Tag Archives: Evangelicals

2016 Senatorial Elections Are Crucial to Democrats, Liberals, & Progressives

 

All eyes and media focus are currently on the 2016, presidential election. election-2016-buttonPrecious little attention is being given to the crucial senate races that will be waged in the next national election. This is an egregious error considering the current right-wing stranglehold on our government.

Once it became evident to the right that Barack Obama would be a two-term president, the financial guru’s who really run this country began to back congressional and state candidates, and to pave the way for the 2016 elections. Now that they have a majority, they clearly intend to buy the White House. That is why it is imperative that liberals and progressives begin today grooming and promoting viable Senate and House candidates who represent their interests. We do not have the luxury of waiting. Now it begins…

KELLY ANN AYOTE – Republican Senator from New Hampshire

Kelly AyotteAyotte is a first-term Senator whose seat will be up in 2016, for reelection. She is the former State Attorney General. Her name came up as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney in 2012, and the next year Newsmax magazine listed her as number 11 among the 25 most influential women in the Republican Party. They called her “an emerging force in Congress. 1

In a tight race during the 2010, elections, Ayotte drew the endorsements of such party notables as John McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour, Tom Coburn, and Rick Santorum.

In 2012, a scathing article appeared in Addicting Info which claimed:

“As Junior Senator, Ayotte voted against the United States Postal Amendments meant to save the Post Office, and against repealing tax deductions for oil companies. She voted for the Keystone XL Project, to extend the Bush tax cuts, and to reduce the corporate tax rate. She voted to remove all regulations regarding electronic debit card transactions and against emergency disaster relief appropriations, Ayotte is pro-fracking, pro-CISPA, and has an A rating from the NRA for her position on gun control. She is married to Lt. Joe Daley, a reservist fighter pilot, who flew combat missions in Iraq, and the mother of two children. Ms. Ayotte is on the front lines of the battle to treat captured terrorist suspects as prisoners of war rather than criminals. “We don’t want to tell a terrorist you have the right to remain silent, she says, “that’s the issue here.” Sarah Palin calls Kelly Ayotte, “a Granite State Mama grizzly who has broken barriers.”2

Upon careful review, I found those claims to be quite accurate. Ayotte is also pro-life and receives a consistent 100% rating from the National Right To Life Committee.

Her biggest donations came from Elliott Management Corporation which the management affiliate of hedge funds Elliott Associates, L.P. which is run by C.E.O., Paul Singer. In 2014, it was estimated that Singer had a net worth of $1.9 billion.

Interestingly, Singer, whose son is currently in a same-sex marriage, has donated millions of dollars to various organizations supporting LGBT rights, yet Kelly Ayotte is vehemently against gay marriage and gay adoptions.

Senator Kelly Ayotte is the goddess of right-wing conservatives. With close ties to Goldman Sachs, the Koch Brothers and much of corporate America it might be very hard to unseat her. However, if the left chooses to get its act together, it might not be impossible.

ROY DEAN BLUNT – Republican Senator from Missouri

roy bluntBlunt is a former member of the United States House of Representatives (1997-2011) who won a Senate seat in 2010. Back in 2006, at the height of the scandal involving Jack Abramoff, Blunt’s name was thrown into the mix and his involvement with both Abramoff and Tom Delay came into question.3

He has been endorsed in the past by Missouri National Right to Life, the Susan B. Anthony List, Michele Bachmann, Red State, and the National Rifle Association. His political action committee the Rely on Your Beliefs Fund has met with it’s own scandal when Blunt accepted more than $1.1 million from corporations donated by the same companies that were implicated in the indictment of his friend and colleague Tom DeLay.

Blunt is a staunch pro-life, Southern Baptist. In 2012, he proposed the “Blunt Amendment” that was piggy-backed onto a highway appropriations bill. The amendment would have blocked part of the Affordable Care Act that requires all insurance plans to cover the birth control pill. The proposed amendment would have allowed not only religious organizations, but any employer with a “moral objection” to opt out of birth control coverage. The amendment was ultimately defeated.4

Earning a 92% rating from the Christian Coalition, Blunt has voted against same-sex marriage and gay adoptions. He has voted in favor of defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Additionally, he takes strong stands against the Separation of Church and State and Affirmative Action while advocating for the privatization of Social Security, faith-based initiatives, and an absolute right to gun ownership.

While in past elections he has won easily, there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction that has been growing within the party regarding Blunt. Many Tea Party members and ultra-right-wingers are questioning his efficacy. That dissention could prove to be a real factor in unseating him. However, it could also mean that he could be replaced with someone even more radically conservative. It should signal Missouri Democrats and Progressives that this is a Republican seat that could be won by the right liberal. The time to start is yesterday.

JOHN NICHOLS BOOZMAN – Republican Senator from Arkansas

John BoozmanBoozman is an Optometrist and former United States Representative (2002-2010). In 2010, Boozman was the first Republican to be elected to the Senate since Reconstruction. So, how is that working out for them?

Being a true Southern Baptist, and a true hard-core conservative, John Boozman takes a very strong stand against abortion, women’s rights, LGBT issues, the separation of church and state, and immigration. He is a staunch gun-rights advocate and favors expanding the military.

His previous endorsements came from the Susan B. Anthony List, the National Rifle Association, Wal-Mart Stores, and Elliott Management. Earlier this year, Boozman was one of the 47 Republican senators to sign the controversial letter to Iranian leaders in an attempt to hinder negotiations with that country.

Last year, Boozman suffered a heart attack and underwent heart surgery, however, it doesn’t appear that he is slowing down, nor has there been any indication that he plans to retire. In August of last year the Arkansas Times published the following statement:

John Boozman meanwhile is one of the lowest profile Senators in the country. A plurality of voters in the state- 38%- have no opinion about him one way or the other. 34% approve of him to 28% who disapprove. Boozman’s big victory in 2010 was really a reflection on voters disliking Blanche Lincoln more than anything else, and it doesn’t appear that Boozman has made much of an impression in his own right.”5

The fact that Governor Beebe could beat Boozman in a “what if” scenario, however, is not indicative of anything on the horizon. The fact that there were 38% of those polled who had no opinion about him, could however, indicate that Arkansas voters are becoming more apathetic, or that they just don’t know what he is all about. At any rate, his seat will be up for grabs. It Democrats and Liberals put their skills to work, they really could pull this off.

RICHARD MAZUE BURR – Republican Senator from North Carolina

Richard BurrA former sales manager for Carswell Distributors, Burr has been in the United States Senate since 2005. Prior to that, he served 10 years in the House of Representatives.

Another hard-core conservative, Burr stands opposed to abortion, women’s rights and LGBT rights. While he opposes same-sex marriage on a personal level, he says that the decision should be up to individual states. He does not support the separation of church and state and believes in public school prayer as well as faith-based initiatives. He is a Second Amendment Advocate and wants to privatize social security.

Last year, as the ranking member on the Senate Committee of Veterans Affairs, Burr penned an angry letter to American veteran organizations for their failure to condemn the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Erick Shinseki, for his part in the VA scandal, claiming that the leaders of these groups did not care about the health and well-being of their members.6

Burr was also one of the 47 Republicans who signed the controversial, and some say, treasonous, letter to Iranian officials.

In January of this year, Burr took over as the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Just prior to his becoming Chairman, then Chairwoman, Diane Feinstein had released the executive summary of the CIA’s torture program. The full report was sent to the President. As one of Burr’s first acts, he sent a letter to Obama asking him to return all copies of the report signaling his dedication to maintaining secrecy and curtailing transparency.7

Although there have been rumors that Burr was planning on retiring, he recently quashed our hopes by announcing that he intended to run again in 2016. As far as the polls are concerned, there is almost a dead even split among those counted with a 36% approval rate, 37% who disapprove. Given the controversy surrounding Burr’s recent maneuverings, one can only hope that this long-time politician will be relegated to the farm. But, Democrats had better have someone really strong waiting in the wings.

DANIEL RAY “DAN” COATS – Republican Senator from Indiana (Retiring)

Dan CoatsSo, in Indiana we have a hard-core Republican retiring from the United States Senate. But…don’t get too excited. There are a few others hoping to fill that seat, not the least of which is Coats’ congressional staffer, Eric Holcomb who has already announced.

