Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20, 2011

today's date February 11-11-12

page 371






Seven Mountains Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 07/27/2012, 12:15pm
Back in February, we reported that pastor Anne Gimenez was in the process of recreating the 1980 Washington for Jesus rally, which she led with her late husband, Bishop John Gimenez. The new election-oriented
prayer rally, called America for Jesus, is scheduled to be held in Philadelphia’s Independence Mall in September and has already received the endorsements of far-right dominionists including Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engle, Jim Garlow and Harry Jackson. But as with Rick Perry’s The Response and Lou Engle’s The Call prayer rallies, it was only a matter of time before more... MORE
Miranda Blue, Monday 01/09/2012, 5:36pm
On Friday’s "Prophetic Prospectives with Rick Joyner," leading Seven Mountains dominionist Lance Wallnau used his trademark Magic Marker illustrations to demonstrate the duty of Christians to occupy the “mountains” of government, media and economics. Referring to the parable of the strong man, Wallnau suggests that these “mountains” of influence are currently being occupied by Satan: Well, the church is the equipping place, but the world system is where we haven’t gone. We’ve been going into all the nations to plant churches. We haven... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 01/06/2012, 12:30pm
On Wednesday’s edition of Prophetic Perspectives with Rick Joyner, Lance Wallnau, a major proponent of Seven Mountains Dominionism, explained that the Occupy Wall Street movement emerged as a result of the fact that the Devil, and not right-wing Christians, was in charge of Wall Street banks, which he says led to the economic crisis. Wallnau said that along with the economics mountain, “the Devil will send kings” to different cultural mountains, such as government media, arts and education, to “screw it up.” He warned that government leaders are “under the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 12/08/2011, 1:35pm
As we noted in our earlier post, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber joined Janet Mefferd to rail against the Obama administration for attempting to defend the rights of gays and lesbians abroad. But Barber’s appearance on Mefferd’s radio program was notable for another reason. Mefferd has used her show to speak about the dangers of dominionism, while Barber claims that dominionism does not exist and anyone who worries about it is “no different than 9/11-truthers, global-warmers or Holocaust-deniers.”As we’ve noted, many of the dominionists’ biggest... MORE

Dominionism or Dominionist is a term used to describe politically active conservative Christians who are believed to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States, with the goal of establishing either a nation governed by Christians or one governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law.

Although the term "dominionist", as a shorthand for Dominion Theology, is sometimes used without controversy to refer to adherents of certain radical groups that explicitly advocate theocracy, the term as described in this article is intended by its users to refer to much or all of the Christian right, and the latter usage is controversial. Apart from a handful of social scientists who first coined it, the term in this sense is almost exclusively used by journalists and bloggers,[1] and there is an ongoing debate about its usefulness.[2]

Origin and usage of the term

Although dominionism is used in several distinct ways, most usage originates directly or indirectly from a specific passage in the King James Version of the Bible:

And God blessed [ Adam and Eve ] and God said unto them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." —Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

Christians typically interpret this verse as meaning that God gave humankind responsibility over the Earth, although theologians do not all agree on the nature and extent of that "dominion".

 Dominion Theology

Dominion Theology is a grouping of theological systems[3] with the common belief that the law of God, as codified in the Bible, should exclusively govern society, to the exclusion of secular law, a view also known as theonomy. The most prominent modern formulation of Dominion Theology is Christian Reconstructionism, founded by R. J. Rushdoony in the 1970s. Reconstructionists themselves use the word dominionism to refer to their belief that Christians alone should control civil government, conducting it according to Biblical law.[4][5]

Although many authors have described such influence (particularly of Reconstructionism),[6][7] full adherents to Reconstructionism are few and marginalized among conservative Christians.[6][8][9] Dave Hunt,[10] Hal Lindsey,[11] and Thomas Ice[12] specifically criticize Christian Reconstructionism from a Christian viewpoint, disagreeing on theological grounds with its theocratic elements as well as its Calvinism and postmillennialism. J. Ligon Duncan,[13] Sherman Isbell,[14] Vern Poythress,[15] Robert Godfrey,[16] and Sinclair Ferguson[17] analyze Reconstructionism as conservative Calvinists, primarily giving a theological critique of its theocratic elements.

Social scientists have used the word "dominionism" to refer to adherence to full-blown Dominion Theology and/or Christian Reconstructionism,[3][18][19] and this usage is not controversial.

Dominionism as a broader movement

In the early 1990s sociologist Sara Diamond[20][21] and journalist Frederick Clarkson[22][23] defined dominionism as a movement that, while including Dominion Theology and Reconstructionism as subsets, is much broader in scope, extending to much of the Christian Right[24] In his 1992 study of Dominion Theology and its influence on the Christian Right, Bruce Barron writes,

In the context of American evangelical efforts to penetrate and transform public life, the distinguishing mark of a dominionist is a commitment to defining and carrying out an approach to building society that is self-consciously defined as exclusively Christian, and dependent specifically on the work of Christians, rather than based on a broader consensus.[25]

According to Diamond, the defining concept of dominionism is "that Christians alone are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns". In 1989, Diamond declared that this concept "has become the central unifying ideology for the Christian Right"[20] (p. 138, emphasis in original) in the United States. In 1995, she called it "prevalent on the Christian Right".[26] Journalist Chip Berlet added in 1998 that, although they represent different theological and political ideas, dominionists assert a Christian duty to take "control of a sinful secular society."[27]

In 2005, Clarkson enumerated the following characteristics shared by all forms of dominionism:[28]

1. Dominionists celebrate Christian nationalism, in that they believe that the United States once was, and should once again be, a Christian nation. In this way, they deny the Enlightenment roots of American democracy.
2. Dominionists promote religious supremacy, insofar as they generally do not respect the equality of other religions, or even other versions of Christianity.
3. Dominionists endorse theocratic visions, insofar as they believe 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.[28]

Essayist Katherine Yurica began using the term dominionism in her articles in 2004, beginning with "The Despoiling of America", (February 11, 2004),[29][30][31] Authors following Yurica in this usage include journalist Chris Hedges [32][33][34] Marion Maddox,[35] James Rudin,[36] Michelle Goldberg,[37][38] Kevin Phillips,[39] Sam Harris,[40] Ryan Lizza,[41] and the group TheocracyWatch.[42] This group of authors has applied the term to a broader spectrum of people than have Diamond, Clarkson, and Berlet.

A spectrum of dominionism

Writers including Chip Berlet[43] and Frederick Clarkson[28] distinguish between what they term "hard" and "soft" dominionism. Such commentators define "soft" dominionism as the belief that "America is a Christian nation" and opposition to separation of church and state, while "hard" dominionism refers to dominion theology and Christian Reconstructionism.

Michelle Goldberg used the term "Christian Nationalism" for the former view,[37] and Berlet and Clarkson have agreed that "[s]oft Dominionists are Christian nationalists."[43] Unlike "dominionism", the phrase "Christian nation" occurs commonly in the writings of leaders of the Christian Right. Proponents of this idea (such as David Barton and D. James Kennedy) argue that the Founding Fathers of the United States were overwhelmingly Christian, that founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are based on Christian principles, and that a Christian character is fundamental to American culture.[44][45][46] They cite, for example, the U.S. Supreme Court's comment in 1892 that "this [the United States] is a Christian nation,"[47] after citing numerous historical and legal arguments in support of that statement.[48][49]

riticism of the term

Those labeled dominionists rarely use the terms "dominionist" and "dominionism" for self-description, and some people have attacked the use of such words. Journalist Anthony Williams charged that such usage aims "to smear the Republican Party as the party of domestic Theocracy, facts be damned."[50] Journalist Stanley Kurtz labeled it "conspiratorial nonsense", "political paranoia", and "guilt by association",[51] and decried Hedges' "vague characterizations" that allow him to "paint a highly questionable picture of a virtually faceless and nameless 'Dominionist' Christian mass."[52] Kurtz also complained about a perceived link between average Christian evangelicals and extremism such as Christian Reconstructionism:

The notion that conservative Christians want to reinstitute slavery and rule by genocide is not just crazy, it's downright dangerous. The most disturbing part of the Harper's cover story (the one by Chris Hedges) was the attempt to link Christian conservatives with Hitler and fascism. Once we acknowledge the similarity between conservative Christians and fascists, Hedges appears to suggest, we can confront Christian evil by setting aside 'the old polite rules of democracy.' So wild conspiracy theories and visions of genocide are really excuses for the Left to disregard the rules of democracy and defeat conservative Christians — by any means necessary.[51]

Joe Carter of First Things writes:

[T]here is no “school of thought” known as “dominionism.” The term was coined in the 1980s by Diamond and is never used outside liberal blogs and websites. No reputable scholars use the term for it is a meaningless neologism that Diamond concocted for her dissertation.[1]

Jeremy Pierce of First Things coined the word "dominionismist" to describe those who promote the idea that there is a dominionist conspiracy, writing:

It strikes me as irresponsible to lump [Rushdoony] together with Francis Schaeffer and those influenced by him, especially given Schaeffer’s many recorded instances of resisting exactly the kinds of views Rushdoony developed. Indeed, it strikes me as an error of the magnitude of some of Rushdoony’s own historical nonsense to consider there to be such a view called Dominionism [sic] that Rushdoony, Schaeffer, James Dobson, and all the other people in the list somehow share and that it seeks to get Christians and only Christians into all the influential positions in secular society.[53]

Lisa Miller of Newsweek writes that "'dominionism' is the paranoid mot du jour" (referring to the French for "word of the day") and that "certain journalists use 'dominionist' the way some folks on Fox News use the word 'sharia.' Its strangeness scares people. Without history or context, the word creates a siege mentality in which 'we' need to guard against 'them.'"[54] Ross Douthat of the New York Times noted that "many of the people that writers like Diamond and others describe as 'dominionists' would disavow the label, many definitions of dominionism conflate several very different Christian political theologies, and there’s a lively debate about whether the term is even useful at all."[2]

Other criticism has focused on the proper use of the term. Berlet wrote that "just because some critics of the Christian Right have stretched the term dominionism past its breaking point does not mean we should abandon the term,"[55] and argued that, rather than labeling conservatives as extremists, it would be better to "talk to these people" and "engage them."[56] Sara Diamond wrote that "[l]iberals' writing about the Christian Right's take-over plans has generally taken the form of conspiracy theory", and argued that instead one should "analyze the subtle ways" that ideas like Dominionism "take hold within movements and why".[26]

Influences on the Christian Right

Abraham Kuyper and the "cultural mandate"

A common view among evangelical Christians holds that the granting of "dominion" in Genesis 1:28 includes a "cultural mandate" to influence all aspects of the world with Christian principles.[57][58][59][60] Contrary to the theocratic vision of Dominion Theology, this view calls for Christians simply to "honor God as they promote truth and mercy and apply scriptural principles to the affairs of life."[58](p. 252) As formulated by Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920), the Dutch Reformed theologian (called the father of Neo-Calvinism) and prime minister of the Netherlands, the "cultural mandate" view teaches that all human endeavor, whether ostensibly sacred or secular, is part of building God's kingdom. Kuyper energetically applied Christian principles to the secular problems of his day, seeing his efforts as extending "common grace" to all people. However, Kuyper firmly rejected the idea that "dominion" could be taken to mean domination of Christians over others.[61] Kuyper ranks as a founding father of the Christian Democratic movement, which remains an important political influence in parts of Europe, Latin America and elsewhere.

Francis Schaeffer

The work of Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer (1912–1984) provided an important underpinning for the rise of the modern Religious Right. Schaeffer, a follower of Kuyper's system of Neo-Calvinism, had founded L'Abri, a Christian community and study-center in Switzerland, in 1955. There he received evangelical Christians and others from many parts of the world, encouraging them that it was not only good but important for Christians to intellectually engage with and benefit from the Western cultural tradition (secular though it may be) of art, literature, philosophy, and the like.[62][63][64]

In the 1970s Schaeffer began to travel more often to his native United States, where he saw a need to warn against what he saw as the cultural decay of American society.[6] His book, film and lecture series, Whatever Happened to the Human Race?,[65] co-authored with C. Everett Koop, toured Christian colleges and churches in the early 1980s. Panels of ethicists and scholars presented the films, fielding questions from audiences and raising the alarm that, through Christian inattention, Western Civilization had slipped its Judeo-Christian moorings, drifting into a "post-Christian era", under the sway of a secular civil religion that Schaeffer called "secular humanism". The landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade served as Schaeffer's iconic portrait of the radical cheapening of human life which he predicted must accompany this cultural shift, producing a culture increasingly bent on self-destruction.[citation needed] In his tract A Christian Manifesto,[66] he called upon Christians to directly resist these influences in the public sphere, by means including civil disobedience.

Though Schaeffer's interests were primarily cultural and philosophical, his doctrine of engagement with the public sphere influenced a diverse spectrum of theological conservatives, including Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, John W. Whitehead, and others. Some of these founded political and legal organizations that ignited what has become known as the culture war.

 Rushdoony and Christian Reconstructionism

Rousas John Rushdoony (1916–2001) was the intellectual founder of Christian Reconstructionism, a postmillennial form of theocratic Dominion Theology. Most mainstream Christians reject Rushdoony's views and other forms of Dominion theology as quite radical.[6]

According to Rushdoony and other Reconstructionists including Gary North and Greg Bahnsen, the idea of dominion drawn from Genesis 1:28 implied a theonomy ("rule of the law of God"), which would require all citizens to observe the strict Reconstructionist form of Christianity, and which would punish moral sins ranging from blasphemy to homosexuality with death. Rushdoony wrote that "[m]an is summoned to create the society God requires,"[67] "bringing all things under the dominion of Christ the King."[68] A significant influence on Rushdoony and the theonomists came from Calvinist philosophers and theologians, including the presuppositionalism of Cornelius Van Til (1895–1987), though Van Til himself disavowed any entanglement of his work with political movements.

In regard to the influence of Reconstructionism upon the broader Christian Right, sociologist and professor of religion William Martin wrote,

It is difficult to assess the influence of Reconstructionist thought with any accuracy. Because it is so genuinely radical, most leaders of the Religious Right are careful to distance themselves from it. At the same time, it clearly holds some appeal for many of them. One undoubtedly spoke for others when he confessed, 'Though we hide their books under the bed, we read them just the same.' In addition, several key leaders have acknowledged an intellectual debt to the theonomists. Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy have endorsed Reconstructionist books. Rushdoony has appeared on Kennedy's television program and the 700 Club several times. Pat Robertson makes frequent use of 'dominion' language; his book, The Secret Kingdom, has often been cited for its theonomy elements; and pluralists were made uncomfortable when, during his presidential campaign, he said he 'would only bring Christians and Jews into the government,' as well as when he later wrote, 'There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world.' And Jay Grimstead, who leads the Coalition on Revival, which brings Reconstructionists together with more mainstream evangelicals, has said, 'I don't call myself [a Reconstructionist],' but 'A lot of us are coming to realize that the Bible is God's standard of morality . . . in all points of history . . . and for all societies, Christian and non-Christian alike. . . . It so happens that Rushdoony, Bahnsen, and North understood that sooner.' He added, 'There are a lot of us floating around in Christian leadership — James Kennedy is one of them — who don't go all the way with the theonomy thing, but who want to rebuild America based on the Bible.'[6](p. 354)

Jeremy Pierce noted that many conservative Christians have been attracted to some of Rushdoony's ideas, such as that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, "without necessarily buying into the whole theonomist project."[53]

Schaeffer and Rushdoony

Several writers refer to Francis Schaeffer as a dominionist, and argue that the work of Rushdoony influenced his mid-1970s move towards greater political activism.[21][22][26][69]

However, Irving Hexham, the Canadian sociologist of religion, questions whether scholars have adequately distinguished Schaeffer's views from theonomy, in describing both as "dominionism".[70] Schaeffer never described himself as a theonomist, and explicitly rejected theocracy in A Christian Manifesto, writing that "[t]here is no New Testament basis for a linking of church and state until Christ, the King returns."[66]

Jeremy Pierce, observing that "Schaeffer’s main influence in evangelicalism is in opposing anti-intellectualism and calling on evangelicals to think through their worldview and the worldviews of those around them," and that Schaeffer's legacy of "bringing evangelicals to care about theology, philosophy, and intellectual endeavor" is generally considered more significant than his political work, further observed that Schaeffer explicitly rejected the theonomist views of Rushdoony.[53] Ross Douthat adds that "it seems rather strange to depict a writer who goes out of his way to critique the Constantinian settlement as a supporter of Christian 'dominion' over public life."[2]

In a dialogue with Jeff Sharlet (who had called Schaeffer "Rushdoony's most influential student"[69] and proceeded to link others influenced by Schaeffer — including LaHaye, Charles Colson, and Randall Terry — to Rushdoony in that way), Alan Jacobs noted that Schaeffer's career significantly pre-dates Rushdoony's, and that Schaeffer is chiefly significant for his cultural reflections, which have nothing to do with Dominion Theology.[71] Jacobs also argued that Schaeffer could only be called Rushdoony's "student" in the weak sense that he read his works very late in his career and agreed with some of his ideas (particularly in Schaeffer's A Christian Manifesto), and that their disagreements over fundamental issues far outweighed their synergy.[72]

