View Full Version : Dominionism/theonomy/theocracy advocates in the U.S.A.
04-09-2007, 08:52 AM
In this thread I'll post stuff I come across regarding Dominionism/theonomy/theocracy advocates in the U.S.A. First, this article:
The Forces of Righteousness: Four Case Studies
By Joan Bokaer
Wed Oct 18, 2006
Talk To Action (http://www.talk2action.org/story/2006/10/18/54421/025)
which contains brief stories about the following:
Ken Blackwell, Ohio's Secretary of State and candidate for governor. Story includes his use of an Ohio state government website to advocate a religious moral code, plus the support he has gotten from Ohio Reformation Movement, which overtly advocates theocracy
Tom DeLay, former House Majority leader
Efrain Rios Montt, former Guatemalan military ruler
04-10-2007, 07:58 PM
Tyranny of the Christian Right
By Michelle Goldberg
May 30, 2006
The article begins by discussing, in detail, the dangers posed by the religious right wing and its ultimately theocratic agenda. The author then presents her ideas on how to fight back:
Those who want to fight Christian nationalism will need a long-term and multifaceted strategy. I see it as having three parts -- electoral reform to give urban areas fair representation in the federal government, grassroots organizing to help people fight Christian nationalism on the ground and a media campaign to raise public awareness about the movement's real agenda.
My ideas are not about reconciliation or healing. It would be good if a leader stepped forward who could recognize the grievances of both sides, broker some sort of truce, and mend America's ragged divides. The anxieties that underlay Christian nationalism's appeal -- fears about social breakdown, marital instability and cultural decline -- are real. They should be acknowledged and, whenever possible, addressed. But as long as the movement aims at the destruction of secular society and the political enforcement of its theology, it has to be battled, not comforted and appeased.
And while I support liberal struggles for economic justice -- higher wages, universal health care, affordable education, and retirement security -- I don't think economic populism will do much to neutralize the religious right. Cultural interests are real interests, and many drives are stronger than material ones. As Arendt pointed out, totalitarian movements have always confounded observers who try to analyze them in terms of class.
Ultimately, a fight against Christian nationalist rule has to be a fight against the anti-urban bias built into the structure of our democracy. Because each state has two senators, the 7 percent of the population that live in the 17 least-populous states control more than a third of Congress's upper house. Conservative states are also overrepresented in the Electoral College.
According to Steven Hill of the Center for Voting and Democracy, the combined populations of Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Alaska equal that of New York and Massachusetts, but the former states have a total of nine more votes in the Electoral College (as well as over five times the votes in the Senate). In America, conservatives literally count for more.
Liberals should work to abolish the Electoral College and to even out the composition of the Senate, perhaps by splitting some of the country's larger states.(A campaign for statehood for New York City might be a place to start.) It will be a grueling, Herculean job. With conservatives already indulging in fantasies of victimization at the hands of a maniacal Northeastern elite, it will take a monumental movement to wrest power away from them. Such a movement will come into being only when enough people in the blue states stop internalizing right-wing jeers about how out of touch they are with "real Americans" and start getting angry at being ruled by reactionaries who are out of touch with them.
After all, the heartland has no claim to moral authority. The states whose voters are most obsessed with "moral values" have the highest divorce and teen pregnancy rates. The country's highest murder rates are in the South and the lowest are in New England. The five states with the best-ranked public schools in the country -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey and Wisconsin -- are all progressive redoubts. The five states with the worst -- New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Mississippi and Louisiana -- all went for Bush.
The canard that the culture wars are a fight between "elites" versus "regular Americans" belies a profound split between different kinds of ordinary Americans, all feeling threatened by the others' baffling and alien values. Ironically, however, by buying into right-wing elite-baiting, liberals start thinking like out-of-touch elites. Rather than reflecting on what kind of policies would make their own lives better, what kind of country they want to live in, and who they want to represent them -- and then figuring out how to win others to their vision -- progressives flail about for ideas and symbols that they hope will appeal to some imaginary heartland rube. That is condescending.
