When is a religion not a religion but a political movement? It's time to ask Senator Bill Frist.
From the New York Times April 15, 2005:
"As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees.
But is this really "people of faith?" Or is it a set of otherwise politically unacceptable hacks who are masquerading as members of a form of Christianity? Frist is proving that he is in league with the people pushing the agenda of the Dominion theology [* See below].
From The Despoiling of America .
"Discarding the original message of Jesus and forgetting that Jesus said, 'My kingdom is not of this world,' the framers of Dominionism boldly presented a Gospel whose purpose was to inspire Christians to enter politics and execute world domination so that Jesus could return to an earth prepared for his earthly rule by his faithful "regents."
"For Dominionists, perhaps the single most important event in the last half of the twentieth century occurred when the Reverend Jim Jones proved that the religious would follow their leader to Guyana and even further, to their deaths. That fact could hardly have escaped the notice of even the dullest of politically minded preachers.
"Indeed, Jim Jones' surreal power over his congregants leaps out from the grave even today. If a man desired to change the laws in America - to undo Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal for instance, and allow corporations the unbridled freedom they enjoyed prior to the Great Depression (which included the freedom to defraud, pillage, and to destroy the land with impunity on the way to gathering great fortunes), what better way to proceed than to cloak the corruption within a religion? If a few men wanted to establish an American empire and control the entire world, what better vehicle to carry them to their goal than to place their agenda within the context of a religion? Jim Jones proved religious people would support even immoral political deeds if their leaders found a way to frame those deeds as 'God's Will.' The idea was brilliant. Its framers knew they could glorify greed, hate, nationalism and even a Christian empire with ease.
"The religion the canny thinkers founded follows the reverse of communism and secular humanism, it poured political and economic ideology into a religion and that combustible mixture produced 'Dominionism,' a new political faith that had the additional advantage of insulating the cult from attacks on its political agenda by giving its practitioners the covering to simply cry out, 'You're attacking me for my religious beliefs and that's religious persecution!"
So if the Republicans present a set of truly unsatisfactory judicial nominations, and they are all presenting themselves as fundamentalist Christians and pushing an anti-Constitutional anti-American agenda, Democrats who try to protect America from their appointment are somehow engaging in religious persecution?
I don't think so. This is just a Republican power-grab, and Frist is on board to get the fundamentalist vote for his run for the White House in 2008.
[* Dominion theology - From The Despoiling of America . Dominionism is a natural if unintended extension of Social Darwinism and is frequently called 'Christian Reconstructionism.' Its doctrines are shocking to ordinary Christian believers and to most Americans. Journalist Frederick Clarkson, who has written extensively on the subject, warned in 1994 that Dominionism 'seeks to replace democracy with a theocratic elite that would govern by imposing their interpretation of 'Biblical Law.' He described the ulterior motive of Dominionism is to eliminate 'labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools.'[...]
Born in Christian Reconstructionism, which was founded by the late R. J. Rushdoony, the framers of the new cult included Rushdoony, his son-in-law Gary North, Pat Robertson, Herb Titus, the former Dean of Robertson's Regent University School of Public Policy (formerly CBN University), Charles Colson, Robertson's political strategist, Tim LaHaye, Gary Bauer, the late Francis Schaeffer, and Paul Crouch, the founder of TBN, the world's largest television network, plus a virtual army of likeminded television and radio evangelists and news talk show hosts.]