Dominionism: Establishing Evangelical Political Rule

January 23, 2007

Because the evangelical political movement has had so much influence on this administration’s policies, both domestic and foreign, and because the leaders of this movement are still actively planning how to more firmly establish their policies in our government currently, this thread will examine the movement and its significance.

Dominionism is a trend in Protestant Christian evangelicalism and fundamentalism, primarily, though not exclusively, in the United States, that seeks to establish specific political policies based on religious beliefs.

It is most often used to describe politically active conservative Christians with a specific agenda. The term is rarely used as a self-description; many feel it is a loaded or pejorative term, and use of the term is primarily limited to critics of the Christian Right.

The term emerged in relation to the Christian Right in the mid-1990s, but became more widely known due in large part to the U.S. presidential election, 2004 where the media attributed Republican wins to Evangelical voters in Red states who voted for “moral values”.[1] A number of authors, among them Andrew Sullivan, use the terms Christianism or Christianist in place of Dominionism in an attempt to “take back the word Christian (from) the religious right.”[2]

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  • Another take on the “F” word. New book by Chris Hedges:

    American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America’s Review (excerpt)

    In a 2004 article that served as the basis for his new book pulling the fire alarm on thuggish Christian fascism, Chris Hedges recalled:

    “Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told us that when we were his age, he was then close to 80, we would all be fighting the ‘Christian fascists.’

    The warning, given to me 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government. Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global, Christian empire. It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality of those who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery. The Nazis, he said, were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors had found a mask for fascism in the pages of the Bible.

    Here is another editorial review of the book.

    From Publishers Weekly
    Starred Review. The f-word crops up in the most respectable quarters these days. Yet if the provocative title of this exposé by Hedges (War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning)—sounds an alarm, the former New York Times foreign correspondent takes care to employ his terms precisely and decisively. As a Harvard Divinity School graduate, his investigation of the Christian Right agenda is even more alarming given its lucidity. Citing the psychology and sociology of fascism and cults, including the work of German historian Fritz Stern, Hedges draws striking parallels between 20th-century totalitarian movements and the highly organized, well-funded “dominionist movement,” an influential theocratic sect within the country’s huge evangelical population. Rooted in a radical Calvinism, and wrapping its apocalyptic, vehemently militant, sexist and homophobic vision in patriotic and religious rhetoric, dominionism seeks absolute power in a Christian state. Hedges’s reportage profiles both former members and true believers, evoking the particular characteristics of this American variant of fascism. His argument against what he sees as a democratic society’s suicidal tolerance for intolerant movements has its own paradoxes. But this urgent book forcefully illuminates what many across the political spectrum will recognize as a serious and growing threat to the very concept and practice of an open society. (Jan. 9)

  • what kind of fear and desperation drives people to such lengths? I understand they are afraid to die and face what happens after death, a lot of people are. It is not unique to them as a sect. I think it’s power and selfishness.

    For all their so called belief of the power of “God” they still at their core believe “God” is the dumbest thing to ever exist. They seek to dominate and control in their race to get the best lounge chair in heaven. With their forced domination of others they believe that “God” will not see the lies they have created. Which is in direct conflict with one of their 10 commandments, thou shalt not lie.

    Thou shalt not lie. It’s not about just telling lies, but creating lies in the sense of forcing others to lie to you and for you.

    Haggard has lived a lie for the majority of his life. He’s lied to himself. Lied to his family and all his friends. Lied to his church. Lied to his congregation. Lied to everyone and forced others to lie to him and for him. Lied to “God”. Over and Over and Over again.

    Dobson the same way. He wants, works and pushes people to lie to him and for him.

    The Air Force Chaplain, another who works to create lies. He wants people to lie to him and for him.

    Bush, yet another one that needs, works and forces people to lie to him and for him. Reed, same way. Robertson, same thing again. Falwell, another one. Jim Bakker, yet another. Moore, another one.

    At the foundation of their actions and all their words, they believe that “God” will not see the lies they themselves have worked so hard to weave in their quest for power, money and selfishness.

    It’s definitely a power thing.

