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This is part three of a planned 4-part diary on why I think Bush is trying to force God's hand and make the Rapture happen. Part I dealt with some of the players involved. Part II took a stab at defining what the Rapture is. Today, we'll look at what the Dominionists are after, and what they're doing to make it happen.

Some might say that there have been too many diaries on this topic. And while I'll admit that there have been more than a few diaries, I'm trying to wrap the whole thing up into one neat package. Perhaps a foolhardy notion, but Dominionism is a topic I strongly believe needs to be repeatedly brought to light, in order that it might be viewed as the danger it truly is.

If you agree, join me after the fold for a look at the aims and plans of the would-be creators of Dominion

What they want: Total control of the Government, in order to create a new society with rules based not on the Constitution or existing Law, but rather a society defined by God's laws, primarily found in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy and in the New Testament's Epistles written by Paul.
This new society would unite Christians under one set of rules for worship, creating a world church, thus fulfilling a necessary prophesy for Christ to return
Dominion theology is predicated upon three basic beliefs:

(a) Satan usurped man's dominion over the earth through the temptation of Adam and Eve;
(b) The Church is God's instrument to take dominion back from Satan; and
(c) Jesus cannot or will not return until the Church has taken dominion by gaining control of the earth's governmental and social institutions.

From Biblical Discernment Ministries

For an even more in-depth definition, see the dKospedia entry on Dominionism.

How will they create their Dominion?

The plan is simple. By creating a voting bloc big enough to affect legislative races nationwide. In doing so, they can put into place Chritian legislators who can then pass new laws into being that tear down the current structure. Look how successful they were this passt election with not only getting Bush reelected, but also the sweeping passage of Defense of Marriage Acts.

Another example, the Constitution Restoration Act. calls for limiting the Supreme Court and federal courts from hearing cases involving "expressions of religious faith by elected or appointed officials." According to Katherine Yurica's article at the Yurica Report:

Although the claim by its sponsors appears to be that the intention is to prevent the courts from hearing cases involving the Ten Commandments or a Nativity Scene in a public setting from being reviewed, the law is drawn broadly and expressly includes the acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law by an official in his capacity of executing his office. John Giles, Alabama President of Christian Coalition said, "The greatest unbridled abuse by the federal judiciary for over forty years has been in the area of redefining the acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law...We define this as judicial activism, making law from the bench. These unconstitutional rulings have gone unchecked by other branches of government."

The following proposed law will be added to Sec. 1260 of Title 28, Chapter 81 of the U.S. Code:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element's or officer's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government."

Because the judiciary is "an element" of the federal, state and local governments, this wording, if it becomes law, may allow any judge to institute biblical punishments without being subject to review by the Supreme Court or the federal court system.

This lovely peice of legislation was introduced into the House by Aderholt, Mccotter, Pence, J. Davis (Vir.), Bachus, Ryun (Kan),Foxx,  Barrett (SCar), Wamp, Wilson (SCar.), Rogers (Ala), Pitts, Everett, Cannon, Souder, Cantor, Price, Mcintyre,  Weldon (Fla), Jones (NC), Bishop, Herger, Goode, Hall, And Lewis.

In the Senate it was introduced by Shelby, Brownback and Burr.

On other fronts, Bill Frist wants to invoke the Nuclear Option to eliminate the filibuster. This has been covered ad nauseum here on dKos, but Sister Joan Chittister wrote an important piece in the National Catholic Reporter that bears repeating:

No doubt about it: We have entered a new phase of history. In the name of freedom and goodness, thought suppression is in the air. Now discussion has become dissent.

It is intimidation time in the United States of America. Everybody is expected to follow the flag bearer rather than the Bill of Rights.

It is inquisition time in the church. Everybody is expected to accept clerical answers rather than pursue Christian questions of conscience.

It is the period of the new McCarthyism, the rush to purify the soul of the nation by those who would do anything, however democratically impure, to achieve it.

The unwritten assumption is that to open for discussion what the ruling system decrees to be final is to attack or abandon the system itself.

Now the Senate is dealing with the same tactics. There is a move to outlaw the filibuster on judicial nominations. With it goes one of the few legislative tactics a minority has in response to government by majority. Once the majority has spoken, the thinking seems to be, no one may say another word. Called "the nuclear option" because it is designed to obliterate all dissent, the proposal threatens the only legislative tactic a minority can hope to maintain -- the power of its voice to persuade people to keep thinking about a question rather than rush to judgment about it. But suppression of discussion eliminates the very concept of "parliament." It requires government by fiat.

Bill "He-who-weilds-the-nuclear-option" Frist, if you didn't already know, is a Dominionist.

There's a ton more out there on these guys, but that's it in a nutshell. If you want more info on the Dominionists, I heartily recommend the Yurica Report.

Tomorrow, I'm going to attempt to wrestle this monster I've created into some semblance of order, and finally explain why I think Bush is trying to trigger the Rapture.
__________________
An end note:

I was criticized in my last diary because I was supposedly confusing Rapturism with Dominionism. And while I will concede that R.J. Rushdoony and Gary North both wrote critiques of the Pre-Tribulation Rapturists, those self-same Rapturists including D. James Kennedy are using Dominionism as groundwork to bring about the Rapture.

Also, note that as far as I can tell, those who espose Pre-Trib beliefs and those who lean Post-Trib agree that there will be a Rapture. It's just the timing of the event that they have trouble reconciling. I base my conjecture on an interesting set of charts regarding the timing of Rapture which can be found here.

Originally posted to Timroff on Tue May 10, 2005 at 11:59 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Please Recommend (4.00)
    I'd also like to take a second to thank my Dad, Andrew Smith, an ordained UCC Minister, for his help in researching Dominionism...

    Another Christian Against Bush

    by Timroff on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:00:42 AM PDT

    •  Nice series Timroff (none)
      Thanks.

      "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

      by baba durag on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:59:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes, thanks (none)
      You've provided me with way way more than I think I need to know in order to conclude that these people are both deluded and scary.

      But I guess if you are a Christian who is actually trying to engage these people and discuss these ideas, you need to know the history.  I'm grateful that there are people like yourself who are willing to dig in that dirt; I'll focus my energies elsewhere, and together we'll both be stronger. That's what makes DailyKos so great.

      That link to the charts showing various Bible-based "models" about how the Rapture will happen is a great example of a kind of false scholarship nonsense that is rampant among the fundies.  

      A similar false scholarship runs rampant among the intelligent design crowd.  

      •  Engaging them (4.00)
        I think you've hit the nail on the head with this.

        I've said it before but I am going to repost a comment I made a while back on another diary:

        I had dinner with a Republican fundamentalist friend (yes, I know, it's a contradiction) last night, and we were discussing the end times. I asked him whether it was important or not if the Rapture came while he was alive. He paused a moment and said, "I'm not sure." I said, "we both believe in the risen Christ, right?" He agreed. I said, "then we both know we have a place in the heavenly kingdom when we die, right?" He readily agreed again. "then," I continued, "it doesn't matter if the Rapture happens today or next week or 500 years from now, because we're going to heaven regardless."

        He stopped and his eyes widened. "You're right," he said, "it doesn't really matter, does it?" "Not really," I replied, "but we both know people who are so certain that the end times are here that they've stopped caring about themselves or their futures. They're not paying their bills, or saving for retirement anymore, right?" He agreed, so I pressed home: "Then aren't they abandoning the life that Christ wants us to lead? Aren't they living lives of sloth and greed? Isn't their desire for Rapture standing between them and Christ -- becoming more important than Christ?" He looked at me in amazement, and it was both strange and glorious to see years of cognitive dissonance slide off his mind. He looked away from me for a moment, then said, "we've all made a big mistake, haven't we."

