Tag Archives: Dominionism

If This Doesn’t Terrify You…

Little by little, media outlets have begun reporting on a variety of really horrifying “movements”–most embracing Neo-fascist and/or crypto-Christian beliefs–that have been accumulating large numbers of adherents despite their underground status.

One such movement is the New Apostolic Reformation.

On July 1, 2022, inside a packed Georgia arena, four religious leaders stood on stage as they recited a blood chilling Prayer Declaration called the “Watchman Decree”:

Whereas, we have been given legal power from heaven and now exercise our authority, Whereas, we are God’s ambassadors and spokespeople over the earth. Whereas, through the power of God we are the world influencers. Whereas, because of our covenant with God, we are equipped and delegated by him to destroy every attempted advance of the enemy, we make our declarations: … 3. We decree that our judicial system will issue rulings that are biblical and constitutional. 4. We declare that we stand against wokeness, the occult, and every evil attempt against our nation. 5. We declare that we now take back our God-given freedoms, according to our Constitution. 6. We decree that we take back and permanently control positions of influence and leadership in each of the “Seven Mountains.”

Not only was the arena “packed,” the video of the recitation–which you can see at the link– was viewed more than 3 million times on Twitter alone.

The Watchman Decree is a product of something called the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). The relatively few media outlets that have reported on the movement tell us that it is a rapidly accelerating worldwide Christian authoritarian movement, one that includes practices of faith healing and exorcism. It also promotes dominionism, the belief that Christians must take control of government, business and the culture before Jesus can return to earth.

The men on stage included NAR apostles Dutch Sheets (who wrote the decree) and Lance Wallhau, along with two close colleagues, pastors Mario Murillo and Hank Kunneman. The fifth man, pastor Gene Bailey, hosted the event for his show Flashpoint on Victory TV, a Christian network that platforms the NAR and pro-Trump Make America Great (MAGA) influencers.

Those relatively obscure individuals are joined in NAR by Trump supporters with far more familiar names: former Trump National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who has appeared on Flashpoint several times, and longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone. Stone, Flynn, and other MAGA influencers were announced as participants in a Pennsylvania tour called the“Reawaken America Tour” (RAT). That tour was founded by a far right podcast host from Oklahoma, and was sponsored by an NAR apostle through something called Charisma News.

Leading NAR apostles are blatantly pro-Trump, and claim their view is supported by God, whereas opposition to Trump is satanic. “Fighting with Trump is fighting God,” Wallnau declared in October 2020. “God does not want” Joe Biden to be president, Sheets claimed in December 2020. “All those witchcraft curses that did not land on Donald Trump are trying to take out his kids,” Wallnau raged in a 2017 video. In a 2017 tweet, he wrote, “Praying for the President-elect at Press Club in D.C. with Lou Engle. Prophetic location. Trump must keep wrecking media witchcraft.”

The NAR also opposes freedom of religion, teaching instead that Christians must exert dominion over all aspects of our society. The NAR isn’t the only movement that espouses dominionism, but it may be the most influential. As explained by Wagner, who fathered the NAR:

“Dominion has to do with control. Dominion has to do with rulership. Dominion has to do with authority and subduing. And it relates to society. In other words, what the values are in Heaven need to be made manifest on earth. Dominion means being the head and not the tail. Dominion means ruling as kings.”

The specific pillars of society over which the NAR plans to “rule as kings” are seven-fold: 1. business, 2. government, 3. family, 4. religion, 5. media, 6. education, and 7. entertainment. NAR leaders call this the “Seven Mountains” mandate.

I find it hard to get my head around the fact that thousands–perhaps millions–of Americans can hold and act upon such beliefs in the 21st Century. I can only speculate about the fears and/or resentments that might account for a person’s  embrace of such a worldview. The fact that the NAR and its ilk have largely flown under the radar adds to the danger. These are people who believe they are privy to the will of a deity they have created out of their own inadequacies, and that they are entitled to exert “dominion” over the rest of us.

We live in very scary times.

 

 

Trump and White Christian Nationalism

The past few days, in addition to the spectacle of two immature, ignorant and nuclear- armed heads of state throwing verbal poo at each other, the media has been filled with images of torch-wielding White Nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A “Unite The Right” rally organized by white nationalist Richard Spencer descended into chaos and violence Saturday in Charlottesville, as thousands of “alt right” activists, Nazis, KKK members, other assorted white supremacists, and armed militia groups fought with anti-fascist groups and other counter-protesters.

