I don’t spend as much time as I once did in the fever swamps of the left (I’ve been banned twice each from Democratic Underground and Daily Kos), so I’m a bit behind on the latest raving conspiracy theories that spring from those diseased minds. But thanks to some commenters at Ace Of Spades, I got tipped off to the newest (well, newest to me) Grand Conspiracy On The Right To Control The World, the great and powerful EEEEEVIL known as “Dominionism.”
I hadn’t even heard of the term before. My first thought was that it had something to do with a certain card game that I happen to play a bit — and damn, if there was any game that could inspire a cult-like following, behind Magic and Pokemon, it’d be that one.
My second thought was it was a resurgence of a condition that affected our nation in its earliest days — the predominance of the Commonwealth of Virginia, or “The Old Dominion.” 12 of our 43 presidents were born in Virginia, including 4 of the first 5 and 7 of the first 12. The thought that the people of Virginia could start feeling nostalgic and attempt to retake their prominence struck me as possible, but unlikely.
My third thought was to stop speculating and simply look it up. That was a lot less fun, but a bit more productive, and it turned out I was actually familiar with the concept, but not by name.
“Dominionism,” as Wikipedia puts it, is the idea by some Christians that it is their religious duty to seek out public office and positions of power, so they can advance Christianity throughout the nation by law and regulation and the other implements of the state.
I first encountered this sentiment way back in 1988, when Pat Robertson ran for president. A friend of mine gave me an audiotape of a Robertson speech, distributed by his campaign, where he promised to appoint only born-again Christians to government office, and bring the laws of God to America. It was at that point that I began a deep and abiding resentment and contempt of Pat Robertson that still burns within me to this day.
Anyway, Robertson’s campaign went exactly nowhere, and from that I drew a lesson: what I now know as “Dominionism” is doomed to fail. Open proponents of it will get exactly nowhere in electoral politics, and “stealth Dominionists” — those who believe in it but don’t dare speak of it openly — will never succeed even if they do win.
The reasons for this are simple: it’s fundamentally un-American, and the majority of Americans recognize it and will resist it.
Let’s assume the worst possible case: Rick Perry is a “stealth Dominionist,” and wants to win the presidency in order to implement it in America. He wins the nomination, then wins the election. Just what the hell will he do?
Will he, like Robertson promised, only appoint Christians to office? Sorry, the Constitution prohibits any religious tests for public service. And in our lawyer-happy society, there will be a blizzard of lawsuits filed once that pattern starts emerging.
Next, he wants to start passing laws promoting Christian doctrine and principles. Well, guess what? Presidents don’t get to write laws. He’d need a majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate to get the laws before him to sign.
OK, suppose that Perry also gets his “stealth Dominionists” into Congress as well, and they start passing said blizzard of Christian laws. Remember that lawyer-happy society? The blizzard of lawsuits I alluded to earlier would be dwarfed by the New Ice Age. They’d be tied up in legal knots for years.
And within two years, the entire House and one-third of the Senate would be up for re-election. I have faith that the American people would toss those revealed Dominionists out on their sanctimonious asses. (There’s little more that the American people resent than candidates who get elected under false flags.) And two years after that, President Perry and another third of the Senate would be up for re-election, along with the entire House yet again. And shortly thereafter, those unresolved lawsuits would be dismissed as irrelevant, as the original offending laws would have been repealed.
Now, there are other ways a Dominionist President could advance his agenda. He could carefully appoint people of a similar bent to key agencies and offices, and hope they stay under the radar. He could also issue Executive Orders and other directives to the federal bureaucracy, which falls under his control, to have much the same effect as laws. We know those can work, because they describe how President Obama is acting to push his own agenda. See the staffing of the Justice Department’s Voting Rights Division with career radical liberal activists, whose beliefs on the matter have been rejected, time and again, by the courts. Or see how he’s bypassing Congress’ normal role in examples 3 and 4 of this article.
But Obama has an advantage — his ideology isn’t considered a “religion,” and therefore doesn’t run up against the protections the Constitution has against the United States becoming, in any way, a theocracy. Toss in the innate hostility for religion that a lot of the left has to begin with, and it’s clear that the “threat of the Dominionists” is nothing more than the latest attempt by the Left to… well, demonize their political opponents, to paint them as dangerous, scary extremists that ought to repel all right-thinking, decent Americans, just another variant of how the Tea Partiers are all terrorists and hostage-takers and racists and radicals and whatever the hell else they want to call them.
News flash: there is no “American Taliban.” There never has been, really (the closest would probably be the Ku Klux Klan), and there never will, because there never can be.
It’d be nice if the left could constrain their hysteria and fear-mongering… but I ain’t getting my hopes up. It’s all they seem to be able to do.