The Growing Threat of Christian Dominionism
Christian dominionists seeking to impose theocratic rule on others are powerful beyond their numbers, and Pagans should keep a sharp eye on them. Their power comes from two factors: First, they manipulate our system to influence high levels of government. Second, and more importantly, they take advantage of a flaw that I hope will not be fatal to how American elections are conducted.
Who are these people?
Katherine Stewart reports in the The Guardian how several hundred thousand school children will be taught after school that when God says to kill people, their responsibility as Christians is to kill them, and to do so without questioning the orders. Stewart has written a book about the so-called Good News Clubs that are behind this, but they make up only a part of the problem.
"The Family" counts among its members many leading Republican senators and others in government and the military. They also created the national "Prayer Breakfast," which gets national attention as a religious gathering, and even presidents attend.
Jeff Sharlet, who has deeply researched these people, describes how its leader, Doug Coe, told people they need to "emulate" totalitarian regimes in which children kill or inform on their parents in order to build a new society. While this seems a repudiation of Christian principles, those acting for God have different rules to follow than the rest of us. Doug Coe's son and The Family's heir apparent, David, explained what it meant to be a divinely chosen leader:
he asked a young man who'd put himself, body and soul, under The Family's authority, "Let's say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?" The man guessed that Coe would probably think he was a monster. "No," answered Coe, "I wouldn't." Why? Because as a member of the Family, he's among what Family leaders refer to as the "new chosen." If you're chosen, the normal rules don't apply.
Like Stewart, Sharlet also has a book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, for anyone wanting to learn more.
The New Apostolic Reformation is another dominionist group with close ties to a great many Republican politicians, including presidential candidates. Apostle Lou Engel explained, "We are called into the very image of the Trinity himself, that we are to be His friends and partners for world dominion." Another member of the dominionist New Apostolic Reformation explained that Godly rule will at first appear to be "totalitarian" but "the kingdom will move from a point of necessary control while people are learning truth, integrity, honor, and how to make decisions, to increasing liberty so that they can." This is the murderous and demented logic Mao Tse-Tung started up in 'religious' garb.
Gus diZerega is a Gardnerian Elder with over 25 years practice, including six years close study with a Brazilian shaman. He has been active in interfaith work off and on for most of those 25 years as well. He has conducted workshops and given presentations on healing, shamanism, ecology and politics at Pagan gatherings in the United States and Canada. Follow Gus on Facebook.
Gus blogs at Pointedly Pagan.