Last week, our friend Kurt Willems blasted our post “Christendom Against the Kingdom of God” on his popular Pangea blog. The post has to do with the bass-ackwards approach to politics that much of Christianity has done for the last 1700 years or so. Certainly with the empire-ness aspects of the Catholic Church, the racist Inquisitions, how missionaries were used to conquest and dominate culturally and socially, the Holy and Bloody Wars between the Catholic and Protestant churches and between different factions of Protestants, the Crusades, Calvin’s Geneva, etc, we can see how Christendom – the idea of an earthly kingdom ordered by what leaders imposed was “God’s will.”
One of the primary benefits of the US, however, is the intentional separation of church and state. The nation was largely founded by religious refugees. Many had forgotten the roots of their exodus from Europe and hounded those of other faiths or even doctrines within the larger faith framework, but the Constitution itself guarantees a good amount of religious freedom. Including the freedom to keep the church undefiled by the state and the state undefiled by the church. Which makes it all the sadder that this is happening here, now. What the Dominionists and others like them want to do is to kick that provision to the side in order to create an insane theocracy.
This isn’t a new fad. And though it may be from the fringes, it seems to be moving more to the center. I see Rick Perry’s Prayer Convocation as evidence that more and more of the mainstream of Evangelicalism is accepting of this theocratic language and signage. Certain elements of Evangelicalism (by which I mean, largely white, largely apocalyptic in its tenor and preoccupation) have always, of course, leaned toward the conservative side. But either that was very loose and not organized (such as the resistance to the Civil Rights movement by both Southern and Northern churches) or organized from the top-down (by Falwell, Dobson, Schlafflys, etc).
This Dominionist/Hierarchist movement isn’t spread by the old medias of idiot boxes and radio. Preachers and famous “child psychologists” – though they may lead credence to the events – are not the primary forces behind this. And though Evangelicals are being possessed to lead the way here, it seems more like a slow movement that has now caught stage and is using momentum from other anti-government (and often, anti-minority or anti-poor not to mention anti-feminist) movements. Whereas the Moral Majority took a nose-dive from publicity in recent years, the Dominionists and Reconstructionists (a subset of Dominionism) seem to have been waiting in the wings and growing in power for decades. And they’re not idle. If/when they lose this election, I have a feeling that they’ll just feel MORE empowered.
Seems that Slacktivist has also been thinking of the Dominionists and Reconstructionists recently. He quotes an excerpt from a book by a disciple of the godfather of Christian Reconstructionism, Rushdoony, that states:
So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God. Murder, abortion, and pornography will be illegal. God’s law will be enforced. It will take time. A minority religion cannot do this. Theocracy must flow from the hearts of a majority of citizens …
Yeah, so that’s some scary…