Dominionism, the movement to replace the Constitution with a theocracy
Topics on this page include: What is dominionism? | Ohio Christocrats Parsley and Johnson | Katherine Harris, Christian Reconstructionist | Patrick Henry College and other institutions prepping students for Christian rule | Senator Sam Brownback, candidate for Christ | Roy Moore, movement icon | Oklahoma theocracy victimizes Smalkowski family | Christian Exodus
McCain endorser Rod Parsley Preaches Bigotry and Christian Supremacy, Recordings Disclose
Recordings include talks by Parsley, Oliver North, Gary Bauer, Rick Santorum
by JewsOnFirst.org, May 10, 2008
Rev. Rod Parsley, pastor of the World Harvest megachurch in Columbus, Ohio, credited with turning out the vote for President George W. Bush in 2004, has not yet had media attention as a problem endorser of Sen. John McCain. But he should. Like McCain endorser Pastor John Hagee, who is increasingly reported as an embarrassment for the Republican presidential contender, Parsley has made bigoted statements about Islam, calling it a "false religion". And recordings of two of Parsley's church services obtained by JewsOnFirst.org, reveal him to be a warmonger and a militant theocrat.
"I'm urging you to fight," Parsley preached on May 4th. He declared that the United States is in a two-front war against "rabid Islamo-fascism" and secularism at home. He disparaged tolerance.
The May 4th service at World Harvest Church, of which JewsOnFirst.org has posted an audio recording, included a guest appearance by Oliver North.
JewsOnFirst has also posted in three parts a recording of a service at the church last October that included Rev. Parsley, former Reagan administration aide Gary Bauer, and Rick Santorum, the Republican senator from Pennsylvania who was turned out of office in 2006.
Rod Parsley (October 2007)
Parsley endorsed Sen. McCain in February, in advance of the Ohio Republican primary. McCain called Parsley a "spiritual guide" and Parsley campaigned with him in Cincinnati. Continue.
Christian Right Gathering Honors Deposed Alabama Judge Roy Moore -- Under a Confederate Flag
by Jane Hunter and Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, JewsOnFirst.org, July 9, 2007
Leaders of the hardcore Christian right gathered under a Confederate flag in Maryland on July 3rd to honor Roy Moore, the deposed Alabama Supreme Court chief justice. That flag, and those present beneath it, concatenated Christian nationalism and Southern irredentism.
The day's honors included the naming of an athletic field after Moore, the unveiling of a "Marylandized" Ten Commandments "monument" -- nearly identical to the one that Moore famously installed in his Alabama courthouse -- and the presentation to Moore of a cake decorated as a replica of the Alabama monument.
We have posted recordings and photographs of the ceremony. Our report also includes background on the "dignitaries" seated on stage. Several of them are adherents of Christian Reconstructionism which advocates replacing U.S. democracy with a theocracy. One has ties to the neo-Confederate League of the South. Also present was a member of the Maryland legislature, whom we interviewed. Please click here.
Through a Glass, Darkly
How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history
Jeff Sharlet, Harpers Magazine, December 2006
We keep trying to explain away American fundamentalism. Those of us not engaged personally or emotionally in the biggest political and cultural movement of our times -- those on the sidelines of history -- keep trying to come up with theories with which to discredit the evident allure of this punishing yet oddly comforting idea of a deity, this strange god. His invisible hand is everywhere, say His citizen-theologians, caressing and fixing every outcome: Little League games, job searches, test scores, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the success or failure of terrorist attacks (also known as "signs"), victory or defeat in battle, at the ballot box, in bed. Those unable to feel His soothing touch at moments such as these snort at the notion of a god with the patience or the prurience to monitor every tick and twitch of desire, a supreme being able to make a lion and a lamb cuddle but unable to abide two men kissing. A divine love that speaks through hurricanes. Who would worship such a god? His followers must be dupes, or saps, or fools, their faith illiterate, insane, or misinformed, their strength fleeting, hollow, an aberration. A burp in American history. An unpleasant odor that will pass. Continue
Rod Parsley: According to published accounts, Parsley, a bible college dropout describes himself as a Christocrat. He is the leader of the World Harvest Church, a megacongregation in Columbus, Ohio. He directs a $40 million ministry that reaches fourteen hundred television stations and cable channels.