 See also

 Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Carter, Joe, 2011. A Journalism Lesson for the New Yorker. First Things. Published 10 August 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Douthat, Ross 2011. The New Yorker and Francis Schaeffer. New York Times. Published 29 August 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b Barron, Bruce A. (1992). Heaven on earth?: the social & political agendas of dominion theology. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan. ISBN 0-310-53611-1. [page needed]
  4. ^ Sandlin, Andrew. "The Creed of Christian Reconstructionism". Archived from the original on 28 March 2005. Retrieved 23 September 2007. [self-published source?]
  5. ^ Sandlin, Andrew (1998). "A Reconstructionist Manifesto". Retrieved 23 September 2007.
  6. ^ a b c d e Martin, William (1996). With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America. New York: Broadway Books. [page needed]
  7. ^ Berlet, Chip; Lyons, Matthew N. (2000). Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. New York: Guilford Press. [page needed]
  8. ^ Diamond, Sara (1998). Not by Politics Alone: The Enduring Influence of the Christian Right. New York: Guilford Press. p. 213.
  9. ^ Ortiz, Chris (2007). "Gary North on D. James Kennedy". Chalcedon Blog. Chalcedon Foundation. Retrieved 6 September 2007.
  10. ^ Hunt, Dave 1988. Whatever Happened to Heaven? Harvest House.
  11. ^ Lindsey, Hal 1990. The Road to Holocaust, Bantam
  12. ^ Ice, Thomas, and H. Wayne House 1988. Dominion Theology: Blessing or Curse?, Multnomah Pub (ISBN 0-88070-261-3)
  13. ^ Duncan, J. Ligon 2003. "The Westminster Confession of Faith: A Theonomic Document?", 13 August 2003. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
  14. ^ Isbell, Sherman 1997. "The Divine Law of Political Israel Expired: Part II and Part III”. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
  15. ^ Poythress, Vern S. 1991. The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses. Brentwood TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt Publishers Inc.
  16. ^ Godfrey, W. Robert 1990, "Calvin and Theonomy," in Theonomy: A Reformed Critique, William S. Barker and W. Robert Godfrey eds., 299–312, (Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books, 1990).
  17. ^ Ferguson, Sinclair 1990. "An Assembly of Theonomists?" in Theonomy: A Reformed Critique, William S. Barker and W. Robert Godfrey eds., 315–349, Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books, 1990.
  18. ^ Davis, Derek H.; Hankins, Barry (2003). New Religious Movements and Religious Liberty in America. Baylor University Press. [page needed]
  19. ^ Davidson, Carl; Harris, Jerry (2006). "Globalisation, theocracy and the new fascism: the US Right’s rise to power". Race & Class 47 (3): 47–67. doi:10.1177/0306396806061086.,%20theocracy%20and%20the%20new%20fascism.pdf.
  20. ^ a b Diamond, Sara (1989). Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right. Boston: South End Press. [page needed]
  21. ^ a b Diamond, Sara (1995). Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States. New York: Guilford Press. p. 246. ISBN 0-89862-864-4.
  22. ^ a b Clarkson, Frederick (March/June 1994). "Christian Reconstructionism: Theocratic Dominionism Gains Influence". The Public Eye (Political Research Associates) 8 (1 & 2).
  23. ^ Clarkson, Frederick (1997). Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage. ISBN 1-56751-088-4. [page needed]
  24. ^ in the United States. In her early work, Diamond sometimes used the term dominion theology to refer to this broader movement, rather than to the specific theological system of Reconstructionism.[citation needed]
  25. ^ Barron, Bruce A. (1992). Heaven on earth?: the social & political agendas of dominion theology. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan. p. 14. ISBN 0-310-53611-1.
  26. ^ a b c Diamond, Sara. 1995. "Dominion Theology." Z Magazine, February 1995
  27. ^ Chip Berlet, "Following the Threads," in Ansell, Amy E. Unraveling the Right: The New Conservatism in American Thought and Politics, pp. 24, Westview Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8133-3147-1
  28. ^ a b c Clarkson, Frederick. 2005. "The Rise of Dominionism: Remaking America as a Christian Nation." The Public Eye magazine, Vol. 19, No. 3, (Winter)
  29. ^ Yurica, Katherine (11 February 2004). "The Despoiling of America". Retrieved 3 October 2007. Also published in Barry F. Seidman and Neil J. Murphy, ed. (2004). Toward a New Political Humanism. New York: Prometheus Books. [page needed]
  30. ^ Yurica, Katherine (January 19, 2005). "Why the Bible Commands You to Be a Liberal (And Vote for Democrats)". Retrieved January 19, 2010. [self-published source?]
  31. ^ Yurica, Katherine (23 May 2005). "Yurica Responds to Stanley Kurtz Attack". Retrieved 6 October 2007.
  32. ^ The Christian Right and the Rise of American Fascism By Chris Hedges, TheocracyWatch.
  33. ^ Hedges, Chris (May 2005). "Feeling the hate with the National Religious Broadcasters". Harper's. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
  34. ^ Hedges, Chris, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Free Press, 2006
  35. ^ Maddox, Marion 2005. God under Howard: The Rise of the Religious Right in Australian Politics, Allen & Unwin.
  36. ^ Rudin, James 2006. The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right's Plans for the Rest of Us, New York: Thunder's Mouth Press.
  37. ^ a b Goldberg, Michelle 2006. Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-06094-2 (10). ISBN 978-0-393-06094-2 (13).
  38. ^ Goldberg, Michelle 2011. A Christian Plot for Domination?. The Daily Beast. Published 14 August 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  39. ^ Phillips, Kevin 2006. American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century ISBN 0-670-03486-X
  40. ^ Harris, Sam 2007. "God's dupes", Los Angeles Times, 15 March 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2007
  41. ^ Lizza, Ryan 2011. Leap of Faith. The New Yorker. Published 15 August 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  42. ^ "The Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party", TheocracyWatch, Last updated: December 2005; URL accessed May 8, 2006.
  43. ^ a b Chip Berlet The Christian Right, Dominionism, and Theocracy: Part Two
  44. ^ Barton, David 1993. America's Godly Heritage. WallBuilder Press.
  45. ^ Kennedy, D. James and Jim Nelson Black 1994. Character and Destiny: A Nation in Search of Its Soul. Zondervan Publishing.
  46. ^ Kennedy, D. James and Jerry Newcombe 2003. What If America Were a Christian Nation Again? Thomas Nelson.
  47. ^ Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457, 12 S.Ct. 511, 36 L.Ed. 226, 29 February 1892
  48. ^ Christian Roots of America
  49. ^ God: Nowhere prohibited, everywhere present, Dr. D. James Kennedy, September 29, 2007
  50. ^ Anthony Williams (2005-05-04). ""Dominionist" Fantasies". FrontPage Magazine. Retrieved 2007-05-04.
  51. ^ a b Stanley Kurtz (2005-05-02). "Dominionist Domination: The Left runs with a wild theory". National Review Online. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  52. ^ Stanley Kurtz (2005-04-28). "Scary Stuff". National Review Online. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  53. ^ a b c Pierce, Jeremy, 2011. Dominionismists. First Things. Published 14 August 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  54. ^ Miller, Lisa, 2011. 'Dominionism' beliefs among conservative Christians overblown. Newsweek. Published 18 August 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  55. ^ Berlet, Chip, 2005. The Christian Right, Dominionism, and Theocracy. Retrieved 25 September 2007
  56. ^ Ellis Henican, "A spiritual olive branch for the far-right faithful," Newsday, May 1, 2005. Reposted at Retrieved 23 September 2006
  57. ^ K. Myers (1989), All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture. Crossway Books. ISBN 0-89107-538-0.
  58. ^ a b Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, A.S. Moreau, ed. Baker Academic. ISBN 0-8010-2074-3
  59. ^ N. Pearcey (2004), Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity. Crossway Books. ISBN 1-58134-458-9
  60. ^ C. Colson (2004). "Reclaiming Occupied Territory". Breakpoint Commentary. Retrieved 12 November 2007.
  61. ^ Kuyper, Abraham 1898. Lectures on Calvinism ("The Stone Lectures"). Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1931.
  62. ^ Schaeffer, Francis 1968. The God Who Is There. InterVarsity Press.
  63. ^ Schaeffer, Francis 1972. Art and the Bible. InterVarsity Press.
  64. ^ Schaeffer, Francis 1976. How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture. Crossway Books
  65. ^ Schaeffer, Francis and C. Everett Koop 1979. Whatever Happened to the Human Race? F.H. Revell
  66. ^ a b Schaeffer, Francis 1982. A Christian Manifesto. Crossway Books. Available at
  67. ^ The Institutes of Biblical Law, p. 3-4.
  68. ^ Foreword to Greg Bahnsen's Theonomy in Christian Ethics, 3rd edition, xii.
  69. ^ a b Jeff Sharlet, "Through a glass, darkly: How the Christian right is reimagining U.S. history", Harper's Magazine, December 2006. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  70. ^ Hexham, Irving, "The Evangelical Response to the New Age," in Perspectives on the New Age, edited by James R. Lewis & J. Gordon Melton, State University of New York Press, Albany, New York, 1992, pp. 152–163, especially p. 322 Note 16.
  71. ^ Alan Jacobs, "The Know-Nothing Party", Books & Culture, posted 5 February 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  72. ^ Jeff Sharlet and Alan Jacobs, "Some Fanged Enemy of Christendom: An Exchange", Books & Culture, posted 12 February 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.

GOP Senate Candidate Linked To Controversial ‘Christian Supremacist’ Group

By Zack Beauchamp on Aug 10, 2012 at 11:31 am

Reverend D. James Kennedy (Left) and Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)

GOP Representative and Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin has a long history of extremism, particularly with respect to the role of religion in public life. As it turns out, that shouldn’t be much of a suprise: one of Akin’s principal political influences appears to be Reverend D. James Kennedy, a minister who spent his life organizing a movement dedicated to reorganizing the American government along radically conservative evangelical lines.

Kennedy is widely believed to be a leading advocate for a variant of dominionism, (roughly) the idea that the American government should be run according to Christian, biblical lines. “It must be remembered that D. James Kennedy is a leader among the distinct group of ‘Christian Supremacists’ who seek to ‘reclaim America for Christ’ and turn the U.S. into a Christian nation guided by their strange notions of biblical law,” Abraham Foxman, the President of the Anti-Defamation League, explains.

Indeed, the Reverend has called the US a Christian nation that should be governed by Christians, sought to “rebuild America based on the Bible,” and suggested that Darwinism was responsible for the Holocaust.

Though he died in 2007, Kennedy is respected throughout the GOP, and was particularly influential on Akin’s worldview. According to a Politico profile of Akin, “[t]wo sermons by Dr. D. James Kennedy have been very influential for Todd and he references them frequently in discussions of government.” Akin told Kennedy’s Truth in Action (formerly Coral Gables Ministries) organization that “Dr. Kennedy understood how to connect the principles of Scripture with the practical applications of what keeps a nation free, the principles that America was founded on.” Akin also co-sponsored a resolution last year that “honors Dr. Kennedy’s lifetime of service and sacrifice to his God, his country, [and] the ideals of the Christian faith.”

Kennedy, for his part, recognized Akin’s commitment to his mission. In his book How Would Jesus Vote?, he praised Akin as “one of my favorite statesman,” suggesting Akin’s tenure in the House reflected that “he is a seminary graduate and has chosen politics as his ministry.” In 2007, Kennedy’s Center for Christian Statesmanship gave Akin their “Christian Statesman Award,” awarded to “a person recognizes that individuals (as well as nations) must ultimately give account to God and are dependent on Him for prosperity and success.”

Akin’s rhetoric and policy views bear clear marks of Kennedy’s influence. In “The Bible and Economics, one of the two Kennedy tracts that Politico reported were favorites of Akin’s, Kennedy writes that “the Bible has a great deal to say” about politics, economics, and science, and that we can use it to “erect certain systems and derive an understanding about those subjects.” Akin actually goes further, calling the Bible “an entire blueprint for the way civilization can be structured” in an apocalyptic anti-Obamacare video from 2009. Watch it:

Indeed, Akin consitently amplifies and intensifies Kennedy’s hateful rhetoric:

1. Marriage equality destroys civilization: Akin justified his legislative crusade against LGBT rights by saying “anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.” Kennedy, in his book What’s Wrong with Same-Sex Marriage, wrote that marriage equality would “sink the culture from civilization to barbarism” because “there’s never been a society — ever in the history of the world — that has survived this kind of perversion.”

2. Liberals hate God. Akin said that “the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God.” In The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail, Kennedy argues that even liberal seminary members “don’t believe in the Bible [or] the Deity of Christ.”

3. Liberals are Soviet-style socialists. A common touchstone of Akin’s rhetoric is that liberals are pushing America towards a Soviet Union-style society. This theme also pervades Kennedy’s work. In one sermon on socialism (for example), he said that a liberal is a “secular humanist socialist…it’s the same mindset that destroyed the Communist world that is at work in America.” One of Akin’s two favorite Kennedy lectures is called “The Bible and Socialism.”

This link to Kennedy should prepare us for Akin’s radicalism to become increasingly more obvious: just this Thursday, Akin claimed that he wanted to outlaw the morning-after pill.


A ‘dangerous’ Christian movement influencing
Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry?

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) holds up a newspaper saying that she won the GOP Straw Poll as she speaks at the Black Hawk County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner in Waterloo, Iowa, Aug. 14, 2011. (Charles Dharapak - AP)
According to an article published by the Daily Beast Sunday, GOP presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have “deep ties” to a “fringe fundamentalist movement” known as Dominionism.

Dominionism is defined as the tendency of politically active conservative Christians to try to control government. Writer Michelle Goldberg simplifies the definition down to: “a movement ... which says Christians should rule the world.”

Goldberg is the author of “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism” and she makes her case for applying the controversial term to both candidates by listing the ways Dominionism has supposedly influenced them.

But many have pointed out that her examples show so-called Dominionist groups attaching to the candidates, not the other way around.

As part of her argument, Goldberg cites Bachmann’s close relationship with Truth in Action ministries, a group whose former leader George Grant once explained: “Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion incivil structures.”

Goldberg says Bachmann once appeared in a Truth in Action video in which she said the government has no right to collect taxes in excess of 10 percent, the amount that believers are called to tithe to the church. Goldberg doesn’t say whether Bachmann used the 10 percent figure with any relation to the church.

Goldberg also argues that Rick Perry is associated with Dominionism, citing a recent Texas Observer cover story on the Texas governor that examines his relationship with the New Apostolic Reformation. The New Apostolic Reformation is a group that is fascinated “with infiltrating politics and government,” according to Observer journalist Forrest Wilder.

But Wilder also writes that New Apostolic Reformation sees Perry as its vehicle to claim the “mountain” of government, not the other way around.

Ken Shepherd, managing editor of Newsbusters, a site devoted to “exposing liberal media bias”, wrote that the Daily Beast “went a few more steps off the deep end yesterday” by publishing the article



If you haven't noticed, the religious right has operated in a rather consistent cycle since the 1980s. Get a little bit of power, overreach, get smacked down, climb back up in a few years. Well, there's yet another sign that the overreach is underway--one that's so glaring that it merits a repost from yesterday.

Brian Barcelona, a fundie activist in the Sacramento area, has recently launched One Voice, a movement dedicated to restoring government-mandated prayer in the public schools. And it turns out that Barcelona has close ties to Lou Engle, the so-called "prophet" behind TheCall and a major leader in the New Apostolic Reformation.

Barcelona claims that nothing less than a miracle has happened since he started a prayer group at Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, a Sacramento suburb, back in 2009. Since then, he's started similar prayer groups at eight other high schools in the Sacramento area. He's trotted out the usual shopworn lies about all that's happened since Engel v. Vitale,, Abington School District v. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett ended government-mandated prayer, arguing that those decisions meant that students can't pray at all. However, as People for the American Way points out, the mere fact it's even spread this far proves he's blowing smoke.

He's formally launching his push with a rally in Sacramento on March 31. The location hasn't been determined yet, but odds are it will probably be at either Hornet Stadium or Hughes Stadium (Power Balance Pavillion is hosting a Kings game that night). According to his schedule, further rallies are planned in Hayward, Bakersfield and San Diego--and he's also partnering with Engle in TheCall Southern California on September 1.

The fact that a major religious right heavyweight like Engle is lending his name to this push should eliminate once and for all any claims that the religious right is merely standing up for persecuted born-agains. After all, there is no way in the world you can scream about being oppressed and in the same breath line up behind an effort to roll back the three landmark Supreme Court cases that ended government-mandated prayer.




Why Ron Paul appeals to Christian Reconstructionists

I think I may have this figured out.

I have been thinking about why New Apostolic Reformation dominionists like Rick Perry, and Michelle Bachmann but Christian reconstruction dominionists like Ron Paul. We know why they don’t like Mitt Romney (hint – in Christian dominionism of any sort, Mormons can’t implement biblical law).

But back to NAR vs. Christian reconstructionists; the focus of control is different. The NAR folks want to rule America as a Christian nation from the seat of centralized power in Washington DC. The Christian reconstructionists want to deconstruct central government in favor of state or local control of law. Bachmann and Perry promise to govern biblically and impose their view of Christian America on the nation. Paul promises to dismantle the federal government in favor of the states.

In fact, the Christian reconstructionists are afraid of the NAR dominionists. Recontructionist Joel McDurmon wants biblical law in place but he thinks the NAR approach is a dangerous power grab:

Can you imagine John Hagee as Secretary of State?

This is exactly the threat—top-down threat, totalitarian threat, eschatological holocaust threat—that 7MD presents to us.

American Vision is not that; they are not us; we are not them.

Perhaps more should be written on these guys and the threats they pose to society. They may have a few better political ideas, but they are just as dangerous in degree as the most radical of the left.

McDurmon distinguishes his view of government from the NAR (7Mountains) approach:

The First and most concerning point is that the 7MD version does what critics of traditional dominion theology have falsely accused us of doing the whole time: planning to grab the reins of influence through whatever means necessary, usurp the seats of political power, and impose some tyrannical “theocracy” upon society from the top down with a “whether you like it or not, it’s for your own good” mentality.

We have responded, consistently, that our blueprint is about the rollback of tyranny, not the replacement of it—the removal of unjust taxation, welfare, warfare, government programs, etc. We favor privatization, local control of civil and criminal law, hard and sound money, and private charity for cases of poverty, all led by families, businesses, and churches—not large, centralized, top-down solutions. Yes, we would properly recriminalize sodomy, adultery, and abortion, but in a decentralized world like we want, you could leave easily if you didn’t like that.

So at least some of the ends are the same, but the Christian reconstructionists want to rollback the central government and allow states and local governments to make and enforce law with the Bible as a guide. Those who didn’t agree could go somewhere else. The reconstructionist desire to locate power away from the central government is what, I believe, brings in endorsements from reconstructionist pastors, like Phillip Kayser.

A very explicit reconstructionist case for Ron Paul was made recently on the Theonomy resources website by Bojidar Marinov. As a reconstructionist, his support for Paul was based not on his personal views but on his overall philosophy of governance. Marinov wrote:

It is not Ron Paul that we are looking at when we vote for him; we are looking at God’s purpose for our generation; at what enemies He wants us to rout in our generation; and at what must be done in our generation to advance the Kingdom of God.

The great Battle of Our Time is the battle against the socialist welfare-warfare state. While the issues of abortion and sodomy – the two issues that Stephen criticizes Ron Paul for – are important, they are to a very great extent subservient to the issue of the socialist state. Sodomites and abortionists are protected by the centralized government in Washington, DC. The theonomic solution to the problems of sodomy and abortion can not be achieved at the Federal level because at that level liberals outnumber conservatives 20 to 1. And theonomic Christians are almost non-existent at that level. It is only when the socialist state is dismantled and power returned back to the states and the counties that we will be able to successfully deal with the other social and moral issues. As long as sin is protected at the Federal level, our political job as Christians is to dismantle the Federal bureaucracy and return all power to the local communities. Therefore, the great battle is against the socialist state.
Given that, Ron Paul is the man with the best position to work for that goal on the national level. We must join him not because of him but because we recognize the great battle, and recognize where our place is. Once we win that battle, we can move to the next one. But refusing support to an ally for the most important issue we are facing today only because we find deal-breakers in smaller issues is not wise.

The job of theonomists (those who believe the Bible should be the civil law) is to dismantle the Federal government. When issues of morality (sodomites and abortionists) are taken from the central government and put into to the localities can the real Christian reconstruction begin (see this post if you want to know what that means).

Does Paul fit the reconstructionist vision? Given the current political alternatives, I can see why reconstructionists would think so. Consider Paul’s criticism of the Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas that overturned laws against sodomy.

Consider the Lawrence case decided by the Supreme Court in June. The Court determined that Texas had no right to establish its own standards for private sexual conduct, because gay sodomy is somehow protected under the 14th amendment “right to privacy.” Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be, there clearly is no right to privacy nor sodomy found anywhere in the Constitution. There are, however, states’ rights — rights plainly affirmed in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. Under those amendments, the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards. But rather than applying the real Constitution and declining jurisdiction over a properly state matter, the Court decided to apply the imaginary Constitution and impose its vision on the people of Texas.

Viewed from the lens of state’s rights, Paul’s praise of the voter recall of Iowa Supreme Court judges over gay marriage and his support for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, incomprehensible to the NAR dominionist who wants ideological purity, make sense and is actually a plus for the Christian reconstructionist. In Paul’s vision, the people in the states do what they want with various sinners, the Feds will just protect their right to do so. Your civil rights in this kind of world would depend on the state in which you live. If you live in California, then the sky is the limit; if you live in Mississippi then, as recontrustionist McDurmon advises, you better either move, or, as Paul supporter Phillip Kayser hopes, get back in whatever closet you came out of.

Update: Talking Points Memo spoke to Phillip Kayser today and he confirmed my thoughts above. Paul is appealing because reconstruction would be easier in a decentralized America. Now, what will Paul do with that information?


What Does Ron Paul Really Believe About Gays?
What do Dan Savage and AFTAH’s Mike Heath have in common?
Ron Paul touts endorsement of pastor who defends death penalty for gays, delinquent children & adultery

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Christian Reconstructionism is a religious and theological movement within Evangelical Christianity that calls for Christians to put their faith into action in all areas of life, within the private sphere of life and the public and political sphere as well. The primary beliefs characteristic of Christian Reconstructionism include[1]:

Christian Reconstructionism arose as an ideology among a subset of conservative Calvinists. The movement in its modern form was founded in the United States of America, popularized by Rousas John Rushdoony, in his work The Institutes of Biblical Law (1973), though to an extent it had its beginnings in the colonial governments of early New England (especially that of the Massachusetts Bay colony). Other past and present Reconstructionist leaders include Gary North (Rushdoony's son-in-law), Howard Ahmanson, Jr., Greg Bahnsen, David Chilton, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, and Andrew Sandlin.

 Reconstructionist perspective

The social structure advocated by Christian Reconstructionism would have the clergy, laity and government, individually and corporately, to be in ultimate submission to the moral principles of the Bible, including the Old Testament, while retaining their separate jurisdictional spheres of authority and roles in society as inferred from principles of biblical law, both Old and New Testaments. It is the claim of Christian Reconstructionism that even as under the Davidic administration of the Israelites, the Priests (Levitical line) and Kings (Davidic line) were distinguished by their scopes of authority (e.g., the King could not offer sacrifices for others and the Priests could not pass or enforce legislation) and their roles in society (e.g., the King maintained the social welfare and the Priests maintained personal welfare), so it should be in a modern Christian Reconstructionist society.