While this race promises to spawn a lot of candidates, it is important to note that Eric Holcomb is very well known in Indiana as the former chairman of the state Republican Party, and where Mitt Romney carried the day by 10 points in the 2012 elections. He will have the same support and funding that propelled former Governor Mitch Daniels through two elections.

It is pretty safe to assume that Holcomb embraces the same right-wing values as Senator Dan Coats, and will continue down much the same path. There are several other Republicans who are considering, but who also might be apprehensive about challenging such a powerful figure. While no democrats have announced yet, Evan Bayh, former Governor and Senator, is mentioned quite frequently as a potential candidate. This will be a tough race, but Democrats need to get their ducks in a row quickly.

MICHAEL DEAN “MIKE” CRAPO – Republican Senator from Idaho

Mike CrapoCrapo is an attorney and former United States Representative (1993-1999). He has been in United States Senate since 1999.

Crapo is a Mormon, a bishop in the Church of Latter Day Saints, and although he previously publicly stated that he didn’t drink alcohol, he was arrested in 2012, and plead guilty to a DUI.8

In 2011, it was reported that Crapo was one of the members of the “Gang of Six,” a bi-partisan group charged with coming up with solutions to reduce the American deficit.9

He is a strong advocate for firearms ownership and voted against any expansion of background checks, so of course, the National Rifle Association has supported Crapo as well as the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Crapo is a very hard-core conservative and conducts himself as such, standing firm against women’s and LGBT rights, he is supportive of a school-prayer amendment, faith-based initiatives, and the privatization of Social Security. He is also against raising taxes on the wealthy and providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals.

The only declared candidate in opposition to Crapo at this time is Independent Timothy A. Raty. Crapo’s DUI charge could have hurt him with the voters, but he has a pretty good stronghold on that seat, and some very deep pockets supporting him. However, a Democratic run at this seat should be launched immediately. It’s time to send the right a very big message.

CHARLES ERNEST “CHUCK” GRASSLEY – Republican Senator from Iowa

Chuck GrassleyThis 81 year-old politician is a former United States Representative (1975-1981). He previously served in the Iowa State Legislature (1959-1974). He has been in the United States Senate since 1981. Obviously, he has been very popular in that state.

In the past, a good portion of his funding has come from the oil producing industry, and insurance companies. Contributions from Monsanto have also been noted. He has been endorsed by Americans for Legal Immigration, Campaign for Working Families, Huck PAC, Iowa National Federation of Independent Business, National Federation of Independent Business, National Rifle Association, and National Right to Life Committee. All of these reflect this hard-core conservative’s views.

Chuck Grassley has been representing Iowa in his Senate seat for 34 years, and in D.C. for 40 years. It is inconceivable to me that he would want to shoot for another six, or that the voters would even consider him to still be a viable option. It is equally incomprehensible that the Democratic Party cannot field a candidate who could beat him in 2016. Come on, people! Get it together, and make this right!

JOHN HENRY HOEVEN – Republican Senator from North Dakota

John HoevenHoeven is a former banker and governor of North Dakota. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2010.

Hoeven is somewhat of an enigma in a couple of ways. In 2010, as he was paving the way for his Senate bid, it was reported that in 1996, he had been a Democrat:

“I have always been moderate in my political views, but now that I am considering elective office, I realize I must join a political party and stick to it,” Hoeven wrote in 1996. “I have decided to join the Democratic-NPL Party because I believe that is the best fit for my views.” Also in his 1996 letter, Hoeven strongly rejected the suggestion that he could be a Republican: “What people don’t want is partisan politics as usual. The effort by overly partisan members of the Republican Party to cast me as one of their own is just that, partisan politics as usual.”10

According to his campaign manager, Don Larson, at the time he was going to run for Governor, he realized that his views were more in line with the Republican Party than with the Democratic Party.

While Hoeven is pro-life except in certain situations, and anti-LGBT rights, favoring and Amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, he strongly believes in Affirmative Action. He is against school vouchers and proposes an increase in pay for teachers, he doesn’t take a firm stand on the separation of church and state, or prayer in public schools. He does, however, favor faith-based initiatives.

Hoeven is a strong proponent of Second Amendment rights, and doesn’t favor a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals.

In his last bid for senate he was endorsed by Business-Industry Political Action Committee, Huck PAC, National Education Association, National Federation of Independent Business, National Rifle Association, and National Right to Life Committee.

While Hoeven seems more moderate than many of the Senators on some issues, it is imperative to remember that he is supported and funded by several unsavory and extremely right-wing people and groups. Unfortunately, given the fact that Hoeven won his seat by a 3 to 1 margin in 2010, and the total lack of apparent candidates from the Democratic Party, I think this one would be very hard, if not impossible to pull off.

JOHN HARDY “JOHNNY” ISAKSON – Republican Senator from Georgia

Johnny IsaksonIsakson is a former president of a large real estate company, and a former United States Representative (1999-2005). He became a United States Senator in 2005.

Interestingly enough – and to demonstrate just how far right the Republican Party has gone – many within the rank and file have designated Isakson as a Republican in Name Only, a RINO. Yet, he consistently receives 100% ratings as well as endorsements from the National Right to Life Committee, Campaign for Working Families, National Federation of Independent Business, United States Chamber of Commerce, Faith and Freedom Coalition, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, Americans for Prosperity. American Conservative Union, Americans for Prosperity, Gun Owners of America, National Rifle Association, Numbers USA, American Family Association, Christian Coalition of America, Family Research Council, and ACT! For America – just to name a few.

Isakson has been backed, endorsed, sponsored, and funded by almost every major right-wing outfit in existence. Johnny Isakson is a hard-nosed, hard-core, right wing conservative who is owned by his handlers and makes all the right moves.

It is highly unlikely that Isakson will be unseated. I say this, not because he is wildly popular, but because he is a Republican in the State of Georgia, and, unfortunately, if the Democratic Party continues to insist that only moderate, middle of the road, Democrats stand a chance, the voters will be presented with little to no choice but to dance with the guy they went with. Pathetic truth.

RONALD HAROLD “RON” JOHNSON – Republican Senator from Wisconsin

Ron JohnsonJohnson is the former CEO of a polyester and plastics manufacturing company. In 2010 he beat out then Senator, Russ Feingold, for the Senate seat. He claims that he “sprung out of the Tea Party.”

Johnson is a Club for Growth tool. Because he had no political history and no voting record, he has been referred to as a “Blank Slate.” In truth, Johnson portrayed himself as a “moderate” during his campaign, and the voters bought it.

In 2011, a controversy arose over what was termed a “deferred compensation agreement” with his former employer. That “agreement” garnered Johnson $10 million – $9 million of that was spent on his campaign. He came under intense scrutiny over whether or not campaign finance rules had been broken. He refused to stipulate the terms of the agreement.

And, more controversy erupted a little over a month ago when it was reported that Johnson’s office sat on complaints about a VA medical center over-prescribing medications.11

Johnson takes the same right-wing, ultra conservative stands as his other Republican cohorts and rubs elbows with all the same money people. Wisconsin is home to a lot of Democrats who, right now, are very dissatisfied with the representation that he is providing. The Washington Post has called Johnson the “most vulnerable candidate on the map.”12

I agree that he is vulnerable. It is widely speculated that Russ Feingold might very well consider running against Johnson again. Whatever happens, this is a Senate seat that the Democrats need to take back.

MARK STEVEN KIRK – Republican Senator from Illinois

Mark KirkKirk is an attorney and former United States Representative (2001-2010). From 1995-1999, he served as counsel to the House International Relations Committee. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2010.

Mark Kirk is among the more moderate Republicans in the senate at this time. He favors a woman’s right to choose, Affirmative Action, and same-sex marriage. He has a very low rating from the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America, and favors providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals.

On the flip-side, he opposes Obamacare and favors the privatizing of Social Security. He also favors prayer in public schools as well as faith-based initiatives.

