My hope is that this community can become a place for discussion, awareness-raising, information-sharing, and support for all who are opposed to the deeply theocratic agenda of the Christian religious right. I'm still getting the comm set up, but I'll post some information pieces soon, and try to find some avenues where we can let people know we're here.
Welcome, and please read the posting guidelines (On our profile page here), before posting.
P.S. Feel free to make an 'introduce yourself' post if you are so inclined!
It's still very much a work in progress, but I've started putting together a list of known Dominionist charity organizations, based in large part on the NOLA Biglist by dogemperor, but expanded and updated, and with additional sourcing where possible. It's in wiki format, so anyone with additional information can add to it. Please also feel free to comment here if you have suggestions or information relevant to this project.
- Racists and dominionists, part 1: A troubling history by DogEmperor, Daily Kos.
- Racists and dominionists, part 2: A true gallery of rogues by DogEmperor, Daily Kos.
- Racists and dominionsts, part 3: A hive of scum and villainy by DogEmperor, Daily Kos.
- White Dominionism: The Taxonomy of White Radicalism by Nik Mitchell, Ph.D., Jesuit Social Research Institute, Loyola University.
- How a White Supremacist Book Found Its Way Into a Family's Homeschool by Libby Anne, Patheos.
- The Christian Hagiography of Robert E. Lee Endorsed by James Dobson and Tim LaHaye by Libby Anne, Patheos.
Why Christian nationalists love Trump: God and country.
Aug 7, 2017
"The idea of a morally pure leader -- which is something that the Christian right sort of embraced for a while -- that's more of an aberration in the history of American evangelicalism than the idea of a sinner who is somehow used by God."
Historians of Christian nationalism are alarmed by its appearance in American pulpits: A lesson on the dangers to the United States.
Aug 21, 2017
Pro-Trump Christian nationalism may be decidedly American in form, but it also has a frightening amount in common with historical examples of flag-waving spirituality in other countries -- including those with far darker pasts.
This may be the third or a standalone, not sure:
Trump's 'God whisperer' says resisting him is an affront to God: A stunning expression of Christian nationalism.
Aug 23, 2017
"God is going to bring deliverance. But the question is whether you will be a part of it," she said. She then repeatedly asked listeners if they will take action before concluding: "We were not sent into this earth to fit in. We weren't just sent here to be a part. We were sent here to take over."
The crowd roared in response.
No, I’m sorry. They claim the same creed, the same book, and the same deity. The feel themselves to be every bit as devout and sincere as you do. You don’t get to disown them because you don’t like how they interpret your faith. The problem is that who gets to say which is the “twisted and warped” version of any faith?
The extremists and fundamentalists all work from the same texts as the moderates. They tell the same stories, reference the same ancient history. In fact, they believe they have the true, real, and correct interpretation of their religion. They believe the moderates are the ones who have lost or perverted the true faith, by accommodating "modern" or "progressive" views. So for everyone who says “X extremist isn’t a true whatever?” Guess what? They think the same thing about you.
Both sides can find plenty of support in their texts and their traditions to support their claims. Who is qualified to say this one is right when this one is wrong? Oh, I know, you’ll tell me who is qualified. So will they. Their expert, or inspired preacher, or sage, or guru, will have just as much credibility as yours. That’s the problem with following bronze-age mythology: it’s ALL interpretation, and it can be used to support just about anything you want it to, and there is no authority behind any claim of the "correct" interpretation. And the bottom line is that all religions entail accepting claims without evidence, and elevating such claims over both facts and the competing claims of others. They also encourage the suspension of critical thinking at their core. Rather than promoting investigation, independent thought, critical thinking, or analysis, they command that the believer listen to the pastor/priest/rabbi/mullah. Believers are taught to follow authority and not question. Once you convince someone to do that, you can convince them of anything at all. And every holy book has a verse or six to back it up, be it hate or love, murder or charity. It takes a particularly deft species of rationalization and apologetics to be able to ignore the outright calls for violence. That the "majority" of religious people do not commit atrocities in the name of their religion is a credit to them, not to their doctrines.