While many Christians believe that biblical law is a guide to morality and public ethics, when interpreted in faith, Reconstructionism is unique in advocating that civil law should be derived from and limited by biblical law. For example, they support the recriminalization of acts of abortion and homosexuality, but also oppose confiscatory taxation, conscription, and most aspects of the welfare state. Protection of property and life needs grounding in biblical law, according to Reconstructionism, or the state set free from the restraint of God's law will take what it wishes at a whim. Accordingly, Reconstructionists advocate biblically derived measures of restitution, a definite limit upon the powers of taxation, and a gold standard or equivalent fixed unit for currency.

Christian Reconstructionists describe their view of public ethics by the term, "Theonomy" (the Law of God governs); while some of their critics tend to label them "Theocratic" (God governs). The notable differences are that "theocracy" is usually thought of as totalitarian and involving no distinction between church and state, while Reconstructionists claim that "theonomy" is broadly libertarian and maintains a distinction of sphere of authority between family, church, and state.[3] For example, enforcement of moral sanctions under theonomy is done by family and church government, and sanctions for moral offenses is outside the authority of civil government (which is limited to criminal matters, courts and national defense). However, these distinctions become blurred, as the application of theonomy typically increases the authority of the civil government; prominent advocates of Christian Reconstructionism have written that according to their understanding, God's law approves of the death penalty not only for murder, but also for propagators of all forms of idolatry,[4][5][6] active homosexuals,[7] adulterers, practitioners of witchcraft, and blasphemers,[8] and perhaps even recalcitrant youths[9] (see the List of capital crimes in the Bible).

American Vision's Joel McDurmon responded to these criticisms:

What reconstructionist has promoted “coercive” means? This is the same criticism that comes from men like Horton and T. David Gordon—that Reconstructionists want to steal seats of power and install an American Taliban (the same rhetoric that I have witnessed over and over from atheists Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens). If this is not an uneducated misrepresentation, it is a lie.[10]

Conversely, Christian Reconstructionism's founder, Rousas John Rushdoony, wrote in The Institutes of Biblical Law (the founding document of reconstructionsim), that Old Testament law should be applied to modern society and advocates the reinstatement of the Mosaic law's penal sanctions. Under such a system, the list of civil crimes which carried a death sentence would include homosexuality, adultery, incest, lying about one's virginity, bestiality, witchcraft, idolatry or apostasy, public blasphemy, false prophesying, kidnapping, rape, and bearing false witness in a capital case. [12] In short, he sought to cast a vision for the reconstruction of society that mirrors exactly what the Reconstructionism movement's harshest critics claim.

The founders of the movement have all been Calvinists, though most Calvinists have not been reconstructionists. They believe that their view of the law is a faithful extension of the Reformed Christian view of the continuing validity of Biblical Law in a modern context. This is bitterly contested in the conservative Reformed churches where their influence first began to appear. Many Reformed denominations have crafted official statements rejecting theonomy as a heresy, but others tolerate some forms of it on the grounds that as a Biblical theology it can appeal to historical and doctrinal precedent within the Puritan and Reformed tradition.


Christian Reconstructionism was originally formulated as a practical expression of Postmillennial Christian Eschatology, though the distinctive tenets of the school of thought (generally referred to as Theonomic Ethics) are purported to be compatible with other eschatological viewpoints within conservative Christianity. The "second generation" of theonomists includes some premillennial evangelical and fundamentalist movements.

 Views on pluralism

Christian Reconstructionist leader Gary North summarized his views this way:

What I found is this: the concept of the rule of law was Mosaic, not Greek (Ex 12:49). The concept of private property is supported in the Decalogue's laws against theft and covetousness. The Mosaic economic law as a whole was pro-market, pro-private ownership, pro-foreign trade, pro-money-lending (Deut 28:12). The New Testament did not break with most of these laws, and the few that it did break with, such as slavery and the jubilee land law, made the resulting position even more market favorable. It is my goal in life to do what I can to persuade people to shrink the state. The messianic State is a crude imitation of a religion of redemption. It makes the State the healer and, ultimately, the savior of all mankind. This messianic religion is what the early church battled theologically and risked martyrdom to oppose. Christians refused to toss a pinch of incense onto the altar symbolizing the genius of the emperor. For that seemingly minor resistance to State power, they were thrown to the lions. Both sides knew the stakes of that contest. Christianity was a dagger pointed at the heart of the messianic State. It still is. ("Authentic Libertarianism").

On the other hand, Rousas John Rushdoony, wrote in his magnum opus, The Institutes of Biblical Law: "The heresy of democracy has since then worked havoc in church and state ... Christianity and democracy are inevitably enemies.", and elsewhere said that "Christianity is completely and radically anti-democratic; it is committed to spiritual aristocracy," and characterized democracy as "the great love of the failures and cowards of life." [11] He nevertheless repeatedly expressed his opposition to any sort of violent revolution and advocated instead the gradual reformation (often termed "regeneration" in his writings) of society from the bottom up, beginning with the individual and family and from there gradually reforming other spheres of authority including the church and the state.[12] Under such a system, the list of civil crimes which carried a death sentence would include homosexuality, adultery, incest, lying about one's virginity, bestiality, witchcraft, idolatry or apostasy, public blasphemy, false prophesying, kidnapping, rape, and bearing false witness in a capital case.[13]

 Cultural views

Reconstructionists seek an approach to culture and ethics that they believe is ideally biblical. They believe that where there is no faith in the Bible, there is no functional common ground between people, because God is denied in whose image all people are made. This is one reason that politics is a significant instrument of change in the Reconstructionist program, and the political involvement that they urge is seen by them as explicitly Christian and biblical, not consensus-building.

Reconstructionists claim that biblical law requires equal treatment of all people regardless of their beliefs, and that it is inherently just toward all men. They argue that the social laws that might be established under biblical law would not regulate beliefs, but only actions, and more specifically, public actions (where public denotes a demonstrable corpus delicti or mens rea). It is consistent with their goal of rule by the civil state, to seek out religious deviants. Public actions, which are contrary to their understanding of general principles of the moral law (e.g., open hostility to God (blasphemy), propagation of idolatry, public homosexuality), would not be tolerated, because these are acts of public intolerance of God's rule and would be disruptive of the social structure. They see only two options inevitably opposed as totalities: the kingdom of God which subverts sin, against the totalitarian humanist state which subverts God's rule.

Reconstructionists claim to be continuing Reformed theology, especially in its Puritan form. There has been significant debate between Reconstructionists[citation needed] and their critics[citation needed] over the extent to which similar views were held by the authors of the Westminster Confession. A recent precursor was Frederick Nymeyer who published the journal Progressive Calvinism (1955–60) in which he advocated Biblical law and Austrian economics.

Influence on the Christian Right in general

Although relatively insignificant in terms of the number of self-described adherents, Christian Reconstructionism has played a role in promoting the trend toward explicitly Christian politics in the larger U.S. Christian Right.[14] This is the wider trend to which some critics refer, generally, as Dominionism. They also allegedly have influence disproportionate to their numbers among the advocates of the growth of the Christian homeschooling and other Christian education movements that seek independence from the direct oversight or support of the civil government. Because their numbers are so small compared to their influence, they are sometimes accused of being secretive and conspiratorial.[15][16][page needed][17][18][page needed] They deny this, noting they have published thousands of newsletters and hundreds of books.

In Matthew 28:18, Jesus says: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. This verse is seen as an announcement by Jesus that he has assumed authority over all earthly authority. In that light, some theologians interpret the Great Commission as a command to exercise that authority in his name, bringing all things (including societies and cultures) into subjection under his commands. Rousas John Rushdoony, for example, interpreted the Great Commission as a republication of the "creation mandate"[19], referring to Genesis 1:28

Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing...

For Rushdoony, the idea of dominion implied a form of Christian theocracy or, more accurately, a theonomy. For example, he wrote that:

The purpose of Christ's coming was in terms of the creation mandate… The redeemed are called to the original purpose of man, to exercise dominion under God, to be covenant-keepers, and to fulfil "the righteousness of the law" (Rom. 8:4)… Man is summoned to create the society God requires.[20]

Elsewhere he wrote:

The man who is being progressively sanctified will inescapably sanctify his home, school, politics, economics, science, and all things else by understanding and interpreting all things in terms of the word of God.[21]

According to sociologist and professor of religion William Martin, author of With God on Our Side:

"It is difficult to assess the influence of Reconstructionist thought with any accuracy. Because it is so genuinely radical, most leaders of the Religious Right are careful to distance themselves from it. At the same time, it clearly holds some appeal for many of them. One undoubtedly spoke for others when he confessed, 'Though we hide their books under the bed, we read them just the same.' In addition, several key leaders have acknowledged an intellectual debt to the theonomists. Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy have endorsed Reconstructionist books. Rushdoony has appeared on Kennedy's television program and the 700 Club several times. Pat Robertson makes frequent use of 'dominion' language; his book, The Secret Kingdom, has often been cited for its theonomy elements; and pluralists were made uncomfortable when, during his presidential campaign, he said he 'would only bring Christians and Jews into the government,' as well as when he later wrote, 'There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world.' And Jay Grimstead, who leads the Coalition on Revival, which brings Reconstructionists together with more mainstream evangelicals, has said, 'I don't call myself [a Reconstructionist],' but 'A lot of us are coming to realize that the Bible is God's standard of morality … in all points of history … and for all societies, Christian and non-Christian alike… It so happens that Rushdoony, Bahnsen, and North understood that sooner.' He added, 'There are a lot of us floating around in Christian leadership—James Kennedy is one of them—who don't go all the way with the theonomy thing, but who want to rebuild America based on the Bible.'"[22]

Christian critics

Michael Horton of Westminster Seminary California has warned against the seductiveness of power-religion. The Christian rhetoric of the movement is weak, he argues, against the logic of its authoritarian and legalistic program, which will always drive Reconstructionism toward sub-Christian ideas about sin, and the perfectibility of human nature (such as to imagine that, if Christians are in power, they won't be inclined to do evil). On the contrary, Horton and others maintain, God's Law can, often has been, and will be put to evil uses by Christians and others, in the state, in churches, in the marketplace, and in families; and these crimes are aggravated, because to oppose a wrong committed through abuse of God's law, a critic must bear being labeled an enemy of God's law.

J. Ligon Duncan of the Department of Systematic Theology of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi warns that "Theonomy, in gross violation of biblical patterns and common sense, is ignoring the context of the giving of the law to the redemptive community of the Old Testament. This constitutes an approach to the nature of the civil law very different from Calvin and the rest of the Reformed tradition, which sees the civil law as God's application of his eternal standards to the particular exigencies of his people." Duncan rejects the Reconstructionist's insistence that "the Old Testament civil case law is normative for the civil magistrate and government in the New Covenant era". He views their denial of the threefold distinction between moral, civil, and ceremonial law as representing one of the severe flaws in the Reconstructionist hermeneutic. [23]

Professor Meredith Kline, whose own theology has influenced the method of several Reconstructionist theologians, has adamantly maintained that Reconstructionism makes the mistake of failing to understand the special prophetic role of Biblical Israel, including the laws and sanctions, calling it "a delusive and grotesque perversion of the teachings of scripture."[24] Kline's student, Lee Irons, furthers the critique:

According to the Reformed theocrats apparently… the only satisfactory goal is that America become a Christian nation.

Ironically... it is the wholesale rejection (not revival) of theocratic principles that is desperately needed today if the church is to be faithful to the task of gospel witness entrusted to her in the present age… It is only as the church… puts aside the lust for worldly influence and power – that she will be a positive presence in society.[25]

Rodney Clapp wrote that Reconstructionism is an anti-democratic movement.[26][27]

In an April 2009 article in Christianity Today about controversial theologian and writer Douglas Wilson, the magazine described Reconstructionism as outside the 'mainstream' views of evangelical Christians. It also stated that it "borders on a call for outright theocracy".[28]

George M. Marsden, a Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, has remarked in Christianity Today that "Reconstructionism in its pure form is a radical movement". He also wrote, "[t]he positive proposals of Reconstructionists are so far out of line with American evangelical commitments to American republican ideals such as religious freedom that the number of true believers in the movement is small."[29]

 Theocracy compared to neofascism

Popular religious author and former Roman Catholic nun Karen Armstrong sees a potential for fascism in Christian Reconstructionism, and sees theologians RJ Rushdoony and Gary North as: "totalitarian. There is no room for any other view or policy, no democratic tolerance for rival parties, no individual freedom,"[30] Berlet and Lyons have written that the movement is a "new form of clerical fascist politics,"[31][32][page needed][33][34]

 Relation to Dominionism

Some sociologists and critics refer to Reconstructionism as a type of "Dominionism". These critics claim the frequent use of the word, "dominion", by Reconstructionist writers, strongly associates the critical term, Dominionism, with this movement. As an ideological form of Dominionism, Reconstructionism is sometimes held up as the most typical form of Dominion Theology.[14][15][16][page needed][17][18][page needed][35][page needed]

The Protestant theologian Francis Schaeffer is linked with the movement by some critics, but some Reconstructionist thinkers are highly critical of Schaeffer's positions and he himself disavowed any connection or affiliation with Reconstructionism, though he did cordially correspond with Rushdoony on occasion.[36] Authors Sara Diamond and Fred Clarkson suggest that Schaeffer shared with Reconstructionism the tendency toward Dominionism.[15][16][page needed]

Christian Reconstructionists object to the "Dominionism" and the "Dominion Theology" labels, which they say misrepresent their views. Some separate Christian cultural and political movements object to being described with the label Dominionism, because in their mind the word implies attachment to Reconstructionism. In Reconstructionism the idea of godly dominion, subject to God, is contrasted with the autonomous dominion of mankind in rebellion against God.

Dominionism and Dominion Theology are pejorative terms that are applied by critics, and not generally adopted by a group to describe itself.

 See also



  1. ^ North & DeMar 1991, pp. 81-82.
  2. ^ Bahnsen. Van Til's Apologetic. pp. 145–6, 97, 315–6.
  3. ^ Michael J. McVicar. "The Libertarian Theocrats: The Long, Strange History of R.J. Rushdoony and Christian Reconstructionism." Public Eye. Fall 2007 Vol. 22, No. 3.
  4. ^ Rushdoony 1973, pp. 38–39.
  5. ^ Schwertley, Brian M., "Political Polytheism",
  6. ^ An Interview with Greg L. Bahnsen
  7. ^ DeMar, Gary, Ruler of the Nations. p. 212
  8. ^ North, Gary, Unconditional Surrender: God's Program for Victory, p. 118
  9. ^ Einwechter, William, "Stoning Disobedient Children?", The Christian Statesman, January–February 2003, Vol 146, No 1,
  10. ^ Joel McDurmon (2009-04-17). "Begg-ing the Question on Christian Politics". Retrieved 2010-08-17.
  11. ^ "In Extremis - Rousas Rushdoony and his Connections." British Centre for Science Education. Accessed Dec. 12, 2007.
  12. ^ "Dream of Total Justice." Chalcedon Foundation, Accessed July 8, 2012.
  13. ^ Greg Loren Durand. "Reconstructionism's Commitment to Mosaic Penology: Christian Reconstruction and Its Blueprints for Dominion." Retrieved June 10, 2008.
  14. ^ a b Martin, William. 1996. With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America. New York: Broadway Books.
  15. ^ a b c Diamond, Sara. 1995. Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States. New York: Guilford Press. ISBN 0-89862-864-4.
  16. ^ a b c Clarkson 1997.
  17. ^ a b Diamond, Sara. 1989. Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right. Boston: South End Press.
  18. ^ a b Berlet & Lyons 2000.
  19. ^ Rushdoony 1973, p. 729.
  20. ^ Rushdoony 1973, pp. 3–4.
  21. ^ Foreword to Greg Bahnsen's Theonomy in Christian Ethics, 3rd edition, xii.
  22. ^ Martin 1996:354
  23. ^ Duncan, Dr. J. Ligon (1994). "Moses' Law for Modern Government: The Intellectual and Sociological Origins of the Christian Reconstructionist Movement". Retrieved 2011-08-23.
  24. ^ Kline, Meredith (Fall 1978). "Comments on an Old-New Error". The Westminster Theological Journal (41): 172–89.
  25. ^ Irons, Lee (2002). "The Reformed Theocrats: A Biblical Theological Response". Retrieved 2008-03-30.
  26. ^ Clapp, Rodney (February 20, 1987). "Democracy as Heresy". Christianity Today 31 (3): pp. 17–23.
  27. ^ North, Gary (1987). "Honest Reporting as Heresy". Westminster's Confession: pp. 317–41.
  28. ^ Worthen, Molly (April 2009), "The Controversialist", Christianity Today 53 (4),, retrieved June 16, 2009 .
  29. ^ The Sword of the Lord. Christianity Today. Published March 1, 2006.
  30. ^ Armstrong. The Battle for God. pp. 361–2.
  31. ^ Right-Wing Populism in America. p. 249.
  32. ^ DeMar 1988.
  33. ^ Bahnsen, Greg and Gentry, Kenneth. 1989. House Divided: The Breakup of Dispensational Theology. Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics.
  34. ^ (article), Chalcedon, .
  35. ^ Barron 1992.
  36. ^


 External links


Humanist, Dominionist, and Reconstructionist
Views of Authority Compared


S. Michael Fort

Battling heresy has always necessitated greater theological precision on behalf of the orthodox Church. Out of Arianism, Eunomianism, Nestorianism, monophysitism, and other heresies, the early Church precisely developed the doctrines of the Trinity and defined the nature of Christ. The Reformation emphasized the centrality of the Bible and additionally refined the doctrine of salvation as it battled the heretical excesses of the church of Rome. Victory of the Baptist worldview in the modern era has brought about a second reformation of sorts. The Baptist doctrines of cultural retreatism, antinomianism, and pre-millenialism have forced the orthodox response of Christian Reconstruction, theonomy, and post-millenialism.

This second reformation began in the 1960’s largely with the published works of Rousas Rushdoony. Rushdoony and his peers offered to orthodox Christianity a world and life view systematically and logically developed to a level never before achieved. Unfortunately, despite the initial potency of this school of thought, which I shall henceforth refer to collectively as Christian Reconstruction, today the movement is threatened with irrelevance due to it’s erroneous doctrine of authority.

Originally a layman’s movement (for the most part), Reconstruction was full of vigor and vitality. It has been gradually castrated over the past fifteen years by the clergymen who now hold almost all of its leadership positions. Wishing to separate ourselves from this, we at www.The-Dominion.orghave been forced to select another name to describe ourselves. As witnessed by our URL, the term we have chosen is "Dominionism." It is the purpose of this article to briefly describe how Dominionists differ with Reconstructionists concerning the philosophy of authority. As most of the civil governments of the world grow increasingly hostile to orthodox Christianity, it is vital that we understand the true source of authority, it’s form, and when it may be ethically resisted.

As always, articles of this short length require some broad generalizations and I hope that you, the reader, will keep this in mind. Certainly, not every Christian Reconstructionist holds point-for-point the beliefs I attribute to them. However, such a significant majority does that I think the generalizations are fair.

A major philosophical problem for non-Christians is the source of authority. Despite the impossibility of answering this philosophic problem on purely humanistic grounds, all non-Christians select either 1) the individual or 2) the group (you may have heard this referred to as the philosophical question of "the One and the Many"). Some examples of non-Christian views of authority are:

1) Social Darwinism: just as Darwin put forth the theory of survival of the fittest, sociologically speaking, this implies a "might makes right" theory of authority. This is the essence of power religion – whoever has the power (brute force) makes the rules. Social Darwinism is the philosophical basis of all the frightening tyrannies of our era: communism, Nazism, fascism, etc. Since collective man as expressed in the State is the most powerful earthly entity, social Darwinism obviously sacrifices the individual to the group.

2) Majoritarian Utilitarianism: this is the idea that "whatever makes the most people the happiest is the correct thing." Such an idea would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that this theory is so pervasive (and so destructive) in our society. In spite of our foundings, this is the basis of the United State’s government today. It forms the philosophical underpinnings of every democracy and most benevolent socialist societies. By its very nature majoritarian utilitarianism favors the will of the group over the will of the individual.