According to the accounts, Parsley wants to change our government to criminalize personal behavior and Christianize the public square. He carries out some of his religious-political work through his Reformation Ohio organization.
Russell Johnson: Johnson is pastor of the 4,000-member Fairfield Christian Church in Lancaster, near Columbus. Like Rod Parsely, he has been active in recruiting "patriot pastors"" and campaigning for Republican causes, most notably Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, the 2006 Republican candidate for governor, with whom he is pictured here. Johnson's satellite organization is the Ohio Restoration Project.
Parsley and Johnson have been credited with turning out the Christian vote in Ohio that gave President George W. Bush a razor-thin victory in 2004. Go to the section on pastors Parsley and Johnson.
Columbus clergy call for IRS investigation of Parsley and Johnson's use of tax-exempt organizations
In January 2006 and again in April 2006, a large group of mainstream Ohio clergy filed complaints with the IRS about Parsley and his colleague Pastor Russell Johnson's use of their tax-exempt facilities to support Republican gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell. Please click here for JewsOnFirst's extensive coverage of and case documents from the complaints.
We Believe Ohio to Challenge Christocrats' Monopoly on Public Space
By JewsOnFirst.org, May 11, 2006
Under the banner of "We Believe Ohio," mainstream clergy in Columbus are organizing their communities to reclaim the public space that two powerful religious right leaders have crowded with anti-gay "moral" issues. Founded late last year, the organization has grown rapidly to include more than 110 Christian and Jewish congregational leaders. We interview three of them for our report. Please click here.
Harris: It’s In God’s Hands
By Deana Poole, Palm Beach Post Blog, November 7, 2006
After voting at Longboat Key Village Hall this afternoon, Katherine Harris said the race is now in God’s hands. Continue.
Interview with Katherine Harris
Florida Baptist Witness, August 24, 2006
Katherine Harris, the former Florida secretary of state credited with helping George W. Bush "win" her state in 2000, now running as a Republican for the US Senate, gave this statement to the Baptist newspaper when asked: "What role do you think people of faith should play in politics and government?" She answered:
The Bible says we are to be salt and light. And salt and light means not just in the church and not just as a teacher or as a pastor or a banker or a lawyer, but in government and we have to have elected officials in government and we have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers. And if we are the ones not actively involved in electing those godly men and women and if people aren’t involved in helping godly men in getting elected than we’re going to have a nation of secular laws. That’s not what our founding fathers intended and that’s certainly isn’t what God intended.
To read the interview, in which Harris also notes that she studied religion with a founder of Christian Reconstruction (dominionism), Francis Schaeffer. Please click here.
Harris Calls Dem's Policies 'Unchristian'
By Stephen Majors, Associated Press, Boston Globe, October 6, 2006
(Orlando, Florida) Republican Senate hopeful Katherine Harris says Florida's Democratic incumbent supports unchristian political policies.
Harris -- whose comments were made on a Christian radio network and published Monday by Agape Press, a Christian news service -- did not mention specific policies, but she has repeatedly berated Sen. Bill Nelson for not supporting a ban on certain late-term abortions and a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Continue.
Senate Rivals Mix Politics, Religion; Harris, Nelson Try Out Their Faith-Based Pitches On Voters
By: William E. Gibson, Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy, October 16, 2006
Trying to mitigate her earlier statements that voters should elect Christians and church-state separation is a lie, embattled Senate candidate Katherine Harris (R, Florida) only dug herself in deeper. She recently told Republican Party leaders that those statements were not meant to exclude non-Christians and that she has a "passion for Israel" and believes that "Jewish people are the chosen ones." To that, the regional director of the American Jewish Committee replied: "The more you spin things, the worse it gets." Click here.
