Tag Archives: fundamentalism

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

 

 

 

 

The Heritage Foundation – The Old Guard and a New Beginning

The Heritage Foundation

The Old Guard and A New Beginning

By Nicole Nichols

Two and a quarter centuries ago, a group of very brave and daring men came together as masters of nation building. They crafted a miraculously progressive document laying out the blueprint for what would become the most powerful and revered nation on the face of this earth – the United States of America.

Two and a quarter centuries later we, the American people, watch and wonder, argue and debate, agree and disagree on what their true intent was, and how to continue to apply that document to the complexities of the 21st Century. As brilliant and as forward thinking as our Founding Fathers were, it is a sure bet that the current batardization of the intent behind their vision and the co-opting of that document to further the insanity of the right-wing power brokers in this country is causing them a great deal of discomfort as they turn in their graves.

Two hundred years later the document itself still inspires awe and is defended in its wisdom and its utility. It is guarded against any alteration or modification and revered as the defining authority of a free people. Yet, there are those nefarious individuals who, while wrapping themselves in the American flag and carrying their crosses, insist upon cherry-picking from that document – much as they do with the Bible – and using it to twist and bend the truths to help further an agenda that can only be described as malevolently malignant.

Unfortunately, the American public is largely unaware of the shameful desecration that is taking place as well as the nature of the beast behind the odious transgressions of these individuals. While most of the intelligent world is thankful to be rid of the Reagan and Bush eras in this country, we only thought that we got rid of them. Few understand that those two individuals live on in the policy making institutes that really run this country.

In actuality, few are familiar with fact that the wheelers and dealers who came out of those administrations still occupy seats of power, and that there are “training” facilities all across the county where the right-wing dogma is being pummeled into the minds of up and coming politicians and leaders. There is little attention given to such endeavors, yet the ultra-conservative zealots have made huge inroads into the political landscape and into our everyday lives.

One of those institutes is the Heritage Foundation. Long considered one of the most influential research and policy setting bodies in the country. The Heritage Foundation took a leading role during the Reagan Administration and has been furthering the conservative agenda ever since. The stated mission of the Foundation is to “formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense”.

Insinuating themselves into every facet of American life, the Foundation is active in the halls of Congress at both the federal and state levels writing and presenting policies and laws that favor the end roads that they seek. They have the ears of our elected officials and the clout to cause those servants of the people to stand up and listen.

Throughout the last four years the Foundation has left its finger prints all over some of the most distasteful, intrusive, and prejudicial legislation to ever be suggested to the American people. Opposition to the removal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Personhood Acts, the Defense of Marriage Act, Voter ID laws, School Vouchers, Deregulation of EPA mandates, Climate change denial, Global warming denial, privatization of Social Security and education, continuing the War on Terror, expanding the military, tax breaks for the wealthy, etc. all bear the mark of the Heritage Foundation along with other powerful entities.

It is important to note that the Heritage Foundation was started by three individuals in 1973, thus it is not a newly organized group. Paul Weyrich, Edwin Feulner, and Joseph Coors all deserve to be mentioned here, as they have been a huge driving force behind, not only the right, but the religious right, as well.

Paul Weyrich

Paul Weyrich

Weyrich, who is now deceased, also founded the Committee For the Survival of a Free Congress which was among the first organization to be able to utilize evangelical Christian churches for the purpose of recruiting and cultivating future activists to further and support conservative social causes. He later co-founded the Christian Voice, and in 1979, he and Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority.

But, Weyrich didn’t stop there with his attempts to Christianize the country. He went on to found the extremely powerful American Legislative Exchange Council, the most persuasive legislation writing group in this country today, and the Free Congress Foundation. Both Weyrich and the Free Congress Foundation have long been considered examples of dominionism in action. As the author The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement, Weyrich came under fire for what Katherine Yurika said was a “call for the use of deception, misinformation, and divisiveness to allow conservative evangelical Christian Republicans to gain and keep control of seats of power in the government of the United States.”

As if all of that were not enough, Weyrich also co-founded the Council for National Policy with another dominionist, Tim LaHaye. The CNP is a highly secretive conclave of some of the most powerful social conservatives in the country.