3) Anarchistic Libertarianism: this is the idea that "every individual is free to do as he pleases so long as it does not harm someone else." This is the idea put forth by most proponents of humanistic freedom philosophy and classical liberalism (think of classical liberalism as synonymous with libertarianism). This theory might sound initially appealing. But we have to remember that this theory condones any consensual sex act, bestiality, suicide, abortion, self mutilation, public nudity, etc, etc. Trying to come to some rational consensus as to what constitutes "harm" is impossible. Does public nudity really "harm" anyone? How about blasphemy? In the matter of abortion, it’s painfully obvious that our society can’t even determine what constitutes a "person." To my knowledge, no society has existed in such a state of affairs for more than a few months. The human desire for order is strong; it will not long tolerate chaos. Obviously, anarchistic libertarianism sacrifices the group to the individual.

Regardless of who non-Christians choose as their source of authority, it ultimately resides with man (whether many distinct individuals or one collective group).

Christians, on the other hand, have a Trinitarian view of the one and the many. This view places as much importance on the individual as it does the group with no subordination or tension between them. The Trinitarian philosophy of the one and the many rightly holds the Eternal One and Many as the only legitimate source of authority. Since God created all that is, He alone holds ultimate authority over all creation. From this, it is obvious that all earthly authority is derived authority (that is, no authority exists which is not derived from God’s ultimate authority). He is the creator of all humans (individuals), human groups (sociological units: families, countries, etc.), and human institutions (churches, civil governments, etc.). It is He who decides the scope and form of authority for all human groups and institutions. This is very similar to the Christian theory of property. God created everything so He alone owns everything. However, He has decided to put His property under our stewardship (with specific people as stewards of specific portions of His property).

Plainly stated, in Christian philosophy it is God who determines what functions an individual, family, church, business unit, civil government, and so-forth is to serve. God sets the boundaries on their activities – He determines what they can do, what they can’t do, and what they must do. These boundaries are revealed completely and perfectly to humanity through God’s Law contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. Rushdoony spent a considerable portion of his life’s work explaining that the source of a society’s law is the god of that society. A distinctly Christian society must necessarily have a distinctly Christian law code (that is, God’s Law) that binds the actions of it’s individuals, groups, and institutions.

A few practical examples of this idea follows:

1) Sphere of Individual Government

seat of authority: the individual himself

This sphere has the authority to do everything that is not forbidden by God’s Law. This sphere is required to worship the Lord and serve Him by exercising Biblical dominion in his area of knowledge and influence.

2) Sphere of Family Government

seat of authority: husband/father

This sphere is the fundamental sociological group of society. A primary function of this sphere is to group a man and woman together for companionship and to work together for Biblical dominion. Another fundamental function is to raise God’s children according to Biblical principles so that they may grow to become godly adults.

3) Sphere of Business Government

seat of authority: owner of the business and appointed managers

The goal of this sphere is the accomplishment of work, a fundamental purpose of man’s existence. A man’s vocation is his ministry.

4) Sphere of Church Government

seat of authority: group of elders

This sphere proclaims God’s message to the unbelieving world, builds Christians in the knowledge of God’s Word, provides a means of fellowship for the edification of God’s people, is a forum for the visible worship of God, and is the primary agency of mercy to the world.

5) Sphere of Civil Government

seat of authority: regional judges

This sphere is God’s agent of wrath and justice on the earth. Any lack of conformity to God’s Law is sin. Crime is that subset of sin that God has told us in the Bible to punish carnally. The punishment of crime (with restitution to the victims by the criminal) is the fundamental purpose of civil government. In this manner, the civil government is also empowered to provide for national defense (to keep other nations from committing crimes against it’s citizens).

A fundamental idea of spheres of government is the inability to transfer power between spheres. However, within a sphere, delegation of powers may occur if done so within a Biblical fashion. For example, a father cannot rightly give his disciplinary authority over his children to his church (transfer between spheres). However, he may delegate that authority to his wife in his absence (delegation within a sphere). As another example, civil government may not transfer it’s power of judgement to the business community (transfer between spheres). However, different judges as agents of the civil government rightly make judgements in its name (delegation within a sphere).

Perhaps a good way to visualize this is: God in the Person of Jesus at the top of all the spheres. These spheres would be horizontally placed adjacent to one another below Him. Delegation of Jesus’ authority comes directly from Him to each individual sphere to the extent of the earthly authority portioned to each. No power transfers occur between the sphere’s of any sort as this would be a usurpation of Jesus’ rightful position.

Here we have the first major break between Dominionists and Reconstructionists. A number of Reconstructionists (I’m not really sure if it’s a majority or not but certainly a significant portion) believe in a vertical divestiture of authority. It such a format, Christ divests all earthly authority to one or more "greatest" authorities. From here, this greatest sphere or spheres delegates what portion they see fit to the lower spheres.

As you can see, this has immense implications. For one, in the Dominionist horizontal divestiture, commands from any sphere to another for which it does not have the proper authority may be ethically ignored. For example, if your church attempted to tell you what car to buy and where to buy it you’d probably laugh in their face (I know I certainly would). This sort of decision rightly falls within the authority of the individual or family. As another example, God’s Law prevents the taxation of property and inheritance. We may ethically refuse to pay any such taxes (even though we may not like the consequences, we’d be well within our rights). Adherents to the Reconstructionist vertical divestiture have very thin ground to stand on, logically speaking, should they refuse the command of their church or the civil government.

Let’s bump it up a notch. Let’s say your church not only tells you what car to buy but it goes even further to add that they’ll kill you if don’t do it (or perhaps kidnap you and keep you away from your family for a very long time). Suddenly, it’s not such a laughing matter anymore. The use of deadly force to defend oneself against such acts is fully authorized in the Bible to the individual and family spheres of government. To put it bluntly, you’d be ethically well within your right to kill any person attempting to enforce such an edict.

Now I bet you know where I’m going with this! Our civil government makes thousands of such unauthorized commands on a daily basis and always includes threats of the nature just mentioned. All this has led us to the conclusion that any agent of the civil magistrate may be justly killed IFhe is attempting to enforce an order for which the civil government has no legitimate authority AND he is attempting to enforce it in such a way that effectively constitutes a capital crime (murder, kidnapping, imprisonment, etc.).

This is the sharp line of division between Reconstructionists and Dominionists. Whether it’s just baptized cowardice or weak minded theology, Reconstructionists permit such acts only under the strictest of circumstances if at all. One noted Reconstructionist leader commanded that Christians sing psalms while their families are mowed down by government agents. Any resistance was strictly verboten. Admittedly, most Reconstructionists do not go quite this far. Most attest to the bizarre doctrine of "lesser magistrates." This doctrine basically states that if any individual, family, or group of individuals wishes to oppose the civil government with deadly force, they must first locate another, lesser agent of the civil magistrate to lead them, under whose authority they may righteously resist oppression. My brother likes to mention, with a delicious sense of comic hyperbole, that it would be a real shame if we had to go to a concentration camp just because we couldn’t find a file clerk who agrees with us! File clerk or not, the Dominionist knows that the Lord gave individuals the authority to defend themselves against unrighteous capital offenses; with deadly force if necessary.

The few Reconstructionists who are willing to mention these issues usually drown out any useful discussion with what are often semantic arguments over the use of the word "revolution." Just to clear the air, let’s go ahead and define "revolution." Revolution is the attempt to effect social change by violent means. In this context, I am definitely NOTa revolutionary. People are never swayed by violence and force. I have absolutely no hope of changing our society through violence. The Kingdom is built very slowly – brick-by-brick and inch-by-inch. It is the Holy Spirit who changes the hearts of men. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.

Also, Reconstructionists claim that Dominionists hold themselves accountable to no earthly authority and thereby set themselves up as gods on earth. Nothing could be further from the truth. I willing acknowledge the legitimate authorities of the different spheres of government and happily submit myself to their rule. Since I don’t worship other gods, murder, steal, blaspheme, or commit adultery I shouldn’t have anything to worry about (just as Romans 13 tells us). The matter at hand is that I do not acknowledge or submit to commands for which a sphere has no Christ-derived authority to issue.

In light of the above paragraphs, the Dominionist’s aim is simply to defend what’s rightly his; not to "restore constitutional government" or inflict a theocracy by force. I want our government ruled by God’s Law but it won’t happen in a society that has no regard for the Law or its Author. I have no desire to rule over anyone, let alone a godless society like modern America. Dodging bullets is not exactly conducive to kingdom work either (and I can’t imagine it’d be fun). That is why we are proposing, for lack of a better term, what we call the Dominion Citizen.

Dominion Citizenship is simply an open and visible submission to God’s Law and an open and visible refusal to submit to any other law system. Essentially, we would like to create two classes of citizens: those under God’s Law (Dominion Citizens) and those under the current humanistic laws of our nation (Americans). Such an idea is not without precedent; witness the various American Indian nations and the separate law code of the Amish communities. The only difference here is Dominion Citizens would not be grouped geographically (therefore, another means of visibility would be necessary such as Dominion Citizen house flags, "license" plates, arm bands, etc). I desire no fight with the US government. I just wish to be left alone.

I digress; Dominion Citizenship is the topic for another discussion. In the coming days, persecution of the Church looks inevitable in the US, Europe, and other areas of the world that have traditionally been Christian societies. It is of vital importance that the issue of authority is resolved before this happens. If Christians allow themselves to be controlled at best and massacred at worst, the West will plunge into an dreadful darkness from which it will not soon return. It is our hope and prayer that Almighty God will spare us this fate which we so richly deserve.



"Dominionism" is a term that is used by some people to describe the idea that some Christians believe that governance should be done by Christians and should be based on Christian principles. This term is used almost exclusively by other people, especially critics, to describe this opinion, rather than being used by Christians who have this opinion. The term is based on a Biblical passage in Genesis, which says that God gave mankind dominion over "all the earth" and "every living thing." The use of this term has been controversial, with some people arguing that it is used to mischaracterize some Christian viewpoints.

There are several ideas that fall under the heading of dominionism, and they are said to be held mainly by conservative Christians, who might also be described as members of the Christian right. The precise definition of "dominionism" can vary, because those who are said to be dominionists typically do not use the term, so certain ideas might be included or excluded from the definition, depending on its usage and purpose. A few examples of what might be considered dominionism include the following:

    1. Governance ought to be based on Christian principles.
    2. The laws of the land should reflect the Christian heritage of the nation, particularly when the term is used in reference to the United States.
    3. Government should prefer Christianity over other religions.
    4. Complete separation of church and state is anti-religious.
    5. Society should be based on Christian thought and philosophy.

  • To many Americans, applications of these or other Christian principles would be counter to the notion that separation between church and state is important. A strict expression of dominionism would seem to discriminate against non-Christians — or, in some cases, even people of certain Christian sects. Some people fear that the practice of dominionism would result in the creation of a theocratic state. Others claim that extreme dominionism would result in violence and oppression against non-Christians.

    Many Christians and even some political analysts, however, argue that "dominionism" is a term that was created by opponents of Christianity simply to provoke fear among non-Christians. They claim that the ideas attributed to dominionists exaggerate certain Christian or religious viewpoints or take them to the extremes. For example, some people argue that a preference for Christian political candidates does not mean that only Christians should be allowed to hold government offices. Likewise, they claim that most Christians would defend freedom of religion for people of all faiths. Such differences of opinion and the fact that there is no movement that claims to be be dominionist are among the reasons why the use of this term has been controversial.

Free Bible Prophecy Book
Short Inspirational Quotes


Infiltrating the U.S. Military

Gen. Boykin’s “Kingdom Warriors” On the Road to Abu Ghraib and Beyond

[A Review of Infiltrating the U.S. Military: Is the Religious Right Engaged in a Seditionist Bid to Takeover America? posted by Les ]

By Katherine Yurica

October 12, 2004

Since GOP leaders have tasted the heady stuff of unlimited power and watched the success of their bullying tactics, they seem to take pride in the fact that intimidation and coercion silences all opposition. They’ve begun to step more boldly toward the goal of taking control of the judiciary—and it appears that nothing can stop them from destroying the system of checks and balances built into our constitution. Americans don’t seem to mind. We love the swagger of the cowboys in charge.

We must love Tom DeLay’s boast, “I am the government!”[1] else voters would throw him out on his ears. So those of us who sit and observe are spectators in the GOP’s sport of dismantling American constitutional rule. The Bush administration quietly sends the names of religiously ideological judges down to the Senate for confirmation, while the House devises diabolical bills to rip the heart out of our nation’s jurisprudence. By submitting legislation that seeks to strip the Supreme Court of its jurisdictional power, the House leaders hope to delimit what cases the federal courts can or cannot review.[2] The hard right House leaders have gone so far as to introduce a bill that will grant congress the ability to overturn a Supreme Court decision that finds a law passed by congress is unconstitutional.[3] It appears that the entire constitutional structure of our nation could be hanging in the balance in the 2004 election.

How has the Republican Party been so radicalized and transformed? The consequences that flow from the fact that a secret religious infiltration of the Republican Party took place over a period of years prior to the last two elections have simply been underreported in the press. Infiltration and control of the GOP has placed the religious hard right comfortably in control of the party, which in turn places our republic in danger of being controlled by a heretical religious core that began its program of dominance in the 1980’s.[4]

It’s not the first time the religious right has succeeded. Probably the most remarkable plan to takeover an institution began in 1967, when so called “fundamentalists” laid out the strategy to take control of the sixteen million-member Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). According to a chronology posted on the web,[5] Page Patterson a seminary doctoral student and Judge Paul Pressler met at Café du Monde in New Orleans and discussed a long term strategy for “fundamentalist domination of the SBC.”

By 1979, Patterson, Pressler “and others ran a ‘get out the vote’ campaign in fifteen states prior to the Convention, urging a defeat of the moderates in the SBC.”[6] Voters were actually bussed to the convention in mass numbers and left after the vote for the president of the organization.

That year, Adrian Rogers was elected president.

In 1980, Paul Pressler “publicly announced the strategy of the fundamentalist takeover, which was to elect the SBC president a sufficient number of times to gain a fundamentalist majority on the boards and agencies of the Convention.”[7] With a president who had the power of committee appointments, the fundamentalists could begin their reign of power. From 1979 to the present, fundamentalists “elected all presidents of the SBC.”[8]

As they consolidated their power and gained control of the six SBC seminaries, they ruthlessly purged the institutions of all moderates. According to Dr. Russell Dilday, a moderate who opposed the tactics of the fundamentalists in 1985, the fundamentalists operated like a “sophisticated political machine.” In an interview with Charlene Hunter Gault and Judge Pressler on the McNeal Lehrer Hour on June 11, 1985, Dr. Dilday said the fundamentalists used “surreptitious recording of conversations, secretly taping telephone calls, without the permission of the person being talked to, sharing that information with the press without permission. Using the kind of strategy, actually secular strategies, that are not at all consistent with one who claims to believe in biblical authority.” Dr. Dilday said, “If I agreed one hundred percent with his [Pressler’s] content, I think I would disagree with his cause, just by virtue of the strategy being used.” [9]

In the year 1993, the fundamentalists attempted to refuse to seat members from the church where President Clinton had his church membership.[10] In the year 2000, former President Jimmy Carter left the denomination.[11] In that same year, the SBC leadership forced all employees, professors and missionaries to sign a modern day “loyalty oath,” a new “Baptist Faith and Message” statement that many Baptists felt superceded the Bible and the personhood of Jesus requiring loyalty to the institution over loyalty to God. Over seventy missionaries either resigned because of the requirement to sign or were outright fired, when they refused to resign, with the loss of all their retirement.[12]

Clearly then, the “fundamentalist” takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention was not a disagreement over “religious” issues, at its heart, it was a “political” takeover because it used coercive means to achieve complete control of the organization.[13] The purging of moderate Baptists in the Southern Baptist Convention continues to this day as the denomination becomes ever more politically involved.

As an example of their political involvement, in June of 2004, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, fought vigorously against a bill in the Senate, which added “gender, sexual orientation or disability” to the list of those protected by law from hate crimes.[14] Prior to the passage of this bill, the classes protected by hate-crimes legislation were race, color, religion and national origin. Land, speaking for the Southern Baptist Convention said, “Making sexual preference a protected right in any federal legislation will lead to litigation that will be extremely damaging to the freedoms of Americans. The senators who voted for this ought to be ashamed of themselves.”[15]

The Manifesto of the Dominionist Movement

But are there any other institutions that are either under siege or targets of takeovers by the hard right?

According to the plan proposed by Paul Weyrich, the founder of the Free Congress Foundation, to secure the success of the hard right’s control and domination of the American culture, the subversives must “develop a network of parallel cultural institutions existing side-by-side” with the cultural institutions of America.[16] Eric Heubeck, the author of Mr. Weyrich’s manual wrote: “Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions…” [17]

The political movement has been called by many names, but none is so descriptive as “Dominionism,” the political drive cloaked with religious terms, to dominate and control American institutions, the American government, and the American culture by “Christians” of the hard right. This article will reveal how the military, as an institution, is being infiltrated with an eye at control by the dominionists. If the idea of a coup seems too absurd to some, let us not forget that it’s been thought about and written about by at least one military man in a brilliant story published in the military journal Parameters, Winter 1992-1993. Lt. Col. Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. wrote “The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012.”[18]

Seymour Hersh

The next chapter of this story begins with Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh’s exposé of the American perpetrated disgrace at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Hersh has published a new book titled Chain of Command, (Harper Collins 2004). In it he wrote that the roots of the scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few army reservists, but in the reliance of George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld on secret operations and the use of coercion in fighting terrorism.

In an interview September 14, 2004 with Terry Gross of NPR radio, Hersh described an impatient Donald Rumsfeld, who wanted to take not only operational control of the war, but also wanted control of intelligence. Hersh said, “After 9/11, Rumsfeld had just had it with the notion of going through the legal process” to go after people we believed were very important inside Al Quaeda.” According to Hersh, Rumsfeld said in a sense, “the hell with it!”

“So Rumsfeld set up a secret unit.” The secrecy surrounding the unit was overwhelming. Hersh said the unit is called the ‘Special Access Program.’

Hersh said, “I know there was a presidential finding for it.” In describing the unit he said, “Everybody was under cover. They had their own aircraft. They had their own helicopters. They would hear about somebody they thought was important in the war on terrorism, somebody to interrogate. They would just get into the country, get to the guy’s house and get him out without going through any formal process. They were taking these people to Thailand, later they were taken to Egypt.”

Hersh said, “Some of the prisoners who turned out to not be useful were shipped down to Guantanomo in Cuba, the prison was set up in 2002.”

By the fall of 2003 when the war in Iraq was clearly going badly, Hersh said, “At that point the decision was made to bring some elements of this secret unit into Iraq to start educating and getting the interrogating process more fine tuned.”

Hersh said that many of the White House documents contain the statement, “the gloves are off.” Hersh took that to mean, “I think there is no question this unit was given carte blanche to do whatever was necessary.” He admitted, “I can’t tell you whether the goal of the Special Unit was to get rough immediately or not. I can tell you that according to people in the unit, things deteriorated over time. We’re talking about a unit that’s now been in operation almost three years.”

More than 20,000 Iraqis had been arrested. Many of them were taken in routine sweeps of traffic. Hersh said the idea was to develop blackmail material against the young men by taking photos of them in positions where they were sexually humiliated. Then, according to Hersh, with the blackmail photos on hand the intent was to release the prisoners and ask them to join the insurgency and start telling the U.S. what was going on—otherwise the photos would be released.

Lt. General Jerry Boykin’s Secret “Warrior” Recruitment Program

As one reads or recites the facts surrounding Abu Ghraib, one is tempted to ask how the American military, with its code of ethics as reflected in the high traditions of West Point and our Naval Academy—where men and women are imbued in the tradition of honor— could have turned into such a ruthless band of sadists? The answer is: They didn’t. Someone else did it.

There is evidence the U.S. military, like the Southern Baptist Convention before it, has been targeted as an institution to be taken over and replaced with dominionists who are decidedly less educated and less honorable. These are men and women who may be willing to do anything to further the cause of world domination.

There is also evidence dominionists have infiltrated the military with willing personnel and that the military has similarly infiltrated the churches.

