Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
First Amendment, Constitution of the United States
“Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less… Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.”
George Grant, Coral Ridge Ministries
Dominionism is a movement among politically active, conservative Christians to gain control over the government of the United States. Its goal is to establish a theonomy; a system of law based on portions of Old Testament law, providing a Biblical determination of what punishment suits which crime. Female adultery, teen age insubordination, and homosexuality would all be crimes punished by stoning. Petty theft would require amputation of the offending hand. A woman’s role in society would be subservient, limited to household duties and reproduction. Abortion for any reason would be forbidden and a crime punishable by death. Slavery would again be acceptable. R.J. Rushdoony referred to anti-bellum Southern slavery as “benevolent” and stated he felt “some people are by nature slaves.” Theonomy, in essence, would replace the modern rule of law with a western version of Sharia law.
R.J. Rushdoony is considered the father of Christian Reconstructionism, an evangelical movement in modern fundamentalist Christianity which calls for an injection of religious faith into all aspects of life, personal and professional. Reconstructionists demand an ethos and lifestyle which is ideally biblical. Concepts determining the Reconstructionist world view are Calvinism, Theonomy, Post Millennialism, and a credo that there can be no agreement between believers and non-believers. This is further defined to include non-aligned Christian faiths. Minimal state power and lassiez-faire economics are anticipated goals. Rushdoony favored homeschooling, which he felt was the only way to combat the secular American public school system. He insisted Calvinism was the basis of the American Revolution, and denied the influence of the Enlightenment. Rushdoony’s views, including his Holocaust denial, and Reconstructionism are interchangeable with Dominionism.
Prominent members of the Dominionist movement have included such famous personages as Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Charles Colson, and James Dobson. Since 1953, during the tenure of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the National Prayer Breakfast becoming a yearly event in Washington, D.C., Dominionism has steadily closed its grasp upon US politics. Started by Abraham Vereide; the National Prayer Breakfast is associated with another of Vereide’s products: the Family. It was founded in 1935 in opposition to FDR’s New Deal, because of an ideological stance against government involvement in social services. Social problems, Vereide felt, would be better served by private institutions. The Family later gained unwanted fame in the Washington ‘C’ Street scandals. Unwanted, because of the demonstration of the Family’s far reaching tentacles of corruption. Immediate entrenchment of the Prayer Breakfast as a yearly Washington tradition was due to the influence of Billy Graham, who was a regular presence in the White House.
Billy Graham attempted to have personal influence upon several US Presidents, beginning with Harry S Truman. In 1950, Graham visited Truman, urging him to oppose the advancement North Korean communism. Graham and his entourage of pastors discussed details of the Presidential visit with members of the Washington press corps after the meeting. Three of Graham’s pastors even posed for a photo op, kneeling on the White House lawn, as if praying.Truman later wrote about Graham in his autobiography, Plain Speaking:
“But now we’ve got just this one evangelist, this Billy Graham, and he’s gone off the beam. He’s…well, I hadn’t ought to say this, but he’s one of those counterfeits I was telling you about. He claims he’s a friend of all the Presidents, but he was never a friend of mine when I was President. I just don’t go for people like that. All he’s interested in is getting his name in the paper.”
Presidents counseled by Graham included Eisenhower, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes. The noteworthy exception to his counseling is JFK. Kennedy was Roman Catholic. Graham’s influence in the Oval Office was most overt during the administration of Richard Nixon. Many frequent photographs show the evangelist communicating privately with the president. Graham was often at Nixon’s side. Declassified Richard Nixon Tapes released in 2002, established the veracity of rumors of remarks made by Graham to Nixon thirty years before. Graham is heard agreeing with Nixon, during a 1972 conversation, that Jews control the American media, calling it a “stranglehold”. In 2009, more tapes disclosed Graham in conversation with Nixon referring to Jews and “the synagogue of Satan”. It seems, respective to these quotes, ironic that Billy Graham should have such a fervent pro-Israel stance, until one realizes the fundamentalist’s passion for the return of the Christ after the fall of Jerusalem. Israel must be defended and maintained until the final battle, where the newly rebuilt Temple of Solomon is destroyed. That temple has yet to be restored.