        This happened yesterday. He said that I was dead on with my observations, and that he needed to talk to his current -- and my former -- pastor, Alistair Begg about this, and alert him to the problems that many in his congregation are facing. I only hope that Begg finds the logic that I found contained within the faith too. Begg reaches thousands of fundies, both at Parkside and on his radio show, and a stern "clean up your houses and let God do what he wishes. It is his timetable, not yours that is important," would go a long, long way.

        Another Christian Against Bush

        by Timroff on Wed May 11, 2005 at 04:55:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow-- (none)
          I want to share this with a few people.  I missed it before; thanks for reposting it!

          Hijack their frames! Cheap, easy, effective.

          by chriscol on Wed May 11, 2005 at 07:19:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I am convinced (none)
          that one of the problems most of us have in talking with Fundamentalists is that we speak a different language.

          When I first started seminary, I thought that my map of reality in no way or place overlapped their map of reality.  (I was brought up in the Episcopal Church)

          What I found was that often we were saying the same thing, but coming from two different directions.

          However, this Dominionist stuff is pretty frightening.  In the 80's when I was in school, they weren't very organized, and, in general, were not very politically active.

          •  While the cool kids were sleeping in Civics Class (none)
            The fundie kids were wide awake and taking notes.  Nobody "gets" how to make the system work for them like the fundies -- they get the same kind of results as the moneychangers on K Street.

            There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right with America. -- Bill Clinton

            by ThirstyGator on Wed May 11, 2005 at 08:08:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's nice being a non-fundie born-again Christian (none)
            You see, I believe in salvation and I know in my heart that I get to go to heaven as long as I keep Christ at the center of my life and actively work to promote Christian values (that would be the love thy enemy, aid the poor, free the oppressed, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless kind of values) -- yet I also realize that much of the bible is allegorical and meant to educate poeple on the best way to promote the aforementioned values.

            But I spent a number of years -- first in my late teens, then recently when I turned 40 -- spending time with the Fundies, where I learned to talk the talk and get a feel for their particular brand of groupthink. It's pretty addictive to stand and sing in the middle of one of the megachurches. These people are strong in their convictions, and the senses are overwhelmed by the palpable waves of emotion and zeal.

            Then I kicked out for being too Liberal, and finally returned to the Episcopal Church I had been confirmed in, which had evolved into a vibrant, loving, all-inclusive community of people who actively live within the word, glorifying in God's grace while still actively questioning and thinking. I think I've benefitted from my experiences on both sides, and am glad to share my lessons here.

            Another Christian Against Bush

            by Timroff on Wed May 11, 2005 at 09:00:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks Timroff. My recent Rapture diary at (none)
                http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/1/10496/50790 , "The Christian Rapture and Palestinian dignity", makes some similar points, if in a way that is more "Rapture-friendly" (so to speak), and emphasizes that one isn't necessarily allowed to sin (e.g., murder Palestinians) to ""trigger"" a Rapture and pull Jesus down from Heaven on a leash, as it were.
               Can't wait for part 4 ! We will all be in, uh, rapture !!
    •  Tim - (none)
      It's good that you are doing this series. I just wanted to emphasize the nuances of distinction.

      [ from Troppo ArmadilloMost Rapture believers, Pentecostal otherwise, hold to belief in it as a pre-tribulation event. Others support a mid-tribulation Rapture and a third (unsurprisingly) smaller group believe in a post-tribulation Rapture.  In the past, end times theology has caused many conservative Christian groups to stay out of politics. However, in the US the so-called `culture wars' together with a heightened expectation of the imminent end of the world has led many conservative Christian groups to engage quite vigorously with contemporary politics. This development is no doubt behind the formation of the Family First Party by Assemblies of God Australia. However, end times theology is not subscribed to by all conservative Christians or all Pentecostals. In the US, many evangelicals now subscribe to Dominionist theology. Dominionism emerged in the last 30 years and does not believe in the imminent end of the world. Instead it comes out of postmillennial thinking which holds that the world will eventually be Christianized resulting in the eventual return of Christ. Dominionism believes in promoting the rule of the Church (i.e. of an evangelical Protestant variety) believing that Jesus will not return until the Church takes control of government and society. Most radically, Dominionism believes that it is necessary for society to be governed by the laws of the Old Testament. Unsurprisingly, Dominionist Christians have been very active in support of the Bush regime in the US and are strong allies of the neo-conservatives.

      As the Wikipedia article below correctly notes, in some Postmillenial eschatologies the Second Coming of Jesus recedes almost to a mythic distance : a thousand year wait is a long time, and so the "Rapture" is relegated to the far future, beynd the realm of what living Christians would expect to experience in their lives.

      [ Wikepedia, on Dominion Theology]  Dominion Theology is a theological form of Dominionism practiced by a very small set of religious movements within Protestant Christian evangelicalism and fundamentalism. Primarily found in the United States, Dominion Theology has also appeared in Canada, and several European countries.

      Dominion Theology is derived from the Biblical text where God grants humankind "dominion" over the Earth. It is influenced by postmillennialism, a view of the End Times which believes that godliness will eventually pervade secular society (some so-called "Golden Age" postmillennialists believe the present age will culminate in a literal one-thousand-year period of virtual heaven on earth, a millennium) before Jesus returns in a Second Coming.

      Most mainline Christian denominations (and most Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists) reject Dominion Theology. Many participants in the Christian Right in the United States, however, embrace a "soft" form of Dominionism involving both postmillennialists and premillennialists and others in a coalition seeking political power.

      In terms of the political accomodations one would expect to see worked out between Rapturists and Dominionists, I made some suggestions in a previous diary :

      [ from Welcome to the future ] *Dominionists vs. Armageddonists ( or Rapturists ) :  How might these 2 major power blocs of the religious right be gaming the Iraqi debacle for their own ends ? They have their own end game plans that are not entirely congruent with either those of the Bush Neocons or the most enlightened American national interests - indeed, their goals have partially or fully decoupled from American nationalist aims, even imperial aims : Reconstructionist theology and End-Time Eschatologies by definition overide national loyalties. That is to say- if the Bush Administration NeoCons who engineered the US invasion and occupation of Iraq could be justly called a rogue, extremist faction bent on the creation of a "permanent war" to carve out a new American imperium something akin to a Fourth Reich, then it should be noticed that the Dominionists and Rapturists amount to rogue factions that - while allied to the NeoCon agenda - have their own agendas. The Dominionists aims are close enough to those of the NeoCons so as to be, for the time being, functionally identical. Indeed, the NeoCon plans were no doubt formulated with expectations of enthusiastic political support from Dominionists, who have been spoiling for conquest and that vanquishing of Islam which would be a prerequisite to Global "Dominion". BUT...the Rapturist faction has rather different goals. While the Bush NeoCon plan has advanced via what could be termed "calibrated mayhem",  the Rapturists seek maximal mayhem - Armageddon, in fact. It might be expected that the Rapturists would seek to monkeywrench plans so as to provoke maximally bloody conflict and incite a true world war.  In reality though, short of the use of nuclear devices or biological agents to shake up the mix, it is hard to see exactly how the Rapturists could do much more than the US has already done to inflame the Mideast theatre and sow the seeds of global conflict : things may be, from their point of view, progressing swimmingly.
      •  By the way.... (none)
        Your "engaging them" comment above is quite amazing.

        Perhaps you might want to write that one up in a somewhat extended form. It would be nice to see it published somewhere.

        •  I've been thinking about that... (none)
          but then this whole thing came up and took precedence.