The next chapter of this story begins with Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, the Pentagon’s senior military intelligence official. He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1971. That same year, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army where he rose through the ranks to Commanding General of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) Fort Bragg, N.C. and then in June 2003 to the present to Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence at the Pentagon.[19]

There is no question that Lt. Gen. Boykin is a brave soldier and he is undoubtedly a personable man. But in searching through data available on the web, it appears that while the general has spent thirty three years in the military, he has had very little formal military education with the exception of a year at the Army War College in 1990-1991.[20]

Boykin became the focus of media reports when he spoke about his involvement in the war on terrorism at twenty-three Baptist and Pentecostal churches across the country, accompanied by two military aides. According to a 10-month internal investigation conducted by the defense department’s deputy inspector general for investigations and reported by the Washington Post, Boykin received reimbursement for his travel costs from one of the sponsoring church groups and failed to report that fact. He wore his uniform and gave the impression that he was representing the military. [21]

The investigation confirmed that Boykin said that the U.S. military is recruiting a spiritual army that will draw strength from a greater power to defeat its enemy.[22] In fact, he told the First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow, Okla. on June 30, 2002, “What I’m here to do today is to recruit you to be warriors of God’s kingdom.”[23]

Wait a minute! He was speaking to Christians—so he was not seeking to evangelize them to become Christians. What then was he recruiting for? If Boykin is a dominionist, then those words have a concrete meaning: He was recruiting soldiers to fight a war to set up God’s Kingdom on earth![24]

After all, Ken Hemphill, the Southern Baptist’s national strategist for Empowering Kingdom Growth, (EKG) spoke to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee recently defining the role of religion for them. According to him, church is about advancing the Kingdom of God. He said, “Southern Baptists must lead in awakening the church to be on mission with God for the redemption of the nations.” Hemphill, quoting a passage from the Bible said there is one biblical sign yet to be fulfilled: “This good news of the Kingdom will be proclaimed in the entire world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”[25]

When we consider Boykin’s speaking and recruitment tour along with the fact he was addressing Baptists and Pentecostals who are the backbone of the religious right dominionist movement, alarm bells should go off. It may be that the Army’s Inspector General’s office is simply ignorant of the goals of the religious right, but there is far more evidence that link the hard right religious world with the U.S. Military.

Boykin not only went on a speaking tour to recruit “warriors,” but prior to the tour, he’d invited a select group of Southern Baptist pastors to meet him at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, NC on April 22-23 of 2003. According to the promotional materials sent out to the group of Southern Baptist pastors, they would be given unprecedented access to the military base while being recruited for the denomination’s “Super FAITH Force Multiplier” program. Boykin’s invitation was extended in a letter authored by the Rev. Bobby H. Welch, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Fla.[26]

The planned meeting was scaled back after attorneys for Americans United for Separation of Church and State complained that Boykin was “using his official position to advance the religious mission of the Southern Baptist Convention’s FAITH Force Multipliers program.”[27] But keep the Rev. Bobby H. Welch’s name in mind as he is a prominent player in this saga.

Some months later, following the “scaled back” meeting at Fort Bragg, Lt. General Boykin’s name appeared in the second controversy I mentioned above. In October of 2003, Boykin and/or his Department of Defense bosses decided if he couldn’t bring the churches to the military bases, then he could take his program to the churches. But this stirred the largest media controversy. Some organizations began calling for Boykin’s resignation.[28]

Immediately the hard right dominionist church world vigorously jumped to Boykin’s defense. Most of Boykin’s supporters are believed to be members of the secret Council on National Policy.[29] In an excellent article, Deborah Caldwell, a senior editor of Belief Net, revealed that among Boykin’s “staunchest supporters were Focus on the Family’s James Dobson; religious broadcaster Pat Robertson; the Family Research Council; the Christian Coalition and the Rev. Bobby Welch.”[30]

The Rev. Bobby Welch Rescues the General

Rev. Bobby Welch wrote a heated column in defense of his friend. “Who do these so-called ‘watchdogs’ think they are ‘barking’ at anyway?” He wrote, “Boykin…has again and again tried to give his life for this country…he has never been stabbed in the back by an American. Not until recently.”[31]

But what Bobby Welch didn’t say was that his Southern Baptist church in Daytona, Fla. was the first church in America to introduce the significant military concept of “force multiplier” into the churches. In fact, Welch and his Associate Pastor, Doug Williams coined the words, “FAITH Force Multiplier,” and “Kingdom Warriors,” conjuring up imagery of soldiers fighting for God’s “Kingdom”—the same concept Lt. General Wm. Boykin used as he brought his message to the churches.

Welch and Williams,[32] in partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources, “developed a strategy to help equip churches to fulfill the Great Commission in July, 1997.”[33] The significant thing about Welch’s partner, LifeWay Christian Resources, is that it is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention and it owns and operates 119 LifeWay Christian Stores, LifeWay’s E-commerce operation and other businesses and is one of the world’s largest publishers of Christian magazines and literature. LifeWay’s combined monthly readership ranks in the millions.[34] The publishing headquarters encompass more than one million square feet of floor space. In 1999-2000 LifeWay’s E-commerce operation handled more than 104,000 online orders via the Internet.[35]

When Bobby Welch spearheaded a drive to insert military concepts into the Southern Baptist churches, he had the backing of an enormously wealthy corporation.[36] He flew over a million miles, crisscrossing America to get his message across to the churches. Yet his “message” is essentially a secret known only to the Southern Baptists and Pentecostals recruited into the program, which now numbers more than 6,000 churches.

Like his friend Jerry Boykin, Bobby Welch started life in humble circumstances. He graduated from Jacksonville (Ala.) State University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Like Boykin, nationalism is important to him. He is a decorated Viet Nam veteran and he is known for his “God and Country” speaking engagements. He is author of You, the Warrior Leader.[37]

But perhaps the most important fact about the Rev. Bobby Welch is this: he was elected president of the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention in June, 2004, just a few months after he penned his defense of “Jerry” Boykin.[38]

Bobby Welch stepped up to the helm of a vast communication network. The Southern Baptist Convention has at its disposal the means to communicate electronically with huge numbers of its members by utilizing its websites and by utilizing its connections to likeminded broadcasters and that is not to mention its ability to communicate through its publications through the U.S. mail. Recent news articles posted on its website inform its members how to access the politicians who are working on SBC approved bills coming up for vote in congress and in state legislative bodies.[39]

Southern Baptist churches have also apparently participated in live nationwide simulcasts, broadcast to over 2,500 churches.[40]

The latest airing occurred on September 19, 2004 and featured House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in a nationwide broadcast in a futile attempt to muster support for the so called “marriage protection amendment” that would ban same-sex marriage contracts. A BP report published on LifeWay’s web site said:

“The two-hour rally came just days before a scheduled Sept. 30 vote on the marriage amendment in the House of Representatives. The amendment, which would protect traditional marriage and ban same-sex marriage, has 130 sponsors but needs 290 votes — two-thirds of the House — to pass. If passed, it would then require passage by two-thirds of the Senate and ratification by three-quarters of the states.

“DeLay urged those watching to contact their representatives and tell them to vote for the amendment. He also encouraged amendment supporters not to give up; in July, the amendment was filibustered in the Senate.”[41]

Church members could receive the telecast either via a webcast or satellite and the DVD can now be purchased at We Vote Values. The broadcast was titled, “Battle for Marriage III.” Subsequently, the House of Representatives rejected the amendment.

Nevertheless an ambitious “Million Christians’ March” was planned for October 15, 2004 on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in support of the traditional definition of marriage. Crimson-colored “Mayday for Marriage” T-shirts will be sold. The color crimson was chosen so that it would look like the blood of Christ covering the D.C. mall from a photograph taken above the event.[42]

What Do Southern Baptists Mean When They Say “Kingdom Warriors”?

Bobby Welch now has a 16 million member draft pool from which “warriors” can be drawn, enlisted, trained and sent out to fight the fight of faith. But who do they fight against? In an Agape Press article by Ed Vitagliano, titled, “In the Culture War, the Church Must Never Flee the Scene,” the enemy is described variously as the “assaults of wickedness” and “evil in this nation.”[43] But at last the truth comes out as Vitagliano writes:

“The battlefields on which Christians fight are not European hedgerows or Pacific islands, nor are they the winding, icy roads of Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, or the desert sands of Iraq. Believers battle in corporate boardrooms, in university lecture halls, before community school boards, around water coolers, in political campaigns, and over coffee at family gatherings. Those battles must never cease, nor must the church ever flee from the scenes of fiercest conflict.” [44] (Emphasis mine.)

A LifeWay’s ad on the same page as Vitagliano’s article pushes itself into the piece and offers itself as a “recommended book.” It is Sean Hannity’s: Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War Over Liberalism. At last the Southern Baptist Convention has tipped its hand. They are recruiting warriors to remove all liberals from political participation!

John Kramp, the Interim Vice President of LifeWay Church Resources division, said the division attempts to “transform churches into powerful Kingdom entities” that change people and cultures.[45] (Emphasis mine.)

Ken Hemphill (the national strategist for the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Empowering Kingdom Growth” program) defined the term “Kingdom of God” to mean, “God’s rule and reign on earth—in, around and through His people.” He went further: “The Kingdom of God is about God’s right to invade our human existence with His Kingdom authority.”[46]

Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines the word “kingdom” in its usual meaning as “a politically organized community, having a monarchical form of government usually headed by a king.”[47]

If the Southern Baptists intend to change American “culture” as Kramp states, by taking over and changing what is or is not taught in schools, or taking over the political institutions of this nation and the laws of this nation as a means of setting up a new “kingdom”—these are subversive goals and are not legitimate religious purposes and their tax exemption status should be voided.

It is one thing for men to humbly seek to worship God; it’s quite another thing for men to declare they are God’s representatives (or regents) on earth and therefore the rest of America must follow their edicts! This latter attitude is not freedom to worship—it is coercion! It is also the means to a national coup and it is evil and subversive to the core. Subversion under the fraudulent guise of “religious beliefs,” using the U.S. mails and communication systems, must be stopped for what it is: an unconstitutional means to destroy the United States of America by turning our nation into a theocratic dictatorship and steering the wealth of this nation into their own pockets.

Force Multiplier

One important indicator of two cultures mingling together is the common language shared by both. Indeed, religious groups are using military terms that have been converted to and co-mingled with religion. One such term is “Force Multiplier.” The infiltration is both ways—there is an infiltration of the churches to adopt not only the term, but force multiplier techniques, and there is an infiltration of the military to inject religious zealotry into the missions.

The Department of Defense (DOD) officially defines “force multiplier” as:

“A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.”[48]

Note that the words “a capability,” neutrally describe something beneficial, without moral modification. It is a significant point. Since morality and ethics are absent from the definition, it leaves the implementation of the concept up to the imagination of the doer. So the definition is an open invitation to extend military actions by employing any possible means to justify the ends, which are defined as a “successful mission accomplishment.” Machiavelli could not be happier.

Military writers have advanced the concept to include: “The Weather as a Force Multiplier,”[49] “Software as a Force Multiplier,”[50] “People as The Force Multiplier,”[51] and most importantly in a 1989 paper, “Deception” as “A Neglected Force Multiplier.”[52]

But it was Matthew S. Pape, a civilian lawyer who advanced the concept of extending the president’s power in a unique way. Pape's essay attempts to show that the president’s ability to launch a covert operation provides the legal justification for a preemptive invasion. Essentially he reasons, covert operations are preemptive in nature. Therefore, since the president has already been given authority to conduct small preemptive operations, he may force multiply the legal authority he already has to launch a major preemptive invasion. Pape boils the concept down for his military audience with this title: “Constitutional Covert Operations: A Force Multiplier for Preemption.”[53]

A Chaplain’s Use of the Concept of “Force Multiplier”

Today there are ministries all over America using the term, “Force Multiplier” just as the military uses it, as a tool of indoctrination.

In addition, military chaplains at American military bases are preaching and teaching the “FAITH Force Multiplier” methods. Of course the capitalized “FAITH” in front of the Force Multiplier may well be an acronym.[54] But I’ve read the term comes from the Bible: 1 Timothy 6:12, in a passage written by St. Paul to his young protégé, Timothy. Paul advises him to “fight the good fight of faith” where “faith” is equated with a fight! [55] And for battles and fights and warfare, we have to see how these terms are being used in the military.

Chaplain, Lt. Col. Tim Carlson wrote a Chaplain’s Column in the July 1999 Engineer Update.[56] He began, “It always amazes me how one can find spiritual lessons in the language of the military.”

Carlson pointed out that during the Cold War era the Soviet soldiers outnumbered Americans three to one. He said force multipliers were critical if we were to halt an attack and win and “multiplying our force, by any means, remains a genuine concern of leadership in the U.S. Army. The need for force multipliers and that missing factor is as old as warfare.” (Emphasis mine.)

Carlson told the story of David a shepherd boy who took on Goliath with a slingshot—which he called a “force multiplier.” He concluded his remarks by making an astonishing statement that reveals how even an army can be controlled by religious concepts:

“Is all this merely outdated religious bunk or a waste of my time? These may well be reasoned responses to the idea of faith as a force multiplier. But I suggest that the greatest force multiplier ever known to the world is faith. We must have faith that the Corps’ leaders know what they are doing, and faith that they will act with the best motives.[57] (Emphasis mine.)

Are these homilies effective?

In our present war against Iraq, one colonel from the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Group at a forward-deployed location said, “The chaplain’s daily base-wide email, “Words for the Warrior,” is the first e-mail I open when I turn on my computer.” [58]

A Civilian Pastor’s Use of “FAITH Force Multiplier

Dr. Billy Compton, pastor of the Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, Kentucky explains his churches’ involvement in the FAITH Force Multiplier program in his article posted on the church website:

“Join a FAITH team and become FAITH Force Multipliers”

“September 11, 2001 is a day all of America will remember. Soon after this terrorist attack, the President declared war on terrorism. The US Army sent Special Forces to enter Afghanistan to confront the enemy. The goal of these Special Forces was not to defeat the enemy alone, but to train and mobilize the local army against the Taliban enemy.

“The US Special Forces were placed alongside the local freedom fighters to equip them to achieve a victory in the war on terrorism. Their goal was to multiply themselves creating a larger and more effective force to face the enemy. This strategy of increasing the forces by multiplication resulted in these soldiers being known as ‘force multipliers.’

“….Our goal is to enlist, train, and empower a great army of believers for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Our strategy is to use this enlisting, training, and equipping process called ‘FAITH’ as ‘Faith Force Multipliers.’”[59]

Force Ministries and the Chaplains

Recently I found myself searching through the “contacts page” at the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s web site.[60] To my surprise, I found links to Navy Seals and to Lt. General Richard E. Carey of Rockwall, TX and General Richard Shaefer of Nashville, TN as well as to the Adolph Coors Evangelistic Association and Tom Cole at Headquarters of the Republican Party in Oklahoma City.

In following the link to the Navy Seals I came upon one of the blackest ministries on the web—literally—it’s called, “FORCE Ministries.” Their motto: “Equipping military personnel for Christ-centered duty.” It’s a secretive paramilitary organization. One can’t print their material out easily. One can’t print out the photos. But it’s a startling website.

The black pages highlight the stealth of men moving in the night, their eyes fixed on the scopes of their rifles aimed and ready to fire, they are frozen in a photo crossing a creek, covered by the water and by a deadly silence. The viewer has no doubt these men intend to shoot to kill. Suddenly a soldier pops up on the screen, his eyes flint cold against the blackness, his rifle ready for firing. There’s the sound of shots fired: “Mission: Christ Centered Duty” flashes. Another soldier fires: “Purpose: Impart Faith in Christ” flashes. Drums beat and music plays. And then silence again.

Force Ministries takes Matthew 11:12 as their “Defining passage:” It reads in the version quoted: “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” NIV.

The web site states, “FORCE skydiving is a ministry to the military and through the military. The FORCE Ministry skydiving team is comprised of current and former Navy SEALs whose lives have been touched through FORCE.” In other words, FORCE is composed of men from the military’s “Special Operations” branch.

The website boasts a worldwide military ministry:

“Force Ministries will send and maintain military missionaries in strategic locations throughout the world. Funded through Morning Star Partnership Development, these workers will locate near military bases and campuses throughout the world. This effort will be headed by Lt. Col. Art (Raylee) Smith, USAF (Retired).”

In addition Force states that it will “provide a discipleship environment for Christian chaplains to encourage and support their efforts in the field.” The description continued: “Military Chaplains are integral to the spiritual condition of the troops when at sea or on deployment.” We are told that “Force will provide assistance (speakers, workers) to the base chaplains for services held on military installations.” (Emphasis mine.) I immediately wondered whether there was some lack in chaplains since according to Force, the chaplains need “discipleship” and apparently need outside speakers to help them. (It’s been my observation that pastors don’t like to share their pulpits with anyone—unless of course, they are not fully qualified as pastors.)

FORCE, in an astounding inconsistency, considering the deadly power of its presentation, sums up its role this way: “Our supreme desire is to know Christ and to be conformed into His image by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The FORCE home page is at:

The Assemblies of God: A Recruitment Center for Chaplains

Most people know that Attorney General John Ashcroft’s church is the Assemblies of God. What they probably do not know is that the Assemblies are a Pentecostal church, which essentially means—they believe that once a person has accepted Jesus as their Savior and been baptized in water, the believer will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit with the sign of speaking in an unknown language. Its technical name is “glossolalia.” Pentecostals have suffered from an inferiority complex for a century, having been the butt of jokes from the protestant church world as well as the secular. Perhaps that sense of inferiority caused them to collectively strive for power.

But in the 1970’s a new religious movement occurred within the mainline churches. Church goers in the Episcopalian, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, and big and small churches everywhere, began having the same spiritual experiences: many spoke in other tongues; others demonstrated gifts of healing and other “gifts of the Spirit.” With so many people experiencing the “gifts,” the word “Charismatic” came into vogue to describe the churches and congregants who either experienced the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit or believed in their efficacy. So the lines between the denominations began to fall and the Pentecostal churches were at last accepted by the greater church world.

Under the Bush administration the Pentecostals have flourished—including the United Pentecostal Church.[61] But Pentecostals still represent a tiny slice of the church world.

According to Judy Ferrington, a spokesman for the Assemblies of God (AG), the Assemblies had 12,222 churches in the year 2002, with a membership of 1.58 million and a constituency of 2.7 million. That places the Assemblies as either the sixteenth or the tenth largest church in the U.S. (depending upon which one of the different authorities does the ranking). The Assemblies are clearly considerably behind the Southern Baptist Convention, which with 16 million members, is in second place, and the Catholic Church at 65 million is in first place.[62]

But if the Assemblies are in the back of the pack in the U.S., they are running ahead of the pack worldwide. Pentecostals are the fastest growing churches in the world, especially in Africa and in South America (where they now outnumber the Catholics in churches.) There is a significant reason for their success. Catholics and the Protestant mainline churches require a formal education for anyone who feels “called” to become a priest or minister.

This means that if a Catholic or mainline Protestant missionary went to a foreign country, preached the message of salvation and turned a dozen converts into zealous believers who wanted nothing more than to preach the very Gospel they had just heard—they couldn’t. They would have to get an education, a bachelor’s degree and then enter a seminary and earn a doctorate for another three years. By the time that soul traveled through seven years of academic labor—the fire would be gone; but the truth is: most of them could never afford to pay for the education in the first place.

But it’s quite different with the Pentecostals. They simply do not require an education as a prerequisite for ordination.[63] So those zealous believers I mentioned above are able to go out and build their own church and start preaching immediately as long as they meet the other denominational requirements (like knowledge of the Bible, Assemblies of God doctrines, and please don’t be divorced!).[64] That’s how Pentecostals have outrun the Catholics in South America. And that’s how they’re overrunning institutions in America.

Pentecostals are mission oriented—they want to spread the word. So it’s not surprising the Assemblies have an impressive chaplaincy program presentation at their website.[65] According to the AG spokesman, the church has fielded 475 chaplains: 35 are women and 440 are men. Of these, 237 are in the U.S. Military and 291 are serving institutions such as prisons.

I have calculated that each chaplain has a statistical “congregation” of 403.[66] Therefore the Assemblies’ 237 chaplains represent the “statistical” power to indoctrinate 95,511 military personnel as “Kingdom Warriors” who will be recruited to help set up God’s Kingdom on earth.

If we add a group like the FORCE Ministry into the equation, where worldwide “missionary” Special Forces groups are waiting to assist chaplains at U.S. military installations, we get a disturbing picture for potential trouble. In a cultural war of ideas where the actual fate of our nation hangs in the balance, we need to consider exactly what is happening in the military. As we are about to see, the issue is enormously important. I can phrase the question this way: Is the United States of America coming perilously close to establishing a state approved religion in the military that is comparable to the old Soviet Union’s state religious ministry program where rabbis and pastors had to be state certified and were required to tout the party line?

The “party line” emerging in the U.S. military is the religion of dominionism, the concept that our men and women in uniform must become “Kingdom Warriors” to restore alleged lost morality and establish a true kingdom on earth. It is nothing less than a political drive against the Constitution.

