Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Lessons from Iowa: White Christian Nationalism the New Face of Fascism
A major force in Republican and conservative politics has been white Christian nationalism. What's not clearly articulated is that what we call the evangelicals are really white Christian nationalists. Under the guise of religion, white Christian nationalism is a political force. Their religion is used to promote white nationalism. At this point in the winnowing of Republicans presidential candidates, two white evangelicals are in the lead, Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry. These candidates are idolized by a large segment of the electorate. It is not likely to be Bachman, because she has made several flawed assertions. She is not likely to stand the scrutiny of campaign. Rick Perry, the Govenor of Texas since Bush's ascendancy to the White House, seems the ideal candidate. Perry's closest affiliations certainly lump him among some of the nation's foremost white Christian nationalists. This strain of American politics under girds the promotion of intolerance. The historic Bob Jones case of racist policies relative interracial dating is one of the best known cases, but Jerry Falwel and the so-called religious right are largely, though not exclusively southern, in its base. Mix this white religious fervor with an electoral majority is a very dangerous contradiction. A "rightness of whiteness" cloaked in the flag and the Bible will be nothing less than American fascism. Its enemies will be: people of color, the poor, sexual orientations they don't like, women who want the right to choose, and others wanting to protect the democratic rights all. Knowing the possibility of this outcome, we need to make sure that these forces, including Rick Perry, are defeated in our next election and our future as a diverse democratic America. The article below by Michelle Goldberg raised the essential question what of "A Christian Plot for Domination?" RGN
A Christian Plot for Domination?
Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry aren't just devout—both have deep ties to a fringe fundamentalist movement known as Dominionism, which says Christians should rule the world.
by Michelle Goldberg | August 14, 2011 10:51 PM EDT
With Tim Pawlenty out of the presidential race, it is now fairly clear that the GOP candidate will either be Mitt Romney or someone who makes George W. Bush look like Tom Paine. Of the three most plausible candidates for the Republican nomination, two are deeply associated with a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism known as Dominionism. If you want to understand Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, understanding Dominionism isn’t optional.
Put simply, Dominionism means that Christians have a God-given right to rule all earthly institutions. Originating among some of America’s most radical theocrats, it’s long had an influence on religious-right education and political organizing. But because it seems so outré, getting ordinary people to take it seriously can be difficult. Most writers, myself included, who explore it have been called paranoid. In a contemptuous 2006 First Things review of several books, including Kevin Phillips’ American Theocracy, and my own Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, conservative columnist Ross Douthat wrote, “the fear of theocracy has become a defining panic of the Bush era.”
Now, however, we have the most theocratic Republican field in American history, and suddenly, the concept of Dominionism is reaching mainstream audiences. Writing about Bachmann in The New Yorker this month, Ryan Lizza spent several paragraphs explaining how the premise fit into the Minnesota congresswoman’s intellectual and theological development. And a recent Texas Observer cover story on Rick Perry examined his relationship with the New Apostolic Reformation, a Dominionist variant of Pentecostalism that coalesced about a decade ago. “[W]hat makes the New Apostolic Reformation movement so potent is its growing fascination with infiltrating politics and government,” wrote Forrest Wilder. Its members “believe Christians—certain Christians—are destined to not just take ‘dominion’ over government, but stealthily climb to the commanding heights of what they term the ‘Seven Mountains’ of society, including the media and the arts and entertainment world.”