November, 2004

Viewers of Bill Moyers‚ PBS program Now may have seen Kevin Phillips, author of American Dynasty, express his concern that the mainstream media has done so little to probe the links between George W. Bush and the Dominionist Movement, the extreme right wing branch of fundamentalist Christianity. Phillips also made a rather oblique but intriguing reference to certain invocations that were performed around the president's inauguration.

As Lapis is a magazine with a long-standing interest in the relationship between politics and spirituality, I thought I'd put the term Dominionist Movement‚ into a search engine and see what emerged. The results were stunning and deeply disturbing. I spent the next twenty hours and then the rest of the weekend reading everything I could find on the internet (see links below) about the growing power and influence of a movement otherwise known as Christian Reconstructionism.

As the hours of reading progressed, I can truly say that I felt the scales falling from my eyes regarding the true agenda of major elements in the Bush administration. Regardless of who wins the election next week, America urgently needs to wake up to the bizarre, shocking and secretive intent of people like Tom DeLay, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, the members of the innocuously named Council for National Policy, and arguably George W. Bush himself. The evidence seems to point to the existence of a truly messianic presidency in which our head of state feels directly guided by God Himself. It is George Bush's gut instincts (a strange source of divine guidance to any student of the mystical traditions) rather than any intellectually rigorous analysis that have led us into the war in Iraq, the outrageous tax cuts, and the constant impulse to reward the rich and punish the poor.

In Dominionist Theology or Christian Reconstructionism we have a Calvinistic throwback to a world of the elect who are chosen by God to do his works on earth. The objective is a Christian fundamentalist America ruled by the laws of Deuteronomy, and ultimately a crusade to make the whole world conform to the same religious practices and beliefs. If the war in Iraq and blind support for Ariel Sharon lead on to The Rapture and Armageddon, so much the better. Righteous believers will be lifted up to sit at the right hand of God and the millennial kingdom of Christ will eventually be ushered in.

While the rough outlines of this belief system will not be new to many Lapis readers, what is fresh is the extent to which this strange, disturbing and extreme faith has penetrated the conservative religious and political establishments in a manner far beyond what most of us realize. For instance, what lay behind the raging, Old Testament outburst of Zell Miller at the Republican Convention? I encourage readers to examine closely the web site of the courageous reporter Katherine Yurica whose Yurica Report lists numerous enlightening articles on this whole subject. Theocracy Watch, whose name says it all, is another excellent source of crucial information.

There has clearly been a stealth campaign to advance this unlikely theology to places of power and influence. Most members of the mainstream media are secular in outlook and fail to see how serious this development is not only for this country but for the whole planet. We at Lapis, however, are well aware of the power and significance of spiritual movements and it is our goal to work with the Open Center to present an important conference in the spring on this subject. Regardless of who wins next week's election, America urgently needs to wake up to the growing power of the Dominionists and their true and shocking agenda.

Ralph White, Editor

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