Bil Browning

Oh Good Lord (Pun Intended)

Filed By Bil Browning | July 16, 2011 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: Left Behind, New Apostolic Reformation, religious right, Rick Perry

225px-Rick_Perry_by_Gage_Skidmore.jpgIf this doesn't make you shake in your boots, you didn't live through the Reagan years.

[The New Apostolic Reformation movement's] beliefs can tend toward the bizarre. Some consider Freemasonry a "demonic stronghold" tantamount to witchcraft. The Democratic Party, one prominent member believes, is controlled by Jezebel and three lesser demons. Some prophets even claim to have seen demons at public meetings. They've taken biblical literalism to an extreme. In Texas, they engage in elaborate ceremonies involving branding irons, plumb lines and stakes inscribed with biblical passages driven into the earth of every Texas county.

If they simply professed unusual beliefs, movement leaders wouldn't be remarkable. But what makes the New Apostolic Reformation movement so potent is its growing fascination with infiltrating politics and government. The new prophets and apostles believe Christians--certain Christians--are destined to not just take "dominion" over government, but stealthily climb to the commanding heights of what they term the "Seven Mountains" of society, including the media and the arts and entertainment world. They believe they're intended to lord over it all. As a first step, they're leading an "army of God" to commandeer civilian government.

In Rick Perry, they may have found their vessel. And the interest appears to be mutual.

The religious right: This time they're back stronger than ever and they've all read Left Behind.


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They've been at this now for 30+ years, and I think millions of Americans have figured out their story.

I'm not saying they're not dangerous, because they are. But I don't worry about them.

At least, I try not to.

Worry about them. The most charitable thing that one can say about these Christianists is that they are delusional sociopaths with very strong authoritarian leanings.

To learn more about some of the most dangerous ones, you might want to read Jeff Sharlet's book "The Family," which describes the efforts -- largely successful -- of the masterminds of Washington's C Street House to enforce their theology of "might makes right as long as you give the credit to Jesus" onto America. These are the same people who have been pushing the government of Uganda to implement "Murder the gays" legislation.

The right has been using the stealth candidate tactic for a couple of generations -- they started with school boards and have gradually been working their way up. The problem now is the Internet: it's hard for a candidate to fake it when previous radical statements keep popping up.

I think the worrisome part is the "Christian Army" idea. These people are basically opposed to the American system of government, and this is the segment of the population most prone to domestic terrorism. And I keep remembering that extreme Christianists have a presence in the military. Can we look for a coup? I doubt it, but I don't think an attempt is beyond the realm of possibility.

As it is, the more they are known, the less chance they have of winning an election -- their views are repellent to most Americans.

Science fiction novelist Robert Heinlein saw all this coming 70 years ago. He may have gotten a few things wrong (like roads that move instead of vehicles - the closest we've gottent to that is with the occasional rather sedate moving walkway at large airport terminals and other similar places). But in his future history he had a place for a character, Nehemiah Scudder, and for an unwritten novel (The Sound of His WIngs), depicting the rise of a religious fundamentalist domininionist government taking over the U.S.

We can see a retrospective of things that might have been included in The Sound of His Wings, in Heinlein's first novel, If This Goes On . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_This_Goes_On%E2%80%94

In the backstory, we understand the in Heinlein's projection, Scudder would have been elected President in 2012, and there would be no presidential election after that.

Imagine Rick Perry becoming a *real* Nehemiah Scudder. Imagine the Seven Mountains Christianist Dominionists bringing him in to the weak Republican horserace and with their fanatical footsoldiers finding a way to secure the Republican nomination - and an improbable victory in November 2012.

Is Rick Perry the monster hiding under my bed?

Maybe. But one thing I know, is that Dominionists will usher in a terrible dystopia, and if they ever do take charge, perhaps The Handmaid's Tale might also be a chillingly prophetic novel.