As we have been noting over the last several weeks, ever since Gov. Rick Perry’s massive prayer rally in August, there as been a lot of attention being paid to the rise of the New Apostolic Reformation and the Dominion theology many of its leaders promote.
As such, many of those leaders have started to downplay their own dominionist teachings while Religious Right activists have all suddenly developed amnesia and begun to claim they have never even heard of the doctrine.
Since nobody on the Right seems to have any idea what Dominionism is, let’s turn to Chip Berlet, one of the researchers who helped to coin and popularize the term, and let him explain its three main characteristics:
– Dominionists celebrate Christian nationalism, in that they believe the United States once was, and should again be, a Christian nation. In this way, they deny the Enlightenment roots of American democracy.
– Dominionists promote religious supremacy, insofar as they generally do not respect the equality of other religions, or even other versions of Christianity.
– Dominionists endorse theocratic visions, believing that the Ten Commandments, or “biblical law,” should be the foundation of American law, and that the U.S. Constitution should be seen as a vehicle for implementing Biblical principles.
There is probably not one “mainstream” Religious Right activist operating today that better matches these characteristics than David Barton.
Not only does Barton openly associate with NAR prophets and apostles, but he also openly promotes Seven Mountains theology. On top of that, Barton is also a borderline theocrat who believes that literally every element of society ought operate in accordance with Biblical teachings, including education, immigration, health care, taxes and economic policy, employment regulations, and the role of government.
Barton routinely claims that our government and its doctrines came directly out of the Bible and that the Bible ought to be used to solve every problem because “anything the Bible talks about cannot be considered secular” … even when it comes to things like building codes.
But when it comes to Dominionism, Barton claims, just like everyone else, that it doesn’t even exist and that the term is just an effort to smear Christians, as he and his WallBuilders co-host Rick Green discussed on their radio program yesterday:
Barton: I’ve been called the for years and we’ve had to deal with that. Reconstructionist. Dominionist. And it’s a pejorative …
Green: I hear it all the time, I hear it all over the place but I’d never heard of it before.
Barton: Well, it’s supposed to be radioactive and chase people off from you. It’s like saying “oh, you’re a Nazi, oh, you’re an anti-Semite, you’re a bigot, you’re a racist, you’re a Dominionist” and it’s a term that’s thrown out to really scare people and chase them off from you. Oh, you don’t want to listen to Rick Green, he’s a Dominionist … and nobody’s ever got around to defining it. And even the people who use it … Dominionist, that means he wants to stone rebellious children and to kill homosexuals … really? Have you ever said that?
Barton: But you’re a Dominionist.
Green: And I’ve never heard you say it either, so something’s up …
Barton: Exactly right. It’s just a term they throw out to try and scare people and they define it and they define it wrong nearly every time. What a Dominionist means, quite frankly, we as Christians believe we should be salt and light.