If Michelle Bachmann doesn't want to be regarded as having close ties to dominionists then she should stop hiring them

Douglas Groothius clutches his pearls, flutters his handkerchief and collapses on his fainting couch over Ryan Lizza’s scandalous suggestion in The New Yorker that Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., has ties to advocates of “dominionist” theology.

That fainting couch is quite crowded with evangelical critics of Lizza’s piece, all adamantly insisting that Bachmann is far, far removed from anything at all that has anything to do with dominionism. Groothuis provides a fine example of their exuberant protestations, usually mingled with accusations that Lizza is ignorant or confused or deliberately lying, or perhaps all three:

There is a buzz in the political beehive about the dark dangers of Bachmann’s association with “dominionism”—a fundamentalist movement heaven-bent on imposing a hellish theocracy on America. In the August 15 issue of The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza asserts that Bachmann has been ideologically shaped by “exotic” thinkers of the dominionist stripe who pose a threat to our secular political institutions. The piece—and much of the subsequent media reaction—is a calamity of confusion, conflation, and obfuscation.

Foul, he cries, foul! It is simply unfair to accuse Bachmann of being influenced by “thinkers of the dominionist stripe!”

Warren Throckmorton notes that Bachmann aide Peter Waldron, “was key to Michele Bachmann’s straw poll win in Iowa on Aug. 13 and is now in South Carolina attempting to line up evangelicals for Bachmann.”

In 1987, Waldron co-authored a book titled, Rebuilding the Walls: A Biblical Strategy for Restoring America’s Greatness. A whiff of dominionist “reconstructionism,” perhaps, in that title. But much more than a whiff in the other book Waldron’s co-author, George Grant, published that same year.

That book, Changing the Guard, Throckmorton notices, was published by Dominion Press — the reconstructionist/dominionist publisher of books by Gary North, Gary DeMar and David Chilton, which is to say many of the leading voices in dominionism.

Here’s a snippet from the excerpt Throckmorton quotes from Grant’s book:

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ-to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.

But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after.

World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.

The author of that book simultaneously co-authored a book on “a biblical strategy for restoring America’s greatness” with the man who is, at the moment, on Michelle Bachmann’s payroll and coordinating the religious outreach for her campaign in South Carolina.

It is not “paranoia” to suggest that Bachmann is closely tied to dominionism. It is not “confusion, conflation, and obfuscation” to point out that, in fact, Michelle Bachmann is hiring people who are closely tied to dominionism.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    O.o that seems like a “remedy” only a truly capricious lawgiver could make. So if she miscarries, she was unfaithful. If she doesn’t, she gets really sick and still has to bear a child she may not want. (>_<)

  • Lori

     So, anyway.  Dominionism.  Aside from not voting for theocratic dingbats, and gritting our teeth and supporting the less-noxious team, what can we do about it?  

     

    I think there are 2 main things the average person can do about dominionsim. 

    First, push back against the idea that the separation of church and state is some sort of Liberal lie. Teresamerica was pushing the Right Wing talking point on that hard (as was completely to be expected) when she trotted out the old “freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion”. Everyone needs to know the actual truth about that well enough to respond without having to think much about it.  

    The second thing is to treat dominionist views like they matter and don’t allow them to be pushed aside as trivial or with the old “they all do it” spiel. Beatrix jumped right into this thread making the “it’s nothing” claim and aunursa provided a (poorly constructed, false) version of “the Left is no different”. 

    Dominionsim is a real thing and it does have influence. In fact its influence is out of proportion the number of adherents precisely because it focuses on earthly power. The fact that many dominionists don’t like to call themselves dominionists doesn’t change what they are, it’s not just like other religious beliefs and no, everyone doesn’t do it.  

  • Anonymous

    First, push back against the idea that the separation of church and state is some sort of Liberal lie. Teresamerica was pushing the Right Wing talking point on that hard (as was completely to be expected) when she trotted out the old “freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion”. Everyone needs to know the actual truth about that well enough to respond without having to think much about it.

    One version of that talking point is, “The phrase ‘separation of church and state’ is nowhere to be found in the Constitution!”  I know the general counterargument against this — that there’s way more to law than what’s written in the Constitution (otherwise judicial review would also be a phantom), and that the Establishment Clause has been interpreted by generations of judges to mean separation of church and state.  I just wish I had a pithier, less clunky, more soundbite-y way of saying it.

  • Lori

     One version of that talking point is, “The phrase ‘separation of church and state’ is nowhere to be found in the Constitution!”  

    Oy, that one is irksome. They get mad at you for treating them as if they’re stupid and then claim to be unable to grasp the concept of logical inference. That’s especially rich coming from the supposed Biblical literalists. The word “abortion” never appears in the Bible and they still find the concept in there. There are no Biblical commandments against sex between women, but they still think lesbians are going to hell. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    One version of that talking point is, “The phrase ‘separation of church and state’ is nowhere to be found in the Constitution!”

    My usual response is an exasperated expounding of “Establishment clause!  It’s right there!  One of the first things written in the document!  You can’t miss it!”

  • Anonymous

    To be fair, a lot of them don’t really believe in judicial review either.

  • Rikalous

    One version of that talking point is, “The phrase ‘separation of church
    and state’ is nowhere to be found in the Constitution!”  I know the
    general counterargument against this — that there’s way more to law
    than what’s written in the Constitution (otherwise judicial review
    would also be a phantom), and that the Establishment Clause has been
    interpreted by generations of judges to mean separation of church and
    state.  I just wish I had a pithier, less clunky, more soundbite-y way
    of saying it.

    This sounds like a job for…Thomas Jefferson!

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely
    between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for
    his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government
    reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign
    reverence that act of the whole American people which declared
    that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment
    of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus
    building a wall of separation between church and State.
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association,
    CT., Jan. 1, 1802

    Translated to soundbite: “You’re right. It appears in a letter by Thomas Jefferson describing the Constitution. You think Thomas Jefferson didn’t understand the Constitution?” 

    Fun fact about TJ: when he was running for president, he was smeared as a bible-burning, sodomy-teaching atheist. Sound familiar?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    And then you know what the sophistry is about that wall?

    LOL ONE WAY WAAAAAAAAAAALL WE R SO CLEVUR AT LOOPHOLES.

    I’m amazed steam hasn’t come out of my ears at the sheer blockheadedness of that stupid “loophole”.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get it. How can a wall be ‘one-way’?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    They must believe the Constitution is like police glass when it comes to one-way views.

  • Lori

     I don’t get it. How can a wall be ‘one-way’? 

    Exactly. 

    You get it just fine. They do not. Their cleverness is of the not-at-all-clever, totally-transparent-manipulation-of-reality-for-personal-gain variety. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Here’s an atheism.about.com article that discusses that one-way wall load of hokum.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Here’s an atheism.about.com article that discusses that one-way wall load of hokum.

  • Anonymous

    I guess, but let’s say that a wall really is one-way — what does that mean in terms of the metaphor “wall of separation between church and state”. Are they trying to say that it really should mean that one should control the other or… what?

    I get the feeling that it’s supposed to be a pun or something on the word ‘wall’ but I can’t quite figure it out. Usually I can figure out what they mean (such as when they try to say something like, “You’re a bigot for discriminating against bigots”; it’s really stupid but I can see where the false equivocation is coming from). Here, I don’t even understand the silly point that they’re supposed to be making.

  • Kish

    They are saying that, because it is inconceivable that the Founding Fathers wanted their government not to be a theocracy, if any of them said there was a “wall between church and state,” they must have meant a wall preventing the state from dictating to the church while freely permitting the church to dictate to the state.

    There is nothing more to understand about their position; it’s as simple as that.

  • Lori

    What Kish said. 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Invisible, Lori, and Kish! I think I see it now. It’s not a pun; they’re just reinterpreting the metaphor to mean something else, even if it makes the entire thing fall to pieces. It’s probably the stupidest version of this point I’ve ever read, since it literally doesn’t make any sense even if you agree with the belief (how exactly would you build a wall that’s completely impenetrable in one direction and completely porous from the other?!) but I guess it’s not really reasonable to expect anything better, right?

  • Albanaeon

    So, basically ignoring actual history and actual references to go out of the way to put in a very non-standard interpretation of a word to justify a position that is dubious at best, to downright appalling in practice?

    Sounds about right.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I have always subscribed to the notion that “Good walls make good neighbors.”  I know there is often a more negative connotation associated with building walls between things, seeing it as a “keep out” sign, but I see such walls as more of a cooperative thing.  They exist on the border of property and areas of responsibility, and neither partner can build the wall without the agreement and help of the other.  A wall is rather a metaphor for cooperation, that even when parties have their own areas, they can still work together to the benefit of both without stepping on each other’s toes.  

    The problem is that when one partner decides not to respect the wall, decides that they are not going to help maintain it, what protects them from the other partner saying “Fine, screw you,” and pushing their territory back beyond their own borders?  

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Speaking of neighbors, this Donald Duck cartoon seems quite a propos.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Speaking of neighbors, this Donald Duck cartoon seems quite a propos.

  • Alencon

    Sorry to disappoint you but according to the Supreme Court the 1st Amendment also gurantees freedom FROM religion. Live with it.

  • Joel’s Army

    Will there be any atheists or secularists or liberals left in Congress? Not if we who follow the Holy Words of Christ have anything to with it. Once we, who they call “Dominionists” have retaken this USA, this COUNTRY OF GOD, we will execute all those who opposed us. There will be no atheists. There will be no secularists. There will be no liberals. We will use their skulls to raise MIGHTY ALTARS TO GOD, just as the Sovereign Lord Jesus commands us! And when we have control, we will initiate the End Times, where will be GLORIFIED BEYOND PRAISE BY JESUS HIMSELF! Hallelujah!

  • Rikalous

    We will use their skulls to raise MIGHTY ALTARS TO GOD, just as the Sovereign Lord Jesus commands us!

    You may be thinking of the Blood God Khorne. If not, can you provide chapter and verse in support of skull altars?

  • Lori

    Given the handle “Joel’s Army” I’m assuming our thread necromancer is a Poe. On the off chance the s/he is not, I don’t think we want to poke the whackadoo. You know? The actual Joel’s Army is a nasty bunch and we don’t need to go there. 

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    I’m pretty sure this rant was taken from an old Conan the Barbarian King-Size Annual.  Sub Hyperboria for this USA, The Shambling God for S.L. Jesus … well, you get the idea.

    Also: bonus crazy points for SHOUTY CAPS

  • Rikalous

    Given the handle “Joel’s Army” I’m assuming our thread necromancer is a
    Poe. On the off chance that s/he is not, I don’t think we want to poke
    the whackadoo. You know? The actual Joel’s Army is a nasty bunch and we
    don’t need to go there.

    Wasn’t aware Joel’s Army was a thing. I note from the profile that hir other two comments are actually sane, so I guess you’re right on the Poe thing. Probably should have checked before responding.

  • Anonymous

    I note from the profile that hir other two comments are actually sane, so I guess you’re right on the Poe thing.

    Please to not be confusing ‘insane’ and ‘whackadoo’. The comparison is insulting to the mentally ill.

  • Lori
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the throne of Khorne!

  • Canadianbroad

    As as anonymous Canadian passing by, I am truly torn between the horror at what one of our nearest “neighbour” states has unleashed, and excited by the opportunities she represents.
    Hey, if Canadians could get filthy rich smuggling booze in the 1920s, why not get filthy rich now? I can see how books, movies, DVDs of TV shows, music, could all become precious and scarce commodities in the next 10 years in The U.S. … Awesome man, I’ll just hide the Russell and Dawkins and Salinger in a truck-load o’ bibles! (KJV, of course!)

    Just sign me:

    LoLing all the way to the bank …

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the throne of Khorne!

    To be honest though, I feel like the Dominionists are closer in spirit to the Imperium.  ”Purge the mutant, the alien, the heretic,” “Trust in the Emperor, He is our protector and your faith in Him is your shield,” and all that.

  • Rockon

    I suspect that Throckmorton isn’t the only professor in Grove City that shares his ideology. Throckmorton is exposing himself to be a leftist more and more. His article on about Michele Bachmann and uses and tries to give credibility to the term “dominionist.” (A term taken out of the book of Genesis and re-defined by liberals to mean all those who want to establish a Christian theocracy as the rule of law), proves as such. The word “dominion” in Genesis was in reference to when GOD said that humans will rule over all OTHER creatures on Earth, not each other. And obviously Throckmorton is not a real Christian, because Christianity being based off of Natural Law is not and cannot feel theocratic by nature. And real Christians know that only Christ can establish a successful theocracy anyways when He comes back to re-claim His kingdom. No human can accomplish that. And Scripturally sound persons like Bachmann I’m sure knows this. Throckmorton’s is a homosexual activist now who thinks or believes he is now smarter than GOD…no more, no less.

  • EllieMurasaki

    What you’re saying  looks like English but doesn’t make any sense.


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