Dominionism — learn about it and then do something

This post has been updated (6/8/15, 9:15 PM).

Whether addressing the many issues of social, economic, and environmental injustice, (trying to mirror the mission of Martin Luther King, Jr., to eradicate racism, poverty, and war), many of us are engaged in exposing the mostly all-fringe, white, christian, male GOP who are  fomenting a theocracy to replace our government and rule of law. I’ve even coined a word, “theocrants,” as in miscreants, to describe them, but it’s no laughing matter.

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons

Just to be clear, I am not talking about christian believers sitting in the pews, many of whom are sincere and loving people. I am talking about politicians, policy makers, and religious leaders who hold to a christian philosophy which claims literal dominion over government and laws. This is a cult by anyone’s definition. It’s called dominionism. It springs from the Puritans who were so fundamental and annoying in imposing their questionable beliefs onto others that England sent them away to the North American wilderness centuries ago. They embody the very opposite of the idea of religious freedom, and they are here with us today. Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, the whole gang, we know their names yet we often miss the engine still driving the train.

Lower in this post is a brief introduction and recommended reading on The Family (aka The Fellowship), perhaps the largest modern dominionist cult, and this one is secret. A peek inside them, and a few of its reported members, will explain why these people do not care or care to understand what the cost in blood and treasure their “beliefs” create in society, just like every cult before them.

Dominionists are the people who believe with all their hearts that discrimination is good for you and your country, what [their] god intended. Even so, we don’t rally against their religion but we must demand that they live up to our Constitution and social contract by not inflicting their beliefs on the state. The complete separation of church and state is non-negoitable, and falling short of that invariably brings retrograde ideas. From my point of view, these dominionists are the ones messing everything up, from the environment and economy to human rights, and each one of them are worthy targets for all forms of non-violent civil disobedience.

There are no longer any moderates in the GOP, and not many Democrats, who are raising enough alarm bells that can stop this systematic marriage of church and state. The members of the GOP who are pushing this theocracy, especially through state governments, wouldn’t know a conservative principle if it bit them in the butt. Their zealotry is not driven by principles. It is driven by the cults of dominionism, defined as a political and religious philosophy that seeks to make the United States government a christian theocracy. We all need to understand this driving force in order to counter it. Consider that many GOP candidates, past and present, are card-carrying dominionists.

I have written and spoken about one of the worst and by-far the largest international christian dominionist cults, the aforementioned “The Family.” Some may be familiar with the group’s C Street mansion in Washington, DC, which became notorious for housing sex scandal personalities such as Mark Sanford and John Ensign.

If you need confirmation of anything more I am about to share here or in coming weeks, please read the definitive investigative journalism embodied in two books by Jeff SharletThe Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, and C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy.

Members of The Family’ fashion themselves as warriors for Jesus (at least their mixed-up version of Jesus). They do not recognize the authority of the U.S. government, or any government for that matter. Members do not have to be believers or even christian because, make no mistake, the whole enterprise is devoted to forging business connections meant to rape the natural resources of the U.S. and foreign countries.

Based in America, The Family claims 10,000 cells worldwide and a membership that includes (current and former) state governors (such as Sam Brownback), members of Congress (Jim DeMintChuck Grassley, Joe Pitts, for example), attorneys general (John Ashcroft for one), and military leaders (such as David Petreaus, who once permitted The Family to distribute its literature to our troops), and heads of state and other government officials across the world (including Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni). Collectively, their members are responsible for practically all of the terrible campaigns against women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people (LGBT), the poor, the non-white, the undocumented, and of course the land, sea, and air we share.

The Family’s most public face is a lie: the 70+ year-old National Prayer Breakfast, the bane of our state department, which gives access, even to the office of the U.S. President, to foreign leaders and businessman who for all intents and purposes believe they are attending an official government event.

MSNBC screen shot during Rachel Maddow's extensive coverage on The Family's involvement in fomenting gay hatred in Uganda

MSNBC screen shot during Rachel Maddow’s extensive coverage on The Family’s involvement in fomenting gay hatred in Uganda

We didn’t know the extent of this and many other dominionist cults just a few years ago when we (a rag-tag coalition of LGBT activists) started looking closely at them while protesting outside the group’s infamous C Street mansion in Washington, DC, because of the cult’s direct connection in fomenting hatred and anti-gay legislation in Uganda in order to extract its natural resources and line the pockets of congressmen. We also protested the National Prayer Breakfast by focusing on the human rights abuses committed by its one and only sponsor, The Family cult.

One result of our little protests (which made it on to the Rachel Maddow show) was that The Family’s once public website was scrubbed clean to make it user-unfriendly. I wrote a lot of white papers for my fellow activists and a few public posts at the time, but was cautioned by Sharlet to avoid this hyper-litigious group at all costs. Even the esteemed CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) backed off after trying and failing to bring a lawsuit against the politicians receiving unreported gifts from The Family through low rents and luxury services at their C Street Washington dwelling. VenusPlusX was still just a few years old at the time, so I retreated. But now is the time to set it all down because The Family, and other dominionist cults such as the Duggar’s Quivverful, are right now bringing about the demise of our democracy.

I promise more in the coming days and weeks. Please contact me if you are interested in silencing these cults once and for all.

Alison Gardner