  • Revere | Feb 4

    Austin Cline is one of the more incisive regular writers on atheism. This week he discusses a Paula Zahn show on CNN that begins with a brief vignette about couple in a small town in Mississippi who complained to their son’s public elementary school principal about time spent in bible study and prayer. Yes, his public elementary school. For their trouble they became outcasts. No one would speak to them or let their children play with their children. When it was later revealed they were atheists, the father’s boss got calls complaining he had brought an atheist to town. People drove parked in front of their house and stared at them as if they were animals in a zoo. They left town.


  • I mean, I never believed in any church that proclaimed themselves to be the One True; can so many attempted Christians be condemned to eternal damnation because they worshipped at the wrong address? What about Muslims? Jews? Hindu? Buddhists? Latter Day Saints? I mean, who is making the rules here?

    I’m of a mind with Don Henry Ford: I was taught the New Testament, and I really believe that Jesus had his stuff together. I truly want to be like him. If one day he returns and fetches me before his papa, I want to be able to look Him in the eye and tell Him I did the best I knew how.

    I like to think it’s that basic.

    “Damn right it’s loaded, it makes a lousy club.”

  • just a little New Zealand humor:

    Lyndon Hood: God May Vote For Christian Party
    Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 5:30 pm
    Column: Lyndon Hood Scoop Satire

    what if God was one of us?

    God, supreme being and creator of the universe in the Christian religion, today considered whether to give His vote to a proposed New Zealand Christian political vehicle or continue to support a more established party.

    “It kind of depends what they mean by ‘Christian Values’,” said a bemused Deity, “I mean, are we talking washing-the-feet-of-prostitutes Christian values or turning-out-the-money-lenders Christian values or pillars-of-salt Christian values or what?”

    “It’s like ‘Supporting Families’. What are they going to do, make procreation mandatory? Maybe when you work out how to apply Christian values to governing a state you end up with one or other of the parties that are already there.”

    The new party, formed by members of various denominations mostly too young too remember what a bad idea religious government is, was announced amidst some confusion this week, with one co-leader apparently learning the identity of the other through the media.

    “What were they thinking?” asked Our Lord. “Of course, it’s Me so I know what they were thinking, but – what were they thinking?”

    “So… we’ve got the guy who said a party which he’s deregistering would rule the country, and a guy who thinks selling down State Owned Enterprises to pay for tax cuts is sustainable. I don’t know if I should vote for them or have them stoned to death as false prophets. ‘Bishop’ indeed.”

    Irrespecive of any merits the new party might have, God emphasised He did not want to waste His vote


  • The Daily Beast, by Max Blumenthal, September 5

    In an excerpt from his new book Republican Gomorrah, Max Blumenthal examines the radical beliefs about witchcraft and the “serpent seed” that propelled Sarah Palin into politics.

    Prior to her nomination for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin listed her home phone number in Alaska’s Yellow Pages. She was known to spend hours in her local Wal-mart chatting with constituents. When I traveled to Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley, nearly every politically active resident I spoke to had met the governor on at least one occasion. But many of Palin’s acquaintances, admirers and critics alike, described her in a dramatically different light from that in which she presented herself to the American public.

    To those who knew Palin, she was no ordinary hockey mom, but rather an evangelical foot soldier who spearheaded the [conservative Christian] movement’s takeover of local government. Her power base was the Wasilla Assembly of God, a Pentecostal mega-church where she was baptized and spent over 20 years as a member.

    Most Pentecostal congregations are socially conservative, particularly those that are predominantly white, but Wasilla Assembly of God was in thrall to a radical Pentecostal trend once denounced by church authorities as heresy. Called the Third Wave, it was rooted in an explicitly anti-intellectual creation myth. According to the Third Wave’s founding father, William Branham, a rural Canadian preacher, Satan had sex with Eve and gave birth to Cain—the so-called “Serpent Seed.” “Through Cain came all the smart, educated people down to the antediluvian flood—the intellectuals, bible colleges,” Branham wrote. “They know all their creeds but know nothing about God.”

    Despite opposition from inside the Assembly of God’s hierarchy, Third Wave congregations won droves of adherents by emphasizing charismatic displays of ecstatic release, including practices such as holy laughter (hysterical giggling that supposedly represents the spirit of God flowing through the bodies of believers) and drunkenness in the spirit, where worshippers emulate the experience of intoxication so melodramatically that Charles Bukowski would reel in embarrassment. Faith healing is also central to Third Wave theology; Todd Bentley, an influential Florida-based Third Wave pastor known for his tattoos, body piercings, and pseudo-punk attitude, once attempted to “explode” a man’s tumors by drop-kicking him in the chest. He also kicked an old woman in the face because, he said, “The Holy Spirit spoke to me.” One of Bentley’s mottoes is “Some people snort cocaine, others snort religion.”