Catastrophic destruction and the end of the world, with the Lord Jesus returning at the head of a conquering celestial army is a common obsession among Dominionists. In a July, 2006 interview with Paula Zahn, concerning “whether the crisis in the Middle East is actually a prelude to the end of the world,” Jerry Falwell stated, “I believe in the premillennial, pre-tribulational coming of Christ for all of his church, and to summarize that, your first poll, do you believe Jesus’ coming the second time will be in the future, I would vote yes with the 59 percent and with Billy Graham and most evangelicals.”. The Book of Revelation, though a cornerstone of fundamentalist Christian faith, was absent from many early Biblical texts, and relegated to the very back of the Bible by Martin Luther, in his translation. The book is regarded by many Biblical scholars as either apocryphal or symbolic; at the very least, impossible to comprehend. This interview was the third time in eight days that CNN devoted airtime to persons claiming the ongoing Middle East violence signaled the coming of the Apocalypse. Clearly, the sensationalism of the Dominionists garners a preponderance of broadcast.
Being the founder of ‘the Moral Majority’, Falwell spoke with assumed authority, and stalwartly promoted his interpretation of Biblical teachings. On his evangelical program, The Old-time Gospel Hour, in the mid 1960s, Falwell frequently headlined segregationist politicians, Lester Maddox and George Wallace. Referring to Martin Luther King, he said: “I do question the sincerity and nonviolent intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” As the descendants of Cain, identified by their singed hair and dark complexion which resulted from God’s wrath, people of African origin did not deserve equal rights. One could find this in the Bible.
Falwell believed that, in the absence of religion, his religion, the family stood in jeopardy. If his concept of family failed, so did society. It is because of his strong belief in the significance of fundamentalist religious mores to the continuation of the American family, and the certainty of the collapse of society, should America abandon these principles, that Falwell was such an outspoken and debasing critic of homosexuality. Falwell condemned homosexuality as forbidden by the Bible. He supported Anita Bryant’s 1977 Save Our Children campaign to overturn a Florida ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Speaking for Bryant, Falwell told one crowd, “Gay folks would just as soon kill you as look at you.” He commonly associated AIDS with the gay community, and once stated, “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals, it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.” He named openly gay comedienne, Ellen Degeneress, “Ellen Degenerate” in one of his sermons. Falwell claimed that the Teletubby, Tinky Winky, was intended as a gay role model because he was purple and his antenna was triangular. This outburst finally displayed his homophobia as over the top and foolishly outlandish. It fully demonstrated the pervasiveness of his hate.
Not content to limit his vitriol merely to private, personal behavior, Falwell also publically opined on domestic and international issues. He stated, “Labor unions should study and read the Bible instead of asking for more money. When people get right with God, they are better workers.” Always concerned with being an ambassador for the United States, and a spokesman for God, he once publically declared that Islam was Satanic. With Pat Robertson, he acknowledged the 2011 attacks to be an act of divine retribution, stating on The 700 Club, “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For The American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America”, caused the attacks to happen. Homophobia, Xenophobia, and a denial of basic civil rights formed the nexus of fundamentalist belief structure for Jerry Falwell.
Pat Robertson, like Jerry Falwell, was an internationally famous and successful televangelist. He shared Falwell’s exclusive, narrow religious views. Robertson, too, stood for a Dominionist America, and could not confine his religious oratory to Biblical topics. He catapulted to even greater international prominence, when he called for the assassination of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez. Anyone who impeded America’s path to world dominance, hence, the realization of Christ’s commands, must be eliminated. On December 24, 2001; Pat Robertson resigned his position as President of the Christian Coalition. Religious conservatives believed Robertson stepped down to allow the President of the United States, George W. Bush, to take his rightful place as the head of the true American Holy Christian Church. Robertson’s act was symbolic, a signal that the Bush administration was a government under God which was led by an anointed President who would be the initial ruler in a line preparing for the return of Jesus to earth. Bush would be the vehicle through whom God would execute His will. Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court and of the same theocratic ilk, said a few months later, that the Bible teaches, and Christians believe, that government derives its moral authority from God. We have, in this, a return to the medieval concept of divine right. Robertson cemented Dominionist authority.
A return to the direct action of the Family on American culture is seen in the influence of James Dobson. Not satisfied merely with the results of the National Prayer Breakfast, Focus on the Family seeks to define the very behaviours and desires of the American family, reinforcing Falwell’s homophobia and restrictive moral code. In spite of instances of fundamentalist preachers straying from the path and dabbling in extra marital affairs, homosexual behaviour, and drug use, Focus on the Family seeks to achieve the sort of family dynamics found in the movie, Pleasantville. Buried in the collective American oblivion is the memory of Jimmy Swaggert’s 1988 dalliance with a New Orleans prostitute, an act repeated in 1991 in Indio, California. Swaggert has disappeared from the American televangelist stage. He is almost forgotten. The Dominionist cannot allow one of their own to defy the precepts put down, generations ago, by Cotton Mather.