How the U.S. Government Pays For Religious Education

If the Assemblies of God (AG) do not require a formal education for ordination, the U.S. military does. It requires a four year degree from an accredited institution,[67] plus a master’s degree to get into the chaplaincy.[68] But something happened along the way that made the military change its program.

To understand it, we have to go back to 1999. In that year, the Army had only 98 active-duty priests, a third of its alleged requirement.[69] According to the demographics, the Army required 225 more Catholic chaplains in order to meet Catholic soldiers’ religious needs. But the Catholic Church didn’t have the priests. Some believed that it was due to the fact that from 1968 to 1974 the Catholic Church suffered a 250 percent drop in seminary enrollments, causing enormous shortages on every level.[70] “What to do?” became the question (although there are aspects of the problem that raise questions).[71]

Based on the lack of Catholic priests, Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) G. T. Gunhus, a Lutheran pastor, who had been appointed as the Army Chief of Chaplains in July of 1999, developed a program in which soldiers with prior military service could come back into the Army as Chaplains, be they Catholic priests or clergy from any other religious group.[72]

The idea, according to Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Kenehan, a Catholic military priest and recruiting and retention specialist who worked within the Pentagon’s Office of the Army Chief of Chaplains, was to encourage the Army to “grow its own priests.”[73] The concept of the Army “growing its own priests,” should have made warning bells ring throughout the U.S. It should have raised the banner of “Separation of church and state.” It didn’t. Pentagon officials were able to assure the public that the concept was simply an innocuous method of solving a genuine problem. Eventually the Army’s “grow our own priests” program became at the very least, a way to speed up the religious educational process for candidates who desired to become military chaplains.

This is how it works: through the “Chaplain Candidate Program,” the U.S. Army Reserve pays for up to 100% of the tuition costs for the required religious seminary education, (up to $250 per credit hour with a maximum cap of $4,500 per year). That’s right; the U.S. government went into the business of providing individuals with a religious education![74] What’s more, according to the Go Army Chaplain Corp web site, “You do not need to wait until ordination to join the Army Chaplaincy. You can train to become an Army Chaplain at the same time you are training for the ministry.”[75] In fact, “some seminaries offer academic credit for your training as a Chaplain Candidate.”[76]

Since President George W. Bush became the president, Pentecostal Assembly of God chaplains are in high demand in the military. Pastor Dan Hardin, 33, was senior pastor of the Living Word Assembly of God, Baltimore. He was also a member of the Ohio National Guard. In March of 2003, he received a call from the Pentagon to become a chaplain and minister to soldiers.[77]

“When the Pentagon called, they said they needed me immediately,” Hardin said. He was invited to transfer to active duty in the Army to serve as a chaplain based at Fort Knox, Tenn. Hardin explained, “This is not an activation, rather it’s a transfer to the Army for an indefinite period. There is a three-year mandatory service. Call it a career or vocational change, if you will. I am preparing to stay for awhile, most likely until retirement.”[78]

If a candidate chose to be ordained by an Assembly of God church, he would find it easier to qualify than almost any other denomination.[79] In the end, however, “one cannot become a military chaplain without ecclesiastical endorsement.”[80] The question then becomes: Is the ecclesiastical endorsement process controlled in any way by the U.S. military?

Now follow me here: Since chaplains are appointed as the recruiting and retention specialists to work in the Pentagon, and each appointed chaplain is ordained as a minister in a particular church, one must ask whether the selection process is set up in such a way to choose only dominionist oriented candidates for certification and recruitment? That in fact, liberal clergymen are systematically excluded. For instance, if the ecclesiastical endorsing agent were a former chaplain with strong politically hard right beliefs and the Pentagon official who presides over the recruiting process were a member of the same denomination and holds the same political positions, is it more or less likely that these two agents will approve the chaplaincy of a liberal clergyman?

If you agree there would be a natural tendency for like-minded individuals to choose like-minded individuals, consider how many religious issues have been introduced in the last twenty years by the right wing dominionists, all of which, are now full fledged political issues: start with the pledge of allegiance with the words, “one nation under God”; the appropriateness of the ten commandments in the schools or prayer in the schools; a woman’s right to choose an abortion with her doctor’s advice; or the right of two people to enter into a contract of marriage even if they are of the same sex; or the affirmation of a wall between church and state. In considering this list against the backdrop of military chaplains, the founding fathers of dominionism emerge as extremely brilliant men.

We are about to see how two men from the Assemblies of God have been promoted to key positions of power that enable them to smooth the way for chaplains entering the military and to smooth the way for chaplain candidates who are seeking endorsements from churches: each process is overseen by a Pentecostal (AG) who was recently promoted.

Charles Marvin Named First Pentecostal Chairman of NCMAF

Charles Marvin spent 27 years as a chaplain with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corp before retiring in 1998. He then served as the director of the Chaplaincy Department of the Assemblies of God for four years. Then in 2002, he became the ecclesiastical endorsing agent for the Assemblies. Endorsing agents hold a unique and powerful position; they certify that a candidate who desires to become a military chaplain has met all the denominational requirements to qualify as a clergyman within their denomination. In other words, they determine exactly who will or who will not become a chaplain in the U.S. military.

But on December 27, 2002, Marvin received a singular honor. He was named chairman of the organization that’s made up of all the endorsing agents in the U.S. Its official name is the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF) (pronounced Nic-Maf). Marvin said of his appointment, “The Assemblies of God is taking its appropriate place with other endorsing agents to ensure free exercise of religion for all those who don the American Armed Forces uniform.”[81]

NCMAF is a private organization that pools representatives from all major faith communities in the U.S. to serve as liaisons between the U.S. armed forces and more than 250 denominations. [82] NCMAF was started in 1982 “as a non-profit organization supported entirely by voluntary contributions from the member faith groups and other interested parties.”[83] (Emphasis mine.)

Donations are solicited in a professionally made brochure.[84] NCMAF states:

“Our unity is a demonstration to the Department of Defense and the nation of our common areas of moral and spiritual convictions.

“When the need exists to address the Department of Defense or the Congress about issues of significance to faith communities, our unity provides a significant power base from which to speak as one voice from the many voices we represent.” (Emphasis mine.)

It appears from this quote that the endorsing agents from each denomination must necessarily have similar political views on certain “issues of significance,” else how could NCMAF claim so confidently that on these issues before Congress, 250 men from 250 denominations speak with one voice? Since most churches today are composed of congregants who are politically conservative as well as politically liberal, the one voice stance suggests that hard right “kingdom warrior” dominionists, like the Southern Baptists, have managed to gain and control the position of endorsing agent within each denomination.

It also suggests that endorsing agents are carefully screened and chosen. The next question then becomes: On what issues do they address the department of defense or congress with their one voice?[85] I can think of no issues that all Christians agree on, let alone all Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other religious faiths.

The endorsing agent system is an honor system with room to fudge.[86] The churches, after all, have unlimited power to decide who has and who has not met the denomination’s requirements for ordination. Yet prudence would argue there is a need to know what mechanism, if any, exists within the churches to prevent discrimination against ministerial candidates because of their race, color, sexual orientation or political creed? The answer appears to be the churches are not subject to any test for discrimination.

Apparently, there is nothing to stop the churches from refusing to ordain politically liberal or politically moderate priests and ministers by simply stating the applicant has failed to meet a standard requirement, such as “the candidate does not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible”—the shibboleth used by the Southern Baptist Convention to root out moderate ministers. Any church can make up its own requirements and can even manufacture requirements. I remind myself—as well as my reader at this point, of Paul Weyrich’s program of creating parallel “cultural” (or religious) institutions, which are supposed to exist side-by-side.[87] Under the plan, the dominionist members of a church would split away from their original church, with the latter doomed for destruction according to Eric Heubeck.

There is in fact a movement that is splitting the churches in two, based upon dominionism versus liberalism.[88] This means the heart of Christianity is being tampered with and revised in America. The liberal mission of churches, inviting all to participate as exemplified in Jesus’ words, “whosoever will may come”—is being pushed aside for an elitist dominionism: converting churches into political entities, based upon the heretical belief that the church is to rule the nation—not the people of the United States. America has indeed lost its way.

But there lies another major problem for the department of defense: if it has gone so far as to acquiesce in a process that excludes all liberal clergy, could the department of defense also be using the chaplaincy program to insert men with particular needed strategic skills into the military as officers for certain types of operations?

Charles Marvin told an interviewer, “My signature assures a government agency that we have carefully screened the man or woman we are endorsing.”[89] The question is, what are they screening for or against?

First Pentecostal Chaplain Promoted to Brigadier General

The headline proudly declared: “Chaplains making a difference in D.C.” Following September 11’s terrorist attack on the Pentagon, an Assemblies of God article began:

“Assemblies of God military chaplains have been playing a key role in the recovery efforts at the Pentagon following September 11’s terrorist attack. Chaplain Col. Cecil R. Richardson is the command chaplain for Air Combat Command out of Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., and has overseen the assignment of chaplains at the Pentagon and other sites in the wake of the attacks…

“Richardson has command of more than 500 chaplains from all denominations at 24 military bases, including some overseas. “We are doing several different things all at the same time right now, including working at the crisis action tents outside the [Pentagon] crash scene, meeting with and providing grief counseling for the families…and praying with the workers,” Richardson said shortly after the attacks. He also sent teams of chaplains to assist in New York City.”[90] (Emphasis mine.)

Richardson explained the chaplains were mainly focusing on the recovery workers who were young, most of whom “have never seen a dead body before, let alone carnage.” Richardson added, “Many of these workers have lost people they know, and the chaplains are there to pray with them and counsel them.”[91]

On June 1, 2004, Assemby of God Chaplain Cecil R. Richardson was promoted to Brigadier General, to a key position that assists in the overseeing of the quality of the chaplain service. In this position, he also comes in contact with the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Richardson’s official title is Deputy Chief, Air Force Chaplain Service.

Richardson’s educational background should not be overlooked. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in biblical studies at the Assemblies of God, Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri in 1973. He received his Master of Divinity degree in Hebrew studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. in 1976.[92] In 1981 he attended the Squadron Officer School by correspondence and in later years he attended the Air Command and Staff College by correspondence.[93]

He is the first Pentecostal to be promoted to a general officer as a chaplain.[94] His new job places Richardson in a position of control on the department of defense side of the equation: as Deputy Chief of the Chaplain Service, he is directly involved in directing and maintaining a trained, equipped and professional chaplain service.[95] This means he supervises more than 2,350 active duty, Guard and Reserve chaplains. According to information released by the Air Force, “As a member of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board, Richardson and other members advise Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on religious, ethical and quality-of-life concerns.”[96]

However, if the selection process is loaded to accommodate only dominionists, then it follows that the United States of America is establishing a religious-political preference within the military. This crosses the constitutional line and the sworn oath each military officer recites at his commission.

The Military Officer’s Oath

Every newly appointed officer in the U. S. military takes an oath of office. That oath states:

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” (Emphasis mine.) U.S. Code: Title 5, Section 3331.

I have emphasized two concepts in the oath: first the officer has sworn to defend the Constitution and secondly he has sworn to defend it against all enemies—including domestic enemies. The question is, what does it mean to support and defend the Constitution?

Take as an example the writings of Rick Erickson who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1991 and then joined the Marine Corp. He became an officer after graduating from Officer Candidate School, Basic School and Infantry School in Quantico, Virginia in 1991. Erickson left active duty in 1995 to attend law school. In 2002 he attended the Naval Justice School and received certification by the Judge Advocate General to practice military law. In 2003, Erickson was selected to attend the Marine Corps Command and Staff College at Camp Pendleton where he will serve as a reservist student until graduation in 2005.[97] He is a Major in the Marine Corps (Reserve) and has served as Deputy Judge Advocate to the Commanding Officer, NORAD/USNORTHCOM.[98]

Erickson wrote a troubling article regarding the military oath administered to commissioned officers. The issue that caused him to go so far as to redefine American jurisprudence boiled down to this: “service people overwhelmingly do not want to serve with declaring homosexuals.”[99]

He singled out “groups like the ACLU” as “domestic enemies of the United States.”[100] He said:

“They deliberately distort the Constitution to promote their radical agendas. Worst of all, no court shows signs of abating this destructive influence in our civil or military law. Consequently, it is well with [sic] the officer’s oath to support and defend the Constitution’s foundation in order that no enemy directly or indirectly undoes the Constitution’s intended language to such an extreme that officers will have nothing left worthy of their pledge or of their armed service.” [101]

He tells his readers:

“I came to learn and understand, the oath applied in and out of uniform, including on-duty and off-duty exploits against anyone within or without who would challenge and distort our Constitution, its promotion of liberty and its basis in moral and just causes.”[102] (Emphasis mine.)

The question here is exactly what kind of “exploits” against American citizens does this military officer countenance? This is not an idle question. Liberal Americans are being identified as domestic “enemies of the Constitution of the United States.” Does Major Erickson advocate turning the military power of this nation against its own citizens? This question needs to be answered by military leaders and the Department of Defense.

But if we deconstruct Erickson’s article, it is revolutionary to the core. It advises ignoring directives from a “liberal” president and decisions from “liberal” judges. This is not defending the Constitution of the United States; it is in fact, a seditionist’s argument for overthrowing the Constitution!

Additionally, following the lead of Antonin Scalia in part, Erickson believes the Constitution cannot be challenged, and he says it must be interpreted in its “original” meaning. So then, let’s get an idea of what that could mean, keeping in mind the backdrop of the military officer’s oath where the penalty is military exploits against citizens—if we don’t get it right: according to the thirteenth amendment, slavery and involuntary servitude are still allowed as a punishment for crime. Readers of my earlier essay, “The Despoiling of America”[103] will know that dominionists seek to abolish the prison system and reinstate slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States as punishment for crimes. (See the text accompanying footnotes 61 and 62 of that essay.)[104] If I oppose slavery as an unacceptable form of punishment, do I become an enemy to the United States according to Major Erickson’s litmus test?

The amazing thing here is that a military officer who is serving as Deputy Judge Advocate to the Commanding Officer, at NORAD/USNORTHCOM,[105] who under the guise of defending the Constitution and “moral and just causes,” is actually seeking to disenfranchise the greater part of American citizens from political participation on the grounds that “liberals” are coercing “service people into following judicial orders over constitutional ones.”[106]

With reasoning like this, we need not wonder how the military degenerated into a group of sadistic thugs who resorted to the evil torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and at Guantanamo.

The Road to Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib is Paved with Pentecostal Chaplains

The Independent Panel’s final report on the abuse of prisoners at the prison camps in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo, reveals that about 300 allegations of abuse and torture were made, of these 66 have been substantiated. Eight cases of abuse occurred at Guantanamo, three in Afghanistan and 55 in Iraq. There were five cases of detainee deaths as a result of abuse by U.S. personnel during interrogations. There are 23 cases of detainee deaths still under investigation; twenty in Iraq and three in Afghanistan.[107]

On August 7, 2004 a New York Times report by Neil A. Lewis revealed that a Guantanamo inmate was mistreated in ways that may have violated the Geneva Conventions, “including having his life threatened, being beaten and being kept in prolonged isolation.” The affidavit of the prisoner, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a 34-year-old Yemeni, said he didn’t know how long he had been kept in isolation at Guantanamo, but he believed it was “at least eight months.”[108]

Make no mistake, abuse and torture occurred at Guantanamo!

A May 7, 2004 New York Times editorial pointed out, “The road to Abu Ghraib began, in some ways in 2002 at Guantanamo Bay,” since it was then that the Bush administration began building up a worldwide military detention system, “hidden from public view and from any judicial review.” Detainees were denied all normal legal protections. Seymour Hersh said Donald Rumsfeld set up his secret unit called the “Special Access Program,” converting a portion of the U.S. military into body-snatchers. They even had their own aircraft. Hersh said, “Everybody was under cover.” They still are under cover. Let’s look at how playing a double agent crept into the chaplaincy.

On November 4, 2002, Major General Geoffrey Miller was appointed Commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo. According to the independent panel’s findings, Miller brought Military Police (MP) together with Military Intelligence (MI) and called upon them to work together cooperatively.[109] “Military police were to collect passive intelligence on detainees. They became key players, serving as the eyes and ears of the cellblocks for military intelligence personnel. This collaboration helped set conditions for successful interrogation by providing the interrogator more information about the detainee—his mood, his communications with other detainees, his receptivity to particular incentives, etc. Under the single command, the relationship between MPs and MIs became an effective operating model.”[110]

Significantly, there is another branch of the military that was used by General Miller: the U.S. military chaplains.

Assemblies of God (AG) Army Reserve Chaplain (Maj.) Daniel Odean served as chaplain for the Joint Task Force, at Guantanamo. Odean said that his job focused, “Primarily on the Joint Detention Operations Group (JDOG) that consists of service members from all branches.”[111]

Odean, explained to his AG interviewer from U.S. Missions, “The JTF conducts operations for detaining, securing, sustaining and worldwide escort operations of suspected terrorists to Camp Delta (the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Global War on Terrorism.”

Thus Odean served the men in the unit either directly connected to Donald Rumsfeld’s secret “Special Access Program” or one that supports that unit. He was their chaplain at the time of his interview. Guantanamo, according to Hersh,[112] is the final destination of those prisoners “who turned out to not be useful.” Hersh told us that the prisoners were kidnapped, put in prison without charges and without a trial and we know that there were eight cases of abuse at Guantanamo that have already been substantiated.

When asked in his interview with his Assembly of God interviewer, what his main responsibilities were, Odean said that he served as a chaplain to about 1,000 troopers. He added, “I serve as an advisor to the commander on religious, moral, ethical and morale issues.”[113]

He was then asked, “How do you respond to critics who say you, as a Christian chaplain, cannot meet the needs of Muslim captives?” Odean’s response reveals that he has become the eyes and ears for his commander and for the military intelligence units. It reveals a man who is serving two masters; one has been pushed to the background. He responded:

“I am responsible to carry out the Commander’s Religious Support Program and intent. At Camp Delta, the Commander is concerned with the Military Police’s ability to maintain a high standard of military professionalism and excellence.

“I serve the Commander by advising on issues and concerns [regarding the detainees] that have been communicated to me while I am interacting with the MPs.”

The interviewer then asked, “In what ways do the detainees turn to you for help?” Odean responded:

“I help manage detainee religious issues and promote religious sensitivity.

“I do not want to lead anyone to believe I have a counseling type relationship with the detainees. But I assist the Military Police with mission focus and by remaining firm, fair and consistent toward the detainees.”[114]

Odean was asked, “What do you say to those who say Guantanamo Bay is just another example of the United States being at war with Islam?”

The chaplain replied by rote, “U.S. Policy is that we are not at war with the religion of Islam; we are at war with terrorism. We are at war with the enemies of freedom. We are defending freedom here at Guantanamo Bay. America and the world are safer places because of missions such as this one and many others our military are involved in.”

He was asked what he would say to someone who is contemplating becoming a chaplain, “The Kingdom of God is to be advanced and freedom needs defending. It’s time to step up to the plate and allow God to use you in mighty way.”[115]

General Boykin Returns

Michael Moran, writing for, on May 18, 2004, broke one of the most important stories of the year: Brigadier General Wm. “Jerry” Boykin, who was serving as the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence at the time, was ordered to “Gitmoize” the Abu Ghraib prison.[116] (Guantanamo is known in the U.S. as “Gitmo” from its military abbreviation: GTMO. Boykin was to put the methods that worked at Guantanamo into effect at Abu Ghraib.[117]) The orders came from the top: Boykin was working for Stephen Cambone, a neo-con follower of Leo Strauss who was named undersecretary of intelligence, and reported directly to the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld, according to Michael Moran asked both Cambone and Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy to find out why Guantanamo Bay “extracted far more useful intelligence from captives than those in Iraq.”[118]

Boykin flew to Guantanamo, where he met Major General Geoffrey Miller.[119] Miller’s success at Camp X-Ray had been duly noted by Boykin. Miller had succeeded in ‘softening’ up the detainees in his charge and he was able to get information from them quickly. This was music to Boykin’s ears. According to Los Angeles Times reporter, Richard T. Cooper, Boykin was “charged with speeding up the flow of intelligence on terrorist leaders to combat teams in the field so that they could attack top-ranking terrorist leaders.”[120]

According to Moran’s sources who asked that their names not be revealed, “Boykin ordered General Miller to fly to Iraq and extend X-Ray methods to the [Abu Ghraib] prison system on Rumsfeld’s orders.”[121]

There was a cover story. Miller’s mission appeared to be a response to a request for assistance initiated by the commander of Abu Ghraib (CJTF-7). Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez “recognized serious deficiencies at the prison and requested assistance.”[122] Miller’s team arrived in Baghdad on August 31, 2003. In response to the commander’s request for help, General Miller’s team drafted guidelines on how to fix the problems.[123] But what Miller delivered, was what Boykin had ordered.