          Once I'm done with my post that'll go up sometime tonight, I'll start tackling that one.

          oh, and thanks also for your distinctions listed above. Frankly, if I tried to get everything I've found and learned in here, it'd be an 800 page scholarly text, and I don't know if Markos would appreciate me using all of that bandwidth. As I've mentioned before, I'm jsut trying to give an overview of what's happening, in order to present my grand united theory of what Bush is doing.

          Another Christian Against Bush

          by Timroff on Wed May 11, 2005 at 11:03:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Trouble With Running Things Based On (none)
        Deuteronomy and Leviticus is

        that if you followed all the rules, you wouldn't even recognize this as America any more.

        For instance, the (two) sections which outlaw gay sex, outlaw male gay sex only-- lesbianism is not proscribed.  Also, neither is father-on-daughter incest.

        Then in the dietary sections, pork is outlawed but locusts are OK to eat.  Likewise fish is OK, but all shrimp, lobster, and shellfish are unclean.

        Finally, in several sections, followers are urged to help the poor.  Not to mention the rules for living put forth by Jesus himself, such as healing the sick, taking care of the poor and homeless, and so forth, and we all know what a kink that would put in these people's action.

        So even if they establish "Dominion" they will still have to cherry-pick the Bible to keep the lifestyle they are accustomed to, and it won't be "God's kingdom on earth"-- just a sad sick joke.

        And Jesus, never having been the kind of guy to be dragged around by a leash and manipulated anyway, will just thumb his nose at them while the rest of us poor schmoes suffer hell on earth under their bloodstained thumbs.

        "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy

        by Dean Nut on Wed May 11, 2005 at 07:03:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  <You're welcome!> (none)
      Yep, that's my boy!

      Folks, if you're not deeply concerned about the Dominionist movement, I would suggest you start right now. No matter what your religious persuasion, even if you're "born again", you had better learn all you can and join with others to work in opposition to these bigots.

      And bigots they are. Religious bigotry is the worst.

      The only spot of hope (to me, at least) is that there is a long history of such zealots taking the reigns of power and then losing them in their own corruption. For example, the Republic in England under Oliver Cromwell.

      For Dominionists, to win is to lose. For the rapture is tomorrow. That's right, tomorrow!

      Funny thing about tomorrow, though. You wake up in the morning, it's today. You go to bed at night, it's today. You wake up in the morning, it's ... TODAY! Tomorrow is the day after you die.

      Think about it.

  •  Are all Dominionists Republicans? (none)
    Even some neo-cons are Democrats.

    I am glad to see you are back strong Timroff!

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth.

    by Shockwave on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:17:12 AM PDT

    •  frankly, I have no idea (none)
      Zell Miller is a Dominionist, and I guess that, technically, he's a Democrat (well... a DINO at least).
      I wouldn't be too surprised if there were a few in the House, but I looked for hours and was unable to come up with a definitive "Who's Who" of congressional members of the movement.

      Another Christian Against Bush

      by Timroff on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:44:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a Freakish Paranoid Fantasy! (2.11)
    Anyone who thinks Bush has ever though anything through that carefully is giving him way too much credit.

    I have no idea what motive Katherine Yurica has for spinning such inventive fairy tales, or what kind of drugs you have to be on to believe them.  But I think you'd have to be as delusional as those Right Wing Christians who believe the nonsense they get from Pat Robertson on the 700 club.

    The Yurica Report is recommended to the sane for entertainment purposes only!

     

    Don't blame me, I voted for Lieberman!

    by acerimusdux on Wed May 11, 2005 at 12:27:50 AM PDT

    •  Yurica names sources (4.00)
      and frankly speaking, I seriously doubt that you read the entire 40-page report on the Despoiling of America in the 20 minutes that this diary has been up -- at elast, I'm assuming that's the piece you're referring to.

      Besides, Yurica has got some extremely good and credible information on her site:

      and much more. And if you actually read the article, instead of skimming it and spouting your bombastic nonsense, you'd realize that Bush is a figurehead and a bit player -- he certainly isn't calling the shots. He follows the directives from Rove and his Fundie preacher friends -- including Pat Robertson, who is a leading figure in the Dominionist movement and a Rapturist to boot.

      The Dominionists aren't going to go away just because your head is too small to fit all of the information I have presented here into it. They are very real, they have tasted power, and they want more. Ignore them at your peril.

      Another Christian Against Bush

      by Timroff on Wed May 11, 2005 at 01:01:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  since you obviously don't (4.00)
      have a clue as to what you're talking about, take off your tinfoil hat, STFU and listen to those who do.

      Ever heard of the CNP? What about the Bradley, Scaife, and Coors Foundations? Do you know who Rushdoony is? Or why he's part of the GOP inner circle along with entirely too many of his fellow nutcases?

      The organizational efforts have been going on for a generation, you should be glad that some people have been keeping their eyes open.

      You think that the crazies who tried to "save" Terri Schiavo came out of a vacuum? Or Neal "a mule was my first girlfriend" Horsely?

      The issue under discussion is figuring out how to stop this kind of scum from turning America into a theocratic police state, and if you can't figure out how to click links (or do your own websearches) that will help you become an informed citizen, nobody's got time to do it for you. Or interest, really.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Wed May 11, 2005 at 02:33:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  operationalize that... (4.00)
      Acerimusdux, you haven't operationalized your variables, i.e. spelled out any details beyond flinging some epithets.

      It's too facile to put down Bush as a puppet or a stupid person.  On the "tactical" level, do not underestimate your opponents or they will win.  On the strategic level, you have to have good intel, which includes good analysis.  

      Bush's Yale degree was MBA with specialization in Organizational Design & Management (ODM).  His education equipped him to set up and manage the entities that manage business enterprises.  This is evident in his style of governance: he assembles groups of people with skills & positions he considers relevant, has them go to work on issues and present their findings to him, and then he considers their findings and opinions for a period of time and makes a decision.  

      In this process he also makes clear the philosophical and ideological limits within which the process and outcome will operate.  By now, these limits are generally well known among those who work with him, so these limits have become implicit working assumptions.

      Within this process, it is possible for sufficiently motivated individuals to "have their way" as regards the specifics & details that are embodied in the results presented to the CEO, or in this case, to the President.  

      Bush himself does not appear to be a Dominionist, but rather something more mainstream with strong born-again elements, some degree of evangelist elements, and at least a familiarity with mainstream Calvinism (the denomination from which Dominionism arose as a heretical sect) and a nod toward popular forms of puritanism.  

      However, around every President congregate some number of individuals who are motivated by genuinely-held principles (e.g. Colin Powell), and some who are motivated purely by power.  Many of the latter qualify as clinical sociopaths, and Rove seems to fit the bill, though he's probably not the only one.  Dominionism becomes a rationale that can be wielded by the power-hungry in pursuit of their own ends.  

      So in effect, Bush lays out a general plan for his administration, and then sets his management committee off to work out the specifics.  This is where the Dominionists come in.  They bias the outcomes to suit their own intentions, and then sell the result to the President on the basis that it fulfills his intentions.  

      In effect, the Dominionists in the Administration, and those in the legislature, take Bush's general ideology as an excuse or as encouragement for themselves to press their own agendas.  

      The results that we see in the general direction of legislative and executive agendas are something approximately similar to a mathematical vector: a line whose direction is the outcome of the interaction of forces of various magnitudes.  

      The more you know about the forces that are acting upon the vector, the better equipped you are to change its direction.

    •  you wish! (none)
      I agree that bush hasn't thought this through.  But Rove and the righties know how to appeal to these loons.  

      Check out the Southern Poverty Law Center or Federick Clarkston's blog for more solid information on this.  Just because it is completely nuts does not mean its not happening.