Thanks to Trump, the haters now feel confident “coming out.”

Donald Trump’s election was the culmination of years of seething White Christian Nationalist resentment, constantly fed by a conservative media harping on “those” people– immigrants, the LGBTQ community, blacks, feminists– and brought to a boiling point by Obama’s Presidency.

Evangelicals’ embrace of Donald Trump may seem incomprehensible to traditional Christians and certainly to the rest of us, but we shouldn’t confuse genuine evangelical Christianity with the White Christian Nationalism that has increasingly replaced it. As ThinkProgress explains:

Where did this cross-toting, flag-waving, and sometimes confusion-inducing form of Trumpian Christian nationalism come from, and why does it appear to resonate with throngs of Americans? And how in the world did Trump, hardly a paragon of conservative Christian virtue, end up as its champion?…

[T]he Christian nationalist scaffolding currently propping up Trump is … relatively new. It shares many theological ideas with the broader spectrum of evangelicalism, but adds a different brand of intensity and emphasis (especially domestically). Its origins are also more recent, beginning with the rise of the Religious Right in the 1970s, when leaders such as Jerry Falwell, Sr. and Pat Robertson characterized America as a “Christian nation” and urged their supporters to elect conservative Christian leaders who shared their rabid opposition to abortion, LGBTQ equality, and euthanasia, among other things.

The article traces the history of “dominionism,” a theology that has been described as a “strange fundamentalist postmodernism that denies that there is any such thing as objective reality.” That history–and the convoluted doctrine that allows some Christian Nationalists to insist that Trump was “chosen by God”– is well worth reading. In most cases, however, this “Christian” embrace of the president has more to do with his willingness to pander to them and promote their causes than with doctrine.

It also has a lot to do with the fact that Trump’s rhetoric makes their bigotry seem acceptable; he constantly demeans the “others” they hate, and steadfastly refuses to call them out.(CNN reported that Trump condemned hate “on many sides” in response to the violent white nationalist protests and terror attack in Charlottesville; the President did not even mention white nationalists and the alt-right movement in his remarks, and later called for a “study” of the “situation.”)

Analyses of data from the 2016 election have made it increasingly clear that the great majority of Trump voters–whether they self-identified as Christian Nationalists or not–were motivated by racism and traits associated with racism.  A commentary in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology reports that a majority of Trump voters displayed one or more (usually more) of the following social-psychological traits:

  • authoritarianism and social dominance orientation (authoritarianism is characterized by deference to authority, aggression toward outgroups, a rigidly hierarchical view of the world, and resistance to new experiences);
  • prejudice (racial prejudice as well as prejudice against immigrants and outgroups in general);
  • lack of intergroup contact (Trump’s white supporters report far less contact with minorities than other Americans); and
  • relative–not real–deprivation (Trump supporters feel deprived relative to what they erroneously perceive other ‘less deserving’ groups possess).

The horrendous spectacle in Charlottesville is only the beginning. We can see clearly now just what it is that motivates “Trump’s Troops,” and it isn’t Truth, Justice and the American Way.

It’s Inherited, Evidently

While I was hanging around my favorite beauty parlor–Juanita Jean’s, the World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc.–I came across a description of a sermon delivered by Ted Cruz’s father, a pastor and a Dominionist.

It explains a lot.

In a sermon last year at an Irving, Texas, megachurch that helped elect Ted Cruz to the United States Senate, Cruz’ father Rafael Cruz indicated that his son was among the evangelical Christians who are anointed as “kings” to take control of all sectors of society, an agenda commonly referred to as the “Seven Mountains” mandate, and “bring the spoils of war to the priests”, thus helping to bring about a prophesied “great transfer of wealth”, from the “wicked” to righteous gentile believers. There is a link to the video of Rafael Cruz describing the “great transfer of wealth” and the role of anointed “kings” in various sectors of society, including government, who are to “bring the spoils of war to the priests”.

Dominionists get their name from their theology: they believe that conservative Christians should have dominion over all others. In other words, they’re theocrats.

Not being one of those “righteous gentile believers” over whom Cruz Junior is evidently anointed to rule, I find this worldview pretty alarming–not to mention inconsistent with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, modernity and sanity.

Apples evidently don’t fall far from the trees they grow on…..