Don’t get me wrong; I think all religions can be wonderful as forms of allegorical or metaphorical thinking. And as such, I have no issue with them. In fact, I think we as humans need to have allegory and metaphor and symbol; those modes of thought make our lives richer. It is perfectly fine to use Neptune as a way to envision or understand or ponder the fickle, treacherous, capricious, and powerful nature of the ocean. Or to ponder Ganesh as the embodiment of cleverness, joy in life, and benevolent mischief. I, personally, have both deep affection and appreciation for much of the Hindu (and Wiccan) pantheon as metaphorical archetypes that embody universal principles or truths. I am terrifically fond of Dante as a literary exemplar of the faith of his age and the core human struggle to discover who and what we have the potential to be. Mythology and allegory can genuinely inspire and enlighten us when we use them as tools of creative and imaginative thought.
However, the moment one decides there is actually a guy down there with a chariot drawn by hippocampi, waving a trident around, and that he is the reason that ship sank? Or the moment you decide there is an actual dude with an elephant's head put there by his father to replace the one he too hastily chopped off, and you need to appease him to get what you want out of life? In that moment, you aren't finding greater understanding of some universal truth, you've simply divorced yourself from reality and accepted something utterly in defiance of reason and without any evidence.
That's the problem with making nice with religion: when populations start to take their claims and myths literally, and suppose that they provide some sort of mandate for ethics or governance we have a problem. Because we are not working with reality, and because not everyone has chosen to embrace the same delusion. Then all manner of evil becomes possible. And then we're back to the problem above: who gets to say which version is the right one?
Think about it: if the Aztecs were still a thing, we'd be arguing with hardline fundamentalists who wanted to continue cutting the hearts out of living sacrifices, and insisting that those who call that practice barbaric are apostates swayed by heresy. On the other side would be moderates preaching that Quetzalcoatl was a god of love and peace, the ‘sacrifice’ is just an allegory for the harvest of corn, and claiming the extremists aren't really 'Quetzalites,' (or whatever), but have 'twisted the true faith.' No one would EVER be able to prove which side was right, because there was never a bird god to begin with, and it’s all just ancient mythology that can be use to justify anything. And of course, over here would be us atheists, shaking our heads, and telling the lot “you’re all still worshipping a bird, and you all need to grow the hell up.”
That's why I say humanity, if it is to survive and progress, need to keep ALL religions in the same box we keep Apollo and Odin and Gilgamesh. Sure, maybe we can pull them out once in a while when we want to wax poetic or be all metaphorical, but then put them back and close the lid. The rest of the time, when we have real problems to deal with, real lives to live, real people to live alongside, let's all use reason and science to navigate society and public life.
( Full Post below the cut )
This is an excellent piece on the theocratic trend in the US. The author slightly (I think) misinterprets some of the casual signs; he says 'I'll pray for you' is a hallmark of theocratic theology, whereas I tend to think that's more a universal sort of evangelical smugness. But he is very much correct that there are a whole array of 'coded' phrases that do indeed denote dominionist or reconstructionist leanings. He also misses that a lot of people repeat these ideas without really knowing what they signify. There is a documented practice, known as 'steeple-jacking,' by which dominionists join a mainstream church, and over time try to sway it towards their own views (yet another topic on which I plan to post a longer & more detailed piece). But the result is that church members often don't realize that the phrases they hear on Sunday are meant literally, rather in the sense that any Christian might talk about the kingdom of God as a metaphor for the faithful or for heaven. Nevertheless, his core point stands.
The other pieces it links to, in particular this piece in the Washington Post offer some good background on the Council for National Policy, a secretive neo-con Christian group that has urged the administration to eliminate the Dep't of Education (HR 899 has already been proposed and can be viewed at Congress.gov.) and turn school over to private entities in order to 'advance the Kingdom of God.'