Major General Antonio Taguba, who conducted an investigation at Abu Ghraib, reports:

“The principal focus of Major General Miller’s team was on the strategic interrogation of detainees/internees in Iraq.”[124]

Miller’s team recommended that the commander of Abu Ghraib “dedicate and train a detention guard force subordinate to the Joint Interrogation Debriefing Center (JIDC)—a unit that was not yet instituted.[125] In other words, the military police guards were to be subordinate to a military intelligence unit that was yet to be established. Miller’s team wrote:

“It is essential that the guard force be actively engaged in setting the conditions for successful exploitation of the internees.”[126]

So the guards’ job was to “soften” up the victims so that the interrogators could get useful information quickly. In this way, Miller delivered the recommendations that led directly to the abuses. The worst abuses at Abu Ghraib occurred after General Miller left his guidelines for improvements at the prison, between October and December of 2003 according to General Taguba’s Report.[127] Miller’s recommendations were taken to heart.

In fact, Major General George R. Fay found that twenty-seven military intelligence personnel “requested, encouraged, condoned or solicited Military Police personnel to abuse detainees and/or participated in detainee abuse and/or violated established interrogation procedures and applicable laws and regulations during interrogation operations at Abu Ghraib.”[128] Most of these necessarily occurred during the peak instances of abuse at the prison—after the arrival of a mysterious reservist who had been activated especially for his role at Abu Ghraib.

The Role of Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan

According to an Army statement, Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, worked as a reservist at the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir, Va.[129] He was activated for the express purpose of setting up the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC) at Abu Ghraib[130] which did not exist prior to his arrival.[131] As I noted above, the formation of the JIDC was recommended by Gen. Miller. This would appear to link Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan directly with General Boykin, undersecretary Cambone and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.

Contradictorily, Jordan was later to claim that he was merely “a civil affairs officer by training and that his assignment was to set up a database at the interrogation center for tracking information gleaned from the prisoners.”[132] However, the record clearly shows that Jordan took control of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center on September 17, 2003 and served as the JIDC director until Col. Thomas Pappas assumed the role of commander of the forward operating base on November 19, 2003, and Jordan then became the deputy director of JIDC.[133]

Col. Pappas said in his statement to General Taguba that LTC Jordan repeatedly took part in searches of detainee cells without notifying military police commanders. Searching cells was an activity that fell outside the usual duties of an intelligence officer.[134]

Taguba’s report and witnesses place Jordan with officers hiding prisoners from the Red Cross inspection. The prisoners were called “ghost detainees,” because they were brought to them by Other Government Agencies (OGAs), without accounting for them, knowing their identities, or even the reason for their detention.[135] An interrogator said he overheard Colonel Jordan and other officers say that the Red Cross inspectors did not need to know about those Iraqi prisoners.”[136]

From sworn testimony and interviews, Colonel Jordan emerges as a hands-on commander. According to Capt. Donald J. Reese, “Wing One was supervised mostly by LTC Steve Jordan.”[137] Capt. Donald J. Reese, commander of the 372nd Military Police Company told the Washington Post, he “was summoned one night in November to a shower room in a cellblock at the prison where he discovered the body of a bloodied detainee on the floor. A group of intelligence personnel was standing around the body. Col. Pappas was among them.” Reese said, “An Army colonel named Jordan sent a soldier to the prison mess hall for ice to preserve the body overnight.” The next day, the “body was hooked up to an intravenous drip, as if the detainee was still alive, and taken out of the prison.”[138] There apparently is no known record of what happened to the body.

The Fay Report concludes that “Col. Pappas committed a critical error in judgment by failing to remove LTC Jordan as soon as his shortcomings were noted, on approximately October 10, 2003.”[139] The report goes on to say, “Very shortly after LTC Jordan’s arrival at Abu Ghraib…the [military intelligence staff] began to note Jordan’s involvement in staff issues and his lack of involvement in interrogation operations.”[140]

The Fay report complains:

“The majority of HUMINT [human intelligence; human resources intelligence JP 1-02[141]] comes from interrogations and debriefings. Yet at the JIDC, which was set up to be the focal point for interrogation operations, there was only one officer, CPT Wood, with significant interrogation operations experience. There were four MI Warrant Officers but all were used for staff functions rather than directly supervising and observing interrogations. There was a shortage of trained NCOs at the E-7/E-6 level. Each Section Leader had four or five Tiger Teams, too many to closely observe, critique, counsel, consult, and supervise. One Section Leader was an E-5. Several of the interrogators were civilians and about half of those civilians lacked sufficient background and training. Those civilians were allowed to interrogate because there were no more military assets to fill the slots. Such a mixture together with constant demands for reports and documentation overwhelmed the Section Leaders.”[142]

Why was Jordan spending so much time on “staff” issues instead of interrogating detainees? I suggest that the placement of personnel was deliberate. The moving of qualified officers into staff functions rather than have them directly “supervising and observing interrogations,” was most likely not accidental. The alternative is to find that Jordan was completely incompetent. If he is, why is he still employed by Major General Barbara Fast, the top American intelligence officer in Iraq?[143]

The rationale behind his interest in staff can be explained by another possibility: If an operative were sent to Abu Ghraib for the purpose of gaining information for his bosses—at any cost including the death of the detainees—might he not in fact begin by laying the groundwork for chaos—the perfect cover—that would prevent investigating authorities from uncovering the true perpetrators of the alleged torture crimes?

I have observed at least two or three crimes in my lifetime that involved institutions and a group of people, where the perpetrators deliberately created an atmosphere of chaos in order to cover up their criminal intent. Tasks were done with obvious stupidity, ignorance and confusion. The result was chaos. Ineptness paid off: no criminal indictments were handed down. The reason? The method obscures what really happened.

As one studies the reports on Abu Ghraib, one is struck by the incompetence and complete lack of professionalism on the part of the military police and the military intelligence units. There was a lack of equipment, computers, software and even file cabinets. Soldiers resorted to using cardboard boxes to store files. Documents were lost. The Fay Report states, “Some interrogation related information was recorded on a whiteboard which was periodically erased.”[144]

Only one man was in a position to either set up a flawed system or to capitalize on its flaws once it was established to his advantage: Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan.

Additionally, we know that General Taguba reprimanded Jordan and found that Jordan made material misrepresentations of fact, and Taguba believed “there is sufficient credible information to warrant an Inquiry…to determine the extent of culpability.[145] Taguba suspected that “Col. Thomas M. Pappas, LTC Steven L. Jordan, Mr. Steven Stephanowicz and Mr. John Israel were either directly or indirectly responsible for the abuses at Abu Ghraib…and strongly recommend immediate disciplinary action…” [146] If that were not enough, Jordan refused to testify during a secret hearing against an alleged ringleader of the abuse scandal on the grounds he might incriminate himself.[147]

We also know that Jordan made two interesting statements while being interviewed. He told General Taguba that he had worked as an intelligence analyst at the Department of Homeland Security.[148] And he told Taguba that some of the information obtained from the prisoners at Abu Ghraib had been requested by “White House staff.” [149] General Taguba asked Jordan whether it concerned “sensitive issues,” and Jordan said, “Very sensitive. Yes, sir.” Jordan said that a superior military intelligence officer told him the requested information concerned “any anti-coalition issues, foreign fighters, and terrorist issues.”[150]

Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, An Army Chaplain?

Of all the things we have come to understand about Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, it is most difficult to think of him as a man of the cloth. Max Blumenthal, an excellent web writer,[151] found another significant link to Jordan in an article reprinted on the web site of the Oak Creek Assemblies of God church and on the Assembly’s chaplaincy article page.[152] A man with Jordan’s name and rank was identified as a Pentecostal chaplain mentoring an Assemblies of God chaplain candidate at Fort Jackson in South Carolina in the summer of 2003. [153] Wait a minute! One’s head snaps back. But this is really true.

There are several major possibilities. First, there could be two Lieutenant Colonels with identical names and rank in the Army, in which case the Army can produce both men. Secondly, the Steven L. Jordan of Abu Ghraib could have taken on the identity of a chaplain who subsequently died or retired, in which case the Army can resolve the mystery and explain why a chaplain’s identity was assumed. Thirdly, the Lieutenant Colonel Steven L. Jordan of Abu Ghraib could actually be a Pentecostal chaplain, who was mentoring John P. Smith Jr., an Assembly of God chaplain candidate, during the six-week chaplain training course at Fort Jackson in South Carolina in the summer of 2003. If this is true, General Boykin’s “kingdom warriors” have emerged as a powerful and subversive renegade force in the Army.

The Assemblies of God article offers more than one clue to the puzzle. It reports that Jordan asked Smith to preach the Sunday morning sermon at the base auditorium, which holds over 1,000 seats and preaching wasn’t in the Army’s training course. The auditorium was full that morning. I know Pentecostal preachers very well. They can’t wait to preach. They can’t stand not to preach. Did Jordan ask Smith to preach because he didn’t know how to preach a sermon himself? If so, it suggests that an individual may have been admitted into the chaplaincy without being qualified.

Blumenthal’s discovery must be addressed by officials in the Army, by Congressional committees and by the press.

What’s Next?

On January 31, 2001, the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Defense released an audit report titled, “Management of National Guard, Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams.” This report is posted on the Maxwell Air Force web site as well as the Yurica Report. [154] In January of 1998, the Deputy Secretary of Defense ordered the Army to establish a special unit, a unit that was tasked with integrating Army Reserve Components into the domestic Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) civil defense response. The idea was for the military to support civilian authorities within the U.S. should the nation be hit with some type of mass destruction weapon. It was a home defense measure.

The name of the unit was “Consequence Management Program Integration Office” or CoMPIO for short. CoMPIO was created and placed under the leadership of an active duty colonel. It had eight active Guard and Reserve military personnel, six Department of Defense (DoD) civilians, and five contractor personnel.[155]

One of the first jobs the unit undertook was to coordinate establishing and fielding National Guard teams—consisting of full time Guard members—who were intended to assist the emergency first responders (such as the local fire department) in an emergency involving Weapons of Mass Destruction. CoMPIO spent approximately $73 million and $70 million in procurement and operations and maintenance fund in 1999 and 2000. An audit was conducted.

The audit found that while other organizations in the department of defense were drafting doctrine for the units, “CoMPIO was writing its own doctrine, independent of the other efforts.”[156]

In other words, much like the dominionists in the churches, the audit revealed that CoMPIO was a renegade unit that was splitting itself off from the greater military body. The list is long, but step by step CoMPIO did things its own way: It developed its own training courses for personnel without coordinating with the Army and went around the original contract with a private supplier, adding to the costs, and ignored the fact that an Army Training group was still writing the individual tasks for the course.[157] CoMPIO did not use the existing expertise in the Department of Defense in making program management decisions.[158] CoMPIO took the position that “it would field a system of systems without accreditation.”[159] And one CoMPIO official said:

“…once the units are in the field being used…the bureaucrats will have a much more difficult time of stopping the train.”[160]

The same official stated that CoMPIO did not have the funding to accomplish accreditation and added:

“…we are not going to wait two years to fit it into their [the systems accreditors] schedule. If they want to do the accreditation they will need to come up with a plan, a timeline, and the funding to do so.”[161]

The attitudes are remarkably similar to the dominionists in the Bush administration and in the churches. For instance, compare this quote from Pat Robertson made on his 700 Club television show May 1, 1986 with the CoMPIO official above:

“We are not going to stand for those coercive utopians in the Supreme Court and in Washington ruling over us any more. We’re not gonna stand for it. We are going to say, ‘we want freedom in this country, and we want power…’”[162]

The Inspector General of the Department of Defense had no alternative but to recommend that the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness seek disestablishment of the Consequence Management Program Integration Office (CoMPIO).[163]

We allow renegade units to exist at our peril.

Lastly, because I believe America stands in peril from within itself far more than from any outer enemy, I want to end this news analysis with this story: On August 19th 2004, Alex Jones, a colorful libertarian radio host, who broadcasts in nineteen states and can be heard on the web over the Genesis Communications Network, conducted an interview with an officer who was identified only as “David.” The officer also did not want his military unit identified. Though he spoke anonymously, he had a great deal of credibility. The officer’s military unit issued a training manual which he in turn gave to Jones. Although we attempted to obtain copies of pages from the manual from Jones, our request was not answered. The Yurica Report transcribed the interview and here is an excerpt of it. It appears that the governors of 30 states are preparing their militia for martial law in the event of an emergency.

Jones: “Why are you concerned about the military manual?”

David: “The fact the State Guard has traditionally never been armed. Yet there’s extensive fire arms training in that manual. And the use of force: the handcuffing and the prisoner transport--”

Jones: “In fact, right here, ‘Movement of Prisoners, How to Take Over City Hall.’”

David: “Yes. That is the required training for the proposed team members.”

Jones: “You told me this is a force multiplication training group to train the rest of the military, correct?”

David: “Eventually what we were told was the entire State Guard would receive this training. But as of right now, only select individuals are to receive it.”

Jones: “What do you think of this whole atmosphere?”

David: “It’s a very dangerous atmosphere, Alex. …The time it’s going to take for all these teams to be trained, outfitted and deployed is November 1, this year [2004]. And we’ve been told it’s not if, but when we are deployed. And we will be deployed after November first.”

Jones: “In America?”

David: “Yes. In the State of Texas.”


NOTE FROM DEE:  I have removed all the end notes that say IBID.

By clicking on the endnote number, you will be returned to the referenced text.

[1] Counter Punch, June 28, 2003, “Tom Delay's New World Order: ‘I Am the Government’” By Jon Brown And see also Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 26, 2003, “In the Northwest: Tom DeLay Could Use a Different Form of Puffery,” by Joel Connelly at:

[2]See for example “Courts May Be Stripped on the Pledge” at

HR 3313, Marriage Protection Act Passed House

HR 3313 analyzed by Constitutional Law Professor Vic Amar at:

HR 3799 Forbids the Supreme Court (and hence all federal courts) from reviewing any case decided on the basis or based upon the belief that God is the Supreme Sovereign Lawgiver. Titled: The Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 at:

HR 3799:

The New York Times Editorial, “A Radical Assault on the Constitution” at:

HR 3920 Grants Congress the power to overturn any decision of the Supreme Court that rules an act of Congress is Unconstitutional: Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism for 2004 Act at:

Senate Bill S 1558, Religious Liberties Act. This act involves the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance using the word “God,” etc. Contrast the wording of SB 1558 with the “Courts May Be Stripped on the Pledge” at

[3] HR 3920 Grants Congress the power to overturn any decision of the Supreme Court that rules an act of congress is unconstitutional. It’s title is: Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism for 2004 Act at:

[4]From a pre-publication excerpt of The New Messiahs by Katherine Yurica. Posted at:

“It began in the late 1970’s with the help of vast so-called religious broadcasting networks. Pat Robertson’s television talk show, The 700 Club, and hundreds of other radio and television shows began preaching the gospel of political Christian activism, stirring the faithful to accept a political agenda, and reaching an estimated audience of over 20 million people in 1980. The audience for the top ten shows, however, was to increase dramatically to 60 million by 1985, with Robertson’s 700 Club topping the Nielsen ratings with a projected monthly viewing audience of 28.7 million.

Although the plan to take over the government of the United States was announced publicly on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, it was at a time when only the faithful viewed the show, and only the faithful unquestioningly accepted the possibilities: “We have enough votes to run the country,” Robertson said, “and when the people say, ‘we’ve had enough,’ we’re going to take over the country.” But it was Tim LaHaye, (often called the founder of the religious right), who laid out a specific plan to Pat Robertson’s audience. He said it simple and straight and quick. It went like this:

“There are 110,000 Bible believing churches but there are only 97,000 major elective offices in America. If we launch one candidate per church, we can take over every elective office in this country within ten years.”

I was monitoring and recording the show at the time, and to those I discussed it with, the plan seemed like a wild pipe dream that couldn’t be executed. The press ignored it or most likely didn’t know about it. The people who took it seriously, however, were those it was intended for: the insiders, the potential foot soldiers in a newly awakened and reborn church militant. The term “religious right” entered our political lexicons.”

[5] From “Chronology of the SBC Takeover.” At: The original site is at:

[9] From the transcribed McNeil Lehrer news hour of June 11, 1985. Transcribed by Katherine Yurica and Kelly Leosis.

[10] From “Chronology of the SBC Takeover.” At:

[11] Read Jimmy Carter’s explanation of “Why the Christian Right Isn’t Christian At All,” by Ayelish McGarvey, American Prospect, April 5, 2004. At:

[12] “Baptists Fire Missionaries,” staff reports, July 2003, Christianity Today. At: Christian Century: “SBC purges missions; 13 fired, 20 resign-News,” May 31, 2003. At: Maranatha Christian Journal, “Baptist Missionaries Refuse Request to Resign,” April 28, 2003 (post date) at:

[13] Here’s a quote from Katherine Yurica’s review of Scott Peck’s People of the Lie, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1983:

“Peck draws a profile of the evil: they have no regard for the truth; they lie and live in a world of lies. They are masters of disguise and cloak themselves with masks of respectability, goodness and often piety. (Peck tells us that religiosity is a common and effective disguise.) But it is the appearance of propriety and respectability that is the important factor. Peck defines evil as: ‘The exercise of political power—that is, the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion…’ Or in other words: it is the use ‘of political power to destroy others,’ for the purpose of defending or preserving the integrity of one’s sick self (or group).

[14] Mr. Land’s opposition to adding homosexuals to the hate crimes list is in keeping with the Texas Republican Party’s Platform of 2002, which is against the imposition of criminal or civil penalties for anyone who “opposes homosexuality” out of religious conviction. See Page 8 of the Platform:

[15] “Senate hate-crimes vote is 'terrible precedent,” Land says” By Tom Strode Jun 21, 2004 From the Baptist Press. Read at: Pertinent excerpt:

“Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute, said the senators who voted for the proposal are "setting up our children and grandchildren for persecution as activist courts rule that biblical morality is 'bigotry.' Using similar laws, the mere criticism of homosexuality is considered a 'hate crime' in Sweden and Canada."

Both Land and Knight said the concept of hate crimes is flawed.

"People should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law when they do violent acts, period," Land said. "Whether it's racially motivated or motivated because of the sexual preference of the person should be irrelevant. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law when they break the law for any reason and when they perpetrate crimes of violence."

“Knight said in a written statement, "Equal protection means your grandma and your friend who lives as a homosexual have the same rights when they walk down the street. Under a hate-crimes law, someone who mugs your grandmother will not be prosecuted as vigorously as someone who commits the same crime against a homosexual. Hates-crimes laws aren't about justice; they are about favoritism and special rights”

[16] The Yurica Report was able to obtain the complete, unedited copy of the original document by Eric Heubeck that was posted on the Free Congress Foundation’s site. It is at:

[17] For an abbreviated outline of the Weyrich manual, see “Conquering by Stealth and Deception” by Katherine Yurica at and see

[18] “The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012 by Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., published in Parameters, Winter 1992-93, pp. 2-20. And may be read at:

[19] From 1978-1990 Boykin was assigned in various capacities to Delta Force. In 1980 he was the Delta Force operations officer on the April 24-25 Iranian hostage rescue attempt. From 1990 to 1991 he was at the Army War College. From 1992-1995 he was the Commander of Delta Force. By April 1998 to February 2000 he became the Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C. From March 2000-2003 he was the Commanding General, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, N.C. Then in June 2003 to the present, he was appointed Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence at the Pentagon. For a detailed history of his Army career appointments see:

[21] Washington Post, August 19, 2004. “General’s Speeches Broke Rules,” By R. Jeffrey Smith and Josh White. At



[24] See “The Despoiling Of America: How George W. Bush Became the Head of the new American Dominionist Church State” February 11, 2004, by Katherine Yurica at:

[25]BP News, “Each believer a Kingdom agent, Hemphill says in EKG report,” Sep. 21, 2004 by Erin Curry. At :

[26] Americans United, “U.S. Military Support For Baptist Evangelism Program Draws Protest From Americans United” April 7, 2003. Published at:

[28] The Age, “Religious groups seek rebuke for Pentagon’s holy warrior” by John Hendren, October 18, 2003. This article was originally published in the Los Angeles Times. It may be found at: (It is also available from a Google reference, typing in the title. The Google reference then should take the reader to: but The Age is now requiring registration.)

