I haven't written a journal entry in a while so I might as well, since this subject is very important to me. Though most of this journal will be of someone else's work. I'll be quoting from Chris Hedge's book "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America", since he seems to describe them better than I can. Chris Hedges is a cultural critic and what some people might call a liberal Christian. He was raised in church growing up and even graduated from Harvard Divinity School. Though he has made it clear on video that he doesn't believe in a personal relationship with God and that he thinks theres no real evidence to show that Jesus existed, he still believes theres much to learn from the Bible for good. I think his commentary on culture and war is mostly accurate. He even debated with Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, who most atheists seem to look up to. Though I thought Hedges did a good job with them and had a better understanding of religion and it's purpose, most atheists seem to act like Hedges didn't know what he was talking about, even with his experiences. I don't agree with some of Hedges beliefs and interpretations of the Bible, I don't consider him a real Christian and believe he's unsaved, but he has enough knowledge of the world and written enough information in books and essays that should wake Christians up. I recommend some of his books, and even checking out his articles on truthdig.com, where he puts a new essay each Monday.
As some of you know, I don't approve of the New Apstolic Reformation. They are the perfect example of extreme Right Wing Christians who want to control everyone with Christanity and they ruin our reputation and hurt the message of Jesus. I already exposed Peter Wagner, the founder of that movement in my False Preachers series, and I got another big leader of that movement that will be exposed soon for even more nonsense, probably by next week. Even the documentary "Jesus Camp" shows this extremist attitude. Anyways, here's what Hedges's has to say about the dominionism belief the NAR or any extremist Christian wants to use. I'll be skipping some unecessary parts:
"America and the Christian religions have no monopoly on goodness or saintliness. God has not chosen Americans as a people above others. The beliefs of Christiasn are as flawed and imperfect as all religous beliefs. But both the best of American democracy and the best of Christanity embody important values, values such as compassion, tolerace and belief in justice and equality. America is a nation where all have a voice in how we live and how we are governed. We have never fully adhered to these values-indeed, probably never will-but our health as a country is determined by our steadfastness in striving to attain them. And there are times when taking a moral stance, perhaps the highest form of patriotism, means facing down the community,, even the nation. Our loyalty to our community and our nation, Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, 'is therefor morally tolerable only if it includes values wider than those of the community.'
These values, democractic and Christian, are being dismantled, often with stealth, by a radical Christian movement, known as dominionism, which seeks to cloak itself in the mantle of the Christian faith and American patriotism. Dominionism takes it's name from Genesis 1:26-31, in which God gives human beings 'dominion' over all creation. This movement, small in number, but influential, departs from traditional evangelicalism. Dominionsts now control at least 6 national television networks, each reaching tens of millions of homes, and virtually all of the nation's more than 2,000 religious radio stations, as well as denominations such as the Southern Baptist Convention. Domnionism seeks to redefine traditional democratic and Christian terms and concepts to fit an ideology that calls on the radical church to take political power. It shares many prominent features with classical fascist movments, at least as it is defined by the scholar Robert O. Paxton, who sees fascism as 'a form of politcal behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humilation, or victimhood and by compensatiory cultures of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restrains goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.'
Dominionism, born out of a theology known as Christian reconstructionism, seeks to politicize faith. It has, like all fascist movements, a belief in magic along with leadership adoration and a strident call for moral and physical supremacy of a master racy, in this case American Christians. It also has, like fascist movements, an ill-defined and shifting set of beliefs, some of which contradict one another. Paxton argues that the best way to understand authentic fascist movements, which he says exist in all societies, including democracies, is to focus not on what they say but on how they act, for, as he writes, some of the ideas the underlie fascistmovments 'remanin unstated and implicit in fascist public language,' and many of them belong more to the realm of visceral feelings than to the realm of reasoned propostions.'
'Fascism is...a kind of colonization,' the Reverend Davidson Loehr noted. 'A simple defination of "colonization" is that it takes people's stories away, ans assigns them supportive roles in stories that empower others at their expense' The dominionist movement, like all totalitarian movements, seeks to appropriate not only our religious and patriotic language but also our stories, to deny the validity of stories other than their own, to deny that there are other acceptable ways of living and being. There becomes, in their rhetoric, only one way to be a Christian and only one way to be an American.
Dominionism is a theocratic sect with it's roots in a radical Calvinism. It looks to the theocracty John Calvin implanted in Geneva, Swiitzerland, in the 1500s as its political model. It teaches that American Christians have been mandated by God to make America a Christian state. A decades-long refusal by most American fundamentalist to engage in politics at all following the 1925 Scopes trial has been replaced by a call for Christian 'dominion' over the nation and eventually over the earth itself. Dominionism preaches that Jesus has called on Christians to build the kingdom of God in the here and now, whereas previously it was thought that we would have to wait for it. America becomes, in this militant biblicism, an agent of God, and all political and intellectual opponents of America's Christians leaders are viewed, quite simply, as agents of Satan. Under Christian dominion, America will be no longer a sinful and fallen nation but one in which the 10 Commandments form the basis of our legal system, creationism and 'Christian values' form the basis of our educational system and the media and the goverment proclaim the Good News to one and all. Labor unions, civil-rights laws and public schools will be abolished. Women will be removed from the workforce to stay at home, and all those deemed insufficiently Christian will be denied citizenship. Aside from its proselytizing mandate, the federal government will be reduced to the protection of property rights and 'homeland' security. Some dominionists (not all of whom accept the label, at least not publlicly) would further require all citizens to pay 'tithes' to church organizations empowered by the government to run our social-welfare agencies and all schools. The only legitimate voices in this state will be Christian. All others will be silenced."
(American Fascists: pg 10-12)
Theres more to this dominionism movement explained by Chris Hedges, which I might go more into detail another time, but this should be enough for now. I do wish to put an end to movements like this and wake up all it's followers. I look forward to your thoughts on this.