Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ted Cruz and the Seven Mountains- Part Two- The Development of Dominionism as a Political Force

Dominionism and Dominion Theology are not denominations or faith groups. Rather, they are interrelated beliefs which are followed by members of a wide range of Christian denominations.

In what follows, I want to rely mainly on quotations from the works of others, so there is no suggestion that I made these preposterous beliefs up.

In his article on dominionism, researcher and author Chip Berlet credits sociologist Sara Diamond with popularizing the term dominionism.  Diamond described dominionism in 1995 as:

"Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns--and there is no consensus on when that might be. 

"Dominionism," Berlet writes, "is .. 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..."

Open advocates of dominionism declare that "America is a Christian Nation," and that therefore Christians have a God-given mandate to re-assert Christian control over political, social, and cultural institutions. Yet many dominionists stop short of staking out a position that could be called theocratic. This is the "soft" version of dominionism.

The "hard" version of dominionism is explicitly theocratic or "theonomic," as the Christian Reconstructionists prefer to be called...Its followers ... are attempting to peacefully convert the laws of the United States so that they match those of the Hebrew Scriptures. They intend to achieve this by using the freedom of religion in the US to train a generation of children in private Christian religious schools. Later, their graduates will be charged with the responsibility of creating a new Bible-based political, religious and social order. One of the first tasks of this order will be to eliminate religious choice and freedom. Their eventual goal is to achieve the "Kingdom of God" in which much of the world is converted to Christianity...

Dominion theologians ... preached ... that it was Christians' job to take over the world and impose biblical rule. Christ would not return, they said, until the church had claimed dominion over all of the world's governments and institutions ..."

In brief then,

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

Dominionists promote religious supremacy, insofar as they generally do not respect the equality of other religions, or even other versions of Christianity.

Dominionists endorse theocratic visions, insofar as they believe that the Ten Commandments, or "biblical law," should be the foundation of American law, and that the U.S. Constitution should be seen as a vehicle for implementing Biblical principles...

While most dominionists would say they favor the U.S. Constitution, and merely seek to restore it to the original intentions of the founders, in fact, their views are profoundly anti-democratic. The dominionist worldview is not one based on the rights of the individual as we have come to know them, but on notions of biblical law...In the dominionist worldview, the biblically incorrect (and those of other religious views) are second-class citizens at best. While few would admit to the clear implications of Christian nationalism, dominionism in the short run necessarily means, as a matter of theocratic public policy, reducing or eliminating the legal standing of those who do not share their views.

Indeed the dominionist movement and its allies in Congress are actively seeking to eviscerate the capacity of the federal courts to protect the rights of all citizens."

We should note how the current refusal to follow the Constitutional mandate for picking a ninth Supreme Court Justice, which has the support of all Republican members of Congress, shows how far these evil ideas have reached into the core of our government.  Dominionism is not an abstract theological concept, but an attempt to destroy the government of the United States and replace it with a religious dictatorship.

The result of all this?

"This society would feature a minimal national government, whose main function would be defense by the armed forces. No social services would be provided outside the church, which would be responsible for 'health, education, and welfare.' A radically unfettered capitalism (except in so far as it clashed with Biblical Law) would prevail. Society would return to the gold or silver standard or abolish paper money altogether. The public schools would be abolished. Government functions, including taxes, would be primarily at the county level."

I think it is hardly necessary to state that this doctrine, which should be repugnant to every decent American, has managed to worm its way into the heart of Republicanism.

It should be noted, however, that, of course much of this dominionist cant plays into the hands of the rich sociopaths who really control the Republican party, and that in the end, only those parts of dominionism that advance the rule of the rich are likely to really gain any traction among the party.

Now, let's consider briefly what has become known as "Seven Mountains Domininism," which is the variety of this lunacy that Rafael and Ted Cruz follow:

"In 1975, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With a Mission(YWAM), developed a God-given, world-changing strategy. Their mandate: Bring Godly change to a nation by reaching its seven spheres, or mountains, of societal influence.
They concluded that in order to truly transform any nation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, these seven facets of society must be reached: Religion, Family,Education, Government, Media, Arts & Entertainment and Business."

I.e. no one has a right to control or influence any of these areas of life except for Dominionists.  The most extreme forms of Communism or Fascism never dreamt of this kind of worldwide control of, basically, everything.

And let us remember that, at this point, this repugnant set of ideas is no longer on the fringe.  Republican leaders like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and a number of others besides Cruz, openly adhere to this doctrine, as well as propagandists like Glenn Beck.  A PPP poll from last year found that 57% of self-described Republicans want to do away with the Constitution and replace it with Christianity as the enforced national religion.

How far they intend to take control of society is truly shocking; for example, as I shall discuss in part three, Ted Cruz apparently believes that all worldly wealth belongs to Dominionist Christians, and that one of his duties as President, and ultimately ruler of the world is to transfer all the world's wealth to Dominionists.  This is madness, and a spectacularly evil form of madness.

Here's a taste of Dominionist preaching:

I think that's enough for this part of the story, although there is much more to tell, if you are interested.  Next: what Ted Cruz seems to really believe.


Mister Sterling said...

Well researched and summarized, Green One.

isaac said...

What Mr. Sterling said. Great capsulization of what is actually a fairly complex issue. But as of just a little while ago, at least we don't have to worry about Ted Cruz for a while. But these guys are like herpes--they never go away and they never give up. Unfortunately, he's not going anywhere.

Infidel753 said...

I've been saying for some time that the US no longer has a right-wing party and a left-wing party as traditionally understood. We have a theocratic party and a secular party.

Looking at what's actually in the Old Testament, a society truly based on that (as the Dominionists say they want) would differ only in nuance from the kind of nightmare we now see under the rule of Dâ'ish (ISIL) or in Saudi Arabia. It would be not only the end of Constitutional values, but the end of civilization as we know it.

Green Eagle said...

Infidel, I would say that the Republicans are actually a two-headed party. On the one hand, there is their theocratic base of stupid, violent, hate filled white people, and on the other hand there are the rich guys who will give these people whatever idiotic thing they want, if they reciprocate by letting the rich continue to plunder this country into destruction. They've formed a pretty potent combination for a few decades now, but we can all see that this is coming to an end, and it's not clear who will end up owning the Republican party- the Theocrats or the plutocrats. For whatever good it will do them to take possession of the political equivalent of a dead whale on the beach.