During his political career he has been endorsed by Business-Industry Political Action Committee, Citizens United Political Fund, Combat Veterans for Congress, ConservAmerica, Illinois National Federation of Independent Business, National Defense PAC, National Federation of Independent Business, National Education Association, Ocean Champions, Republican Main Street Partnership, and the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

In spite of his moderate stands, it should be remembered that Illinois is, generally speaking, more Democrat than Republican. Additionally, he has created his own downfall in many ways. Kirk is a decorated Navy reservist, but back in 2010, Kirk was giving a speech to a gathering of experts on U.S. Chinese relations when he stated, “In my role in the military, I command the war room in the Pentagon.” Completely untrue.13 Also, it was determined that another statement of braggadocio made by Kirk was equally as erroneous. Since 2002, Kirk has been telling audiences that he was the recipient of am “Intelligence Officer of the Year” award. What Kirk had received was actually the Vice Admiral Rufus L. Taylor Award.14

With the unfortunate claims made by Kirk, came the revelation that during a speech he delivered on the floor of the United States House of Representatives in 2003, he claimed, ““The last time I was in Iraq I was in uniform, flying at 20,000 feet, and the Iraqi Air Defense network was shooting at us”. Well, of course that didn’t happen. He would later retract that statement in the Chicago Sun-Times by saying, “I simply misremembered [sic] it wrong.” The fact is, the Pentagon has no record of Kirk’s transport ever being fired upon.

This kind of dishonesty is indicative of Kirk’s character and may very well not be lost on the voters of Illinois. Additionally, Kirk has recently come under fired for comments that can only be construed as racist.

In 2012, Mark Kirk had a stroke. His full recovery was in question for quite a little period of time.

This is definitely a senate seat just waiting for a Democrat to occupy. Democratic Representative Tammy Duckworth has already thrown her hat in the ring. It’s time for liberals to step up in Illinois.

JAMES PAUL LANKFORD – Senator from Oklahoma

James LankfordLankford is a Baptist youth worker and former United States Representative (2011-2015). He won the senate seat last year during a special election after the resignation of Tom Coburn. Lankford qualifies as a ReBiblican, for certain.

Lankford tows the political line of the extremist right, and stands squarely in the realm of theoretical rule, claiming that his “Biblical Worldview” will guide him in his decision making.17

In 2012, Lankford opposed protection of gay employees against discrimination. He argued that homosexuality is a choice that could be changed. When he became highly criticized for that comment, he claimed that he was being singled out because he was a Christian. Lankford has continued to attempt to block any and all legislation protecting LGBT rights, citing the Bible as his reason.18

Lankford recieves superior ratings from all of the usual conservative sources. His funding an support generally comes from American Council of Engineering Companies Oklahoma, Business-Industry Political Action Committee, Family Research Council, House Conservatives Fund, National Rifle Association, Oklahoma Second Amendment Association, National Right to Life, Campaign for Working Families, Eagle Forum, and the Christian Coalition of America.

There is little doubt that Lankford will be re-elected to the Senate. After all, we are talking about Oklahoma, perhaps the reddest state in the nation. It is also unlikely that the Democrats will be able to field a candidate who would provide the voters with much of fa choice. The Oklahoma Democratic party has become nothing more than weak and anemic, hence it’s doubtful that the Sooners will have any relief from the choke-hold that evangelicals and extremists have on them.

 

MICHAEL SHUMWAY “MIKE” LEE – Republican Senator from Utah

Mike LeeLee is an attorney who was elected to the United States Senate in 2010. Prior to that, he served as a law clerk for now Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito. In 2005, he began serving as the general counsel for then Utah Governor John Huntsman. He is the son of Rex E. Lee, Reagan administration Solicitor General.

Suffice it to say, Lee is every bit as right-wing as his senatorial colleagues. After all, he is a Tea Party darling who aligned himself with Ted Cruz during the government shut-down. For many in the GOP, Lee is even too far to the right. Even John Huntsman, a hard-core conservative has indicated that he is considering supporting someone less radical.19 In spite of that, he still has a large support base and a lot of money at his disposal.

Lee is endorsed and funded by Club for Growth, Senate Conservatives Fund, Republican Senatorial Committee, Americans for Legal Immigration, Freedom Works, LibertySlate, National Rifle Association, National Right to Life Committee, One Nation PAC, Republican Liberty Caucus, Tea Party Express, and Utah National Federation of Independent Business.

In a speech he gave last week, Lee characterized the three of the GOP candidates, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz as three of his closest allies.20

The State of Utah is probably too Republican for Democrats to expect to mount a real political challenge to Mike Lee. More than likely, the best we can hope for is that he will have opposition in the form of a primary by a candidate less extreme and with less ties to the radical groups engineering the outcomes of our elections.

JOHN SIDNEY MCCAIN, III – Republican Senator from Arizona

John McCainMcCain is a former Navy captain, Viet Nam Prisoner of War, United States Representative (1982-1986), and current United States Senator. Earlier this month, he announced that he would run again for this seat. McCain is currently 78 year-old, and has been a Senator for 29 years. In 2008, he ran for President, with Sarah Palin as his running mate.

McCain has been described as a “libertarian leaning conservative. He is an advocate of overturning Roe v. Wade and only providing abortions under certain circumstances. Yet he believes in Affirmative Action and is comfortable with same-sex marriage. He receives an 83% rating from the Christian Coalition, and favors prayer in schools along with vouchers and faith-based initiatives. He is an opponent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Mc Cain also favors the privatization of Social Security and an absolute right to gun ownership. He is vehemently against raising taxes on the wealthy, and for expansion of the United States military.

In past elections he has been endorsed and supported by Campaign for Working Families, National Right to Life Committee, Arizona Right to Life Committee, Arizona National Federation of Independent Business, Combat Veterans for Congress, National Federation of Independent Business, and the National Rifle Association, among others.

McCain will be challenged in a primary. While all of the players have yet to be revealed, a couple have emerged so far – Alex Melusky, and current Arizona State Senator, Dr. Kelli Ward. Both are hard-core conservatives. No Democrat has announced as of yet. It is important to remember that a Senate seat hasn’t been won in Arizona since 1988. Given the current mind-set of the Democratic Party, and it’s failure to endorse and support candidates in tough races, this could be a deciding factor. It is also important to note that McCain already has $3.5 million in his war chest.

There are a few names being bandied about in Democratic quarters, but none have taken the bait at this juncture.

JERRY MORAN – Republican Senator from Kansas

Jerry MoranMoran is an attorney and former Kansas State Senator, as well as former United States Representative (1997-2011). After his senatorial win, he served as Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee which, in 2014, produced the first Republican Senate majority since 2006.

In 2014, Moran lost some favor with the GOP when he teamed up with Ted Cruz and other Tea Partiers to try and defeat the omnibus spending bill.21

Additionally, Moran was one of the 47 Republicans who signed and sent the controversial letter to Iranian leaders. He would later explain this action thusly:

“The letter makes clear that any long-standing agreement must be reviewed by the Legislative Branch, and input from the Senate should be seriously considered by the Administration before any agreement with Iran is reached.”22

Moran’s previous endorsements and support has come from, National Right to Life Committee, Kansas National Federation of Independent Business, Kansas Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association, Campaign for Working Families, National Federation of Independent Business, Republican Liberty Caucus, American Security Council Foundation, and Partnership for America.

Given the fact that the last Democrat to be elected to the United States Senate by the voters in the State of Kansas was George McGill in 1932, it’s unlikely that it will happen in 2016. Given that incredible statistic, it is also unlikely that the Democratic Party will put much emphasis on fielding or supporting a challenger.

LISA ANN MURKOWSKI – Republican Senator for Alaska

Lisa MurkowskiMurkowski is an attorney who was first appointed to her senate seat in 2002, by her father, Frank Murkowski, then Governor of Alaska. In 2010, Murkowski lost in a primary. She then entered the race as a write-in candidate winning that election.

Murkowski is somewhat of an anomaly among senate Republicans. She is pro-choice, and a member of the Republican Majority For Choice. However, she voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. She was one of only five Republican senators who voted for the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and she voted for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Yet, in 2004, she voted in favor of a federal constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman. In 2013, however she announced that her opinions were ‘evolving,’ and that she would now support same-sex marriage.

In true Republican fashion, however, she is no friend of the environment, supporting oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She also receives high marks from the Christian Coalition for her stand against the separation of church and state.

Also true to form, Murkowski is against raising taxes on the wealthy, favors the privatization of social security, stands firmly behind Second Amendment rights, and is against a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Murkowski is quite popular in Alaska, and you can bet that after her primary loss in 2010, she has been busy building that popularity and getting ready for 2016. We can only wonder if her old nemesis, Tea Party favorite, Joe Miller, will decide to give it another go. The Democrats do have one hope – Mark Begich, former United States Senator as well as former Mayor of Anchorage.

