Monday, August 15, 2011

Two Dominionists and a Mormon walk into a bar

[insert your own joke here]

But what if the question is: What are two Christian dominionists and Mormon? Then the answer is: The leading contenders for the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

Michelle Goldberg has been following the Christian dominionist angle for quite a while. A lot of the flat-out crazy stuff that Michele Bachmann says, hard as it is to believe, doesn't sound crazy to her:
Dominionism derives from a small fringe sect called Christian Reconstructionism, founded by a Calvinist theologian named R. J. Rushdoony in the 1960s. Christian Reconstructionism openly advocates replacing American law with the strictures of the Old Testament, replete with the death penalty for homosexuality, abortion, and even apostasy. The appeal of Christian Reconstructionism is, obviously, limited, and mainstream Christian right figures like Ralph Reed have denounced it.
If Ralph Reed in agin' it, you know it's gotta be crazy. As Goldberg relates:
But while Rushdoony was a totalitarian, he was a prolific and influential one—he elaborated his theories in a number of books, including the massive, three-volume Institutes of Biblical Law. And his ideas, along with those of his followers, have had an incalculable impact on the milieu that spawned both Bachmann and Perry.
Rushdoony was the original home schooler, attacking people like Horace Mann and John Dewey; public education was an anathema to Rushdoony. That ought to seem familiar to anyone with a passing familiarity with Michele Bachmann and how she got her start in politics.

Bachmann is also in the thrall of the poisonous (St. Olaf grad) John Eidsmoe (again, quoting Goldberg):
One could go on and on listing the Dominionist influences on Bachmann’s thinking. She often cites Francis Schaeffer, the godfather of the anti-abortion movement, who held seminars on Rushdoony’s work and helped disseminate his ideas to a larger evangelical audience. John Eidsmoe, an Oral Roberts University professor who, she’s said, “had a great influence on me,” is a Christian Reconstructionist. She often praises the Christian nationalist historian David Barton, who is intimately associated with the Christian Reconstructionist movement; an article about slavery on the website of his organization, Wallbuilders, defends the institution’s biblical basis, with extensive citations of Rushdoony. (“God's laws concerning slavery provided parameters for treatment of slaves, which were for the benefit of all involved,” it says.)
Some of you will remember the right wing nut job manifesto of Bob Vander Plaats that Bachmann was the first in line to sign. Here's a part of it:
Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.
Bachmann was forced to walk that one back, saying that she didn't mean that part, but it's pretty clear she did, or she didn't think it was a big deal, anyway.

It should be remembered that another branch of the Calvinists, the Afrikaner Dutch Reformed, thought that apartheid was just hunky dory, too.

Where does the moderate Republican go to restore sanity to his party?

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