Dominionism: A ‘dangerous’ Christian movement influencing Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry?

August 15, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) holds up a newspaper saying that she won the GOP Straw Poll as she speaks at the Black Hawk County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner in Waterloo, Iowa, Aug. 14, 2011. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Dominionism is defined as the tendency of politically active conservative Christians to try to control government. Writer Michelle Goldberg simplifies the definition down to: “a movement ... which says Christians should rule the world.”

Goldberg is the author of “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism” and she makes her case for applying the controversial term to both candidates by listing the ways Dominionism has supposedly influenced them.

But many have pointed out that her examples show so-called Dominionist groups attaching to the candidates, not the other way around.

As part of her argument, Goldberg cites Bachmann’s close relationship with Truth in Action ministries, a group whose former leader George Grant once explained: “Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion incivil structures.”

Goldberg says Bachmann once appeared in a Truth in Action video in which she said the government has no right to collect taxes in excess of 10 percent, the amount that believers are called to tithe to the church. Goldberg doesn’t say whether Bachmann used the 10 percent figure with any relation to the church.

Goldberg also argues that Rick Perry is associated with Dominionism, citing a recent Texas Observer cover story on the Texas governor that examines his relationship with the New Apostolic Reformation. The New Apostolic Reformation is a group that is fascinated “with infiltrating politics and government,” according to Observer journalist Forrest Wilder.

But Wilder also writes that New Apostolic Reformation sees Perry as its vehicle to claim the “mountain” of government, not the other way around.

Ken Shepherd, managing editor of Newsbusters, a site devoted to “exposing liberal media bias”, wrote that the Daily Beast “went a few more steps off the deep end yesterday” by publishing the article.


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