    •  Bush doesn't have to be- (none)
      Christian radio talks about this all the time, they just use Bush for their agenda.  They basically preach that you must vote for Bush, because he will take them closer to their goals then Democrats will, and until they can get someone else in that REALLY fits the bill he will do.

      And Christian radio/television is more political than Christian, so depending on where you live you might have fifteen channels of fire and brimstone if Bush doesn't get his way, or one.

  •  Buch is no dominionist (4.00)
    He is simply beholden to them to a degree.
    •  Bush is whatever he needs to be (none)
      To retain power, politicaly the man is ambivalent to the nth degree. If retention of his and the Bush families political power base were dependant upon him being a communist he would be a communist.

      Bush is not a fool, he learned early in his career that it is often good strategy to play one.

      If this enemy is too be defeated, this notion of 'Bush the Clown' must be dispelled forever. We make the mistake of thinking that this was our frame, wrong - it was their frame all along.

      Regarding the dominionists - he has no problem allying himself with these people, after all he would have no problems allying himself with satan if it was in his interests.

      Most important - he has a full understanding of the current dynamics and a nuanced understanding of the issues and players.

      He knows how politics works, possibly better than any of us.

      'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

      by stevej on Wed May 11, 2005 at 07:33:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Much much appreciated, Timroff ... (none)
    ... all the research you've done and your willingness to lay it out clearly surely helps us understand what's behind all this.

    True dat shrub is a very bit player - dumb enough to be manipulated by rove and "common-man" appearing enough to gather the sheep.  

    I still sit back in amazement and wonder how people can not see what's going on all around them. How bad does it have to be? (Don't answer that - I fear we are all going to find out more sooner than later).

    Anyway, I look forward to the next installment and thanks again for all your hard work.

  •  For quite a while I had difficulty (none)
    reconciling why, if they were hell-bent on creating Armageddon, they kept piling up long-term loot.

    Now I understand that this is capital for enacting their plans and for the society they plan to create while waiting for Christ.  (He's been know to miss appointments.)

    "Barbara, do you think there's time for another mint julip before this Jesus fellow comes?"

    •  Not many of the mint julip- (4.00)

       drinkers are in this creepy club.  Those types (the Kentucky Derby Republicans; noting that there are mint julip-drinking Kentucky Derby Democrats, too) are not likely to be kindred spirits with Politico-Pentacostalesque Dominionist-types.  Allies, yes -- but as has been lately diaried and commented on over the past several days, weeks and months, "Old School" Republicans and InertiaCons have ridden into a Whacked-Out Crazy Religio-Nutball Tiger onto Capitol Hill majority status (let alone the White House) and, well, we know what often happens to people who ride tigers and think that they're in control of the situation.

       BenGoshi
      __________________
       

      . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

      by BenGoshi on Wed May 11, 2005 at 04:59:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Armageddon Profiteering (none)
      Is Jack Van Impe still on the air?  I haven't seen him for a while, mostly because I've removed whatever channels he used to appear on from the channel list on my TiVo and cable boxes.

      Jack and his wife Rexella (imagine what something named Rexella would look like, and this anorexic stick figure goes way beyond that) got into the fake news business years before the Bushies started subcontracting it out. They pretend to be presenting world news based on a combination of scripture and actual news items, but it's really Armageddon propaganda, with a heavy sales pitch.

      Good old Jack positively gushes at the thought that the End Times are coming, very very soon. With what can only be described as a shit-eating grin, he motor-mouths his way through seemingly random one-liners of scripture that inevitably "prove" that the End Times are coming any day now. Whenever I caught this lunatic in passing, I was reminded of James Burke's book/series Connections. Burke would tie together odd happenings of history to show how many things are connected. Such as, one day Leonardo daVinci had a hangnail, and that's how Boeing came to create the 747 (OK I exaggerate somewhat there, but you get the idea...Burke uses actual science, and some of the connections are a wee bit hard to swallow, whereas Van Impe just makes shit up).

      Anyway, the fever works up to full force about Armageddon coming soon, and this is a glorious prospect: everything we know is coming to an end! And just then, the sales pitch starts. Jack's got books, he's got tapes, he's got CD's, by now he's no doubt got DVD's, and if he sticks around long enough he may have chip implants.

      Armageddon is just around the corner, friends! We're all going to die!! This is fantastic news!!! Send me your money ASAP!!!!

      So, is this nutbar still on the air?

      He has oil. He tried to kill my daddy.

      by kensa on Wed May 11, 2005 at 07:15:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes! (none)
        Stumbled across them late late late one night, maybe a couple of months ago?  I have no details - time, channel, etc - as I retched and moved quickly on.

        OK, not quickly enough.  Van Imp was gushing about how Rexella had just received her doctorate of divinity or something.  They didn't actually show the piece of paper, so I can't verify the "Mail-order document from Guam" fine print that is likely printed on the bottom.

        Does a cat have Buddha nature? Mew.

        by glow dog on Wed May 11, 2005 at 07:25:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've never heard of them. (none)
        It sounds like their fake Christian news is akin to and maybe worse than the tribulationist junk that Pat Robertson dishes out on the 700 Club.
      •  His website says: (none)
        "The Bible Prophecy Portal of the Internet"
        This guy is a real piece of...um, work.  Check out his website (if you dare) for the daily Prophecy Headline News!
        Luckily it seems that his TV show seems to only get play on backwater UHF stations nowadays, at least in VA.
    •  pew report (none)
      npr had a segment on a new pew report on political affiliations yesterday.  It was generally depressing and facile, but it had an interesting fact along these lines.  It has identified a subgroup of republicans who are socially conservative authoritarian government fans, and I believe this group had less money that any of the subgroups studied.  and yet, unlike some subgroup of "poor dems" they did not expect anyone to help them improve their lot.

      opiate of the masses, indeed.

  •  from an atheist jew... (none)
    thanks.

    i have no other good source to find this stuff out.

  •  *I* know what they need . . . (4.00)

     A.  I live in the Deep South.  Here lie my Protestant roots (well, aside from Jolly Ol' England from where some distant male ancestor of mine, screwed by primogenitor probably, came).

     B.  I've "done politics" in the Deep South, in various and sundry forms, actively, since '76.

     C.  I have eyes, ears and I read things.

     That said, here's what they want:  self-esteem and something to asuage their gnawing fear of powerlessness, insignificance and loneliness.  But, for some reason, rather than simply taking up quilting, photography, orchid-raising or model airplaning as a hobby,  or joining a church not hell-bent (heh) on raising itself up by tearing the rest of the world down (mostly, with lava and stuff), they get into to this non-sense.  Thing is, they've got friends and allies on Capitol Hill, and in the White House, who've influence over, if not actual access to, armies and nukes and stuff.  Zounds.

     BenGoshi
    _________________
       

    . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

    by BenGoshi on Wed May 11, 2005 at 04:49:40 AM PDT

    •  spot on (4.00)
      I live in the deep south too, but only recently immersed.

      It is obvious to me that a lot of young people are fed up with being left behind the modernity train and are subtly changing the face of the south on the inside. They increasingly reject the ole boy system.

      The churches respond with the fire and brimstone and the kids pretty much go about their business anyway, or leave town as soon as they can.

         These kids got MTV, and want their ride pimped, have a love/hate relationship with Britney, they care about the environment, but they don't get much info at school as to how to care for it, so they just play it by ear.

      Southern women have no intention on going back home and staying in the kitchen.  While they may teach Sunday school, and cook a homade dinner at night, the idea that these women do not have a lot to say in the context of their "roles" is misleading.  