The Family seeks to spread its dominance of American government and culture with involvement in the United States military service. Religious intolerance and a desire to promote a uniform, fundamentalist Christianity in military service, has resulted in the Family’s involving itself in the military academies, through the Campus Crusade for Christ, and in aptitude tests utilized among all military personnel. Mikey Weinstein, graduate of the US Air Force Academy, and a veteran of ten year’s service as a Judge Advocate, is the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. In a February, 2008 interview with The Philadelphia Jewish Voice, Weinstein was asked whether he could remember a specific personal occurrence which caused him to form MRFF. His answer is rather startling. It was after the release of Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, that Weinstein heard from certain Protestant members of the Air Force Academy faculty, that the administration was putting tremendous pressure on the 4,400 cadets and 6,000 staff to go see the movie. His astonishment was magnified, when he heard about this from his three children who were cadets at the Academy. Upon querying them, they answered that it was terrible; everywhere they looked. In academic buildings the walls were covered with posters exhorting fundamentalist ideals and Gibson’s movie. When they marched into the dining facility, flyers for the movie were even put on their plates. Weinstein brought this to the attention of the senior general of the Academy, confident in his belief that this problem would be solved. Several months later, while at the Academy for a conference, Weinstein’s son, a cadet, asked him to sit down and talk. The young man was very troubled. He had been called a “fucking Jew,” and told that he and the Jewish people were responsible for the execution of Jesus by numerous people up and down the chain of command at several places around the Academy. Weinstein returned to the Academy administration and told them to fix this or he would go to war. Later, Weinstein learned this kind of harassment was not limited to the Air Force Academy. It is a contagion of unbridled right-wing, Christian fundamentalism which has spread not just through the Air Force Academy, rather, throughout the entire United States Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and Army. Weinstein concluded, in the interview, “Now, I remind you, Hitler never had more than eight percent of the German citizenry in the Nazi party. This is plenty, particularly when you are talking about a command and control structure like the U.S. military. The frightening prospect is that our conventional and nuclear forces, technologically the most lethal organization ever created by humankind, were falling into the hands of a Christian Taliban”.
Army Field Manual FM 22-100, released in October 2006, states, “The military has turned away from a values system based on reason and experience alone. We are instead pursuing a values system that is the ultimate source of right and wrong, defined by religious, primarily Christian, principles.” This is the basis of part of the Army’s mandatory Comprehensive Soldier Fitness test, the ‘Spiritual Fitness Test’. It is based on Army Regulation 600-63 on Health Promotion, which defines ‘spiritual fitness’ as a component of combat readiness. Not taking into account the multicultural nature of the American experience, a ‘spiritual fitness test’, based upon only Christian ideals, discriminates against American soldiers who happen to have another, or no, religious faith. If an American soldier is Christian, but does not ascribe to the theological basis of the test, he, too, could be at risk. Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation discovered Army personnel were compelled to respond to statements as “I am a spiritual person” and “I believe there is a purpose for my life.” The foundation has asked for an immediate end to the spiritual evaluation components of the Global Assessment Tool and related programs. If a soldier does not give the desired answers to the test, his military career is compromised. MRFF has complained that the test is unconstitutional because it violates the Establishment Clause contained in the First Amendment.
Charles Colson is an exception to the Dominionist group. He is not a famous televangelist. His name may be distantly familiar to many Americans, because of a pivotal role he once played. He was a member of ‘The Watergate Seven’; one of Richard Nixon’s clandestine operatives, ‘the plumbers’. Colson was responsible for attempting to reshape America a la Nixon. Allegedly finding Jesus in prison, after his Watergate conviction, Colson has been busy with his non-profit, Prison Fellowship. Recalling the Nixon days and Billy Graham, and the influence of fundamentalism upon government, one is chilled by the memo of Pat Robertson to the Iowa Republican Caucus, titled, How to Participate in a Political Party:
“Rule the world for God.
Give the impression that you are there to work for the party, not push an ideology.
Hide your strength.
Don’t flaunt your Christianity.
Christians need to take leadership positions. Party officers control political parties and so it is very important that mature Christians have a majority of leadership positions whenever possible, God willing.”
The agenda is clear. Government must be turned into a theocracy, and law must be rewritten to conform to cherry-picked passages of the Old Testament. Ignoring modern secular law is permissible if the ends justify the means. Stealth and subversion are the tickets. Harry Truman’s assessment echoes from decades ago. It recalls a self righteous, egocentric, elitist, chasing headlines. This is a commonality with another name in the limelight of American media.