    Also known as the “New Order of the Latter Rain” – led by faith healer William Branham. Feast of Tabernacles (By George Warnock), published in 1951, is considered to be the classic text of the movement.

    They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

  • Right Wing Watch, By Kyle, May 6

    I know I have been writing a lot about the creeping dominionsim of the Religious Right here lately, but that is because I think it is an important development that has the potential to fundamentally change the movement from an effort by conservative Christians to engage in and shape the political process to an effort to create create a borderline theocracy in which every aspect of America life is dedicated to honoring God in order to bring about the return of Christ.

    And we are not the only ones alarmed by this development. As we noted earlier this week, VCY America had decided to drop Janet Porter’s Faith 2 Action radio program due to her increasing ties to dominion theology, as demonstrated by her May Day prayer rally.


    When extremely conservative Christian activists start issuing warnings about the radical turn the movement appears to be taking, it is probably a good idea to pay them heed.

    h/t DU: When The Right Starts Warning About Dominionism, Pay Attention

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • The New Apostolic Reformation – An interview with Rachel Tabachnick

    Z Magazine, By Bill Berkowitz, April 2010

    Rachel Tabachnick is an independent researcher who specializes in End Times narratives. In 2008 she assisted Bruce Wilson in publishing a video of John Hagee’s sermon about Hitler being sent from God as a hunter of Jews. She continues to provide research on the Religious Right for political campaigns from local school boards to national organizations and was a presenter at the recent PA Progressive Summit 2010 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where she spoke on the “sacralization” of economic and political issues by the Religious Right.

    BERKOWITZ: Most people aren’t aware of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Tell us what we should know?

    TABACHNICK: Imagine for a moment that a large block of the evangelical world decided to re-organize themselves in a hierarchy resembling the Roman Catholic Church, with leaders in authority over each nation and region. Imagine that every person—from the congregants to the top leaders—has someone to whom they are accountable.

    Although this is not the first time this has been tried, this “second reformation” is having more success. It is organizing within a mega-block of Protestants larger than all the traditional denominations put together, as well as “post-denominational” churches. It’s heavily charismatic, made up of born again, but also “spirit-filled” Christians—sometimes called neo-charismatics or neo-pentecostal. They believe that spiritual gifts, such as speaking in tongues, casting out demons, and faith-healing powers, are signs and wonders that will help evangelize unbelievers in preparation for the End Times.


    Wagner teaches that there will soon be a great transfer of wealth from the ungodly to the godly and has set up structures to prepare. Wagner’s Leadership Institute teaches courses in prophecy, but also in foreign currency exchange.


    Wagner, George Otis, Jr., Ed Silvoso, Ted Haggard, John Dawson of Youth With a Mission, and others created an entire genre of books, texts, videos, and other media teaching spiritual mapping and spiritual warfare, including a glossary of new terms. The Transformation DVDs produced by George Otis, Jr. are promotional “documentaries” showing prototypes of this process in which supernatural transformation of a community takes place, including the healing of AIDS, instantaneous purifying of polluted streams, and even growth of huge vegetables. These movies have been shown to millions globally, and Transformation organizations are attempting to replicate these prototypes in their local communities.

    The Transformation ideology originated from western evangelicals—witch-hunting and all—and the prototypes have included cities like Hemet, California. Ugandan Julius Oyet, who starred in one of the Transformation movies, is a key figure in the recent proposed draconian anti-gay legislation in that county.


    The Transformation movies show that they have access to many political figures, from Fiji to South America to Africa. Transformation Hawaii has the full participation of Lt. Governor Aiona, who has spoken at conferences and written for the movement. Lou Engle, a prophet in Wagner’s inner circle, has recently been in the news leading an anti-health-care reform prayercast with Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), and Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), among others. In May, Engle led another televised event in which he prayed over Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee.


    The movement made early inroads in Alaska through an ICA apostle named Mary Glazier, who claims that a 24-year-old Palin joined her spiritual warfare network. These networks allow apostles to communicate and disseminate new prophecy to their prayer warriors. During the presidential election this included such prophecies about Palin, as when Glazier described a vision that Palin would take the mantle of leadership after a period of national mourning following the death of John McCain.

