In my younger days the GOP was truly the “Grand Old Party.” It was a party of fiscally responsible, serious politicians who would represent its principles faithfully. But something happened to it in the last three decades. It’s been infiltrated by religious extremists who have co-opted its center.
This is an excerpt from a site titled, godsownparty.com. “First – STOP calling it “social conservatism”. Call it what it IS! Religious politics – and even more specifically politics. That is a very narrow group and they are a minority. Why are we letting them redefine our language and turn this into a Movement that will exclude all who are not like them – including mainline Christians as well as all other faith and non-faith citizens in the United States?” Why indeed are we allowing this Bible-based cult disguised as a religious movement to control the political narrative in this country that was founded on freedom “of or from” religion?
Sometime back, I listened to an interview with Bob Vander Plaats, the head of an organization named, The Family Leader. He and this organization are at the center of Christian Dominionist politics. Dominionism is a term used to describe politically active conservative Christians. They conspire to take control over secular civil government and govern by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law.
Mr. Vander Plaats explained the Dominionist position. I paraphrase here: God created three pillars or institutions: the family, church and government. Therefore, all three should be ruled by God’s laws as explained in the King James version of the Bible. Yes. That’s right, including government.
Silly me, I thought these three institutions were human social constructions that evolved over time and I certainly didn’t know God preferred the King James Bible.
Full disclosure time: I am a Secular Christian agnostic: Secular by philosophy, Christian by enculturation, and agnostic by introspection. Although I will admit that my agnosticism is a bit militant, which means I don’t know and I don’t think you do either.
Being more a practitioner than a believer, I reject any dogmas or absolutes about the existence or the nature of God; and in particular, God’s will and intentions.
The early pilgrims came here to escape government-prescribed religion. And now the GOP has become a political arm of a religious movement to install a form of Christian Sharia. In case you forgot, Sharia is Islamic religious law based on the Koran.
I don’t want either Christian or Islamic law affecting my life by infesting our government. The Dominionist dream is not, as Shakespeare wrote, “ a tale of sound and fury, told my an idiot, signifying nothing.” It is the main source of alienation and separation that polarizes our political discourse.
The poison of religious intolerance is being disguised as social conservatism and it is being used as the litmus test for any viable GOP candidate. It has shaped itself into an agenda of anti-science and anti-intellectualism that threatens our ability to compete in a world where science and technology pave the way to the future.
Dominionism is an attempt to regress post modernity back to antiquity. Organized religion has a history of regressive movements and it needn’t be that way in the future. When religion is able to rise above superstition, it can be a shining light on humanity’s path. Extreme right Christian Dominionism blots out that light and attempts to take us back to medieval morality.
In addition to being a threat to sane government, Christian Dominionism casts an undeserved dark shadow over all Christianity. Unfortunately, religion can be used to advance immoral earthly agendas too. But only if people don’t think for themselves. I cannot understand why American individualism disappears when it comes to religious discernment, but it does.
Here’s a final thought for your consideration: If you don’t like our government now, try to imagine an American theocracy.