Rand PaulRANDAL HOWARD “RAND” PAUL – Republican Senator from Kentucky

Paul is an ophthalmologist and son of former United States Representative, Ron Paul. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, and is currently running for President of the United States.

Rand Paul is a Tea Party darling who considers himself a “constitutional conservative. He believes that life begins at conception and is against abortion in all circumstances unless the mother’s life is in danger. He has called same-sex marriage a “moral crisis” and says that it “offends myself and a lot of people.”23

In February, Paul took a stand against states requiring children to be vaccinated. He believes that parents have the right to decide that without government mandates.

“I’m not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they are a good thing. But I think the parent should have some input. The state doesn’t own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom.”24

Paul claims that women won the “war on women,” and are “no longer downtrodden,” and that it is illegal to impose racial segregation on the private sector. He stands in opposition to the separation of church and state, and favors faith-based intitiatives.

Rand Paul opposes all restrictions placed on gun ownership and assault rifles. In short, he is the consummate right-wing extremist.

Should Paul get the Republican nomination for President, his senate seat will become vacant. Should he not succeed in his presidency bid, he will be up for reelection. Either way, this a good opportunity to rid our government of a very unstable and unsavory individual. In many ways, his nomination by the Republican Party would be the optimal situation. There is little chance that he could win against a strong Democratic candidate. A senate race, however, that is solely dependent upon the Kentucky voters is a whole other story.

Rob PortmanROB PORTMAN – Republican Senator from Ohio

Portman is an attorney and former United States Representative (1993-2005). He was elected to the United States Senate in 2010.

Portman is a typical right-wing Republican in many aspects. However, his stand on same-sex marriage rapidly changed when his son announced to both Rob and his mother that he was gay. Portman did a complete about face.

While Portman is pro-life, and takes the same stands as most of the GOP on other issues, his flip-flop on same-sex marriage has put him at odds with the fundamentalist Christians and various “family-oriented” organizations. But, someone loves him.

At the close of the first quarter of this year, it was disclosed that Portman now has $8 million in his war chest. In February he published a list of about 500 Republican officials across the State of Ohio who have endorsed him.

This is a golden, and I do mean golden, opportunity for Democrats to wrest a senate seat from that clutches of the GOP. Former Governor Ted Strickland and City Councilman, P.G. Sittenfield are both expected to run against Portman. It would, undoubtedly, be in the best interest of the Democratic Party to encourage Sittenfield to bow out, as Strickland has garnered the support of Bill Clinton and promises to give Portman a run for his money. At any rate, the Democrats can win this election if they play their cards right.

MARCO ANTONIO RUBIO – Republican Senator from Florida

marco-rubioRubio is an attorney and former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, beating out Governor Charlie Christ for the nomination. He is also currently a candidate for President of the United States. He will not seek reelection to the Senate.

Rubio is a hard-core conservative who is far right of center. In 2013, he claimed to believe in protecting life, but was quick to say “I’m not a chauvinist.” He wants to expand birth control exemption for faith-based organizations, and to require ultrasounds before abortions. He supports giving legal protection to unborn children. Consequently, he has a 100% rating and endorsement from both Campaign for American Families and the National Right to Life Association.

He supports an amendment to ban same-sex marriage, but until that time, would leave it up to the states. He supports prayer in public schools, vouchers and charter schools, an absolute right to gun ownership, and the privatization of Social Security.

Rubio initially claimed that his parents had fled Cuba to escape Castro’s regime. This was later proven false when it came to light that they had arrived in the United States years before that time. This embellishment of the facts didn’t sit very well with the large Cuban population residing in Florida.

For a few years, as he was growing up, his family attended the Church of Latter Day Saints. In fact, he was baptized in the Mormon Church. He would later revert back to Catholicism.

Rubio is well known for his distortion and embellishment of facts.25 How well Rubio will do as a Presidential candidate remains to be seen, of course. However, he can be certain that these words will come back to haunt him.

While many believe that he has a lock on the Hispanic vote, it must be noted that non-Cuban Hispanics often hold deep grudges against the preferential treatment that has been given to Cuban immigrants.

As to who will inherit his senate seat, there are a number of Democrats who will certainly vie for that position. We can only hope that the Democratic Party in Florida is strong enough, and wise enough to get out there early and back candidates who will have the best interests of, not only Floridians, but the country at heart.

TIMOTHY EUGENE “TIM” SCOTT – Republican Senator from South Carolina

TimScottScott is a realtor and financial advisor and former United States Representative (2011-2013). He was appointed to his senate seat by Governor Nikki Haley in 2013, upon the resignation of Jim DeMint. He is the first Republican African-American from South Carolina, and one of only two serving in the United States Senate. In 2014, he won a special election to fill out the term of DeMint.

Unfortunately, there is no other way to describe Scott than to call him and evangelical, hard-right, Republican who tows the party line, and brings his Biblical beliefs to the party.

When asked about poverty and welfare, Tim Scott said:

I started my small business, in a small apartment with some friends. I was a poor kid growing up in a single parent household. I was losing myself. I had lost my way. I flunked out of high school as a freshman. I failed World Geography, Civics. Now think about that; a United States Senator who failed Civics. I used to think I was the only one, and when I became a member of the Senate, I realized that there might be a few more who didn’t pass Civics either, and then I failed Spanish and English. Now, when you fail Spanish AND English, they don’t call you bi-lingual. Nope, they call you bi-ignorant, because you can’t speak any language, and that’s where I found myself.

“That why I give so much credit to [my mentor] John Monis, a Chick-Fil-A operator. He came along at the right time. John Monise taught me that you can think your way out of poverty. That Citadel graduate taught me that if you really want to escape poverty, it comes through the power of education.”26

He has been previously endorse by American Conservative Union, American Veterinary Medical Association, Eagle Forum, FreedomWorks, National Rifle Association, South Carolina National Federation of Independent Business, and Sportsmen’s and Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance.

As of yet, he has drawn no opposition from either party, and given South Carolina’s conservative nature, it is doubtful that a Democrat could be successful against the power and the money behind Scott. But, we can be hopeful – right?

RICHARD CRAIG SHELBY – Republican Senator from Alabama

Richard ShelbyShelby is a former attorney and former United States Representative (1979-1987). He has been a United States Senator since 1987. Initially, Shelby was a Democrat and part of a group of Conservative Democrats known as the Boll Weevils. During his second term in office, he switched to the Republican Party. That was, undoubtedly, the best fit for Shelby.

As another hard-core conservative he stands with the party, and the religious right, on all issues. His endorsements and support come from Americans for Legal Immigration, Campaign for Working Families, National Federation of Independent Business, National Rifle Association, National Right to Life Committee, and the Christian Coalition.

We are talking about Alabama here. The likelihood that much is going to change is almost non-existent. Shelby has a pretty good lock on that Senate seat, and thus far, it appears that he will face little to no challenge. One Democratic candidate has filed – Ron Crumpton. I can pretty much guarantee that he will receive zilch in the way of backing. He is not very well known, stands on pretty much one issue – the legalization of marijuana – has no money, and promises to fizzle very quickly.

 

JOHN RANDOLPH THUNE – Republican Senator from South Dakota

John ThuneThune is a former United States Representative (1997-2003) He was elected to the Senate in 2004. His name has consistently been raised for both a Vice Presidential and Presidential candidacy.

Thune is another hard-core conservative, evangelical who votes consistently along those lines. He has raised $800,000 in the first quarter, but that’s not all – that $800,000 brought the amount in his coffers to over $10 million.27

The Democrats have a history of not even trying in South Dakota. It appears that might very well be the case again. Shame on them. So far, Thune hasn’t gained any challengers – wonder what he is going to spend all that money on.

 

PATRICK JOSEPH “PAT” TOOMEY – Republican Senator from Pennsylvania

Pat ToomeyToomey is a businessman and former United States Representative (1999-2005). After that he served as the president of the Club for Growth. He was first elected to the United States Senate in 2010.