    The first Transformation movie so impressed pastors in Wasilla, Alaska that they contacted some of the religious leaders featured in the movie—including Thomas Muthee, shown driving a “witch” out of Kiambu, Kenya. The Wasilla Assembly of God developed an ongoing relationship with Muthee and a 2005 church video shows him anointing Palin. Unfortunately, the press picked up on the witch part of the story, not the more important fact that Palin has ties to top leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation.


    I believe this movement’s threat to separation of church and state is greater than some of the more overtly theocratic movements of the Religious Right. Unsuspecting people are becoming involved in New Apostolic activities without understanding its agenda.

    Wagner’s ideas have spread widely into mainstream evangelicalism with little public notice. Haggard, former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, partnered with Wagner in founding the New Apostolic Reformation and building its early headquarters, the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs. Despite the fact that Haggard has written books on New Apostolic strategies, his participation in promoting this massive reformation of both church and society is so little known, it could be described as Haggard’s other secret.

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • Newsweek, By Lisa Miller, June 11

    To white evangelical women, Sarah Palin is a modern-day prophet, preaching God, flag, and family—while remaking the religious right in her own image.

    Another memoirist might prefer to keep such matters private, but Sarah Palin is not another memoirist. In Going Rogue: An American Life, Palin describes, perhaps for the first time in the history of political autobiography, a furtive trip to an out-of-state drugstore to obtain a do-it-yourself pregnancy test. This was in the fall of 2007, when the 43-year-old mother of four was governor of Alaska and began to notice “some peculiar yet familiar physical symptoms, like the smell of cigarettes making me feel more nauseated than usual.” So, while on business in New Orleans—at a time and in a place where her anonymity was still possible—Palin procured the kit. In the privacy of her hotel room, she “followed the instructions on the … box. Slowly a pink image materialized on the stick.

    “Holy geez!”


    Abortion, the cause around which the religious right was built two generations ago, seems to be reemerging as a potent political issue as well (though the oil spill, terrorism, and the global economy may still overshadow it in the voting booth). Eleven states have passed anti-abortion laws since the beginning of the year, and 370 bills have been introduced in state legislatures, according to the Guttmacher Institute. American women are more likely to call themselves “pro-life” (48 percent, up from 42 percent in 2001, according to Gallup), and while young white evangelicals are more accepting than their parents of gay marriage, they’re less open-minded on abortion. Seventy percent want more restrictions, compared with compared with 55 percent of those in the older generation, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.


    With her new faith-based message, Palin gathers up the Christian women that traditional feminism has left behind. In her speech to the SBA List last month, Palin derided the old feminism as a relic of “the faculty lounge at some East Coast women’s college, right?”—even as she wrapped the label around herself, channeling the pioneer wives who “made sacrifices to carve out a living and a family out of the wilderness.” Hers is a “mom of faith” movement, a “mom uprising.” It’s an emotional appeal, unfettered by loyalty to the broader policy agenda of traditional feminism. (Palin will praise suffragettes, abolitionists, and Margaret Thatcher, but not the early feminists who arguably paved the way for the 96 Republican women running for House seats in 2010.) The women who follow Palin will fight against Roe—and support adoption and prenatal health clinics—but they aren’t generally focused on birth control, sex education, or gender discrimination. They shrug at the agonies of the overeducated moms who feel forced to choose between work and family (no one had to do that on the farm), and they refute the idea that to succeed in the world a woman must look and act like a man. (“That Supreme Court nominee—I can’t relate to her at all,” Ruthie McIntosh, one of those who jumped to her feet at the Palin breakfast in Washington last month, told me.) These Christians seek a power that allows them to formally acquiesce to male authority and conservative theology, even as they assume increasingly visible roles in their families, their churches, their communities, and the world.

    Palin shows them a path through this thicket of contradictions. “Within these circles, there is very much an ideal Christian woman model,” explains Griffith. “It’s an image that blends this kind of submissive, pretty, aw-shucks demeanor with a fiery power, a spiritual warfare.” Palin may say she’s a pugnacious jock primed to take on the big boys, but her family, beauty-queen figure, and glossy hair are her calling cards.