Edwin Feulner

Edwin Feulner

Edwin Feulner, another Foundation co-founder, has served as the Director of the Council for National Policy and in other capacities, as well. Feulner has been an extremely active force in furthering the ultra-conservative movement serving in a variety of positions with councils, centers, foundations, PAC’s, institutes and political campaigns. He has become a major figurehead to the right. He currently serves as the President of the Heritage Foundation until April when he will be replaced by former Senator Jim DeMint.

Joseph Coors, Sr.

Joseph Coors, Sr.

Joseph Coors, late President of Coors Brewing Company, was also instrumental in the founding of the Council for National Policy and the Free Congress Foundation. Some of his fortune was invested in the career of President Ronald Reagan and he served on Reagan’s Kitchen Cabinet. Coors also donated $65,000 dollars to purchase a light cargo plane for the contras in the Nicaraguan affair funneling the money through the National Security Council adviser Oliver North.

Among the Heritage Foundation’s staff members and advisers are David Addington, former chief aide to Vice President Dick Cheney; Ed Meese, Reagan’s Attorney General; Richard Scaife, mega-right-wing funder; and Midge Decter, the wife of neoconservative icon Norman Podhoretz.

Right Web tells us that In addition, “Heritage maintains a plank of some 60 in-house experts who are in turn supported by nearly 200 staff and management personnel. It also supports some 30 additional websites and affiliated projects, including the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, the Heritage Congressional Fellowship, NationalSecurity.org, and ReagansHeritage.org.”

The Heritage Foundation is divided into many different factions that allows it to run pretty stealth where it wants to. The Senior Management Staff and the Board of Trustees are a bevy of heavy-hitters from every possible spectrum covering the bases of business, energy, economics, environment, foreign affairs, military, religion, law, culture, education, media, etc.

There are several “policy centers” within their structure that run the gamut: Asian Studies; Principles and Politics; Data Analysis; Health Policy Studies; International Trade & Economics; Legal and Judicial Studies; Media and Public Policy; Religion and Civil Society; The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom; Economic Policy Studies; Foreign Policy Studies; and International Studies.

Perhaps one of the most substantially ominous quotes from the Heritage Foundation, and the one that speaks volumes about the influence they wield is:

“Heritage analysts help members of Congress and their staff prepare for congressional hearings by providing valuable insight on foreign or domestic policy issues. Congressional staffers come to Heritage regularly to receive custom-tailored briefings on the latest Heritage research related to their committee assignment or legislative priority.”

Currently, the Foundation is offering 507 very sophisticated charts to members of Congress to use on the floor. These charts include union membership, welfare spending, public education staffing, health care costs, the federal budget, entitlements, etc. all of which are presented with the conservative bias that would, of course, be expected.

Every day, the national press is provided with a list of Heritage Foundation experts who are available for interviews on the pressing issues of the day. Their voluminous website makes policy papers available with the click of a mouse and houses articles and ruminations from some of the most prolific conservatives who seek to inundate the public with their religiously driven, prejudicial, narrow-minded, perspective that would insure a conservative Christian American government.

They encourage enrollment in their “Young Leaders Program.” Targeting college-age students, the Foundation offers internships to qualified students where they will be able to engage in research, writing, administrative, and computer projects, and work with many of the Foundation’s experts.

The Heritage Foundation boasts that it currently has over 700,000 supporters. It is largely funded through private individuals and charitable foundations such as the Olin, Scaife, DeVos, and Bradley Foundations. However, its corporate donors cannot be ignored. Among those donors have been General Motors, Ford Motors, Proctor & Gamble, Chase Manhattan Bank, Dow Chemical, Mobil Oil, and Smith Kline Corporation. It should also be noted that the Heritage Foundation is a part of the Koch Foundation Associate Program. Hence, with an operating revenue budget of over seventy-five million dollars, it is unlikely that this outfit is going to go away anytime soon.

At this juncture, there is no denying how powerfully influential the Heritage Foundation is within the political landscape, or how successful they have been in managing to foist their right-wing agenda on the American people. However, as puissant as they have been, they are entering a new era, one that promises to take their right-wing zealotry to, perhaps, even higher levels of radical regression and political extremism.