According to Politico: “…the Club for Growth is the pre-eminent institution promoting Republican adherence to a free-market, free-trade, anti-rregulation agenda.”28

Toomey is certainly a corporate tool, and a formidable fundraiser. He is endorses and supported by Business-Industry Political Action Committee, Campaign for Working Families, Catholic Families USA, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, Firearms Owners Against Crime, FreedomWorks, National Federation of Independent Business, National Rifle Association, National Right to Life Committee, One Nation PAC, Pennsylvania National Federation of Independent Business, Republican Liberty Caucus, Senate Conservatives Fund, and the Club for Growth.

This is going to be one of the most interesting campaigns of the 2016 elections. Toomey will meet Everett Stern, a Security Intelligence Consultant and whistleblower, in a primary. Ed Pawlowski, former Allentown Mayor and gubernatorial candidate, and Joe Sestak, former Congressman and retired Navy Admiral, both Democrats, have entered the race. Anything is possible, but there will be drama.

 

DAVID BRUCE VITTER – Republican Senator from Louisiana

David VitterVitter is a lawyer and former adjunct professor as well as a former United States Representative (1999-2005) He was elected to the United States Senate in 2005.

In 2007, Vitter found himself in all kinds of hot water when it was revealed that his phone number had shown up on the D.C. Madam’s list. Of course, he would later publicly take responsibility for his “sin” with his wife standing by his side.

His penchant for a little on the side doesn’t temper his politics, however, he is the epitome of conservatism believing he protecting family values with his stands against abortion and same-sex marriage. As part of his penance for his lascivious behaviors, a few months after the scandal Vitter would earmark $100,000 for a the Louisiana Family Forum. The group’s focus was on challenging the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Vitter would explain that it was his way to help promote better science education.29

Vitter has lots of money behind him because he does the bidding of those to whom he is beholden. But, here’s the deal…Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, has reached his term limit. Vitter has announced his candidacy for that position. In his announcement he made the following statement:

“After much prayer, thought, and discussion with Wendy and our children, I have decided to run for governor of Louisiana in 2015,” Vitter said in his video announcement. “Let me first assure you that this decision will in no way limit the critical work I’m doing today in the U.S. Senate—representing you and your family will continue to be my top priority, but I believe as our next governor I can have a bigger impact addressing the unique challenges and problems we face in Louisiana.”30

The Louisiana Gubernatorial election will take place on October 24, 2015, with four candidates seeking that seat. Should Vitter win, he would then appoint someone to fill out his term.

This one will be a very interesting race. Why would anyone in Louisiana vote for a Republican? Well, why would any woman or minority vote for a Republican? Your guess is as good as mine.

Citations

  1. Meyers, Jim. “Newsmax Exclusive: The 25 Influential Women of the GOP” “http://www.newsmax.com/politics/newsmax-top-25-women/2013/07/31/id/518085/
  2. Middle Aged Woman Talking. Will Romney Choose Another Sarah Palin as an Answer to the War on Women? http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/05/02/will-romney-choose-another-sarah-palin-as-an-answer-to-the-war-on-women/
  3. USA Today. Blunt, Delay Shared Connections to Lobbyist Abramoff January 11, 2006. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-01-11-blunt-delay_x.htm
  4. Brown, Elizabeth & Knott, Alex. The Indictment of a System. http://www.publicintegrity.org/2005/11/21/5535/indictment-system
  5. Brantley, Max. Arkansas polling: Beebe could beat Boozman; Hillary falls to all Republicans. http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2014/08/06/arkansas-polling-beebe-could-beat-boozman-hillary-falls-to-all-republicans
  6. Stein, Sam. Veterans Groups Rip Into Sen. Richard Burr for Questioning Their Priorities. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/25/richard-burr-veterans_n_5389296.html
  7. Eaton, Joshua. Powerful Senate Republican Tamping Down Torture Disclosures. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/25/key-senate-republican-tamping-down-torture-disclosures.html
  8. Miller, Jake. CBS News. Senator Mike Crapo pleads guilty to DUI charge. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sen-mike-crapo-pleads-guilty-to-dui-charge/
  9. Meet the Gang of Six. http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ef45ghifi/mike-crapo-republican-2/
  10. Kleefeld, Eric. Flashback: Republican Candidate Hoeven Rejected GOP and Declared Himself a Democrat in 1996. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/flashback-republican-senate-candidate-hoeven-rejected-gop-and-declared-himself-a-democrat-in-1996
  11. Hess, Hannah. Rep. Johnson Denies His Office Sat on Whistleblower Tips. http://blogs.rollcall.com/hill-blotter/ron-johnson-denies-his-office-sat-on-whistleblower-tips/
  12. Chris Cillizza. Aaron Blake, & Sean Sullivan. Why Republicans’ Senate Majority Could be Very Short-Lived. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/11/07/why-republicans-senate-majority-could-be-very-short-lived/
  13. Smith, Ben. Politico. Kirk: ‘I command the war room in the pentagon.’ http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0510/Kirk_I_command_the_war_room_in_the_Pentagon.html
  14. Bryant, Steve. 5 NBC Chicago. What Would Kirk Be Saying if the Post Hadn’t Mentioned Giannoulias? http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/What-Would-Kirk-Be-Saying-if-the-Post-Hadnt-Mentioned-Giannoulias-95292714.html
  15. Todd Lightly, John Chase and Rick Pearson. Chicago Tribune. Lirk apologizes for misstatements about military career. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-06-03/news/ct-met-mark-kirk-military-record-060420100603_1_military-gulf-war-democratic-senate
  16. Pallasch, Abdon. Kirk says he ‘misremembered’ military record. http://chicago.suntimes.com/
  17. Dolan, Eric W. Raw Story. Oklahoma’s Senator Elect to use ‘biblical worldview’ to defeat the national debt. http://www.rawstory.com/2014/11/oklahomas-senator-elect-to-use-biblical-worldview-to-defeat-the-national-debt/
  18. Israel, Josh. Think Progress. What the Oklahoma Congressman Who Just Announced A Senate Campaign Thinks About LGBT Americans. http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2014/01/21/3184661/anti-lgbt-james-lankford/
  19. Raju, Manu. Politico. Tea partier braces for primary challenge from the establishment. http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/mike-lee-tea-party-2016-elections-113730.html
  20. Arkin, James. Real Clear Politics. Mike Lee on 3 GOP Candidates’ Strengths, Weaknesses. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/04/10/mike_lee_on_3_gop_candidates_strengths_weaknesses_126222.html
  21. Wise, Lindsay. McClatchy Washington Bureau. Conservatives take notice of Jerry Moran’s vote with Senator Ted Cruz on omnibus spending bill. http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article4732188.html
  22. Hancock, Peter. LJWorld.com. Sens. Roberts and Moran explain signing letter to Iran. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2015/mar/14/sens-roberts-and-moran-defend-signing-letter-iran/
  23. New York Times. April 7, 2015. Rand Paul on the Issues. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/08/us/politics/rand-paul-on-the-issues.html?_r=1
  24. Weinberg, Ali. ABC News. Rand Paul No-Show at Senate Vaccine Hearing in The Wake of Controversial Comments. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/rand-paul-show-senate-vaccine-hearing-controversial-comments/story?id=28868892
  25. Farley, Robert. FactCheck.org. April 13, 2015. FactChecking Marco Rubio. http://www.factcheck.org/2015/04/factchecking-marco-rubio/
  26. Speech at 2014 CPAC Convention. March 6, 2014. http://www.ontheissues.org/2014_CPAC.htm
  27. Doering, Christopher. Argus Leader. April 20, 2015. Thune raised $800,000 in first quarter. http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2015/04/20/thune-raises-first-quarter/26095001/
  28. Burns, Alexander & Palmer, Anna. Politico.com. April 7, 2014. Inside the Club for Growth’s art of war. http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/inside-the-club-for-growths-art-of-war-105415.html
  29. Eggler, Bruce. The Times-Picayune. September 22, 2007. Vitter earmarked federal money for creationist group. http://blog.nola.com/times-picayune/2007/09/vitter_earmarked_federal_money.html
  30. Izadi, Elahe. National Journal. January 21, 2014. Sen. David Vitter Makes His 2015 Run for Governor Official. http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/sen-david-vitter-makes-his-2015-run-for-governor-official-20140121

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Understanding Dominionism

dominionism-head-in-the-sand

Attempting to educate others to something as nebulous and ever-changing as Dominionism is not only tedious, but all-consuming with little time for much else. Yet, it must be accomplished if we are to overcome the threat of living in a nation of intolerance and bigotry.

Part of the problem is found in the stealth way that the Dominionists package themselves and their agenda where black becomes white and evil becomes all things pure and chaste. Sure, code speak is used by any number of groups – but none are as proficient as the Dominionist. And, unfortunately, there is no dictionary with which to translate fundamentalist to secular.

It has been stated that the Dominionists are almost magical when it comes to branding and re-branding. And there is great validity in that observation. Like a chameleon they change their colors at whim to protect themselves and their lair. Using words and catch-phrases to reel in their prey, and to confound their enemies, the Dominionist has mastered the art of deception quite magnificently.

However, there are certain buzz-words and characteristics that serve to tip off a discerning eye to the true identity of a Dominionist cult. Now, it’s important to remember that these are subject to change depending on how close we get to busting their little bubble, but for now it will suffice.

First, it is important to note that all Dominionists utilize what is called “A Statement of Faith into their church doctrine and their daily interactions. This Statement of Faith undergoes some minor changes depending upon the nature of the church, however, the essence remains the same. Here is one example:

Statement of Faith

The Bible

We believe that the Bible, consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the revelation of God to mankind, is verbally and fully inspired by Him, is sufficient for the knowledge of God and His will that is necessary for the eternal welfare of mankind, is infallible and inerrant in its original manuscripts, and is the supreme and final authority for all Christian faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Deuteronomy 29:29; 2 Timothy 3:15; John 10:35)

God

We believe that there is but one God, whose essential nature is that of a living, personal Spirit. He is infinitely perfect in all of His attributes, He is the creator and sustainer of all things, and He exists in three persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 8:4; John 4:24; 5:26; Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:16,17; Matthew 28:19)

Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man; that is, He is fully divine and also fully human. He preexisted eternally with the Father, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect life and died a substitutionary death for the sins of mankind. We believe that He arose bodily from the grave, that He ascended to heaven, where He is presently High Priest and Advocate for His people, and that He will return personally and bodily to the earth at the close of this age. He is the world’s only Savior and is the Lord of all. (Philippians 2:5-11; John 1:1; Matthew 1:23-25; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Timothy 2:6; 1 Corinthians 15:20; Hebrews 4:14-16; John 14:3; Acts 4:12)

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, the third Person of the Trinity. We believe that He was sent from the Father by the Son to convict the world, to regenerate and indwell those who trust in Christ, to baptize them into the Body of Christ, to seal them for the final day of redemption, to guide them into truth, to fill them for a life of holiness and victory and to empower them for witness and service. We believe that He gives spiritual gifts to believers for the proper functioning of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. (Acts 5:3,4; John 16:7-14; 3:5-8; 1 Corinthians 2:9-12; 3:16; 12:3-13,28-31; Ephesians 1:13,14; Acts 1:8)

Man

We believe that man was originally created by a definite act of God in His own image and is dependent upon and accountable to his Creator. Through disobedience, the first man sinned and fell from his original state of moral perfection. As a consequence, he brought upon himself and upon the whole human race the penalty for sin, which is spiritual and physical death. Since Adam, every person is born with an inherently sinful nature and becomes a sinner in thought, word and deed. Every person, therefore, stands under the just condemnation of God and is unable to save himself or to present deeds worthy of merit before God. (Genesis 1:26,27; 2:7; Romans 2:6-16; 5:12-21; 6:23 ; Matthew 5:20-48; John 3:36)

Salvation

We believe that a person is saved by God’s grace alone, made possible through the shed blood of Christ, whereby He died a substitutionary death for mankind, and through the Resurrection of Christ. Salvation becomes effective when a person, by an act of faith, acknowledges Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord. The benefits of this salvation include the forgiveness of sins and a new standing before God, the impartation of new life and all the privileges that accompany a new family relationship with God. The assurance of salvation as a present possession is the privilege of every believer in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8,9; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9; Acts 3:19; Romans 3:28; John 3:16; John 1:12; 10:28; Philippians 1:6)

The Christian Life

We believe that God expects every believer to live a life of obedience, in which every area of his life is brought under the lordship of Jesus Christ and the fruit of the Spirit becomes increasingly evident in his life. The goal of the Christian life is to be conformed to the image of Christ. This life is characterized supremely by self-giving love for God and for others. The life and character of Christ, which grows through the Holy Spirit, is noticeably distinct from the life of the world. A believer who resists the gracious working of the Holy Spirit and fails to grow in obedience is chastened in infinite love by his Heavenly Father so he may learn obedience. (John 14:21; 2 Corinthians 10:4,5; Galatians 5:22,23; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Matthew 22:37-40; 1 John 2:15-17; Hebrews 12:5-14)

The Church

We believe that the Church of Jesus   Christ is the universal company of God’s redeemed people, His Body, of which He is the head, His Bride, whom He loves infinitely, and His temple, in which He dwells. This universal Body of Christ is visibly expressed in local assemblies, whose purpose is to glorify God through worship, fellowship, instruction in God’s Word, observing the ordinances and training in service to the world. The supreme task in the mission of the Church is to make disciples for Christ in all the nations through the proclamation and teaching of the Gospel. The Church is also to demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ, through word and deed, in an alienated world. (1 Peter 2:9,10; Ephesians 1:22,23; 5:25-27; 2:19-22; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; Ephesians 3:6-10; Acts 2:42; Ephesians 4:11-13; Hebrews 10:25; Matthew 28:18-20; 26:26-29; 1 John 4:17)

The Future Life

We believe in the imminent, premillennial return of Christ to take His people to be with Him and to judge and rule the earth in righteousness. We believe in the resurrection of the body for both believers and unbelievers. We believe that the believer goes to be with Christ in conscious blessedness immediately after death, having escaped the condemnation of his sins through the death of Christ. He will, however, stand before God to receive rewards for works approved by God or to suffer loss for works disapproved. The believer will live eternally in the immediate presence of God, while the unbeliever must face the eternal and holy Judge, who will sentence him for his sins. He will experience the punishment of eternal separation in hell from the presence of God. (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; Revelation 11:15; 1 Corinthians 15:20,23; Philippians 1:23; Romans 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-21:5; Romans 2:11)

Satan

We believe in the personality and depraved character of Satan, who is the great enemy of God and man. We believe that he, along with the company of demonic beings serving him, works out his evil plans through the ungodly world system, limited only by the sovereign rule of God. We believe that he was judged by Christ at the cross and will ultimately meet his doom in the lake of fire, where he will remain eternally. (Matthew 4:3-11; Genesis 3:1; John 8:44; Revelation 12:9,10; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19; Job 1:6-12; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 20:10)

As of late, it is not unusual to find businesses, colleges, and universities posting their statement of faith or requiring that a person write their own statement of faith to be included in their job application or application for admission.

 

Next, it is important to understand some of the basic terms, beliefs, and distinctions when discussing Dominionism and all things Christian as gleaned from various sources. Suffice it to say that not ALL Christians are Dominionists. In fact, Dominionist have, unfortunately bastardized the Christian Religion and Scriptures to further their own pernicious agenda. In short, they are not true Christians.

Christian Right –  A broad and varied political movement of Christian social conservatives principally in the United States of America. The movement arose in the 1970’s as members of the Republican “New Right” (many of whom were conservative Christians) looked to foster an influx of conservative Christians into the Republican Party at a time when feminism, the civil rights movement for gay Americans, and federal protection of abortion access (see Wikipedia “Roe v. Wade“) stirred numerous conservative Christian leaders, many of whom were Christian Fundamentalists, to organize Christians to seek to influence American society and law through electoral politics. The Christian Right grew to include millions of Americans and myriad organizations, institutions, media enterprises, leaders, elected officials, and special projects.

The Christian Right transcends denominational lines (see Wikipedia “List of Christian denominations“), but most of its members ascribe to Christian fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, or, more broadly, conservative evangelicalism, each of which also transcends denominational lines. Though it has been influenced by numerous conservative Protestant theological movements–such as Dispensationalism and Dominionism, not all members of the Christian Right ascribe to them equally or at all. Increasingly, the Christian Right includes conservative movements within Roman Catholicism.

American FacismThe vast majority of members of the Christian Right insist that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, therefore they see their efforts as a Christian reclamation of American society.[1]

As a side note, Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League told us in a 2005, speech:

“Make no mistake: We are facing an emerging Christian right leadership that intends to ‘Christianize’ all aspects of American life, from the halls of government to the libraries, to the movies, to recording studios, to the playing fields and local rooms of professional collegiate and amateur sport, from the military to SpongeBob SquarePants.”

Religious Right –  A broad, varied collection of political movements of religious and social conservatives arising in the 1970’s, and overwhelmingly American and Christian to the point of rendering the descriptions “Religious Right” and “Christian Right” effectively synonymous. (See: “Christian Right.”) However, the Religious Right can be said to exist comparatively weakly in nations other than the United States, including Canada and the United Kingdom, and to include individuals and movements informed by Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, and other faith traditions besides Christianity. In the United States, it is closely associated with the Republican Party. The vast majority of members of the Christian Right insist that the United   States was founded as a Christian nation. (see AU.org “Is America a ‘Christian Nation’”)

“Proponents of using the term Religious Right argue that in addition to Christians, there are conservative Jews and Muslims active in a broad coalition. Opponents argue that Christians vastly outnumber Jews and Muslims in this coalition, and that using the term Religious Right masks this fact.”[2]

Note: Not all religious conservatives are political conservatives; not all religious conservatives are members of the Religious Right.

Charismatic Christianity- A religious movement centered around the belief that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, as described in the Holy Bible as normative in the 1st-century Church, are available to Christians today, and which include among other gifts: “speaking in tongues” (American Heritage Dictionary gift of tongues“), prophecy, the interpretation of tongues, and miraculous healing. The Charismatic movement began in the 1950’s and 1960’s within mainline Protestant denomination,  but also eventually developed within Roman Catholicism. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, while a great many Charismatics left their denominations (or were forced out) and joined formal Charismatic structures independent congregations–usually conservative–just as many or more Charismatics did not. The existence of such non-sectarianism within the Charistmatic movement is one of a several key differences between it and Pentecostalism, though both emphasize the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians today. Like evangelicals, Charismatics run the theological gamut from progressive to conservative, but conservatives can be presumed to be the most numerous..[3]

Note:  From its beginning, the Christian Right saw Charismatics as likely participants, especially those from Charismatic denominations and independent Charismatic congregations .

DominionChristian Reconstructionism- A version of Dominion Theology that is a relatively extreme aspect of the Christian Right and effectively theocratic. It is chiefly an American movement spelled out by Armenian-American R. J. Rushdoony (1916-2001) in the 1960’s and 1970’s and calls for a nation’s laws and society to be based on the Ten Commandments as applied through the interpretations of a religious elite to everyday situations; necessarily, it rejects democracy and any form of secular political philosophy as an ideal foundation for government. Christian Reconstructionism’s ideal society would include the elimination of public schools, the denial of full citizenship to non-Christians, and the death penalty for adultery, performing or having an abortion, blasphemy, homosexuality, heresy, and even persistent rebelliousness against ones parents, with the definitions of these terms and offenses being crafted by the religious elite.

Christian Reconstructionists, as is the case with many though not all members of the Christian Right, insist that the United   States was founded as a Christian nation. (see AU.org “Is America a ‘Christian Nation’“)

Note: Christian Reconstructionism’s distant origins can be seen in the thought and governance of former Dutch Prime Minister Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) and the writings of Dutch-American Christian apologist Cornelius Van Til (1895-1987), which influenced Rushdoony.

From Frederick Clarkson’s “Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence” (full article)

Many on the Christian Right are unaware that they hold Reconstructionist ideas. Because as a theology it is controversial, even among evangelicals, many who are consciously influenced by it avoid the label. This furtiveness is not, however, as significant as the potency of the ideology itself.
…..
[Prominent Christian Reconstructionist] Gary North claims that “the ideas of the Reconstructionists have penetrated into Protestant circles that for the most part are unaware of the original source of the theological ideas that are beginning to transform them.” North describes the “three major legs of the Reconstructionist movement” as “the Presbyterian oriented educators, the Baptist school headmasters and pastors, and the charismatic telecommunications system.”[4]

(see Bruce Prescott “Christian Reconstructionism“)

(see The Religious Movements Page “Christian Reconstructionism“)

(see ReligiousTolerance.org “Christian Reconstructionism, Dominion Theology, and Theonomy“)

(see Frederick Clarkson’s, “The Rise of Dominionism: Remaking America as a Christian Nation“)

Dominionim – A religio-political movement with pervasive influence in the Christian Right that stresses the need for Christians to exercise dominion–control–over both nature and human institutions. As it is chiefly an American phenomenon, Dominionism’s manifestation in practical terms is see in an array of efforts aimed at control of the political and governmental institutions and processes of the United States. Dominionism’s adherents are typically conservative Protestants, including Fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals. As is the case with many (though not all) members of the Christian Right in general, most people ascribing to and influenced by dominionism insist that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, (see AU.org “Is America a ‘Christian Nation?’“) therefore they see their efforts as a Christian reclamation of American society.

(See Frederick Clarkson’s, “The Rise of Dominionism: Remaking America as a Christian Nation“)

Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates describes dominionism as

“a tendency among Protestant Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists that encourages them to not only be active political participants in civic society, but also seek to dominate the political process as part of a mandate from God.”

(Note: Berlet credits author Sara Diamond as popularizing the term “dominionism”)

(See Chip Berlet’s four-part essay on dominionism, “The Christian Right, Dominionism, and Theocracy“)

Frederick Clarkson in The Public Eye (Winter 2005), writes

“Dominionists celebrate Christian nationalism, in that they believe the the United States once was, and should once again be, a Christian nation. In this way, they deny the Englightenment roots of American democracy.”

(see ReligiousTolerance.org “Christian Reconstructionism, Dominion Theology, and Theonomy“)[5]

Dominion Theology – A conservative Protestant theological movement usually traced back to the 1960’s and 1970’s that is a specific type of dominionism stressing a God-given mandate to Christians to exercise dominion–control–over all of creation and human institutions, and that such dominion must and will be achieved before the literal, bodily return of Jesus Christ to Earth (the “Second Coming” of Christ). Dominion Theology’s goal is a more or less theocratic government in accordance with Christians’ dominion of the state. As it is chiefly an American movement, Dominion Theology hopes for and promotes through published works, schools, political activity, and other efforts the securing of political or legal gains–including those made by individuals or groups not self-identifying with dominionism in any form–that might help achieve eventual Christian dominion over American law, politics, and culture. As is the case with many members of the Christian Right, most people ascribing to and influenced by Dominion Theology insist that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and see their political efforts as an attempt at a Christian reclamation of American society. [6]

Note: Not all Dominionists ascribe to Dominionist Theology.

Evangelicalism – A broad term for a complex, inter-denominational, global religious movement associated with Protestant Christianity and usually traced back to English minister, John Wesley (1703-1791), and that is generally marked by:

1. A preeminent emphasis on the religious conversion experience, often referred to as being “born again” or “saved,” as necessary for salvation, i.e., eternal life, and

2. The conversion experience being defined as the individual’s voluntary acceptance, either over time or at a particular moment, of Jesus Christ’s death and bodily resurrection as the only effective mechanism by which eternal life after death is available to people; many evangelicals refer to this conversion experience with variations of the phrases, “accepting Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior,” or “committing your life to Christ;”

3. Belief in The Holy Bible as the primary and divinely-inspired spiritual and religious authority in life; and

4. Emphasis on a divine call that is revealed in The Holy Bible, and often referred to as “The Great Commission,” to seek to evangelize other people; that is, to share one’s beliefs either directly with other people, or indirectly by supporting missionary projects and evangelistic organizations, in the hope that others will convert to Christianity.

Evangelicals fall along a continuum of political and theological beliefs; but, they are far more likely to be conservative. E.g., among evangelicals in the U.S., according to reasearch by the Barna Group, 66% saw themselves as “mostly conservative;” conversely, 0% saw themselves “liberal” (compared to 13% of all adults in the U.S.). Nonetheless, some evangelicals–including some conservative evangelicals–are committed to fighting for more traditionally progressive causes, including social justice and the elimination of poverty.