Sarah Palin was a nobody. True, she was Governor of Alaska after her success as a local beauty queen enabled her to become mayor of Wasilla. No one outside of Alaska had ever heard of her. The question which must be asked is “What forces promulgated her to the forefront of American politics?” John McCain had historically opposed the influence of the Religious Right in Republican circles. Desperation to reach out to the American evangelical demonstrates Republican/corporatist willingness to make any sacrifice to retain power. The selection of an inexperienced, intellectual lightweight like Sarah Palin, was, to use McCain’s own words, “Pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance.” A lack of appreciation of the agenda of the Religious Right resulted in a very serious error in judgment. The Third Wave, or New Apostolic Reformation Movement, includes Wasilla Assembly of God, the church where Sarah Palin was baptized and attended for over two decades. It promotes a theocratic world view, in which a unique brand of fundamentalism dominates all aspects of society, in anticipation to the return of Jesus. Their strategy for achieving world domination includes the infiltration and decimation of traditional Christian churches. In his book, Civil War in the Church, Rick Joyner, a leading figure in the Third Wave Movement, asserts this war will be between the institutionalized church and parishioners who experience the new Knowledge and supernatural outpourings of ‘signs and wonders.’ Joyner is considered by theologians and cult watchers to be one the most dangerous teachers extant. Founder of MorningStar ministries, he commands an enormous audience worldwide. His unsound and error-filled, unorthodox teachings are infused with Kingdom Now Theology and extra biblical content, information which is not directly contained in Scripture. Extra biblical content consists of concepts and practices claimed to be supported by or taught in the Bible, but which are based on incorrect interpretation, as opposed to “exegesis”. Kingdom Now Theology is a synonym for Dominionism. Joyner states that Jesus can not return unless and until ‘the Church’ subdues and rules the earth. Pat Robertson is a major supporter of Kingdom Now theology. How ironic, that another name for the morning star is Lucifer.
In a video presentation filmed at Wasilla Assembly of God, Palin speaks repeatedly of a Pastor Muthee, a preacher from Kenya, who gave Palin a blessing in the Wasilla church, while on a global tour. Muthee claims successful spiritual warfare in Kenya, against a woman he proclaimed a witch. ‘Mama Jane’ lived in Kiambu, Kenya, near Nairobi. Locals blamed her for all the violent crime and drug trafficking in the area, believing she performed black magic from her ‘divination house’. Allegedly, someone would have a fatal car accident, each month, in front of her house. In spite of public rancor, officials did not approach her. Locals believed they were afraid. Muthee claimed Mama Jane cast spells and uttered curses outside of his church, so he publically offered a challenge: “Mama Jane either gets saved, and serves the Lord, or she leaves town! There is no longer room in Kiambu for both of us!” After three young people died in one car accident in front of Mama Jane’s house, angry townspeople sought to stone her in retribution for their deaths. Local police responded to the scene to intervene, and shot dead what they thought was a demon in her house. What they killed, was Mama Jane’s pet python. After the incident, Mama Jane was questioned by authorities and left town. Hence, is Thomas Muthee a supernatural warrior. The frightening aspect is Sarah Palin grants him significant credibility. In Sarah Palin we have a pseudo populist package, very well wrapped, filled with spurious biblical information, superstition, a belief in magic, and a passion for world domination, in the name of her God. Beyond Palin’s questionable religious views is her association with the Alaska Independence Party. As a card carrying member of that group, she is heir to the legacy of its founder, Joe Vogler, who stated, “I’m an Alaskan, not an American!” and “The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. And I won’t be buried under their damn flag. I’ll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home.” Her folksy, down home delivery and her fundamentalist ilk, in conjunction with such extremist political views make her ever more dangerous. To think, this was potentially “a heartbeat from the Presidency” of the United States!
Another of Sarah Palin’s Wasilla Church of God’s connections is Joel’s Army. As in other ‘third wave’ movements, Joel’s Army calls for domination of the world by God’s Army, them. Joel’s Army has its origin in post World War II Canada, in a small town in Saskatchewan. Pentecostal preacher, William Branham, headed a 1948 revival in which he claimed that his followers lived in a new biblical time of “Latter Rain.” The most sinless and ardent of his flock would be called “Manifest Sons of God.” The Manifest Sons of God movement grew and became Joel’s Army. Their beliefs are contrived from the Old Testament Book of Joel, specifically, where an avenging swarm of locusts attacks Israel. Joel’s Army prophesies itself to be an Armageddon-ready paramilitary force of young people with a divine mandate to force Christian ‘dominion’ on non-believers. John Wimber, late founder of California megachurch, The Vineyard, said in one of his most famous sermons, “Those in this army will have His kind of power. … Anyone who wants to harm them must die.” This is still frequently cited by Joel’s Army followers. Critics warn that actual bloodletting may only be a matter of time, for a movement that casts itself as God’s avengers. Pastors in the movement dress in camouflage and are addressed by their congregants as ‘commandant’ or ‘commander’. A Charisma Magazine advertisement, in August 2000, declared, “The Summons is out. Multitudes have heard The Call to fast and pray in DC. Two generations will stand and take back our land. “Now that’s revolutionary!”
