Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dominionist Youth

Nothing more American than a militant youth rally urging for the creation of an army of God, willing to fight the evils of secular society.

Might be time to grab yourself a copy of Michelle Goldberg's Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. From the Salon excerpt

A few days before Bush's second inauguration, The New York Times carried a story headlined "Warning from a Student of Democracy's Collapse" about Fritz Stern, a refugee from Nazi Germany, professor emeritus of history at Columbia, and scholar of fascism. It quoted a speech he had given in Germany that drew parallels between Nazism and the American religious right. "Some people recognized the moral perils of mixing religion and politics," he was quoted saying of prewar Germany, "but many more were seduced by it. It was the pseudo-religious transfiguration of politics that largely ensured [Hitler's] success, notably in Protestant areas."

It's not surprising that Stern is alarmed. Reading his forty-five-year-old book "The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology," I shivered at its contemporary resonance. "The ideologists of the conservative revolution superimposed a vision of national redemption upon their dissatisfaction with liberal culture and with the loss of authoritative faith," he wrote in the introduction. "They posed as the true champions of nationalism, and berated the socialists for their internationalism, and the liberals for their pacifism and their indifference to national greatness."

Fascism isn't imminent in America. But its language and aesthetics are distressingly common among Christian nationalists. History professor Roger Griffin described the "mobilizing vision" of fascist movements as "the national community rising Phoenix-like after a period of encroaching decadence which all but destroyed it" (his italics). The Ten Commandments has become a potent symbol of this dreamed-for resurrection on the American right.
Meanwhile, over at Orcinus, Dave Neiwert writes about the current buzz around the blogosphere over use of the term "Christianist" to describe this theocratic movement. There's some interesting talk in the comments of that post regarding the differences between Dominionism and Reconstructionism (see here for more info.)

And here was my response to a commenter who stated that "[we] want to take over American for secular humanism."

And what would that entail, exactly? Secular humanists want the rest of society to be secular humanists, but their efforts are confined to argument and reasoning.

Secular humanists believe in liberal democracy and the equality of human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They believe in leaving each individual free to pursue happiness, and in protecting that pursuit from abuse. Some differ as to what obligation the state has to facilitate that pursuit, with some believing the state should offer positive rights such as healthcare and such, and others believing in a more mininamilst night watchman state.

However, no secular humanist believes in exercising dominion over all aspects of human existence, as do Dominionists like D. James Kennedy, who would take away everyone else's right to be vote and heard if they were to come to power.

Do Dominionists have a right to vote and be heard? Yes. Do they have a right to enslave humanity to impose their theology? No.

1 comment:

Psyberian said...

This has less to do with Christianity and more to do with fascism, but I thought this article by Shelden Wolin, a professor emeritus of politics at Princeton, was thought-provoking: