Dominionists and Pulpit Politics

James DobsonI just came across an excellent article by Mel Seesholtz on a web site called Online Journal. The article examines how the Religious Right is gearing up for another political season by establishing ways and means of achieving political means through religious ideology (not that this is anything more), sometimes using an organization called the Arlington Group, which is dedicated to Christian Dominionism and whose members include Paul Weyrich, Don Wildmon, James Dobson, and Gary Bauer.

Yes, there is a vast Right Wing conspiracy.

Excerpts from the article follow;

The legal minions of Christian Dominionism have been busy for some time finding ways pastors can use the pulpit for political purposes. The Alliance Defense Fund, a group of lawyers dedicated to realizing the Dominionist goal of marrying church and state, has taken another step in that direction.

The Pulpit Initiative
Reclaiming pastors’ constitutional right to speak Truth from the pulpit

On Sunday, September 28, 2008, we are seeking pastors who will preach from the pulpit a sermon that addresses the candidates for government office in light of the truth of Scripture. The sermon is intended to challenge the Internal Revenue Code’s restrictions by specifically opposing candidates for office that do not align themselves and their positions with the Scriptural truth. By standing together and speaking with one voice, it is our hope to recapture the rightful place of pastors and churches in American life. [italics added]

Do those “Scriptural truths” include the passages in Leviticus and Deuteronomy that sanction selling one’s daughter into slavery, stoning to death non-virgin brides, people who work on the Sabbath, and those who wear clothes made of two different threads? How about Paul’s scriptural edict in First Timothy: “suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence”?

On July 11, the propaganda organ of Don Wildmon’s American Family Association ran an article, titled “Wildmon: Prop. 8 vote crucial in culture battle”:

The Arlington Group, a coalition of about 60 pro-family groups and ministries, will stress the importance of the November 4 vote in California on Proposition 8, a proposed constitutional amendment that would protect traditional marriage. To do that, pastors will be encouraged to use one Sunday in September to focus on the sanctity of marriage. Churches also will be encouraged to take up a special offering which will go toward the fight for marriage in California. [italics added]

The article reeks with the desecration of language at which Dominionists are so adept. Chris Hedges discussed “logocide” in his 2006 book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America:

Dominionists and their wealthy, right-wing sponsors speak in terms and phrases that are familiar and comforting to most Americans, but they no longer use words to mean what they meant in the past. They engage in a slow process of “logocide,” the killing of words. The old definition of words are replaced by new ones. Code words of the old belief system are deconstructed and assigned diametrically opposed meanings.

“Traditional marriage.” In biblical times a “traditional marriage” was arranged, and often involved more than one “wife” and several concubines. David’s eight wives, except for Mikal, are listed in 1 Chronicles 3:1-5, and his 10 concubines are referred to in 2 Samuel 15:16. Thanks to those good old biblical times, for most of the next two millennia “wives” were deemed little more than the property of their husbands. Are those the biblical “traditions” Dominionists want to preserve and protect?

A “special offering.” Not only do the members of the Arlington Group want the pulpit politicized, they want the worship service turned into a fund-raising event for a political cause: a clear expression of the Dominionist goal of marrying church and state, with the state as the “traditional” subservient wife who adheres to St. Paul’s edict in First Timothy.

People for the American Way offers some insights: “The Arlington Group (AG) is the newest coalition of the leaders of Religious Right groups brought together by right-wing strategist Paul Weyrich and Don Wildmon, head of the American Family Association, to coordinate activities. The group is widely credited with being the driving force behind the effort to put marriage protection amendments on the ballot in 11 states in the 2004 election …

“Membership: Members include the heads of 75 (as of September 2006) Religious Right groups such as Paul Weyrich, Don Wildmon, James Dobson>, and Gary Bauer …”

For Dominionists, all other religions and any political view other than theirs are Satanic. Weyrich made that clear when he launched a “Christian boycott” of the military because Wicca was recognized as a legitimate religion. From Weyrich’s “‘Satanic’ Army Unworthy of Representing United States,” Free Congress Foundation press release, June 9, 1999:

Until the Army withdraws all official support and approval from witchcraft, no Christian should enlist or re-enlist in the Army, and Christian parents should not allow their children to join the Army …

An Army that sponsors satanic rituals is unworthy of representing the United States of America . . . The official approval of satanism and witchcraft by the Army is a direct assault on the Christian faith that generations of American soldiers have fought and died for …

If the Army wants witches and satanists in its ranks, then it can do it without Christians in those ranks. It’s time for the Christians in this country to put a stop to this kind of nonsense. A Christian recruiting strike will compel the Army to think seriously about what it is doing.

Obviously Mr. Weyrich has no idea what Wicca is or what it isn’t, nor does he understand what “freedom of religion” means. Does he really believe the Army “sponsors satanic rituals”? Weyrich’s assertions are grotesque exaggerations and flamingly flatulent — characteristics the rhetoric of Christian Dominionists share. That could be because it’s commonly scripted behind closed doors?

Weyrich, Wildmon and Dobson are members of the Council for National Policy (CNP): the star-chamber in which Christian Dominionists and their wealthy right-wing sponsors plot and plan how to take over of the United States and make it their own theofascist domain.

Never heard of the Council for National Policy? That’s not surprising. It’s a highly secretive organization. Subversive organizations usually are. Members never talk about what goes on behind closed doors. Some of what is known is available here> and here and here and here and here and here and here and here> and here. Do the words “shadow government” come to mind?

The CNP uses secrecy. Dominionists use fear. Their rhetoric is filled with ominous predictions of impending doom and divinely ordained punishments if the movement’s ideas are not blindly accepted and acted upon. The “enemies of God” are identified and demonized — gay and lesbian Americans head that list — and the faithful are called upon to engage in a holy war to save “Christian America.” As Wildmon wailed, “‘If we lose California, if they defeat the marriage amendment, I’m afraid that the culture war is over and Christians have lost … If the homosexuals are able to defeat the marriage amendment … then the culture war is over and we’ve lost — and gradually, secularism will replace Christianity as the foundation of our society.”

Wildmon and the rest of the Dominionist leaders see only black and white. It’s either their way, or utter doom. They prey on people’s fears and exploit their weaknesses. They claim they and they alone know “God’s” will and what’s right and wrong for everyone, and offer simplistic, bumper-sticker answers to complex questions. They play the victim while relentlessly victimizing others. They are the worst humanity, religion and politics have to offer. As Chris Hedges noted, “radical Christian Dominionists have no religious legitimacy. They are manipulating Christianity, and millions of sincere believers, to build a frightening political mass movement with many similarities with other mass movements, from fascism . . . to the ethnic nationalist parties in the former Yugoslavia.”

For the full text of the article, please visit;

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