Katherine Harris: Elect Christians
by Michael van der Galien, The Moderate Voice, August 26, 2006
Blogger van der Galien focuses on Harris's remark, in her interview with the Florida Baptist Convention newspaper (link and other quotes above), that, "If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin."
Observed van der Galien: "She quite clearly said that voters should vote for Christians, she didn't mention other religious groups people should vote for. Instead, she implied that people either vote for a Christian or vote for 'sin.'" Click here.
Harris: Separation of church-state 'a lie'
"...if you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," she says in interview.
By Jim Stratton, The Orlando Sentinel, August 25, 2006
U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris said this week that the separation of church and state is "a lie," that God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws" and that a failure to elect Christians to political office will allow lawmaking bodies to "legislate sin." Continue.
Harris' comments draw fierce reaction
Political and religious officials criticize the candidate's comments on electing Christians.
By Jim Stratton, The Orlando Sentinel, August 26, 2006
U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris said this week that God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws" and that a failure to elect Christians to political office will allow lawmaking bodies to "legislate sin."
The remarks, published in the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, unleashed a torrent of criticism from political and religious officials.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, said she was "disgusted" by the comments "and deeply disappointed in Rep. Harris personally." Continue.
Harris tries to douse furor over remarks to Baptists
By Jim Stratton, the Orlando Sentinel, August 27, 2006
U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris sought Saturday to smother a campaign brushfire stoked by an earlier claim that failure to elect Christians to public office would allow lawmakers to "legislate sin."
Harris, appearing at a gun show in Orlando, said she did not mean to offend non-Christians in her comments to the Florida Baptist Witness last week. She explained that she referred exclusively -- and repeatedly -- to Christians because she was being interviewed by the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention. Continue.
GOP’s Fla. Recount Diva Gives Dems Ammunition
Eric Herschthal, The Forward, September 1, 2006
Democrats are hoping to swing several tightly contested congressional races by seizing on controversial comments made by Rep. Katherine Harris, best known for her role during the 2000 recount in Florida.
Harris, who as Florida’s secretary of state was hailed by conservatives and reviled by liberals for her efforts to certify then-Texas Governor George W. Bush as the winner, told the Florida Baptist Witness last week that “if you’re not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin.” Continue
Senate candidate's interview with Baptist paper draws criticism
Baptist Press, Aug 29, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (BP)--The leading Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in Florida is being criticized for comments she made to the Baptist state newspaper. Continue
Harris is due to answer some tough questions
In My Opinion
By Fred Grimm, The Miami Herald, April 06, 2006
Columnist Grimm breaks news, reporting that Florida Senate candidate, Rep. Katherine Harris (the secretary of state who helped President Bush survive the 2000 recount) spoke at the ''Reclaiming America for Christ'' conference at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, recently, "recalling how studying under Francis Schaeffer in Switzerland was a defining period in her life." Grimm notes that Schaeffer "was among the founding theologians behind the Christian reconstruction movement, the dominionists, who preach that it is their paramount Christian duty to bring biblical law and 'Christian dominion' to North America and the world beyond." Click here to read the report.
The Many Conversions Of Sam Brownback.
by Noam Scheiber, The New Republic, December 11, 2006
It's a Tuesday in mid-October 2005, and Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is chairing a meeting of a little-known but highly influential Senate group called the Values Action Team (VAT). Think of it as a PTA board for the vast right-wing conspiracy: The Concerned Women for America has a standing invitation, as do the Family Research Council, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Right to Life Committee. The activists sit around a conference table in the Capitol building and plot strategy on matters like broadcast decency, Internet gambling, and anti-abortion legislation. Continue.
“God’s Senator” Explores Run for President
People for the American Way Right Wing Watch, December 5, 2006
This posting on Kansas Senator Sam Brownbeck's preparations to run for President notes that members of his exploratory committee are religious right leaders, in one case leader of the Iowa affiliate of Focus on the Family. Click here.