      The casino industry along the coast has an 80% female employee rate.  (of course the majority of these are at the lower levels, but still).  Try telling the casinos to shut down or get along with only male servers/employees.  

      The young people flock to the coast and the cities because they simply reject the old standards.

      A funny thing happens when public officals oppress.  People leave.  Home values go down.  Bad publicity  is not a good thing these days, and with the internet, people are publicly thrashed for acting like bullies. (Take the preacher who threw out people for voting Democrat).

      We won, we just need to get our shit together and solidify our home base, and train our local leaders to lead.

    •  so they feel like (none)
      they have joined the powerful now?  That's scary.  Guess that makes it imperative to show them that their religious leaders are playing them for fools.  More on the Ralph Reed - Abermoth connection!  More on the Pat Robertson Liberian gold mine connection!
  •  Dominion (4.00)
    "My kingdom is not of this world." Jesus

    In more biblical Christian theology, it's Jesus who reclaims the dominion Adam lost. From the book of Daniel onward (with its unearthly stone smashing the world's kingdoms), through Jesus' endorsement of religion-state separation ("Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's"), the ultimate hope is outside humanity. Dominionism is an egotistic fundamentalist attempt to claim power, while ignoring some of the more salient points of God's charge to Adam (one imagines he-who-named-the-animals would have a fair degree of interest in environmentalism). It's a false, self-centered distortion of Jesus' gospel more akin to the attitudes of Jesus' contemporary opponents.

    •  Egoistic, self-centered - No shit! (none)
      Aren't we special?  

      This is the most important time is the history of mankind, and God is coming back to thank me for setting all these forces into motion to enable end times.

      Almost every adolescent has the thought that everything and everyone around them are but props in a universe centered around the great me.  (Why else would they act that way?)  Most of us grow out of that, but apparently a few haven't.  

      I don't think that the vacuous expression on Gee Dubya's face has anything to do with religious fervor.  He just can't believe how much money he managed to bilk the United States Treasury for.

  •  Fringe phenomenon (none)
    From a purely theological persepctive, the Dominionist/Reconstructioonists do not believe in the Rapture. Theirs is a strict Calvinist theology, and their interpretation of the End Times stuff differs a great deal from the Evangelical approach, which can (but does not necessarily) include a Rapture. Per the Calvinist view (postmillenialism) Christ will return only after the Millennium Hence the Calvinists seek to create the Millennium by taking control of the world and instituting "godly" policies. All good Christians then stick around right here and particpate in the theocracic paradise and there's no need for a Rapture. The opposite view (premillenialism) sees things in the world getting worse and worse and then Jesus shows up before it all really hits the fan to rescue True Believers: the Left Behind fever dream stuff pretty much portrays this view.
    I think it ought also be pointed out that the Rapture is definitely not orthodox (small "o") Christian belief and it not taught by any major Christian body; and that Millenialism in general is similarly quite marginal. The major churches (Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, etc.) are a-millenialist meaning that they consider Revelations an almost inpenetrable allegory that cannot be taken as literal prophecy concerning our own day or any other era.
    That said Millenialism has been hanging around as a populist belief for 20 centuries in every Christian population. There's nothing new about it, and bizarre though it might be, it's nothing much to fret about.
    +
    •  Yes, an important point (none)
      The mainstream churches regard Revelations not only as allegory, but as an allegory largely about events that already happened. It's taught as a consolation text for an early church facing persecution and afraid to commit literal commentary about current events to writing.

      While "Millienialism" is old, it's important to remember that word did not refer to the bundle of beliefs the Religious Right espouses today. Many millenarian societies held completely different ideas. The notions of Rapture and Dominionism are purely modern inventions born mostly in the American popular press, not in scholarship, the Bible, tradition, or theology. As popularized today, they are part of the carnival hucksterism native to one strain of roadside American Christianity.

    •  I recognize the fact that... (none)
      ...from a purely theological standpoint, Reconstructionists like Rushdoony do not believe in Rapture.

      The problem is that Dominionism has been taken over by folks like Kennedy and Robertson, who want to use the idea of a unified church-state in order to accelerate Rapture.

      Also, it is my understanding that Rushdoony does believe that the dead will rise and the living church will follow into heaven, as it's neatly spelled out in Revelation. That is what I'm trying to say in the end note of my diary.

      Another Christian Against Bush

      by Timroff on Wed May 11, 2005 at 06:00:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kennedy, Rushdoony etc. (none)
        Re: The problem is that Dominionism has been taken over by folks like Kennedy and Robertson, who want to use the idea of a unified church-state in order to accelerate Rapture.

        I confess to not knowing much about Kennedy apart from the fact that his trophy cabinet probably has the Homophobe of the Year plaque in it for the last decade or so. Robertson however is definitely a pre-millennialist (I will do him the favor of assuming that he actually believes the bilge he preached) and these people would not see a theocracy as a pre-condition of the rapture: in fact, the exact opposite since according to that view the government is not going to be "godly" it's going to become corrupt and anti-Christian as all hell (literally!) and Jesus will then come to save the faithful from it.

        Re: Also, it is my understanding that Rushdoony does believe that the dead will rise and the living church will follow into heaven, as it's neatly spelled out in Revelation. That is what I'm trying to say in the end note of my diary.

        Rushdoony is already one of those dead (since 2001/2002?), so I would suggest a past tense when discussing him*.
        Standard Christian theology on the Parousia (the technical term for the Second Coming by the way) does hold that the Dead will rise to judgment and (for the Saved) new life. However, it's a mistake to say that Revelation teaches a clear Rapture (as opposed to Resurrection) doctrine of any sort. You really have to twist the words to get there, and its rather amusing that the supposed Literalists engage in such feats of interpretation  when they find that the "clear sense" of Scriptuer fails to support their beliefs.

        * I was rather appalled when the Weekly Standard, a fairly secular rightwing journal, nevertheless euologized Rushdoony with quite glowing words, skipping neatly over his blatant theocractic preachings with nothing more than the note that some of his views were "controversial".

    •  However fringe (none)
      it should be noted that Republican presidential candidates pay obeisance to the millenialists at Bob Jones university every four years.

      Pithecanthropus "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Wed May 11, 2005 at 06:24:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, but.... (none)
      The history, scholarship & theology of all this is fascinating and important.

      However, what the bible actually says is not what is most relevant, from a practical, political POV.  It is how the bible is used by those in power that must be watched.

      Does a cat have Buddha nature? Mew.

      by glow dog on Wed May 11, 2005 at 07:36:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In fact Revelation was often left out (none)
      of the canon of Scripture for the very reason that it was considered impenetrable, and not particularly relevant.

      Some peope, however, read the Bible backwards.  The start with the Revelation, and sometimes never leave it.

    •  I think also these modern trends (none)
      are largely divorced from mainstream religious institutions and traditional doctrine.  these are cults of personality, where an incredibly arrogant man decides individually that  has the best interpretation of calvin or luther and starts his own church.
  •  But what about... (none)
    But what about the Christians who just fuck their wives up the ass?  Wait...is that in Deuteronomy?
  •  What I'm Wondering (none)
    First off, thank you for the diary series; it's been extremely informative.

    I wonder if there is any information (I'm at work so I can't search while the idea is fresh in my mind) on the Dominionist and Rapturist politicians and their reactions to Moon's Unification Church, which also plays a significant role in Washington?

    I ask because both groups are seeking political influence, and while their doctrines seem diametrically opposed, I wouldn't be surprised if Congressmen and other political leaders were courting both congregations, so to speak. I wonder, if they are playing both sides, how the rank-and-file would react to that cognitive dissonance, given that Moon preaches that Jesus Christ was a failure, and that Moon himself is the new Messiah, here to succeed where Christ screwed up.

