Adam L. Silverman, PhD*
With Congresswoman Bachmann's victory in the Iowa Straw Poll and Governor Perry's announcement that he is entering the 2012 presidential race timed to essentially step all over the events in Iowa, both candidates are getting a lot of media coverage and attention. While there have been a number of articles, some of the most recent are beginning to bring more attention to and highlight the religious beliefs of both politicians. While discussions of other's religious beliefs can be dicey, both candidates have regularly and routinely referred to their devout Christianity as not only important parts of their lives, but as major influences on their politics and political views.
Both Congresswoman Bachmann and Governor Perry are part of two different variants of a particularly American form of Evangelicalism referred to as Dominionism, Christian Reconstructionism, and/or Theonomy. Ryan Lizza's recent New Yorker profile does a good job detailing how Congresswoman Bachmann came to her faith and how she is influenced by Dominionism. Forrest Wilder does an excellent job covering Governor Perry's much more recent movement into Dominionism in The Texas Observer. Frank Schaeffer, the son of Francis Schaeffer one of the founders of Dominionism who eventually broke with the movement, provides a former insider's view of the beliefs of Dominion theology and Christian Reconstructionism, as well as how those beliefs have not only influenced Congresswoman Bachmann, but all of American Christianity and politics for the past thirty plus years. To see Francis Schaeffer's own take on Dominionism, his video series How Should We Then Live, can be found here. To see the views of the other father of Dominionism and founder of the Chalcedon Foundation, Rousas John Rushdoony, The Second American Revolution, they can be found here.
* Adam L. Silverman is the Culture and Foreign Language Advisor at the US Army War College. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Army War College and/or the US Army.