    Like many evangelicals, Garza believes a great cosmic battle is underway for the soul of America and that Palin has been singled out by God for leadership: “The anointing on her is so strong,” she says. Assaults on Palin by the press only strengthen Garza’s conviction, for as any Christian knows, martyrs most deserve to gain God’s kingdom. “She’s just fearless,” Garza says. “Jesus said, ‘They persecuted me; they’ll persecute you.’ ”

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • Chris Rodda, HuffPo

    For the past several years, two U.S. Army posts in Virginia, Fort Eustis and Fort Lee, have been putting on a series of what are called Commanding General’s Spiritual Fitness Concerts. As I’ve written in a number of other posts, “spiritual fitness” is just the military’s new term for promoting religion, particularly evangelical Christianity. And this concert series is no different.

    On May 13, 2010, about eighty soldiers, stationed at Fort Eustis while attending a training course, were punished for opting out of attending one of these Christian concerts. The headliner at this concert was a Christian rock band called BarlowGirl, a band that describes itself as taking “an aggressive, almost warrior-like stance when it comes to spreading the gospel and serving God.”

    Any doubt that this was an evangelical Christian event was cleared up by the Army post’s newspaper, the Fort Eustis Wheel, which ran an article after the concert that began:

    Following the Apostle Paul’s message to the Ephesians in the Bible, Christian rock music’s edgy, all-girl band BarlowGirl brought the armor of God to the warriors and families of Fort Eustis during another installment of the Commanding General’s Spiritual Fitness Concert Series May 13 at Jacobs Theater.

    The father of the three Barlow sisters who make up the band was also quoted in the article, saying, “We really believe that to be a Christian in today’s world, you have to be a warrior, and we feel very blessed and privileged that God has given us the tool to deliver His message and arm His army.”…

  • How Radical Christian Conservatives May Succeed in Destroying Democracy

    Alternet/TruthDig, By Chris Hedges, October 15


    “The truth is, they want you, you see, to be poor,” Aristophanes wrote in his play “The Wasps.” “If you don’t know the reason, I’ll tell you. It’s to train you to know who your tamer is. Then, whenever he gives you a whistle and sets you against an opponent of his, you jump out and tear them to pieces.”

    (Via BC Nurse Prof: Must Read).

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • AP, By Jay Reeves, January 18

    Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told a church crowd just moments into his new administration that those who have not accepted Jesus as their savior are not his brothers and sisters, shocking some critics who questioned Tuesday whether he can be fair to non-Christians.

    “Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother,” Bentley said Monday, his inauguration day, according to The Birmingham News.

    Gov.-elect Robert Bentley intends to be governor over all, but says only Christians are his ‘brothers and sisters’

    Montgomery, AL — Gov.-elect Robert Bentley in a speech at a Baptist church this afternoon said he plans to be the governor of all Alabamians and be color-blind, but he also said people who aren’t ”saved” Christians aren’t his brothers and sisters.


    “There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit,” Bentley said. ”But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister.”

    Bentley added, ”Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”

    Lance Mannion comments: The Problem.

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • Georgia Legislator Behind Bill Criminalizing Miscarriage Is Christian Reconstructionist

    Religion Dispatch, By Julie Ingersoll, February 28

    Controversial Georgia state Rep. Bobby Franklin [Wikipedia] is under fire again for a bill many believe could criminalize miscarriages. Even Fox News seems shocked at the idea.

    Franklin has introduced a bill that lays out a “states’ rights” argument that the US Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction to hear Roe v. Wade and that the Court has no constitutional authority to define who is a person and what constitutes murder.

    The bill asserts in a preamble: “The State of Georgia has the duty to protect all innocent life from the moment of conception until natural death. We know that life begins at conception.” The preamble is the justification for making what Franklin labels “pre-natal murder” illegal. (Georgia isn’t the only state taking up new and controversial bills on abortion.)

    What makes Franklin’s bill different, though, is the provision on miscarriage. Miscarriage is not be considered pre-natal murder “so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event.” There is no indication as to how such a determination is to be made, and critics are charging that the bill would require women who have had miscarriages to provide evidence that they were not at fault, and possibly be subject to criminal investigations by the state.


