What is Dominionism?
Since the introduction of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry into the GOP Presidential race, suddenly the word “Dominionist” is on everyone’s lips. Those of you who read PoliticusUSA daily are well aware of what a Dominionist is, as we’ve been covering this dangerous political movement masquerading as a religious movement for years now. In 2008, Republican Sarah Palin was a Dominionist Trojan Horse introduced as a simple hockey mom, who harbored a theocratic agenda for the takeover of the US government for her Dominionist Church. She was their “Chosen One” to take this country “back”. This notion of taking “back” the country to “biblical origins” is the foundation of the political movement referred to as “Dominionism”, or “taking dominion over”.
Both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry hail from the Dominionist movement as well, replete with all of the tells of a Dominionist – the science denying, the sense of entitlement, the inaccurate American history, an understanding of the constitution and America’s laws that conflicts with reality and deliberately tears down the wall of separation between church and state. And of course, the necessity of claiming that the “liberal media” is out to get them, which is the Get Out Of Inaccuracies Free card they all pull when called on their failure to deal with reality. These are folks who are emboldened to lie to your face because they a) believe these lies (Bachmann) or b) feel that they are the Chosen One (Palin, Perry, Walker, et al) and hence lying is justified in order to achieve the goal of taking Dominion over America.
Acknowledging that the term is an umbrella term, but a necessary one, Leah Burton defines Dominionism, “Defined in its simplest form, Christian Dominionism is a political approach to Christian faith based on a literal interpretation of Genesis Chapter 1 verses 26 – 28 of the Christian Bible. Believers perceive themselves as the “chosen” or the “elect”, commanded by God to “subdue” the earth and “have dominion” over all living creatures. The goal of Christian Dominionism in the United States is to abolish Separation of Church and State, establishing it as a distinctively Christian Nation based upon Old Testament Mosaic Law.”
As many of you know, the non-partisan Independent Leah Burton writes for PoliticusUSA about just this subject. She’s taken a brief hiatus from her usual Sunday column because she has a book coming out on September 4 about this very topic. Leah’s book, entitled God, Guns and Greed; A Dangerous Path for America, is a primer to the strange but powerful elements of religious extremism that are enjoying resurgence in American politics.
The reality of “Political Dominionism” is far more complicated than a handful of devoted Christians expressing their freedom of speech. God, Guns and Greed explores these messages (and the frequent hypocrisy of the messengers), and encourages the old guard Republicans to take their Party back, and religious moderates to recognize that these religious zealots are faux Christians who do not share their biblical views.
Leah uses infamous Republicans like Sarah Palin to demonstrate the goals of Dominionists. In a chapter on Rebiblican Politics, she quotes Palin advocating for theocracy, “Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant – they’re quite clear – that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the Ten Commandments.” If you’re not scared after hearing that, it’s only because you don’t know enough about the success of the Dominionist movement yet.
As she wades into this movement, Leah carefully delineate the mainstream Christians from the Dominionists, as well as explaining the symbiotic relationship between Dominionists and corporate interests in this excerpt:
Dominionism is a bible-based sect of Christianity that does not represent mainstream Christians in America, or elsewhere in the world. This is a very powerful, very well organized and very wealthy religious-political machine that has been driving toward the goal of marrying church and state in America for decades.
For as long as humans have existed there have been politics. And even before the birth of Christianity – beliefs, superstitions and faith have wound their way into the rules that govern peoples. Wars have been fought and massive numbers of lives have been lost in the name of religion. A constant struggle to control land and populations has dictated the formations of rules and laws around the world from the very beginning, so when we see this same struggle for power continuing right before us within our own system of government I am stymied as to why this is such an unbelievable concept for us to take seriously. The refrain “history repeats itself” is not an empty one; rather it is a warning that we must heed.
As time has evolved so have the sophisticated intentions and goals of those who dedicate themselves to obtaining more power and more control. It does not matter whether others agree with them or not, this is about dominion. Religious zealots are undoubtedly a persistent part of this group, but they are certainly not doing this solo. What is making this eternal battle ever more dangerous is the blending of common purposes by other groups who share specific end goals. The common goals are smaller government, privatization, less regulation, a conservative Supreme Court, in order to implement favorable legal findings for private corporations, and conservative religious social laws.
Anthea Butler, Professor of Religious Studies and Graduate Chair of Religion at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, and also a guest on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR as well as a blogger at Religion Dispatches, endorsed Leah’s warning about the Dominionist agenda, “Leah’s long-term work researching and writing about Political Dominionism holds an important message for the future of our nation, and more immediately, the upcoming 2012 election. Burton’s book is a warning about the marriage of the political and religious words that seek to destroy our constitutional rights, and turn America into a nation based on their narrow interpretations of biblical law.”
Leah has gone through what some might call the fires of Hell to get this book published because she is so passionate about the message. Leah’s goal has never to be “the one” presenting the message or getting notoriety; but rather, she is driven by a deep, abiding love for this country. Leah treats this delicate subject with the nuance it deserves, never painting all Christians or all Republicans with the broad and tempting brush of the loudest voices on the Right.
Having watched Leah struggle to bring the Dominionist agenda to our attention, I share her relief that the flame has finally been sparked. It takes thousands of voices to tell the same story in different ways before it truly catches fire – and Leah tells the story in a non-academic, narrative style that will hopefully broaden the appeal of her message outside of the “choir”.
Retired U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson (the Valerie Plame and Wilson V Cheney Joe Wilson) wrote the following, “Leah Burton has written a stirring call to action against the subversion of American democracy as we have practiced if for over 230 years. “God, Guns & Greed: A Dangerous Path for America” exposes the Christian Right, as personified by Sarah Palin, and the Political Dominionists to overthrow our system of government and replace it with their own theocracy. The battle plan, known simply as “Reclaim America” and the program to achieve it, the “7 Mountains Mandate” constitute a betrayal of the political and social mores of our society that most Americans should find appalling. This is an important book for anybody who fears for the future of our nation.”
As we catapult into the stunning semblance of idiocracy that will be the 2012 election cycle, only those who understand the Dominionist agenda will be fully equipped to comprehend the meaning behind what to others will sound like stupidity or gaffes on the part of the Dominionist candidates. This will be the season, even more than 2008, of Dominionist Trojan Horse candidates. With the struggling economy, angry electorate and greedy corporations lurking at the door, our nation is vulnerable to a takeover masquerading itself as common sense values from the heartland.
What is Dominionism? It’s something every American should be on guard against, because its ultimate goal is the takeover of our government.
God, Guns and Greed is now available to pre-order on Amazon and is coming out on September 4, 2011.
Note: I am a contributing author to God, Guns and Greed but have no monetary interest in the sales of this book. My contribution was a labor of passion and love for my country.