Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Christian Right, Dominionism, and Theocracy - Part Four

Putting the Christian Right in its proper place in the political spectrum as a component of the broader U.S. Political Right is an important step in developing an effective response. This also allows us to evaluate the threat posed by domininionist and theocratic tendencies in the Christian Right. Some people see this better when presented in outline of chart form, so this entry in the series is constructed along those lines.

The Christian Right is a series of social movements with participants that have been mobilized into political participation through the Republican Party as part of a larger set of coalitions that include social conservatives, moral traditionalists, neoconservatives, militarists, etc. The Republican Party and the Christian Right, however, represent just a portion of the entire spectrum of the U.S. Political Right, so we provide a full chart of these sectors below.

The Christian Right plays multiple roles in the political system: as a social movement made up of people with shared grievances; a political movement with a specific set of electoral and legislation goals on the federal and state level; and a coalition partner in conservative politics.

Christian Right: Multiple Roles in Political System

    •   Social Movement

    •   Political Movement

    •   Coalition Partner

The Christian Right itself is made up of different sectors that exist in a coalition that may seem monolithic, but which actually has fracture points where wedge issues can be developed as part of an effective counter-strategy.

Christian Right: Multiple Internal Sectors

    •   Christian Conservatives

    •   Christian Nationalists

    •   Christian Theocrats

Within the Christian Right, it is primarily the Christian Nationalists and Christian Theocrats who pursue a type of dominionism that has theocratic aspects. The degree of dominionist authoritarianism varies by sector. Christian Reconstructionism is the major theopolitical ideology behind Hard Dominionism, but it is a subset of it. So there are nested subsets.

All Hard Dominionist Christian Theocrats are also Soft Dominionist Christian Nationalists, but not all Soft Dominionist Christian Nationalists are Hard Dominionist Christian Theocrats. All Christian Reconstructionists are Hard Dominionist Christian Theocrats and Christian Nationalists, but not all Hard Dominionist Christian Theocrats are Christian Reconstructionists. Whew!

Degree of dominionist authoritarianism:

    •   Soft Dominionist - Christian Nationalists

        •   Hard Dominionist - Christian Theocrats

            •   Christian Reconstructionist

Dominionists of all varieties can also have a complicated mix of attributes. These include the theology and style of religious practice; and the view of biblical End Times prophecy.

Theology and style of religious practice:

    •   Protestant

        •   Evangelicals

        •   Fundamentalists

        •   Charismatics

        •   Pentacostals

        •   Mainstream Protestant denominations (Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran)

    •   Catholic

View of biblical End Times prophecy:

    •   Postmillennialists

    •   Premillennialists

    •   Amillennialists

The Christian Right is just one of several sectors that comprise the Political Right in the United States. The chart below shows where it fits, dividing the Christian Right into hard and soft dominionists. Christian Conservatives are the bridge between the Secular Right and the Dominionists and Theocrats, but it is a weak bridge. Christian Conservatives are listed in the Chart below as part of the Religious Right.



Corporate Internationalists--Nations should control the flow of people across borders, but not the flow of goods, capital, and profit. Sometimes called the "Rockefeller Republicans." Globalists.

Business Nationalists--Multinational corporations erode national sovereignty; nations should enforce borders for people, but also for goods, capital, and profit through trade restrictions. Enlists grassroots allies from Patriot Movement. Anti-Globalists. Generally protectionist and isolationist.

Economic Libertarians--The state disrupts the perfect harmony of the free market system. Modern democracy is essentially congruent with capitalism.

National Security Militarists--Support US military supremacy and unilateral use of force to protect perceived US national security interests around the world. A major component of Cold War anti-communism.

Neoconservatives--The egalitarian social liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s undermined the national consensus. Intellectual oligarchies and political institutions preserve democracy from mob rule. The United States has the right to intervene in its perceived interests anywhere in the world.



Religious Conservatives Play by the rules of a pluralist democratic republic. Overwhelmingly Christian, with a handful of conservative Jews and Muslims and other people of faith. Moral traditionalists. Cultural and social conservatives.

Christian Nationalism (Soft Dominionists)--Biblically-defined immorality and sin breed chaos and anarchy. America's greatness as God's chosen land has been undermined by liberal secular humanists, feminists, and homosexuals. Purists want litmus tests for issues of abortion, tolerance of gays and lesbians, and prayer in schools. Overlaps somewhat with Christian theocracy.

Christian Theocracy (Hard Dominionists)--Christian men are ordained by God to run society. Eurocentric version of Christianity based on early Calvinism. Intrinsically Christian ethnocentric, treating non-Christians as second-class citizens. Implicitly antisemitic. Includes Christian Reconstructionists.



Patriot Movement (Regressive Populists)--Secret elites control the government and banks. The government plans repression to enforce elite rule or global collectivism. The armed militias are one submovement from this sector. Americanist. Often supports Business Nationalism due to its isolationist emphasis. Anti-Globalist, yet support unilateralist national security militarism. Repressive towards scapegoated targets below them on socio-economic ladder.

Paleoconservatives--Ultra-conservatives and reactionaries. Natural financial oligarchies preserve the republic against democratic mob rule. Usually nativist (White Nationalism), sometimes antisemitic or Christian nationalist. Elitist emphasis is similar to the intellectual conservative revolutionary wing of the European New Right. Often libertarian.

White Nationalism (White Racial Nationalists)--Alien cultures make democracy impossible. Cultural Supremacists argue different races can adopt the dominant (White) culture; Biological Racists argue the immutable integrity of culture, race, and nation. Segregationists want distinct enclaves, Separatists want distinct nations. Americanist. Tribalist emphasis is similar to the race-is-nation wing of the European New Right.

Extreme Right (Ultra Right)--Militant forms of revolutionary right ideology and separatist ethnocentric nationalism. Reject pluralist democracy for an organic oligarchy that unites the homogeneic nation. Conspiracist views of power that are overwhelmingly antisemitic. Home to overt neofascists, neonazis, Christian Identity, Creativity (Church of the Creator), National Alliance.

See the Chart at the PRA website

Chart is copyright 2005, Political Research Associates

This all may seem overwhelming at first, but in a nation where many people have elaborate systems for tracking sports scores or soap opera plots, it is a reasonable expectation that people who want to successfully challenge dominionists and theocrats can walk up the learning curve and appreciate the view from the top.

Ported from Talk to Action
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