Random Book Blogging: Dominionism and “The Family”

Today’s installment of Random Book Blogging comes from “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power” by Jeff Sharlet.

I’ve just started reading it and I know that I’ll use it again for future Random Book Blogging posts, but for now I just wanted to highlight this one passage, as it pertains to what we have been writing about here lately:

The more I learned about the Family, the more difficulty I had in clarifying their theology … But at Ivanwald, or in a prayer cell at the Cedars, or in a conversation with world leaders, the Family’s beliefs appear closer to the more marginal set of theologies sometimes gathered under the umbrella term of dominionism, characterized for me by William Martin, a religious historian at Rice University and Billy Graham’s official biographer, as the “intellectual heart of the Christian Right.” Dominionist theologies hold the Bible to be the guide to every decision, high and low, from whom God wants you to marry to whether God thinks you should buy a new lawn mower. Unlike neo-evangelicals, who concern themselves chiefly with getting good with Jesus, dominionists want to reconstruct early Christian society, which they believe was ruled by God alone. They view themselves as the new chosen and claim a Christian doctrine of conventionalism, meaning covenants not only between God and humanity but at every level of society, replacing the rule of law and its secular contract. Since those covenants are signed, as it were, in the Blood of the Lamb, they are written in ink invisible to nonbelievers.