    Oh, but there’s more on what Franklin thinks is government’s “biblically-defined role.” Franklin is a member of Chalcedon Presbyterian Church, one of the few out-and-out Christian Reconstructionist churches. Featured in Bill Moyers’ 1992 documentary God in Politics: On Earth As It Is In Heaven, Chalcedon Presbyterian is pastored by Joseph Morecraft, a regular lecturer at American Vision and Vision Forum events. And all of the proposed legislation noted above has roots in Christian Reconstructionist teachings or the culture of Reconstructionist-oriented biblical patriarchy.

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry Partnering with New Apostolic Groups for Houston “Call to Prayer”

    Talk To Action, By Rachel Tabachnick, June 6

    Another politician joins forces with the apostles. Texas Governor Rick Perry is leading an event in Houston on August 6 with the “apostolic and prophetic” movement, including leaders from Lou Engle’s “The Call,” Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer, and the American Family Association. The Call is a virulently anti-gay and anti-abortion event held in stadiums and large venues, including one in Uganda that featured speakers promoting the “Kill the Gays” bill. The International House of Prayer (IHOP) is a growing worldwide movement led by Bickle, leader of a Kansas City-based 24/7 prayer in an effort to raise up a generation of young end time warriors. Part of the IHOP’s agenda is the “Israel Mandate” to proselytize Jews in order to advance the end times.

    The event in Houston on August 6 is advertised as The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis and the organizers include: Luis and Jill Cataldo, on the staff of IHOP in Kansas City; Randy and Kelsey Bohlender with IHOP and The Call; Apostle Doug Stringer; Dave Silker of IHOP; leaders of the American Family Association; Jim Garlow, who headed the campaign for Proposition Eight and heads Newt Ginrich’s Renewing American Leadership; and several other Religious Right activists.

    Rick Perry’s partnership with the apostles and prophets just prior to his possible announcement of a run for president, would appear to give credence to the warnings of several contributors to Talk2action about the growing political power of the New Apostolic “prayer warrior” networks. The New Apostolic Reformation is where the anti-gay, anti-abortion, and Christian Zionist networks converge with an aggressive form of Christian “dominionism,” or the belief that Christians must take control over society and government.

    This network began as part of the campaign in the 1980s and 1990s to evangelize the world prior to the year 2000. One of the major leaders of this mission effort was C. Peter Wagner, [Video] a thirty-year professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary. He left that position to continue these efforts under the banner of the New Apostolic Reformation, moving to Colorado Springs to work with Ted Haggard to develop the World Prayer Center. Haggard wrote that that in 1999 their outreach included 40,000,000 participants worldwide.

    Since that time, leading Apostles Dutch Sheets, Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, and others, have developed a fifty-state communications and mobilization network of “prayer warriors.” Under the leadership of Apostle Ed Silvoso, head of the International Transformation Network, the prayer warrior networks in some American cities are now divided into precincts, with one person assigned specifically to each street – a political organizers dream.

    Politicians competing for the support of this prayer warrior network prior to the presidential primaries include Sarah Palin, who has an over twenty-year relationship with Alaskan Apostle Mary Glazier; Newt Gingrich, who was anointed by Lou Engle on an internationally televised broadcast in 2009; Michelle Bachman, Rick Santorum, and now, apparently, Rick Perry.

    Via Hullabaloo: Are you ready for another Texas theocrat?

    Also: Dominionist Battle Cry “We are the Head and Not the Tail” Used by Bachmann in Debate

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • Rachel Maddow, There Is Much, Much More To The Story of Rick Perry’s Apostles

    Alternet, By Rachel Tabachnick, July 13

    On Tuesday, Rachel Maddow did the world a favor by airing a series of short video clips of the endorsers of Rick Perry’s upcoming prayer event. The clips were posted by Right Wing Watch, with some originating from These video clips should receive much more national exposure, but they need to be viewed in context of the movement they represent. Rachel Maddow, keep at it! Perry’s endorsers are not just a random group of radical evangelists making outrageous statements.

    These are the apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation, the biggest international religious movement you never heard of.

    C. Peter Wagner, the one in the video clip about the Japanese stock market plunging because the emperor slept with the sun goddess, is probably the most powerful religious leader that you never heard of.

    Peter Wagner is the Convening Apostle of a international network of apostles and prophets who believe they are unifying the church to take control over government and society, and bring about the return of Jesus. The apostles have a 50-state communications and mobilization network of “prayer warriors,” which is becoming increasingly enticing to right-wing politicians. Remember Sarah Palin’s repeated thanks to her prayer warrriors? This was not a generic use of the term, as described in a previous Alternet article by Bill Berkowitz in 2010.