Canadian Todd Bentley is a general in Joel’s Army. Intelligence Report, Fall 2008, Issue Number: 131 ‘Arming’ for Armageddon, written by Casey Sanchez of the Southern Poverty Law Center, states, “Todd Bentley has a long night ahead of him, resurrecting the dead, healing the blind, and exploding cancerous tumors. Since April 3, the 32-year-old, heavily tattooed, body-pierced, shaved-head Canadian preacher has been leading a continuous ‘supernatural healing revival’ in central Florida. To contain the 10,000-plus crowds flocking from around the globe, Bentley has rented baseball stadiums, arenas and airport hangars at a cost of up to $15,000 a day. Many in attendance are church pastors themselves who believe Bentley to be a prophet and don’t bat an eye when he tells them he’s seen King David and spoken with the Apostle Paul in heaven. ‘He was looking very Jewish,’ Bentley notes.” Joel’s Army is composed of adolescents and young adults, who identify themselves as the final generation before the end of the world. They are leaving mainstream Pentecostal churches in droves. Bentley has attracted tens of thousands to his cause. Rick Joyner helped popularize Joel’s Army when, in 2006, he presented the sermon The Warrior Nation: The New Sound of the Church, in which he announced an end-times army is now gathering, and referred to believers as “freedom fighters.” A disturbing film documentary, Jesus Camp, depicts evangelical church camp, ‘Kids on Fire’, with its extremist, militant Christianity. Pastor Becky Fischer, who runs the camp, explains many of the campers were younger than six years old because they are “more in touch with the supernatural” and proclaimed them to be ‘soldiers for God’s Army.’ Her camp’s blend of apocalyptic militancy and supernaturalism is ideal training for Joel’s Army.
Ern Baxter, a colleague of William Branham, said in 1975, “We have individual salvation. God’s people are going to start to exercise rule and they’re going to take dominion over the power of Satan. As the rod of his strength goes out of Zion, He will change legislation, He will chase the devil off the face of God’s earth and God’s people will bring about God’s purposes and God’s reign. When Christ comes back, we will hand over a Christian earth.” The obvious questions are, “How wide spread is this effort?” and “Were Dominionist power brokers responsible for John McCain’s changing gears, and accepting a darling of the Religious Right for his vice presidential candidate?” From the personae involved, the depth of involvement, and the chronology of the activity, it seems very wide spread, indeed, and after so much time, very well organized. Remembering Mikey Weinstein’s words, “Hitler never had more than eight percent of the German citizenry in the Nazi party. This is plenty.” Although the number of true Domionists may seem small, their exposure has already been profound. Their finances must also be profound, for to rent baseball stadiums, arenas and airport hangars at a cost of up to $15,000 a day, to contain the 10,000-plus crowds flocking from around the globe, takes sound financial backing.
Dominionism is a very real threat to American liberty, and to that of the world. It seeks to replace the rule of law with a western form of Sharia, and will transform the US military into its conquering force. Government will be transformed, too, forming an iron coalition. Its origins are multifaceted and interconnected, and it has been slowly growing for generations. Its tentacles have reached into the highest levels of government, since the early nineteen-fifties, but with beginnings even earlier. Televangelists, backed by corporate giants, fringe religion preachers, and politicians have all been adherents, granting moneyed access to disbursal of information with populist appeal. Its methods are secrecy and stealth. Tactics are intolerance and hate. Its goal is set in stone. America will renew its mythical identity as a fundamentalist protestant Christian nation, intolerant of all other faiths, and prepare the world for the return of the Savior.
- Dominionism: The Christian Taliban (Perry and Bachmann Are Members) (baconeatingatheistjew.blogspot.com)
- The Dominionist Manifesto (dakotavoice.com)
- If Dominionism is a liberal conspiracy, why does it have so many conservative critics? (secularnewsdaily.com)
- 5 Facts About Dominionism (huffingtonpost.com)