Monday, September 5, 2011


I found the online article on the LA Times website. I'm including a link to the paper. It has some good comments and some suggested reading that looks good. LA Times link

I'm also linking to the Amazon page for her book. I found one of the publisher's critiques really interesting. Charlotte Allen's Amazon page.

This was in the editorial section of the Sunday paper. Hate to say it but the Guard is definitely going downhill. Decided it was worth it to post the text rather than the link. Some of what she says is true, sort of. BUT, RICK WARREN, JIM WALLIS, AND THE FOLKS AT TIKKUN OLAM ARE NOT RUNNING FOR OFFICE, RICK PERRY ET AL ARE.


An election year is just around the corner, and right on schedule, we're witnessing the return of the liberal obsession with conservative politicians' religious beliefs.
Every time a Republican candidate for high office surfaces who is also a dedicated Christian, the left warns in apocalyptic tones that if you vote for him, America will sink into a "theocracy." Long ago these fear-mongers warned us about Ronald Reagan. Then it was George W. Bush, and after that, Sarah Palin. Now it's Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. Elect Perry or Bachmann, this year's warnings go, and make way for "Jesusland" — a country in which adulterers will be stoned, creationism taught in the schools and gay people sent to reorientation therapy.
In a recent New Yorker profile of Bachmann, Ryan Lizza characterized the Minnesota congresswoman as "a politician with a history of pushing sectarian religious beliefs in government." Around the same time, Salon's Alex Pareene accused Perry of "purposefully evoking some of the most radical far-right movements and ideas of the last 200 years." A few days later, Michelle Goldberg, who in 2006 wrote a theocrats-under-the-bed book titled "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism," warned in the Daily Beast that both Bachmann, a Lutheran, and Perry, a lifelong Methodist, "are deeply associated with a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism known as Dominionism."
You might wonder what on Earth "dominionism" is. That's because the word wasn't coined by dominionists (partly because it's unclear whether there actually are any) but by writers who worry about dominionism. The word derives from a passage in Genesis in which God gives Adam and Eve "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the Earth." It's a stretch from there to the idea that the Christian right has a secret plan to take over America, but plenty among the paranoid intelligentsia have been willing to make that stretch.
Sara Diamond, who wrote the 2002 book "Facing the Wrath: Confronting the Right in Dangerous Times," concluded that dominion theology — the notion that "Christians, and Christians alone, are biblically mandated to occupy all secular positions" — is ubiquitous in evangelical circles.
Her position was enthusiastically adopted by many of her fellow intellectuals, who already were freaked out by the Bible-reading George W. Bush. Books such as Goldberg's "Kingdom Coming," Chris Hedges' "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America," Kevin Phillips' "American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century" and James Rudin's "The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right's Plans for the Rest of Us" flowed feverishly from the presses. On the Internet, Andrew Sullivan coined the word "Christianist," and bloggers across the country echoed each others' daily alarms about the coming fundamentalist jihad.
Lately, the alarmist left has focused on Rousas John Rushdoony, a Presbyterian minister who died in 2001. Rushdoony, part of a Calvinist offshoot known as Christian Reconstructionism, believed that biblical law, including the eye-for-an-eye mandates of the Old Testament, should form the basis of government.
But linking Rushdoony to present-day evangelicals involves connecting a dubious series of dots. In the case of the New Yorker's Bachmann profile, the dots included the fact that she attended law school at Oral Roberts University, where professors taught her to seek "legal means and political means" to change laws that conflicted with biblical values. It also pointed to her admiration for the evangelical theologian and best-selling author Francis Schaeffer, who died in 1984. No matter that Schaeffer specifically condemned Rushdoony's proposal that Old Testament law should govern America.
As for Perry, well, um, he led a prayer rally Aug. 6 that was protested by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Oh, and he prayed with some Pentecostal preachers who have been accused by his critics of being closet dominionists. "Close to" and "associated with" are favorite phrases in the vocabulary of the religion-fearing left.
To listen to those warning of dominionism, you'd think there was a tidal wave of millions of theocrats poised to crash over American democracy.
Such groups as Campus Crusade for Christ, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Feminists for Life have been characterized as dominionist fronts.
Most recently — and hilariously — New York Times religion columnist Mark Oppenheimer postulated that Christian Reconstructionism might have been behind the recent anti-public union demonstrations in Wisconsin. After all, Gary North, Rushdoony's son-in-law, has argued that the Bible forbids public employees from organizing.
It is hard to figure out why no one in the liberal media seems to mind, say, that one of President Barack Obama's spiritual advisers, the progressive evangelical Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine, also has a political agenda — income redistribution and greater social spending — that he says is influenced by his Christian values.
Many Jews believe that the rabbinic concept of tikkun olam, or "repairing the world," is a mandate for bettering society at large. Yet when conservative-voting Christians seek to implement their values in the public square, using the language of their faith, they're feared like carriers of bubonic plague.
The opponents of the religious right would gain a bit more credibility if they didn't feel compelled to manufacture a vast conspiracy called dominionism and throw around words like "theocracy" every time the GOP threatens to win an election. You know what they sound like? Their opposite number from the 1950s: the John Birch Society.
Charlotte Allen is the author of "The Human Christ: The Search for the Historical Jesus."

Well, there it is folks. Really over the top. She seems to overlook one thing. Those in office represent us all, in theory. That means we have the right to ask them what they believe and how those beliefs are going to affect the rest of us. Governor Perry evidently attended a meeting with fundagelical leaders to have his bona fides vetted and answer questions. Trouble is, everybody who attended agreed not to talk about what went on. This is not a good thing. Also some of these groups may be skating very close to the line when it comes to keeping their tax exemptions.


JACKIE said...

Rick Perry has solicited support from at least two groups the Family Research Council and the American Family Association. Both have been listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hater groups. If it walks like a duck.......

emmapeelDallas said...

I wonder if she'd be as open to a Muslim running for office? I have a feeling her tolerance might end at that, though.

JACKIE said...

A Muslim? Hoo boy, I can hear the screams now. Heck, I doubt if her tolerance would stretch to Jim Wallis or even Rick Warren. I'm not even sure if her tolerance would extend to non mainline Christian like Quakers.

Lisa :-] said...

My feeling is that if Bachman and Perry are the best the Republicans can do, they are in big trouble. For more reasons than their links to the Christian right...

JACKIE said...

What? LIke the charges of corruption for governor good hair. Or the I wasn't really talking about seceding. Or those foster kids of Michelle's that nobody seems to know anything about. Or when she makes a mistake on basic history nobody can get her to admit it? Example; John Quincy Adams helped write the constitution. Neither Adams was there John I was our minister to England and out of the country. John II was about nine at the time. Is it the suspicion that neither one of them could pass the exam new citizens have to take? Shall I go on?