Jim DeMint

Jim DeMint

As Jim DeMint assumes the Presidency of the Foundation, it is quite possible that acquiring such a seat will give him an even greater voice in conservative circles and for conservative causes than he had in the Senate. That possibility alone is daunting.

As, perhaps, the most conservative member of the Senate, DeMint was a very powerful force. He has been consistent in advocating prayer in public schools and allowing banners and posters revering God flying in the face of the concept of separation of church and state. A staunch Pro-Lifer, he took a stand against abortion even in the case of rape or incest. DeMint garnered a 100% approval rating among anti-immigration groups for his stand on illegal immigration, opposition to the Dream Act, and favoring legislation that would declare English as the official language of the United States. Vehemently opposing same-gender marriage, he told a rally of his supporters that openly homosexual and unmarried sexually active people should not be teachers. He also favors banning gays in the military and prohibiting adoptions by same-sex couples.

DeMint claims that American exceptionalism requires understanding from a Biblical viewpoint and that we all benefit from government founded on Christian values. He wholeheartedly supports faith-based initiatives. In response to questions on poverty and welfare, Jim DeMint offered this statement:

“Every member of the House has to stand in the House chamber, raise his right hand, and recite the oath of office at the beginning of each new Congress:

“I, Jim DeMint, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

“There is nothing in this oath about representing my district and state or helping the poor and downtrodden. There was nothing about responding to the woes of the American people. There was no list of duties because everything we were supposed to do in Congress was written in the Constitution. All federal officers & members of the armed services all take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. It must have been really important at one time.”

Jim DeMint is the epitome of the Christian right hard-liner. Revered by the Tea Party, he embodies all of the characteristics of the dogmatic, radical fanatic who lusts for power. Putting and keeping the populace in its place of being subservient to the elite and the ‘chosen’ is paramount to achieving authority over the masses.

“Only accountability to God, economic necessity, and the rule of law can redirect the inherent negative tendencies of mankind toward morality, virtue, hard work, self-control, and personal responsibility.

These are the character traits that make people governable with only limited government and external control.” (Jim DeMint)

Additionally, Jim DeMint is a member and housemate of “The Family,” better known as the “C-Street Group.” For those unfamiliar, C-Street is located in Washington and the establishment in question is listed as a church. Several members of Congress inhabit the house and others similar to it where spirituality sessions and Bible studies are conducted. The group has come under a lot of scrutiny after a couple of sex scandals brought them to the forefront. Interestingly, the congressmen who are part of this group all believe that they were chosen by Jesus Christ to be leaders.

One can only speculate where his leadership will take the already fundamentally avaricious Heritage Foundation, but it is probably safe to assume that it will be down a path that generates policies and legislation that are essentially untenable to anyone who refuses to live under theocratic rule.

We, as a nation, value our right to vote and cherish the “idea” that our government is truly “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” But, is it really? That begs the question – “Which people?” Clearly, we have been misinformed for it is not us that make the decisions. “The people” are those who sit in high places, draw down nice fat salaries, and seek ways to make the rest of us manageable – controllable – governable. They are the ones who grease the right palms, kiss the right asses, and wrap themselves in the American flag while calling themselves virtuous patriots.

Fear is a powerful motivator, and the fear of these “people” is palpable. They shiver in their shoes at the thought of becoming powerless. They are terrified of losing control, of not being in authority, of being stripped of their titles, of ever having to become just one of us. Consequently, there is no limit to what they will attempt to maintain their superiority. Their conscience is non-existent as they try to impose laws and regulations that are wholly deleterious to the very fabric of American society. Their use of the Bible and their so-called Christianity is simply their way of trying to subjugate us into a submissive posture to assure that their place at the table isn’t threatened.

The Heritage Foundation is but one of many all seeking the same end. However, they are all connected through their membership and through their collaboration with each other. These organizations are well connected, well heeled, and well on their way to achieving their goals of total dominion. That is why it is incumbent upon every American that we understand the agenda and make the determination to, once again, be “The People” or become the servants.

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For an overview of the Heritage Foundation see the chart below

The "Leaders"

The “Leaders”

For a birds-eye-view of the structure of the Heritage Foundation see the chart below:

The Line-Up

The Line-Up