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Political Christianity has Nowhere to Hide
By: Leah L BurtonSep. 18th, 2011more from Leah L Burton
Charlotte Allen wrote an Op-Ed in the LA Times on August 28, 2011 titled, “Politics and Religion Can Mix”. After reading it I am compelled to write about what these denial articles are really about.
I just happen to be one of those that she refers to in her piece that has not only researched and written about the dangers of Dominionism, but lived it from the time I was a very young child. I ‘walked away’, like millions of others, from this bible-based cult theology that sets its goals on gaining and wielding political power in America and elsewhere in the world.
Does this sound fantastic? You bet it does, but that makes it no less real. It does however make it extremely challenging for those of us who are dedicated to getting the message out about just what this movement is all about. Here is my “elevator speech” definition of political Dominionism:
Dominionism today is Political Christianity based in Old Testament theology that aims to instill God in government and culture. It is a pre-enlightenment view of the world in a battle against evil.
Christians can be political but there is a distinct difference between social justice issues and imposing ones’ religious views through legislation forcing an entire country to live according to their religiously determined laws.
Allen mockingly takes jabs at this theocratic push that infested the Republican Party soundly in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She denies the existence of a political Dominionist effort and that these are simply god-fearing American candidates who have no desire to impose a theocratic government on Americans.
I am the author of the soon to be released book titled, “God, Guns & Greed: A Dangerous Path for America” written in a colloquial narrative that can be viewed as a primer about this very subject. We, who work to inform Americans about this sect are not alarmists; are not “freaked out” by a Bible-reading politician; are not looking under every bed for a theocrat. We are seriously aware and educated on the intent of Political Christianity who will not rest until Americans are informed as well.
I also am proud to serve alongside Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and former U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson V on the Board of Directors of MRFF where we work tirelessly to defend and protect the religious freedoms of our armed forces men and women who come to us seeking relief for aggressive and unconstitutional proselytizing on our military installations around the world.
MRFF now has a client list of over 25,ooo military men and women, 96% who are mainstream Protestant Christians.
What complicates this fight we are in to preserve the separation of church and state which against this creeping extremism is that we are painted by those such as Allen as being “anti-Christian”, “anti-America” and/or “anti-religion” – of which we are none of those. Our work at MRFF to protect mainstream Christians and others in the military whether religious or not, from political Dominionists who are obsessively seeking to “harvest as many souls” as they can before the End of Days is, in fact, profoundly patriotic.
They tell those of us who do not support their scripture-twisted theology steeped in the Old Testament that we are “not the right kind of Christian”. If you are not for ’em, you’re against them. Their world is one of absolutes, and they are convinced that they are the only ones on a path to salvation who have the truth, the light and the way – just ask them.
Coercive religious groups, such as those sects that are harbored under the umbrella of Dominionism, will aggressively rebrand when outed publicly as the bible-based cults that they are. This is not the first time that once exposed- they run for cover, distancing themselves from the very branding that they invented and flourished under. A perfect example of this was what happened to Hillsong Ministries in Australia in 2000.
What will make it virtually impossible for these religious extremists to go under and get out of the spotlight now is that this time they have been outed by the national media. In the past it has been done routinely by walkaways of these very sects, and though damning and inconvenient, they have always been successful at reinventing their message and their branding.
I have illustrated this tactic many times by describing the task of tracking Dominionists as much like playing ‘whack-a-mole’; as soon as they are exposed they pop up in another hole with a new look and new branding. This has proven highly successful for them until now due in part to the number of walkaways who are dedicated to revealing who they are no matter how hard they try to fly under the radar.
As a result of this higher level of scrutiny that can be truly credited to their own brazen arrogance of recent years, and most recently Rick Perry’s tent revival in Houston called, “The Response”, they are enjoying far more attention than they bargained for. This is precisely why we are going to see these contrived articles such as Allen’s and another from a couple of weeks back by A. Larry Ross on The Daily Beast titled, “Christian Dominionism is a Myth”.
Now of course, Ross doesn’t share with you in his article that he has made his living off of doing the public relations work for many of those in the Dominionist movement that may be harmed by this exposure. And Charlotte Allen is one of those beltway elites with an Ivy School education that Sarah Palin warns us about. Allen is known for writing low-information Op-Eds that never inform its readers, rather they are a pattern of spewing outrageous hate and condescension toward those she clearly considers beneath her.
I grew up in a conservative republican household and it is people like this that make politically secular republicans like my father cringe. He has had to pull his support for this Party that he was once a proud member because, unlike those like Allen and Ross, he sees the infestation that has morphed the GOP into an unrecognizable platform for theocracy.
It goes without saying that Eisenhower would not recognize this incarnation of the Republican Party, and I submit that even Ronald Reagan would not survive as a candidate today. He was far too centrist, from his immigration policies to his tax increases.
So we will see these rants continue to emerge, and the denials, the claims of ignorance and the finger pointing like Ms. Allen’s making noises of this being some sort progressive conspiracy ploy. We will see notable characters like Pat Robertson feel the need to state publicly that “I am not a Dominionist”; the same Pat Robertson that started the Christian Coalition which funded Republican candidates through the early 1990s. And we will hear explanations of innocence such as this one.
Another contributor here at politicusUSA, Hrafnkell, wrote a recent article about the extent they will go to deny association with Dominionism even though they are talking about themselves.
“…they seem to be a bit alarmed by the rise of the Seven Mountains Dominionists and their growing influence since Rick Perry’s prayer-fast in Houston on August 6.”
Because this process of condemning and rebranded has worked very well for them in the past, they anticipate the same results this time. But not this time. As they have flourished so have we and we are not naive enough to myopically focus on the Republican Party.
Are there Dominionists in the Democratic Party? Of course. But the Party that lent itself to being steeplejacked was the conservative choice of the two. The GOP was successfully targeted and consumed by Political Christianity and if it had happened to the Democratic Party my charge would be the same.
So we have arrived at a point where we no longer have the luxury of simple partisan politics in America. This is not liberal vs. conservative – it is truly Freedom vs. Theocracy.
No amount of denial or vitriolic rhetoric aimed to turn this into a liberal versus conservative issue changes those facts. I often say that I am truly one of the most persistent proponents of getting the old guard Rs to please, please – take your Party back! And I am equally as ardent a defender of mainstream Christians as I see their shock and awe at the extremism in Political Christian Dominionism as well.
Kick this minority of Dominionists out and into the Party they are truly aligned with – the Constitution Party. Tear them out from under the legitimate apron strings of what once was a conservative platform that supported separation of church and state and force them to own up to what they are devoted to – a biblically based society and government.
If you are going to preach politics from the pulpit, then buck up and own it!