Sunday, September 04, 2011

Today's required reading: "Inside the Christian Right Dominionist Movement That's Undermining Democracy"

Today's required reading for Democrats and Progressives is "Inside the Christian Right Dominionist Movement That's Undermining Democracy" on Daily Kos.
Dominionism is a broad political impulse within the Christian Right in the United States. It comes in a variety of forms that author Fred Clarkson and I call soft and hard. Fred and I probably coined the term "Dominionism" back in the 1990s, but in any case we certainly were the primary researchers who organized its use among journalists and scholars.

Clarkson noted three characteristics that bridge both the hard and the soft kind of Dominionism.

* Dominionists celebrate Christian nationalism, in that they believe the United States once was, and should 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, believing 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.

At the apex of hard Dominionism is the religious dogma of Dominion Theology, with two major branches: Christian Reconstructionism and Kingdom Now theology. It is the latter's influence on the theopolitical movement called the New Apostolic Reformation that has been linked in published reports to potential Republican presidential nominees Perry, Bachmann or Palin. All three of these right-wing political debutantes have flirted with Christian Right Dominionism, but how far they have danced toward the influence of hard-right Dominion Theology is in dispute.
If you value Democracy, you must oppose Dominionism.

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