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14 August 2011


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You hit the nail on its head on this one, Dominionism has no place in our nation's White House, especially since the occupant has a thumb that is authorized to push the nuclear launch/nation's Samson option.

Wave, bow, wave bow, you da man on this.

What do you think of Pawlenty disgorging himself from the ego theater known as the White House run?



My humble apologies, I was in the process of writing another item to Phil regarding the Clarke issue.

Please accept my 'humble' apologies. Grovel, grovel.

William R. Cumming

The only real substantive effect of yesterday's straw poll was the departure of Pawlenty who spent big bucks in Iowa from the race.

The rest is too laden with so few voters to matter.

John Minnerath

Anyone who walks around with their religion on their sleeve and keeps making sure everyone knows what it is is wayyy spooky.

Charles I

Frank Schaeffer's book,

Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or almost All) Of It Back

is an initially bucolic account of his family life at his parent's Swiss, I think it was, religious retreat L'abri.

Any fellow traveler worth their salt, and many hippies, searchers, etc., made the pilgrimage there.
Jeff Sharlett, author of "The Family The Secret fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" I'm always touting here, wrote of it as the

"Christian madrasssa at which a generation of fundamentalist intellectuals[??!!!!ed.] studied a reenchanted American past"Christian at least in memory".

They search for "the essence of the Christian worldview, a vision of an American future so entirely Christ-filtered that beside it theocracy - the clumsy governance of priestly bureaucrats, disdained by Schaeffer and Colson - seems a modest ambiton. Theocentric is the preferred term, Randall Terry, the Schaffer disciple who went on to found Operation Rescue. . . told me.. . . The study of history for fundamentalists is a process of divining law that law, and to that end the theocratic worldview collapses into one great parable. . . applicable at all stages of learning.[This bit sounds drearily, terrifyingly familiar.ed.]

It is character, in the nineteenth-century, British Empire sense of the word, that drives American fundamentalist engagement with the past. History matters not for its progression of "fact, fact, fact" Michael McHugh, one of the pioneers of modern fundamentalist education told me, but for "key personalities".

Sharlet, Jeff The Family, Harper Perennial, New York 2009, pp 342-43.

There's a passage on "biblical capitalism" on p 342 too! Key man MacArthur's defeat of Japan freed USA up on the eastern front to confront the commies and "set the stage for free enterprise. . . .With Japan committed to capitalism. . .the general's providential flanking maneuver, you might say, helped win the Cold War" ibid

So your "key characters" are innerant religious, IMHO, whackos, . . . claiming the character of 19th century Brit snobs, whom you just finished sporting with, personal friends of Jesus for whom all crimes are prepaid so long as they do the Work of biblical capitalism.

I think the cut cap and balance thingy was done with an abacus.

I urge you one and all to read the two books, Schaeffer's first and then the Family, as well as the other materials cited by Adam Silverman.

Thanks Adam for this update on a fascinating and alarming process.

How can you tolerate 2 year long elections?

ex-PFC Chuck

A good resource for info on Christian Dominionism is the writings of Rachael Tabachnick on the New Apostolic Reformation movement at the group blog Talk to Action (www.talk2action.org). Others who post at that site occasionally touch on the issue but it's mainly Tabachnick's area. It's quite scary stuff.

ex-PFC Chuck

Frank Schaeffer wrote a novel entitled "Portofino" based on his upbringing in a strict Calvinist family. It is set in the Italian coastal city of the title during a vacation in the son's adolescence. It's not a bad read, and a friend of mine who was the child of Lutheran missionaries thought it rang quite true.

Farmer Don

Yes, on the Scale of nuttiness, Congresswoman Bachmann's version of Christianity seems to be at least eight out of ten.


Another good source are the writings of Sarah Posner from religion dispatches.

Here's an article of hers on Perry:


Sean McBride

Adam: great post, chock-full of useful pointers. On the role of religious fundamentalism in American politics over several centuries, I highly recommend Kevin Phillips' American Theocracy http://www.amazon.com/American-Theocracy-Politics-Religion-Borrowed/dp/067003486X Phillips is very much a big picture thinker.

