/12/sharlet

Interview with Jeff Sharlet by Chuck Warnock
http://chuckwarnockblog.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/interview-with-jeff-sharlet-author-of-the-family-part-1/
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+5 # Lhol 2011-08-05 17:17
Thank you for an informative essay. Very important here is the role of big business and finance. Along these lines, you mention Governor Snyder appearing to be a friendly nerd at first, then shifting his attention decisively in favor of his "friends on Wall Street". Also, you talk about the "exponential" growth in the number of supporters that has come with the help of "money from big business (including the Koch brothers)".

Without the backing of these and other powerful interests, these peculiar religious movements would remain more or less isolated. Without this outside help, the leaders would have to respond in some way to inevitable criticism from moderate and liberal Christians (yes, they do exist). To not do so would risk the loss of important segments of their congregations.

Instead with their wealthy (but not so religious) friends at their side, they don't need local communities. Now they have a broader public platform that only money can buy. Now they can publish their reactionary ideas, convey them on talk shows, in seminars, speaking engagements, and through "counseling" programs. Now they no longer have to listen to critics within the Christian community.

It is not so much Christianity we have to fear then but the nexus between a zealous reactionary branch and their well heeled but largely invisible Wall Street backers.
 
 
+5 # Kate Brophy 2011-08-21 12:51
Jonathan Dane's article is so informative, timely, and scary. I had thought I was well informed but sadly realize that this aspect of the Christian "Wrong" is news to me. To quote Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye, "Jesus would puke if he were here."
 
 
+2 # newscruzer1 2011-09-21 18:53
Water and oil don't mix and religion has no business being involved with politics, period!
For those claiming to be God fearing and Bible believers, then they should know that scriptures admonish believers to not become involved with politics, but how would they really know when it's the religious leaders who are misleading their flock and therefor are blood guilty.
preachers tell their peresioners on what issues to vote on, leaders to follow, when there should be but only one.
 

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