Who would Jesus vote for? Meet Sam Brownback
By Jeff Sharlet, Rolling Stone, January 25, 2006
Rolling Stone's feature on Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback reports that he and other elected leaders have for years participated in the cell-structured "Fellowship" that aims to impose theocratic rule on the United States. Brownback and other religiously driven public officials also meet weekly to set policy with representatives of such religious right organizations as Focus on the Family; that formation is known as the "Values Action Team." Reporter Jeff Sharlet quotes many statements of Brownback's supporting this summary.
Just six years ago, winning the evangelical vote required only a veneer of bland normalcy, nothing more than George Bush's vague assurance that Jesus was his favorite philosopher. Now, Brownback seeks something far more radical: not faith-based politics but faith in place of politics. In his dream America, the one he believes both the Bible and the Constitution promise, the state will simply wither away. In its place will be a country so suffused with God and the free market that the social fabric of the last hundred years -- schools, Social Security, welfare -- will be privatized or simply done away with. There will be no abortions; sex will be confined to heterosexual marriage. Men will lead families, mothers will tend children, and big business and the church will take care of all.
Also included in this must-read report: the importance of Charles Colson, whose prison ministry is heavily backed with federal funds. Click here for the report.
Does Brownback have Kansans' backs?
By Rhonda Holman, Wichita Eagle editorial writer, Kansas.com "We Blog," posted February 1, 2006
Commenting on Sen. Sam Brownback's saying he would not read Rolling Stone's profile, Holman writes:
But Kansans might want to read it, especially those who think they twice elected Brownback to represent them in the U.S. Senate. The article relates how Brownback, in a New York City church, raised a hand to the heavens and declared, "This is about serving one constituent." How Brownback credits Pat Robertson with getting him elected. And how involved Brownback is in a secretive brotherhood of Christian power brokers called the Fellowship and as leader of the religious right's influential Values Action Team.
Straw Jeremiads and Apologists for Christian Nationalism
By Chip Berlet, (Senior Analyst, Political Research Associates), February 12, 2007
At Talk to Action we try to remain respectful of religious and spiritual beliefs (and secular, agnostic and atheist beliefs), which we feel is the intent and content of the founding documents of our pluralist society. We also try to maintain a distinction between serious concerns over theocratic, dominionist, and Christian Nationalist tendencies, and hyperbolic claims that tend to demonize people of faith and exaggerate the problem in a way that paints all Christians with a broad brush.
Now the backlash against our concerns (and those of others worried about these trends) has reached a new level of sophistication in right-wing intellectual journals. In their recent articles, Ross Douthat in First Things and Mary Eberstadt in Policy Review serve as apologists for Christian Nationalist tendencies by creating what I call Straw Jeremiads, and then easily setting them on fire. Continue.
Soldiers of Christ II
Feeling the hate with the National Religious Broadcasters
By Chris Hedges, Harpers Magazine via Brainstorm-Services.com, May 2005
Hedges' combines first-hand reporting with interpretation in one of the first (and still few) widely read reports on dominionists inside and near our governments, working to parlay the religious right's swelling political power into theocracy. Click here for the pdf report.
The best click-to briefing on the basics of Dominionism resides on the Religious Tolerance website, whose definition begins:
Dominionism, Dominion Theology, Christian Reconstructionism, Theocratic Dominionism, and Theonomy are not denominations or faith groups. Rather, they are interrelated beliefs which are followed by members of a wide range of Christian denominations. They have no connection at all to Reconstructionist Judaism, which is a liberal group within Judaism."
The Religious Tolerance definition continues, noting that, generally speaking
Dominionism & Dominion Theology are derived from Genesis 1:26 of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament):
"Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'"
Most Christians interpret this verse as meaning that God gave mankind dominion over the animal kingdom. Dominion theologians believe that that this verse commands Christians to bring all societies, around the world, under the rule of the Word of God.
We encourage you to read the entire Religious Tolerance page, by clicking here.
While Religious Tolerance presents the unalloyed tenets of dominionist theologians (execution for non-marital sex, blasphemy, heresy, for example), another excellent website, Theocracy Watch, presents essays and analysis focused on the ascendance of dominionism among Republicans in Congress. That's where the legislation creating a theocracy will be made, not according to a dominionist playbook, but as opportunity presents itself.
