Extreme Christian fanatics?

With the 2012 GOP presidential contenders already pretty clear -- some combination of Bachman, Romney and Perry -- the Donks have got their campaign of lies underway. All three contenders are "extreme Christian fanatics". Even the Mormon Romney presumably qualifies.

Below is an excerpt from one such attack. Notable in it is that NOT ONE WORD from Bachman, Romney or Perry is quoted. Views are attrbuted to them entirely out of thin air. They are accused of beliefs that they have never avowed. The only authority quoted for attributing nutty views to the GOP contenders is previous accusations by other Leftists.

But that's OK. Its a secret conspiracy, you see, just like the Jewish conspiracy to control the world or GWB's conspiracy to blow up the twin towers. Leftists mock Christians for their beliefs but Leftists will believe anything if it suits them. And they mainline on conspiracy theories.

So the fact that a rather nutty but tiny Christian sect exists is enough evidence to prove that any chosen Christian must believe in its tenets -- even if most people in the Christian world have never even heard of the sect concerned. Lies are the lifeblood of Leftism.

With Tim Pawlenty out of the presidential race, it is now fairly clear that the GOP candidate will either be Mitt Romney or someone who makes George W. Bush look like Tom Paine. Of the three most plausible candidates for the Republican nomination, two are deeply associated with a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism known as Dominionism. If you want to understand Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, understanding Dominionism isn’t optional.

Put simply, Dominionism means that Christians have a God-given right to rule all earthly institutions. Originating among some of America’s most radical theocrats, it’s long had an influence on religious-right education and political organizing. But because it seems so outrĂ©, getting ordinary people to take it seriously can be difficult. Most writers, myself included, who explore it have been called paranoid. In a contemptuous 2006 First Things review of several books, including Kevin Phillips’ American Theocracy, and my own Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, conservative columnist Ross Douthat wrote, “the fear of theocracy has become a defining panic of the Bush era.”

Now, however, we have the most theocratic Republican field in American history, and suddenly, the concept of Dominionism is reaching mainstream audiences. Writing about Bachmann in The New Yorker this month, Ryan Lizza spent several paragraphs explaining how the premise fit into the Minnesota congresswoman’s intellectual and theological development. And a recent Texas Observer cover story on Rick Perry examined his relationship with the New Apostolic Reformation, a Dominionist variant of Pentecostalism that coalesced about a decade ago. “[W]hat makes the New Apostolic Reformation movement so potent is its growing fascination with infiltrating politics and government,” wrote Forrest Wilder. Its members “believe Christians—certain Christians—are destined to not just take ‘dominion’ over government, but stealthily climb to the commanding heights of what they term the ‘Seven Mountains’ of society, including the media and the arts and entertainment world.”

In many ways, Dominionism is more a political phenomenon than a theological one. It cuts across Christian denominations, from stern, austere sects to the signs-and-wonders culture of modern megachurches. Think of it like political Islamism, which shapes the activism of a number of antagonistic fundamentalist movements, from Sunni Wahabis in the Arab world to Shiite fundamentalists in Iran.

Dominionism derives from a small fringe sect called Christian Reconstructionism, founded by a Calvinist theologian named R. J. Rushdoony in the 1960s. Christian Reconstructionism openly advocates replacing American law with the strictures of the Old Testament, replete with the death penalty for homosexuality, abortion, and even apostasy. The appeal of Christian Reconstructionism is, obviously, limited, and mainstream Christian right figures like Ralph Reed have denounced it.



  1. My understanding is that Ryan Lizza's description of Bachmann's beliefs was based on extensive interviews.

  2. Still not a single quote from her -- just a discussion of "influences"

    I was greatly influenced by the Bible. Does that make me a Christian? A bit pesky that I am an atheist!

  3. Still, congratulations on a try, Toaf


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