Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Kingdom Coming -- Taking the Land

Before I get into setting forth more about the Christian Dominionist movement, I want to emphasize that this is something that likely most Christians are not familiar with at all.
They represent a minority of those who call themselves Christian and taint mainstream Christians with their extremism.
All Christians are NOT Dominionists ~ But ~ All Dominionists CLAIM Christianity

It is a growing movement supported by political Christians who teach that America is a nation built on a singular religion, Christianity – and all citizens are to be subject to laws and rules that are in accordance with their Dominionist version of reality.
As I wrote a month ago,
I personally find the kind of religion that demands obedience to some fool's interpretation of biblical morality incredibly distasteful. You know, the kind that people like Ted Cruz use to justify Christian Dominionism (theocracy) and Islamophobia (promoting fear and hatred of a boogeyman version of theocracy).
But the Jesus Christ in whose name all oppression will cease, stirs my soul. (a different YouTube clip than I used in December)
Dominionism, is NOT freedom. Dominionism is antithetical to civil liberties. The twisted logic that allows Dominionists to proclaim (and apparently believe) that Christian Dominionism equates to freedom begins by conflating self-determination (genuine freedom) with moral relativism.
Moral relativism is a philosophy that asserts there is no global, absolute moral law that applies to all people, for all time, and in all places.
According to Dominionist evangelist George Grant calling for a second American Revolution,
When people say, "You Can't Legislate Morality," they are ignoring the very nature of legislation itself. Legislation is merely the codification and law of someone's standard of morality. This is right and this is wrong. If you violate these standards, you will get in trouble. If you adhere to these standards you'll be safe. The whole thing is a logical fallacy. If you can't legislate morality, then you can't legislate.
Grant is quoted at,
“Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion 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. (emphasis in original)
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…
Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.”
So, here's some of what Michelle Goldberg has written in the introduction to Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism:
Farris's [Michael Farris, founder of Patrick Henry College] Generation Joshua has a less bloody mission, but it is imbued with an Old Testament dream of exile redeemed by conquest. The holy land is America as Farris imagines it. The enemy is America as it exists right now. [...]
Farris refers to these parents... as the Moses generation, because they have successfully led their children out of the bondage of the godless public schools... As Farris wrote in his book Generation Joshua, the homeschooling movement "will succeed when our children, the Joshua Generation, engage wholeheartedly in the battle to take the land." 
"...The enemies of freedom and truth dominate these institutions and thereby dominate our nation." 
What Farris wants is a cultural revolution. He's trying to train a generation of leaders, unscathed by secularism, who will gain political power in order to subsume everything -- entertainment, law, government and education -- to Christianity, or their version of it. 
Perhaps the most stark indication of the reality that Dominionism has become a major force in Arizona lawmaking is in reflecting back on the reaction when state Rep. Juan Mendez (D-LD26/Tempe) gave a secular invocation last May. Rep. Steve Smith (Dominionist-LD11/Maricopa) offered a not-so-subtle rebuke to Mendez.
No one said anything publicly at the time. But by Wednesday's session, Rep. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, lashed out at Mendez. He said if Mendez did not want to offer a prayer, he should have skipped his turn in what had traditionally been a rotation among members.
And to make up for that lack, Smith insisted Wednesday on offering a prayer -- actually the second for the day -- "for repentance of yesterday,'' asking asked colleagues to stand and "give our due respect to the creator of the universe.''
Lest you think I'm overreacting, think about what the Dominionists have gotten away with in the more rigidly command-structured military environment.
On September 1, 2011 the Chief of Staff, General Norton A. Schwartz sent a memorandum for all commanders, the subject was “Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion.”  In this memo he states, "Leaders at all levels must balance Constitutional protections for an individuals free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and its prohibition against governmental establishment of religion”. Further, "They must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal  religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.” To do so, he states, "Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartially and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline." Thus the flagrant proselytizing of subordinates by superiors, non-voluntary evangelizing of members by chaplains and public prayer in official, mandatory settings, outside of voluntary worship, are at the root of what the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is fighting against.
Do we know what the schools funded by Yarbrough's School Tuition Organization teach? How loudly do you think they would balk if someone proposed auditing their taxpayer-funded curriculum? Do you think Cathi Herrod would be rallying the troops for massive email and phone calling barrages on lawmakers who dared to bring up such a thing?

Besides continuing to strangle K-12 and Higher Education (John Kavanagh) funding, Dominionists and others similarly aligned have fomented the very same kind of fake controversy over implementation of Common Core standards as we saw aimed at the Independent Redistricting Commission? So much so that Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal wrote in an Arizona Republic op-ed,
Other misinformation has driven the debate. This includes erroneous beliefs about data compilation, federal intrusion into the classroom, and that the standards have been dumbed down. All of these are factually incorrect, but the misinformation persists.
Until you come to grips with the reality of this culture war and how those waging it from Farris's side see it, you will continue to underestimate people like Steve Yarbrough and Eddie Farnsworth.

1 comment:

  1. Common Core is not a hill to die on, but incessant testing and VAM (value added measures that rate teachers on their students' scores) is. We need to return to teaching children and stop teaching to the test.