Roy G.

Farmer Don, I think you're being conservative in your rating. Have you heard about her husband?

As a former Minnesotan, I think it's odd that both Bachmann and Pawlenty made it to the big stage, especially since Minne has struggled during their tenures. Pawlenty was really not good at all as governor. People have forgotten about the 35W bridge falling into the Mississippi River, which was due in part to Pawlenty putting a 'small government' political appointee in charge of the DOT.

As far as Bachmann, she's a freak show, and that's why she's being promoted at this stage, and shows how far down politics in this country has devolved. The religious element is certainly scary, but what is more so is that Perry and Bachmann are political animals whose outsize religious personas mask empty minds save for dogma - viz Perry's plan to end Texas' drought by prayer.

Adam L. Silverman


Not a problem, its an honor to be confused for Phil.

Adam L. Silverman

Charles I,

Sharlett's reporting and his book on the overlapping topic are excellent. I'm glad you brought them up, saved me having to do so.

Adam L. Silverman

ExPFC Chuck and Confused Ponderer,

Another great source is Michelle Goldberg at the Daily Beast. The link to her stuff is:

Adam L. Silverman

Sean McBride,

Philips stuff is great and American Theocracy in particular is well worth the read. Another good one is What's the Matter With Kansas.

What I find interesting is the number of traditional, real conservatives, many of whom worked for Nixon, Ford, Reagan, have come out as essentially apostates with where Movement Conservatism and the Republican Party have gotten too. Philips who came up with the Southern Strategy, John Dean of Watergate fame, but who was also quite close with Goldwater, Bruce Bartlett, even Stockman has made it clear that the current group has no clue when it comes to economics. It should tell you something when folks like that feel they have no home today in the Republican Party.



Sadly, I don't think that the Dominionists will ever get the picture, that all a person can take with them to their graves is hopefully in the end ἠθικός (ethikos ). Such is how a man or woman will be judged, no?



Something else that I think that the Dominionists sadly fail to consider regarding ἠθικός (ethikos ), and that is קדיש (Kaddish). To have ἠθικός requires one understanding that for salvation קדיש, for redemption קדיש, for forgiveness קדיש.


Frank's book

Keeping Faith: A Father-Son Story About Love and the U.S. Marine Corps (with son John Schaeffer)

is wonderful. When his son joined the Marines he realized he knew no one who had any connection with anyone in the military. His good friends told him how sorry they were that John enlisted.

Charles I

J, the problem is these very energetic and human people are already saved, many of them of the 144,000, and they have no worries, no fear, their peccadilloes and mortal sins are enjoyed with gusto, easily forgiven - they're human, after all - so long as they believe. . . or behave.

I just urge you to read the the Schaeffer & Sharlett books to look under the tent and inside the. . . .the minds of some actors. They are very readable books, Sharlet's indexed, had it here at the cottage working on Bohica so I dipped into it today, looked up a few hours later. . .

Charles I

Adam, my pleasure, I can't get enough of this stuff, caught the bug after I read Clifford Kiracofe's Dark Crusade, some very nice theological explication there, with an easy history and personality survey of early fundamentalism, the empowering freedom of compulsive Dominionism.

Then he cited some early fascist mystical types to me one time, it never ends.

I humbly thank you for your scholarship and generosity here, it provides hours of alarming stimulation.

They scare the hell outta me, I think our PM Harper is one. Those interested in northern Doms should read Marci McDonald's book:

The Armageddon Factor: the Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada, Random House, 2010

"The Armageddon Factor is the first examination of the emerging religious right in Canada and its ties to the Harper government. Shedding light on an increasingly influential movement that the mainstream media has largely ignored, McDonald profiles many of the players who have set down organizational roots in Ottawa since Harper came to power, establishing think tanks, advocacy groups and youth lobbies to ensure they have a lasting voice in the national debate long after he has left office.