Focus on the local
One way for progressives to build a movement and fight Christian nationalism at the same time is to focus on local politics. For guidance, they need only look to the Christian Coalition: It wasn't until after Bill Clinton's election exiled the evangelical right from power in Washington that the Christian Coalition really developed its nationwide electoral apparatus.
The Christian right developed a talent for crafting state laws and amendments to serve as wedge issues, rallying their base, and forcing the other side to defend seemingly extreme positions. Campaigns to require parental consent for minors' abortions, for example, get overwhelming public support and put the pro-choice movement on the defensive while giving pro-lifers valuable political experience.
Liberals can use this strategy too. They can find issues to exploit the other side's radicalism, winning a few political victories and, just as important, marginalizing Christian nationalists in the eyes of their fellow citizens.
The article then goes on to give some examples.
Quick comment: Statehood for New York City would not help us. The rest of New York State would just turn into another red state.
04-10-2007, 09:36 PM
The Public Eye Magazine - Winter 2005
The Rise of Dominionism
Remaking America as a Christian Nation
By Frederick Clarkson
on PublicEye.org (http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v19n3/clarkson_dominionism.html)
Brief history of dominionism, and a discussion about the various different kinds of dominionism.
For more background, see:
The Christian Right, Dominionism, and Theocracy
by Chip Berlet
on PublicEye.org (http://www.publiceye.org/christian_right/dominionism.htm)
04-10-2007, 09:43 PM
I read a very scary article this morning about the fact that the former head of Pat Robertson's Regent University Law School is now the head of hiring for the so-called Justice Dept. He has hired 150 Regent graduates in just a couple of years. These lawyers are being taught that the bible trumps the constitution! And they are now becoming a major force within the Justice (sic) Dept.
Falwell by the way just started a law school at Liberty and its in its second year; while Ave Maria, (funded by the owner of Domino's Pizza) another extreme right wing Law School continues to train lawyers to believe that the bible trumps the constitution.
It's terrifying to me. kara
04-10-2007, 09:55 PM
:) This is exactly why our forefathers advocated separation of church and state.. From their own experiences in England I gather they learned that absolute power corrupts..too much power given to religion over the state would be dangerous in their minds because it would promote the type of religious persecution and intolerance that our forefathers had noticed with the Monarchy and Church and that they wanted to avoid at all costs.They wanted to set up a balance where freedom of religion was a respected right but also a balance to counteract religious tyranny .
04-10-2007, 09:56 PM
I read a very scary article this morning about the fact that the former head of Pat Robertson's Regent University Law School is now the head of hiring for the so-called Justice Dept.
Do you recall where you read this? Also do you recall the name of the above-mentioned person?
The above is important information. I would very much appreciate any further specifics you can give us.
04-10-2007, 09:58 PM
Hi Dianne I bookmarked your website PublicEye.org.. a good one.
04-10-2007, 10:01 PM
Diane ,I don't know if you would be interested in this website, but it does deal with government.
http://www.ushistory.org/paine/rights/ "The rights of man." By Thomas Paine.
A brief biography on Paine.
I don't necessarily agree with Paine's views on Christianity..
04-10-2007, 10:51 PM
Here's the initial article.
Clipping: Boston Globe, April 8, 2007
SCANDAL PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON CHRISTIAN LAW SCHOOL
Grads influential in Justice Department
By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA -- The title of the course was Constitutional Law, but the subject was sin. Before any casebooks were opened, a student led his classmates in a 10-minute devotional talk, completed with "amens," about the need to preserve their Christian values. "Sin is so appealing because it's easy and because it's fun," the law student warned.
Regent University School of Law, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson to provide "Christian leadership to change the world," has worked hard in its two-decade history to upgrade its reputation, fighting past years when a majority of its graduates couldn't pass the bar exam and leading up to recent victories over Ivy League teams in national law student competitions.
But even in its darker days, Regent has had no better friend than the Bush administration. Graduates of the law school have been among the most influential of the more than 150 Regent University alumni hired to federal government positions since President Bush took office in 2001, according to a university website.
One of those graduates is Monica Goodling , the former top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who is at the center of the storm over the firing of US attorneys. Goodling, who resigned on Friday, has become the face of Regent overnight -- and drawn a harsh spotlight to the administration's hiring of officials educated at smaller, conservative schools with sometimes marginal academic reputations.