    The Thursday Aug.16, 2001 New York Newsday (City Edition) Newspaper was emblazoned with a huge picture of Sun Myung Moon on its front page with the captions, "Reverend's Growing Influence Among African-American Ministers Has Many Clergy Worried" and "Moon Orbits Harlem". Page A7 of that paper was filled with a whole page of articles about Moon and his upcoming "Blessing" to be held at Madison Square Garden, under the heading,"Moon A New Star". A sub-article on that page, "His Church's Beliefs", mentions that Moon has called himself the Messiah. After questioning a Unification Church / FFWPU official about this, Newsday then reported:

    "But a church official said yesterday that Moon uses the term, Hebrew for 'the anointed one,' for all pastors, in the sense that they are chosen for a leadership role." (Paul Moses, "His Church's Beliefs", Newsday (City Edition) Newspaper, Aug. 16, 2001, p.A7)

    This is an outright boldfaced lie by a Unification Church official, as every Unification Church member knows full well! The Unification Church knows that if the truth gets out it would cause the many Christian Ministers they have been deceiving to withdraw their support and actively speak out against them. But the thoroughly documented quotes from Unification Church publications listed above (as well as many more on our website) clearly prove that Moon claims to be the Messiah (a unique individual), the source of salvation for all mankind, sinless, the Lord of the Second Advent, the Second Coming of Christ, the Savior of the world, the only way to be saved!

    The quote is intended to show how the Unification Church covers its own ass while it courts African-American churches. It's almost like they're operating under a religious "don't ask/don't tell" policy. "We will take your money and won't ask you whether you actually think you're the Messiah." Moon has paid churches to replace their crosses with crowns (replacing Christ with Moon).

    In the same way as Republicans used gay marriage to split the religious black vote away from the Democrats in 2004 (they tried; how successful they were is up for interpretation), couldn't we use the actual dogma of these sects -- combined with their working together politically, or politicians serving both masters -- to cause a rift in the rank-and-file religious right?

    It seems like, "Senator X takes money from the New Messiah," or "Representative Y dines with man who says Christ was a failure" would make nice soundbytes.

    "So much thinking in our society has been replaced by following. I know God didn't make us for that." --Keith Olbermann

    by Irony on Wed May 11, 2005 at 06:05:59 AM PDT

    •  Happy Funtime JudeoChristian Umbrella Parade! (none)
      I think, right now, the biggest "enemy" of the "religionists"(theocrats, fundies, etc) are the "secularists"(separation of chuch/state, whether personally religious or not).

      And so we are seeing some stange bedfellows.  This was pointed out a few times during PopeFest 2005, regarding serious doctrinal differences between current political allies (American fundie protestants & conservative Catholics).

      It's the same kind of nonsensical alliance we see between American fundies and (politically) conservative Jews - an extreme pro-Israel position that currently serves the very different motivations and goals of two very different religious groups.

      Moonie is just another (mass) marriage of convenience for now.

      I just hope they get started on the inevitable infighting and cannibalism long before they wipe out us secularists.

      Does a cat have Buddha nature? Mew.

      by glow dog on Wed May 11, 2005 at 07:55:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Moon is a lot more than a marriage of convenience (none)
        His global empire and network of front groups are a powerful force in DC and the Conservative Christian Movement.  

        And given that he's a patron of Bush, Falwell, Roberston, LeHaye, and even the anti-evolution movement, and a seemingly-endless number of connections to other DC and Religious elites, we should all consider the good Reverend Moon to be a glorious opportunity to highlight just what type of people are running this new crusade.  

        Don't forget:  Reverend Moon = Jesus Failed!

        •  another fun moon link (none)
          Remember Doug Wead, the Bush family friend that released the "Bush Tapes" a while back?  Even he's in Moon's orbit.  

          Don't forget:  The Good Reverend Moon =


          "There will be a purge on God's orders, and evil will be eliminated like shadows. Gays will be eliminated, the 3 Israels will unite. If not then they will be burned. We do not know what kind of world God will bring but this is what happens. It will be greater than the communist purge but at God's orders."

          This is the guy that owns the Washington Times!!!

          •  Thanks for the links.... (4.00)
            I do know all this stuff about Moon.  Scary guy, indeed.  But I think you misunderstand my point about "marriage of convenience".  It is exactly the "marriage of convenience" that makes Moonies, Dominionists, Rapturists, etc so potentially dangerous.

            Alone, they are cults.  Small, impotent groups of crackpots.  But they are forming a powerful alliance under a vague and theologically suspect "Christian" umbrella, using vague conservative "JudeoChristian values" they can all agree on ~ "sanctity of life", pro-nukular/heterosexual-family, etc.

            Hence, the "People of Faith" vs. the rest of us heathens.

            That vague, Godly American Values alliance has swelled their ranks and power, since it attracts millions of average-joe middle-America Christians who naturally consider themselves to be "People of Faith", and who have no idea about the freakshow perversion of religion that is pulling all the levers behind the curtains of their "side".

            The "marriage of convenience" is what gives these people power.  But it cannot hold up indefinitely.  The goals, motivations and doctrines of these allied religious (and political) sects are way too disparate.  The marriage will dissolve eventually, inevitably.

            Their goal ~ band together as (essentially meaningless) "Christians" to destroy the secularists, while consolidating as much power as possible for their own sect before the inevitable cannibalization commences.

            Our job ~ destroy their "People of Faith" facade and expose the power-mad snake-oil salesmen for what they really are

            Does a cat have Buddha nature? Mew.

            by glow dog on Wed May 11, 2005 at 09:12:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  today's Diane Rehm Show on NPR (none)
    will have a discussion around this subject.  IMHO
    her show is consistently topnotch, and is a co-jones of mine along with Kos.  I'd provide a link, but am lacking computer skill.  You can access audio at WAMU.org I believe.  She's on at 10:00 am in my area.
    •  Here's the link (none)
      The Diane Rehm Show

      Wednesday May 11, 2005
      10:00 Conservative Christians

      Conservative Christians are playing a prominent role in the current battle over judicial nominees. We'll hear several perspectives on their political clout.
      Guests

      E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, and author of "Stand Up Fight Back."

      Chris Hedges, senior fellow, Nation Institute and author of the forthcoming book:"Losing Moses on the Freeway: The Ten Commandments in America"

      Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council

      Bob Edgar, general secretary, National Council of Churches

      The show is just ending now, but you can listen to the archive in about an hour.

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Wed May 11, 2005 at 07:56:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BONUS CHIRSTIAN POINTS (none)
    As far as I know (and let me know if I am wrong here) you don't get BONUS CHIRSTIAN POINTS if you are living when the rapture comes.  

    What the hell is all the rush?  

    Is this all about entertainment value?  Is it as monumentally mundane as that?

    Do they figure that they somehow will be conscious as they ascend on that holy of holy escalators into the infinite heavens?

    And, hold me back because this is really the core of my squick on these christianist rapturists, what makes them think they freaking deserve such expensive entertainment in the first place?

    If they are "Good Christians" it doesn't matter WHEN the rapture comes, they will all meet at the same post-rapture cocktail party, snack on pigs-in-blankets, trade AmWay secrets, and chat about "Left Behind" spoliers, FOREVER (oh holy j*zus, what a vision THAT is).

    What a FINITE WORLD VIEW which I gotta tell the truth kids.  THAT FINITE WORLD VIEW = seriously diminished evolutionary advantage.

    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. - Douglas Adams

    by nika7k on Wed May 11, 2005 at 06:29:24 AM PDT

  •  "Bush is trying to force God'd hand..." (none)
    good grief!