[29] We know Pat Robertson and Dobson are members of the Council from documents the Yurica Report obtained. For information on the secret Council for National Policy see the New York Times article by David Kirpatrick: “Club of the Most Powerful Gathers in Strictest Privacy” at And see footnote 2 of Katherine Yurica’s article, “Conquering by Stealth and Deception: How the Dominionists are Succeeding in their Quest for National Control and World Power,” September 14, 2004, at: Scroll down to footnote 2 where a partial list of prominent religious members of the Council for National Policy are named.

[30] Belief Net, “The Same General Boykin? The Pentagon official, an evangelical, was nearly fired for insulting Islam. So far, conservative Christians stand by him.” By Deborah Caldwell. At:

[31] BP News, “First-Person: Stabbed in the back” by Bobby H. Welch, October 20, 2003. At:

[32] Doug Williams, National FAITH Consultant. See:

[33] See end note 50 of The Despoiling of America for reference to the Great Commission. Pat Robertson wrote in The Secret Kingdom: “Unhappily, evangelical Christians have for too long reduced the born-again experience to the issue of being ‘saved.’ Salvation is an important issue, obviously, and must never be deemphasized. But rebirth must be seen as a beginning, not an arrival. It provides access to the invisible world, the kingdom of God, of which we are to learn and experience and then share with others. Jesus Himself said it clearly before His ascension: ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ [Matthew 28:18-20 New American Standard Bible]. The commission was to make followers and learners—converts—and to teach them the principles of the kingdom. Entry into the body of believers was not enough. They were to learn how to live in this world…The invisible was to rule the visible. Christ has authority over both.” Emphasis is Robertson’s. (p. 51)

[34] See


[36] See LifeWay’s Financial Statement for 2003 at:,1643,A%253D157673%2526X%253D1%2526M%253D50088,00.html

[37] BP, “Southern Baptists Elect Florida Pastor Bobby Welch as President” at

[38]BP News, “SBC elects officers from both coasts & Midwest” Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 By Don Beehler at:


[39] On the home page of its web site at on September 24, 2004 and the 25th, an editorial from the BP News Headlines stated: “Call Congress now; urge support for marriage amendment during Sept. 30 vote.” A link from that page took the reader to the actual editorial page where the editorial asked readers to call Washington on the Marriage Amendment Bill H.J.R. 56. At the end of the editorial, a list of all congressmen in each state and each congressman’s individual phone number was listed. The Editorial was at:

[40] BP, “Battle for Marriage III” Live Simulcast and Rally Set for September 19. At:

BP, “DeLay Urges Action for Upcoming Vote on Marriage” By Michael Foust at:

[42] BP, “Mayday for Marriage Goal: One Million On National Mall” by Michael Foust. At:

[43] Agape Press, “In the Culture War, the Church Must Never Flee the Scene,” by Ed Vitagliano. At:

[45]John Kramp, Interim Vice President, LifeWay Church Resources.,1701,M%253D200223,00.html

[46] “First-Person: Prayer & Empowering Kingdom Growth” by Kenneth S. Hemphill, on the SBC website at:

[47] However, Webster’s Third New International dictionary poses several meanings when we discuss “kingdom” in a spiritual or religious sense: “the spiritual realm over which God reigns as king: Heaven; the fulfillment on earth of God’s will especially in complete perfection (the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand—Mark 1:14; the invisible society of human beings in which God is held to be obeyed.”

[48] See the Department of Defense Dictionary:




[52] “Deception: A Neglected Force Multiplier,” by Major Michael B. Kessler, USMC, 1989:

[53] Matthew S. Pape, J. D., “Constitutional Covert Operations: A Force Multiplier for Preemption,” in the March-April 2004 Military Review.

Previously, in 2002, he raised the issue of assassinating Saddam Hussein in his article, “Can We Put the Leaders of the ‘Axis of Evil’ in the Crosshairs?”, published in Parameters, U.S. Army War College Quarterly, Autumn 2002. Pape is an attorney in private practice in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in history in 1994 and from the University of Houston Law Center in 1998.

[54] One suggestion: “Force American Institutions To Heel.”

[55] Agape Press, “In the Culture War, the Church Must Never Flee the Scene,” by Ed Vitagliano. At:

[56] July 1999 Engineer Update, “Chaplain’s Column.” At:

[58] “Deployed chaplains: Faith on the front lines,” by Tech. Sgt. Mark Diamond, April 8, 2003. At:

[59] Severns Valley Baptist Church web page at:

[60]TBN was founded by Paul Crouch in the 1970’s. Crouch is an ordained minister of the Assembly of God church. I was present when he was just starting his television ministry in a warehouse on O’Dwyer road in Santa Ana, California. He borrowed a television camera from Ralph Wilkerson who then was the pastor of Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim. Today, TBN is actually the largest television network in the world. The Los Angeles Times has just written a series of articles detailing the Crouches’ opulent lifestyle, which includes 30 homes. See: the series of four articles published in September, 2004 on Paul Crouch—the attempt to blackmail him for an alleged homosexual encounter with an ex-employee, and his TBN ministry, including, “The Prosperity Gospel: TBN's Promise: Send Money and See Riches,” by William Lobdell, Times Staff Writer at:

[61] The Village Voice, “The Jesus Landing Pad,” by Rick Perlstein, May 18, 2004 at:

[62] Statistics from “Largest U.S. Churches, 2003” at

[63] From the Constitution & Bylaws of the Assemblies of God, Article VII, Ministry Basic Qualifications, Section 2. See at:

[65] See

[66] According to the U.S. Army there are “approximately 2,200 active duty, National Guard and Reserve chaplains from 120 faith groups serving in uniform worldwide.” That grants the Assemblies about eleven percent of the total chaplain slots. So if that seems an insignificant number, according to the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center, there are 573,262 Protestants and 313,628 Catholics in the services for a total of 886,890, which doesn’t include those who have no religious preference. Published at Beliefnet:

[67] The military accepts degrees from schools with which most of us are unfamiliar. For example the biography of one Chaplain serving in the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command reveals he graduated from Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas with a major in Bible. The school ranks a low seventeenth in a field of twenty by U.S. News. The officer received his Master of Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas.

[68] See the Army requirements at: and the Chaplain Candidate Program where the Army will pay up to a maximum of $4500.00 per year of the cost of seminary. Also Go to the Southern Baptist Convention’s LifeWay web site and you are apt to run into paid advertisements from the U.S. Navy, recruiting Chaplain candidates.

[69] ARNews “Army Seeks More Catholic Chaplains,” by Gerry J. Gilmore, November 16, 1999. At

[71] What’s wrong with this? If ten percent of the military are Pentecostal, then the Pentecostals should make up ten percent of the chaplain’s pool. But if all Protestants are lumped together it would not be possible to create the demographic. (However, it is true the Catholics are listed separately in one report. See )

1) The DOD Directive 1304.19 on chaplains requires, each chaplain candidate must be “Willing to support directly or indirectly the free exercise of religion by all members of the Military Services, their dependents, and other authorized persons.” See:

2) The Chaplain’s Code of Ethics states in part: “I will seek to provide for pastoral care and ministry to persons of religious bodies other than my own within my area of responsibility with the same investment of myself as I give to members of my own religious body.” See Endorser’s Code of Ethics.

3) So we have to ask ourselves if the “Catholic shortage of priests” was in fact a fraudulent ruse in order to gain an objective. The objective gained is the United States government began paying the costs for seminary or theological school training something apparently all the churches wanted.

[72] ARNews “Army Seeks More Catholic Chaplains,” by Gerry J. Gilmore, November 16, 1999. At

[73] ARNews “Army Seeks More Catholic Chaplains,” by Gerry J. Gilmore, November 16, 1999. At

[74] It’s an integrated program. “By joining the Army Reserve Chaplain Candidate Program,” the Army says, “you will get a head start on Army Chaplain training, as well as all the benefits of being an Army Officer while still in seminary.”

To be eligible for this program, an individual was required to among other things:

1. Obtain an ecclesiastical approval from his/or her denomination or faith group.

2. Possess a bachelor’s degree of not less than 120 semester hours.

3. Be a full-time graduate student at an accredited seminary or theological school; however, the DOD’s requirements from Directive 1304.19 states “an accredited graduate school” or “from a school whose credits are accepted by an accredited school.”

It appears the Army has also loosened its requirement of a three year seminary program to one that completes with “at least 72 semester hours” of study. See the Army requirements for Chaplain here:

[75] Go to:

[77] “Church Pastor Receives Call to Minister to Troops,” by Hollie Saunders, Eagle-Gazette, March 28, 2003.

[78] “Church Pastor Receives Call to Minister to Troops,” by Hollie Saunders, Eagle-Gazette, March 28, 2003.

[79] The Assemblies of God state, “Ecclesiastical endorsement for active duty, Reserve, National Guard, and Veteran Affairs Chaplaincy may be granted by the Commission on Chaplains to interviewed applicants who are ordained and meet all military age, educational and physical requirements. To be endorsed for Active Duty or Reserves applicants are expected to have at least two years of pastoral experience preferably as senior pastor.” However, there’s a sample available on the web of a Certificate of Ecclesiastical Endorsement (enclosure 2) of DOD Directive 1304.19. Under comments, it’s clear that the endorsing agent wrote the following: “Because of his [the candidate’s] prior service and exceptional ability, we [waive] 1 year of our normal 2 year requirement of professional ministry experience.”

[80] See the Assemblies of God Chaplaincy Requirement page at:


[82] See the NCMAF web site for the Policies and Documents of the organization at:

[83] See:


[85] The search for obvious conflicts of interest should be undertaken. Just on the surface, NCMAF’s tax forms need to be examined to determine who the “other interested parties” are that make contributions.

[86] See for example, the admission of NCMAF in its policy papers that the relationship between the military and the NCMAF is one of “mutual trust”: therefore Policy 11: An endorsing agent must not be a holder of an endorsement for himself from the DOD.

[87] See the section, “The Manifesto of the Dominionist Movement,” at the beginning of this essay or go to either one of the following: For an abbreviated outline of the Weyrich manual, see “Conquering by Stealth and Deception” by Katherine Yurica at and for the complete document, see

[88] “Conservative Group Amplifies Voice of Protestant Orthodoxy,” by Laurie Goldstein and David Kirkpatrick, New York Times, May 22, 2004. A small organization began to help congregants to split their churches in two based upon issues such as homosexual ordination, abortion, etc.


[90] “Chaplains making a difference in D.C.” by Judi Murphy, Assemblies of God Office of Public Relations, in the Pentecostal Evangel. At:

[92] The school is affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), which is an association of autonomous evangelical Christian congregations.

[94] “Chaplains making a difference in D.C.” by Judi Murphy, Assemblies of God Office of Public Relations, in the Pentecostal Evangel. At:



[97] “Welcome” The Starr Journal, at:

[98] The Gun Zone RKBA, “The Case Against Kerry,” January 26, 2004, at

[99] Ibid, at

[100] “Military Officer’s Oath Is Increasingly to Protect the Constitution,” by Rick Erickson, December 30, 2003, GOPUSA; it was originally at however this website was suddenly removed with a notice: “This website is under construction.” The article is reprinted at The Arizona Conservative at

[101] Ibid, but see

[102]Ibid, but see

[103] “The Despoiling of America” by Katherine Yurica is at See endnotes 61 and 62.


[106] “Military Officer’s Oath Is Increasingly to Protect the Constitution,” by Rick Erickson, December 30, 2003, GOPUSA; reprinted at The Arizona Conservative at

[107] “Final Report of the Independent Panel to Review DoD Detention Operations, August 2004,” at pages 5, and 13.

[108] The New York Times, “Guantanamo Inmate Complains of Threats and Long Isolation,” by Neil A. Lewis, August 7, 2004.

[110] Ibid. at page 72.

[111] “Ministering in Difficult Places: A Chaplain’s Call,” at:

[112] Look for the heading, “Seymour Hersh.” At about page 3 above.

[113] “Ministering in Difficult Places: A Chaplain’s Call,” at:

[115] Ibid, at

[116] “For Once, It Flows Uphill, Abu Ghraib Meets Guantanamo Bay” by Michael Moran, at:

And see: “The Religious Warrior of Abu Ghraib,” by Sidney Blumenthal, The Guardian, May 20, 2004.

[117] “The Religious Warrior of Abu Ghraib,” by Sidney Blumenthal, The Guardian, May 20, 2004.

[118] “For Once, It Flows Uphill, Abu Ghraib Meets Guantanamo Bay” by Michael Moran, at:

[120] “General Casts War in Religious Terms,” by Richard T. Cooper, the Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2003.

[121] “For Once, It Flows Uphill, Abu Ghraib Meets Guantanamo Bay” by Michael Moran, at:

“The Religious Warrior of Abu Ghraib,” by Sidney Blumenthal, The Guardian, May 20, 2004.

[122] “Final Report of the Independent Panel to Review DoD Detention Operations,” August 2004 at page 73. And see page 101 under Glossary that the Commander of CJTF-7 was LTG Ricardo Sanchez.

[123] The Taguba Report at page 8.

[124] The Taguba Report at page 8.

[125] The Fay Report at page 13 as printed on the bottom of the page. Or at page 19 as viewed in the pdf file on screen.

[126] The Taguba Report at page 8.

[128] The Fay Report at page 4. See:

[129] “Abu Ghraib: Officer in Charge of Questioning Iraqi Inmates Had No Interrogation Training,” June 9, 2004, by Eric Schmitt, the New York Times.

[130] Ibid. And the Fay Report at page 13 as printed on the bottom of the page. Or at page 19 as viewed in the pdf file on screen.

[131] The Fay Report at page 13 as printed on the bottom of the page. Or at page 19 as viewed in the pdf file on screen.

[132] “Abu Ghraib: Officer in Charge of Questioning Iraqi Inmates Had No Interrogation Training,” June 9, 2004, by Eric Schmitt, the New York Times. Read at:

[133] The Fay Report at page 13 as printed on the bottom of the page. Or at page 19 as viewed in the pdf file on screen.

[134] From a written statement obtained by The Washington Post. “Soldier Described White House Interest” by R. Jeffrey Smith, June 9, 2004. May be read at:

[135] The Taguba Report at page 26.

[136] “Investigating General Focuses on Colonel at Joint Interrogation Center,” June 4, 2004. From the New York Times and posted at

[138] “MP Captain Tells of Efforts to Hide Details of Detainee’s Death,” by Jackie Spinner, June 25, 2004, the Washington Post. Although this article indicates that the reporter was unsure that the officer named "Jordan" was the same individual as Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, Capt. Reese gave sworn testimony that reveals he knew Jordan and Jordan's areas of "control."

[139] The Fay Report at page 45 as printed on the bottom of the page.

[141] From the DoD Dictionary of terms at:

[142] The Fay Report at page 46 as printed on the bottom of the page.

[143] “Abu Ghraib: Officer in Charge of Questioning Iraqi Inmates Had No Interrogation Training,” June 9, 2004, by Eric Schmitt, the New York Times.

[144] The Fay Report at page 47 as printed on the bottom of the page.

[145] The Taguba Report at page 45-46 and 48.

[147] “Three Witnesses at Iraq Abuse Hearing Refused to Testify,” by Richard A. Serrano, May 19, 2004, Los Angeles Times:,1,3035633,print.story

[148] “Abu Ghraib: Officer in Charge of Questioning Iraqi Inmates Had No Interrogation Training,” June 9, 2004, by Eric Schmitt, the New York Times.

[149] From a written statement obtained by The Washington Post. “Soldier Described White House Interest” by R. Jeffrey Smith, June 9, 2004. At:


[152] “Chaplain Candidate Follows God’s Leading, Hundreds Accept Christ,” Oak Creek Assembly of God, November 14, 2003. At:

[153] “Chaplain Candidate Follows God’s Leading, Hundreds Accept Christ,” Oak Creek Assembly of God, November 14, 2003. At:

And see also: “Ready In Season and Out,” by John Kennedy,

[154] “Management of National Guard: Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams” an Audit Report No. D-2001-043, Office of the Inspector General, Department of Defense, January 31, 2001. At: Also at:

[162] 700 Club television show (5-1-86) Robertson said:

“God’s plan is for His people, ladies and gentlemen to take dominion…What is dominion? Well, dominion is Lordship. He wants His people to reign and rule with Him…but He’s waiting for us to…extend His dominion…And the Lord says, ‘I’m going to let you redeem society. There’ll be a reformation….We are not going to stand for those coercive utopians in the Supreme Court and in Washington ruling over us any more. We’re not gonna stand for it. We are going to say, ‘we want freedom in this country, and we want power…’”

[163] “Management of National Guard: Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams” an Audit Report No. D-2001-043, Office of the Inspector General, Department of Defense, January 31, 2001. At: Also at:

Katherine Yurica is a news intelligence analyst. She was educated at East Los Angeles College, the University of Southern California and the USC school of law. She worked as a consultant for Los Angeles County and as a news correspondent for Christianity Today plus as a freelance investigative reporter. She is the author of three books. She is also the publisher of the Yurica Report.

Yet Another Major MRFF Win Against Dominionism in Our Military

Monday, January 30, 2012

MRFF Friends and Allies,

This is a monumentally-clear indication that when organizations such as the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and VoteVets work toward a common goal, with the strength of our dedicated supporters behind us, concrete positive change can be achieved.

We are deeply saddened that it took a public outcry of this magnitude to cause Boykin to pull out from this event, likely under pressure from within the Pentagon. Our outcry must not stop – all individuals within the command structure responsible for inviting this vile Islamophobe must be held accountable via courts martial.

On behalf of every single serviceman and servicewoman that we represent, and especially our 101 clients at West Point, we thank you so much for your continued support. Please read the powerful email below that we just received from one of our anonymous West Point Faculty clients.

This is truly a momentous victory for the Constitution, and you’re responsible for it.

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq.
Founder & President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation

WHO is Boykin? Chris Rodda summed up a bit about him on her blog on

[...] none so far beats the choice of West Point — none other than retired Lt. Gen. Jerry “my god is bigger than your god” Boykin!

On Feb. 8, 2012, the United States Military Academy at West Point is planning to host a National Prayer Breakfast featuring ret. Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, an individual who has a long record of issuing hate-filled rhetoric about Muslims.

Here’s what Boykin has said about Muslims in the past: there should be “no mosques in America“; Muslims worship an “idol“; “Islam is a totalitarian way of life, it’s not just a religion”; “it should not be protected under the First Amendment”; Muslims operate “under an obligation to destroy our Constitution.”

The importance of this cannot be understated. The work that we do at MRFF does not get the recognition that it deserves in light of how infested our military is with political Christians who aide and abet the Dominionist goals by overtly overstepping the U.S. Constitution and work to obliterate the wall of separation of church and state.

Dominionists have inserted themselves into all facets of American culture over the past few decades, but none of their achievements match the global threat that their influence has in our military…training our men and women that we are in a Holy War against Islam. The ramifications of this threat are real. The consequences of ignoring this threat are global.

This is reminiscent of 2010 when MRFF put forth a similar protest to have Franklin Graham disinvited as keynote speaker at the Pentagon for the National Day of Prayer due to Graham’s outspoken Islamophobic statements painting all of Islam as “evil”. Once again, MRFF was successfully able to send communication to the leaders in our military and the President in protest of another internationally known Islamophobe, Boykin, from potentially slithering under the radar as an invited speaker representing the un-American position of intolerance, religious supremacy and global divisiveness.

These victories, though hardly noticed by most Americans, are crucial to the protection of our freedoms in this world that we all share. We are not anti-Christian; we are not anti-conservative – we are anti-extremism. MRFF’s 26,000 clients are overwhelmingly 96% Protestant Christians and Catholics. Our volunteer staff mirror that ratio. We support mainstream Christians, Muslims, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, and a broad spectrum of people of faith and non-faith.

Any of you who are watching the political news of 2012 cannot deny that we have come to a point where this is no longer about simply two parties – this is not merely Democrats vs. Republicans – this is emphatically about Freedom vs. Theocracy.

(Oh…and by the way…the logo behind Boykin’s head in the picture is for The Oak Initiatvie” which I will address in an upcoming post for this weekend).





 External links




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