Theocracy Watch, sees a dominionist trend in the September 2005 "yes" vote by 210 Republicans (and 10 Democrats) to allow religious discrimination in hiring Head Start staff (HR 2123). Another indication of the theocratic trend of the Republicans is the high ratings they earn on "report cards" issued by such powerful religious-right organizations as the Family Values Coalition, Focus on the Family, and the Christian Coalition. Theocracy Watch also presents material on how fundamentalist activists are pressing their agendas on the state level. Please click here to open the Theocracy Watch page.
Center Closed to Make Way for Expanded Media Ministry
Email Letter from D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries, Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, June 08, 2007
In this email, Coral Ridge Ministries announces that, over a month ago, it shut down its Center for Reclaiming America for Christ. The email says: "This unanimous action by the members of the Board of Coral Ridge Ministries -- each one a close friend or associate of Dr. D. James Kennedy, who continues to recover from a cardiac arrest suffered in December -- came after a lengthy period of review. It was taken as part of a larger ministry restructuring designed to redirect Coral Ridge Ministries back to its core mission -- doing media ministry." It goes on to assure that Coral Ridge Ministries will continue to host an annual Reclaiming America for Christ conference. Click here.
Christian evangelicals are plotting to remake America in their own image
by Bob Moser, Rolling Stone, April 5, 2005
It's February, and 900 of America's staunchest Christian fundamentalists have gathered in Fort Lauderdale to look back on what they accomplished in last year's election -- and to plan what's next. As they assemble in the vast sanctuary of Coral Ridge Presbyterian, with all fifty state flags dangling from the rafters, three stadium-size video screens flash the name of the conference: RECLAIMING AMERICA FOR CHRIST. These are the evangelical activists behind the nation's most effective political machine -- one that brought more than 4 million new Christian voters to the polls last November, sending George W. Bush back to the White House and thirty-two new pro-lifers to Congress. But despite their unprecedented power, fundamentalists still see themselves as a persecuted minority, waging a holy war against the godless forces of secularism. To rouse themselves, they kick off the festivities with "Soldiers of the Cross, Arise," the bloodthirstiest tune in all of Christendom: "Seize your armor, gird it on/Now the battle will be won/Soon, your enemies all slain/Crowns of glory you shall gain."
Meet the Dominionists -- biblical literalists who believe God has called them to take over the U.S. government. As the far-right wing of the evangelical movement, Dominionists are pressing an agenda that makes Newt Gingrich's Contract With America look like the Communist Manifesto. They want to rewrite schoolbooks to reflect a Christian version of American history, pack the nation's courts with judges who follow Old Testament law, post the Ten Commandments in every courthouse and make it a felony for gay men to have sex and women to have abortions. In Florida, when the courts ordered Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed, it was the Dominionists who organized round-the-clock protests and issued a fiery call for Gov. Jeb Bush to defy the law and take Schiavo into state custody. Their ultimate goal is to plant the seeds of a "faith-based" government that will endure far longer than Bush's presidency -- all the way until Jesus comes back. Continue.
Reconstruction: the movement for Christian dominion
Theocrats in Toccoa
You don't believe as they do? You're in big trouble
By John F. Sugg, Creative Loafing (Atlanta's alternative news weekly), June 7, 2006
"Toccoa -- Two fellows materialized in Georgia last month and harangued 600 true believers on the gospel of a thoroughly theocratic America. Along with lesser lights of the religious right who spoke, the men called for nothing short of the overthrow of the United States of America.
Herb Titus and Gary North aren't household names. But Titus has led the legal battle to plant the Ten Commandants in courthouses -- including Georgia's Barrow County. North, an apostle of the creed called Christian Reconstruction, is one of the most influential elders of American fundamentalism. "
Sugg examines the intersections of Christian Identity and Christian Reconstruction, the former the "religion" of white supremacists, the latter also known as Dominionism. He writes:
Identity and Reconstruction are both anti-Semitic. One prominent Reconstruction theologian, David Chilton, parroting Identity dogma, has written: "The god of Judaism is the devil." Of course, the "mainstream" religious right can be equally anti-Semitic -- Jerry Falwell has said the Antichrist will be a Jew.