    ...Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things....

    by PhillyGal on Wed May 11, 2005 at 06:34:07 AM PDT

  •  Divine right of elected Kings (4.00)
    I'l try to stick to the brief version of my points here, and as per Tim's suggestion yesterday, turn these things into diaries of their own (later today?).  

    The Constitution Restoration Act (sic!) assumes God is source of law.  The way the Dominionists get this from (or read it into) our founding documents is by the following reasoning:

    The Declaration of Independence states that government derives its legitimacy from the consent of the governed, and states that humans form governments to serve their needs, and that humans have certain rights given by their Creator.  (I'll come back to the issue of who/what is the Creator shortly.)  

    If we turn this around so it looks like a chain of causality, we get the following:  

    God creates humans with inalienable rights.  Humans form governments; the legitimacy of governments derives from the consent of the governed.  Therefore the legitimacy of governments ultimately rests upon the will of God.  

    This leaves out two steps.  One, God is seen as an active participant in the affairs of humans, who has specific intentions with regard to the governments of humans.  Two, God enacts His intentions via the will of the voters.  

    The voters can use their God-given free will to vote in accord with God's designs.  For an individual to use his/her free will to act against God's designs and intentions is sinful.  Therefore those who vote for candidates or policies that oppose God's plan are acting sinfully.  

    This provides the rationale for Dominionists to "rescue" God's plan from the hands of the "sinners" by interfering with the sinners' voting: from overt disenfranchisement, to subtle tampering with electronic voting machines.  

    It is not necessary for each and every vote to express God's will, and in any case that outcome (the classic 99 - 100% vote as found in dictatorships worldwide) would raise a backlash that would thwart God's will.  It is only necessary to deny or tamper with enough votes to obtain the majority needed for God's chosen candidates to gain office.  

    So, the outcome of the election is supposed to reflect God's will.  This gets us something not seen on this continent for over two centuries...

    The President is chosen by voters acting in accord with God's will, therefore he rules by virtue of God's will.  That is, he rules by Divine Right.  As in, the Divine Right of Kings.  

    What we have here is the template for an elected monarch, and for monarchical succession via nomination by those who believe they are uniquely capable of ascertaining which candidates for office fulfill God's plan.  The process of selecting a candidate becomes analogous to that of selecting a Pope, and it is only for the voters to obey.  

    ---

    Quick point about "Creator."

    The Declaration of Independence begins with the lines:

    "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."  

    The key phrase here is "the laws of Nature and of Nature's God."   Nature is named first, with a capital "N" to specify a proper noun; God is named second: as if to say that the naturalistic universe existed prior to God (the universe gave birth to God), not vice-versa.  And then for emphasis we find that the name Nature appears twice, the second time being used in the possessive form (apostrophe-"s", as in Alice's house, Bob's children, etc.).  The object of the possessive noun "Nature's" is "God," so once again, for emphasis, God is of Nature, not vice-versa.  

    That's deism, plain and simple (or perhaps straightforward and profound).  It is most definitely not any of the denominations from which Dominionism could claim lineage or legitimacy.  

    ---

    In conclusion:  The Dominionists have to torture our founding documents to legitimate their claims on power.  They also have to torture Christianity to legitimate their claims on theology.  In the strictest sense, it is they who are un-American and un-Christian, and we should be making this point relentlessly in every public forum.  

    •  timroff, can we get in touch directly? (none)
      Timroff, is there an email address or other means where I can reach you directly?  I think we should get in touch and also make contact with the founders of Talk To Action, and start some serious discussions aimed toward making strategic plans.

      I'd post my email address here but am new enough to this site to be concerned about spammers' bots harvesting addresses.  I'm open to suggestions as to how to go about this; I can also create a temporary address for myself, specifically this purpose, and post it here for your use, and then flush it after we're in touch via regular means.  

      I can think of a few other people who might be included in these discussions, more about which later.  

      •  To get in touch (none)
        Doubleclick on someone's name/link at the bottom of a diary or comment.  If he/she has allowed his email to be displayed (and Timroff has) you will see it.

        "The only way we can ever beat/These crooked politician men/Is to cast the moneychangers out of the temple/Put the Carpenter in." -- Woody Guthrie

        by Pho on Wed May 11, 2005 at 07:56:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As Pho has said (none)
        It's in my profile.

        or, to bypass that extra step it's tim at timroff dowt com

        ;-)

        I agree, there are a few folks participating in this that might be of great help.

        Another Christian Against Bush

        by Timroff on Wed May 11, 2005 at 08:30:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nature's God (none)
      Re; Nature is named first, with a capital "N" to specify a proper noun;

      Rules of capitalization were not well set in the 18th century. I would not read too much into this. All sorts of other words in the Declaration and Constitution (and other 18th century writings) are capitalized without any implication that they refer to demi-god like beings.
      I do agree that "Nature's God" is intended to be as generic as possible, a god for the Deists and skeptics as well as for the Christians. Our civic religion God, not the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.

      •  good poing (none)

        Good point there; you're right and I overlooked that factor when I wrote.  Though, the apostrophe-S still stands, and the mention of Nature and God in the same line to my mind still indicates that deism, rather than some other specific denominational doctrine, was intended.  
  •  It would serve them right if (none)
    in heaven, the faithful were covered with festering, oozing boils and ravenous bugs so that they could better contemplate Jesus and God.

    Hell, where I and most of my friends will no doubt spend eternity ...

  •  Bunch of crackpots- (none)
    Jesus broke the old covenant, he gave a new law.  Those people just make the crap up as they go along.  

    In any case they are way overreaching.  Any time you put a shitty law on the books it ends up causing all kinds of problems, even for those who wrote it.

    Imagine a court system bogged down by various biblical interpretations.  Instead of having to call a doctor to the stand you have call in a bunch of preachers and priests.  So then you have a conflict between the priest and the minister on child abuse, or what to do with adultery. (old testament say stone em, the new says to let to them go.)

    Imagine the county clerks decide not to marry a couple because they are from "different tribes".

    Imagine the erosion of such things as the casino industry (which Dobson hates).

    Imagine the erosion of medical research, the biological sciences, and the loss of foreign talent.

    Nepotism always sucks expert talent from government and business, so will dominionism as the pool for work becomes limited to those who "abide".

    The conditions that they are calling for have already been tried, and failed.  

    They want to bring us back to the first century, but how many people really want that?  The rest of the world is modernizing, because the human spirit pushes forward, not backward.  They may try to go back, but the tide will be against them, from the international community (trade) and even from within.

  •  Dominionism as a wedge issue (none)
    I am interested in the idea of taking on the megachurches on their own terms.  I am particularly interested in taking on people like this writer who I ran across today. His major points:

    Of course evangelicals -- Protestants who emphasize the need for a born-again experience and believe in the importance of sharing the Gospel (think Billy Graham) -- are not a monolith. Although our social and political concerns are varied, we share a broad commitment to values that, when fairly portrayed, are well within mainstream American politics.

    * * *

    Evangelicals are not a monolith, nor are the American people. We differ on many things, yet there is broad consensus on basic values including: a commitment to religious liberty, helping the poor, the importance of families and the value of life.

    On the one hand, dude is seriously deluded -- who is more guilty of portraying conservative evalgelicals as monolithic, their critics or their leaders?

    On the other hand, if a significant number of evangelicals are as moderate as he pretends, someone needs to do some serious Christian-to-Christian advocacy to peel off some of the more reasonable elements of the community.

    Timroff, I truly appreciate the effort.  Hopefully we'll meet at a face-to-face in NEO some time.

