As the US has continued a long, pro-tracted war on terror that focuses on the religious element of a perceived terrorist enemy, what about the religious position of the US? Does the election of Trump signal the possibility that religious extremists have taken over the Republican party? Are Americans now living in a nation poised to become, in essence, a theocracy? With executive orders shooting out of the White House in quick succession, most citizens know little about what they actually mean. We read the headlines, perhaps even the wording of the orders. But what about the motives inspiring them? Even more importantly, what are the long-term consequences? In other words, what is the hoped for end-game the Republican party desires for the country they are re-shaping?
The gringa finds it pointless to try to ascertain motives. The private discussions and hidden agendas are just that, private and hidden. But there are clues that have been laid out right in the open long before Republicans began fuming openly about Obama’s presidency. And many of these clues point to a Republican party effectively taken over by religious extremists.
As early as 2005 there was at least one Republican concerned about the direction the party was headed:
“This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy.” – U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-CT, 3/25/05, with regard to the Terri Shiavo case.
To discover how this happened, interested dear readers must look to activities within American churches prior to 2005.
“… true Christian citizenship… [involves engagement in society to] take dominion over all things as vice-regents of God.” Rev. D. James Kennedy, Sept. 1994 when addressing the national convention of political special interest group Christian Coalition.
What does dominion ideology mean to American Christians? The first command God gave to Adam was to have children (Gen. 1:26). The second command was to subdue the entire earth. For dominionist Americans, the Republican party platform that is anti-abortion is in perfect alignment with the first commandment.
Despite the instruction of Jesus to turn the other cheek and, in essence, co-exist peacefully with all of mankind who are our brothers, dominionist Americans believe in military aggression in order to rule the world as an obligation of their religious calling and duty. Dominion theology is no less dangerous than the perversion of Islam used by ISIS.
“There will never be world peace until God’s house and God’s people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world.” Pat Robertson, The Secret Kingdom.
Here’s a taste of Pat Robertson’s ideology that the Christian God is the only way to make America great. Do not miss all the phrases which make it clear that he believes that America was originally designed to be a theocracy, not a democracy. He is the star of a recruitment video for the Christian Coalition:
But how influential are special interest groups like the Christian Coalition and well-known religious leaders like Pat Robertson? After all, most people are inclined to believe that churches are playing by the rules, not preaching politics from the pulpits. When Time magazine interviewed Pat Robertson in 1995 regarding the most recent elections, here is what he reported about the effectiveness of the strategy implemented by the Christian Coalition:
“… eager volunteers down to the precinct level… handing out 33 million voter guides, often in church pews, prior to last November’s election, the Coalition is credited with providing the winning margin for perhaps half the Republicans’ 52 seat gain in the House of Representatives and a sizable portion of their nine seat pickup in the Senate”
Consider the terms of George W. Bush. Religious leaders made no secret of their support of the Bush-Cheney administration.
“It is the responsibility of… every evangelical Christian… to get serious about re-electing President Bush.” Jerry Falwell as reported by The New York Times, July 16, 2004
And Bush made no secret that he was God’s vessel in the White House. There was no separation of church and state as he led daily devotionals every morning, reading from “My Utmost for His Highest” with his staff. George W. made no secret of using descriptors like “messenger of God” with regard to himself. As he made executive decisions like going to war, he was never too shy to claim that he was doing “the Lord’s will”.
In the book, “Plan of Attack”, written by Bob Woodward, based on his personal conversations with President George W about the Iraq war, he clearly lays out the case for perceiving the war as a holy war waged by the US on behalf of George W’s god. Fulfilling his god’s will was all the justification George W. needed to lie to Congress, the American public and even certain members appointed to his cabinet. In George W’s mind he was embarking on a modern day Christian crusade.
Despite George W’s criticisms of the Afghani Taliban regime’s brutal enforcement of radical religious fundamentalism, George W was actually paving the way back home for Republicans to re-shape the US into its own Christian Fundamentalist regime. And now we are seeing the fruits of his labor in the attacks on freedoms here at home and threats to non-Evangelical nations abroad by the Trump administration.
Who are the radical Christian fundamentalists in the Trump administration?
- · Jerry Falwell, Jr. is leading Trump’s higher education task force assigned to overhaul the accreditation process and operations of universities and colleges. What this means is that whether or not an institution of higher learning receives any government funding will rely on teaching what suits the US government. If that government is a theocracy, that means teaching religious ideology and rejecting anything, even sound science, if it conflicts with the religious ideology of the government.
- · Steve Bannon is most often depicted as a racist white nationalist. However, don’t overlook the significance of his religious fervor. In 2014 he delivered a speech via Skype for a Catholic conference at the Vatican. He attributed the economic and social crisis of the US as a result of the erosion of Judeo-Christian beliefs rather than the effects of capitalism. In other words, only re-shaping the nation into earlier models of a stricter religious-focused American society can the country become great again.
- · Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, poses the greatest danger because she is in a position to affect the belief system of our upcoming generations. She wants to remove the teaching of evolution in public schools and replace it with the religious doctrine of intelligent design. By re-directing money away from our public school systems through the voucher system she supports, DeVos can accomplish her goal of government funding of religious education and destroying public education that, by law, cannot show preference to any specific religion.
But why does any of this matter? The primary reason all of this matters is that radical fundamental evangelicalism culminates in Zionism. The ultimate goal of Zionism is world domination as the duty of Jews and Christians to subdue the world and rule for the sake of their god’s glory. When this is achieved, their god will return and manifest in the flesh, restoring world peace and order while doing away with suffering and death.
The only way fundamentalist Christians and Zionists can achieve this goal is with enormous wealth that is the means to military dominance. This wealth, for the US, is generated through the invasion of non-Evangelical countries who are subjugated and exploited without conscience because they are not god’s people.
This ideology thus makes the US no different than ISIS in its motives for waging war. The primary difference is that the US makes a concentrated effort to keep up appearances at home. In order to have a free hand around the world the US must maintain a homeland population that is easily managed.
Within the Republican party are the war hawks who are religiously motivated as well as the war hawks who are motivated solely for the purpose of amassing more wealth, the investors in corporate interests abroad. So long as the Republican party continues to be in power, the US will continue to be at war, and shamefully so. For we are not protecting, preserving and spreading democracy. We are exploiting others while we destroy their native lands for national gain.
When Americans become fully aware that the humane social norms, luxuries, freedoms and comforts of American culture are by design, to keep them compliant, they must then accept that their silence and inaction also makes them complicit in their nation’s ability to perpetrate religious inspired terrorism around the world. By refusing to be a part of the resistance, an American allows the US to continue business as usual without so much as a hiccup. Americans who prefer to keep their eyes closed become, in essence, a passive terrorist.
Image Credit: The Gospel Coalition
Video Credits: PFAWdotorg