    Wagner coined the term New Apostolic Reformation, and describes his movement as “the most radical change in the way of doing church since the Protestant Reformation.” The movement primarily draws from the Independent Charismatic sector of Christianity, which encompasses almost 400 million people worldwide and is sometimes referred to as neo-Pentecostal or neo-Charismatic. The latter description is used in the World Christian Trends, the gold standard for statistics for the evangelical missions movement.

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • NPR (Fresh Air), August 24

    An emerging Christian movement that seeks to take dominion over politics, business and culture in preparation for the end times and the return of Jesus, is becoming more of a presence in American politics. The leaders are considered apostles and prophets, gifted by God for this role.

    The international “apostolic and prophetic” movement has been dubbed by its leading American architect, C. Peter Wagner, as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Although the movement is larger than the network organized by Wagner — and not all members describe themselves as part of Wagner’s NAR — the so-called apostles and prophets of the movement have identifiable ideology that separates them from other evangelicals.

    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.

    On Wednesday’s Fresh Air, Rachel Tabachnick, who researches the political impact of the religious right, joins Terry Gross for a discussion about the growing movement and its influence and connections in the political world.

    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.

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • Washington Post On Faith Columnist Flawed Article Dismisses Dominionism

    Talk2Action, By Rachael Tabachnick, August 29

    Samuel Rodriguez, who joined the International Coalition of Apostles in 2009, was a regular contributor to the Washington Post On Faith column from 2007 to 2010, publishing 49 articles. He often claimed support of religious pluralism. But Rodriguez was simultaneously a leader in a movement that literally demonizes other religions as well as other sectors of Christianity. He is vice president of the Oak Initiative, a religio-political entity which produced a video in 2010 claiming that the nation is in the grips of a Marxist insurgency. The Oak Initiative is currently working with its affiliate Transformation Michigan to prepare for The Call Detroit on 11/11/11, promoted as a massive spiritual warfare effort against Islam. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is an excellent example of why we need to know about the New Apostolic Reformation. We did not gain any insight from Lisa Miller, also writing for On Faith, when she described the New Apostolic Reformation as a “previously unknown group” and Dominionism as the “paranoid mot du jour.”

    In her On Faith column on August 18, Lisa Miller dismisses the concerns about Dominionism and the New Apostolic Reformation. The NAR has drawn attention since leaders in the movement coordinated and led Rick Perry’s Houston prayer rally. Curiously, Miller describes Pat Robertson as “actually a dominionist,” using a fairly tame quote that pales in comparison to those coming from the apostles of the NAR. She also sources Mark DeMoss as her expert on the obscurity of Dominionist ideology, quoting him as saying,

    “You would be hard-pressed to find one in 1,000 Christians in America who could even wager a guess at what dominionism is.”

    Also: Straw Jeremiads and Apologists for Christian Nationalism

    Another instance, LAT, By Charlotte Allen: Politics and religion can mix, August 28

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • Delaware House of Reps “Recognizes Dr. C. Peter Wagner As an Apostle For the Occasion of Commissioning Apostles”

    Bartholomew’s Notes On Religion, By Richard Bartholomew, January 31

    A bizarre statement from the State of Delaware House of Representatives:

    Tribute. Be it known to all that the House of Representatives recognizes Dr. C. Peter Wagner As an Apostle For the Occasion of Commissioning Apostles in the State of Delaware. On this special day of the Commissioning Service, we honor Dr. C. Peter Wagner for his many years of faithful service to the Lord of Heaven and Earth, and the advancement of His Kingdom…

    The Tribute, “elegantly inscribed on 8 1/2″ x 14″ parchment-type paper and encased in a folder”, was presented to Wagner in a special ceremony, and Wagner has himself helpfully transcribed it in a message to his followers.

    Wagner, as is well-known, heads a branch of neo-Pentecostalism known as the New Apostolic Reformation. Leaders of the movement claim to be empowered by God with spiritual gifts – for instance, Wagner receives regular messages from God. Rival perspectives on the world are placed within a demonology of malign supernatural forces, to be battled through spiritual warfare and deliverance: for example, Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary is in fact homage to a demon known as the “Queen of Heaven“, while economic woes in Japan are the result of ritual sex between the Emperor and the demonic sun goddess.