Also of interest are the videos at the end of the article dealing with the Seven Mountains Mandate, a theological structure that provides a plan of action for taking over all of society beginning with seven core areas (the metaphorical 'Mountains'), of culture, including government arts & media, education, and of course, business! I'll be doing a more detailed piece on Seven Mountains or 7M theology soon, but the videos there are an excellent overview.
I will say that I am thrilled to see these issues seemingly coming back into journalistic awareness; the more voices amplifying this information, the better. These groups succeed because they hide, and because we *want* to dismiss them as fringe. We want to say 'oh, surely they don't mean that literally!' But they do, and the more people talking about it, the better chance we have of stopping this insanity....
Trump Cabinet Plots Christian Theocracy During Weekly Bible Study MeetingsApril 21, 2017, Michael Stone
(Original Article here)
( Read the entire piece here )
- Dominionism/Dominionist Theology
- End Times theology
- The Religious Right & Climate Change
- Demons, Spirits, and Forces of Darkness - What the Religious Right believes.
- Spiritual Warfare
- Influential People and Organizations to Watch
- Seven Mountains Mandate
- The Religious Right's obsession with sex
- Homeschooling: curricula, oversight, reasoning
- Militarism: Joel's Army, Phineas Priests, Battle Cry
- Left Behind: What the series means in right wing theology
- Who's Who in the Religious Right in America
- The Council for National Policy: the worst group with the most innocuous name
These articles are taken from my class notes I have prepared for the courses I teach on the History of Christianity and Christianity in the US. They are @2017, All rights reserved. If you wish to cite or quote any of these pieces, please contact me and I can give you a citable source, since I do not want to use my real name here. Thank you for your consideration.
Reconstruction is a Calvinist, thenonomic/theocratic trend in theology that teaches that god’s law (i.e. Biblical Law) is to be the law of the land. Theologian R.J. Rushdoony, who published a massive set of volumes called ‘The Institutes of Biblical Law,” is widely considered to be the father of the Reconstruction movement, as well as the Christian homeschooling movement.
( Full article here )
What is a Theocracy?
A theocracy is a form of government in which religion is the centrally controlling element. Much like Democracy comes form the Greek ‘demos’ (common) and ‘kratos’ (rule), theocracy comes from the Greek ‘theos’ (god) and ‘kratos’ (rule). In real-world terms, it means that the church and state are one and the same, and that the laws and doctrines of a single religion (or single form of religion) form the law of the land. A contemporary example is Iran, whose legal and political structure reflect the religious beliefs and ethics of Islam, specifically Shi’a Islam. In the west, there has been a movement among the rightward spectrum of Christianity to create a theocratic state. This is particularly the case in the United States, where a broad coalition of evangelical, fundamentalist, and other Christian groups are loosely united in their purpose of imposing Biblical ethics and morality on what they perceive as a fallen, godless nation.
What is Dominionism?
Dominionism is a style or trend of Christian practice and ideology. It centers on the idea that God has commanded Christians to take control or ‘dominion’ over all of governance and culture. Typically this is informed by the belief that the entire world must be made into a Christian society in order for Christ to return and initiate the End Times. Terms that also connote dominionist theology include ‘Kingdom theology,’ ‘advancing the Kingdom of God,’ and similar phrases, often used by public figures to signal to the dominionist community wthout using the term ‘dominion’ or ‘dominionism.’
What is Reconstruction?
Reconstruction, or Christian Reconstruction, is a theology originally espoused by R.J. Rushdoony, a Calvinist theologian,which teaches that the imperative of the Christian is to bring the whole of life into submission to God and Biblical law. It is also one of the origins of dominionist theology, above. Rushdoony held that all law was essentially ‘religion,’ so any form of law, or ‘law order’ that was not biblical was anti-Christian. He advocated for instatement of old-testament religious law as the law of the land, including death penalties for adultery, apostasy, and a list of other biblically defined sins, and the use of slavery instead of prisons. A slightly (not very) tempered version of this Reconstruction theology is carried on by Rushdoony’s Chalcedon Foundation, and by his many followers. See the full entry on Reconstruction HERE.
See Who’s Who in the Religious Right (soon to be posted) for more.