Documents show that Goodling, who has asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid testifying before Congress, was one of a handful of officials overseeing the firings. She helped install Timothy Griffin , the Karl Rove aide and her former boss at the Republican National Committee, as a replacement US attorney in Arkansas.
Because Goodling graduated from Regent in 1999 and has scant prosecutorial experience, her qualifications to evaluate the performance of US attorneys have come under fire. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, asked at a hearing: "Should we be concerned with the experience level of the people who are making these highly significant decisions?"
And across the political blogosphere, critics have held up Goodling, who declined to be interviewed, as a prime example of the Bush administration subordinating ability to politics in hiring decisions. "It used to be that high-level DOJ jobs were generally reserved for the best of the legal profession," wrote a contributor to The New Republic website . "... That a recent graduate of one of the very worst (and sketchiest) law schools with virtually no relevant experience could ascend to this position is a sure sign that there is something seriously wrong at the DOJ."
The Regent law school was founded in 1986, when Oral Roberts University shut down its ailing law school and sent its library to Robertson's Bible-based college in Virginia. It was initially called "CBN University School of Law" after the televangelist's Christian Broadcasting Network, whose studios share the campus and which provided much of the funding for the law school. (The Coors Foundation is also a donor to the university.) The American Bar Association accredited Regent's law school in 1996.
Not long ago, it was rare for Regent graduates to join the federal government. But in 2001, the Bush administration picked the dean of Regent's government school, Kay Coles James , to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management -- essentially the head of human resources for the executive branch. The doors of opportunity for government jobs were thrown open to Regent alumni.
"We've had great placement," said Jay Sekulow , who heads a non profit law firm based at Regent that files lawsuits aimed at lowering barriers between church and state. "We've had a lot of people in key positions."
Many of those who have Regent law degrees, including Goodling, joined the Department of Justice. Their path to employment was further eased in late 2002, when John Ashcroft , then attorney general, changed longstanding rules for hiring lawyers to fill vacancies in the career ranks. Previously, veteran civil servants screened applicants and recommended whom to hire, usually picking top students from elite schools.
In a recent Regent law school newsletter, a 2004 graduate described being interviewed for a job as a trial attorney at the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in October 2003. Asked to name the Supreme Court decision from the past 20 years with which he most disagreed, he cited Lawrence v. Texas, the ruling striking down a law against sodomy because it violated gay people's civil rights.
"When one of the interviewers agreed and said that decision in Lawrence was 'maddening,' I knew I correctly answered the question," wrote the Regent graduate . The administration hired him for the Civil Rights Division's housing section -- the only employment offer he received after graduation, he said.
The graduate from Regent -- which is ranked a "tier four" school by US News & World Report, the lowest score and essentially a tie for 136th place -- was not the only lawyer with modest credentials to be hired by the Civil Rights Division after the administration imposed greater political control over career hiring.
The changes resulted in a sometimes dramatic alteration to the profile of new hires beginning in 2003, as the Globe reported last year after obtaining resumes from 2001-2006 to three sections in the civil rights division. Conservative credentials rose, while prior experience in civil rights law and the average ranking of the law school attended by the applicant dropped.
As the dean of a lower-ranked law school that benefited from the Bush administration's hiring practices, Jeffrey Brauch of Regent made no apologies in a recent interview for training students to understand what the law is today, and also to understand how legal rules should be changed to better reflect "eternal principles of justice," from divorce laws to abortion rights. "We anticipate that many of our graduates are going to go and be change agents in society," Brauch said.
Still, Brauch said, the recent criticism of the law school triggered by Goodling's involvement in the US attorney firings has missed the mark in one respect: the quality of the lawyers now being turned out by the school, he argued, is far better than its image. Seven years ago, 60 percent of the class of 1999 -- Goodling's class -- failed the bar exam on the first attempt. (Goodling's performance was not available, though she is admitted to the bar in Virginia.)
The dismal numbers prompted the school to overhaul its curriculum and tighten admissions standards. It has also spent more heavily to recruit better-qualified law students. This year, it will spend $2.8 million on scholarships, a million more than what it was spending four years ago.