    Via Jesus’ General: State of Delaware Names Apostle

  • CBS – Even as Mitt Romney holds a commanding lead in the delegate count in the race for the Republican nomination, another win in the South for Rick Santorum – this time in Louisiana – highlights the problems Romney is having appealing to more religious and socially conservative “values” voters below the Mason-Dixon line.

  • How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren

    The Guardian, By Katherine Stewart, May 30

    The Bible has thousands of passages that may serve as the basis for instruction and inspiration. Not all of them are appropriate in all circumstances.

    The story of Saul and the Amalekites is a case in point. It’s not a pretty story, and it is often used by people who don’t intend to do pretty things. In the book of 1 Samuel (15:3), God said to Saul:

    “Now go, attack the Amalekites, and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.”

    Saul dutifully exterminated the women, the children, the babies and all of the men – but then he spared the king. He also saved some of the tastier looking calves and lambs. God was furious with him for his failure to finish the job.

    The story of the Amalekites has been used to justify genocide throughout the ages. According to Pennsylvania State University Professor Philip Jenkins, a contributing editor for the American Conservative, the Puritans used this passage when they wanted to get rid of the Native American tribes. Catholics used it against Protestants, Protestants against Catholics. “In Rwanda in 1994, Hutu preachers invoked King Saul’s memory to justify the total slaughter of their Tutsi neighbors,” writes Jenkins in his 2011 book, Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses (HarperCollins).

    This fall, more than 100,000 American public school children, ranging in age from four to 12, are scheduled to receive instruction in the lessons of Saul and the Amalekites in the comfort of their own public school classrooms. The instruction, which features in the second week of a weekly “Bible study” course, will come from the Good News Club, an after-school program sponsored by a group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). The aim of the CEF is to convert young children to a fundamentalist form of the Christian faith and recruit their peers to the club.

    There are now over 3,200 clubs in public elementary schools, up more than sevenfold since the 2001 supreme court decision, Good News Club v Milford Central School, effectively required schools to include such clubs in their after-school programing.

    Via Talk To Action: Over 100,000 Public School Students To Get Lessons On Killing Unbelievers

    AlterNet: The Religious Right’s Plot To Take Control Of Our Public Schools, March 6

  • A Year in Jail for Not Believing in God? How Kentucky is Persecuting Atheists

    Alternet, By Laura Gottesdiener, November 21

    In Kentucky, a homeland security law requires the state’s citizens to acknowledge the security provided by the Almighty God–or risk 12 months in prison.

    The law and its sponsor, state representative Tom Riner, have been the subject of controversy since the law first surfaced in 2006, yet the Kentucky state Supreme Court has refused to review its constitutionality, despite clearly violating the First Amendment’s separation of church and state.

    “This is one of the most egregiously and breathtakingly unconstitutional actions by a state legislature that I’ve ever seen,” said Edwin Kagin, the legal director of American Atheists’, a national organization focused defending the civil rights of atheists. American Atheists’ launched a lawsuit against the law in 2008, which won at the Circuit Court level, but was then overturned by the state Court of Appeals.

  • Children of God … bred to take over the world

    Evangelical Christians have a new mission: create an army to take over this Godless, liberal world. Andrew Purcell examines the rise and rise of the Quiverfull movement

    The Herald Scotland, September 24, 2011

    Vyckie Garrison’s seventh child, Wesley, was born by emergency caesarean section at the Faith Regional Hospital in Norfolk, Nebraska.

    She had planned to give birth at home, unassisted, but her uterus partially ruptured during labour, almost killing her. For a month, she was confined to bed, barely able to move, let alone look after her family.

    The doctor said it would be reckless for her to conceive any more children. But when she turned to her friends, they offered bleak counsel, backed with the force of the Bible. “I was told that a woman shouldn’t shrink back from supposed dangers and that we should honour God with our bodies,” she says. “Jesus died for us, we should be willing to die for him.” She became pregnant twice more, suffering two miscarriages.

    Garrison and her husband, Warren Bennett, had originally decided to stop at three kids. He had a vasectomy, to make sure. But after reading The Way Home, by Mary Pride, they decided to reverse the procedure – calling one of the doctors helpfully listed inside the back cover. In the next six years, they had four more children.

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