Key Distinctions: Evangelicalism is an older and broader movement than Fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, and the Charismatic movement, and should not be confused with them. (However, the vast majority of Fundamentalist Christians and Pentecostals, and most Charismatics, are also evangelicals.)[7]

Note. Evangelicalism is a generations-old global movement whose adherents easily number in the hundreds of millions spread throughout more than 100 nations.

Fundamentalist Christianity – (Or Christian Fundamentalist)- A diverse and inter-denominational (see Wikipedia “List of Christian denominations“) conservative religious movement within Protestant Christianity, usually traced back to either 1878’s Niagara Bible Conference or a series of pamphlets published in the United States in the 1910’s entitled collectively, The Fundamentals. Arguably, the primary tenant of fundamentalist Christianity is “the inerrancy Scripture”–that is, that The Holy Bible is divinely inspired and wholly and literally true in the plain sense of its words.

Some key tenants following from biblical inerrancy and held by the vast majority of Christian fundamentalists include:
*belief in the Bible as an accurate history (e.g. the story of Noah’s Ark and the Flood is historic fact),
*rejection of modern biblical scholarship, that is, scholarship that including studies–drawing from textual criticism to archeology–concerning the Bible’s authorship,
*belief in the future bodily return of Jesus Christ (“the Second Coming”) and the future bodily resurrection from the dead of all Christians,
*refusal to recognize the reality of biological evolution and its evidences in favor of a form of biblical creationism,
*adherence to the principle of the subordination of wife to husband and women to men,
*belief in a literal Satan, hell, demons, heaven, and angels, and
*anticipation of a future “End Times” –though various schools of biblical interpretation concerning End Times exist in fundamentalist Christianity. (e.g. Dispensationalism)

Fundamentalist Christianity has a tradition of separatism and doctrinal purity, resulting in numerous denominations and independent congregations, as well as relative cultural isolationism and an apoliticism that has ebbed and flowed throughout fundamentalist Christianity’s history. Until the later part of the twentieth century, fundamentalist Christianians were found almost exclusively in the United States.

Historical Note: From its beginnings in the 1970’s, the Christian Right drew heavily from Christian fundamentalist ranks in the United States, and several fundamentalist Christian leaders were critical to the Christian Right’s birth. Fundamentalist Christians had been largely politically inactive since the anti-fundementalist backlash following the 1925 Scopes “monkey” trial’s verdict that upheld a ban on teaching evolution. But political activism was reawakened in the 1960’s and 1970’s, especially by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling overturning all bans on abortion.[8]

Pentecostalism – A conservative religious movement within evangelical Protestant Christianity traced back to the early 1900’s in the United States and involving belief in a “baptism of the Holy Spirit” as a special blessing available to all Christians, but conclusively evidenced in the life of the Christian only through “speaking in tongues”  also sometimes referred to by the Greek term glossolalia. Pentecostalism has a tradition of separatism resulting in numerous Pentecostal denominations and independent congregations. In general, it shares with Christian fundamentalism a strong affinity for biblical literalism.[9]

Note: Pentecostalism is a global movement, and the estimations of the number of its adherents range from approximately 60,000,000 to approximately 120,000,000. The largest Protestant Christian congregation in the world is a Pentecostal church in Seoul, South   Korea .

New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) – a movement in Protestant Christianity largely associated with Pentecostalism and the Charismatic Movement. Its fundamental thesis is that God is currently restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle.

  1. Apostolic governance. Members of the NAR believe that some of their leaders are apostles,      in the same sense that the original Twelve Apostles were.
  2. The office of the      prophet. Similarly, other leaders of the      church are present-day prophets.
  3. Dominionism. “When Jesus came, He brought the kingdom of God and He expects      His kingdom-minded people to take whatever action is needed to push back      the long-standing kingdom of Satan and bring the peace and prosperity of      His kingdom here on earth.”
  4. Theocracy. “The way to achieve dominion is … to have kingdom-minded      people in every one of the Seven Mountains: Religion, Family, Education,      Government, Media, Arts & Entertainment, and Business…”
  5. Extra-biblical      revelation. There is present-day revelation.      “The one major rule governing any new revelation from God is that it      cannot contradict what has already been written in the Bible. It may      supplement it, however.”
  6. Supernatural signs and      wonders. This appears to concern mainly the      present-day casting out of demons. “One critic claimed that the NAR      has excessive fixation on Satan and demonic spirits. This is purely a      judgment call, and it may only mean that we cast out more demons than they      do.”
  7. Relational structures. The NAR has no formal structure.

Forrest Wilder, an environmental issues writer for the Texas Observer, describes the New Apostolic Reformation as having “taken Pentecostalism, with its emphasis on ecstatic worship and the supernatural, and given it an adrenaline shot.” Wilder adds that beliefs of people associated with the movement “can tend toward the bizarre” and that it has “taken biblical literalism to an extreme.

The organization has become increasingly involved in political activism, with many of its leaders supporting the 2012 presidential candidacy of Rick Perry.

C. Peter Wagner writes that “the majority of the new apostolic churches”, such as his, observe “active ministries of… spiritual warfare”. As an example of members’ “supernatural” abilities (as he calls them) he claims that God acted through him to end mad-cow disease in Germany. [10]

David J. Phillip from NPR tells us:

Two ministries in the movement planned and orchestrated Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s recent prayer rally, where apostles and prophets from around the nation spoke or appeared onstage. The event was patterned after The Call, held at locations around the globe and led by Lou Engle, who has served in the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders of the NAR. Other NAR apostles endorsed Perry’s event, including two who lead a 50-state “prayer warrior” network. Thomas Muthee, the Kenyan pastor who anointed Sarah Palin at the Wasilla Assembly of God Church in 2005, while praying for Jesus to protect her from the spirit of witchcraft, is also part of this movement.[11]

Rachel Tabachnick, who has been researching and  following the movement for a number of years, in an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross had this to say:

Tabachnick says the movement currently works with a variety of politicians and has a presence in all 50 states. It also has very strong opinions about the direction it wants the country to take. For the past several years, she says, the NAR has run a campaign to reclaim what it calls the “seven mountains of culture” from demonic influence. The “mountains” are arts and entertainment; business; family; government; media; religion; and education.

 

“They teach quite literally that these ‘mountains’ have fallen under the control of demonic influences in society,” says Tabachnick. “And therefore, they must reclaim them for God in order to bring about the kingdom of God on Earth. … The apostles teach what’s called ‘strategic level spiritual warfare’ [because they believe that the] reason why there is sin and corruption and poverty on the Earth is because the Earth is controlled by a hierarchy of demons under the authority of Satan. So they teach not just evangelizing souls one by one, as we’re accustomed to hearing about. They teach that they will go into a geographic region or a people group and conduct spiritual-warfare activities in order to remove the demons from the entire population. This is what they’re doing that’s quite fundamentally different than other evangelical groups.”[12]

Tabachnick has written extensively on this subject and for those who believe this to be nothing more than a “fringe movement,” you might want to reconsider. Have you ever noticed the apparent demise of the neighborhood church only to be replaced by the mega-church complete with high-tech equipment and blaring rock music? This form of “steeple-jacking” has been going on for quite some time and is directly related to this movement. Trabachnick enlightens us again:

“The modern-day apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation view their postdenominational movement as the future face of the Protestant church and the end of denominations as we know them. Their ideology and “relational networks” have taken root in the block of 400 million independent charismatics, sometimes referred to as Neocharismatics. This is an often overlooked mega-block of Christianity that is larger than all Protestant denominations combined, according to world missions statisticians. Their networks are also drawing in denominational churches and change both the internal government of a church and the way that churches relate. The movement’s leadership teaches “Dominionism” or the belief that Christians of similar beliefs should take “dominion” over society and government prior to Jesus’ return.”[13]

Hopefully, this presents us with a foundation of understanding before we delve into the world of Dominionist “Code Speak.” If further enlightenment is needed, I would encourage you to follow the many links in this article and don your wading boots.

dominionism2

 

To Be Continued…

[1] [2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Religious Right Watch: http://www.religiousrightwatch.com/glossary/glossary.htm

[10] New Apostolic Reformation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Apostolic_Reformation:

[11][12] NPR: The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfarehttp://www.npr.org/2011/08/24/139781021/the-evangelicals-engaged-in-spiritual-warfare

[13] Talk To Action – Resource Directory For the New Apostolic Reformation – http://www.talk2action.org/story/2010/1/20/131544/037