“Dominionism” is getting a lot of press these days—and understandably so. Anytime a conservative even rustles the pages of a Bible, a leftist will try to accuse him of planning a new Inquisition, holocaust, and terrorism, hating all Jews, blacks, and women, and for being against science as well as just plain stupid. For leftists, this is simply good politics to energize their base.
So you can only imagine the reaction to a conservative who actually reads their Bible, and on the very first page that book finds that “arcane and scary-sounding religious term”—“dominion”:
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
Several conservative candidates are being aligned—in different ways—with “dominionism”: Perry, Bachmann, and even Ron Paul have been listed, as well as Huntsman and Romney (somehow, for being Mormons), and Santorum (a Roman Catholic). Thus the issue of “dominionism” must have some real national import if all these dignitaries are implicated.
Turns out, they’re right! This dominionism is really scary stuff. There is no doubt that in the name of God and religion, and under the heading of “dominion,” some politicians desire to impose their political platform on everyone, destroy our liberties, and leave us subject to another group’s tax-funded religious utopia.
This is no joke. It is very serious.
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Here is a very clear and startling example of “dominionist” rhetoric. One politician, seeking office in this nation, spoke of his “dominionism” openly. Praising his platform, he said:
It’s the time—and it’s going to be soon—when nobody in this country is poor. . . .
It’s the time—and there’s no point in waiting—when every boy and girl in this country, every boy and girl that is born under that flag, has the right to all the education that he can absorb.
It’s going to be the time when every older man and woman has not just full social security, but it has meaning and it has purpose, and it has pleasure.
It’s going to be the time, as I said, when we have a job for everyone who is willing to work, and he is going to be paid a decent wage.
It’s the time when every false distinction—of what your race is, or your creed is, or your sex, or how you spell your name, or where your folks came from, or how you pray—it’s going to be a time when none of that makes any difference. . . .
It’s the time when man gains full dominion under God over his own destiny.
It’s the time of peace on earth and good will among men.
The place is here and the time is now.1
Read that clearly: this radical wants to rule the whole nation, impose social controls, direct everyone, and he calls for this in the name of “full dominion under God”—an obvious reference to Genesis 1:28.
What kind of theocratic nut-job would say something so far-out of the mainstream?
Lyndon B. Johnson.
Not Rick Perry, not Michelle Bachmann, not Santorum, not Bush—not a conservative of any stripe. It was the pride of the Left, the model of Obamacare and much else, LBJ. He was speaking of his “Great Society” in Pittsburgh just days before the 1964 election.
Now let the modern-day leftist journalists and white-paperers howl about how the “dominionist” LBJ forced his dangerous theocracy on us. Then, if “dominionism” must be undone, let us get down to the real important business of repealing all federal healthcare and welfare laws, for starters, and then education and the other pseudo-“rights” that master of tyranny weaseled us into. Let it start, and let it begin today.
Not only LBJ, but the left-beloved (I almost said “left-behind”!) FDR used a curious mixture of religious and military language in his first inaugural address. Religion and the military—the very ingredients of “dominion” so feared by his modern disciples. He said:
W]e now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.2
He ended with a direct invocation: “In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.”
Now this platform and promise has classic hallmarks of a theocratic tyranny: a demand that people sacrifice both their lives and property, and fall in line in military fashion lock-step with the leadership of the State. And the privilege of submitting to such “discipline” should be regarded as “a sacred obligation.” And God bless our leader as he guides us.
And FDR was not shy about becoming a military dictator if necessary. That first inaugural is better remembered for the “only thing to fear is fear itself” statement, and we have forgotten much else that FDR said. The thing he promised is the very thing we really should fear. He suggested that “an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.” If so, FDR promised,
I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.
From these two leftist dominionist Presidents alone—FDR and LBJ—the United States today labors under the obligations of Social Security and Medicare—by far the two biggest challenges to the future financial solvency of the nation (to say nothing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—also the legacy of FDR, and somewhat of LBJ as well). Social Security is already running deficits—paying out more than it actually takes in revenue. The trust fund is a phantom; people are now promised by the SSA that it will eventually return only 78% on its promises. I have covered this elsewhere. Medicare is not far behind. In other words, the leftist dominionists and their key messianic programs—landmark legislation—have done more to destroy American liberty and prosperity than virtually all other presidents combined.
And they did it all in the name of God, dominion, and sacred obligation.