Click here to read Sugg's essay.
Invitation to a Stoning
Getting cozy with theocrats
by Walter Olson, Reason Magazine, November 1998 Print Edition
For connoisseurs of surrealism on the American right, it's hard to beat an exchange that appeared about a decade ago in the Heritage Foundation magazine Policy Review. It started when two associates of the Rev. Jerry Falwell wrote an article which criticized Christian Reconstructionism, the influential movement led by theologian Rousas John (R.J.) Rushdoony, for advocating positions that even they as committed fundamentalists found "scary." Among Reconstructionism's highlights, the article cited support for laws "mandating the death penalty for homosexuals and drunkards." The Rev. Rushdoony fired off a letter to the editor complaining that the article had got his followers' views all wrong: They didn't intend to put drunkards to death. Continue.
The 'Threat' of Theocracy
Somebody Take a Chill Pill
By Chuck Colson, BreakPoint.org, August 4, 2006
Lately, opponents of Christian cultural engagement have been using a new word to characterize us. In addition to oldies-but-goodies like “bigots” and “fanatics,” they’re now calling us “theocrats.”
At least four books have recently been published that warn about the “theocratic” menace to American democracy, and more are on the way. Somebody hand these people a Xanax.
The word theocracy is intended to draw an analogy between Christians who oppose things like same-sex “marriage” and Islamists such as bin Laden and the Iranian mullahs. One critic, Andrew Sullivan, writing in Time magazine, made the connection explicit when he coined his own variation on the theme: “Christianist.” Continue
Book Review: Clear and Present Dangers
Review of American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips by Alan Brinkley , New York Times Book Review, March 19, 2006
"Phillips is especially passionate in his discussion of the second great force that he sees shaping contemporary American life — radical Christianity and its growing intrusion into government and politics. The political rise of evangelical Christian groups is hardly a secret to most Americans after the 2004 election, but Phillips brings together an enormous range of information from scholars and journalists and presents a remarkably comprehensive and chilling picture of the goals and achievements of the religious right." Click here
Theocons and Theocrats
by Kevin Phillips, The Nation, posted April 13, 2006 (May 1, 2006 issue)
An article adapted from Phillips's American Theocracy. Click here
Bush's wayward march
Interview with Kevin Phillips
By Bill Steigerwald, Tribune-Review, April 15, 2006
"Q: You say the last two elections have transformed the Republican Party into "the first religious party in U.S. history." How is this religious influence in politics and government hurting the country?" Continue
A Nation Under God
By John Sugg, Mother Jones Magazine, December /January 2006
"Reconstruction is the spark plug behind much of the battle over religion in politics today. The movement's founder, theologian Rousas John Rushdoony, claimed 20 million followers-a number that includes many who embrace the Reconstruction tenets without having joined any organization. Card-carrying Reconstructionists are few, but their influence is magnified by their leadership in Christian right crusades, from abortion to homeschooling.
"Reconstructionists also exert significant clout through front organizations and coalitions with other religious fundamentalists; Baptists, Anglicans, and others have deep theological differences with the movement, but they have made common cause with its leaders in groups such as the National Coalition for Revival. Reconstruction has slowly absorbed, congregation by congregation, the conservative Presbyterian Church in America (not to be confused with the progressive Presbyterian Church [USA]) and has heavily influenced others, notably the Southern Baptists." Click here to read this very important report on the Mother Jones website.
See also: Click here for an excellent chart, "Expanding Universe," by Frederick Clarkson in the same issue of Mother Jones, which maps the religious right as an astronomical chart -- with pop-up descriptions of each stellar body.
