It's apparently not enough for Newsweek to slam 2012 presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann as the "Queen of Rage." Daily Beast/Newsweek's Michelle Goldberg went a few more steps off the deep end yesterday by exploring how the Minnesota Republican, and, for good measure Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) are Christian theocrats-in-waiting:
[O]f the three most plausible candidates for the Republican nomination, two are deeply associated with a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism known as Dominionism. If you want to understand Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, understanding Dominionism isn’t optional.
Put simply, Dominionism means that Christians have a God-given right to rule all earthly institutions. Originating among some of America’s most radical theocrats, it’s long had an influence on religious-right education and political organizing.
Goldberg knows how nutty that sounds -- especially from a liberal journalist who no doubt would laugh away any concerns about Sharia law as a threat to secular jurisprudence -- so she admitted as much before seeking to out Bachmann and Perry as religious dictators they supposedly hope to become:
But because it seems so outré, getting ordinary people to take it seriously can be difficult. Most writers, myself included, who explore it have been called paranoid. In a contemptuous 2006 First Things review of several books, including Kevin Phillips’ American Theocracy, and my own Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, conservative columnist Ross Douthat wrote, “the fear of theocracy has become a defining panic of the Bush era.”
Now, however, we have the most theocratic Republican field in American history, and suddenly, the concept of Dominionism is reaching mainstream audiences.
In other words, "Okay, so some of us on the Left called a false alarm about theocracy when Bushitler was turning the country into a fascist regime, but trust us! This time the threat is real!!!"
Did she mention it's like radical Islamism? Oh yeah, Goldberg went there:
Think of it like political Islamism, which shapes the activism of a number of antagonistic fundamentalist movements, from Sunni Wahabis in the Arab world to Shiite fundamentalists in Iran.
So how can you identify those not-so-friendly theocrats in your neighborhood? Well, you could probably start with your neighbors who homeschool their kids:
Dominionism derives from a small fringe sect called Christian Reconstructionism, founded by a Calvinist theologian named R. J. Rushdoony in the 1960s.
Rushdoony pioneered the Christian homeschooling movement, as well as the revisionist history, ubiquitous on the religious right, that paints the U.S. as a Christian nation founded on biblical principles.
Goldberg set about trying to tar Bachmann and Perry by association with Dominionists, but in doing so, Goldberg exposed some of her ignorance about religious matters:
The Christian Reconstructionists tend to be skeptical of Pentecostalism, with its magic, prophesies, speaking in tongues, and wild ecstasies...
Pentecostalism has "magic"?! That would be news to millions of Pentecostals who strongly oppose any magic arts as counterfeit or demonic spiritual activity.