In meticulous detail and vivid anecdotes, she connect the dots to portray a diverse and elusive community that ranges from Prairie creationists to theocrats who toil on Parliament Hill. Along the way, she explains how Christian Zionists have thrown their weight behind Harper's most radical policy shift, his unflinching support for Israel, and why a band of militant Pentecostals believes not only that the end-times of the Book of Revelation are at hand, but that Canada has a special, biblically-ordained role to play in those final days."

All that coal in Austrailia, and the Tar Sands? Providential proof of central casting in the end times


God I don't believe in, help us all.

Charles I

Sarah Posner of Religion Dispacthes(s) has reported on the subject for some time.

Rick Perry And The New Apostolic Reformation


McCain got burned when some of his NAR supporters' comments came to light. Perry sees a burning bush.

Sean McBride


The great mystery is, how did the Republican Party, which was once a reasonable and rational enterprise, get hijacked by some of the most irrational religious extremists on the planet? I feel a great deal of intellectual empathy for the Republican apostates you mentioned -- Phillips, Dean, Bartlett, Stockman (and there are others) -- but they no longer exert meaningful influence on the GOP.

Stanley E. Henning

DAMN! Let's not act like those in the Middle East debacle - let's get out of this pseudo-religious subculture and start using common sense focused on reality. Let's cut the crap and face reality or we will be history!


Sean McBride,
I think I know why Republican intellectuals like Phillips, Dean, Bartlett, Stockman became apostates - one word: Primaries.

They were pushed out by people whose interests weren't served by traditional conservative ideas.

Just one example: For a deeply religious conservative who is, say, eager to erect The Ten Commandments in front of courthouses traditional conservatives, who insist that there is a separation of church and state, are indeed apostates. Encouraged or even organised by their grass roots organisations, they go into politics deliberately and push such apostates out.

AFAIK about every tea partier has expressed that America is 'a Christian nation', 'under God', and a few prominently have had well publicised problems with expressing an understanding of the separation of Church and State. Many are overtly hostile to that idea and they have con artists like David Barton (who's funding him anyway?) writing the narrative for their views.

Others are overtly hostile to the idea of taxation, and likewise push out the heretics in that regard.

Today a James Baker, trying to play hard ball with the Israelis by cutting Israel loan guarantees would be attacked rabidly by his own party, for the non-Jewish Zionists in Congress and Senate presumably largely because of Genesis 12:3 "... and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth ... Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee." We don't want to make God mad, very mad, do we?

Apparently the non-Jewish Zionists in Congress and Senate live in perpetual, superstitious and atavistic fear of severe divine punishment.

So the The Democratic Party, one prominent NAR member believes, is controlled by Jezebel and three lesser demons. Of course! Once you believe in wonders and spirits such nonsense is easy to digest. Suspend your disbelief. Submit and obey.

I could go on.

Never in my lifetime the R's have been that ideological and cranky. The primary process has allowed the extremists to take over the party and they have largely succeeded. There is no more place for intellectuals like Phillips, Dean, Bartlett, Stockman. The tent has become too small. Also, their intellectualism is suspiciously elitist i.e. liberal.


PS: Another case in point is the evolution so-called 'debate'. In Dover Pennsylvania religious nuts dominated the Republican party. They way they could do that was by streaming into the party primaries. In fact, they dominated the Republican party to the extent that competing rational Republicans had to run on the Democrat ticket.


IMO the root of this lies in the Republican reliance on wedge issues - far beyond just mobilising people to vote Republican, these wedge issues have driven people that Republicans only wanted to pander to, and ignore them when it comes to actual policy making, to turn to politics themselves.

Consider: in eight years of Bush there was no Republican attempt made to overturn Roe vs. Wade - and why should they, it is far more effective to keep the anti-abortion base aggrieved, and mobilised.

Having turned to politics, and having 'marched through the institutions', to use that old left wing maxim, they now begin to turn their views into actual policy. And there they are. And they are there to stay. Michelle Bachmann is just the most prominent example for that new breed.


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