A Mission To 'Reclaim America'
Some Evangelicals Want U.S. To Have 'Biblical Worldview'
by Jane Lampman, Christian Science Monitor via Yurica Report, March 16, 2005
For the Reback daughters, the big attraction was the famous Ten Commandments monument, brought to Florida on tour after being removed from the Alabama judicial building as unconstitutional. The youngsters - dressed in red, white, and blue - clustered proudly around the display.
For more than 900 other Christians from across the US, the draw at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church last month was a national conference aimed at "reclaiming America for Christ." The monument stood as a potent symbol of their hopes for changing the course of the nation. Continue.
A small far-right group is calling people to South Carolina, where the group plans to make electoral alliances with resident conservative Christians to take over -- and Christianize -- first local governments, then the state. They plan to disregard Supreme Court rulings. Click here to read more about Christian Exodus.
Oklahoma Atheist Family Resists Right-wing Christian Regime, Prevails
by JewsOnFirst.org, July 11, 2006
Bloggers have been telling the story of Chuck (Chester) Smalkowski for the past ten days -- since his acquittal in Texas County, Oklahoma on shockingly severe felony assault charges. The charges stemmed from Smalkowski's 2004 encounter with the principal of his daughter's school; he wanted to protest his daughter's being forced to join her basketball team's prayer circle. The Smalkowskis are atheists. Continue
Falwell Leaves $34 Million To University
Associated Press, 365Gay.com, August 23, 2007
(Lynchburg, Virginia) The Rev. Jerry Falwell had life insurance policies worth $34 million and the money has been used to erase the debt of Liberty University, the school he founded.
The televangelist's son, Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr., said his father had named the university and the Thomas Road Baptist Church as beneficiaries to protect their future. Continue.
God’s Harvard: The New Grooming Ground of the Evangelical Movement
A small Christian school outside the nation’s capital is dispatching the next round of evangelicals to the front lines of science and politics, where they will battle for control of the nation.
Hanna Rosin, excerpt from God’s Harvard: The New Grooming Ground of the Evangelical Movement, Harcourt Publishing, Alternet, August 23, 2007
When I first began covering religion for the Washington Post, more than ten years ago, deflecting conversion attempts became a routine part of my work. Although they are unfailingly gracious, evangelicals are not so good at respecting professional boundaries. What did it matter that I was a reporter doing my job if I was headed for eternal damnation? To a population of domestic missionaries, I presented as a prime target: a friendly non-Christian who was deeply interested in learning more about their beliefs.
The first time someone tried to share the gospel with me, I naively explained that I was Jewish and born in Israel, thank you, thinking this would end the conversation. This was a big mistake. In certain parts of Christian America, admitting I was an Israeli-born Jew turned me into walking catnip. Because God's own chosen people had so conspicuously rejected Jesus, winning one over was an irresistible challenge. And the Holy Land glamour of Israel only added to the allure. Preachers told me they loved me, half an hour after we met. Godly women asked if they could take home a piece of my clothing and pray over it. A pastor's wife once confided to my husband, "You're so lucky. She looks so ... Biblical." Once, at a Waffle House in Colorado with some associates of the influential Christian activist James Dobson, a woman in our company stared at me so hard it became uncomfortable for me to eat. Finally, I looked up at her. "When I look at you, I see the blood of our Savior coursing through your veins," she said. Continue.
For God's Sake
Paul Krugman, The New York Times, April 13, 2007
In 1981, Gary North, a leader of the Christian Reconstructionist movement -- the openly theocratic wing of the Christian right -- suggested that the movement could achieve power by stealth. "Christians must begin to organize politically within the present party structure," he wrote, "and they must begin to infiltrate the existing institutional order."
Today, Regent University, founded by the televangelist Pat Robertson to provide "Christian leadership to change the world," boasts that it has 150 graduates working in the Bush administration.
Unfortunately for the image of the school, where Mr. Robertson is chancellor and president, the most famous of those graduates is Monica Goodling, a product of the university’s law school. She’s the former top aide to Alberto Gonzales who appears central to the scandal of the fired U.S. attorneys and has declared that she will take the Fifth rather than testify to Congress on the matter. Continue.