The same could be said of many American classics: public schooling, imperial wars, central banking, and a whole host of bureaucracies as well as the 70,000 pages-per-year of administrative law that keep them all running and growing.
Almost all of this was brought about under the guise of messianic government, often in explicitly religious language—though filled with satanic concepts—and even sometimes explicitly in the name of “dominion.” Gary DeMar was quite correct to point out that leftists are the real “dominionists” in the sense of top-down political tyranny. In this regard, they are the ones with both the history and the rhetoric to match—and it is no joke.
Leftist dominionism has been running rampant, explicitly, for years. Not just decades ago, but in our own time.
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Check out the liberal evangelical Ronald Sider, famous for Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. A collaborative work which he edited, Toward an evangelical public policy: political strategies for the health of the nation,3 ends with a “call to civic responsibility.” It says, “Never before has God given American evangelicals such an awesome opportunity to shape public policy. . . . Disengagement is not an option. . . .” And Sider’s mandatory engagement for all evangelicals is openly dominionist: “We engage in public life because God created our first parents in his image and gave them dominion over the earth” (Gen. 1:27–28).
And Sider, et al, make it clear that the outworking of this dominion necessarily includes, among other things, “governments” and “labor unions.”4
And where’s the liberal howl?
More recently, Sider published The Scandal of Evangelical Politics. He reaffirms his dominionism there, speaking of “God’s mandate to exercise dominion and stewardship in creating human civilization.”5 Indeed,
God calls every person to exercise dominion over the rest of the creation. . . . by understanding more and more about the created world and using it to shape objects and institutions of usefulness and beauty.6
The leftist evangelical Tony Campolo, likewise, embraces “dominion of God’s creation” which man was created to have.7
Leftists like Jim Wallis at Sojourners—with hundreds of thousands of dollars from George Soros—uses the Bible regularly to justify every big-government liberal scheme in the book.
Where is the outcry from leftist watchdogs over Wallis and Sojourners, over Sider and Campolo?
But for some reason, every time a conservative prays, quotes the Bible, or shakes the hand of a Jew, leftists froth at the mouth, wet themselves, and forget their own dominionist history for another four years.
Why the disparity? It’s because they hate competition. When they sense—wrongly—that some other group presents competition for their domination, they go crazy. DeMar was right about that, too.
Or perhaps, the leftists sense—rightly—that true dominion theologians don’t wish to rule the world like the leftists do, we want the reverse. We want greater freedom, decentralization, privatization, self-determination, local law and local law enforcement, less taxation; and an end to forced transfers of wealth, wage controls, debt-financed wars and welfare, and a billion other government strictures and regulations. We want freedom, free markets, and local government. And this is the greatest threat of all to these leftist dominionists. They fear most not merely the loss of political control, but a world in which such control is no longer possible.
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This is the biggest threat of all. For a mere temporary loss of control, a mere replacement of partisan leadership, means that the top-down seats of power are still there for the taking again at some point in the future. This leaves leftists the opportunity for control. But in a Christian Reconstructionist world, power is decentralized, and there would no longer be a single central State agency (or three) which leftists could grab in order to control everyone! And this is the ultimate nightmare scenario for leftists, who above all things covet power.
For this reason, they must smear this thing called “dominion” in as far as it threatens their control of society. Despite the fact that they are the real dominionists as far as their own smearing of the term goes, and despite the fact that true Dominion Theology means much less government, they smear.
But the continuing stream of anti-dominion talk from these leftists exposes nothing but their own ignorance and hypocrisy. For these reasons, liberal pundits should either get it straight, or shut up about dominion.
- Johnson did not quite foresee the full force of inflation to come. He said, “Do you know that in the year 2000 the average annual income in this country is going to be $15,000 per family?”(↩)
- my emphases(↩)
- Baker Books, 2005.(↩)
- Ron Sider, et al, Toward an evangelical public policy: political strategies for the health of the nation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), 363–4.(↩)
- Ron Sider, The scandal of evangelical politics: why are Christians missing the chance to really change the world? (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008), 84.(↩)
- Sider, The scandal of evangelical politics, 128–9.(↩)
- Tony Campolo and William Willimom, Survival Guide for Christians on Campus: How to Be Students and Disciples at the Same Time (West Monroe, LA: Howard Publishing Co., 2002), 168–171.(↩)