Tuesday, May 17, 2005



James Luther Adams. ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, warned 25 years ago, "fascism will not return wearing swastikas and brown shirts. It's ideological inheritors will cloak themselves in the language of the Bible, they will come carrying crosses and chanting the Pledge of Allegiance."

Adams was one of the first to see the danger of a new theology that was gaining hold in fundamentalist circles. It is called Dominion theology, and it posses as great a danger to American democracy and freedom as any foreign tyrant or terrorist ever has. This theology was first posited in conservative Presbyterian theologian Rousas John Rushdoony"s book INSTITUTES OF BIBLICAL LAW. His entire theology is based on one verse of the bible, Gen. 1:26, "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.'" (NIV). The King James version replaces "let them rule" with "give them dominion", hence the name Dominion theology. While 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 under the rule of the Word of God.

So what do Dominionists believe? First, they believe that all laws governing society must conform to Old Testament biblical law. There goal is to bring a virtual "Kingdom of Heaven" here to earth. It's extreme form, Recontructionism, believes that all non Fundamentalist religious institutions must be repressed, be they Christian or other. Mainstream Christian institutions would no longer be allowed to hold services or proselytize. Society would be ruled and punished as prescribed by the Hebrew Scriptures. Practitioners of any other religious faith would be prosecuted as idolaters. Adultery, blasphemy, and homosexuality would be criminalized.

Even in it's milder forms, Dominionists believe it is there duty to turn this government (and all others) into a Christian government based on biblical laws and principals. They don't believe in separation of church and state, they believe the church IS the state. They are not content with being protected from those who would impose their beliefs on them, they believe it is their divine duty to impose their beliefs on the rest of us.

So who believes in this Dominion theology? It has gained wide acceptance in Pentecostal circles. It has gained such prevalence in the Southern Baptist Church that Jimmy Carter has left in protest. Billy Graham has distanced himself from this theology. While it's more extreme forms don't have a great deal of traction (yet) amongst the rank and file of mainstream Evangelicals, it's leadership has been virtually taken over by Dominionists. Focus on the Family, Family Matters, the National Association of Religious Broadcasters, Liberty University (and it's law school), the 700 Club, all run by Dominionist. James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Franklin Graham (Billy's son), all Dominionists. Ditto for some of our most powerful leaders, including Senate majority leader Bill Frist, House Majority leader Tom DeLay, and President of the United States George W. Bush.

So what would a Dominionist United States look like? Dr. Adams points to 1933 Germany. Hitler came to power in promising
to restore moral values. He immediately banned all homosexual and lesbian publications, and ransacked homosexual meeting places. He ransacked the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin and 12,000 volumes of from it's library burned in the bonfires. Adams says that under the Christian right homosexuals and lesbians would be the first "deviants" to be singled out. Wiccans, Muslims and other "deviant religions" would be close behind.

Lest you think this far fetched, check out the website of a prominent Dominionist church whose pastor claims close ties to President Bush WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH, Topeka KS. What's even scarier, over FIVE MILLION PEOPLE have visted this site (godhatesfags.com)!

Hitler took power in Germany with a message almost identical to the one being spouted by the Christian Right. Don't think it can't happen here!

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