The elite believers
Even in the US, where there is a proliferation of Bible colleges, there is one that stands out
by Stephen Bates, The Guardian, November 14, 2006
If you were to enter the campus shop at Patrick Henry College in northern Virginia unsuspectingly, you would probably not notice anything unusual for a liberal arts college. The normal clutter is on sale: hoodies and sweatshirts in the college colours; pens, mugs and chocolate bars; a small library of set-texts - Shakespeare, Dickens, Jane Austen, Marx's Das Kapital; several shelves of biblical exegeses; and even a book of religious crossword puzzles. Continue.
News: In 2006 more than half the faculty at Patrick Henry College quit because of the institution's severe restrictions on academic freedom. Please click here for reports on the departures, which show the doctrinal rigidity of those who aspire to Christianize our government.
On High: Christian college takes root in the Empire State Building
by Rachel Aviv, Village Voice, April 10, 2006, illustration: Anthony Freda
King's College, in the Empire State Building, says its mission is to create "ambassadors of Jesus Christ to lead and serve the world" by training them to enter such "strategic national institutions" as media, government and business. Click here
Cut, Thrust and Christ
Why evangelicals are mastering the art of college debate
By Susannah Meadows, Newsweek (via MSNBC), February 6, 2006
"Debaters are the new missionaries, having realized they can save a lot more souls from a seat at the top-perhaps even on the highest court in the land." Evangelical colleges, such as Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, are highly competitve in debating. "But for the evangelicals, there's a lot more at stake than a trophy. Falwell and the religious right figure that if they can raise a generation that knows how to argue, they can stem the tide of sin in the country. Seventy-five percent of Liberty's debaters go on to be lawyers with an eye toward transforming society. Click here for the report.
God and Country
A college that trains young Christians to be politicians.
By Hanna Rosin, The New Yorker, June 20, 2005
Described by its founder as the "Evangelical Ivy League" and by its students, as "Harvard for Homeschoolers," Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia is educating fundamentalist Christian politicians. "In conservative circles," writes Rosin, "homeschoolers are considered something of an élite, rough around the edges but pure-in their focus, capacity for work, and ideological clarity--a view that helps explain why the Republican establishment has placed its support behind Patrick Henry, and why so many conservative politicians are hiring its graduates." Rosin writes:
Of the school's sixty-one graduates through the class of 2004, two have jobs in the White House; six are on the staffs of conservative members of Congress; eight are in federal agencies; and one helps Senator Rick Santorum, of Pennsylvania, and his wife, Karen, homeschool their six children. Two are at the F.B.I., and another worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority, in Iraq. Last year, the college began offering a major in strategic intelligence; the students learn the history of covert operations and take internships that allow them to graduate with a security clearance.
Patrick Henry seniors complete a project that mimics the work of an entry-level Congressional staffer. Click here to read the report.
Roy Moore was removed as Alabama's chief justice when he refused federal court orders to remove a Ten Commandments sculpture from the state courthouse. According to John Sugg, writing in Mother Jones (click here) Moore, currently a candidate for governor of Alabama, has an adulatory following in the Christian Reconstruction movement and frequently speaks at its events. Click here for the section on Roy Moore.
Who is tracking the Reconsruction movement?
This Season's War Cry: Commercialize Christmas, or Else
By Adam Cohen, Editorial Observer, New York Times, December 4, 2005
Cohen writes on the campaign by Fox Network's Bill O'Reilly against use of the inclusive word "holiday" instead of Christmas. "The Christmas that Mr. O'Reilly and his allies are promoting - one closely aligned with retailers, with a smack-down attitude toward nonobservers - fits with their campaign to make America more like a theocracy, with Christian displays on public property and Christian prayer in public schools." Click here to read the op-ed article.
Religious right accused of pushing for theocracy
By Richard N. Ostling, Deseret News, May 7, 2005
This report on a Spring 2005 conference on the religious right explores the extent to which today's militant Christian fundamentalists are "reconstructionist," meaning working to institute strict Old Testament laws. Click here to read the report.
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