The makeover is working. The bar exam passage rate of Regent alumni , according to the Princeton Review, rose to 67 percent last year. Brauch said it is now up to 71 percent, and that half of the students admitted in the late 1990s would not be accepted today. The school has also recently won moot-court and negotiation competitions, beating out teams from top-ranked law schools.
Adding to Regent's prominence, its course on "Human Rights, Civil Liberties, and National Security" is co-taught by one of its newest professors: former U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft.
Even a prominent critic of the school's mission of integrating the Bible with public policy vouches for Regent's improvements. Barry Lynn , the head of the liberal Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, said Regent is churning out an increasingly well-trained legal army for the conservative Christian movement. "You can't underestimate the quality of a lot of the people that are there," said Lynn, who has guest-lectured at Regent and debated professors on its campus.
In light of Regent's rapid evolution, some current law students say it is frustrating to be judged in light of Regent alumni from the school's more troubled era -- including Goodling. One third-year student, Chamie Riley , said she rejected the idea that any government official who invokes her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination could be a good representative of Regent. As Christians, she said, Regent students know "you should be morally upright. You should not be in a situation where you have to plead the Fifth."
© Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.
04-10-2007, 11:25 PM
What are the odds that won't get much play in the rest of the media? Very telling. Thanks for posting it, Kara.
04-10-2007, 11:42 PM
Hi Dianne I bookmarked your website PublicEye.org.. a good one.
PublicEye.org isn't my website, but it is indeed a good one.
04-11-2007, 12:25 AM
I often said in many of my previous articles that the religious right uses coded or "tame" language to water down things..and also subversive means to undermine the constitution , to overturn the govt .take over schools and "control" things. You might want to read this article to see if you think I've "exaggerated" things.
The author of this article also states that those in the religious right tend to be less "edukated"(Pardon my deliberate misspelling) But that may also be the reason why such silly ,absurd nonsense comes out of their mouths.( Hey , I'm not college educated,but I don't even think they have much common sense and I would hardly attribute intelligence to their diatribe of "mumble jumbo")
"Elmo is red, It means he is evil,evil evil!!!" Of course I still believe in a devil with a pitch- fork and horns and a long tail." LOL And of course the stork drops babies down the chimney... Now ya' all don't forget that! And now, Barbie also promotes bisexuality
Hey there Barbie guuuuuurl,ya think ya might have a thing for me? Come to think of it that waspy little waistline just doesn't appeal to me, girl you need to put some meat on those bones.
04-14-2007, 12:32 AM
Bill Maher had a heyday with the Charlie Savage article tonite in "New Rules." He mentions both the Messiah College and Regent Univ. connections, and the fact that there are 150 Regent grads working for the Bush administration. He joked that Goodling most likely didn't hire Regent graduates as her legal counsel. I checked online, and her attorneys, 2 partners at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, are grads from Emory University and University of Michigan Law School. What an excellent point.
04-17-2007, 08:56 AM
For God’s sake
Paul Krugman, New York Times, 04-13-07
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. The infiltration of the federal government by large numbers of people seeking to impose a religious agenda — which is very different from simply being people of faith — is one of the most important stories of the last six years. It’s also a story that tends to go underreported, perhaps because journalists are afraid of sounding like conspiracy theorists. But this conspiracy is no theory. The official platform of the Texas Republican Party pledges to “dispel the myth of the separation of church and state.” And the Texas Republicans now running the country are doing their best to fulfill that pledge.
~ FROM NY TIMES AS SENT TO ME BY THE INTERFAITH ALLIANCE.
I can't tell you how many times I have heard right-wing preachers (e.g. Jakes, Long, Kennedy, Falwell, Robertson, et. al.) say it is God's will that "Christians take over the leadership of America..." And this is what you get when that happens???
As I recall, Christians did NOT take the 5th when appearing before Caesar.
04-17-2007, 09:56 AM
~ FROM NY TIMES AS SENT TO ME BY THE INTERFAITH ALLIANCE.
The complete article can be found here:
For Godís Sake
by Paul Krugman
April 14, 2007
New York Times
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