    "The only way we can ever beat/These crooked politician men/Is to cast the moneychangers out of the temple/Put the Carpenter in." -- Woody Guthrie

    by Pho on Wed May 11, 2005 at 08:08:58 AM PDT

  •  Americans Love Money Way More Than Jesus (none)
    I think many people only worship Jesus to pray for riches.

    Wall Street dictates policy to the repuglicans. They tolerate the religious mumbo-jumbo because it vexes the democrats and keeps them from re-establishing the regulatory role of government.

    When the religious crap fails to make them any more money, Wall Street will drop it like a turd into the toilet of history.

    We the undersigned urge you to support Federal funding for research using human pluripotent stem cells. -80 Nobel Laureates to Pres. Bush

    by easong on Wed May 11, 2005 at 08:11:56 AM PDT

  •  Revelations (none)
    First, thanx timroff ~ very enlightening diary and discussion.  I especially like your last link to the Sola Scriptura trib/rapture timing charts.  Really cleared up some basic stuff I was confused about.

    Second (and please forgive me if this has already been discussed on the previous timroff diaries), has anyone here been following NBC's Revelations miniseries?  

    I have.  I was unable to restrain my morbid curiousity.  Know thy enemy, right?

    Is it based on any actual, current endtimes "theology"?  It is obviously not concerned with the rapture, but rather a heretical Catholic endtimes POV.  But I'm not familiar with it.  Is it total fiction, or is there also currently a Catholic endtimes sect, along with the Protestant Dominionists/Rapturists?

    Also, this hot nun and Bill Pullman are obsessed with finding the baby Jesus, returned to planet earth.  But everything I learned way back when in my pseudo-fundie days was that Jesus was not coming back as a baby, but as a fully-grown warrior.

    'Sup with that?

    Does a cat have Buddha nature? Mew.

    by glow dog on Wed May 11, 2005 at 08:27:09 AM PDT

  •  Who says they're "God's laws"? (none)
    Martin Luther, Jan Hus, Calvin... the names of the folks who fought the notion that any one person, even the pope, has the only true understanding of scripture are fairly well-known. The history of the last 1,000 years of the Church has been one of beating off wave after wave of challenges to the "official" version--followed by a whole mess of generally disastrous purges and great secrecy. Try to find out the truth about the Albigensians or the Inquisition even today and you'll meet roadblock after roadblock.

    Which leads me to ask: what gives Dominionists their special ability to know God's mind better, and why should they believe "the Church" has any intention of playing their game?

    "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Wed May 11, 2005 at 08:38:46 AM PDT

  •  attention Seattle area Kossacks... (none)
    Katherine Yurica is coming to Seattle (actually Ballard) this Saturday as part of the Jubilee festival sponsored by Rauschenbusch Center, Earth Ministry, Church Council of Greater Seattle, and others.

    From her website
    NEW: Pentecost Jubilee Festival

    A New Conference in Seattle, Washington on May 13th and 14th:

    Friday, May 13th: Ched Myers, "The Roots of Jubilee Insurgency: From Jericho to
    the Living Wage Struggle," Workshops: Saturday 11:30 - 1, and 4-5:30 p.m. with
    Katherine Yurica: "The Unholy American Dominionist Movement."

    At Trinity United Methodist Church
    6512 23rd Ave. NW, Seattle

  •  George Rapp and the end is nigh all over again (none)
    All of this apocalypse talk reminded me of George Rapp (believe it or not it really did).

    Rapp wasn't alone amongst his 19th century contemporaries in believing the end was nigh.  He decided the best way to prepare was to create a more pure society.  In fact he and 1,700 of his followers did set up a commune in Pennsylvania.

    But what popped into my mind after reading all this about the Dominionists waiting for the rapture (not the Blondie song) was Mr. Rapp's death bed statement:

    If I did not know that the dear Lord meant I should present you all to him, I should think my last moment's come.
    Well - surprise! that was his last moment.  Waaay back in 1847.  And guess what he never got to present the dear Lord to his followers, despite having his intro speech all written:  "Now I'm proud to present to you an entity that needs no introduction whether you know him as the big kahuna, the all mighty, God Man, or as we like to call him around here: "The Lord," you know He's got a lot to say... and between you and mean me - a lot of explain to do... I kid... Anyway without further ado 'ere's the big man himself..... God!"

    Well a day will come when Tim LaHaye and his ilk will meet their ends... and they too will be bewildered that humanity has continued on... and they never got to give their intro speeches.

  •  Ratzinger gets into the mix (none)
    Pope Benedict made a speech about the evil energies being unleashed by Satan in the world:

    "History, in fact, is not in the hands of dark forces, left to chance or just human choices," he told thousands of people in St. Peter's Square.

    "Above the unleashing of evil energy, above the vehement interruptions of Satan, above the so many scourges of evil, rises the Lord, supreme arbiter of history," the Pope said in an address reflecting on the Book of Revelation in the Bible.

    He urged Catholics to look for and recognize what he called "hidden divine interventions in history."

    So, I wonder if Ratzinger's past afilliations with Neil Bush & Friends would be considered a result of the evil energies or God's divine history handiwork?

  •  The crazy thing is (none)
    I was raised in the evangelical/fundie movement and because of my mom's association with a ministry travelled to many such churches in many denominations.  I was aware of Dominionism when I was in my early teens (I am 30 now) and at the time it was widely viewed as virtually a heresy among those evangelicals I knew.  A preacher who even tangentally inserted party politics in a sermon would lose face at the least, Pat Robertson and Jerry Fallwell were seen as very questionable characters, and the belief was the focus should be on saving souls, not taking over the country.  It is amazing the inroads this dangerous group has made in  the last 15 yrs.  They have largely taken over the evangelical branch of Protestantism, and have highjacked the Party in power.  Scary shit.
  •  I would clarify the following statement: (4.00)
    Total control of the Government, in order to create a new society with rules based not on the Constitution or existing Law, but rather a society defined by God's laws, primarily found in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy and in the New Testament's Epistles written by Paul.

    I would modify that to read something to the effect of "...in a specific interpretation of the Pauline Epistles".

    Contrary to the arguably incorrect interpretation that has been desseminated by a lot of the evangelicals, the books of Paul do not hold a narrow view of Christianity, womens' rights, etc. etc., all of these things that people villify Paul with.  Such claims come out of a primitive, strict and literal interpretation of these books, and don't take into account the historicity of the letters.  

    I don't want to get into a theological debate here, and don't have time to go into a lot of details, but the church was one in a time of perscution -- it's no wonder Paul didn't want people "rocking the boat".  Secondly, a notion such that Paul added on a whole lot of new "regulations" or laws about Christianity are quite misleading too;  Galatians 3 is very clear on this -- Galatians 3:23-25 states,


       23Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

    Paul is talking all about Judaic law in Galatians 3, but his intent is evident -- to be a Christian, you don't have to adhere to this, that, and whatever and ever, amen.  The other Pauline epistles echo these ideas of "freedom" in faith, not conformity.

    Anyway -- do the Dominionists follow one interpretation of Pauline readings?  Yes, probably.  Are they the same bastardised interpretations that everyone quotes when criticising Christianity?  Again, probably.  But are they correct?  More than likely, no.

    •  that's an excellent point (none)
      and I'm glad you've made it.

      I like the epistles for the good news they carry, not the thou shalt nots. The idea that Love is patient, kind, and seeks not its own way. When we look at Christ through that filter, that's the Lord that I've come to love and hold in my heart. Not the vengeful, vindictive warrior with a tongue of steel slaying all in his path that the Rapturists seem to be waiting for.

      Another Christian Against Bush

      by Timroff on Wed May 11, 2005 at 04:46:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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