Faith and Religion: Dominionism – Exercises In Futility

Are we REALLY still having this debate?

    Sometimes in my sleep, I dream about the things that I blog about when I’m awake. I know that sounds obsessive, but it can also be beneficial. In sleep, the mind opens to possibilities and thought streams that it is closed to or distracted from when conscious. It was in a transitory state between asleep and awake that I was presented with the following scenario…

     I am a white, male adult. I am heterosexual, and still fairly young at 42 years of age. I believe in God and the basic precepts of the Bible. In my little “family,” I have the following siblings: one is female and a lesbian, one is male and black, one is female and an atheist, one is male and old and one is female and agnostic. (Are you starting to get the picture, my fine young readers? What I’ve done is create a basic “Family of America” here, so that I can illustrate a point. But I digress.) As an adult living in a Democratic society, I have the power to influence the policies and laws that shape my government, by exercising my right to vote. If I truly love each and every member of my family, do I use that influence to shape a government that is:

  •      Representative of mainly the members of my family that believe the same way that I do, to the exclusion of those that don’t?

        or,

  •      Equally representative of all of the members of my family, regardless of age, race, creed, gender or sexual orientation?

     According to Dominion theology, society should be governed solely by God’s laws as posited in the Bible, exclusive of secular law. In other words, a Theocracy. I have heard it said by several people that identify as both Christian and Tea Party Patriot, that our nation was founded upon the Bible and biblical principles, that over the course of time our government has become corrupted, and that what we need is to strip away the corruption and return to what our government was meant to be. Once again, if the neo-conservatives had their way, our nation would be governed by a Theocracy. In this type of government, unbelievers and non-conformists would either become “infidels,” or be marginalized. (Sound familiar?) Now, I will outline the problems that I have with this way of thinking, and why I am so virulently anti-Dominionist…

Dominionism and Dominion Theology are un-American:

     Our government was not founded upon anything as nobly religious as the Bible. It was not established as a Theocracy. Once the Revolutionary War was over, if we had wanted a Theocracy, we could very well have had one. Instead, our nation was established as a Republic, drawing on concepts of government that date from the Enlightenment, all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome. In amongst these concepts and principles as laid out in our constitution, is codified a very important idea: the separation of Church and State. Our founding fathers had the smarts to remember just why we came to this continent in the first place, and to ensure in the highest law of the land, that this kind of oppression would never again plague us as a nation. To accomplish this, they placed the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses within the very first amendment to the constitution:

     “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

     Thomas Jefferson, our third U.S. President and founding father, wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 regarding this idea, referring to it as a “wall of separation” in the following text:

    Mr. President

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson
Jan.1.1802.

     Again, President Jefferson and the rest of our founders saw the need to build this wall of separation, so that adherents of one faith would not hold power over another, or over non-adherents. In the 1994 SCOTUS case Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet, 512 U.S. 687, Supreme Court Justice David Souter writing for the majority, reaffirmed this concept:

     “Government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion.”

     It would therefore appear that Dominionism and Dominion Theology directly contradict the U.S. Constitution, the highest law of our land. As such, it would also appear (on the face of things at least!) that active Dominionists are de facto “enemies of the state,” in that if they had their way, our Republic as it stands right now would be done away with, our constitution overturned in favor of a theocratic “new Jerusalem.” As a soldier in the U.S. Army, I swore an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Publishing this blog is my way of accomplishing this.

Dominionism is un-Christian:

     As for the conflict with Christian ideals, I believe I have already covered that in a previous blog post. I seem to recall mentioning something about the “Great Commission” that believers in Christ were given, and how Mark 4:13-20, also known as the “Parable of The Sower” tells the believer the different results of spreading the Gospel. (I also explained the “Horse to Water” analogy in the same post.) In short, forcing one’s religion on others through the ballot box runs contrary to the Bible, therefore it is un-Christian.

Dominionism is WOMBAT:

     There’s an acronym that I like to draw on from time to time, to describe something fraught with futility. “WOMBAT” stands for “Waste Of Money, Brains And Time.” If we gave the Dominionists full control right now, we could have a Theocracy in a week…or could we? To see the obvious mechanism of failure in a Christian Theocracy, just look at the church. Believers in Christ can’t even agree on how to believe. What makes them think they could agree on how to govern a nation? Why don’t we have a Theocracy? Why wasn’t this nation founded on the Bible? I have a one-word answer for you, my fine young readers; Denominations.

     Matthew 10:35 (KJV) “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”

     Aside from the obvious in-fighting that would occur, the majority of Americans wouldn’t stand for the adherents of one single religion having the power to tell the rest of everyone what is what, hence the reason for the “Establishment Clause,” and the narrative therefore comes full-circle!

     So, being that Dominionism is “WOMBAT,” does this mean that we as voting Americans should simply discount the Dominionists and their attempts to shape government policy through the ballot box and lobbying? No. The best thing we can do is to stay informed on the issues, and make sure that every vote we cast, every representative we send to D.C. and every dollar we spend is supportive of a government that represents all Americans.

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