Dominionism and Democracy: Religious Right Radicals' Crowing Role in the Presidential Election Sparks a Debate over What Kind of America They Want
Conn, Joseph L., Church & State
Texas Gov. and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry is a big fan of the Ten Commandments. In an interview with TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network in September, he cited the religious code as a good basis for public policy.
"I tell people that sometimes get their nose out of joint about me being a believer," said Perry. "I ask them, I say, well, which one of those Ten Commandments out there that's on the lawn of the Texas capitol bothers you so much? Which one of those is bad public policy? Which one of those is so onerous to how we as a people function?
"Those instructions are good guidance," he continued, "and, frankly, they're good values, they're good policy and at the end of the day, I happen to think, that's probably good politics."
Perry's comment didn't get much attention beyond the confines of the Robertson broadcasting empire, but it's one more example of the kind of rhetoric that has ignited a national debate about the role of the Religious Right - including its farthest fringes - in the 2012 presidential campaign.
In August, pundits and political pugilists were suddenly debating "dominionism" and its reach in American religious and political life.
Dominionism is the idea that conservative Christians have the right and the responsibility - to take dominion over all aspects of life, including the government. The term springs from Genesis 1:26-28, a biblical passage in which God instructs Adam and Eve to "have dominion" over every living thing on Earth.
This "dominion mandate" has been popular in certain fundamentalist circles for decades, but it leaped onto online debating forums in August in connection with Perry's Christian-fundamentalists-only prayer-and-fasting rally at Houston's Reliant Stadium. The Texas governor initiated "The Response" and then turned to the American Family Association and a host of Pentecostal religious leaders to organize …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Dominionism and Democracy: Religious Right Radicals' Crowing Role in the Presidential Election Sparks a Debate over What Kind of America They Want. Contributors: Conn, Joseph L. - Author. Magazine title: Church & State. Volume: 64. Issue: 9 Publication date: October 2011. Page number: 10+. © 1999 Americans United for Separation of Church and State. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.